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Top 5 Books to Learn Hibernate for Java Developers

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Top 5 Books to Learn Hibernate for Java Developers

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Hibernate is one of the most popular, open-source ORM (Object Relational Mapping) frameworks, which has now become a standard for developing persistence layer on Java enterprise application, along with JPA (Java Persistence API). I often receive requests to suggest which book or training course is best to learn Hibernate or Spring and Hibernate.

This motivates me to write this article about some of the best books for learning Hibernate that are on the market. Earlier, I have shared info of the must-read books about the Spring framework for Java developers and some of the best Spring and hibernate training courses, which were quite helpful for picking a book and course on Spring.

Similar to the Spring framework, experience in Hibernate is the most sought-after thing in Java JEE development roles.

If you look at the Java description for a development role, you will, more often than not, see Spring and Hibernate. All this means is that you must have knowledge of working with Hibernate and some experience on your resume.

Since most recruiters use keywords like FIX Protocol, Tibco RV, Spring, Hibernate, etc., having them on your resume will give you more visibility. Adding the right keywords to your resume is definitely one of the top five resume building tips that every programmer should note.

Since most Java developers are familiar with JDBC, they often tend to use that — what they miss is key offerings from Hibernate, e.g. Lazy loading, Caching, and managing the association between objects.

These books will help you to learn Hibernate, grow your existing knowledge in Hibernate, and learn some of the best practices on Hibernate and the ORM space.

After reading these Hibernate books and checking out these training courses, you will also be able to answer most of the Hibernate Interview questions that are asked of Java developers.

5 Must Read Hibernate Books for Java Programmers

As per my experience, one book is never enough to learn a new technology, but at the same time, you must start with one. Once you have some knowledge of Hibernate, you can refer to more comprehensive books on Hibernate.

Because of this, I have sorted these books on beginners' preference, starting from the first book, which I think is the most appropriate for any Hibernate beginners or Java developer learning the Hibernate framework.

Java Persistence With Hibernate

Now, this is one of the must-read books for any Hibernate developer.Java Persistence with Hibernateis written by Christian Bauer and Gavin King, who is part of the Hibernate development team and involved with EJB 3.0 and JBoss. He is also the co-author with Gavin King of Manning's bestselling Hibernate in Action book, which is what this book called earlier.

So far, this is the most comprehensive book on Hibernate; it not only teaches you the basics of object-relational mapping and the Hibernate framework, but it also addresses most common design patterns, which are used along with Hibernate, such as the Data Access Object (DAO) pattern.

This book teaches a lot about fetching strategies, caching, transactions, and best practices in database design and ORM techniques.

I highly recommend this book to all Java developers using Hibernate. You should at least read it once to get a complete picture of Hibernate. This book is over 800 pages, which is not easy to read, but it definitely deserves a look.

Best Hibernate Books for Java developers

Hibernate Tips: More Than 70 Solutions to Common Hibernate Problems

I am glad to announce that fellow blogger and DZone MVB Thorben Janssen has authored this great book on Hibernate.

This book shows you, in more than 70 recipes (more than 35 exclusively written for the book), how to efficiently implement your persistence layer with both 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

One of the core strengths of this book is that it's simple, clear, and concise — it's not a heavyweight giant. It's full of practical tips and advice on the problems you will encounter in your day-to-day coding with Hibernate.

If you love books like Effective Java, then I am sure you will also appreciate this book because of its easy-to-digest and helpful content.

High-Performance Java Persistence by Vlad Mihalcea

This is another fantastic book to master Hibernate and JPA from another fellow blogger, Java Champion, and authority in Hibernate, Vlad Mihalcea. As the title suggests, this is an advanced level book that can take your Hibernate knowledge to the next level.

While writing the database layer, performance is very important because mistakes made here can potentially slow down your application and hamper its scalability, but at the same time, it's hard to find all the practical knowledge you need to create a high-performance data access layer.

This book provides all the tips to fine-tune your Java data access performance. From connection management to batch updates, fetch sizes, and concurrency control mechanisms, it unravels the inner workings of the most common Java data access frameworks.

If you like more interactive learning, Vlad has also created an online course with the same title, High-Performance Java Persistence and Hibernate - Mach 1, which nicely complements his book. I strongly suggest you join this course if you are serious about mastering Hibernate performance.

Vlad Mihalcea is a Java Champion and one of the top Hibernate ORM project committers to understand the inner working of database and frameworks to improve the performance of the enterprise application, which means you will be learning from the right person and will not waste your time on joining any trivial or mediocre course.

Beginning Hibernate

Beginning Hibernate Second Edition by Jeff Linwood and Dave Minter is the third book for Hibernate beginners. It's not much different than the previous two, and if you have read the previous titles, then you probably don't need this.

But, in case you have difficulty in connecting with previous books, then you can try this one. One of the good things about this Hibernate book is case studies, which explain key relationship concepts including one-to-many and many-to-many relationships from top to bottom.

Overall, only use this book if you are not able to read the first book on this list; otherwise, you have enough from the beginner level.

Good Book to Learn Hibernate Framework

Hibernate Recipes: a Problem-Solution Approach by Gary Mak, Srinivas Guruzu

I picked this book because of its style — a problem-solution approach. It's one of those styles that promotes active learning and also act as a good "how to" guide.

Similar to Spring Recipes: a Problem-Solution Approach, this book teaches you Hibernate by introducing a problem and then solving it.

This method can work for many developers, and if you have enjoyed previous books on this series, you will going to like this one as well. Every single recipe is explained well with proper code example and a decent explanation.

One advantage, which I personally feel while reading this book, is comparative learning. For example, it explains if you are doing that in JDBC in one way, how Hibernate helps you there, what more it offers, etc.

Though sometimes, this kind of book is overwhelming to read and may not continue topic-based reading, but it does work for a change.

Top Hibernate Books for Java Programmers

That's all on for now on my list of the top Hibernate books for Java programmers. Despite all, I highly recommend these Hibernate documentations; they are the most updated source of information. Since one book is not always enough to master any new framework or technology, I mostly use two or three titles. You can also take help from online courses like Java Persistence: Hibernate and JPA Fundamentals for more active learning.

For the intermediate Java developer, I suggest, Java Persistence With Hibernate, along with Hibernate Tips or High-Performance Java Persistence, are the best books to learn most about the Hibernate framework.

Further Learning

Introduction to Hibernate

Spring and Hibernate for Beginners

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