This guide discusses migration from Hibernate ORM version 6.1. For migration from earlier versions, see any other pertinent migration guides as well.

Basic array/collection mapping

Basic arrays, other than byte[]/Byte[] and char[]/Character[], and basic collections (only subtypes of Collection) now map to the type code SqlTypes.ARRAY by default, which maps to the SQL standard array type if possible, as determined via the new methods getArrayTypeName and supportsStandardArrays of org.hibernate.dialect.Dialect. If SQL standard array types are not available, data will be modeled as SqlTypes.JSON, SqlTypes.XML or SqlTypes.VARBINARY, depending on the database support as determined via the new method org.hibernate.dialect.Dialect.getPreferredSqlTypeCodeForArray.

Due to this change, schema validation errors could occur as 5.x and 6.0 used the type code SqlTypes.VARBINARY unconditionally and serialized the contents with Java serialization. The migration to native array or JSON/XML types is non-trivial and requires that the data is first read through the Java serialization mechanism and then written back through the respective JDBC method for the type.

A possible migration could involve the following steps in a migration script:

  1. Execute alter table tbl rename column array_col to array_col_old to have the old format available

  2. Execute alter table tbl add column array_col DATATYPE array to add the column like the new mapping expects it to be

  3. Run the query select t.primary_key, t.array_col_old from table t

  4. For every result, deserialize the old representation via e.g. org.hibernate.internal.util.SerializationHelper.deserialize(

  5. For every result, load the Hibernate entity by primary key and set the deserialized value

  6. Finally, drop the old column alter table tbl drop column array_col_old

Enum mapping changes

Enums now map to the type code SqlType.SMALLINT by default, whereas before it mapped to TINYINT. This mapping was not quite correct as Java effectively allows up to 32K enum entries, but TINYINT is only a 1 byte type.

In practice, this isn’t a big issue though for two reasons. A lot of databases do not support a 1 byte integer DDL type, so Hibernate falls back to the 2+ byte integer type as DDL type. Apart from that, enums in ORM models usually do not exceed the 255 value limit. Note that the migration is not required as schema validation is able to handle the use of SMALLINT when the DDL type is TINYINT.

The migration usually requires running only a simple alter command alter table tbl alter column enum_col smallint or alter table tbl modify column enum_col smallint, depending on your database dialect.

The following dialects currently have DDL types registered for TINYINT and might produce a different schema now:

  • Cachè

  • Ingres

  • Teradata

  • TimesTen

  • H2

  • HSQL

  • MySQL

  • MariaDB

  • Oracle