Core Spring – continued (2) – SpEL, Annotation based bean defs, Java-based configuration

Spring Expression Language (SpEL) introduced in Spring 3.0 introduces EL style language for referencing beans and properties, and gives a standard syntax for doing property replacement into beans.

Annotation based bean definition

  • component scan allows you to configure annotated beans – simplest approach, avoids xml:

Enabled with context:component-scan in xml file:

<context:component-scan base-package="your.package"/>
  • @Component – declares beans
  • @Autowired – bean of a matching type is automatically injected into contructor, method, or field
  • Only one constructor can be autowired, but multiple methods and attributes can be autowired
  • @Autowired properties don’t need setters
  • @Autowired methods don’t need to be setters, and don’t need to be named ‘set…()’
  • @Qualifier allows you to specify a specific bean id if matching beans by type is ambiguous

‘The spirit of autowiring is by type’ – use of the @Qualifier should be only if necessary, since it restricts the flexibility and power of the Autowiring.

Use of @Autowired implies @Required (don’t need to explicitly defined @Required if @Autowired)

Stereotype annotations

Also enabled via context:component-scan

  • @Service – indicates purpose in layering, but doesn’t add any additional behavior

Following stereotypes do add extra behavior:

  • @Repository – data access
  • @Controller – MVC controller
  • @Configuration – programmatic Spring configuration

Other Spring projects use similar annotation approach for adding additional stereotype based functionality.

JSR 330 CDI Annotation Support

  • Spring is a an implementation of JSR330
  • provides support for JSR330 standard @Named, @Inject, @Scope, @Singleton
  • Spring provides other Spring specific annotations not supported in JSR330 (@Value, @Required, @Lazy)

Bean configuration using Annotations & Java: @Configuration

  • Enabled with context:component-scan
  • @Configuration marks configuration clas
  • Use @Bean on method that provides instance of the bean
  • Method name is the id of the bean, eg participantService() – id = “participantService”
  • Java code can perform any initialization – you can invoke any other methods necessary to perform initialization
  • All @Bean annotated methods produce singletons by default – @Bean methods are proxied to add this behavior – this can be overridden with @Scope(“prototype”)
  • @Import allows to import other @Configuration classes
  • Alternate configuration: AnnotationConfigApplicationContext – instantiating this context allows a completely xml free configuration approach


Annotations vs XML based configuration

  • easier to make changes to annotated beans during development
  • could always move to xml config when beans become more mature, but no compelling reason to do this, could always just leave the annotations
  • xml config always overrides the annotation metadata

Spring JUnit Support
Integration testing support allows testing with Spring Bean dependencies

public class ExampleTest
    private ExampleService exampleService;

    public void eampleTest() { ... }

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