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NHibernate - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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NHibernate. Object/Relational Persistence for .NET. A little bit of background information…. .NET port of the Hibernate project (Java). Mature architecture and proven c oncepts, already in use in many enterprise Java applications. Already quite popular in the .NET world as well.

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Object/Relational Persistence for .NET

A little bit of background information…

.NET port of the Hibernate project (Java)

Mature architecture and proven

concepts, already in use in many

enterprise Java applications

Already quite popular in the .NET world as well

Popularity seems to be increasing :)

General Philosophy Of NHibernate

It’s all about POCO

Should work on most databases

As few constraints on your code as possible

Full OO support: inheritance, polymorphism, composition, single-valued and many-valued associations

Maximize performance and flexibility

Keep your code clean

Strong Points

Ideally suited for OLTP scenarios (web applications, service layers, …)

Database independence

Rich feature set


Extensible architecture

Large, active, helpful and growing user base

Plenty of articles, blog posts and documentation available

It’s Open Source (LGPL)!

Weak Points

Not suited (at all) for bulk data processing

No code generation, and no designer support either

Bad reputation in some companies due to

lazy coding ( = abuse of lazy loading )

Plenty of outdated articles, blog posts and documentation available

It’s Open Source!

(some companies just don’t like that)

Let’s look at some of the things we can do with NHibernate…

Transitive Persistence

Managing associations between classes in a transparent manner

Allows you to persist object graphs with one instruction

Needs to be configured for each association

=> fine-grained control over cascade settings

Hold on… why was every member in the Order

class virtual?

I wouldn’t want to debug that either :)

Storing data in the database in an easy manner is great and all, but what about getting it out again?

Querying with NHibernate

Hibernate Query Language

It’s an Object Oriented query language

Criteria API

Makes it easier to compose queries dynamically from code.

LINQ… still not fully supported

Wouldn’t it be great if we could execute multiple queries in only one database roundtrip?

Future Queries

Can we efficiently update multiple records in one roundtrip as well?

As of NHibernate 2.1, we can do this with some new HQL statements

Data Modification With HQL

What about caching? Do we need to do that manually?

Of course not :)

Second Level Cache

Second Level Cache data is available to


We can cache entity instances…

But we can also cache the results of queries…

This is ideal for static (reference) data or even data that doesn’t change frequently

How does the cache deal with modified data, though?

We’ll update the database and the cache

NHibernate will never cache anything in the Second Level Cache automatically

It needs to be configured on a per-entity and per-query basis

All the caching power you want, without having to pollute your code

Only use this for data that doesn’t change frequently though

But where is the cache’s data stored?

That’s up to you… multiple providers are available: ASP.NET cache, MemCached, Velocity, Prevalence, …

At this point, I’m almost running out of time and there is a lot more interesting stuff that we won’t get to cover.

Like optimistic concurrency strategies…

Or pessimistic locking strategies…

Or the various identifier strategies…

Or the various inheritance strategies…

Or how automatic dirty tracking works…

Or how you can implement your own dirty tracking…

Or custom user types…

Or how to deal with entities that were detached from the session…

Or the generation of DDL scripts, for your specific database…

Or the various mapping strategies for complex domain models…

We didn’t cover any of the many extensibility points either…

Maybe some other time :)

If you want to learn more, be sure to visit http://nhforge.org

Oh, and check out my blog if you liked this presentation: http://davybrion.com


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