Hibernate is an object-relational mapping (ORM) tool for Java that offers data queries and retrieval facilities along with a framework for mapping objects to a relational database. Spring is another robust framework for Java, providing infrastructure support for Java applications. Together, the most recent versions—Hibernate 5 and Spring Boot 2—can help developers produce high-performance Java apps with ease.
Of course, even with powerful frameworks like Hibernate and Spring in your stack, you must follow the best performance practices for Hibernate 5 and the best performance practices for Spring Boot 2. So, let's dive into some essential tips and tactics you'll want to implement when using them together.
Like many modern frameworks, Hibernate and Spring Boot can be deceptive when you first start working with them. Implementing them can seem easy until you begin dealing with increasingly complex requirements.
You'll soon realize that you need to understand more than the basics of both to achieve good performance in your app. With that in mind, here's a look at some key performance tuning tips for your Java app and explore the best performance practices for Spring Boot 2 and Hibernate.
The sooner you uncover a performance issue, the easier and less costly it will be to address it. However, it can be challenging to see performance issues when working with a small test system. If you don't use the correct protocols, you'll think you've created a great app—only to launch it into production and find that there are several inefficiencies at scale.
Even on a small test system, you can uncover potential performance issues using Hibernate Statistics. Set this feature up correctly, and Hibernate will collect various internal statistics for you with each session, allowing you to dig into the results and fix issues before they become big problems.
Unfortunately, slow queries are a common problem with any Java framework, but that doesn't mean you can dismiss them. One of the best performance practices for Spring Boot 2 is paying attention to the "small" performance problems because, in Java, the little things can add up to big problems.
Fixing slow queries can seem like a headache, but it's part of working with a Java app. Ultimately, you need to analyze and resolve the queries at both the SQL and database levels. A few other tips also come to mind regarding optimizing queries for performance.
For instance, many developers end up using the wrong FetchType, which can lead to a massive number of queries queuing up to load a given entity.
However, you can only define one FetchType for a given relationship, so you'll have to choose the best default option based on what you're working with. From there, be sure you use query-specific fetching and define eager fetching where necessary.
When working in Java, deleting and updating one entity at a time might feel natural, but it's highly inefficient. One of the best performance practices for Hibernate 5 is to be aware that a new SQL query will be generated for every updated or deleted entity, so it's best to use bulk operations to handle these statements for multiple records at one time.
The best way to do this is by using SQL or JPQL statements, or you can use the CriteriaUpdate and CriteriaDelete operations in JPA.
Speaking of operations, it's also better to leave heavy operations to the database. This can seem unnatural to a Java developer as it means some business logic will be moved away from the business tier and into the database, but leaving the database to handle heavy data operations is ideal for performance as it's pretty efficient at it.
Likewise, one of the best performance practices for Spring Boot 2 is familiarizing yourself with the tool enough so that you can optimize efficiently, even if it might contradict standard practice.
Reusability has become a somewhat overrated concept in development. Still, when it comes to your Java application, it's worth investing some time into caching so that user sessions don't end up reading the same data over and over again.
Rereading data creates unnecessary overhead that can bog down performance, so the better option is to cache data. Deciding what to cache is relatively straightforward: consider what data needs to be read frequently but isn't changed frequently.
Hibernate offers three different caching tools, and you can combine them to meet the best performance practices for Hibernate 5.
The first-level cache is activated by default and stores all entities from the current session. The second-level cache is session-independent and stores entities, but you need to activate it manually. Last, the query cache does not store entities but query results, and you also need to activate it manually.
Hibernate 5 and Spring Boot 2 are both excellent frameworks, but using them in tandem won't automatically help you produce a high-performance Java app. Achieving the best performance practices for Spring Boot 2 and Hibernate takes a concerted effort, no matter what frameworks you might be using.
At Adservio, we've helped countless companies improve performance using Hibernate and Spring Boot, along with numerous other leading frameworks, tools, and platforms.
If you're interested in learning more about how Adservio can help your organization boost performance, reach out to our team for more information.