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Hibernate In Action
by Christian Bauer, Gavin King

Manning Publications
1 edition
August 2004
408 pages

Reviewed by Jason Menard, May 2005
  (9 of 10)

Data persistence is quite naturally at the heart of most enterprise applications. There are a myriad of choices the Java developer faces in choosing a persistence mechanism. JDBC and EJBs have long been the standard options, along with relative newcomer JDO, and various commercial Object/Relational Mapping (ORM) solutions. All of these have their place, but they also come with some baggage as well. Enter Hibernate, a popular open-source solution for ORM designed to meet some of the perceived shortcomings of the more traditional Java persistence mechanisms.

Manning's "Hibernate In Action", written by two members of the core Hibernate team (including the project's founder), takes the reader step-by-step through the process of getting up and running with Hibernate. The book begins with an introduction to issues involved in object / relational persistence. Naturally, Hibernate addresses each concern raised with this topic. Right from the beginning I couldn't help but get the feeling that the authors were trying to sell me something. The rest of the book however proceeds in typical Manning "In Action" style by diving into the nuts and bolts of what it takes to get up and running using Hibernate. An example application, an online auction application, is used throughout the book to illustrate the implementation of a Hibernate solution. The examples are clear and easy to follow, and serve adequately to prepare the reader to implement Hibernate in their own applications.

"Hibernate In Action" has to be considered the definitive tome on Hibernate. As the authors are intimately involved with the project, the insight on Hibernate that they provide can't be easily duplicated. That said, the authors' own, often controversial, opinions on common design practices (DTOs for example) are sprinkled liberally throughout the text, and this may turn off some readers. Still, if your project is going to be using hibernate or is considering using Hibernate, this book is a must-have.

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