Hibernate – Please Don’t Deprecate Yourself

There are occasional wow moments in technology and I had one such moment in the summer of 2004 when I joined a project that was using Hibernate. In a matter of hours I was reading and writing beans and it was so effortless it seemed like magic.

Today I decided to take a look at Hibernate 4.1 and for several hours I have not been saying wow but why? and what? and worse…

Starting a Hibernate project used to be easy. The first test went something like this:

Properties properties = new Properties();
properties.setProperty(Environment.DIALECT, "org.hibernate.dialect.HSQLDialect");
properties.setProperty(Environment.URL, "jdbc:hsqldb:mem:test");
properties.setProperty(Environment.DRIVER, "org.hsqldb.jdbcDriver");
properties.setProperty(Environment.USER, "sa");

Configuration configuration = new Configuration()

SessionFactory sessionFactory = configuration.buildSessionFactory();

But now buildSessionFactory() is deprecated, and yet in the user guide, section 3.2 Obtaining a SessionFactory, the code sample is still:

SessionFactory sessions = cfg.buildSessionFactory();

I am not impressed. The Javadoc says use buildSessionFactory(ServiceRegistry) instead. But where is the code? The simple few lines to cut and paste to get me started?

I turn to Google. There are a few StackTrace questions on the subject and a Hibernate forum post that no Hibernate team member has responded to – BUT I CAN FIND NO OFFICIAL EXAMPLE! I’m beginning to think this is quite bad. The latest release of one of the most popular and depended on frameworks and it hinges on a deprecated method!

I spend a frustrating hour going round various Hibernate 4 presentations and blogs. I try something with MetadataSources but fail. More Googling and it appears this work isn’t finished yet and shouldn’t be used – however there is no comment to this affect in the JavaDoc!

I look at the unit tests and find BaseCoreFunctionalTestCase, it creates Sessions but it’s not exactly a simple example.

Eventually I go with what I found on StackOverflow:

ServiceRegistryBuilder serviceRegistryBuilder = 
		new ServiceRegistryBuilder();

ServiceRegistry serviceRegistry =  

Configuration configuration = new Configuration()

SessionFactory sessionFactory = configuration.buildSessionFactory(serviceRegistry);

It works, but is it best practice?

I feel a bit sad as I write this, I’ve lost my feel good about Hibernate feeling, and I think others will too. All I can say is, Hibernate – please don’t deprecate yourself.


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