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It's good to understand the need for object/relational mapping (ORM) in Java applications, but you're probably eager to see Hibernate in action. We'll start by showing you a simple example that demonstrates some of its power.

As you're probably aware, it's traditional for a programming book to start with a "Hello World" example. In this chapter, we follow that tradition by introducing Hibernate with a relatively simple "Hello World" program. However, simply printing a message to a console window won't be enough to really demonstrate Hibernate. Instead, our program will store newly created objects in the database, update them, and perform queries to retrieve them from the database.

Hibernate applications define persistent classes that are "mapped" to database tables. Our "Hello World" example consists of one class and one mapping file. Let's see what a simple persistent class looks like, how the mapping is specified, and some of the things we can do with instances of the persistent class using Hibernate.

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