13.4. DML-style operations

As already discussed, automatic and transparent object/relational mapping is concerned with the management of object state. This implies that the object state is available in memory, hence manipulating (using the SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML) statements: INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE) data directly in the database will not affect in-memory state. However, Hibernate provides methods for bulk SQL-style DML statement execution which are performed through the Hibernate Query Language (Chapter 14, HQL: The Hibernate Query Language HQL).
The pseudo-syntax for UPDATE and DELETE statements is: ( UPDATE | DELETE ) FROM? EntityName (WHERE where_conditions)?. Some points to note:
  • In the from-clause, the FROM keyword is optional
  • There can only be a single entity named in the from-clause; it can optionally be aliased. If the entity name is aliased, then any property references must be qualified using that alias; if the entity name is not aliased, then it is illegal for any property references to be qualified.
  • No Section 14.4, “Forms of join syntax” joins (either implicit or explicit) can be specified in a bulk HQL query. Sub-queries may be used in the where-clause; the subqueries, themselves, may contain joins.
  • The where-clause is also optional.
As an example, to execute an HQL UPDATE, use the Query.executeUpdate() method (the method is named for those familiar with JDBC's PreparedStatement.executeUpdate()):
Session session = sessionFactory.openSession();
Transaction tx = session.beginTransaction();

String hqlUpdate = "update Customer c set c.name = :newName where c.name = :oldName";
// or String hqlUpdate = "update Customer set name = :newName where name = :oldName";
int updatedEntities = s.createQuery( hqlUpdate )
        .setString( "newName", newName )
        .setString( "oldName", oldName )
        .executeUpdate();
tx.commit();
session.close();
HQL UPDATE statements, by default do not effect the Section 5.1.7, “version (optional)” version or the Section 5.1.8, “timestamp (optional)” timestamp property values for the affected entities; this is in keeping with the EJB3 specification. However, you can force Hibernate to properly reset the version or timestamp property values through the use of a versioned update. This is achieved by adding the VERSIONED keyword after the UPDATE keyword.
Session session = sessionFactory.openSession();
Transaction tx = session.beginTransaction();
String hqlVersionedUpdate = "update versioned Customer set name = :newName where name = :oldName";
int updatedEntities = s.createQuery( hqlUpdate )
        .setString( "newName", newName )
        .setString( "oldName", oldName )
        .executeUpdate();
tx.commit();
session.close();
Note that custom version types (org.hibernate.usertype.UserVersionType) are not allowed in conjunction with a update versioned statement.
To execute an HQL DELETE, use the same Query.executeUpdate() method:
Session session = sessionFactory.openSession();
Transaction tx = session.beginTransaction();

String hqlDelete = "delete Customer c where c.name = :oldName";
// or String hqlDelete = "delete Customer where name = :oldName";
int deletedEntities = s.createQuery( hqlDelete )
        .setString( "oldName", oldName )
        .executeUpdate();
tx.commit();
session.close();
The int value returned by the Query.executeUpdate() method indicate the number of entities effected by the operation. Consider this may or may not correlate to the number of rows effected in the database. An HQL bulk operation might result in multiple actual SQL statements being executed, for joined-subclass, for example. The returned number indicates the number of actual entities affected by the statement. Going back to the example of joined-subclass, a delete against one of the subclasses may actually result in deletes against not just the table to which that subclass is mapped, but also the "root" table and potentially joined-subclass tables further down the inheritence hierarchy.
The pseudo-syntax for INSERT statements is: INSERT INTO EntityName properties_list select_statement. Some points to note:
  • Only the INSERT INTO ... SELECT ... form is supported; not the INSERT INTO ... VALUES ... form.
    The properties_list is analogous to the column speficiation in the SQL INSERT statement. For entities involved in mapped inheritence, only properties directly defined on that given class-level can be used in the properties_list. Superclass properties are not allowed; and subclass properties do not make sense. In other words, INSERT statements are inherently non-polymorphic.
  • select_statement can be any valid HQL select query, with the caveat that the return types must match the types expected by the insert. Currently, this is checked during query compilation rather than allowing the check to relegate to the database. Note however that this might cause problems between Hibernate Type s which are equivalent as opposed to equal. This might cause issues with mismatches between a property defined as a org.hibernate.type.DateType and a property defined as a org.hibernate.type.TimestampType, even though the database might not make a distinction or might be able to handle the conversion.
  • For the id property, the insert statement gives you two options. You can either explicitly specify the id property in the properties_list (in which case its value is taken from the corresponding select expression) or omit it from the properties_list (in which case a generated value is used). This later option is only available when using id generators that operate in the database; attempting to use this option with any "in memory" type generators will cause an exception during parsing. Note that for the purposes of this discussion, in-database generators are considered to be org.hibernate.id.SequenceGenerator (and its subclasses) and any implementors of org.hibernate.id.PostInsertIdentifierGenerator. The most notable exception here is org.hibernate.id.TableHiLoGenerator, which cannot be used because it does not expose a selectable way to get its values.
  • For properties mapped as either version or timestamp, the insert statement gives you two options. You can either specify the property in the properties_list (in which case its value is taken from the corresponding select expressions) or omit it from the properties_list (in which case the seed value defined by the org.hibernate.type.VersionType is used).
An example HQL INSERT statement execution:
Session session = sessionFactory.openSession();
Transaction tx = session.beginTransaction();

String hqlInsert = "insert into DelinquentAccount (id, name) select c.id, c.name from Customer 
    c where ...";
int createdEntities = s.createQuery( hqlInsert )
        .executeUpdate();
tx.commit();
session.close();