Hibernate is an Object-Relational Mapping(ORM) solution for JAVA and it raised as an open source persistent framework created by Gavin King in 2001. It is a powerful, high performance Object-Relational Persistence and Query service for any Java Application. 
Hibernate maps Java classes to database tables and from Java data types to SQL data types and relieve the developer from 95% of common data persistence related programming tasks. 
Hibernate sits between traditional Java objects and database server to handle all the work in persisting those objects based on the appropriate O/R mechanisms and patterns.


Hibernate Advantages:

Hibernate takes care of mapping Java classes to database tables using XML files and without writing any line of code.

Provides simple APIs for storing and retrieving Java objects directly to and from the database.

If there is change in Database or in any table then the only need to change XML file properties.

Abstract away the unfamiliar SQL types and provide us to work around familiar Java Objects.
Hibernate does not require an application server to operate.

Manipulates Complex associations of objects of your database.
Minimize database access with smart fetching strategies.

Hibernate Environment Setup:
This chapter will explain how to install Hibernate and other associated packages to prepare a develop environment for the Hibernate applications. We will work with MySQL database to experiment with Hibernate examples, so make sure you already have setup for MySQL database. For a more detail on MySQL you can check our MySQL Tutorial.

Downloading Hibernate:
It is assumed that you already have latest version of Java is installed on your machine. Following are the simple steps to download and install Hibernate on your machine.

1. Make a choice whether you want to install Hibernate on Windows, or Unix and then proceed to the next step to download .zip file for windows and .tz file for Unix.

2. Download the latest version of Hibernate from http://www.hibernate.org/downloads.

3. At the time of writing this tutorial I downloaded hibernate-distribution-3.6.4.Final and when you unzip the downloaded file it will give you directory structure as follows.


Installing Hibernate:
Once you downloaded and unzipped the latest version of the Hibernate Installation file, you need to perform following two simple steps. Make sure you are setting your CLASSPATH variable properly otherwise you will face problem while compiling your application.

-> Now copy all the library files from /lib into your CLASSPATH, and change your classpath variable to include all the JARs:

Finally copy hibernate3.jar file into your CLASSPATH. This file lies in the root directory of the installation and is the primary JAR that Hibernate needs to do its work.