How to return a custom class from Hibernate query

Hibernate is one of the most popular ORM frameworks in Java. Through Hibernate, developers deal with Java POJOs for doing CRUD operations on the database.

In order to return a Java POJO from a Hibernate query, you can simply run this HQL“FROM <ENTITY_CLASS>” which in turn returns an object of type <ENTITY_CLASS>.

This looks awesome and saves the developer from mapping the entities manually. However, in some scenarios, this would become a bit cumbersome and repetitive especially when you have many entities with the same attributes or even when you need to retrieve only some specific attributes from a very large entity.

1. Several Entities with common attributes

Suppose you have 3 lookup tables “PRIVACY”, “PRIORITY” and “DOCUMENT_TYPE” each holding 2 columns “ID” and “DESCRIPTION”.

Using “FROM < ENTITY_CLASS >” syntax, the developer must create a service method for every single entity in order to retrieve its data.

2. Custom class

In order to make it generic, we create a custom POJO named as GenericLookup which holds “id” and “description” fields as the following:

It’s worth to mention that the copy constructor is very important in this example as will be shown later in this tutorial.

3. Using a Constructor in HQL

After we create the custom class, we can simply create one service method for the 3 entities as the following:

As noticed we use the copy constructor of the GenericLookup class in the HQL and we pass the entity name dynamically through the method input. This way we implement a generic service method that populates a List< GenericLookup> by the entity name.

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Hussein Terek

Founder of, I have a passion in software engineering and everything related to java environment.

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