ORM – like we’ve always said

Brian Oliver’s post (http://brianoliver.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/terracotta-chooses-oracle-technology-for-high-availability-and-performance – now removed for some reason) about Terracota has reminded that I meant to blog about this product last week.

It’s a long established behaviour that we database specialists do not have the fondest of spots for ORM tools such as Hibernate, the inefficient way in which they deal with the database and the horrendous SQL that they sometimes generate. (Some of my previous can be found here)

Last week I came across this article, encouragingly ;-) titled “Hibernate without Database Bottlenecks”.

The fact that products such as Terracotta exist and are becoming more popular is finally sort of proof of what we’ve always said – that the row-by-row processing of Hibernate doesn’t work very well in the database (where it’s important to be thinking in sets).

‘Nuff said.

P.S. If that article requires registration, then to summarise:


One of the most prevalent application architectures today is that of a stateless application that maps object data into the database to be stored in relational format, and Hibernate is the most popular way to perform this object-relational mapping. Applications are designed this way for two reasons. First, scalability at the database server is a known and tunable quantity. Second, availability of the database is much closer to “five nines” than that of the application server. Despite these reasons, the burden that shared Java state places on the database and on the application developer is very high. While Hibernate lessens the developer’s workload in having to interface to a database, Terracotta lessens Hibernate’s need to depend on the database for availability and scalability in the first place. The marriage of Terracotta and Hibernate simplifies application development and greatly improves application performance.

To cut a long story short, there’s an in-memory database for Hibernate to hammer instead. Can people seriously think that that is the solution?

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