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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Spring DI – Constructor Argument Resolution

In this tutorial we are going to see about Spring Constructor based Dependency Injection argument resolutions with example program.
Constructor argument resolution matching occurs using the argument's type. If no potential ambiguity exists in the constructor arguments of a bean definition, then the order in which the constructor arguments are defined in a bean definition is the order in which those arguments are supplied to the appropriate constructor when the bean is being instantiated. Consider the following class:
package x.y;

public class Foo {

public Foo(Bar bar, Baz baz) {
// ...
}
}

No potential ambiguity exists, assuming that Bar and Baz classes are not related by inheritance. Thus the following configuration works fine, and you do not need to specify the constructor argument indexes and/or types explicitly in the <constructor-arg/> element.

<beans>
<bean id="foo" class="x.y.Foo">
<constructor-arg ref="bar"/>
<constructor-arg ref="baz"/>
</bean>

<bean id="bar" class="x.y.Bar"/>
<bean id="baz" class="x.y.Baz"/>

</beans>

When another bean is referenced, the type is known, and matching can occur (as was the case with the preceding example). When a simple type is used, such as <value>true<value>, Spring cannot determine the type of the value, and so cannot match by type without help. Consider the following class:

package examples;

public class ExampleBean {

// No. of years to the calculate the Ultimate Answer
private int years;

// The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything
private String ultimateAnswer;

public ExampleBean(int years, String ultimateAnswer) {
this.years = years;
this.ultimateAnswer = ultimateAnswer;
}
}

Constructor argument type matching
In the preceding scenario, the container can use type matching with simple types if you explicitly specify the type of the constructor argument using the type attribute. For example:

<bean id="exampleBean" class="examples.ExampleBean">
<constructor-arg type="int" value="7500000"/>
<constructor-arg type="java.lang.String" value="42"/>
</bean>

Constructor argument index

Use the index attribute to specify explicitly the index of constructor arguments. For example:

<bean id="exampleBean" class="examples.ExampleBean">
<constructor-arg index="0" value="7500000"/>
<constructor-arg index="1" value="42"/>
</bean>

In addition to resolving the ambiguity of multiple simple values, specifying an index resolves ambiguity where a constructor has two arguments of the same type. Note that the index is 0 based.

Constructor argument name
As of Spring 3.0 you can also use the constructor parameter name for value disambiguation:

<bean id="exampleBean" class="examples.ExampleBean">
<constructor-arg name="years" value="7500000"/>
<constructor-arg name="ultimateanswer" value="42"/>
</bean>

Keep in mind that to make this work out of the box your code must be compiled with the debug flag enabled so that Spring can look up the parameter name from the constructor. If you can't compile your code with debug flag (or don't want to) you can use @ConstructorProperties JDK annotation to explicitly name your constructor arguments. The sample class would then have to look as follows:

package examples;

public class ExampleBean {

// Fields omitted

@ConstructorProperties({"years", "ultimateAnswer"})
public ExampleBean(int years, String ultimateAnswer) {
this.years = years;
this.ultimateAnswer = ultimateAnswer;
}
}
Annamalai Thangaraj

Annamalai is working as Technical Lead in Leading Telecom company with 5+ years experience in Identity and Access Management , Telecom and Networks, BigData, Java, Spring, Struts, Hibernate, AngularJS, and Enterprise Web Application Development.

Website: Java Tutorials Corner

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Item Reviewed: Spring DI – Constructor Argument Resolution Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Annamalai Thangaraj