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JPA vs. Hibernate

What is JPA?

A JPA (Java Persistence API) is a specification of Java which is used to access, manage, and persist data between Java object and relational database. It is considered as a standard approach for Object Relational Mapping.

JPA can be seen as a bridge between object-oriented domain models and relational database systems. Being a specification, JPA doesn't perform any operation by itself. Thus, it requires implementation. So, ORM tools like Hibernate, TopLink, and iBatis implements JPA specifications for data persistence.


What is Hibernate?

A Hibernate is a Java framework which is used to store the Java objects in the relational database system. It is an open-source, lightweight, ORM (Object Relational Mapping) tool.

Hibernate is an implementation of JPA. So, it follows the common standards provided by the JPA.


Need of JPA

As we have seen so far, JPA is a specification. It provides common prototype and functionality to ORM tools. By implementing the same specification, all ORM tools (like Hibernate, TopLink, iBatis) follows the common standards. In the future, if we want to switch our application from one ORM tool to another, we can do it easily.


JPA vs. Hibernate

JPA Hibernate
Java Persistence API (JPA) defines the management of relational data in the Java applications. Hibernate is an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) tool which is used to save the state of Java object into the database.
It is just a specification. Various ORM tools implement it for data persistence. It is one of the most frequently used JPA implementation.
It is defined in javax.persistence package. It is defined in org.hibernate package.
The EntityManagerFactory interface is used to interact with the entity manager factory for the persistence unit. Thus, it provides an entity manager. It uses SessionFactory interface to create Session instances.
It uses EntityManager interface to create, read, and delete operations for instances of mapped entity classes. This interface interacts with the persistence context. It uses Session interface to create, read, and delete operations for instances of mapped entity classes. It behaves as a runtime interface between a Java application and Hibernate.
It uses Java Persistence Query Language (JPQL) as an object-oriented query language to perform database operations. It uses Hibernate Query Language (HQL) as an object-oriented query language to perform database operations.
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