Hibernate – fetching strategies examples

Hibernate has few fetching strategies to optimize the Hibernate generated select statement, so that it can be as efficient as possible. The fetching strategy is declared in the mapping relationship to define how Hibernate fetch its related collections and entities.

Fetching Strategies

There are four fetching strategies

1. fetch-“join” = Disable the lazy loading, always load all the collections and entities.
2. fetch-“select” (default) = Lazy load all the collections and entities.
3. batch-size=”N” = Fetching up to ‘N’ collections or entities, *Not record*.
4. fetch-“subselect” = Group its collection into a sub select statement.

For detail explanation, you can check on the Hibernate documentation.

Fetching strategies examples

Here’s a “one-to-many relationship” example for the fetching strategies demonstration. A stock is belong to many stock daily records.

Example to declare fetch strategies in XML file

...
<hibernate-mapping>
    <class name="com.mkyong.common.Stock" table="stock">
        <set name="stockDailyRecords"  cascade="all" inverse="true" 
            table="stock_daily_record" batch-size="10" fetch="select">
            <key>
                <column name="STOCK_ID" not-null="true" />
            </key>
            <one-to-many class="com.mkyong.common.StockDailyRecord" />
        </set>
    </class>
</hibernate-mapping>

Example to declare fetch strategies in annotation

...
@Entity
@Table(name = "stock", catalog = "mkyong")
public class Stock implements Serializable{
...
	@OneToMany(fetch = FetchType.LAZY, mappedBy = "stock")
	@Cascade(CascadeType.ALL)
	@Fetch(FetchMode.SELECT)
        @BatchSize(size = 10)
	public Set<StockDailyRecord> getStockDailyRecords() {
		return this.stockDailyRecords;
	}
...
}

Let explore how fetch strategies affect the Hibernate generated SQL statement.

1. fetch=”select” or @Fetch(FetchMode.SELECT)

This is the default fetching strategy. it enabled the lazy loading of all it’s related collections. Let see the example…

//call select from stock
Stock stock = (Stock)session.get(Stock.class, 114); 
Set sets = stock.getStockDailyRecords();
 
//call select from stock_daily_record
for ( Iterator iter = sets.iterator();iter.hasNext(); ) { 
      StockDailyRecord sdr = (StockDailyRecord) iter.next();
      System.out.println(sdr.getDailyRecordId());
      System.out.println(sdr.getDate());
}

Output

Hibernate: 
    select ...from mkyong.stock
    where stock0_.STOCK_ID=?
 
Hibernate: 
    select ...from mkyong.stock_daily_record
    where stockdaily0_.STOCK_ID=?

Hibernate generated two select statements

1. Select statement to retrieve the Stock records -session.get(Stock.class, 114)
2. Select its related collections – sets.iterator()

2. fetch=”join” or @Fetch(FetchMode.JOIN)

The “join” fetching strategy will disabled the lazy loading of all it’s related collections. Let see the example…

//call select from stock and stock_daily_record
Stock stock = (Stock)session.get(Stock.class, 114); 
Set sets = stock.getStockDailyRecords();
 
//no extra select
for ( Iterator iter = sets.iterator();iter.hasNext(); ) { 
      StockDailyRecord sdr = (StockDailyRecord) iter.next();
      System.out.println(sdr.getDailyRecordId());
      System.out.println(sdr.getDate());
}

Output

Hibernate: 
    select ...
    from
        mkyong.stock stock0_ 
    left outer join
        mkyong.stock_daily_record stockdaily1_ 
            on stock0_.STOCK_ID=stockdaily1_.STOCK_ID 
    where
        stock0_.STOCK_ID=?

Hibernate generated only one select statement, it retrieve all its related collections when the Stock is initialized. -session.get(Stock.class, 114)

1. Select statement to retrieve the Stock records and outer join its related collections.

3. batch-size=”10″ or @BatchSize(size = 10)

This ‘batch size’ fetching strategy is always misunderstanding by many Hibernate developers. Let see the *misunderstand* concept here…

Stock stock = (Stock)session.get(Stock.class, 114); 
Set sets = stock.getStockDailyRecords();
 
for ( Iterator iter = sets.iterator();iter.hasNext(); ) { 
      StockDailyRecord sdr = (StockDailyRecord) iter.next();
      System.out.println(sdr.getDailyRecordId());
      System.out.println(sdr.getDate());
}

What is your expected result, is this per-fetch 10 records from collection? See the output
Output

Hibernate: 
    select ...from mkyong.stock
    where stock0_.STOCK_ID=?
 
Hibernate: 
    select ...from mkyong.stock_daily_record
    where stockdaily0_.STOCK_ID=?

The batch-size did nothing here, it is not how batch-size work. See this statement.

The batch-size fetching strategy is not define how many records inside in the collections are loaded. Instead, it defines how many collections should be loaded.

— Repeat N times until you remember this statement —

Another example

Let see another example, you want to print out all the stock records and its related stock daily records (collections) one by one.

List<Stock> list = session.createQuery("from Stock").list();
 
for(Stock stock : list){
 
    Set sets = stock.getStockDailyRecords();
 
    for ( Iterator iter = sets.iterator();iter.hasNext(); ) { 
            StockDailyRecord sdr = (StockDailyRecord) iter.next();
            System.out.println(sdr.getDailyRecordId());
            System.out.println(sdr.getDate());
    }
}
No batch-size fetching strategy

Output

Hibernate: 
    select ...
    from mkyong.stock stock0_
 
Hibernate: 
    select ...
    from mkyong.stock_daily_record stockdaily0_ 
    where stockdaily0_.STOCK_ID=?
 
Hibernate: 
    select ...
    from mkyong.stock_daily_record stockdaily0_ 
    where stockdaily0_.STOCK_ID=?
 
Keep repeat the select statements....depend how many stock records in your table.

If you have 20 stock records in the database, the Hibernate’s default fetching strategies will generate 20+1 select statements and hit the database.

1. Select statement to retrieve all the Stock records.
2. Select its related collection
3. Select its related collection
4. Select its related collection
….
21. Select its related collection

The generated queries are not efficient and caused a serious performance issue.

Enabled the batch-size=’10’ fetching strategy

Let see another example with batch-size=’10’ is enabled.
Output

Hibernate: 
    select ...
    from mkyong.stock stock0_
 
Hibernate: 
    select ...
    from mkyong.stock_daily_record stockdaily0_ 
    where
        stockdaily0_.STOCK_ID in (
            ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?
        )

Now, Hibernate will per-fetch the collections, with a select *in* statement. If you have 20 stock records, it will generate 3 select statements.

1. Select statement to retrieve all the Stock records.
2. Select In statement to per-fetch its related collections (10 collections a time)
3. Select In statement to per-fetch its related collections (next 10 collections a time)

With batch-size enabled, it simplify the select statements from 21 select statements to 3 select statements.

4. fetch=”subselect” or @Fetch(FetchMode.SUBSELECT)

This fetching strategy is enable all its related collection in a sub select statement. Let see the same query again..

List<Stock> list = session.createQuery("from Stock").list();
 
for(Stock stock : list){
 
    Set sets = stock.getStockDailyRecords();
 
    for ( Iterator iter = sets.iterator();iter.hasNext(); ) { 
            StockDailyRecord sdr = (StockDailyRecord) iter.next();
            System.out.println(sdr.getDailyRecordId());
            System.out.println(sdr.getDate());
    }
}

Output

Hibernate: 
    select ...
    from mkyong.stock stock0_
 
Hibernate: 
    select ...
    from
        mkyong.stock_daily_record stockdaily0_ 
    where
        stockdaily0_.STOCK_ID in (
            select
                stock0_.STOCK_ID 
            from
                mkyong.stock stock0_
        )

With “subselect” enabled, it will create two select statements.

1. Select statement to retrieve all the Stock records.
2. Select all its related collections in a sub select query.

Conclusion

The fetching strategies are highly flexible and a very important tweak to optimize the Hibernate query, but if you used it in a wrong place, it will be a total disaster.

Reference

1. http://docs.jboss.org/hibernate/core/3.3/reference/en/html/performance.html
2. https://www.hibernate.org/315.html

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About the Author

mkyong
Founder of Mkyong.com and HostingCompass.com, love Java and open source stuff. Follow him on Twitter, or befriend him on Facebook or Google Plus. If you like my tutorials, consider make a donation to these charities.

Comments

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  • Aravind

    A very nice post. But I’m still trying to make it work.
    I’m trying to use @Fetch(FetchMode.SUBSELECT) on OneToMany mapped set collection. But when I run a test program it still generates many queries. What could be the reason?

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  • http://[email protected] Jitendra

    Nice Explanation.

    I have a question here with some different situation here.

    Suppose i a have parent object/entity as a Stock and its child collection as a StockDailyRecord. In StockDailyRecord i have a property like activeRecord (Value could be Y/N). Now i want to perform an eager loading for parent.child collection’s which are active(setted Y).

    Stock.StockDailyRecord.activeRecord = ‘Y’.

  • krishna

    Sorry, I forget to add how I am mapping..

    I am doing one-to-many mapping by using fetching strategy as “select” and I got the following error while trying to get the mapped object.

    org.hibernate.LazyInitializationException: failed to lazily initialize a collection of role: could not initialize proxy – no Session

  • krishna

    I am using this but lazy load is not working. Do I need to do any more configurations to make lazy load workable.?

    Thanks,
    Krishna

  • Diyyana Kishore Babu

    @ Diyyana Kishore Babu.
    Really very good explanation, but one small correction for ?fetch=?select?? strategy.
    You mentioned as
    ?Hibernate generated two select statements
    1. Select statement to retrieve the Stock records -session.get(Stock.class, 114)
    2. Select its related collections ? sets.iterator()?.

    Actually it generate 1(stock) + n(stock_daily_record) for select fetch.

    Let?s say stock_daily_record have 10 records it generate 10 select statements and one select statement for stock table.

    So Hibernate generate 11 (1+10) select statements for ?select? fetch strategy.

  • Diyyana Kishore Babu

    Really very good explanation, but one small correction for ?fetch=?select?? strategy.
    You mentioned as
    ?Hibernate generated two select statements
    1. Select statement to retrieve the Stock records -session.get(Stock.class, 114)
    2. Select its related collections ? sets.iterator()?.

    Actually it generate 1(stock) + n(stock_daily_record) for select fetch.

    Let?s say stock_daily_record have 10 records it generate 10 select statements and one select statement for stock table.

    So Hibernate generate 11 (1+10) select statements for ‘select’ fetch strategy.

  • geelong

    how to define how many records inside in the collections are loaded.

  • Maharsh

    Excellent explanation of fetching strategy with wonderful example !! Thanks.

  • prashanth

    very nice examples easy to understand……..

  • Manish

    Thanks Mkyong for posting very nice article and in a simple way also!!

    What is difference between lazy=true and fetch=select as both are responsible to trigger lazy initialization for associated collection.

  • SIddhant

    What is meaning of FetchMode.LAZY and FetchMode.EAGER ..?

  • http://www.mehmetperk.com mperk

    I try this example. But I have error
    Exception in thread “main” org.hibernate.LazyInitializationException: could not initialize proxy – no Session

  • Cristian Ortiz

    Hey Guys there is a possible of doing a OneToMany relationship using criteria and pagination methods(setMaxResult and setFirstResult) and completely LAZY loading the Many relationship[IS Loaded Eagerly on Annotations] thanks a lot.

  • amit

    very nice article.
    Thanks for posting this one.

    Thanks,
    Amit

  • Anon

    “The fetching strategies are highly flexible and a very important tweak to optimize the Hibernate query, but if you used it in a wrong place, it will be a total disaster.”

    — why are we all dancing around “disaster” again? We all know how JDBC is going to behave. Is it really that hard to read a result set or use a JdbcTemplate or something simple like iBatis? What does hibernate give us that justifies flirting with disaster?

  • belatrix

    great article, I only have single doubt , how to restrict elements in collections directly on query level ? because the fetchmode=join causes all elements in collection to be fetched and if I apply a Restrictions on associated entities’ properties, It gives me, property not found exception

  • Vijay

    I have no words to thank you! Just the explanation I was looking for. Great work ..Kudos to you!

  • Suresh Siva

    Very sharp and crisp explanation…very neat….Thanks…

  • Adarsh

    It was very helpful.
    Got exactly what i was looking for. GREAT

  • HibLearner

    Suppose I have an Order table with 50 columns and I have an Order class with 50 properties and mapped with each other in hibernate file. I just want to show order list to the user which may have at most 3 to 4 columns like order_id, date, placed_by and order_amount. My problem starts here… when I load rows through the class, all 50 columns will be loaded along with the required just 4 columns which may impact the performance significantly. And sometime I want to load one (1) order with say 20 columns and sometime want to load a complete order with 50 columns. How can I map these three (3) different scenarios.

    Thanks in advance.

    • bekbote
       I have tried this scenario with Criteria.setProjection(Projections.property(...))
  • Shan Udt

    Man you rock..Please keep up the good work. We appreciate it a lot!

  • Jayanta Banerjee

    One word regarding this site is “GREAT”. Very good examples. Please keep it up.

  • Yogesh

    Couldn’t leave this page without saying thanks…

  • Chris L

    Very nice written article. Concise and easy to following.

    Only one question, quote
    “…The “join” fetching strategy will disabled the lazy loading of all it’s related collections…”

    Let’s say only the following is executed:

       Stock stock = (Stock)session.get(Stock.class, 114);

    I would suspect, the query output should only be:

        select ...from mkyong.stock
           where stock0_.STOCK_ID=?

    NOT

       select ...
        from
            mkyong.stock stock0_ 
        left outer join
            mkyong.stock_daily_record stockdaily1_ 
                on stock0_.STOCK_ID=stockdaily1_.STOCK_ID 
        where
            stock0_.STOCK_ID=?

    Or I missed anything?

    Thanks
    -Chris

    • Mansour

      Disable the lazy loading means that Hibernate is going to load the collections or the associations.

      Best regards.

    • Kumaran

      Hi Chris,

      I agree with you that even after specifing fetch = “Join” I see 2 queries getting fired for the sample you have provided .One for stock and one for stock details. mkyong can you please us know ?

      Thanks
      Kumaran

  • Piyoosh Sinha

    Very big fan of you.again very nice article presented by you. Thanks

  • Satish Pandey

    Thank you @mkyong for placing such a good article with examples.
    The article only takes 10-15 minutes to understand the fetching strategies with examples.

  • Arby

    If the Batch setting is specified either as annotation on the class or in xml against the table, it is a one time decision. Not sure how practical this feature is.

    The application use case should be dictating how many records I want to fetch. Besides I will not know how many records will be returned. So all we are doing is taking a lucky guess as the batch size.

    I don’t see myself ever using the feature. I see myself using the Query feature to control how many records are returned.

  • Bill Leonard

    Great info — this is how information should be presented – present the concept then show the specific details for each concept. Thanks.

  • http://pressmo.com Kamilla

    Very good article with clear explanation and examples.

  • Pankaj Pushp

    very useful..nice to see this kind of article…thanks a lot

  • lim tou ee

    your examples are simple but straight to the point.
    Easy to understand too.

  • RM

    Very nice article, which not only explains fetching strategies but also n+1 select problem.Thank you.

  • ravi

    Its really good site for Hibernate Updates.. Thank you so much..

  • Ajju

    Short and descriptive, well done. Hoping to see more topics covered.

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