Spring @Component, @Repository, @Service – onlinetutorials.tech

Spring – Stereotype annotations

In spring autowiring, @Autowired annotation handles only wiring part. We still have to define the beans so the container is aware of them and can inject them for us.

With @Component@Repository@Service and @Controller annotations in place and automatic component scanning enabled, Spring will automatically import the beans into the container and inject to dependencies. These annotations are called Stereotype annotations as well.

Before jumping to example use of these annotations, let’s learn quick facts about these annotations which will help us in making a better decision about when to use which annotation.

1. Spring bean stereotype annotations

1.1. @Component annotation

The @Component annotation marks a java class as a bean so the component-scanning mechanism of spring can pick it up and pull it into the application context. To use this annotation, apply it over class as below:

public class EmployeeDAOImpl implements EmployeeDAO {

1.2. @Repository annotation

Although above use of @Component is good enough but we can use more suitable annotation that provides additional benefits specifically for DAOs i.e. @Repository annotation. The @Repository annotation is a specialization of the @Component annotation with similar use and functionality. In addition to importing the DAOs into the DI container, it also makes the unchecked exceptions (thrown from DAO methods) eligible for translation into Spring DataAccessException.

1.3. @Service annotation

The @Service annotation is also a specialization of the component annotation. It doesn’t currently provide any additional behavior over the @Component annotation, but it’s a good idea to use @Service over @Component in service-layer classes because it specifies intent better. Additionally, tool support and additional behavior might rely on it in the future.

1.4. @Controller annotation

@Controller annotation marks a class as a Spring Web MVC controller. It too is a @Component specialization, so beans marked with it are automatically imported into the DI container. When we add the @Controller annotation to a class, we can use another annotation i.e. @RequestMappingto map URLs to instance methods of a class.

2. Using @Component, @Repository, @Service and @Controller annotations

As I already said that you use @Repository@Service and @Controller annotations over DAO, manager and controller classes. But in real life, at DAO and manager layer we often have separate classes and interfaces. Interface for defining the contract, and classes for defining the implementations of contracts.

Where to use these annotations? Let’s find out.

public interface EmployeeDAO
public class EmployeeDAOImpl implements EmployeeDAO

Once you have these stereotype annotations on beans, you can directly use bean references defined inside concrete classes. Note the references are of type interfaces. Spring DI container is smart enough to inject the correct instance in this case.

3. Difference between @Component and @Bean annotations

In Spring, both annotations are quite different.

@Component used to auto-detect and auto-configure beans using classpath scanning. There’s an implicit one-to-one mapping between the annotated class and the bean (i.e. one bean per class).

@Bean is used to explicitly declare a single bean, rather than letting Spring do it automatically for us.

Another big difference is that @Component is a class level annotation where as @Bean is a method level annotation and ,by default, name of the method serves as the bean name.


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