36. Developing auto-configuration and using conditions

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.

36.1 Understanding auto-configured beans

Under the hood, auto-configuration is implemented with standard @Configuration classes. Additional @Conditional annotations are used to constrain when the auto-configuration should apply. Usually auto-configuration classes use @ConditionalOnClass and @ConditionalOnMissingBean annotations. This ensures that auto-configuration only applies when relevant classes are found and when you have not declared your own @Configuration.

You can browse the source code of spring-boot-autoconfigure to see the @Configuration classes that we provide (see the META-INF/spring.factories file).

36.2 Locating auto-configuration candidates

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 EnableAutoConfiguration key.


You can use the @AutoConfigureAfter or @AutoConfigureBefore 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 WebMvcAutoConfiguration.

36.3 Condition annotations

You almost always want to include one or more @Condition 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 your defaults.

Spring Boot includes a number of @Conditional annotations that you can reuse in your own code by annotating @Configuration classes or individual @Bean methods.

36.3.1 Class conditions

The @ConditionalOnClass and @ConditionalOnMissingClass annotations allows configuration to be skipped 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 String value.

36.3.2 Bean conditions

The @ConditionalOnBean and @ConditionalOnMissingBean annotations allow configurations to be skipped based on the presence or absence of specific beans. You can use the value attribute to specify beans by type, or name to specify beans by name. The search attribute allows you to limit the ApplicationContext hierarchy that should be considered when searching for beans.


@Conditional annotations are processed when @Configuration classes are parsed. Auto-configure @Configuration is always parsed last (after any user defined beans), however, if you are using these annotations on regular @Configuration classes, care must be taken not to refer to bean definitions that have not yet been created.

36.3.3 Property conditions

The @ConditionalOnProperty annotation allows configuration to be included based on a Spring Environment property. Use the prefix and 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 havingValue and matchIfMissing attributes.

36.3.4 Resource conditions

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, file:/home/user/test.dat.

36.3.5 Web Application Conditions

The @ConditionalOnWebApplication and @ConditionalOnNotWebApplication annotations allow configuration to be skipped 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 StandardServletEnvironment.

36.3.6 SpEL expression conditions

The @ConditionalOnExpression annotation allows configuration to be skipped based on the result of a SpEL expression.