Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz Dickinson, Pat Romanski, Bob Gourley, Yakov Fain

Related Topics: Java

Java: Article

Spring + Hibernate EJB3, POJO + JDBC?

All Hail, The Return To Java EE Standards!

In the beginning there was nothing: no Java and no data.

Then someone said, let there be data and relational databases with SQL were born.

And someone said, let Java talk to databases, and JDBC was born.

And someone saw that JDBC was good, but someone else saw that JDBC was bad, and EJB with CMP were created.

And someone said, J2EE containers are bad and POJO has resurrected.

And entity beans were slow and heavy; Hibernate was born and people forgot SQL, which was a sin.

And someone said, J2EE is no good, and he divided Spring framework from J2EE.

And fifty more people said nothing is good, and they created fifty more Java frameworks. And poor Java Joe said, "I'm sick and tired of this variety. I'm going back to Java EE."

Some enterprise Java shops that were using J2EE application servers and EJB 2.x found that the combination was overkill for most of their applications, and decided to look for an alternative. Spring framework combined with Hibernate seems to be a logical alternative to J2EE, but will this combo deliver a light weight replacement for Java EE, especially when greatly simplified EJB 3.0 is available?

In my opinion, not only the Spring/Hibernate combo, but even each one separately, is pretty heavy as any framework. Only reusable loosely coupled components are lightweights.

Spring framework is presented as a set of components that can be used separately, but you can also wire them together by adding two pounds of XML. But the minute you do this, you fall into an XML trap. If you use any single component of the Spring framework, it's lightweight. But since it takes two to tango, it's as if you're pulling a tiny roll of thin wire out of your pocket (a.k.a. XML), which becomes heavyweight because wires tend to twist and create a mess.

Concerning Hibernate, I'm not even sure why so many people are using it in the first place. I could see an enterprise architect wanting to use it to lay out a brand new design of a stack of business applications, and to enforce it to a firm-wide standard for data persistence. But if you're developing a typical CRUD application, especially when it comes to using already existing and not perfectly designed databases, why even bother with Hibernate? Does SQL scare you that much?

Take an application built on Spring components interconnected with thin wires, put Hibernate on top of it with wires of a different diameter, and the maintainability of your application will decrease while hard- to-find bugs make themselves at home in your application.

Over the last three to four years, many people have been bashing EJBs as an unnecessary complicated framework with lots of convoluted XML descriptors. Now EJB 3.0, with its annotations, is trying to appeal to enterprise developers again. This won't be easy, because bad memories last for years. But don't kid yourself when you substitute EJB for the Spring/Hibernate combo: it won't make your life much easier.

I do believe in standalone POJOs that know nothing about the environment they're in, but do know how to perform a specific function (i.e., send a message, manage transactions, create a pretty report based on provided SQL, model some financial process, find an optimal route, and the like). Just pass the required parameters to this black box, get the result back, and do whatever you want with it. Inversion of Control or the Dependency Injection paradigm is nothing new, and it works fine. For ten years, I've been routinely using it (without knowing its future name) in my PowerBuilder applications. It was a period of event-driven programming. We were creating user objects with custom events. Whoever wanted to pass some information to this object would fire a custom event that would carry required data and inject them right into the object. Look, ma! No wires! Today, I do the same thing in ActionScript 3. Stop wiring, just write the code required by your business application and forget about it when the new project starts. But don't forget about independent reusable components.

Spring is probably one of the best Java frameworks available today. It has only one drawback: it's a framework.

Hibernate offers you a caching object? Great! Let's use it, without the need to install the whole shebang. Get the caching component somewhere, roll up your sleeves, and create an instance of this object passing all required parameters to its constructor. Stop wiring; get back to programming. The combination of good knowledge of SQL, JDBC, caching (only if needed), and a pagination component (only if needed) can get you pretty far.

At one of my recent presentations to Java developers, I asked the question, "Who knows how to delete duplicates from a database table?" No one knew. When I asked the same question on one of the online forums, some Java developer proudly announced that with Hibernate, you don't create duplicates in the first place. Thank you very much! How about some real world experience? What if the database table with dirty data already exists and dirty feeds keep coming in nightly? Do not kid yourself. Learn SQL.

If you want to write a simple application, don't start by looking for a "light-weight" third or fourth party framework. Program your business logic in POJOs, and your database access in DAOs. Keep it simple. Need transactions? Find a transaction manager. Need scalability? Consider using asynchronous messaging between components.

Floyd Marinescu starts his foreword to the book "Beginning EJB 3" (aPress) as follows:

EJB 3 is a very important milestone for the specification. Not only is it significantly easier to use, but also for the first time (in my opinion), the specification is now built around the proven needs of the development community, standardizing existing best practices instead of being the result of design by committee.

It's great that the bad guys from some evil committee were finally overthrown by the good guys, who are actually paying attention and incorporating best practices and ideas of the multitude of open source frameworks.

And someone said, go back to Java EE standards. And he created Java EE 1.5 and it was good. It was not the best, but it gave people a common ground and fertile soil for seeds of a new generation of enterprise Java applications.
Amen.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

Comments (14)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that AgilePoint, the leading provider of Microsoft-centric Business Process Management software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 2nd International @ThingsExpo which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. AgilePoint is the leading provider of Microsoft-based Business Process Management (BPM) software products, has 1,300+ on-premise and cloud deployments in 25+ countries and provides the same advanced BPM feature set as J2EE vendors like IBM and Appian for the Microsoft .NET native environment. AgilePoint customer...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people’s real needs and desires.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.