- Caching objects. The session is a transaction-level cache of persistent objects. You may also enable a JVM-level/cluster cache to memory and/or local disk.
- Executing SQL statements later, when needed. The session never issues an INSERT or UPDATE until it is actually needed. So if an exception occurs and you need to abort the transaction, some statements will never actually be issued. Furthermore, this keeps lock times in the database as short as possible (from the late UPDATE to the transaction end).
- Never updating unmodified objects. It is very common in hand-coded JDBC to see the persistent state of an object updated, just in case it changed…..for example, the user pressed the save button but may not have edited any fields. Hibernate always knows if an object’s state actually changed, as long as you are inside the same (possibly very long) unit of work.
- Efficient Collection Handling. Likewise, Hibernate only ever inserts/updates/deletes collection rows that actually changed.
- Rolling two updates into one. As a corollary to (1) and (3), Hibernate can roll two seemingly unrelated updates of the same object into one UPDATE statement.
- Updating only the modified columns. Hibernate knows exactly which columns need updating and, if you choose, will update only those columns.
- Outer join fetching. Hibernate implements a very efficient outer-join fetching algorithm! In addition, you can use subselect and batch pre-fetch optimizations.
- Lazy collection initialization.
- Lazy object initialization. Hibernate can use runtime-generated proxies (CGLIB) or interception injected through bytecode instrumentation at build-time.
A few more (optional) features of Hibernate that your handcoded JDBC may or may not currently benefit from
- second-level caching of arbitrary query results, from HQL, Criteria, and even native SQL queries
- efficient ‘PreparedStatement’ caching (Hibernate always uses ‘PreparedStatement’ for calls to the database)
- JDBC 2 style batch updates
- Pluggable connection pooling
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