If you work in a company that develops shared libraries, or if you work on an open-source or commercial library, you might want to develop your own auto-configuration. Auto-configuration classes can be bundled in external jars and still be picked-up by Spring Boot.
Auto-configuration can be associated to a "starter" that provides the auto-configuration code as well as the typical libraries that you would use with it. We will first cover what you need to know to build your own auto-configuration and we will move on to the typical steps required to create a custom starter.
A demo project is available to showcase how you can create a starter step by step.
Under the hood, auto-configuration is implemented with standard
@Conditional annotations are used to constrain when the auto-configuration
should apply. Usually auto-configuration classes use
@ConditionalOnMissingBean annotations. This ensures that auto-configuration only applies
when relevant classes are found and when you have not declared your own
Spring Boot checks for the presence of a
META-INF/spring.factories file within your
published jar. The file should list your configuration classes under the
org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.EnableAutoConfiguration=\ com.mycorp.libx.autoconfigure.LibXAutoConfiguration,\ com.mycorp.libx.autoconfigure.LibXWebAutoConfiguration
You can use the
annotations if your configuration needs to be applied in a specific order. For example, if
you provide web-specific configuration, your class may need to be applied after
If you want to order certain auto-configurations that shouldn’t have any direct
knowledge of each other, you can also use
@AutoconfigureOrder. That annotation has the
same semantic as the regular
@Order annotation but provides a dedicated order for
Auto-configurations have to be loaded that way only. Make sure that they are defined in a specific package space and that they are never the target of component scan in particular.
You almost always want to include one or more
@Conditional annotations on your
auto-configuration class. The
@ConditionalOnMissingBean is one common example that is
used to allow developers to ‘override’ auto-configuration if they are not happy with
Spring Boot includes a number of
@Conditional annotations that you can reuse in your own
code by annotating
@Configuration classes or individual
@ConditionalOnMissingClass annotations allows
configuration to be included based on the presence or absence of specific classes. Due to
the fact that annotation metadata is parsed using ASM you can
actually use the
value attribute to refer to the real class, even though that class
might not actually appear on the running application classpath. You can also use the
name attribute if you prefer to specify the class name using a
@ConditionalOnMissingBean annotations allow a bean
to be included based on the presence or absence of specific beans. You can use the
attribute to specify beans by type, or
name to specify beans by name. The
attribute allows you to limit the
ApplicationContext hierarchy that should be considered
when searching for beans.
You need to be very careful about the order that bean definitions are added as these
conditions are evaluated based on what has been processed so far. For this reason,
we recommend only using
@ConditionalOnProperty annotation allows configuration to be included based on a
Spring Environment property. Use the
name attributes to specify the
property that should be checked. By default any property that exists and is not equal to
false will be matched. You can also create more advanced checks using the
@ConditionalOnResource annotation allows configuration to be included only when a
specific resource is present. Resources can be specified using the usual Spring
conventions, for example,
allow configuration to be included depending on whether the application is a 'web
application'. A web application is any application that is using a Spring
WebApplicationContext, defines a
session scope or has a
@ConditionalOnExpression annotation allows configuration to be included based on the
result of a SpEL expression.
A full Spring Boot starter for a library may contain the following components:
autoconfiguremodule that contains the auto-configuration code.
startermodule that provides a dependency to the autoconfigure module as well as the library and any additional dependencies that are typically useful. In a nutshell, adding the starter should be enough to start using that library.
You may combine the auto-configuration code and the dependency management in a single module if you don’t need to separate those two concerns.
Please make sure to provide a proper namespace for your starter. Do not start your module
spring-boot, even if you are using a different Maven groupId. We may offer an
official support for the thing you’re auto-configuring in the future.
Here is a rule of thumb. Let’s assume that you are creating a starter for "acme", name the
acme-spring-boot-autoconfigure and the starter
acme-spring-boot-starter. If you only have one module combining the two, use
Besides, if your starter provides configuration keys, use a proper namespace for them. In
particular, do not include your keys in the namespaces that Spring Boot uses (e.g.
spring, etc). These are "ours" and we may improve/modify them
in the future in such a way it could break your things.
Make sure to
meta-data generation so that IDE assistance is available for your keys as well. You
may want to review the generated meta-data (
to make sure your keys are properly documented.
The autoconfigure module contains everything that is necessary to get started with the
library. It may also contain configuration keys definition (
and any callback interface that can be used to further customize how the components are
You should mark the dependencies to the library as optional so that you can include the autoconfigure module in your projects more easily. If you do it that way, the library won’t be provided and Spring Boot will back off by default.
The starter is an empty jar, really. Its only purpose is to provide the necessary dependencies to work with the library; see it as an opinionated view of what is required to get started.
Do not make assumptions about the project in which your starter is added. If the library you are auto-configuring typically requires other starters, mention them as well. Providing a proper set of default dependencies may be hard if the number of optional dependencies is high as you should avoid bringing unnecessary dependencies for a typical usage of the library.