An Overview on Hibernate

An Overview on Hibernate
Written by Shuvhojit DebNovember 22, 2021
6 min read
Shuvhojit Deb

In this article, we'll know about Hibernate.

What is Hibernate?

Hibernate is an ORM(Object-relational Mapping) framework that is built on top of JPA (API). As the name implies it's going to establish a relational mapping between your object and the database table values (can be a field value / can be set of record(s) etc). The database doesn't understand objects and that's where frameworks, like hibernate, will come in to picture to bridge this gap. The no of properties present in the object( represented as entities classes in java ) will be mapped to the field or column name in the database table ( using annotations ).

History of Hibernate

Hibernate was started in 2001 by Gavin King with colleagues from Cirrus Technologies as an alternative to using EJB2-style entity beans. The original goal was to offer better persistence capabilities than those offered by EJB2.

In early 2003, the Hibernate development team began Hibernate2 releases. In 2005, Hibernate version 3.0 was released. In December 2018, Hibernate ORM 5.4.0 Final was released.

Why use Hibernate?

Hibernate reduces lines of code by maintaining object-table mapping itself and returns results to applications in form of Java objects. It relieves programmers from manual handling of persistent data, hence reducing the development time and maintenance cost.


Benefits of Hibernate

  1. Lightweight and open-source – Being lightweight and open-source makes it accessible and efficient.
  2. Increased performance – Using cache memory helps in fast performance.
  3. Database Independence – Being database-independent gives it the ability to work with different databases.
  4. Auto DDL Operations – automatic table creation saves us from manually creating tables.
  5. It takes care of mapping Java classes databases using XML files without writing any code.
  6. We can directly store and retrieve data directly from the database using simple APIs.
  7. It does not require any application server to operate.
  8. Minimizes database access with smart fetching strategies.
  9. It provides simple querying of data.

Learning curve

Like many other tools, Hibernate also takes a considerable amount of time and effort to learn. I can’t say it is 100% disadvantage but yes it’s not so easy to learn.

Does not allow multiple inserts

Hibernate does not allow some queries which are supported by JDBC.

For example, It does not allow to insert of multiple objects (persistent data) into the same table using a single query.

The developer has to write a separate query to insert each object.

Performance Cost

Hibernate generates a lot of SQL statements in runtime based on our mapping, so it is a bit slower than JDBC.

If we use JDBC, then we directly write our queries, so no extra effort is required.

More Complex with joins

If there are a lot of mappings and joins among the tables, then the code becomes a bit complex to understand as we need to define the mapping and join information in the XML file.

Poor performance in Batch processing

It is advisable to use pure JDBC for batch processing as Hibernate performance is not good in Batch processing.

Not good for a small project

A small project will have a fewer number of tables, introducing the entire Hibernate framework will be overhead than useful.


From the above-mentioned points, it is crystal clear that hibernate will increase the performance of your application and help you reduce the development time for your application — and hence the cost. so by considering the above-mentioned advantages, I will recommend that everyone use hibernates over JDBC.

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made with by Abhishek & Priyanka Jalan