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NHibernate 2.0 Reference Documentation

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First published by:
Fabio Maulo
on 08-31-2008
Last revision by:
Tobin Harris
on 02-07-2009
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NHibernate 2.0 Reference Documentation

View the NHibernate 2.0 Reference Manual (opens single HTML page in a new window)

Note that if you're new to NHibernate, the remainder of this article may provide an easier way to learn to understand NHibernate.


Working with object-oriented software and a relational database can be cumbersome and time consuming in today's enterprise environments. NHibernate is an object/relational mapping tool for .NET environments. The term object/relational mapping (ORM) refers to the technique of mapping a data representation from an object model to a relational data model with a SQL-based schema.

NHibernate not only takes care of the mapping from .NET classes to database tables (and from .NET data types to SQL data types), but also provides data query and retrieval facilities and can significantly reduce development time otherwise spent with manual data handling in SQL and ADO.NET.

NHibernate's goal is to relieve the developer from 95 percent of common data persistence related programming tasks. NHibernate may not be the best solution for data-centric applications that only use stored-procedures to implement the business logic in the database, it is most useful with object-oriented domain models and business logic in the .NET-based middle-tier. However, NHibernate can certainly help you to remove or encapsulate vendor-specific SQL code and will help with the common task of result set translation from a tabular representation to a graph of objects.

If you are new to NHibernate and Object/Relational Mapping or even .NET Framework, please follow these steps:

  1. Read Your first NHibernate based application for a 30 minutes tutorial.

  2. Read Architecture to understand the environments where NHibernate can be used.

  3. FAQs are answered on the NHibernate community blog.

If you have questions, use the NHibernate group. We also provide a JIRA issue trackings system for bug reports and feature requests. If you are interested in the development of NHibernate, join the developer mailing list.

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