Sunday, July 5, 2009

Shopping Cart Web Application - Part 7 - Hibernate

Hibernate is an object-relational mapping (ORM) library for the Java language, providing a framework for mapping an object-oriented domain model to a traditional relational database.
If you are new to Hibernate I would suggest reading the documentation on the Hibernate website as well as this tutorial.

What you need before we get started

What we will cover

  • Hibernate Overview
  • Java Persistence API
  • Shopping cart web application changes

  • Beginner

Hibernate's primary feature is mapping from Java classes to database tables (and from Java data types to SQL data types). Hibernate also provides data query and retrieval facilities. Hibernate generates the SQL calls and relieves the developer from manual result set handling and object conversion, keeping the application portable to all supported SQL databases, with database portability delivered at very little performance overhead.

Java Persistence API
The Java Persistence API (JPA) provides an object/relational mapping facility to Java developers for managing relational data in Java applications. Java Persistence consists of three areas:
  • The Java Persistence API
  • The query language
  • Object/relational mapping metadata

JPA was introduced in JEE 5 and forms part of the JSR 220 EJB3.0 specification. The Java Persistence API draws upon the best ideas from persistence technologies such as Hibernate, TopLink, and JDO. Customers now no longer face the choice between incompatible non-standard persistence models for object/relational mapping.

Both sample applications use JPA annotations in the Entity classes, the difference between the two is in the data access objects. The Hibernate sample application makes use of Hibernate's session factory to read and write to the database whereas the JPA sample application makes use of JPA's EntityManager to read and write to the database.  

For further reading and information on JPA I recommend these links:

Shopping Cart Web Application

Database Schema
Below is a schema of the database I want my application to use:

The SQL statements for the creation of these tables for this database will look like:
create table basket (id bigint not null unique, primary key (id)) ENGINE=InnoDB;
create table basket_item (id bigint not null unique, price double precision not null, quantity integer not null, items_id bigint not null, basket_id bigint not null, primary key (id)) ENGINE=InnoDB;
create table item (id bigint not null unique, description varchar(255), name varchar(255) not null, price double precision not null, primary key (id)) ENGINE=InnoDB;
alter table basket_item add index FK3F6FA5ECF59CCC6 (basket_id), add constraint FK3F6FA5ECF59CCC6 foreign key (basket_id) references basket (id);
alter table basket_item add index FK3F6FA5EC98F3A8D9 (items_id), add constraint FK3F6FA5EC98F3A8D9 foreign key (items_id) references item (id);

The above basket table is pretty useless but I wanted an example which had a many-to-one association with items. The basket table could also include more columns such as username.

HSQLDB (Hyperthreaded Structured Query Language Database) is a relational database management system written in Java. The reason I have chosen this database over MySQL or any other database is because I wanted an in-memory database so that it would be easier for readers who are unfamiliar with configuring databases to get my sample application up and running without much hassle. Using HSQLDB’s in-memory database all I had to do was include the HSQLDB library in my applications classpath. Hibernate will create the database for me and prepopulate our database with necessary data.

Hibernate configuration file vs Persistence configuration file
The Hibernate sample application requires a Hibernate configuration file whereas the JPA sample application requires a persistence configuration file. Both are very similar:

1. Hibernate configuration file
Hibernate uses a file (hibernate.cfg.xml) to configure hibernate properties such as connection details to the database, location of the entity classes used to create tables in the database and a whole range of other settings. This is a copy of the hibernate.cfg.xml we used in the Shopping Cart application:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE hibernate-configuration PUBLIC
  "-//Hibernate/Hibernate Configuration DTD 3.0//EN"
        <property name="hibernate.connection.driver_class">org.hsqldb.jdbcDriver</property>
        <property name="hibernate.connection.url">jdbc:hsqldb:shoppingcart</property>
        <property name="hibernate.connection.username">sa</property>
        <property name="connection.password"></property>
        <property name="hibernate.dialect">org.hibernate.dialect.HSQLDialect</property>
        <property name="show_sql">true</property>
        <property name="format_sql">true</property>
        <property name="">create</property>
        <property name="current_session_context_class">thread</property>
        <mapping class="" />
        <mapping class="" />
        <mapping class="" />

2. Persistence configuration file
Much like the Hibernate configuration file the persistence configuration file is used to configure the JPA context.
<persistence xmlns=""
 <persistence-unit name="shopping-cart" transaction-type="RESOURCE_LOCAL">
   <property name="hibernate.connection.driver_class" value="org.hsqldb.jdbcDriver" />
   <property name="hibernate.connection.url" value="jdbc:hsqldb:shoppingcart" />
   <property name="hibernate.connection.username" value="sa" />
   <property name="hibernate.dialect" value="org.hibernate.dialect.HSQLDialect" />
   <property name="hibernate.archive.autodetection" value="class" />
   <property name="hibernate.show_sql" value="true" />
   <property name="hibernate.format_sql" value="true" />

Many APIs require a fair amount of boilerplate code (any code that is or can be reused in new contexts or applications without being changed much from the original). For example, in order to write a JAX-RPC web service, you must provide a paired interface and implementation. This boilerplate could be generated automatically by a tool if the program were “decorated” with annotations indicating which methods were remotely accessible.

Annotations are like meta-tags that you can add to your code and apply them to package declarations, type declarations, constructors, methods, fields, parameters, and variables. As a result, you will have helpful ways to indicate whether your methods are dependent on other methods, whether they are incomplete, whether your classes have references to other classes, and so on.

Annotation-based development relieves Java developers from the pain of cumbersome configuration. Annotation-based development lets us avoid writing boilerplate code under many circumstances by enabling tools to generate it from annotations in the source code. This leads to a declarative programming style where the programmer says what should be done and tools emit the code to do it.

Mapping with EJB3/JPA Annotations
Every bound persistent POJO class is an entity bean and is declared using the @Entity annotation (at the class level). Below is an extract of the code of what our Item class now looks like having annotations added to it:
public class Item implements Serializable  {
 private static final long serialVersionUID = 1135428828106917172L;
 private String description;
 private Long id;
 private String name;
 private Double price;
 private List<BasketItem> basketItems = new ArrayList<BasketItem>(0);
 public Item() {

 public Item(Long id, String name, double price) { = id; = name;
  this.price = price;

 public Item(Long id, String description, String name, double price) { = id;
  this.description = description; = name;
  this.price = price;
 public String getDescription() {
  return description;

 public Long getId() {
  return id;

 @Column(name="name", nullable=false)
 public String getName() {
  return name;

 @Column(name="price", nullable=false, precision=22, scale=0)
 public Double getPrice() {
  return price;

 public void setDescription(String description) {
  this.description = description;

 public void setId(Long id) { = id;

 public void setName(String name) { = name;

 public void setPrice(Double price) {
  this.price = price;
 @OneToMany(mappedBy="item", cascade=CascadeType.ALL)
 public List<BasketItem> getBasketItems() {
  return this.basketItems;

 public void setBasketItems(List<BasketItem> basketItems) {
  this.basketItems = basketItems;

  • @Entity declares the class as an entity bean (i.e. a persistent POJO class). @Id declares the identifier property of this entity bean. The other mapping declarations are implicit.
  • @Table is set at the class level; it allows you to define the table, catalog, and schema names for your entity bean mapping. If no @Table is defined the default values are used: the unqualified class name of the entity.

Hibernate Annotation Extensions
Hibernate 3.1 offers a variety of additional annotations that you can mix/match with your EJB 3 (JPA) entities. They have been designed as a natural extension of JPA annotations. I am using a Hibernate annotation in the Basket class to handle the removal of orphans as the current version of JPA doesn't have an annotation that handles this.
@OneToMany(mappedBy="basket", cascade=CascadeType.ALL)
public List<BasketItem> getBasketItems() {
 return basketItems;

To empower the EJB3 capabilities, hibernate provides specific annotations that match hibernate features. The org.hibernate.annotations package contains all these annotations extensions. Please refer to the hibernate documentation for more information.

One of the other important things to note was that our entity classes implement the interface Serializable. Strictly speaking, this is not a requirement. However, in practice you will normally want your Hibernate objects to be serializable so that they can be (potentially) migrated around a multiprocessor cluster or saved and restored across a web server reboot etc.

Session Factory vs EntityManager
The Session factory is used by the Hibernate sample application to transact with the database whereas the EntityManager is used by the JPA sample application.

1. SessionFactory
The session factory creates Sessions. Usually an application has a single SessionFactory. Threads servicing client requests obtain Sessions from the factory. The Session interface is the main runtime interface between a Java application and Hibernate. The main function of the Session is to offer create, read and delete operations for instances of mapped entity classes.

2. EntityManager
An EntityManager instance is associated with a persistence context. The EntityManager is used to create and remove persistent entity instances, to find entities by their primary key, and to query over entities.

Hibernate utility class vs JPA utility class
I created a utility class that will be used by any class within the Shopping Cart application that requires a hibernate session / EntityManager.

1. Hibernate utility
The class is called and can be found in the com.mydomain.shoppingcart.util package.

2. JPA utility
The class is called and can be found in the com.mydomain.shoppingcart.util package.

Data Access Object (DAO's)
A Data Access Object (DAO) is an object that provides an abstract interface to some type of database or persistence mechanism, providing some specific operations without exposing details of the database. The DAO pattern allows data access mechanisms to change independently of the code that uses the data. Compare the DAO's in the Hibernate sample application to the JPA sample application. You will see where the Hibernate session is being used and where JPA's EntityManager is being used. I created two DAO's, one for each of our Entities:
  • ItemDaoImpl – implements ItemDao interface
  • BasketDaoImpl – implements BasketDao interface

Lastly I tied the rest of the pieces together so that our application was using our DAO's now and not just getting back stubbed data.
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