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Hibernate vs MyBatis

This blog aims to give an overview of MyBatis and Hibernate. Before we talk about Mybatis and Hibernate. As a Java development company, Perfomatix has used this feature in multiple projects. It might be better to talk about Object Relational Mapping as a concept first. Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) is a programming technique which ables to write simple and complicated queries, using the object-oriented paradigm of your preferred programming language (i.e, converting data between relational databases and object oriented programming languages such as Java, .NET, etc.).

Object Relational Mapping (ORM) is a technique (Design Pattern) of accessing a relational database from an object-oriented language that helps your application to achieve persistence. So what is persistence? Persistence simply means that we would like our application’s data to outlive the application process. In Java terms, the state of some objects lives beyond the scope of the JVM so that the same state is available later.

Hibernate and MyBatis are both compatible with the Spring framework. Hibernate is an object-relational mapping framework (ORM) which maps Java classes to database tables, and MyBatis is a persistence framework – not ORM, which maps SQL statements to Java methods.

What is Hibernate?

Hibernate is an open-source, lightweight, ORM (Object Relational Mapping) tool. It is a Java framework that simplifies the development of Java applications to interact with the database implementing the specifications of JPA (Java Persistence API) for data persistence by mapping application domain objects to the relational database tables and vice versa. Hibernate typically uses a custom query language i.e., the Hibernate Query Language (HQL) or Enterprise JavaBeans Query Language (EJB QL).

Hibernate comes with the following design philosophies –

  • Lightweight− Hibernate is a lightweight framework as it does not contain additional functionalities; it uses only those functionalities required for object-relational mapping.
  • Open Source − Hibernate is open-source software that means it is available for everyone without any cost.
  • ORM (Object Relational Mapping)− Hibernate is an ORM tool that helps in the interaction between the java classes and relational databases.
  • High-Performance Hibernate supports many different fetching techniques such as caching, lazy initialization, and many more to achieve high performance.
  • HQL (Hibernate Query Language)− Hibernate is a lightweight framework as it does not contain additional functionalities, and it uses only those functionalities required for object-relational mapping.
  • Caching− Caching is the process of storing data into cache memory and improves the speed of data access. Hibernate supports two levels of caching, first-level and second-level caching.
  • Auto-Generation− Hibernate provides a feature of automatic table generation. It means a programmer need not worry about the query implementation, i.e., Hibernate does on its own.
  • Scalability Hibernate is highly scalable as it can fit into any environment. Hibernate can be used for both small scale and large scale applications.
  • Lazy Loading− Hibernate supports a new concept called lazy loading. Lazy loading concept retrieves the only necessary object for execution. It also improves the performance of an application.
  • Database Independent− Hibernate is database-independent as it provides ‘Database Dialect,’ so we need not write SQL queries. It supports many databases such as Oracle, MySql, Sybase, etc.

What is Mybatis?

MyBatis is an open-source, lightweight, persistence framework. It is an alternative to JDBC and Hibernate. It automates the mapping between SQL databases and objects in Java, .NET, etc. A significant difference between MyBatis and other persistence frameworks is that MyBatis emphasizes the use of SQL, while other frameworks such as Hibernate typically uses a custom query languages( HQL/EJB QL).MyBatis is a fork of iBATIS 3.0 and is maintained by a team that includes the original creators of iBATIS.

MyBatis comes with the following design philosophies −

  • Open source− MyBatis is free and open-source software.
  • Supports ORM − MyBatis supports many of the same features as an ORM tool, such as lazy loading, join fetching, caching, runtime code generation, and inheritance.
  • Simplicity − MyBatis is widely regarded as one of the simplest persistence frameworks available today.
  • Fast Development − MyBatis does all it can to facilitate hyper-fast development.
  • Portability − MyBatis can be implemented for nearly any language or platform such as Java, Ruby, and C# for Microsoft .NET.
  • Independent Interfaces − MyBatis provides database-independent interfaces, and APIs that help the rest of the application remains independent of any persistence-related resources.
  • Stored procedures − MyBatis encapsulates SQL in the form of stored procedures so that business logic can be kept out of the database, and the application is more portable and easier to deploy and test.
  • Inline SQL − No pre-compiler is needed, and you can have full access to all of the features of SQL.
  • Dynamic SQL − MyBatis provides features for dynamic building SQL queries based on parameters.

MyBatis is SQL centric. It helps you call SQL statements and mapping results (tables) to object trees. The main benefit is that it is not an ORM. It does not map tables to objects, so it does not suffer the ORM impedance mismatch.

Where to use Hibernate and MyBatis?

Hibernate is used for

  • General CRUD(CREATE, READ, UPDATE, and DELETE ) functionality.
  • The environment is driven by object models and needs to generate SQL automatically.
  • Session management.

and MyBatis is used for

  • Analytic fetch queries.
  • Stored procedures and dynamic SQL.
  • Support complicated search queries, where search criteria are dynamic, and paging of results.

ORM vs Persistence framework

Hibernate is an object-relational mapping framework (ORM) which maps Java classes to database tables. MyBatis is a persistence framework – not ORM. It maps SQL statements to Java methods.


For Instance, consider the Commands where you want to change the domain data and Responses where you just want to fetch some data.

  1. Create/Update/Delete some complex domain entities
  2. Run analytic fetch queries (i.e., summation/aggregation queries)

Hibernate works well for select queries(case 1), allowing you just to make a POJO and persist/update it. It also does this quickly, unless your domain is quite large.

MyBatis is great for fetch queries (case 2) where you just want an answer. Hibernate would attempt to load the entire object graph, and you’d need to start tuning queries with lazy loading tricks to keep it working on a large domain. Conversely, if you just want some analytic POJO page, the MyBatis implementation of the same query would be trivial.

Because of this, MyBatis is faster than Hibernate at SELECTS.

So, Considering these two cases and what your application does, you can conclude whether Hibernate or MyBatis is required. If you have a simple domain and just fetch information, use MyBatis. If you have a complex domain and persist entities, use Hibernate. If you do both, consider a hybrid approach (i.e., thousands of entities to keep it under control). 

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As mentioned above, Hibernate works better if your view is more object-centric. However, if your view is more database-centric, then myBatis is a much stronger choice. Both tools do a lot more than described above, but one is an ORM, and one is not.

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