Hibernate get entity example – get vs load methods

Learn to get hibernate entity by id using either session.load() or session.get() method. Learn the difference between get vs load method to fetch entity by id from database.

1. Hibernate load entity – session.load()

Hibernate’s Session interface provides several overloaded load() methods for loading entities from the database. Each load() method requires the object’s primary key as an identifier, and it is mandatory to provide it.

In addition to the ID, hibernate also needs to know which class or entity name to use to find the object with that ID. After the load() method returns, we need to cast the returned object to suitable type of class to further use it. It’s all what load() method need from us to work it correctly.

1.1. Session load() method

Let’s look at different flavors of load() method available in hibernate session interface.

public Object load(Class theClass, Serializable id) throws HibernateException
public Object load(String entityName, Serializable id) throws HibernateException
public void load(Object object, Serializable id) throws HibernateException
  1. First method need the class type which you would like to load along with unique ID.
  2. Second method asks for entityName directly and unique ID. Both method return the populated entity object as return value which you will cast to desired type.
  3. Third takes an object as an argument. The object should be of the same class as the object you would like loaded, and it should be empty. Hibernate will populate that object with the object you requested.

The other load() methods available through hibernate session take a lock mode as an argument too. The lock mode specifies whether Hibernate should look into the cache for the object and which database lock level Hibernate should use for the row (or rows) of data that represent this object.

In official documentation, hibernate developers claim that Hibernate will usually pick the correct lock mode for us, although in some situations it is important to manually choose the correct lock.

We will discuss more about locks when we will be done with basic hibernate concepts.

1.2. Session load() method example

Let’s look at the examples of each load method in simplest form to be clear what we read above.

public class TestHibernate
   public static void main(String[] args)
      Session sessionOne = HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory().openSession();
      // Create new Employee object
      EmployeeEntity emp = new EmployeeEntity();
      //Save employee
      //store the employee id generated for future use
      Integer empId = emp.getEmployeeId();
      //Let's open a new session to test load() methods
      Session sessionTwo = HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory().openSession();
      //first load() method example
      EmployeeEntity emp1 = (EmployeeEntity) sessionTwo.load(EmployeeEntity.class, empId);
      System.out.println(emp1.getFirstName() + " - " +emp1.getLastName());
      //Let's verify the entity name
      Session sessionThree = HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory().openSession();
      //second load() method example
      EmployeeEntity emp2 = (EmployeeEntity) sessionThree.load("com.howtodoinjava.demo.entity.EmployeeEntity", empId);
      System.out.println(emp2.getFirstName() + " - " +emp2.getLastName());
      Session sessionFour = HibernateUtil.getSessionFactory().openSession();
      //third load() method example
      EmployeeEntity emp3 = new EmployeeEntity();
      sessionFour.load(emp3 , empId);
      System.out.println(emp3.getFirstName() + " - " +emp3.getLastName());

Program output.

Hibernate: insert into Employee (FIRST_NAME, LAST_NAME, ID) values (?, ?, ?)
Hibernate: select employeeen0_.ID as ID1_1_0_, employeeen0_.FIRST_NAME as FIRST_NA2_1_0_, 
			employeeen0_.LAST_NAME as LAST_NAM3_1_0_ 
			from Employee employeeen0_ where employeeen0_.ID=?

Lokesh - Gupta		//First load method

Hibernate: select employeeen0_.ID as ID1_1_0_, employeeen0_.FIRST_NAME as FIRST_NA2_1_0_, 
			employeeen0_.LAST_NAME as LAST_NAM3_1_0_ 
			from Employee employeeen0_ where employeeen0_.ID=?

Lokesh - Gupta		//Second load method

Hibernate: select employeeen0_.ID as ID1_1_0_, employeeen0_.FIRST_NAME as FIRST_NA2_1_0_, 
			employeeen0_.LAST_NAME as LAST_NAM3_1_0_ 
			from Employee employeeen0_ where employeeen0_.ID=?

Lokesh - Gupta		//Third load method

So we are able to load the entity from all three load methods successfully. Now move on to get() method.

2. Hibernate get entity by id – session.get()

The get() method is very much similar to load() method. The get() methods take an identifier and either an entity name or a class. There are also two get() methods that take a lock mode as an argument, but we will discuss lock modes later. The rest get() methods are as follows:

public Object get(Class clazz, Serializable id) throws HibernateException
public Object get(String entityName, Serializable id) throws HibernateException

There is not much difference in code while working with either load() or get() method, all you need is to replace the load() method with get() method in first two examples. There is no get() equivalent to last load() method.

You can modify above example and test the code. Let me know if you find any problem.

3. Difference between load() and get() methods

Why we have two method to do the same job. Actually this is frequently asked interview question as well.

The difference between get and load methods lies in return value when the identifier does not exist in database.

  1. In case of get() method, we will get return value as NULL if identifier is absent.
  2. But in case of load() method, we will get a runtime exception.

The exception in case of load method will look like this:

Exception in thread "main" org.hibernate.ObjectNotFoundException: No row with the given identifier exists: 
at org.hibernate.internal.SessionFactoryImpl$1$1.handleEntityNotFound(SessionFactoryImpl.java:253)
at org.hibernate.event.internal.DefaultLoadEventListener.load(DefaultLoadEventListener.java:219)
at org.hibernate.event.internal.DefaultLoadEventListener.proxyOrLoad(DefaultLoadEventListener.java:275)
at org.hibernate.event.internal.DefaultLoadEventListener.onLoad(DefaultLoadEventListener.java:151)
at org.hibernate.internal.SessionImpl.fireLoad(SessionImpl.java:1070)
	at org.hibernate.internal.SessionImpl.load(SessionImpl.java:940)

That’s all for this beginner level tutorial discussing loading hibernate entities.

Happy Learning !!

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11 thoughts on “Hibernate get entity example – get vs load methods”

  1. Hi Lokesh,
    Many online tutorials say “get() method always hits the db”.
    but i dont see in the console the query triggered again if use get() twice.
    how far is this statement true?

  2. short code | Stuatus | A(Sample2) | B(Sample2) | C(Sample2) | DSample2) | E (Sample2) | A(All Sample3) |
    11111 pending New New New New New New
    22222 under process New – New New –

    In the above Sample format it may helps for you (A,B,C under Sample1)(C,D are under Sample2),(A is the Sample3.The Sample3 have some status but here we are showing only on Carrier Staus that is the Default Status and some where i mentioned (‘-‘) that means the status we didn’t selected and observe for same alsi Sample3(‘-‘) but here i already select some status(b,c,d..) status except “A” But still it is showing the blank value.My question is inplace of bydefault status i want to display the status whatever we selected.I hope you understand.

  3. Hi,

    I created one report.In reports there are three samples.sample1,sample2,sample3.When I run the report it is generated the XML.In that XML it will display all the Sample reports Status’s.But my question is in Sample1,Sample2,Sample3 there are some carriers list with check boxes .For example assume in Sample3 have some Carrier status with the names of A,B,C and so on.. with check boxes.First Carrier Status is by default i.e (“A”) and it is coming from DB remaining all are optional. When I am selecting the first Carrier Status in the generated XML the Carrier status is showing properly which we are selected that is fine.But the problem is when I selected all the Carrier(“b”,”c”..so on) except first Carrier (“A”) in the XML it is not showing the selected Carrier Status..Can you please tell me how to resolve this.Here is the Sample code.here Sample3CarrierNameList is Sample3 list i.e(a,b,c..) ,carrier means single carrier name(“a”…)

    for (Object resultRow : returnList) {
    Object[] rowResultSet = (Object[]) resultRow;

    Map rowMap = new LinkedHashMap();

    // rowMap.put(“reqProvisioningId”, rowResultSet[0].toString());
    rowMap.put(“reqDescription”, rowResultSet[0].toString());
    rowMap.put(“reqShortCode”, (String) rowResultSet[1]);
    rowMap.put(“reqStatusText”, (String) rowResultSet[2]);
    rowMap.put(“reqAssignedToInternal”, (String) rowResultSet[3]);
    int index = 4;

    //CMP 1.2 Upgrade. Fix for “Carrier Status of Requests For Customer” report
    //not displaying all tier 3 carrier status when carrier’s are renamed.
    boolean isTier3Populated = false;
    for (String carrier : carrierNameList) {

    // Now add the first Sample 3 Carrier as a representative of all
    // other Carriers
    if (isSample3Populated == false
    && Sample3CarrierNameList.size() > 0
    && Sample3CarrierNameList.contains(carrier)) {
    (String) rowResultSet[index]);
    isTier3Populated = true;
    } else if (!Sample3CarrierNameList.contains(carrier)) { // Exclude all Tier 3 Carriers Except the First One
    rowMap.put(carrier, (String) rowResultSet[index]);



    logger.debug(“Carrier wise List:” + carrierWiseList);
    return carrierWiseList;


  4. Hi LOkesh, good tutorial, can you help with this little problem?
    I hava a CategoryDao class and it has a getCategory() method to fetch a Category by ID. (This method works)

    	public Category getById(int id) {
    		return (Category) sessionFactory.getCurrentSession().get(Category.class, id);

    And I need a same method to fetch a Category by its name, so I create a getByName() method but I have the following error:
    org.hibernate.TypeMismatchException: Provided id of the wrong type for class com.sedae.model.Category. Expected: class java.lang.Integer, got class java.lang.String.
    My method to fetch by name is as follow:

    	public Category getByName(String name) {
    		return (Category) sessionFactory.getCurrentSession().get(Category.class, name);

    Can you show me where is my error? Thanks in advance…

    • You can’t use any other attribute except primary key… Whether you wan’t to use another attribute you should have to use ‘HQL’.
      Also look at @naturalId…

      Something like

      sql query = “SELECT * FROM Category c where c.name= :name”

      and set the parameter like

      and get the result with getResultList or getSingleResult (if you are sure that query returns only one record)


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