hibernate - createCriteria or createAlias?

If I want to search those students who take class "Math" and "John" is his group:

shoud I use createCriteria or createAlias?


Criteria criteria = session.createCriteria(Student.class);
Criteria subquery1 = criteria.createCriteria("courses", course).add(Restrictions.eq(course.name, "Math"));
Criteria subquery2 = criteria.createCriteria("group", student).add(Restrictions.eq(student.name, "John"));

how to put subquery1 and subquery2 together with initial criteria?


Criteria criteria = session.createCriteria(Student.class).
createAlias("courses", course).add(Restrictions.eq(course.name, "Math")).
createCriteria("group", student).add(Restrictions.eq(student.name, "John"));

When to use createCriteria and when createAlias? I think the boath are the same...


CreateAlias and CreateCriteria are identical in the current versions of Hibernate and NHibernate. The only difference being that CreateCriteria has 2 additional overloads without the alias parameter.

Presumably they were different in a older version, but any differences are long gone.

An alias can be defined in terms of another alias, so your first example can be written as:

// Java
Criteria criteria = session.createCriteria(Student.class)
    .createAlias("courses", "course")
    .createAlias("course.group", "student")
    .add(Restrictions.eq("course.name", "Math"))
    .add(Restrictions.eq("student.name", "John"));

// C#
ICriteria criteria = session.CreateCriteria<Student>()
    .CreateAlias("Courses", "course")
    .CreateAlias("course.Group", "student")
    .Add(Restrictions.Eq("course.Name", "Math"))
    .Add(Restrictions.Eq("student.Name", "John"));

Please refer to the following source code from the Hibernate

public Criteria createCriteria(String associationPath, String alias, int joinType) {
    return new Subcriteria( this, associationPath, alias, joinType );

public Criteria createAlias(String associationPath, String alias, int joinType) {
    new Subcriteria( this, associationPath, alias, joinType );
    return this;

Adding to xavierzhoa's answer:

There is actually quite a big difference between the two methods which will make a difference if you chain Criteria methods. You will continue to work on the original Criteria object when using createAlias, whereas you work on a more nested scope when using createCriteria.

Consider this:

    Criteria c = getSession()
      .createCriteria("someMember", "s")
      .add(Restrictions.eq("name", someArgument));  // checks YourEntity.someMember.name


    Criteria c = getSession()
      .createAlias("someMember", "s")
      .add(Restrictions.eq("name", someArgument));  // checks  YourEntity.name

However, if you always assign and use an alias you will be able to work around the difference. Like:

    Criteria c = getSession()
      .createCriteria(YourEntity.class, "y")
      .createAlias("someMember", "s")
      .add(Restrictions.eq("y.name", someArgument));  // no more confusion

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