Top 3 Books to Learn Hibernate for Java Developers - Best of Lot

Hibernate is the leading ORM (Object to relational) framework in Java world used to implement the persistence layer of enterprise Java applications. It was one of the first Java frameworks on ORM persistence and exists even before the Java Persistence API was introduced. It has since then implement JPA interfaces, and you can use Hibernate as one of the JPA implementations. In fact, it is one of the most popular JPA implementations in the Java world. I receive a lot of email about books and tutorial to learn Hibernate, especially from intermediate Java developers, who have a couple of years of experience in Java but new to Hibernate.
It is also a handy skill to have on  your resume because they are a lot of companies who are using Spring and Hibernate to developer enterprise Java application. So if you are looking for a job in Java world, particularly as Java web development role learning both Spring and Hibernate can help you to get your dream job.

The new Hibernate User Guide is perfect for learning Hibernate, it is most up-to-date and detailed enough to cover all important concepts. It has also become the default Hibernate 5 reference documentation.

All the examples given in the book is also hosted on GitHub along with their unit tests, which code snippet will remain relevant in the future with new Hibernate releases.

Most of the examples have written according to JPA specification but given Hibernate is more than JPA, it also contains some Hibernate specific examples which cover scenarios not covered by JPA standard.  The best part of the guide is that it highlights which feature is particular to Hibernate and how you can do the same with JPA by giving relevant information.

You can also combine this guide with Spring and Hibernate for Beginners course on Udemy, which is one of the best course to learn two of the essential frameworks for Java developers. It's an excellent course also go along with Hibernate books I am going to mention and it cost you less than half of the price of any of these books.

Top 3 Hibernate Books for Java Developers

The ORM user guide is excellent, but if you are someone like me who likes to read the book to get a complete and comprehensive knowledge, you are at the right place. In this article, I am going to share three excellent books to learn Hibernate framework. These are the books which I have read to learn Hibernate in the past.

Here is a couple of best book you can read to learn Hibernate 5.0 and JPA 2.1. There are many other books available in the market, but they are either not up-to-date or doesn't cover the Hibernate thoroughly. These three books are useful for both beginners and expert Java developers who want to learn Hibernate.

1. Java Persistence with Hibernate 2nd Edition

This is by far the best and most complete book to learn Hibernate. This book was earlier known as Hibernate in Action, but from 2006 onwards it was known as Java Persistence with Hibernate. The 2nd Edition of the book has launched in 2015, which means it is also the most to date book to learn Hibernate in the market.

It covers Hibernate 5.x & JPA 2.1 (JSR 338), and all examples in the book have been updated for the latest Hibernate and Java EE specification versions. You can also download all examples for free from their website

If you want to learn Hibernate quickly and in-depth I suggest you to start reading this book and join the Hibernate and JPA Fundamentals course on Udemy. It's an excellent course which I bought from just $10 in the last Udemy sale.

Best Book to Learn Hibernate

When it comes to authors, both authors of the books are the real authority in the Hibernate world, Gavin King is the founder of the Hibernate project and a member of the Java Persistence expert group (JSR 220) while Christian Bauer is a member of the Hibernate developer team and a trainer and consultant.

Gary Gregory who joins the team for 2nd edition is also a principal software engineer working on application servers and legacy integration. All of them have done an excellent job to keep this book as the go-to book to learn Hibernate.

You will learn Hibernate from A to Z in this books, starting from the fundamentals, motivation, and ORM in general, you will also learn more advanced concepts and techniques to solve them like N+1 problems, caching, transaction and concurrency, filtering, hibernate query language, advanced query option and customizing SQL to write high-performance Java application using Hibernate.

In short, must-read books for any Java developer who is working or wants to learn Hibernate.

2. High-Performance Java Persistence by Vlad Mihalcea

This is an advanced book on Hibernate and goes really deep into performance. If you want to learn how to squeeze the last performance drop out of your data access layer, you must read the High-Performance Java Persistence book.

The author of the book, Vlad Mihalcea, is a Hibernate Developer Advocate working for Red Hat and also a known authority in Hibernate, Java, and JPA technology.

The book starts with explaining JDBC and Database essentials, like. ResultSet caching, Statement Caching, creating and maintaining database connection pool, transaction and isolation level and performance implication of them before moving to ORM, Hibernate, and JPA.

It covers many advanced Hibernate topics like Inheritance, Relationship, Caching, Flushing, Batching, and Concurrency control, which makes thing books sometimes hard to read, but don't worry.

Vlad has also created an online course High-Performance Java persistence with Hibernate where it explains those concepts with more examples. The course is a perfect companion for this book for anyone who wants to improve Hibernate performance for their application.

Best Books to Learn Hibernate for Java Developers

In short, this book nicely summarizes challenges and performance implications of using JDBC, either directly or via JPA and Hibernate. If you are working on a Java application which uses JDBC or Hibernate, and you are dealing with performance issues, this is one of the must-read books for you.

3. Hibernate Tips: 70 Solutions to Common Problems

I am glad to announce that fellow Blogger Thorben Janssen has authored a great book on Hibernate, "Hibernate Tips – More than 70 solutions to common Hibernate problems". It shows you in more than 70 recipes on how to efficiently implement your persistence layer with Hibernate’s basic and advanced features.

Each Hibernate tip consists of one or more code samples and an easy-to-follow step-by-step explanation. You can also download an example project with executable test cases for each Hibernate tip.  This book is like Effective Java for Hibernate. If you have read Effective Java and likes that kind of book, you will really enjoy this book.

Best book to learn Hibernate in 2017

You will learn how to use Java 8 features with Hibernate 5.0 and more practical stuff like how to call stored procedures and database functions.

That's all about some of the best books to learn Hibernate for Java developers. The new Hibernate User Guide is perfect for learning Hibernate and the best part of it that it will always be up-to-date but when it comes to books the Java Persistence with Hibernate 2nd Edition is clearly the must-read books for any experienced Hibernate developer.

If you want to go next level to solve some real-world problems with performance in an application which uses Hibernate or JPA, then High-Performance Java Persistence clearly deserves a reading.

Other Recommended books for Java Developers

Thanks for reading this article, if you like this article and find the recommended books useful then please share with your friends and colleagues. If you have any question, feedback, or suggestion, then please drop a comment. You can also suggest any interesting book about JDBC and Hibernate, I love to find new books.

P. S. - If you prefer to learn from online courses then books, then I suggest you go through Spring and Hibernate for Beginners course on Udemy. It's an excellent course to learn both Spring and hibernate, which means you can kill two birds in just one stone.

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