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Entity Framework Core vs Hibernate: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Entity Framework Core and Hibernate

Entity Framework Core and Hibernate are both popular Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) frameworks used for data access in .NET and Java applications respectively. While they serve a similar purpose, there are several key differences between them. Here are the top 6 differences:

  1. Language integration: Entity Framework Core is closely integrated with the C# language and is specifically designed for .NET applications. On the other hand, Hibernate is tightly integrated with the Java language and is primarily used in Java-based applications. This language integration influences the syntax and usage of these frameworks.

  2. Platform support: Entity Framework Core is designed to work with various database platforms, including SQL Server, MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL. It supports cross-platform development on Windows, Linux, and macOS. In contrast, Hibernate is mainly used with databases that adhere to the SQL standards, such as Oracle, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, and is typically used in Java applications running on different operating systems.

  3. Maturity and community support: Entity Framework Core is a relatively newer framework compared to Hibernate. Hibernate has been around for a longer time and has a large and active community. This results in a more mature and stable ecosystem with extensive documentation, tutorials, and third-party libraries. Entity Framework Core, while rapidly evolving and gaining popularity, may not have the same level of maturity and community support as Hibernate.

  4. Data querying: Entity Framework Core provides the LINQ (Language-Integrated Query) feature, which allows developers to write strongly-typed queries as part of their C# code. This provides compile-time checking and improves code readability and maintainability. Hibernate, on the other hand, uses HQL (Hibernate Query Language) or Criteria API for querying data. These querying mechanisms are specific to the Java language and may have a different syntax and behavior compared to LINQ.

  5. Database-first vs Code-first approach: Entity Framework Core supports both database-first and code-first approaches for designing your data models. Developers can either generate entity classes from an existing database schema or write the entity classes first and let the framework generate the database schema. Hibernate primarily follows a code-first approach, where the entity classes are created first, and the database schema is generated based on these classes.

  6. Configuration and mappings: Entity Framework Core allows for easy-to-use configuration using attributes, fluent API, or conventions. These mechanisms help in defining relationships, specifying constraints, and configuring various options. Hibernate, on the other hand, primarily uses XML or annotations for configuration and mappings. The choice between the two depends on personal preference and the comfort level with either approach.

In summary, Entity Framework Core and Hibernate differ in language integration, platform support, maturity and community support, data querying mechanisms, approach to database design, and configuration/mapping options. Understanding these key differences can help developers choose the most suitable ORM framework for their specific application needs.

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Pros of Entity Framework Core
Pros of Hibernate
  • 7
    Fits very well with Microsoft technologies
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
  • 1
    Multiple Database provider
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 22
    Easy ORM
  • 8
    Easy transaction definition
  • 3
    Is integrated with spring jpa

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Cons of Entity Framework Core
Cons of Hibernate
  • 1
  • 3
    Can't control proxy associations when entity graph used

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What is Entity Framework Core?

It is a lightweight, extensible, open source and cross-platform version of the popular Entity Framework data access technology. It can serve as an object-relational mapper (O/RM), enabling .NET developers to work with a database using .NET objects, and eliminating the need for most of the data-access code they usually need to write.

What is Hibernate?

Hibernate is a suite of open source projects around domain models. The flagship project is Hibernate ORM, the Object Relational Mapper.

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What are some alternatives to Entity Framework Core and Hibernate?
Entity Framework
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It is a mature, open source object-relational mapper for the .NET framework. It's actively developed, fully featured and used in thousands of successful projects.
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