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Spring Persistence with Hibernate Review

Spring persistence with hibernate Just recently I’ve finished reading Spring Persistence with Hibernate. It’s a book about two major Java technologies Hibernate and Spring. Hibernate is a powerful object/relational persistence framework and Spring is a Java application platform that includes an MVC framework. The book is primarily meant for Spring and Hibernate developers but it may also be useful to developers who are interested in object relational mapping and advanced MVC frameworks. The topics covered in the book include object relational mapping, aspect oriented programming, inversion of control, MVC. Even though these topics are advanced the book does not require the reader to understand them beforehand. All examples are written in Java and should be understandable to anyone with a solid development background.

The book is quite lengthy consisting of more than 400 pages in total. First half of the book introduces the reader to the Hibernate persistence framework. It explains how Hibernate works in general and how it is configured. The most important chapters on Hibernate cover mapping to entities and entity collections, describe the life cycle of persistent objects, cascading operations, querying and lazy loading. The other half of the book focuses on topics such as inversion of control, aspect oriented programming also known as AOP, transaction management, Spring MVC framework and testing.

Before reading the book I didn’t have any enterprise experience with Java or it’s technologies. Working as a PHP developer I appreciate the Java community and technologies made available by it. Through many years of being exposed to enterprise application development Java community has developed powerful tools which are a great resource to developers with different development backgrounds such as me. I’ve found the book to be an excellent insight into the object relational mapping world. I’ve enjoyed reading about Spring’s AOP framework which opened my eyes in a few ways how AOP could compliment OOP. Spring IoC container which is used by Spring itself is an amazing piece of software setting new standards for other dependency injection containers out in the wild.

Even though I believe the book is a worthwhile read it can seem to be too detailed at times. For example describing all available bean factories and all other lists of available bells and whistles can seem to be dull or hardly memorable. Maybe it would be better to introduce to the idea that there are multiple factories, describe few most important ones and provide directions as to where it is possible to learn about other types of factories. The book provides many examples which is a great way to grasp the concepts quickly. Provided examples are individual pieces explaining a certain concept. It may have been better to provide examples by trying to build a real life application throughout the entire book. I believe it is a fun way to learn allowing to see how real life development issues can be solved.

I believe it’s every developer’s duty to be familiar with the latest development technologies and to know when to use them. Too many applications are written using improper tools. Object relational mapping technologies are discussed frequently and not everyone is a fan of them. The fact that Hibernate is commonly used by Java developers and .NET developers proves that persistence frameworks have their place and are worthwhile to familiarize with.

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