Difference between Hibernate and JPA

Red Hat developed the Hibernate framework, which is also referred to as Hibernate Object Relational Mapper (ORM). The first version of this object-relational mapping tool for the Java programming language was made available for download on May 23, 2007. Hibernate supports a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that works across several platforms, and it is written in Java.

"JPA" stands for Java Persistence API. It is a tool to manage relational data. In its most basic form, JPA is a specification. It addresses either the object metadata or the relationship metadata. Java Persistence Query Language (JPQL) is the language that is used by JPA.

What is JPA?

When working with a significant amount of data, practically every application requires you to conduct database operations such as storing and retrieving information from the database. The completion of this arduous task typically requires a significant amount of time.

Java Persistence API (JPA) is a fantastic alternative for Java developers because it helps lessen the load of working with databases. JPA is a Java specification that offers applications written in Java the capability for mapping objects to relational databases. It offers a management mechanism for persistence as well as an object-relational mapping system. Instead of depending on implementations that are customised to individual vendors, JPA is responsible for defining these mappings internally. It relies on Object Relational Mapping (ORM) utilities like TopLink and Hibernate, among others, to perform operations rather than carrying out those tasks on its own.

JPA is a representation of how to define a Plain Old Java Object (also known as POJO) as an entity and manage it with relations by making use of various meta settings. Either annotations or XML files are used to define them in the system. JPA is compatible in functioning both inside and outside of Java EE (Enterprise Edition) containers; it is utilised for testing application functionality for Java SE versions.

The following are the components of JPA that are utilised in order to facilitate easy administration of persistence −

  • Persistence unit
  • Entity
  • ManagerFactory
  • Persistence context
  • EntityManager
  • Entity objects

What is Hibernate?

Any Java program can take advantage of the Object-Relational Persistence and Query Service provided by Hibernate, which is a solution that is both open source and lightweight. It is widely considered as one of the best implementations of the Java Persistence API.

Hibernate helps in mapping Java objects to the database and in reducing the amount of frequent programming activities connected to persistence. XML files make it possible to complete this operation quickly, and you won't have to write a single line of code to do it. Only the properties of the XML file need to be updated in the event that the database or any of its tables undergo modifications.

The object-oriented counterpart of SQL is referred to as HQL, which stands for the Hibernate Query Language. It generates separate database queries. It is therefore not necessary to compose questions that are database-specific. Prior to the implementation of Hibernate, whenever the database that was being used for the project was modified in any way, we were required to modify the SQL query. This created a maintenance issue.

Since Hibernate gives you the ability to automatically build tables for your database, there is no longer any need to manually create tables. In addition, using this framework, you can easily retrieve data from numerous tables at the same time.

The following is a list of databases that Hibernate is compatible with −

  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server Database
  • HSQL Database Engine
  • DB2/NT
  • FrontBase
  • Sybase SQL Server
  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • Informix Dynamic Server

Difference between JPA and Hibernate

The following table highlights the major differences between JPA and Hibernate −

Basis of comparisonJPAHibernate
DefinitionWithin Java applications, the management of relational databases falls under the purview of JPA.Hibernate is an object relational mapping (ORM) tool that is utilised for the purpose of preserving the state of Java objects in the database.
PackageThe javax.persistence package is where its definition may be found.The org.hibernate package is where its definition may be found.
ImplementationJPA is a specification, not an implementation.Hibernate is an implementation of the Java Persistence API (JPA), and it adheres to the API's common standards.
FunctionIt is the standard application programming interface that makes database operations simple for developers to carry out.Its primary purpose is to facilitate the mapping of Java data types onto database tables and SQL data types.
InterfaceIn order to communicate with the entity manager factory that is responsible for the persistence unit, it makes use of the EntityManagerFactory interface.For the purpose of generating Session instances, it makes use of the SessionFactory interface.
ComponentsIt makes use of the EntityManager interface in order to perform activities like as creating, reading, and deleting instances of mapped entity classes. The persistence context can be interacted with using this interface.In order to perform activities such as creating, reading, and deleting instances of mapped entity classes, it employs an interface called Session. It acts as an interface between a Java application and hibernates while the application is running.
Database OperationsIn order to carry out database operations, it makes use of a language called Java Persistence Query Language (JPQL), which is an object-oriented query language.In order to carry out database operations, it makes use of Hibernate Query Language (HQL), which is an object-oriented query language.


In this article, we covered the two most popular subjects in Java, JPA and Hibernate. JPA is a specification, whereas Hibernate is an implementation.

Both JPA and Hibernate can reduce the amount of work that Java developers had to do. When it comes to the development of any Java program, you can employ either of these, according to your intended purpose.

JPA and Hibernate have succeeded in narrowing the gap that previously existed between Java objects and relational databases.

Updated on: 25-Jul-2022

4K+ Views

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started