Spring Data Extensions

This section documents a set of Spring Data extensions that enable Spring Data usage in a variety of contexts. Currently, most of the integration is targeted towards Spring MVC.

Querydsl Extension

Querydsl is a framework that enables the construction of statically typed SQL-like queries through its fluent API.

Several Spring Data modules offer integration with Querydsl through QuerydslPredicateExecutor, as the following example shows:

QuerydslPredicateExecutor interface
public interface QuerydslPredicateExecutor<T> {

  Optional<T> findById(Predicate predicate);  (1)

  Iterable<T> findAll(Predicate predicate);   (2)

  long count(Predicate predicate);            (3)

  boolean exists(Predicate predicate);        (4)

  // … more functionality omitted.
1 Finds and returns a single entity matching the Predicate.
2 Finds and returns all entities matching the Predicate.
3 Returns the number of entities matching the Predicate.
4 Returns whether an entity that matches the Predicate exists.

To use the Querydsl support, extend QuerydslPredicateExecutor on your repository interface, as the following example shows:

Querydsl integration on repositories
interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Long>, QuerydslPredicateExecutor<User> {

The preceding example lets you write type-safe queries by using Querydsl Predicate instances, as the following example shows:

Predicate predicate = user.firstname.equalsIgnoreCase("dave")


Web support

Spring Data modules that support the repository programming model ship with a variety of web support. The web related components require Spring MVC JARs to be on the classpath. Some of them even provide integration with Spring HATEOAS. In general, the integration support is enabled by using the @EnableSpringDataWebSupport annotation in your JavaConfig configuration class, as the following example shows:

Enabling Spring Data web support
  • Java

  • XML

class WebConfiguration {}
<bean class="org.springframework.data.web.config.SpringDataWebConfiguration" />

<!-- If you use Spring HATEOAS, register this one *instead* of the former -->
<bean class="org.springframework.data.web.config.HateoasAwareSpringDataWebConfiguration" />

The @EnableSpringDataWebSupport annotation registers a few components. We discuss those later in this section. It also detects Spring HATEOAS on the classpath and registers integration components (if present) for it as well.

Basic Web Support

Enabling Spring Data web support in XML

The configuration shown in the previous section registers a few basic components:

  • A Using the DomainClassConverter Class to let Spring MVC resolve instances of repository-managed domain classes from request parameters or path variables.

  • HandlerMethodArgumentResolver implementations to let Spring MVC resolve Pageable and Sort instances from request parameters.

  • Jackson Modules to de-/serialize types like Point and Distance, or store specific ones, depending on the Spring Data Module used.

Using the DomainClassConverter Class

The DomainClassConverter class lets you use domain types in your Spring MVC controller method signatures directly so that you need not manually lookup the instances through the repository, as the following example shows:

A Spring MVC controller using domain types in method signatures
class UserController {

  String showUserForm(@PathVariable("id") User user, Model model) {

    model.addAttribute("user", user);
    return "userForm";

The method receives a User instance directly, and no further lookup is necessary. The instance can be resolved by letting Spring MVC convert the path variable into the id type of the domain class first and eventually access the instance through calling findById(…) on the repository instance registered for the domain type.

Currently, the repository has to implement CrudRepository to be eligible to be discovered for conversion.

HandlerMethodArgumentResolvers for Pageable and Sort

The configuration snippet shown in the previous section also registers a PageableHandlerMethodArgumentResolver as well as an instance of SortHandlerMethodArgumentResolver. The registration enables Pageable and Sort as valid controller method arguments, as the following example shows:

Using Pageable as a controller method argument
class UserController {

  private final UserRepository repository;

  UserController(UserRepository repository) {
    this.repository = repository;

  String showUsers(Model model, Pageable pageable) {

    model.addAttribute("users", repository.findAll(pageable));
    return "users";

The preceding method signature causes Spring MVC try to derive a Pageable instance from the request parameters by using the following default configuration:

Table 1. Request parameters evaluated for Pageable instances


Page you want to retrieve. 0-indexed and defaults to 0.


Size of the page you want to retrieve. Defaults to 20.


Properties that should be sorted by in the format property,property(,ASC|DESC)(,IgnoreCase). The default sort direction is case-sensitive ascending. Use multiple sort parameters if you want to switch direction or case sensitivity — for example, ?sort=firstname&sort=lastname,asc&sort=city,ignorecase.

To customize this behavior, register a bean that implements the PageableHandlerMethodArgumentResolverCustomizer interface or the SortHandlerMethodArgumentResolverCustomizer interface, respectively. Its customize() method gets called, letting you change settings, as the following example shows:

@Bean SortHandlerMethodArgumentResolverCustomizer sortCustomizer() {
    return s -> s.setPropertyDelimiter("<-->");

If setting the properties of an existing MethodArgumentResolver is not sufficient for your purpose, extend either SpringDataWebConfiguration or the HATEOAS-enabled equivalent, override the pageableResolver() or sortResolver() methods, and import your customized configuration file instead of using the @Enable annotation.

If you need multiple Pageable or Sort instances to be resolved from the request (for multiple tables, for example), you can use Spring’s @Qualifier annotation to distinguish one from another. The request parameters then have to be prefixed with ${qualifier}_. The following example shows the resulting method signature:

String showUsers(Model model,
      @Qualifier("thing1") Pageable first,
      @Qualifier("thing2") Pageable second) { … }

You have to populate thing1_page, thing2_page, and so on.

The default Pageable passed into the method is equivalent to a PageRequest.of(0, 20), but you can customize it by using the @PageableDefault annotation on the Pageable parameter.

Creating JSON representations for Page

It’s common for Spring MVC controllers to try to ultimately render a representation of a Spring Data page to clients. While one could simply return Page instances from handler methods to let Jackson render them as is, we strongly recommend against this as the underlying implementation class PageImpl is a domain type. This means we might want or have to change its API for unrelated reasons, and such changes might alter the resulting JSON representation in a breaking way.

With Spring Data 3.1, we started hinting at the problem by issuing a warning log describing the problem. We still ultimately recommend to leverage the integration with Spring HATEOAS for a fully stable and hypermedia-enabled way of rendering pages that easily allow clients to navigate them. But as of version 3.3 Spring Data ships a page rendering mechanism that is convenient to use but does not require the inclusion of Spring HATEOAS.

Using Spring Data' PagedModel

At its core, the support consists of a simplified version of Spring HATEOAS' PagedModel (the Spring Data one located in the org.springframework.data.web package). It can be used to wrap Page instances and result in a simplified representation that reflects the structure established by Spring HATEOAS but omits the navigation links.

import org.springframework.data.web.PagedModel;

class MyController {

  private final MyRepository repository;

  // Constructor ommitted

  PagedModel<?> page(Pageable pageable) {
    return new PagedModel<>(repository.findAll(pageable)); (1)
1 Wraps the Page instance into a PagedModel.

This will result in a JSON structure looking like this:

  "content" : [
     … // Page content rendered here
  "page" : {
    "size" : 20,
    "totalElements" : 30,
    "totalPages" : 2,
    "number" : 0

Note how the document contains a page field exposing the essential pagination metadata.

Globally enabling simplified Page rendering

If you don’t want to change all your existing controllers to add the mapping step to return PagedModel instead of Page you can enable the automatic translation of PageImpl instances into PagedModel by tweaking @EnableSpringDataWebSupport as follows:

@EnableSpringDataWebSupport(pageSerializationMode = VIA_DTO)
class MyConfiguration { }

This will allow your controller to still return Page instances and they will automatically be rendered into the simplified representation:

class MyController {

  private final MyRepository repository;

  // Constructor ommitted

  Page<?> page(Pageable pageable) {
    return repository.findAll(pageable);

Hypermedia Support for Page and Slice

Spring HATEOAS ships with a representation model class (PagedModel/SlicedModel) that allows enriching the content of a Page or Slice instance with the necessary Page/Slice metadata as well as links to let the clients easily navigate the pages. The conversion of a Page to a PagedModel is done by an implementation of the Spring HATEOAS RepresentationModelAssembler interface, called the PagedResourcesAssembler. Similarly Slice instances can be converted to a SlicedModel using a SlicedResourcesAssembler. The following example shows how to use a PagedResourcesAssembler as a controller method argument, as the SlicedResourcesAssembler works exactly the same:

Using a PagedResourcesAssembler as controller method argument
class PersonController {

  private final PersonRepository repository;

  // Constructor omitted

  HttpEntity<PagedModel<Person>> people(Pageable pageable,
    PagedResourcesAssembler assembler) {

    Page<Person> people = repository.findAll(pageable);
    return ResponseEntity.ok(assembler.toModel(people));

Enabling the configuration, as shown in the preceding example, lets the PagedResourcesAssembler be used as a controller method argument. Calling toModel(…) on it has the following effects:

  • The content of the Page becomes the content of the PagedModel instance.

  • The PagedModel object gets a PageMetadata instance attached, and it is populated with information from the Page and the underlying Pageable.

  • The PagedModel may get prev and next links attached, depending on the page’s state. The links point to the URI to which the method maps. The pagination parameters added to the method match the setup of the PageableHandlerMethodArgumentResolver to make sure the links can be resolved later.

Assume we have 30 Person instances in the database. You can now trigger a request (GET localhost:8080/people) and see output similar to the following:

{ "links" : [
    { "rel" : "next", "href" : "http://localhost:8080/persons?page=1&size=20" }
  "content" : [
     … // 20 Person instances rendered here
  "page" : {
    "size" : 20,
    "totalElements" : 30,
    "totalPages" : 2,
    "number" : 0
The JSON envelope format shown here doesn’t follow any formally specified structure and it’s not guaranteed stable and we might change it at any time. It’s highly recommended to enable the rendering as a hypermedia-enabled, official media type, supported by Spring HATEOAS, like HAL. Those can be activated by using its @EnableHypermediaSupport annotation. Find more information in the Spring HATEOAS reference documentation.

The assembler produced the correct URI and also picked up the default configuration to resolve the parameters into a Pageable for an upcoming request. This means that, if you change that configuration, the links automatically adhere to the change. By default, the assembler points to the controller method it was invoked in, but you can customize that by passing a custom Link to be used as base to build the pagination links, which overloads the PagedResourcesAssembler.toModel(…) method.

Spring Data Jackson Modules

The core module, and some of the store specific ones, ship with a set of Jackson Modules for types, like org.springframework.data.geo.Distance and org.springframework.data.geo.Point, used by the Spring Data domain.
Those Modules are imported once web support is enabled and com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.ObjectMapper is available.

During initialization SpringDataJacksonModules, like the SpringDataJacksonConfiguration, get picked up by the infrastructure, so that the declared com.fasterxml.jackson.databind.Modules are made available to the Jackson ObjectMapper.

Data binding mixins for the following domain types are registered by the common infrastructure.


The individual module may provide additional SpringDataJacksonModules.
Please refer to the store specific section for more details.

Web Databinding Support

You can use Spring Data projections (described in Projections) to bind incoming request payloads by using either JSONPath expressions (requires Jayway JsonPath) or XPath expressions (requires XmlBeam), as the following example shows:

HTTP payload binding using JSONPath or XPath expressions
public interface UserPayload {

  String getFirstname();

  @JsonPath({ "$.lastname", "$.user.lastname" })
  String getLastname();

You can use the type shown in the preceding example as a Spring MVC handler method argument or by using ParameterizedTypeReference on one of methods of the RestTemplate. The preceding method declarations would try to find firstname anywhere in the given document. The lastname XML lookup is performed on the top-level of the incoming document. The JSON variant of that tries a top-level lastname first but also tries lastname nested in a user sub-document if the former does not return a value. That way, changes in the structure of the source document can be mitigated easily without having clients calling the exposed methods (usually a drawback of class-based payload binding).

Nested projections are supported as described in Projections. If the method returns a complex, non-interface type, a Jackson ObjectMapper is used to map the final value.

For Spring MVC, the necessary converters are registered automatically as soon as @EnableSpringDataWebSupport is active and the required dependencies are available on the classpath. For usage with RestTemplate, register a ProjectingJackson2HttpMessageConverter (JSON) or XmlBeamHttpMessageConverter manually.

For more information, see the web projection example in the canonical Spring Data Examples repository.

Querydsl Web Support

For those stores that have QueryDSL integration, you can derive queries from the attributes contained in a Request query string.

Consider the following query string:


Given the User object from the previous examples, you can resolve a query string to the following value by using the QuerydslPredicateArgumentResolver, as follows:

The feature is automatically enabled, along with @EnableSpringDataWebSupport, when Querydsl is found on the classpath.

Adding a @QuerydslPredicate to the method signature provides a ready-to-use Predicate, which you can run by using the QuerydslPredicateExecutor.

Type information is typically resolved from the method’s return type. Since that information does not necessarily match the domain type, it might be a good idea to use the root attribute of QuerydslPredicate.

The following example shows how to use @QuerydslPredicate in a method signature:

class UserController {

  @Autowired UserRepository repository;

  @RequestMapping(value = "/", method = RequestMethod.GET)
  String index(Model model, @QuerydslPredicate(root = User.class) Predicate predicate,    (1)
          Pageable pageable, @RequestParam MultiValueMap<String, String> parameters) {

    model.addAttribute("users", repository.findAll(predicate, pageable));

    return "index";
1 Resolve query string arguments to matching Predicate for User.

The default binding is as follows:

  • Object on simple properties as eq.

  • Object on collection like properties as contains.

  • Collection on simple properties as in.

You can customize those bindings through the bindings attribute of @QuerydslPredicate or by making use of Java 8 default methods and adding the QuerydslBinderCustomizer method to the repository interface, as follows:

interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, String>,
                                 QuerydslPredicateExecutor<User>,                (1)
                                 QuerydslBinderCustomizer<QUser> {               (2)

  default void customize(QuerydslBindings bindings, QUser user) {

    bindings.bind(user.username).first((path, value) -> path.contains(value))    (3)
      .first((StringPath path, String value) -> path.containsIgnoreCase(value)); (4)
    bindings.excluding(user.password);                                           (5)
1 QuerydslPredicateExecutor provides access to specific finder methods for Predicate.
2 QuerydslBinderCustomizer defined on the repository interface is automatically picked up and shortcuts @QuerydslPredicate(bindings=…​).
3 Define the binding for the username property to be a simple contains binding.
4 Define the default binding for String properties to be a case-insensitive contains match.
5 Exclude the password property from Predicate resolution.
You can register a QuerydslBinderCustomizerDefaults bean holding default Querydsl bindings before applying specific bindings from the repository or @QuerydslPredicate.

Repository Populators

If you work with the Spring JDBC module, you are probably familiar with the support for populating a DataSource with SQL scripts. A similar abstraction is available on the repositories level, although it does not use SQL as the data definition language because it must be store-independent. Thus, the populators support XML (through Spring’s OXM abstraction) and JSON (through Jackson) to define data with which to populate the repositories.

Assume you have a file called data.json with the following content:

Data defined in JSON
[ { "_class" : "com.acme.Person",
 "firstname" : "Dave",
  "lastname" : "Matthews" },
  { "_class" : "com.acme.Person",
 "firstname" : "Carter",
  "lastname" : "Beauford" } ]

You can populate your repositories by using the populator elements of the repository namespace provided in Spring Data Commons. To populate the preceding data to your PersonRepository, declare a populator similar to the following:

Declaring a Jackson repository populator
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"

  <repository:jackson2-populator locations="classpath:data.json" />


The preceding declaration causes the data.json file to be read and deserialized by a Jackson ObjectMapper.

The type to which the JSON object is unmarshalled is determined by inspecting the _class attribute of the JSON document. The infrastructure eventually selects the appropriate repository to handle the object that was deserialized.

To instead use XML to define the data the repositories should be populated with, you can use the unmarshaller-populator element. You configure it to use one of the XML marshaller options available in Spring OXM. See the Spring reference documentation for details. The following example shows how to unmarshall a repository populator with JAXB:

Declaring an unmarshalling repository populator (using JAXB)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"

  <repository:unmarshaller-populator locations="classpath:data.json"
    unmarshaller-ref="unmarshaller" />

  <oxm:jaxb2-marshaller contextPath="com.acme" />