This book assumes a good understanding of Java fundamentals and some familiarity with database programming using the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API. We don’t expect you to knowanything about Hibernate—but if you buy this book, it will probably be because you have some exposure to the painful process of building a large database-based system. All of our examples use open source software—primarily the Hibernate API itself—so you will not need to purchase any software to get started with Hibernate development. This book is not an academic text. Our focus is instead on providing extensive examples and taking a pragmatic approach to the technology that it covers. Totrue newcomers to the Hibernate API, we recommend that you read at least the first three chapters in order beforediving into the juicy subjects of later chapters.Very experienced developers or those with experience with tools similar to Hibernate will want to skim through the latter half of the book for interesting chapters.Readers familiar with Hibernate will want to turnto the appendixes for discussion of morearcane topics.