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Hibernate vs Spring: What are the differences?


This markdown code provides a comparison between Hibernate and Spring, highlighting their key differences in a concise manner.

  1. Integration with the Framework: Hibernate is an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) tool that provides a robust mechanism for mapping Java objects to database tables. On the other hand, Spring is a framework that offers comprehensive support for the development of enterprise-level applications, encompassing various modules like dependency injection, aspect-oriented programming, transaction management, etc. While Hibernate is primarily focused on database-related operations, Spring provides a broader scope of functionalities beyond ORM.

  2. Transaction Management: Hibernate manages transactions at the object level using its built-in session management features such as save, update, and delete. Spring, on the other hand, provides a more flexible and powerful transaction management system by supporting declarative transaction management. With Spring, developers can manage transactions declaratively using annotations or XML configurations, allowing better separation of concerns.

  3. Dependency Injection: Spring is well-known for its superior dependency injection capabilities. It allows the inversion of control (IoC) by externalizing the configuration of beans and their dependencies. Hibernate, on the other hand, does not directly provide dependency injection features.

  4. Layered Architecture: Hibernate provides the data access layer for applications and focuses on persistence-related tasks. Spring, on the other hand, follows a layered architecture approach where different modules handle specific concerns. It provides the data access layer through various mechanisms like Hibernate, JDBC, JPA, etc., allowing developers to choose the appropriate technology based on the project's requirements.

  5. Testing: Hibernate, being an ORM tool, requires an underlying database for testing its persistence-related functions thoroughly. In contrast, Spring's modular design and dependency injection features make it easier to write unit tests by using mock objects or relying on in-memory databases. Thus, Spring enables more effective and isolated testing of application components.

  6. Ease of Integration: Hibernate can be easily integrated into Spring applications as Spring provides dedicated support for integrating Hibernate within its framework. This integration simplifies the configuration and management of Hibernate session factories, transactions, and other related objects. Although Spring and Hibernate can be used independently, combining them provides a more comprehensive and seamless development experience.

In summary, Hibernate is an ORM tool focused on database persistence, while Spring is a broader framework offering comprehensive enterprise development capabilities. Hibernate manages object-level transactions, while Spring offers a more flexible and powerful declarative transaction management system. Spring excels in dependency injection, layered architecture, and ease of integration, whereas Hibernate requires an underlying database for thorough testing of persistence-related functionalities.

Advice on Hibernate and Spring
Needs advice

I am a graduate student working as a software engineer in a company. For my personal development, I want to learn web development. I have some experience in Springboot while I was in university. So I want to continue with spring-boot, but I heard about Django. I'm reaching out to the experts here to help me choose a future proof framework. Django or Spring Boot?

Thanks in Advance

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Replies (5)

Kamrul Hasan, Don't choose dying technologies with small communities. How many startups do you think use Spring and Django? Use Google Trends to compare technologies. Study the StackOverflow developer survey and job websites to see what technologies are wanted. Few teams can afford to train you to get up to their level so be a life-long learner. Embrace the dawn of a new industry and become an expert.

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Sulaiman Sanusi

I recommend you stick to Java Spring as you already have experience with the technology, i suggest you master this technology and then if Django seam to be very interesting to you, django is a framework you can easily pickup as python is also easy, you have to probably be able to manage the context switching between a static typed language like Java to dynamic language like python

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Christoph Becker

It depends on what you want. Spring is Java-based whereas Django is Python-based. The question rather is Java vs Python. I personally recommend Python as it's shorter and easy to learn. But Java has advantages in really big systems.

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Gonzalo Fernández

Hi Kamrul,

It really depends on the kind of project and whether you feel more comfortable with Java or Python. Both are excellent frameworks, with a huge community and learning material. I've been working with Spring Boot since I started coding almost and I can assure you it's the perfect combination for Java. The learning curve may be harder that Django, but once you know the basics you're good to go. I can't tell you much about Django but you must now by now that it has a great reputation with Python users. In any case I don't think you can go wrong with any of these two. My advice is, if you are already familiar with the Spring framework, give Spring Boot a try, because you're going to find out that it just makes the whole Spring experience so much easier. Let us know what you chose!

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Both are in active development and had huge community support. It really depends on you what you are comfortable with. Both are married to their respective languages. I choose Python over Java because of its simplicity and readability. To develop in java you need to write a lot of code. That's how java is. The best part I love with Django is its synchronization with Databases.

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Pros of Hibernate
Pros of Spring
  • 22
    Easy ORM
  • 8
    Easy transaction definition
  • 3
    Is integrated with spring jpa
  • 230
  • 157
    Open source
  • 136
    Great community
  • 123
    Very powerful
  • 114
  • 64
    Lot of great subprojects
  • 60
    Easy setup
  • 44
    Convention , configuration, done
  • 40
  • 31
    Love the logic
  • 13
    Good documentation
  • 11
    Dependency injection
  • 11
  • 9
  • 6
  • 3
    Makes the hard stuff fun & the easy stuff automatic
  • 3
    Strong typing
  • 2
    Code maintenance
  • 2
    Best practices
  • 2
  • 2
    Great Desgin
  • 2
    Easy Integration with Spring Security
  • 2
    Integrations with most other Java frameworks
  • 1
    Java has more support and more libraries
  • 1
    Supports vast databases
  • 1
    Large ecosystem with seamless integration
  • 1
    OracleDb integration
  • 1
    Live project

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Cons of Hibernate
Cons of Spring
  • 3
    Can't control proxy associations when entity graph used
  • 15
    Draws you into its own ecosystem and bloat
  • 3
    Verbose configuration
  • 3
    Poor documentation
  • 3
  • 2
    Java is more verbose language in compare to python

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What is Hibernate?

Hibernate is a suite of open source projects around domain models. The flagship project is Hibernate ORM, the Object Relational Mapper.

What is Spring?

A key element of Spring is infrastructural support at the application level: Spring focuses on the "plumbing" of enterprise applications so that teams can focus on application-level business logic, without unnecessary ties to specific deployment environments.

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