Jakarta Persistence Query Language

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Jakarta Persistence Query Language
Influenced by
SQL, Hibernate

The Jakarta Persistence Query Language (JPQL; formerly Java Persistence Query Language) is a platform-independent object-oriented query language[1]: 284, §12  defined as part of the Jakarta Persistence (JPA; formerly Java Persistence API) specification.

JPQL is used to make queries against entities stored in a relational database. It is heavily inspired by SQL, and its queries resemble SQL queries in syntax,[1]: 17, §1.3  but operate against JPA entity objects rather than directly with database tables.[1]: 26, §2.2.3 

In addition to retrieving objects (SELECT queries), JPQL supports set based UPDATE and DELETE queries.


Example JPA Classes, getters and setters omitted for simplicity.

public class Author {
    private Integer id;
    private String firstName;
    private String lastName;
    private List<Book> books;
public class Book {
    private Integer id;
    private String title;
    private String isbn;
    private Publisher publisher;
    private List<Author> authors;
public class Publisher {
    private Integer id;
    private String name;
    private String address;
    @OneToMany(mappedBy = "publisher")
    private List<Book> books;

Then a simple query to retrieve the list of all authors, ordered alphabetically, would be:

SELECT a FROM Author a ORDER BY a.firstName, a.lastName

To retrieve the list of authors that have ever been published by XYZ Press:

SELECT DISTINCT a FROM Author a INNER JOIN a.books b WHERE b.publisher.name = 'XYZ Press'

JPQL supports named parameters, which begin with the colon (:). We could write a function returning a list of authors with the given last name as follows:

import javax.persistence.EntityManager;
import javax.persistence.TypedQuery;


public List<Author> getAuthorsByLastName(String lastName) {
    String queryString = "SELECT a FROM Author a " +
                         "WHERE a.lastName IS NULL OR LOWER(a.lastName) = LOWER(:lastName)";

    TypedQuery<Author> query = getEntityManager().createQuery(queryString, Author.class);
    query.setParameter("lastName", lastName);
    return query.getResultList();

Hibernate Query Language[edit]

JPQL is based on the Hibernate Query Language (HQL), an earlier non-standard query language included in the Hibernate object-relational mapping library.

Hibernate and the HQL were created before the JPA specification. As of Hibernate 3 JPQL is a subset of HQL.



  • Bauer, Christian; King, Gavin; Gregory, Gary (2016), Java Persistence with Hibernate (Second ed.), Manning Publications, ISBN 978-1617290459

See also[edit]

External links[edit]