May 20, 2004
"Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook": All Lab, No Lecture--Your Lab Partner in a Book
Sebastopol, CA--Java and databases make a powerful combination. Getting
the two sides to work together, however, takes some effort. For many Java
developers, it's the least pleasant part of their work. Even database
experts, who may enjoy fiddling with SQL, dread the tedious plumbing and
typographical spaghetti needed to put their SQL into a Java program. It
comes down to the plain fact that Java deals in objects while most
databases do not. In the ongoing effort to automate the task, the
Hibernate persistence framework has emerged as a powerful contender:
programmers write natural Java objects and some simple configuration
files, and Hibernate automates all the interactions between the objects
and the database.
"Most people start out struggling to write a few SQL queries, embedding
these awkwardly as strings within Java code, and working with JDBC to run
them and process the results," explains James Elliott, author of
Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook (O'Reilly, US $24.95). "JDBC has
evolved into a rich and flexible database communication library, which now
provides ways to simplify and improve on this approach, but there is still
a fair degree of tedium involved. People who work with data a great deal
need more power, some way of moving the queries out of the code, and
making them act more like well-behaved components in an object-oriented
world." A lightweight object/relational mapping service for Java,
Hibernate offers a way to work easily and efficiently with information
from a relational database in the form of natural Java objects,
eliminating much of the tiresome process that Elliott describes.
Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook provides a hands-on introduction to
this new tool, presented in a way to help experienced Java developers
bypass pages of theory about the technology and instead get straight to
work. The first release in the new Developer's Notebook series from
O'Reilly, this concise, lab-style guide (printed on graph paper with
plenty of margin space for notes) emphasizes example over explanation and
practice over theory. The book focuses on learning by doing, by experimenting
with tools and discovering what works.
Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook walks readers through the ins and outs
of using Hibernate, from installation and configuration to complex
associations and composite types. Two chapters explore ways to write
sophisticated queries, which can be expressed either through a pure Java
API or with an SQL-inspired but object-oriented query language. For some
developers that may sound intimidating, but a surprising aspect of
Hibernate is that for many of the common real-world application scenarios,
an explicit query isn't needed at all.
Although there is a time and place for ten-pound tutorials, there are also
times when you want to bypass the theory, roll up your sleeves, and try a
new technology for yourself. If you've been meaning to add a database
backend to your application, don't put it off. It's much more fun than it
used to be, and Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook shows you why.
Early praise for Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook:
"I'm sitting on an airplane after finishing Hibernate: A Developer's
Notebook. It's rare to find a book on a new Java technology that you can
get through on a domestic flight. That this notebook effectively and
succinctly tackles object-relational mapping makes it, and Hibernate, even
more impressive. Many books in this category would need to be checked
luggage. With this book, you travel first class."
"A simple persistence framework deserves a simple book, and this one
delivers. The examples are well described and easy to understand, yet
sophisticated enough to demonstrate Hibernate in a real-world context.
Jim, I'm a new fan."
Hibernate: A Developer's Notebook
ISBN 0-596-00696-9, 176 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
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