get(), load(), delete(), Update() Hibernate

get() load() delete() Update() Hibernate
Tutorial on Performance issues involved

1. Use the same programs of First Program – Student. Now only client program changes (earlier it was

2. Keep ready four records with sid numbers 100, 101, 102 and 103 because we are doing operations on these records.

3. Database school table before performing operations.


4. Following is the client program –

import org.hibernate.ObjectNotFoundException;
import org.hibernate.Session;         
import org.hibernate.SessionFactory;
import org.hibernate.Transaction;  
import org.hibernate.cfg.Configuration;

public class GetLoadDeleteUpdate
  public static void main(String rags[]) throws Exception 
    Configuration c = new Configuration();
    SessionFactory sf = c.buildSessionFactory();
    Session s = sf.openSession();	    // Transaction object is not required for fetching 
                        // SINGLE RECORD EAGER FETCH WITH Session.get()	
    Object obj = s.get(Student.class, new Integer(100));
    if(obj != null) 
      System.out.println(obj.getClass().getName());  // prints Student
      Student s1 = (Student) obj;

      System.out.println("Record does not exist");
    }   	        // SINGLE RECORD LAZY FETCH WITH Session.load() where record exists

    Object obj1 = s.load(Student.class, new Integer(101));  
    Student s2 = (Student) obj1;
                                           // prints Student$$EnhancerByCGLIB$$ba69672d
                         // SINGLE RECORD LAZY FETCH WITH Session.load() where record DOES NOT exist

    Object obj2 = s.load(Student.class, new Integer(110));    // Record 110 does not exist
    Student s3 = (Student) obj2;
    catch(ObjectNotFoundException e) 
      System.out.println("Record does not exist. " + e);
                         // DELETE OPERATION
                                   // Transaction object is required for all operations except fetching records
    Transaction tx = s.beginTransaction();  
    Object obj3 = s.load(Student.class, new Integer(102));           // 102 record exists
    Student s4 = (Student) obj3;

    tx.commit();                           // commit() implicitly calls flush()
    System.out.println("102 record is deleted");
							           // UPDATE OPERATION
    Transaction tx1 = s.beginTransaction();           
    Object obj4 = s.load(Student.class, new Integer(103));  	// 103 record exists
    Student s5 = (Student) obj4;

    System.out.println("103 record is updated");

a) Observe what obj.getClass().getName() prints in both cases of get() and load().

b) The load() method returns a Student object even if the sid does not exist. For this reason s3.getSid() does not raise any exception as getSid() returns the sid parameter passed whether the sid exist or not. The exception raises from s3.getSname() method call.

c) Following is the message printed when the record does not exist:

Record does not exist. org.hibernate.ObjectNotFoundException: No row with the given identifier exists: [Student#110]

d) For update operation, one more Transaction object tx1 is created and committed. It is done for clarity for a novice. Infact, it is not required; both delete() and update() methods can be placed in one transaction only.

e) Oracle screenshot after the operations:

 get() load() delete() Update() Hibernate

Observe, the record 102 is deleted and 103 is updated.

What is the difference between get() and load() methods of Session interface?

The two methods are defined in org.hibernate.Session interface. First let us see the signature of these methods as defined in Hibernate API.

Object get(Class class, Serializable id) throws HibernateException

Return the persistent instance of the given entity class with the given identifier, or null if there is no such persistent instance. (If the instance, or a proxy for the instance, is already associated with the session, return that instance or proxy.)

Object load(Class class, Serializable id) throws HibernateException

Returns the persistent instance of the given entity class with the given identifier, assuming that the instance exists.

You should not use this method to determine if an instance exists (use get() instead). Use this only to retrieve an instance that you assume exists, where non-existence would be an actual error.

Both methods are used to retrieve only one Java object (record) from the database (for multiple records, we have, list() and iterate() methods).


The get() method returns the Java object from the database as an object of Object class and is required to type cast as follows.

Object obj = s.get(Student.class, new Integer(1));  // where sid is 1
Student s1 = (Student) obj;

We can club the above two statements as follows as one statement.

Student s1 = (Student) s.get(Student.class, new Integer(1));

If the record on the primary key 1 exists, the s1 contains all the column values in the form of object s1. If the record on id 1 does not exist, the s1 contains null value.

Now it is your job to retrieve the values from s1 object as follows using getter methods.

int id = s1.getSid();
String name = s1.getSname();
double marks = s1.getSMarks();
Date joindate = s1.getSjoindate();

All the above is fine and actually what is happening when get() method is called. Hibernate creates a SQL statement as follows and executes.

select * from school where stud_id=1;  

This is called as eager fetching. That is, a call goes to the database to fetch the record.


Student s1 = (Student) s.load(Student.class, new Integer(1));

In the above statement, s1 contains a proxy of Student object and not the actual Student object.

1. What is proxy?

Proxy is a subclass of Student class, like StudentImpl, implemented internally by Hibernate. s1 belongs to such proxy class.

2. Why Hibernate returns a proxy and not actual object? How this is advantageous?

Proxy contains a reference of the primary key id of the actual object. load() is best used to delete a record or update a record. When deletion is required, why the object s1 should contain all the record data which may spread number of columns? To fetch the record, a call should go to the database. When a method call is avoided the performance increases.

3. When the proxy object s1 is converted into a real object of Student?

When you call s1.getName() or s1.getMarks() etc. the object s1 becomes an actual Student object and now database hit is made. This is called as lazy fetching.

4. Why all this round about?

It is very important to know. The whole magic of Hibernate lies here only. s1 proxy object is returned even when the student record by id 1 does not exist also. That is, s1 is never null (incase of get(), s1 can be null also).

Infact, the object s1 returned by the load() method is used for deletion or updation of a record as follows.

s.delete(s1); or s.update(s1); // if id 1 does not exist, exception is raised

When the deletion operation is to be done there is no necessity that s1 should contain the data of all the columns. load() increases the performance for delete and update operations as load() does not hit the database (and hits only when deletion or updation is done). Really, if data is required, get() is preferred.

Special cases involved in get() load() delete() Update() Hibernate

If get(Student.class, new Integer(1)) is called first and later again load(Student.class, new Integer(1)) is called and if the record with primary key 1 exists, the s1 in the both the cases contains a real object. Why? We know get() method returns a Student object and load() returns s proxy object. With get(), a real object exists in the cache memory, the same object is returned to load() also.

If the reverse happens? If load() is called first and then get()? In both cases, s1 contains a proxy object because first load() returns a proxy and remains in the cache memory.

To put it simple:

get( ) load( )
1 Return value null is possible Never returns null
2 Fast if record exists Slow if record exists
3 Used to retrieve object (record) Used for delete etc. operations
4 Eager fetching Lazy fetching
5 Always hits the database Not always hits
6 Does not return proxy object Always returns a proxy object
7 Performance-wise is slow as it may have to make number of rounds to database to get data Better performance. If already in the cache, the record is available to much difference
8 As it returns null if no record exist, the execution continues It throws ObjectNotFoundException, if record not found. Execution terminates if not handled successfully

For the differences between list() and iterate() refer Q & A or separate notes on these methods.

More about load() method

load() method is overloaded five times in Session interface. One overloaded method is given down for extra discussion.

Object load(Class theClass, Serializable id, LockMode lockmode) throws HibernateException

Return the persistent instance of the given entity class with the given identifier, obtaining the specified lock mode, assuming the instance exists.


Course c1 = session.load(Course.class, new Integer(100), LockMode.UPGRADE);

Now the object c1 is locked so that other programmers cannot modify the object c1 until all c1 operations are done like calling c1.setDuration(50) method etc as follows.



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