Accepted answer

LINQ and QueryOver are completely different query methods, which are added to the ones that existed in NHibernate 2 (Criteria, HQL, SQL)

QueryOver is meant as a strongly-typed version of Criteria, and supports mostly the same constructs, which are NHibernate-specific.

LINQ is a "standard" query method, which means the client code can work on IQueryable without explicit references to NHibernate. It supports a different set of constructs; it would be hard to say if there are more or less than with QueryOver.

My suggestion is to learn all the supported query methods, as each use case is different and some work better with one, some work better with other.


I started to use NH-Linq, because i was already done with LinqToSql and Entity Framework. But, for more complex queries, i have always finished with QueryOver. Reasons:

  • It's happen that query with NH-Linq doesn't work as expected. I can't remember exactly, but it doesn't work correct with some complex queries. Seems that is too young. And as dlang stated in previous answer, it's produce unefficient SQL.
  • When you learn QueryOver, it's easy to call functions, do projections, subqueries, seems to me more easy then with NH-Linq.
  • Good thing for NH-Linq - it can be extended, like Fabio Maulo explained here. But, similar is quite possible with QueryOver, but not so fancy as with NH-Linq :)


LINQ to NHibernate (as of version 3.0) does not support the .HasValue property on Nullable types. One must compare to null in queries.


I have used both NH-Linq-providers (the old NHContrib for Version 2.1, and also the new for NH3.0) and also used QueryOver. With all the experience made during development of quite complex data-driven applications, I would strongly suggest NOT to use the existing linq-provider with nHibernate if you plan to go behind just basic CRUD-operations!

The current implementation (linq) sometimes produces really unreadable and also unefficient SQL. Especially joining some tables quickly becomes a nightmare if you want to optimize database-performance.

Despite all these drawbacks, I did never encounter wrong queries. So if you don't care about performance and are already familiar with LINQ, then go for NH-Linq. Otherwise QueryOver is your realiable and typesafe friend.

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