If you need to process large database result sets from Java you can opt for JDBC to give you the low level control required. On the other hand if you are already using an ORM in your application falling back to JDBC might imply some extra pain. You would be losing features such as optimistic locking, caching, automatic fetching when navigating the domain model and so forth. Fortunately most ORMs, like Hibernate, have some options to help you with that. While these techniques are not new, there are a couple of possibilities to choose from.