JPA vs Hibernate
Almost all of enterprise applications are required to access relational databases regularly. But a problem faced with earlier technologies (such as JDBC) was the impedance mismatch (difference between object-oriented and relational technologies). A solution for this problem was introduced through the introduction of an abstract layer called Persistence layer, which encapsulates database access from the business logic. JPA (Java Persistence API) is a framework dedicated for the management of relational data (using the persistence layer) in Java applications. There are many vendor implementations of JPA used within the Java developer community. Hibernate is the most popular such implementation of JPA (DataNucleus, EclipseLink and OpenJPA are some others). The newest JPA version (JPA 2.0) is fully supported by Hibernate 3.5, which was released in March, 2010.
What is JPA?
JPA is a framework for managing relational data for Java. It can be used with applications utilizing JSE (Java Platform, Standard Edition) or JEE (Java Platform, Enterprise Edition). Its current version is JPA 2.0, which was released on 10 Dec, 2009. JPA replaced EJB 2.0 and EJB 1.1 entity beans (which were heavily criticized for being heavyweight by the Java developer community). Although entity beans (in EJB) provided persistence objects, many developers were used to utilizing relatively lightweight objects offered by DAO (Data Access Objects) and other similar frameworks instead. As a result, JPA was introduced, and it captured many of the neat features of the frameworks mentioned above.
Persistence as described in JPA covers the API (defined in javax.persistence), JPQL (Java Platform, Enterprise Edition) and metadata required for relational objects. State of a persistence entity is typically persisted in to a table. Instances of an entity correspond to rows of the table of the relational database. Metadata is used to express the relationships between entities. Annotations or separate XML descriptor files (deployed with the application) are used to specify metadata in entity classes. JPQL, which is similar to SQL queries, are used to query stored entities.
What is Hibernate?
Hibernate is a framework that can be used for object-relational mapping intended for Java programming language. More specifically, it is an ORM (object-relational mapping) library that can be used to map object-relational model in to conventional relational model. In simple terms, it creates a mapping between Java classes and tables in relational databases, also between Java to SQL data types. Hibernate can also be used for data querying and retrieving by generating SQL calls. Therefore, the programmer is relieved from the manual handling of result sets and converting objects. Hibernate is released as a free and open source framework distributed under GNU license. An implementation for JPA API is provided in Hibernate 3.2 and later versions. Gavin King is the founder of Hibernate.
What is the difference between JPA and Hibernate?
JPA is a framework for managing relational data in Java applications, while Hibernate is a specific implementation of JPA (so ideally, JPA and Hibernate cannot be directly compared). In other words, Hibernate is one of the most popular frameworks that implements JPA. Hibernate implements JPA through Hibernate Annotation and EntityManager libraries that are implemented on top of Hibernate Core libraries. Both EntityManager and Annotations follow the lifecycle of Hibernate. The newest JPA version (JPA 2.0) is fully supported by Hibernate 3.5. JPA has the benefit of having an interface that is standardized, so the developer community will be more familiar with it than Hibernate. On the other hand, native Hibernate APIs can be considered more powerful because its features are a superset of that of JPA.