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Wake Up to iBATIS, the Hibernate Alternative for Spring

As great as Hibernate is, a lesser-known Java persistence solution called iBATIS actually may be a superior technology for your Spring development in certain situations. Find out which.


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ore and more developers seem to be realizing the wisdom of developing and deploying lightweight Java solutions that are simple and flexible without sacrificing scalability. One excellent framework for this type of work has made waves in the past three years, the Spring Framework. Among other things, Spring eases application development by providing a lightweight container that enables the wiring together of components and application objects through well-defined interfaces. Agility, integration, and simplicity are the driving forces behind the framework.

Currently, the vast majority of Spring documentation recommends using Hibernate to infuse your Spring application with a data-persistence layer. While Hibernate is certainly an excellent technology, it is not always the right choice. Fortunately, Spring empowers developers with the ability to easily switch between component technologies, and the persistence layer is no exception. This article explores a lesser-known Java persistence solution—iBATIS, describing the situations in which it shines and actually may be a superior technology to Hibernate for your Spring development.

What You Need
  • A JDK 1.4+ environment
  • A J2EE-compliant Web server (Tomcat, Resin, Jetty, etc.)
  • A working knowledge of Java/J2EE
  • A working knowledge of Spring and its various configuration parameters
  • A working knowledge of SQL
  • Experience with other persistence frameworks (Hibernate, EJB, JDO, etc.) is helpful but not necessary


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