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What are the different methods of identifying an object?

Configuration Object: The Configuration object is the first Hibernate object you create in any Hibernate application and usually created only once during application initialization. It represents a configuration or properties file required by the Hibernate. 

The Configuration object provides two keys components:

1. Database Connection: This is handled through one or more configuration files supported by Hibernate. These files are hibernate.properties and hibernate.cfg.xml.


2 Class Mapping Setup - This component creates the connection between the Java classes and database tables. Emp.hbm.xml + HibernateUtil.java


SessionFactory Object:  Configuration object is used to create a SessionFactory object which hold configures Hibernate for the application using the supplied configuration file and allows for a Session object to be instantiated. The SessionFactory is a thread safe object and used by all the threads of an application.

The SessionFactory is heavyweight object so usually it is created during application start up and kept for later use. You would need one SessionFactory object per database using a separate configuration file. So if you are using multiple databases then you would have to create multiple SessionFactory objects.

Session Object: A Session is used to get a physical connection with a database. The Session object is lightweight and designed to be instantiated each time an interaction is needed with the database. Persistent objects are saved and retrieved through a Session object.

The session objects should not be kept open for a long time because they are not usually thread safe and they should be created and destroyed them as needed.

Transaction Object: A Transaction represents a unit of work with the database and most of the RDBMS supports transaction functionality. Transactions in Hibernate are handled by an underlying transaction manager and transaction (from JDBC).

This is an optional object and Hibernate applications may choose not to use this interface, instead managing transactions in their own application code.

Query Object: Query objects use SQL or Hibernate Query Language (HQL) string to retrieve data from the database and create objects. A Query instance is used to bind query parameters, limit the number of results returned by the query, and finally to execute the query.

Criteria Object: Criteria object are used to create and execute object oriented criteria queries to retrieve objects.

POJO class - The entire concept of Hibernate is to take the values from Java class attributes and persist them to a database table. A mapping document helps Hibernate in determining how to pull the values from the classes and map them with table and associated fields.

Java classes whose objects or instances will be stored in database tables are called persistent classes in Hibernate. Hibernate works best if these classes follow some simple rules, also known as the Plain Old Java Object (POJO) programming model. There are following main rules of persistent classes, however, none of these rules are hard requirements.

All Java classes that will be persisted need a default constructor.


All classes should contain an ID in order to allow easy identification of  your objects within Hibernate and the database. This property maps to the  primary key column of a database table.

All attributes that will be   persisted should be declared private and  have getXXX and setXXX methods   defined in the JavaBean style.

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