If you are going to be continuously connected and using the database then redhat says to use fstab--if you are going to be communicating with the database and interacting with it sporadically use the autofs as it takes fewer resources--at the cost of higher latency on the first request. You can adjust how long the connection is inactive before it is dropped. I would still make it the last entry in fstab.
There are more options than soft or hard. The manual entries are clear, well written and brief.
Thanks for the question. I needed the review.