10.12. Using metadata

Hibernate requires a very rich meta-level model of all entity and value types. From time to time, this model is very useful to the application itself. For example, the application might use Hibernate's metadata to implement a "smart" deep-copy algorithm that understands which objects should be copied (eg. mutable value types) and which should not (eg. immutable value types and, possibly, associated entities).
Hibernate exposes metadata via the ClassMetadata and CollectionMetadata interfaces and the Type hierarchy. Instances of the metadata interfaces may be obtained from the SessionFactory.
Cat fritz = ......;
ClassMetadata catMeta = sessionfactory.getClassMetadata(Cat.class);

Object[] propertyValues = catMeta.getPropertyValues(fritz);
String[] propertyNames = catMeta.getPropertyNames();
Type[] propertyTypes = catMeta.getPropertyTypes();

// get a Map of all properties which are not collections or associations
Map namedValues = new HashMap();
for ( int i=0; i<propertyNames.length; i++ ) {
    if ( !propertyTypes[i].isEntityType() && !propertyTypes[i].isCollectionType() ) {
        namedValues.put( propertyNames[i], propertyValues[i] );
    }
}