The JDBC API has a class called PreparedStatement which allows the programmer to safely insert user-supplied data into a SQL query. The location of each input value in the query string is marked with a question mark. The various set*() methods are then used to safely perform the insertion.

String name = //user input
int age = //user input
Connection connection = DriverManager.getConnection(...);
PreparedStatement statement = connection.prepareStatement(
        "SELECT * FROM people WHERE lastName = ? AND age > ?" );
statement.setString(1, name); //lastName is a VARCHAR
statement.setInt(2, age); //age is an INT
ResultSet rs = statement.executeQuery();
while ({

Once a PreparedStatement object has been created, it can be reused multiple times for multiple queries (for example, when using the same query to update multiple rows in a table). However, they are not thread-safe because of the many method calls involved in setting the parameters and executing the query. Therefore, you should only define PreparedStatement objects as method-level variables (as opposed to class-level variables) to avoid concurrency issues.

List<Person>; people = //user input
Connection connection = DriverManager.getConnection(...);
try {
    PreparedStatement statement = connection.prepareStatement(
            "UPDATE people SET lastName = ?, age = ? WHERE id = ?");
    for (Person person : people){
        statement.setString(1, person.getLastName());
        statement.setInt(2, person.getAge());
        statement.setInt(3, person.getId());
} catch (SQLException e) {

More information on PreparedStatement can be found in the Oracle JDBC tutorial.


JPA, the Java Persistence API, provides support for parameterized queries for native SQL:

EntityManager em = getEntityManager();
Query query = em.createNativeQuery("SELECT E.* from EMP E, ADDRESS A WHERE E.EMP_ID = A.EMP_ID AND A.CITY = ?", Employee.class);
query.setParameter(1, "Ottawa");
List<Employee> employees = query.getResultList();

-- Java Persistence Wikibook

Only a plain ? is supported for positional parameters, with the first parameter being 1 (not 0).

In addition to native queries, JPA provides its own Java Persistence Query Language (JPQL):

public List findWithName(String name) {
return em.createQuery(
    "SELECT c FROM Customer c WHERE LIKE :custName")
    .setParameter("custName", name)

-- The Java EE Tutorial: 39.2 Creating Queries Using the Java Persistence Query Language

Named parameters (starting with a colon, like :custName above) as well as positional parameters (with a question mark followed by a number, like ?1) are supported for JPQL.


Hibernate uses named parameters to safely insert data into a query. A named parameter consists of a colon, followed by a unique name for the parameter.

String name = //user input
int age = //user input
Session session = //...
Query query = session.createQuery("from People where lastName = :name and age > :age");
query.setString("name", name);
query.setInteger("age", age);
Iterator people = query.iterate();

Hibernate also supports positional parameters like PreparedStatement, but named parameters are generally preferred because they make the query a little easier to read.

See the Hibernate Manual for more information on named parameters.


MyBatis is a database framework that hides a lot of the JDBC code from the developer, allowing him or her to focus on writing SQL. The SQL statements are typically stored in XML files.

MyBatis automatically creates PreparedStatements behind the scenes. Nothing extra needs to be done by the programmer.

To give you some context, here's an example showing how a basic query is called with MyBatis. The input data is passed into the PeopleMapper instance and then it gets inserted into the "selectPeopleByNameAndAge" query.

XML mapping document

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<!DOCTYPE mapper
PUBLIC "-// Mapper 3.0//EN"
<mapper namespace="com.bobbytables.mybatis.PeopleMapper">
<select id="selectPeopleByNameAndAge" resultType="list">
    <!-- lastName and age are automatically sanitized --->
    SELECT * FROM people WHERE lastName = #{lastName} AND age > #{age}

Mapper class

public interface PeopleMapper {
    List<Person> selectPeopleByNameAndAge(@Param("lastName") String name, @Param("age") int age);

Invoking the query

String name = //user input
int age = //user input
SqlSessionFactory sqlMapper = //...
SqlSession session = sqlMapper.openSession();
try {
    PeopleMapper mapper = session.getMapper(PeopleMapper.class);
    List<Person> people = mapper.selectPeopleByNameAndAge(name, age); //data is automatically sanitized
    for (Person person : people) {
} finally {