1. Spring Cloud Task Starters

This section goes into more detail about how you can work with Spring Cloud Task Starters as standalone applications or with Spring Cloud Data Flow. It assumes familiarity with general Spring Cloud Task concepts, which can be found in the Spring Cloud Task reference documentation.

1.1 Introduction

Spring Cloud Task Application Starters provide you with predefined Spring Cloud Task applications that you can run independently or with Spring Cloud Data Flow. You can also use the starters as a basis for creating your own applications. They include commonly used tasks that can run as is or be modified to your needs.

1.2 Starters and pre-built applications

As a user of Spring Cloud Task Application Starters you have access to two types of artifacts.

Starters are libraries that contain the complete configuration of a Spring Cloud Task application with a specific role (e.g. an JDBC HDFS that migrates data from a JDBC Repository via sql query to a file on hdfs). Starters are not executable applications, and are intended to be included in other Spring Boot applications.

Prebuilt applications are Spring Boot applications that include the starters. Prebuilt applications are uberjars and include minimal code required to execute standalone.


Only starters are present in the source code of the project. Prebuilt applications are generated according to the Maven plugin configuration.

1.2.1 Maven and Docker accesss

Starters are available as Maven artifacts in the Spring repositories. You can add them as dependencies to your application, as follows:


From this, you can infer the coordinates for other starters found in this guide. While the version may vary, the group will always remain org.springframework.cloud.task.app and the artifact id follows the naming convention spring-cloud-starter-task-<functionality>.

Prebuilt applications are available as Maven artifacts too. It is not encouraged to use them directly as dependencies, as starters should be used instead. Following the typical Maven <group>:<artifactId>:<version> convention, they can be referenced for example as:


Just as with the starters, you can infer the coordinates for other prebuilt applications found in the guide. The group will be always org.springframework.cloud.task.app. The version may vary. The artifact id follows the format <functionality>-task.


The Docker versions of the applications are available in Docker Hub, at hub.docker.com/r/springcloudtask/. Naming and versioning follows the same general conventions as Maven, e.g.

docker pull springcloudtask/timestamp-task will pull the latest Docker image of the timestamp task.

1.2.2 Building the artifacts

You can also build the project and generate the artifacts (including the prebuilt applications) on your own. This is useful if you want to deploy the artifacts locally, for example for adding a new starter.

First, you need to generate the prebuilt applications. There is a maven profile available do do this.

./mvnw clean install -PgenerateApps

Then build the applications:

cd apps

mvn clean install

Each of the generated applications will contain:

  • pom.xml file with the required dependencies
  • a class that contains the main method of the application and imports the predefined configuration
  • generated integration test code that exercises the component.

1.3 Creating custom artifacts

In this section we will describe how to create your own application.

1.3.1 Creating your own applications

Spring Cloud Task Application Starters consist of regular Spring Cloud Task applications with some additional conventions that facilitate generating prebuilt applications. Sometimes, your solution may require additional applications that are not in the scope of Spring Cloud Task Application Starters, or require additional tweaks and enhancements. In this section we will show you how to create custom applications that can be part of your solution, along with Spring Cloud Task application starters. You have the following options:

  • create new Spring Cloud Task applications;
  • use the starters to create customized versions;

Using generic Spring Cloud Task applications

If you want to add your own custom applications to your solution, you can simply create a new Spring Cloud Task project and run it the same way as the applications provided by Spring Cloud Task Application Starters, independently or via Spring Cloud Data Flow. The process is described in the Getting Started Guide of Spring Cloud Task.

Using the starters to create custom components

You can also reuse the starters provided by Spring Cloud Task Application Starters to create custom components, enriching the behavior of the application. For example, you can add a special behavior to your jdbc hdfs task, to do some post processing following the migration of the data. As a reminder, this involves:

  • adding the starter to your project for example:
  <!- other dependencies -->
  • adding the main class and importing the starter configuration for example:
package org.springframework.cloud.task.app.timestamp;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Import;

public class TimestampTaskApplication {

        public static void main(String[] args) {
                SpringApplication.run(TimestampTaskApplication.class, args);

After doing so, you can simply add the additional configuration for the extra features of your application.

1.4 Contributing Task Application Starters

In this section, we will explain how to develop a custom task application and then generate maven and docker artifacts for it using the existing tooling provided by the spring cloud task app starter infrastructure. For explanation purposes, we will assume that we are creating a new task application for a technology named foobar.

  • Create a new top level module named spring-cloud-starter-task-foobar (preferably in a new empty directory)

Have this module inherit from the task-app-starters-build in the official spring cloud task app starters.

Please look into the existing starters for how to design and structure a new one. Ensure that you name the main @Configuration class of your starter as FoobarTaskConfiguration as this is the default convention used by the app generation later. The default package for the class with @Configuration is org.springfamework.cloud.task.app.foobar. If you have a different class/package name, see below for how to override that in the app generator. The technology name for which the app starter is created can be a hyphenated stream of strings such as in spark-client This starter module for this needs to be spring-cloud-starter-task-spark-client.

The starters in spring-cloud-task-app-starters are slightly different from the other starters in spring-boot and spring-cloud in that here we don’t provide a way to auto configure any configuration through spring factories mechanism. Rather, we delegate this responsibility to the maven plugin that is generating the binder based apps. Therefore, you don’t have to provide a spring.factories file that lists all your configuration classes.

  • Add the new foobar task starter module to the root pom.xml
  • You need to add the new starter dependency to a bill of material (BOM) called foobar-task-app-dependencies in the dependency management section. For example,
  • Please ensure that the bom inherits from task-app-starters-core-dependencies
  • Add the BOM to the root pom.xml
  • Please add the following xml snippet to the pom.xml file of spring-cloud-starter-task-foobar.

More information about the maven plugin used above can be found here: github.com/spring-cloud/spring-cloud-stream-app-maven-plugin

If you did not follow the default convention expected by the plugin of where it is looking for the main configuration class, which is org.springfamework.cloud.task.app.foobar.FoobarTaskConfiguration, you can override that in the configuration for the plugin. For example, if your main configuration class is foo.bar.SpecialFooBarTaskConfiguration.class, this is how you can tell the plugin to override the default.

  • At this point, you can build the project and generate the apps.

mvn clean install -PgenerateApps

This will generate the foobar task app in a directory named apps at the root of the project. If you want to change the location where the apps are generated, for instance /tmp/task-apps, you can do it in the configuration section of the plugin.


If you have an artifact that is only available through a private internal maven repository (may be an enterprise wide Nexus repo that you use globally across teams), and you need that for your app, you can define that as part of the maven plugin configuration.

For example,


Then you can define this as part of your app tag:

        <private-internal-nexus />
  • cd into the directory where you generated the apps (apps at the root of the repository by default, unless you changed it elsewhere as described above).

Here you will see foobar-task along with all the other out of the box apps that is generated.

If you only care about the foobar-task apps and nothing else, you can cd into that directory and import it directly into your IDE of choice. Each of them is a self contained spring boot application project. For all the generated apps, the parent is spring-boot-starter-parent as is required by Spring Initializr, the library used under the hood to generate the apps.

You can cd into these custom foobar-task directories and do the following to build the apps:

cd foobar-task

mvn clean install

This would install the foobar-task into your local maven cache (~/.m2 by default).

The app generation phase adds an integration test to the app project that ensures all the spring components and contexts are loaded properly. However, these tests are not run by default when you do a mvn install. You can force the running of these tests by doing the following:

mvn clean install -DskipTests=false

  • Now that you built the applications, they are available under the target directories of the respective apps and also as maven artifacts in your local maven repository. Go to the target directory and run the following:

java -jar foobar-task.jar

It should start the application up.

  • The generated apps also support the creation of docker images. You can cd into one of the foobar-task app and do the following:

mvn clean package docker:build

This creates the docker image under the target/docker/springcloudtask directory. Please ensure that the Docker container is up and running and DOCKER_HOST environment variable is properly set before you try docker:build.

All the generated apps from the repository are uploaded to Docker Hub

However, for a custom app that you build, this won’t be uploaded to docker hub under springcloudtask repository. If you think that there is a general need for this app, you should contribute this starter to the main repository and upon review, this app then can be uploaded to the above location in docker hub.

If you still need to push this to docker hub under a different repository you can take the following steps.

Go to the pom.xml of the generated app [ example - foobar-task/pom.xml] Search for springcloudtask. Replace with your repository name.

Then do this:

mvn clean package docker:build docker:push -Ddocker.username=[provide your username] -Ddocker.password=[provide password]

This would upload the docker image to the docker hub in your custom repository.