Hibernate 5 - Save an Entity Example

In this article, we will create a simple Hibernate application to demonstrate how to save an entity into a database.

save(Object object) Method

save() method persist the given transient instance, first assigning a generated identifier. (Or using the current value of the identifier property if the assigned generator is used.) This operation cascades to associated instances if the association is mapped with cascade="save-update"
Below diagram shows the snippet of saving an entity in a database:
Let's start developing step by step Hibernate application using Maven as project management and build tool.

Technologies and tools used

  • Hibernate 5.3.7.Final
  • IDE - Eclipse Noen
  • Maven 3.5.3
  • JavaSE 1.8
  • MySQL - 8.0.13

Development Steps

  1. Create a Simple Maven Project
  2. Project Directory Structure
  3. Add jar Dependencies to pom.xml
  4. Creating the JPA Entity Class(Persistent class)
  5. Create a Hibernate configuration file - hibernate.cfg.xml
  6. Create a Hibernate utility class
  7. Create the Main class and Run an Application

1. Create a Simple Maven Project

Use How to Create a Simple Maven Project in Eclipse article to create simple Maven project in Eclipse IDE.

2. Project Directory Structure

The project directory structure for your reference - 

3. Add jar Dependencies to pom.xml

 xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
        <!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/mysql/mysql-connector-java -->
        <!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.hibernate/hibernate-core -->

4. Creating the JPA Entity Class(Persistent class)

Let's create a Student persistent class that is mapped to a database table.
A simple Persistent class should follow some rules:
  • A no-arg constructor: It is recommended that you have a default constructor at least package visibility so that hibernate can create the instance of the Persistent class by newInstance() method.
  • Provide an identifier property: It is better to assign an attribute as id. This attribute behaves as a primary key in a database.
  • Declare getter and setter methods: The Hibernate recognizes the method by getter and setter method names by default.
  • Prefer non-final class: Hibernate uses the concept of proxies, that depends on the persistent class. The application programmer will not be able to use proxies for lazy association fetching.
Create a Student entity class under net.javaguides.hibernate.entity package as follows.
package net.javaguides.hibernate.entity;

import javax.persistence.Column;
import javax.persistence.Entity;
import javax.persistence.GeneratedValue;
import javax.persistence.GenerationType;
import javax.persistence.Id;
import javax.persistence.Table;

@Table(name = "student")
public class Student {

    @GeneratedValue(strategy = GenerationType.IDENTITY)
    @Column(name = "id")
    private int id;

    @Column(name = "first_name")
    private String firstName;

    @Column(name = "last_name")
    private String lastName;

    @Column(name = "email")
    private String email;

    public Student() {


    public Student(String firstName, String lastName, String email) {
        this.firstName = firstName;
        this.lastName = lastName;
        this.email = email;

    public int getId() {
        return id;

    public void setId(int id) {
        this.id = id;

    public String getFirstName() {
        return firstName;

    public void setFirstName(String firstName) {
        this.firstName = firstName;

    public String getLastName() {
        return lastName;

    public void setLastName(String lastName) {
        this.lastName = lastName;

    public String getEmail() {
        return email;

    public void setEmail(String email) {
        this.email = email;

    public String toString() {
        return "Student [id=" + id + ", firstName=" + firstName + ", lastName=" + lastName + ", email=" + email + "]";

5. Create a Hibernate configuration file - hibernate.cfg.xml

The configuration file contains information about the database and mapping file. Conventionally, its name should be hibernate.cfg.xml.
You can use Hibernate 5 Java Configuration Example instead of a hibernate.cfg.xml file.
Let's create an XML file named as hibernate.cfg.xml under resources folder and write the following code in it.
<!DOCTYPE hibernate-configuration PUBLIC
        "-//Hibernate/Hibernate Configuration DTD 3.0//EN"
        <!-- JDBC Database connection settings -->
        <property name="connection.driver_class">com.mysql.cj.jdbc.Driver</property>
        <property name="connection.url">jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/hibernate_db?useSSL=false</property>
        <property name="connection.username">root</property>
        <property name="connection.password">root</property>
        <!-- JDBC connection pool settings ... using built-in test pool -->
        <property name="connection.pool_size">1</property>
        <!-- Select our SQL dialect -->
        <property name="dialect">org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5Dialect</property>
        <!-- Echo the SQL to stdout -->
        <property name="show_sql">true</property>
        <!-- Set the current session context -->
        <property name="current_session_context_class">thread</property>
        <!-- Drop and re-create the database schema on startup -->
        <property name="hbm2ddl.auto">create-drop</property>
        <!-- dbcp connection pool configuration -->
        <property name="hibernate.dbcp.initialSize">5</property>
        <property name="hibernate.dbcp.maxTotal">20</property>
        <property name="hibernate.dbcp.maxIdle">10</property>
        <property name="hibernate.dbcp.minIdle">5</property>
        <property name="hibernate.dbcp.maxWaitMillis">-1</property>
        <mapping class="net.javaguides.hibernate.entity.Student" />

6. Create a Hibernate utility Class

Create a helper class to bootstrap hibernate SessionFactory. In most Hibernate applications, the SessionFactory should be instantiated once during application initialization. The single instance should then be used by all code in a particular process, and any Session should be created using this single SessionFactory. The SessionFactory is thread-safe and can be shared; a Session is a single-threaded object. Let's create HibernateUtil.java class to configure SessionFactory as a singleton and use throughout the application.
The bootstrapping API is quite flexible, but in most cases, it makes the most sense to think of it as a 3 step process:
  1. Build the StandardServiceRegistry
  2. Build the Metadata
  3. Use those 2 to build the SessionFactory
package net.javaguides.hibernate.util;

import org.hibernate.SessionFactory;
import org.hibernate.boot.Metadata;
import org.hibernate.boot.MetadataSources;
import org.hibernate.boot.registry.StandardServiceRegistry;
import org.hibernate.boot.registry.StandardServiceRegistryBuilder;

public class HibernateUtil {
    private static StandardServiceRegistry registry;
    private static SessionFactory sessionFactory;

    public static SessionFactory getSessionFactory() {
        if (sessionFactory == null) {
            try {
                // Create registry
                registry = new StandardServiceRegistryBuilder().configure().build();

                // Create MetadataSources
                MetadataSources sources = new MetadataSources(registry);

                // Create Metadata
                Metadata metadata = sources.getMetadataBuilder().build();

                // Create SessionFactory
                sessionFactory = metadata.getSessionFactoryBuilder().build();

            } catch (Exception e) {
                if (registry != null) {
        return sessionFactory;

    public static void shutdown() {
        if (registry != null) {

7. Create the main App class and Run an Application

Here is main App class which is used to connect MySQL database and persist Student object in a database table. Let's test Hibernate application to connect MySQL database.
package net.javaguides.hibernate;

import java.util.List;

import org.hibernate.Session;
import org.hibernate.Transaction;

import net.javaguides.hibernate.entity.Student;
import net.javaguides.hibernate.util.HibernateUtil;

public class App {
    public static void main(String[] args) {

        Student student = new Student("Ramesh", "Fadatare", "rameshfadatare@javaguides.com");
        Student student1 = new Student("John", "Cena", "john@javaguides.com");
        Transaction transaction = null;
        try (Session session = HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory().openSession()) {
            // start a transaction
            transaction = session.beginTransaction();
            // save the student objects
            // commit transaction
        } catch (Exception e) {
            if (transaction != null) {

        try (Session session = HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory().openSession()) {
            List < Student > students = session.createQuery("from Student", Student.class).list();
            students.forEach(s - > System.out.println(s.getFirstName()));
        } catch (Exception e) {
            if (transaction != null) {


GitHub Repository

The complete source code of this article available on my GitHub Repository - https://github.com/RameshMF/Hibernate-ORM-Tutorials


In this article, we have created a step by step hibernate application to demonstrate how to save a JPA entity into database using session.save() method.
You can learn more about Hibernate ORM Framework at Hibernate Tutorial