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Running Hibernate unit tests with Maven

I recently converted a project I have been working on to use Maven. After setting up all the dependencies in the pom, I got everything compiling fine but ran into problems getting the unit tests to pick up the hibernate config (hibernate.cfg.xml) and hibernate mapping (*.hbm.xml) files. With hindsight, it is straightforward, but it took me a while to figure it out so I thought I’d post the solution here.

Initially, I had my hibernate.cfg.xml file in the following directory


And when I first tried to run my hibernate unit tests (mvn test), I got this error:

SessionFactory creation /hibernate.cfg.xml not found

Some checking of the maven docs and some forums revealed the following possible solutions:
1) Copy the hibernate.cfg.xml file to


This works, however I think it is a hack as the target folder is generated rather than being somewhere you should actually manually create files.
2) The next solution I found suggested moving the hibernate.cfg.xml to


This works well as the contents of this folder are copied to the base level of the my-app/target/classes folder so it is basically a ‘more correct’ solution than the first.
3) The next and I think best solution was to create a new, duplicate hibernate.cfg.xml inside


This allows a different hibernate.cfg.xml file to be used for testing and, for example, facilitates connecting to a different database (such as hsqldb) for testing while continuing to use your regular database (such as MySQL) for the app itself.

A couple of points to note:

1) The hibernate mapping files (i.e. the *.hbm.xml files) should also be in the resources folder (in whatever directory structure you choose) to ensure that these too are accessible by the unit tests.

2) I am not (yet) using Spring with the hibernate components, which would likely have changed the above setup.


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8 Responses to “Running Hibernate unit tests with Maven”

  1. David Cole |

    Could you give me your pom.xml?
    I have the hibernate.cfg.xml in the directory suggestedbut am getting a null pointer exception on
    Session session = (Session) entityManager.getDelegate();

    This occurrs in a stateless bean.
    entityManager is defined as a local variable with
    private EntityManager entityManager;

  2. admin |

    Hi David,
    I have emailed my pom to you, but it doesn’t sound like this is a pom or a maven issue. I assume the null pointer exception is being caused by the entityManager being null and if so, is it being injected and/or setup correctly?

    Good luck…


  3. javierlop |

    Thanks Shaun, It worked for me.

  4. Aaron |

    Thanks, your solution worked well!

  5. anjali |

    i have *.hbm.xml in config folder .this folder i have added into test-class/config like this ..but still i am getting same error…
    java.lang.RuntimeException: org.hibernate.HibernateException: Exception Occured while Building SessionFactory

    Pl. Advice.

  6. sabram |

    It’s been a while since I worked on this, but are the contents of test-class/config showing up in your target directory (i.e. where the .class files end up, e.g. /target or /classes)?
    Also, are you getting this error when running tests or running your app? Since the mapping files (*.hbm.xml) are usually required by both tests and app, they should be available to both (in my maven example, they should be in the resources folder rather than the test/resources folder).

    It would be good to hear if and how you get it working…


  7. Shaun Abram |

    As an update, Anjali reported that his problem was that he was missing some jar files (he didn’t say which ones unfortunately).

  8. camilo lopes |

    Hi Shaun,
    thanks for sharing this information, you saved my day, I was having the problem with it, and I got it fixed because of your post. Very good, I used third solution, its the best.

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