Hibernate 4 with Spring

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1. Overview

This article will focus on setting up Hibernate 4 with Spring – we’ll look at how to configure Spring with Hibernate 4 using both Java and XML Configuration. Parts of this process are of course common to the Hibernate 3 article.

2. Maven

To add the Spring Persistence dependencies to the project pom.xml, please see the article focused on the Spring and Maven dependencies.

Continuing with Hibernate 4, the Maven dependencies are simple:


Then, to enable Hibernate to use its proxy model, we need javassist as well:


And since we’re going to use MySQL for this tutorial, we’ll also need:


And finally, we are using a proper connection pool instead of the dev-only Spring implementation – the DriverManagerDataSource. We’re using here the Tomcat JDBC Connection Pool:


3. Java Spring Configuration for Hibernate 4

To use Hibernate 4 in a project, a few things have changed on the configuration side when moving from a Hibernate 3 setup.

The main aspect that is different when upgrading from Hibernate 3 is the way to create the SessionFactory with Hibernate 4.

This is now done by using the LocalSessionFactoryBean from the hibernate4 package – which replaces the older AnnotationSessionFactoryBean from the hibernate3 package. The new FactoryBean has the same responsibility – it bootstraps the SessionFactory from annotation scanning. This is neccessary because, starting with Hibernate 3.6, the old AnnotationConfiguration was merged into Configuration and so the new Hibernate 4 LocalSessionFactoryBean is using this new Configuration mechanism.

It is also worth noting that, in Hibernate 4, the Configuration.buildSessionFactory method and mechanism have also been deprecated in favour of Configuration.buildSessionFactory(ServiceRegistry) – which the Spring LocalSessionFactoryBean is not yet using.

The Spring Java Configuration for Hibernate 4:

import java.util.Properties;
import javax.sql.DataSource;
import org.hibernate.SessionFactory;
import org.apache.tomcat.dbcp.dbcp.BasicDataSource;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.ComponentScan;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.PropertySource;
import org.springframework.core.env.Environment;
import org.springframework.dao.annotation.PersistenceExceptionTranslationPostProcessor;
import org.springframework.orm.hibernate4.HibernateTransactionManager;
import org.springframework.orm.hibernate4.LocalSessionFactoryBean;
import org.springframework.transaction.annotation.EnableTransactionManagement;
import com.google.common.base.Preconditions;

@PropertySource({ "classpath:persistence-mysql.properties" })
@ComponentScan({ "org.baeldung.spring.persistence" })
public class PersistenceConfig {

   private Environment env;

   public LocalSessionFactoryBean sessionFactory() {
      LocalSessionFactoryBean sessionFactory = new LocalSessionFactoryBean();
      sessionFactory.setPackagesToScan(new String[] { "org.baeldung.spring.persistence.model" });

      return sessionFactory;

   public DataSource restDataSource() {
      BasicDataSource dataSource = new BasicDataSource();

      return dataSource;

   public HibernateTransactionManager transactionManager(SessionFactory sessionFactory) {
      HibernateTransactionManager txManager = new HibernateTransactionManager();

      return txManager;

   public PersistenceExceptionTranslationPostProcessor exceptionTranslation() {
      return new PersistenceExceptionTranslationPostProcessor();

   Properties hibernateProperties() {
      return new Properties() {
            setProperty("hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto", env.getProperty("hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto"));
            setProperty("hibernate.dialect", env.getProperty("hibernate.dialect"));
            setProperty("hibernate.globally_quoted_identifiers", "true");

4. XML Spring Configuration for Hibernate 4

Simillary, Hibernate 4 can be configured with XML as well:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans" 

   <context:property-placeholder location="classpath:persistence-mysql.properties" />

   <bean id="sessionFactory" 
      <property name="dataSource" ref="dataSource" />
      <property name="packagesToScan" value="org.baeldung.spring.persistence.model" />
      <property name="hibernateProperties">
            <prop key="hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto">${hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto}</prop>
            <prop key="hibernate.dialect">${hibernate.dialect}</prop>

   <bean id="dataSource" 
      <property name="driverClassName" value="${jdbc.driverClassName}" />
      <property name="url" value="${jdbc.url}" />
      <property name="username" value="${jdbc.user}" />
      <property name="password" value="${jdbc.pass}" />

   <bean id="transactionManager" 
      <property name="sessionFactory" ref="sessionFactory" />

   <bean id="persistenceExceptionTranslationPostProcessor" 


To bootstrap the XML into the Spring Context, we can use a simple Java Configuration file if the application is configured with Java configuration:

@ImportResource({ "classpath:hibernate4Config.xml" })
public class HibernateXmlConfig{

Alternativelly we can simply provide the XML file to the Spring Context, if the overall configuration is purely XML.

For both types of configuration, the JDBC and Hibernate specific properties are stored in a properties file:

# jdbc.X

# hibernate.X

5. Spring, Hibernate and MySQL

The Drivers and Dialects supported by Hibernate have been extensively discussed for Hibernate 3 – and everything still applies for Hibernate 4 as well.

6. Usage

At this point, Hibernate 4 is fully configured with Spring and we can inject the raw Hibernate SessionFactory directly whenever we need to:

public abstract class BarHibernateDAO{

   SessionFactory sessionFactory;


   protected Session getCurrentSession(){
      return sessionFactory.getCurrentSession();

An important note here is that this is now the recommended way to use the Hibernate API – the older HibernateTemplate is no longer included in the new org.springframework.orm.hibernate4 package as it shouldn’t be used with Hibernate 4.

7. Conclusion

In this example, we configured Spring with Hiberate 4 – both with Java and XML configuration.

The implementation of this Spring Hibernate 4 Tutorial can be downloaded as a working sample project.

This is an Eclipse based project, so it should be easy to import and run as it is.

I usually post about Persistence on Twitter - you can follow me there:

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  • tony

    session is auto Close?

    • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

      The question is far to general to know what you’re really asking. Please consider giving some more detail. An even better alternative is to create an github issue for the tutorial project – and I’ll take a look.

      • MK

        I believe what he is asking for is what happens with sessionFactory object. While you use plain java you usually invoke close() method on factory at the end of apllication or ContextListener.contextDestroyed() in web-app. Do spring hadle closing it internally or still you have to handle it manually?
        Any way if it’s what he’s asking or not could you answer me =)?

        • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

          Hey MK – yes, Spring will take care of closing the session factory. If you look at the LocalSessionFactoryBean, you’ll notice that it is a DisposableBean, and the destroy method closes the factory.

  • arjun

    I tried your example in JBOSS EAP 6.1 alpha , but I am getting this exception when I deploy it .

    java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: javax.persistence.JoinColumn.foreignKey()Ljavax/persistence/ForeignKey;

    Do you know why this is coming.


    • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

      JBoss comes in with its own set of libraries, especially for JPA (more than a lightweight web server like Tomcat does), so you may end up with different binary versions of the standard JPA classes; you’ll first need to check these exact versions and then you’ll need to either align the two versions or check for other JBoss specific solutions.

  • InO

    is there a code download of this example?

    • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

      Sure – the project is hosted on github – there’s a link at the end of the article. Cheers,

  • JavaProgrammer

    It would be nice if you could have indicated where that Spring xml config file should be placed in the project. For example where it would be located if you would be using Maven project? I have tried to implement your solution but it doesn’t work because when I try to inject entitymanager it doesn’t find the configuration file and thus my entity manager is always null.

    • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

      Hey JavaProgrammer – that kind if details is readily available on github – you will find the link to the project at the end of the article. Cheers,

  • Craig

    Hey, I’m trying to use your example but with a com.microsoft.sqlserver.jdbc.SQLServerDriver but the sessionFactory that I have tried to autowire is null. There are no errors in the logs to explain it. Do you know why this could be?

    • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

      Hey Craig – it can be any number of things – my suggestion is to reproduce it somewhere, such as a sample project on github – and I’d be happy to take a look. Cheers,

  • Gaurav Dighe

    I am trying to use Spring 4 and Hibernate4 along with Spring-Data-JPA-1.5. Is everything the same as far as setting up and running the project or is it different?

    • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

      Hey Gaurav, in order to use Spring Data JPA, you’ll have to set up JPA – so no, this configuration won’t work exactly as is; you can check out my intro to Spring Data JPA for the configuration. Cheers,

  • Jason.H

    tks for ur post ! :D
    where did u configured the tomcat-dbcp for hibernate ? i can see it no where …

    • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

      Hey Jason – it’s the BasicDataSource used in both configuration – that’s part of the tomcat-dbcp jar. Cheers,

  • Mo

    Thanks for your post, the link to the sample source isn’t working. Could you please fix it? Thanks

    • http://www.baeldung.com/ Eugen Paraschiv

      What do you mean by “it’s not working”? It’s an optin, not a direct link, and I the optin is working OK. Cheers,