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Spring Data JPA Repository Tutorial

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Spring Data JPA Repository Tutorial

Learn how to create, use, and optimize Spring Data JPA repositories in our comprehensive Spring Data JPA Repository tutorial. Explore best practices and practical examples for efficient data access.

1.) How JPA, Spring Data JPA, Hibernate are working together internally in Spring Boot REST API?

2.) How Hibernate uses JPA Entity Manager to save entity into database with help of Spring Data JPA?

3.) How Spring Data JPA provides a higher-level, more abstract way to work with JPA (Java Persistence API)

1.) How JPA, Spring Data JPA, Hibernate are working together internally in Spring Boot REST API? In a Spring Boot REST API application, JPA (Java Persistence API), Spring Data JPA, and Hibernate often work together to manage the interaction with a relational database. These technologies are part of the larger Spring Data ecosystem, and they play specific roles in the application. Let's break down how they work together internally: Hibernate: Hibernate is an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) framework. It provides a bridge between your Java domain model and a relational database. Hibernate maps Java objects to database tables and manages the object's lifecycle, such as creating, updating, and deleting records in the database.

JPA (Java Persistence API):

JPA is a specification that defines a set of APIs and standards for managing the persistence of data in Java applications. It doesn't provide an implementation itself but rather specifies a standard that ORM frameworks like Hibernate can follow. JPA defines a set of annotations and interfaces that Java developers can use to interact with databases.

Spring Data JPA:

Spring Data JPA is a part of the broader Spring Data project and builds on top of JPA. It simplifies data access and repository management by providing a higher-level, more abstract API for data access. Spring Data JPA reduces the amount of boilerplate code you need to write when working with JPA and Hibernate.

Now, let's explain how these components work together in a Spring Boot REST API:

Core Java Programming

Java Back-End Development

Entity Classes:

You define your entity classes in your application. These are Java classes that represent tables in your database. These classes are typically annotated with JPA annotations to specify their relationships, constraints, and mapping to the database schema.

Data Repositories:

Spring Data JPA provides repository interfaces that extend the JpaRepository interface. These interfaces are responsible for defining CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on your entities. You typically create custom repository interfaces by extending these interfaces and defining custom query methods using method naming conventions or @Query annotations.

Entity Manager:

Hibernate, which is the default JPA provider in Spring Boot, manages the Entity Manager. The Entity Manager is responsible for tracking and persisting changes to entities. When you save or update an entity using a repository method, the Entity Manager takes care of translating these changes into SQL statements and managing the underlying database connections.

Spring Boot Configuration:

Spring Boot simplifies the configuration of these components. You need to set up the database connection, including the datasource, and configure JPA properties in the or application.yml file. Spring Boot's auto-configuration also kicks in, configuring data source, transaction management, and JPA EntityManagerFactory.

Service Layer:

In your REST API application, you typically have service classes that use the data repositories to perform business logic and data operations. These services can interact with the repositories to fetch, modify, and persist data.

Controller Layer:

Controllers handle incoming HTTP requests and responses. They interact with the service layer to process requests and return responses. Controllers are responsible for mapping HTTP endpoints to specific service methods.

Spring Boot Application:

Your Spring Boot application ties everything together. It manages the application context, initializes the Spring Data JPA repositories, and handles the request-response cycle.

Core Java Programming

Java Back-End Development

2.) How Hibernate uses JPA Entity Manager to save entity into database with help of Spring Data JPA?

Hibernate is a popular Java ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) framework and, when used in conjunction with Spring Data JPA, it leverages JPA's Entity Manager to save entities into a database. Here's a step-by-step explanation of how Hibernate, JPA, and Spring Data JPA work together to save entities into a database:

Entity Class:

You create an entity class that represents a table in your database. This entity class is annotated with JPA annotations to define its mapping to the database schema.

Spring Data JPA Repository:

You create a Spring Data JPA repository interface for the entity. This interface extends JpaRepository or one of its subinterfaces provided by Spring Data JPA. The repository defines CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations for your entity.

Entity Manager Factory Configuration:

In your Spring Boot application, you configure the data source, JPA properties, and other related settings in the or application.yml file.

Example configuration for a H2 in-memory database with Hibernate and Spring Data JPA: spring.datasource.url=jdbc:h2:mem:testdb spring.datasource.driverClassName=org.h2.Driver spring.jpa.hibernate.ddl-auto=update

Spring Boot Application:

Your Spring Boot application uses the @SpringBootApplication annotation, which triggers Spring Boot's auto-configuration for various components, including JPA and data sources.

Injection of Repository:

In your service or controller classes, you inject the Spring Data JPA repository for your entity. This is often done using the @Autowired or @Resource annotations.


YourEntityRepository entityRepository;

Entity Creation or Modification:

Within your application logic, you create or modify instances of your entity class.

Entity Persistence:

To save an entity into the database, you call the appropriate method on the Spring Data JPA repository. The most common methods are save() or saveAndFlush(). These methods delegate to Hibernate, which in turn uses the JPA Entity Manager to manage the entity's persistence.

Example: YourEntity entity = new YourEntity();

entity.setName("Some Name");; // Saves the entity to the database

JPA Entity Manager and Hibernate:

When you call save(), Spring Data JPA delegates this operation to Hibernate, which, in turn, uses the JPA Entity Manager. Hibernate then takes over the process of persisting the entity into the database.

Persistence Context:

The JPA Entity Manager maintains a persistence context, which is a temporary workspace for managing entities and tracking their state.

SQL Statement Generation and Execution:

Hibernate generates the necessary SQL statements (e.g., INSERT) based on the entity's state and the mapping defined in your entity class. These SQL statements are executed through the JPA Entity Manager, which handles the database interactions.

Transaction Management:

The JPA Entity Manager typically operates within a transaction. If a transaction is not already started, one will be automatically created. After the entity has been saved, the transaction is committed, ensuring that the changes are persisted to the database.

Rollback on Exception:

If an exception occurs during the persistence process, the JPA Entity Manager will automatically roll back the transaction, maintaining the database's consistency.

In summary, Hibernate, when used with Spring Data JPA, leverages the JPA Entity Manager to manage the persistence of entities into a database. Spring Data JPA provides a convenient and high-level API for data access, while Hibernate handles the low-level details of generating and executing SQL statements, managing transactions, and interacting with the database, all in accordance with the JPA specification.

Core Java Programming

Java Back-End Development

3.) How Spring Data JPA provides a higher-level, more abstract way to work with JPA (Java Persistence API) ?

Spring Data JPA provides a higher-level, more abstract way to work with the Java Persistence API (JPA) by simplifying the data access and reducing the amount of boilerplate code required for typical database operations. Here are some key ways in which Spring Data JPA accomplishes this:

Repository Interface: Spring Data JPA introduces the concept of a repository interface, typically extending JpaRepository or one of its subinterfaces. These repository interfaces provide a set of pre-defined methods for common database operations, such as saving, updating, deleting, and querying entities. You don't need to write the actual SQL or JPQL (Java Persistence Query Language) queries; Spring Data JPA generates the queries for you. For example, consider a UserRepository interface: public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

List<User> findByLastName(String lastName);


In this interface, the findByLastName method generates a SQL query to retrieve users by their last name.

Method Naming Conventions:

Spring Data JPA uses method naming conventions to derive query methods from the method names defined in the repository interface. By following a specific naming pattern, you can express your query requirements. For example, the findByLastName method mentioned above generates a SELECT query with a WHERE clause to filter records by the specified last name.

Custom Query Methods:

You can define custom query methods in your repository interface using the @Query annotation. This allows you to write more complex queries in JPQL, SQL, or native SQL while still benefiting from the automatic generation of simpler queries. public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

@Query("SELECT u FROM User u WHERE u.age >= :minAge")

List<User> findUsersOlderThan(@Param("minAge") int minAge);


Pagination and Sorting:

Spring Data JPA supports pagination and sorting through method parameters or by using Page and Sort as return types. This makes it easy to retrieve a specific subset of data and order the results as needed.

Automatic Query Generation:

Spring Data JPA automatically generates SQL queries based on the method signatures, method names, and entity class metadata. This simplifies the development process and reduces the need for manually crafting queries.

Advanced Features:

Spring Data JPA provides support for additional features such as auditing, caching, custom data source routing, and more. These features are integrated into the repository interfaces, making them easy to use and configure.

Consistency with JPA Standards:

While Spring Data JPA simplifies data access, it remains consistent with the JPA standard. It doesn't replace JPA but builds on top of it. Developers can still use JPA features directly if needed.

In summary, Spring Data JPA abstracts and streamlines the data access layer by providing a repository-based approach with automatic query generation and common data access methods. It simplifies JPA usage and reduces the amount of repetitive, boilerplate code developers need to write, making database interactions more efficient and developer-friendly. This abstraction allows developers to focus on their application's business logic rather than the intricacies of data access.

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