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Preface

Spring Data JPA provides repository support for the Java Persistence API (JPA). It eases development of applications that need to access JPA data sources.

1. Project Metadata

2. New & Noteworthy

2.1. What’s New in Spring Data JPA 1.11

Spring Data JPA 1.11 added the following features:

  • Improved compatibility with Hibernate 5.2.

  • Support any-match mode for Query by Example.

  • Paged query execution optimizations.

  • Support for the exists projection in repository query derivation.

2.2. What’s New in Spring Data JPA 1.10

Spring Data JPA 1.10 added the following features:

  • Support for Projections in repository query methods.

  • Support for Query by Example.

  • The following annotations have been enabled to build on composed annotations: @EntityGraph, @Lock, @Modifying, @Query, @QueryHints, and @Procedure.

  • Support for the Contains keyword on collection expressions.

  • AttributeConverter implementations for ZoneId of JSR-310 and ThreeTenBP.

  • Upgrade to Querydsl 4, Hibernate 5, OpenJPA 2.4, and EclipseLink 2.6.1.

3. Dependencies

Due to the different inception dates of individual Spring Data modules, most of them carry different major and minor version numbers. The easiest way to find compatible ones is to rely on the Spring Data Release Train BOM that we ship with the compatible versions defined. In a Maven project, you would declare this dependency in the <dependencyManagement /> section of your POM, as follows:

Example 1. Using the Spring Data release train BOM
<dependencyManagement>
  <dependencies>
    <dependency>
      <groupId>org.springframework.data</groupId>
      <artifactId>spring-data-releasetrain</artifactId>
      <version>Moore-BUILD-SNAPSHOT</version>
      <scope>import</scope>
      <type>pom</type>
    </dependency>
  </dependencies>
</dependencyManagement>

The current release train version is Moore-BUILD-SNAPSHOT. The train names ascend alphabetically and the currently available trains are listed here. The version name follows the following pattern: ${name}-${release}, where release can be one of the following:

  • BUILD-SNAPSHOT: Current snapshots

  • M1, M2, and so on: Milestones

  • RC1, RC2, and so on: Release candidates

  • RELEASE: GA release

  • SR1, SR2, and so on: Service releases

A working example of using the BOMs can be found in our Spring Data examples repository. With that in place, you can declare the Spring Data modules you would like to use without a version in the <dependencies /> block, as follows:

Example 2. Declaring a dependency to a Spring Data module
<dependencies>
  <dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.data</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-data-jpa</artifactId>
  </dependency>
<dependencies>

3.1. Dependency Management with Spring Boot

Spring Boot selects a recent version of Spring Data modules for you. If you still want to upgrade to a newer version, configure the property spring-data-releasetrain.version to the train name and iteration you would like to use.

3.2. Spring Framework

The current version of Spring Data modules require Spring Framework in version 5.1.5.RELEASE or better. The modules might also work with an older bugfix version of that minor version. However, using the most recent version within that generation is highly recommended.

4. Working with Spring Data Repositories

The goal of the Spring Data repository abstraction is to significantly reduce the amount of boilerplate code required to implement data access layers for various persistence stores.

Spring Data repository documentation and your module

This chapter explains the core concepts and interfaces of Spring Data repositories. The information in this chapter is pulled from the Spring Data Commons module. It uses the configuration and code samples for the Java Persistence API (JPA) module. You should adapt the XML namespace declaration and the types to be extended to the equivalents of the particular module that you use. “Namespace reference” covers XML configuration, which is supported across all Spring Data modules supporting the repository API. “Repository query keywords” covers the query method keywords supported by the repository abstraction in general. For detailed information on the specific features of your module, see the chapter on that module of this document.

4.1. Core concepts

The central interface in the Spring Data repository abstraction is Repository. It takes the domain class to manage as well as the ID type of the domain class as type arguments. This interface acts primarily as a marker interface to capture the types to work with and to help you to discover interfaces that extend this one. The CrudRepository provides sophisticated CRUD functionality for the entity class that is being managed.

Example 3. CrudRepository interface
public interface CrudRepository<T, ID> extends Repository<T, ID> {

  <S extends T> S save(S entity);      (1)

  Optional<T> findById(ID primaryKey); (2)

  Iterable<T> findAll();               (3)

  long count();                        (4)

  void delete(T entity);               (5)

  boolean existsById(ID primaryKey);   (6)

  // … more functionality omitted.
}
1 Saves the given entity.
2 Returns the entity identified by the given ID.
3 Returns all entities.
4 Returns the number of entities.
5 Deletes the given entity.
6 Indicates whether an entity with the given ID exists.
We also provide persistence technology-specific abstractions, such as JpaRepository or MongoRepository. Those interfaces extend CrudRepository and expose the capabilities of the underlying persistence technology in addition to the rather generic persistence technology-agnostic interfaces such as CrudRepository.

On top of the CrudRepository, there is a PagingAndSortingRepository abstraction that adds additional methods to ease paginated access to entities:

Example 4. PagingAndSortingRepository interface
public interface PagingAndSortingRepository<T, ID> extends CrudRepository<T, ID> {

  Iterable<T> findAll(Sort sort);

  Page<T> findAll(Pageable pageable);
}

To access the second page of User by a page size of 20, you could do something like the following:

PagingAndSortingRepository<User, Long> repository = // … get access to a bean
Page<User> users = repository.findAll(PageRequest.of(1, 20));

In addition to query methods, query derivation for both count and delete queries is available. The following list shows the interface definition for a derived count query:

Example 5. Derived Count Query
interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Long> {

  long countByLastname(String lastname);
}

The following list shows the interface definition for a derived delete query:

Example 6. Derived Delete Query
interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Long> {

  long deleteByLastname(String lastname);

  List<User> removeByLastname(String lastname);
}

4.2. Query methods

Standard CRUD functionality repositories usually have queries on the underlying datastore. With Spring Data, declaring those queries becomes a four-step process:

  1. Declare an interface extending Repository or one of its subinterfaces and type it to the domain class and ID type that it should handle, as shown in the following example:

    interface PersonRepository extends Repository<Person, Long> { … }
  2. Declare query methods on the interface.

    interface PersonRepository extends Repository<Person, Long> {
      List<Person> findByLastname(String lastname);
    }
  3. Set up Spring to create proxy instances for those interfaces, either with JavaConfig or with XML configuration.

    1. To use Java configuration, create a class similar to the following:

      import org.springframework.data.jpa.repository.config.EnableJpaRepositories;
      
      @EnableJpaRepositories
      class Config { … }
    2. To use XML configuration, define a bean similar to the following:

      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
         xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
         xmlns:jpa="http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa"
         xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
           http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
           http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa
           http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa/spring-jpa.xsd">
      
         <jpa:repositories base-package="com.acme.repositories"/>
      
      </beans>

    The JPA namespace is used in this example. If you use the repository abstraction for any other store, you need to change this to the appropriate namespace declaration of your store module. In other words, you should exchange jpa in favor of, for example, mongodb.

    + Also, note that the JavaConfig variant does not configure a package explicitly, because the package of the annotated class is used by default. To customize the package to scan, use one of the basePackage… attributes of the data-store-specific repository’s @Enable${store}Repositories-annotation.

  4. Inject the repository instance and use it, as shown in the following example:

    class SomeClient {
    
      private final PersonRepository repository;
    
      SomeClient(PersonRepository repository) {
        this.repository = repository;
      }
    
      void doSomething() {
        List<Person> persons = repository.findByLastname("Matthews");
      }
    }

The sections that follow explain each step in detail:

4.3. Defining Repository Interfaces

First, define a domain class-specific repository interface. The interface must extend Repository and be typed to the domain class and an ID type. If you want to expose CRUD methods for that domain type, extend CrudRepository instead of Repository.

4.3.1. Fine-tuning Repository Definition

Typically, your repository interface extends Repository, CrudRepository, or PagingAndSortingRepository. Alternatively, if you do not want to extend Spring Data interfaces, you can also annotate your repository interface with @RepositoryDefinition. Extending CrudRepository exposes a complete set of methods to manipulate your entities. If you prefer to be selective about the methods being exposed, copy the methods you want to expose from CrudRepository into your domain repository.

Doing so lets you define your own abstractions on top of the provided Spring Data Repositories functionality.

The following example shows how to selectively expose CRUD methods (findById and save, in this case):

Example 7. Selectively exposing CRUD methods
@NoRepositoryBean
interface MyBaseRepository<T, ID> extends Repository<T, ID> {

  Optional<T> findById(ID id);

  <S extends T> S save(S entity);
}

interface UserRepository extends MyBaseRepository<User, Long> {
  User findByEmailAddress(EmailAddress emailAddress);
}

In the prior example, you defined a common base interface for all your domain repositories and exposed findById(…) as well as save(…).These methods are routed into the base repository implementation of the store of your choice provided by Spring Data (for example, if you use JPA, the implementation is SimpleJpaRepository), because they match the method signatures in CrudRepository. So the UserRepository can now save users, find individual users by ID, and trigger a query to find Users by email address.

The intermediate repository interface is annotated with @NoRepositoryBean. Make sure you add that annotation to all repository interfaces for which Spring Data should not create instances at runtime.

4.3.2. Using Repositories with Multiple Spring Data Modules

Using a unique Spring Data module in your application makes things simple, because all repository interfaces in the defined scope are bound to the Spring Data module. Sometimes, applications require using more than one Spring Data module. In such cases, a repository definition must distinguish between persistence technologies. When it detects multiple repository factories on the class path, Spring Data enters strict repository configuration mode. Strict configuration uses details on the repository or the domain class to decide about Spring Data module binding for a repository definition:

  1. If the repository definition extends the module-specific repository, then it is a valid candidate for the particular Spring Data module.

  2. If the domain class is annotated with the module-specific type annotation, then it is a valid candidate for the particular Spring Data module. Spring Data modules accept either third-party annotations (such as JPA’s @Entity) or provide their own annotations (such as @Document for Spring Data MongoDB and Spring Data Elasticsearch).

The following example shows a repository that uses module-specific interfaces (JPA in this case):

Example 8. Repository definitions using module-specific interfaces
interface MyRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> { }

@NoRepositoryBean
interface MyBaseRepository<T, ID> extends JpaRepository<T, ID> { … }

interface UserRepository extends MyBaseRepository<User, Long> { … }

MyRepository and UserRepository extend JpaRepository in their type hierarchy. They are valid candidates for the Spring Data JPA module.

The following example shows a repository that uses generic interfaces:

Example 9. Repository definitions using generic interfaces
interface AmbiguousRepository extends Repository<User, Long> { … }

@NoRepositoryBean
interface MyBaseRepository<T, ID> extends CrudRepository<T, ID> { … }

interface AmbiguousUserRepository extends MyBaseRepository<User, Long> { … }

AmbiguousRepository and AmbiguousUserRepository extend only Repository and CrudRepository in their type hierarchy. While this is perfectly fine when using a unique Spring Data module, multiple modules cannot distinguish to which particular Spring Data these repositories should be bound.

The following example shows a repository that uses domain classes with annotations:

Example 10. Repository definitions using domain classes with annotations
interface PersonRepository extends Repository<Person, Long> { … }

@Entity
class Person { … }

interface UserRepository extends Repository<User, Long> { … }

@Document
class User { … }

PersonRepository references Person, which is annotated with the JPA @Entity annotation, so this repository clearly belongs to Spring Data JPA. UserRepository references User, which is annotated with Spring Data MongoDB’s @Document annotation.

The following bad example shows a repository that uses domain classes with mixed annotations:

Example 11. Repository definitions using domain classes with mixed annotations
interface JpaPersonRepository extends Repository<Person, Long> { … }

interface MongoDBPersonRepository extends Repository<Person, Long> { … }

@Entity
@Document
class Person { … }

This example shows a domain class using both JPA and Spring Data MongoDB annotations. It defines two repositories, JpaPersonRepository and MongoDBPersonRepository. One is intended for JPA and the other for MongoDB usage. Spring Data is no longer able to tell the repositories apart, which leads to undefined behavior.

Repository type details and distinguishing domain class annotations are used for strict repository configuration to identify repository candidates for a particular Spring Data module. Using multiple persistence technology-specific annotations on the same domain type is possible and enables reuse of domain types across multiple persistence technologies. However, Spring Data can then no longer determine a unique module with which to bind the repository.

The last way to distinguish repositories is by scoping repository base packages. Base packages define the starting points for scanning for repository interface definitions, which implies having repository definitions located in the appropriate packages. By default, annotation-driven configuration uses the package of the configuration class. The base package in XML-based configuration is mandatory.

The following example shows annotation-driven configuration of base packages:

Example 12. Annotation-driven configuration of base packages
@EnableJpaRepositories(basePackages = "com.acme.repositories.jpa")
@EnableMongoRepositories(basePackages = "com.acme.repositories.mongo")
class Configuration { … }

4.4. Defining Query Methods

The repository proxy has two ways to derive a store-specific query from the method name:

  • By deriving the query from the method name directly.

  • By using a manually defined query.

Available options depend on the actual store. However, there must be a strategy that decides what actual query is created. The next section describes the available options.

4.4.1. Query Lookup Strategies

The following strategies are available for the repository infrastructure to resolve the query. With XML configuration, you can configure the strategy at the namespace through the query-lookup-strategy attribute. For Java configuration, you can use the queryLookupStrategy attribute of the Enable${store}Repositories annotation. Some strategies may not be supported for particular datastores.

  • CREATE attempts to construct a store-specific query from the query method name. The general approach is to remove a given set of well known prefixes from the method name and parse the rest of the method. You can read more about query construction in “Query Creation”.

  • USE_DECLARED_QUERY tries to find a declared query and throws an exception if cannot find one. The query can be defined by an annotation somewhere or declared by other means. Consult the documentation of the specific store to find available options for that store. If the repository infrastructure does not find a declared query for the method at bootstrap time, it fails.

  • CREATE_IF_NOT_FOUND (default) combines CREATE and USE_DECLARED_QUERY. It looks up a declared query first, and, if no declared query is found, it creates a custom method name-based query. This is the default lookup strategy and, thus, is used if you do not configure anything explicitly. It allows quick query definition by method names but also custom-tuning of these queries by introducing declared queries as needed.

4.4.2. Query Creation

The query builder mechanism built into Spring Data repository infrastructure is useful for building constraining queries over entities of the repository. The mechanism strips the prefixes find…By, read…By, query…By, count…By, and get…By from the method and starts parsing the rest of it. The introducing clause can contain further expressions, such as a Distinct to set a distinct flag on the query to be created. However, the first By acts as delimiter to indicate the start of the actual criteria. At a very basic level, you can define conditions on entity properties and concatenate them with And and Or. The following example shows how to create a number of queries:

Example 13. Query creation from method names
interface PersonRepository extends Repository<User, Long> {

  List<Person> findByEmailAddressAndLastname(EmailAddress emailAddress, String lastname);

  // Enables the distinct flag for the query
  List<Person> findDistinctPeopleByLastnameOrFirstname(String lastname, String firstname);
  List<Person> findPeopleDistinctByLastnameOrFirstname(String lastname, String firstname);

  // Enabling ignoring case for an individual property
  List<Person> findByLastnameIgnoreCase(String lastname);
  // Enabling ignoring case for all suitable properties
  List<Person> findByLastnameAndFirstnameAllIgnoreCase(String lastname, String firstname);

  // Enabling static ORDER BY for a query
  List<Person> findByLastnameOrderByFirstnameAsc(String lastname);
  List<Person> findByLastnameOrderByFirstnameDesc(String lastname);
}

The actual result of parsing the method depends on the persistence store for which you create the query. However, there are some general things to notice:

  • The expressions are usually property traversals combined with operators that can be concatenated. You can combine property expressions with AND and OR. You also get support for operators such as Between, LessThan, GreaterThan, and Like for the property expressions. The supported operators can vary by datastore, so consult the appropriate part of your reference documentation.

  • The method parser supports setting an IgnoreCase flag for individual properties (for example, findByLastnameIgnoreCase(…)) or for all properties of a type that supports ignoring case (usually String instances — for example, findByLastnameAndFirstnameAllIgnoreCase(…)). Whether ignoring cases is supported may vary by store, so consult the relevant sections in the reference documentation for the store-specific query method.

  • You can apply static ordering by appending an OrderBy clause to the query method that references a property and by providing a sorting direction (Asc or Desc). To create a query method that supports dynamic sorting, see “Special parameter handling”.

4.4.3. Property Expressions

Property expressions can refer only to a direct property of the managed entity, as shown in the preceding example. At query creation time, you already make sure that the parsed property is a property of the managed domain class. However, you can also define constraints by traversing nested properties. Consider the following method signature:

List<Person> findByAddressZipCode(ZipCode zipCode);

Assume a Person has an Address with a ZipCode. In that case, the method creates the property traversal x.address.zipCode. The resolution algorithm starts by interpreting the entire part (AddressZipCode) as the property and checks the domain class for a property with that name (uncapitalized). If the algorithm succeeds, it uses that property. If not, the algorithm splits up the source at the camel case parts from the right side into a head and a tail and tries to find the corresponding property — in our example, AddressZip and Code. If the algorithm finds a property with that head, it takes the tail and continues building the tree down from there, splitting the tail up in the way just described. If the first split does not match, the algorithm moves the split point to the left (Address, ZipCode) and continues.

Although this should work for most cases, it is possible for the algorithm to select the wrong property. Suppose the Person class has an addressZip property as well. The algorithm would match in the first split round already, choose the wrong property, and fail (as the type of addressZip probably has no code property).

To resolve this ambiguity you can use _ inside your method name to manually define traversal points. So our method name would be as follows:

List<Person> findByAddress_ZipCode(ZipCode zipCode);

Because we treat the underscore character as a reserved character, we strongly advise following standard Java naming conventions (that is, not using underscores in property names but using camel case instead).

4.4.4. Special parameter handling

To handle parameters in your query, define method parameters as already seen in the preceding examples. Besides that, the infrastructure recognizes certain specific types like Pageable and Sort, to apply pagination and sorting to your queries dynamically. The following example demonstrates these features:

Example 14. Using Pageable, Slice, and Sort in query methods
Page<User> findByLastname(String lastname, Pageable pageable);

Slice<User> findByLastname(String lastname, Pageable pageable);

List<User> findByLastname(String lastname, Sort sort);

List<User> findByLastname(String lastname, Pageable pageable);

The first method lets you pass an org.springframework.data.domain.Pageable instance to the query method to dynamically add paging to your statically defined query. A Page knows about the total number of elements and pages available. It does so by the infrastructure triggering a count query to calculate the overall number. As this might be expensive (depending on the store used), you can instead return a Slice. A Slice only knows about whether a next Slice is available, which might be sufficient when walking through a larger result set.

Sorting options are handled through the Pageable instance, too. If you only need sorting, add an org.springframework.data.domain.Sort parameter to your method. As you can see, returning a List is also possible. In this case, the additional metadata required to build the actual Page instance is not created (which, in turn, means that the additional count query that would have been necessary is not issued). Rather, it restricts the query to look up only the given range of entities.

To find out how many pages you get for an entire query, you have to trigger an additional count query. By default, this query is derived from the query you actually trigger.

4.4.5. Limiting Query Results

The results of query methods can be limited by using the first or top keywords, which can be used interchangeably. An optional numeric value can be appended to top or first to specify the maximum result size to be returned. If the number is left out, a result size of 1 is assumed. The following example shows how to limit the query size:

Example 15. Limiting the result size of a query with Top and First
User findFirstByOrderByLastnameAsc();

User findTopByOrderByAgeDesc();

Page<User> queryFirst10ByLastname(String lastname, Pageable pageable);

Slice<User> findTop3ByLastname(String lastname, Pageable pageable);

List<User> findFirst10ByLastname(String lastname, Sort sort);

List<User> findTop10ByLastname(String lastname, Pageable pageable);

The limiting expressions also support the Distinct keyword. Also, for the queries limiting the result set to one instance, wrapping the result into with the Optional keyword is supported.

If pagination or slicing is applied to a limiting query pagination (and the calculation of the number of pages available), it is applied within the limited result.

Limiting the results in combination with dynamic sorting by using a Sort parameter lets you express query methods for the 'K' smallest as well as for the 'K' biggest elements.

4.4.6. Repository Methods Returning Collections or Iterables

Query methods that return multiple results can use standard Java Iterable, List, Set. Beyond that we support returning Spring Data’s Streamable, a custom extension of Iterable, as well as collection types provided by Vavr.

Using Streamable as Query Method Return Type

Streamable can be used as alternative to Iterable or any collection type. It provides convenience methods to access a non-parallel Stream (missing from Iterable), the ability to directly ….filter(…) and ….map(…) over the elements and concatenate the Streamable to others:

Example 16. Using Streamable to combine query method results
interface PersonRepository extends Repository<Person, Long> {
  Streamable<Person> findByFirstnameContaining(String firstname);
  Streamable<Person> findByLastnameContaining(String lastname);
}

Streamable<Person> result = repository.findByFirstnameContaining("av")
  .and(repository.findByLastnameContaining("ea"));
Returning Custom Streamable Wrapper Types

Providing dedicated wrapper types for collections is a commonly used pattern to provide API on a query execution result that returns multiple elements. Usually these types are used by invoking a repository method returning a collection-like type and creating an instance of the wrapper type manually. That additional step can be avoided as Spring Data allows to use these wrapper types as query method return types if they meet the following criterias:

  1. The type implements Streamable.

  2. The type exposes either a constructor or a static factory method named of(…) or valueOf(…) taking Streamable as argument.

A sample use case looks as follows:

class Product { (1)
  MonetaryAmount getPrice() { … }
}

@RequiredArgConstructor(staticName = "of")
class Products implements Streamable<Product> { (2)

  private Streamable<Product> streamable;

  public MonetaryAmount getTotal() { (3)
    return streamable.stream() //
      .map(Priced::getPrice)
      .reduce(Money.of(0), MonetaryAmount::add);
  }
}

interface ProductRepository implements Repository<Product, Long> {
  Products findAllByDescriptionContaining(String text); (4)
}
1 A Product entity that exposes API to access the product’s price.
2 A wrapper type for a Streamable<Product> that can be constructed via Products.of(…) (factory method created via the Lombok annotation).
3 The wrapper type exposes additional API calculating new values on the Streamable<Product>.
4 That wrapper type can be used as query method return type directly. No need to return Stremable<Product> and manually wrap it in the repository client.
Support for Vavr Collections

Vavr is a library to embrace functional programming concepts in Java. It ships with a custom set of collection types that can be used as query method return types.

Vavr collection type Used Vavr implementation type Valid Java source types

io.vavr.collection.Seq

io.vavr.collection.List

java.util.Iterable

io.vavr.collection.Set

io.vavr.collection.LinkedHashSet

java.util.Iterable

io.vavr.collection.Map

io.vavr.collection.LinkedHashMap

java.util.Map

The types in the first column (or subtypes thereof) can be used as quer method return types and will get the types in the second column used as implementation type depending on the Java type of the actual query result (thrid column). Alternatively, Traversable (Vavr the Iterable equivalent) can be declared and we derive the implementation class from the actual return value, i.e. a java.util.List will be turned into a Vavr List/Seq, a java.util.Set becomes a Vavr LinkedHashSet/Set etc.

4.4.7. Null Handling of Repository Methods

As of Spring Data 2.0, repository CRUD methods that return an individual aggregate instance use Java 8’s Optional to indicate the potential absence of a value. Besides that, Spring Data supports returning the following wrapper types on query methods:

  • com.google.common.base.Optional

  • scala.Option

  • io.vavr.control.Option

Alternatively, query methods can choose not to use a wrapper type at all. The absence of a query result is then indicated by returning null. Repository methods returning collections, collection alternatives, wrappers, and streams are guaranteed never to return null but rather the corresponding empty representation. See “Repository query return types” for details.

Nullability Annotations

You can express nullability constraints for repository methods by using Spring Framework’s nullability annotations. They provide a tooling-friendly approach and opt-in null checks during runtime, as follows:

  • @NonNullApi: Used on the package level to declare that the default behavior for parameters and return values is to not accept or produce null values.

  • @NonNull: Used on a parameter or return value that must not be null (not needed on a parameter and return value where @NonNullApi applies).

  • @Nullable: Used on a parameter or return value that can be null.

Spring annotations are meta-annotated with JSR 305 annotations (a dormant but widely spread JSR). JSR 305 meta-annotations let tooling vendors such as IDEA, Eclipse, and Kotlin provide null-safety support in a generic way, without having to hard-code support for Spring annotations. To enable runtime checking of nullability constraints for query methods, you need to activate non-nullability on the package level by using Spring’s @NonNullApi in package-info.java, as shown in the following example:

Example 17. Declaring Non-nullability in package-info.java
@org.springframework.lang.NonNullApi
package com.acme;

Once non-null defaulting is in place, repository query method invocations get validated at runtime for nullability constraints. If a query execution result violates the defined constraint, an exception is thrown. This happens when the method would return null but is declared as non-nullable (the default with the annotation defined on the package the repository resides in). If you want to opt-in to nullable results again, selectively use @Nullable on individual methods. Using the result wrapper types mentioned at the start of this section continues to work as expected: An empty result is translated into the value that represents absence.

The following example shows a number of the techniques just described:

Example 18. Using different nullability constraints
package com.acme;                                                       (1)

import org.springframework.lang.Nullable;

interface UserRepository extends Repository<User, Long> {

  User getByEmailAddress(EmailAddress emailAddress);                    (2)

  @Nullable
  User findByEmailAddress(@Nullable EmailAddress emailAdress);          (3)

  Optional<User> findOptionalByEmailAddress(EmailAddress emailAddress); (4)
}
1 The repository resides in a package (or sub-package) for which we have defined non-null behavior.
2 Throws an EmptyResultDataAccessException when the query executed does not produce a result. Throws an IllegalArgumentException when the emailAddress handed to the method is null.
3 Returns null when the query executed does not produce a result. Also accepts null as the value for emailAddress.
4 Returns Optional.empty() when the query executed does not produce a result. Throws an IllegalArgumentException when the emailAddress handed to the method is null.
Nullability in Kotlin-based Repositories

Kotlin has the definition of nullability constraints baked into the language. Kotlin code compiles to bytecode, which does not express nullability constraints through method signatures but rather through compiled-in metadata. Make sure to include the kotlin-reflect JAR in your project to enable introspection of Kotlin’s nullability constraints. Spring Data repositories use the language mechanism to define those constraints to apply the same runtime checks, as follows:

Example 19. Using nullability constraints on Kotlin repositories
interface UserRepository : Repository<User, String> {

  fun findByUsername(username: String): User     (1)

  fun findByFirstname(firstname: String?): User? (2)
}
1 The method defines both the parameter and the result as non-nullable (the Kotlin default). The Kotlin compiler rejects method invocations that pass null to the method. If the query execution yields an empty result, an EmptyResultDataAccessException is thrown.
2 This method accepts null for the firstname parameter and returns null if the query execution does not produce a result.

4.4.8. Streaming query results

The results of query methods can be processed incrementally by using a Java 8 Stream<T> as return type. Instead of wrapping the query results in a Stream data store-specific methods are used to perform the streaming, as shown in the following example:

Example 20. Stream the result of a query with Java 8 Stream<T>
@Query("select u from User u")
Stream<User> findAllByCustomQueryAndStream();

Stream<User> readAllByFirstnameNotNull();

@Query("select u from User u")
Stream<User> streamAllPaged(Pageable pageable);
A Stream potentially wraps underlying data store-specific resources and must, therefore, be closed after usage. You can either manually close the Stream by using the close() method or by using a Java 7 try-with-resources block, as shown in the following example:
Example 21. Working with a Stream<T> result in a try-with-resources block
try (Stream<User> stream = repository.findAllByCustomQueryAndStream()) {
  stream.forEach(…);
}
Not all Spring Data modules currently support Stream<T> as a return type.

4.4.9. Async query results

Repository queries can be run asynchronously by using Spring’s asynchronous method execution capability. This means the method returns immediately upon invocation while the actual query execution occurs in a task that has been submitted to a Spring TaskExecutor. Asynchronous query execution is different from reactive query execution and should not be mixed. Refer to store-specific documentation for more details on reactive support. The following example shows a number of asynchronous queries:

@Async
Future<User> findByFirstname(String firstname);               (1)

@Async
CompletableFuture<User> findOneByFirstname(String firstname); (2)

@Async
ListenableFuture<User> findOneByLastname(String lastname);    (3)
1 Use java.util.concurrent.Future as the return type.
2 Use a Java 8 java.util.concurrent.CompletableFuture as the return type.
3 Use a org.springframework.util.concurrent.ListenableFuture as the return type.

4.5. Creating Repository Instances

In this section, you create instances and bean definitions for the defined repository interfaces. One way to do so is by using the Spring namespace that is shipped with each Spring Data module that supports the repository mechanism, although we generally recommend using Java configuration.

4.5.1. XML configuration

Each Spring Data module includes a repositories element that lets you define a base package that Spring scans for you, as shown in the following example:

Example 22. Enabling Spring Data repositories via XML
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans:beans xmlns:beans="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa"
  xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa/spring-jpa.xsd">

  <repositories base-package="com.acme.repositories" />

</beans:beans>

In the preceding example, Spring is instructed to scan com.acme.repositories and all its sub-packages for interfaces extending Repository or one of its sub-interfaces. For each interface found, the infrastructure registers the persistence technology-specific FactoryBean to create the appropriate proxies that handle invocations of the query methods. Each bean is registered under a bean name that is derived from the interface name, so an interface of UserRepository would be registered under userRepository. The base-package attribute allows wildcards so that you can define a pattern of scanned packages.

Using filters

By default, the infrastructure picks up every interface extending the persistence technology-specific Repository sub-interface located under the configured base package and creates a bean instance for it. However, you might want more fine-grained control over which interfaces have bean instances created for them. To do so, use <include-filter /> and <exclude-filter /> elements inside the <repositories /> element. The semantics are exactly equivalent to the elements in Spring’s context namespace. For details, see the Spring reference documentation for these elements.

For example, to exclude certain interfaces from instantiation as repository beans, you could use the following configuration:

Example 23. Using exclude-filter element
<repositories base-package="com.acme.repositories">
  <context:exclude-filter type="regex" expression=".*SomeRepository" />
</repositories>

The preceding example excludes all interfaces ending in SomeRepository from being instantiated.

4.5.2. JavaConfig

The repository infrastructure can also be triggered by using a store-specific @Enable${store}Repositories annotation on a JavaConfig class. For an introduction into Java-based configuration of the Spring container, see JavaConfig in the Spring reference documentation.

A sample configuration to enable Spring Data repositories resembles the following:

Example 24. Sample annotation based repository configuration
@Configuration
@EnableJpaRepositories("com.acme.repositories")
class ApplicationConfiguration {

  @Bean
  EntityManagerFactory entityManagerFactory() {
    // …
  }
}
The preceding example uses the JPA-specific annotation, which you would change according to the store module you actually use. The same applies to the definition of the EntityManagerFactory bean. See the sections covering the store-specific configuration.

4.5.3. Standalone usage

You can also use the repository infrastructure outside of a Spring container — for example, in CDI environments. You still need some Spring libraries in your classpath, but, generally, you can set up repositories programmatically as well. The Spring Data modules that provide repository support ship a persistence technology-specific RepositoryFactory that you can use as follows:

Example 25. Standalone usage of repository factory
RepositoryFactorySupport factory = … // Instantiate factory here
UserRepository repository = factory.getRepository(UserRepository.class);

4.6. Custom Implementations for Spring Data Repositories

This section covers repository customization and how fragments form a composite repository.

When a query method requires a different behavior or cannot be implemented by query derivation, then it is necessary to provide a custom implementation. Spring Data repositories let you provide custom repository code and integrate it with generic CRUD abstraction and query method functionality.

4.6.1. Customizing Individual Repositories

To enrich a repository with custom functionality, you must first define a fragment interface and an implementation for the custom functionality, as shown in the following example:

Example 26. Interface for custom repository functionality
interface CustomizedUserRepository {
  void someCustomMethod(User user);
}

Then you can let your repository interface additionally extend from the fragment interface, as shown in the following example:

Example 27. Implementation of custom repository functionality
class CustomizedUserRepositoryImpl implements CustomizedUserRepository {

  public void someCustomMethod(User user) {
    // Your custom implementation
  }
}
The most important part of the class name that corresponds to the fragment interface is the Impl postfix.

The implementation itself does not depend on Spring Data and can be a regular Spring bean. Consequently, you can use standard dependency injection behavior to inject references to other beans (such as a JdbcTemplate), take part in aspects, and so on.

You can let your repository interface extend the fragment interface, as shown in the following example:

Example 28. Changes to your repository interface
interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Long>, CustomizedUserRepository {

  // Declare query methods here
}

Extending the fragment interface with your repository interface combines the CRUD and custom functionality and makes it available to clients.

Spring Data repositories are implemented by using fragments that form a repository composition. Fragments are the base repository, functional aspects (such as QueryDsl), and custom interfaces along with their implementation. Each time you add an interface to your repository interface, you enhance the composition by adding a fragment. The base repository and repository aspect implementations are provided by each Spring Data module.

The following example shows custom interfaces and their implementations:

Example 29. Fragments with their implementations
interface HumanRepository {
  void someHumanMethod(User user);
}

class HumanRepositoryImpl implements HumanRepository {

  public void someHumanMethod(User user) {
    // Your custom implementation
  }
}

interface ContactRepository {

  void someContactMethod(User user);

  User anotherContactMethod(User user);
}

class ContactRepositoryImpl implements ContactRepository {

  public void someContactMethod(User user) {
    // Your custom implementation
  }

  public User anotherContactMethod(User user) {
    // Your custom implementation
  }
}

The following example shows the interface for a custom repository that extends CrudRepository:

Example 30. Changes to your repository interface
interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Long>, HumanRepository, ContactRepository {

  // Declare query methods here
}

Repositories may be composed of multiple custom implementations that are imported in the order of their declaration. Custom implementations have a higher priority than the base implementation and repository aspects. This ordering lets you override base repository and aspect methods and resolves ambiguity if two fragments contribute the same method signature. Repository fragments are not limited to use in a single repository interface. Multiple repositories may use a fragment interface, letting you reuse customizations across different repositories.

The following example shows a repository fragment and its implementation:

Example 31. Fragments overriding save(…)
interface CustomizedSave<T> {
  <S extends T> S save(S entity);
}

class CustomizedSaveImpl<T> implements CustomizedSave<T> {

  public <S extends T> S save(S entity) {
    // Your custom implementation
  }
}

The following example shows a repository that uses the preceding repository fragment:

Example 32. Customized repository interfaces
interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Long>, CustomizedSave<User> {
}

interface PersonRepository extends CrudRepository<Person, Long>, CustomizedSave<Person> {
}
Configuration

If you use namespace configuration, the repository infrastructure tries to autodetect custom implementation fragments by scanning for classes below the package in which it found a repository. These classes need to follow the naming convention of appending the namespace element’s repository-impl-postfix attribute to the fragment interface name. This postfix defaults to Impl. The following example shows a repository that uses the default postfix and a repository that sets a custom value for the postfix:

Example 33. Configuration example
<repositories base-package="com.acme.repository" />

<repositories base-package="com.acme.repository" repository-impl-postfix="MyPostfix" />

The first configuration in the preceding example tries to look up a class called com.acme.repository.CustomizedUserRepositoryImpl to act as a custom repository implementation. The second example tries to lookup com.acme.repository.CustomizedUserRepositoryMyPostfix.

Resolution of Ambiguity

If multiple implementations with matching class names are found in different packages, Spring Data uses the bean names to identify which one to use.

Given the following two custom implementations for the CustomizedUserRepository shown earlier, the first implementation is used. Its bean name is customizedUserRepositoryImpl, which matches that of the fragment interface (CustomizedUserRepository) plus the postfix Impl.

Example 34. Resolution of amibiguous implementations
package com.acme.impl.one;

class CustomizedUserRepositoryImpl implements CustomizedUserRepository {

  // Your custom implementation
}
package com.acme.impl.two;

@Component("specialCustomImpl")
class CustomizedUserRepositoryImpl implements CustomizedUserRepository {

  // Your custom implementation
}

If you annotate the UserRepository interface with @Component("specialCustom"), the bean name plus Impl then matches the one defined for the repository implementation in com.acme.impl.two, and it is used instead of the first one.

Manual Wiring

If your custom implementation uses annotation-based configuration and autowiring only, the preceding approach shown works well, because it is treated as any other Spring bean. If your implementation fragment bean needs special wiring, you can declare the bean and name it according to the conventions described in the preceding section. The infrastructure then refers to the manually defined bean definition by name instead of creating one itself. The following example shows how to manually wire a custom implementation:

Example 35. Manual wiring of custom implementations
<repositories base-package="com.acme.repository" />

<beans:bean id="userRepositoryImpl" class="…">
  <!-- further configuration -->
</beans:bean>

4.6.2. Customize the Base Repository

The approach described in the preceding section requires customization of each repository interfaces when you want to customize the base repository behavior so that all repositories are affected. To instead change behavior for all repositories, you can create an implementation that extends the persistence technology-specific repository base class. This class then acts as a custom base class for the repository proxies, as shown in the following example:

Example 36. Custom repository base class
class MyRepositoryImpl<T, ID>
  extends SimpleJpaRepository<T, ID> {

  private final EntityManager entityManager;

  MyRepositoryImpl(JpaEntityInformation entityInformation,
                          EntityManager entityManager) {
    super(entityInformation, entityManager);

    // Keep the EntityManager around to used from the newly introduced methods.
    this.entityManager = entityManager;
  }

  @Transactional
  public <S extends T> S save(S entity) {
    // implementation goes here
  }
}
The class needs to have a constructor of the super class which the store-specific repository factory implementation uses. If the repository base class has multiple constructors, override the one taking an EntityInformation plus a store specific infrastructure object (such as an EntityManager or a template class).

The final step is to make the Spring Data infrastructure aware of the customized repository base class. In Java configuration, you can do so by using the repositoryBaseClass attribute of the @Enable${store}Repositories annotation, as shown in the following example:

Example 37. Configuring a custom repository base class using JavaConfig
@Configuration
@EnableJpaRepositories(repositoryBaseClass = MyRepositoryImpl.class)
class ApplicationConfiguration { … }

A corresponding attribute is available in the XML namespace, as shown in the following example:

Example 38. Configuring a custom repository base class using XML
<repositories base-package="com.acme.repository"
     base-class="….MyRepositoryImpl" />

4.7. Publishing Events from Aggregate Roots

Entities managed by repositories are aggregate roots. In a Domain-Driven Design application, these aggregate roots usually publish domain events. Spring Data provides an annotation called @DomainEvents that you can use on a method of your aggregate root to make that publication as easy as possible, as shown in the following example:

Example 39. Exposing domain events from an aggregate root
class AnAggregateRoot {

    @DomainEvents (1)
    Collection<Object> domainEvents() {
        // … return events you want to get published here
    }

    @AfterDomainEventPublication (2)
    void callbackMethod() {
       // … potentially clean up domain events list
    }
}
1 The method using @DomainEvents can return either a single event instance or a collection of events. It must not take any arguments.
2 After all events have been published, we have a method annotated with @AfterDomainEventPublication. It can be used to potentially clean the list of events to be published (among other uses).

The methods are called every time one of a Spring Data repository’s save(…) methods is called.

4.8. 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.

4.8.1. 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 shown in the following example:

Example 40. 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 make use of Querydsl support, extend QuerydslPredicateExecutor on your repository interface, as shown in the following example

Example 41. Querydsl integration on repositories
interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Long>, QuerydslPredicateExecutor<User> {
}

The preceding example lets you write typesafe queries using Querydsl Predicate instances, as shown in the following example:

Predicate predicate = user.firstname.equalsIgnoreCase("dave")
	.and(user.lastname.startsWithIgnoreCase("mathews"));

userRepository.findAll(predicate);

4.8.2. Web support

This section contains the documentation for the Spring Data web support as it is implemented in the current (and later) versions of Spring Data Commons. As the newly introduced support changes many things, we kept the documentation of the former behavior in [web.legacy].

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 shown in the following example:

Example 42. Enabling Spring Data web support
@Configuration
@EnableWebMvc
@EnableSpringDataWebSupport
class WebConfiguration {}

The @EnableSpringDataWebSupport annotation registers a few components we will discuss in a bit. It will also detect Spring HATEOAS on the classpath and register integration components for it as well if present.

Alternatively, if you use XML configuration, register either SpringDataWebConfiguration or HateoasAwareSpringDataWebConfiguration as Spring beans, as shown in the following example (for SpringDataWebConfiguration):

Example 43. Enabling Spring Data web support in XML
<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" />
Basic Web Support

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

  • A DomainClassConverter 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.

DomainClassConverter

The DomainClassConverter 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 shown in the following example:

Example 44. A Spring MVC controller using domain types in method signatures
@Controller
@RequestMapping("/users")
class UserController {

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

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

As you can see, 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 shown in the following example:

Example 45. Using Pageable as controller method argument
@Controller
@RequestMapping("/users")
class UserController {

  private final UserRepository repository;

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

  @RequestMapping
  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

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

size

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

sort

Properties that should be sorted by in the format property,property(,ASC|DESC). Default sort direction is ascending. Use multiple sort parameters if you want to switch directions — for example, ?sort=firstname&sort=lastname,asc.

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

@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 followig example shows the resulting method signature:

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

you have to populate thing1_page and thing2_page and so on.

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

Hypermedia Support for Pageables

Spring HATEOAS ships with a representation model class (PagedResources) that allows enriching the content of a Page instance with the necessary Page metadata as well as links to let the clients easily navigate the pages. The conversion of a Page to a PagedResources is done by an implementation of the Spring HATEOAS ResourceAssembler interface, called the PagedResourcesAssembler. The following example shows how to use a PagedResourcesAssembler as a controller method argument:

Example 46. Using a PagedResourcesAssembler as controller method argument
@Controller
class PersonController {

  @Autowired PersonRepository repository;

  @RequestMapping(value = "/persons", method = RequestMethod.GET)
  HttpEntity<PagedResources<Person>> persons(Pageable pageable,
    PagedResourcesAssembler assembler) {

    Page<Person> persons = repository.findAll(pageable);
    return new ResponseEntity<>(assembler.toResources(persons), HttpStatus.OK);
  }
}

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

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

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

  • The PagedResources 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 http://localhost:8080/persons) 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
  ],
  "pageMetadata" : {
    "size" : 20,
    "totalElements" : 30,
    "totalPages" : 2,
    "number" : 0
  }
}

You see that 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 that can be customized by handing in a custom Link to be used as base to build the pagination links, which overloads the PagedResourcesAssembler.toResource(…) method.

Web Databinding Support

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

Example 47. HTTP payload binding using JSONPath or XPath expressions
@ProjectedPayload
public interface UserPayload {

  @XBRead("//firstname")
  @JsonPath("$..firstname")
  String getFirstname();

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

The type shown in the preceding example can be used as a Spring MVC handler method argument or by using ParameterizedTypeReference on one of RestTemplate's methods. 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 having QueryDSL integration, it is possible to derive queries from the attributes contained in a Request query string.

Consider the following query string:

?firstname=Dave&lastname=Matthews

Given the User object from previous examples, a query string can be resolved to the following value by using the QuerydslPredicateArgumentResolver.

QUser.user.firstname.eq("Dave").and(QUser.user.lastname.eq("Matthews"))
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 can be 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 exampe shows how to use @QuerydslPredicate in a method signature:

@Controller
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.

Those bindings can be customized through the bindings attribute of @QuerydslPredicate or by making use of Java 8 default methods and adding the QuerydslBinderCustomizer method to the repository interface.

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

  @Override
  default void customize(QuerydslBindings bindings, QUser user) {

    bindings.bind(user.username).first((path, value) -> path.contains(value))    (3)
    bindings.bind(String.class)
      .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.

4.8.3. Repository Populators

If you work with the Spring JDBC module, you are probably familiar with the support to populate 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 data.json with the following content:

Example 48. 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:

Example 49. Declaring a Jackson repository populator
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xmlns:repository="http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/repository"
  xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/repository
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/repository/spring-repository.xsd">

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

</beans>

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 unmarshal a repository populator with JAXB:

Example 50. Declaring an unmarshalling repository populator (using JAXB)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xmlns:repository="http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/repository"
  xmlns:oxm="http://www.springframework.org/schema/oxm"
  xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/repository
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/repository/spring-repository.xsd
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/oxm
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/oxm/spring-oxm.xsd">

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

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

</beans>

Reference Documentation

5. JPA Repositories

This chapter points out the specialties for repository support for JPA. This builds on the core repository support explained in “Working with Spring Data Repositories”. Make sure you have a sound understanding of the basic concepts explained there.

5.1. Introduction

This section describes the basics of configuring Spring Data JPA through either:

5.1.1. Spring Namespace

The JPA module of Spring Data contains a custom namespace that allows defining repository beans. It also contains certain features and element attributes that are special to JPA. Generally, the JPA repositories can be set up by using the repositories element, as shown in the following example:

Example 51. Setting up JPA repositories by using the namespace
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
  xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xmlns:jpa="http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa"
  xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa
    http://www.springframework.org/schema/data/jpa/spring-jpa.xsd">

  <jpa:repositories base-package="com.acme.repositories" />

</beans>

Using the repositories element looks up Spring Data repositories as described in “Creating Repository Instances”. Beyond that, it activates persistence exception translation for all beans annotated with @Repository, to let exceptions being thrown by the JPA persistence providers be converted into Spring’s DataAccessException hierarchy.

Custom Namespace Attributes

Beyond the default attributes of the repositories element, the JPA namespace offers additional attributes to let you gain more detailed control over the setup of the repositories:

Table 2. Custom JPA-specific attributes of the repositories element

entity-manager-factory-ref

Explicitly wire the EntityManagerFactory to be used with the repositories being detected by the repositories element. Usually used if multiple EntityManagerFactory beans are used within the application. If not configured, Spring Data automatically looks up the EntityManagerFactory bean with the name entityManagerFactory in the ApplicationContext.

transaction-manager-ref

Explicitly wire the PlatformTransactionManager to be used with the repositories being detected by the repositories element. Usually only necessary if multiple transaction managers or EntityManagerFactory beans have been configured. Default to a single defined PlatformTransactionManager inside the current ApplicationContext.

Spring Data JPA requires a PlatformTransactionManager bean named transactionManager to be present if no explicit transaction-manager-ref is defined.

5.1.2. Annotation-based Configuration

The Spring Data JPA repositories support can be activated not only through an XML namespace but also by using an annotation through JavaConfig, as shown in the following example:

Example 52. Spring Data JPA repositories using JavaConfig
@Configuration
@EnableJpaRepositories
@EnableTransactionManagement
class ApplicationConfig {

  @Bean
  public DataSource dataSource() {

    EmbeddedDatabaseBuilder builder = new EmbeddedDatabaseBuilder();
    return builder.setType(EmbeddedDatabaseType.HSQL).build();
  }

  @Bean
  public LocalContainerEntityManagerFactoryBean entityManagerFactory() {

    HibernateJpaVendorAdapter vendorAdapter = new HibernateJpaVendorAdapter();
    vendorAdapter.setGenerateDdl(true);

    LocalContainerEntityManagerFactoryBean factory = new LocalContainerEntityManagerFactoryBean();
    factory.setJpaVendorAdapter(vendorAdapter);
    factory.setPackagesToScan("com.acme.domain");
    factory.setDataSource(dataSource());
    return factory;
  }

  @Bean
  public PlatformTransactionManager transactionManager(EntityManagerFactory entityManagerFactory) {

    JpaTransactionManager txManager = new JpaTransactionManager();
    txManager.setEntityManagerFactory(entityManagerFactory);
    return txManager;
  }
}
You must create LocalContainerEntityManagerFactoryBean and not EntityManagerFactory directly, since the former also participates in exception translation mechanisms in addition to creating EntityManagerFactory.

The preceding configuration class sets up an embedded HSQL database by using the EmbeddedDatabaseBuilder API of spring-jdbc. Spring Data then sets up an EntityManagerFactory and uses Hibernate as the sample persistence provider. The last infrastructure component declared here is the JpaTransactionManager. Finally, the example activates Spring Data JPA repositories by using the @EnableJpaRepositories annotation, which essentially carries the same attributes as the XML namespace. If no base package is configured, it uses the one in which the configuration class resides.

5.1.3. Bootstrap Mode

By default, Spring Data JPA repositories are default Spring beans. They are singleton scoped and eagerly initialized. During startup, they already interact with the JPA EntityManager for verification and metadata analysis purposes. Spring Framework supports the initialization of the JPA EntityManagerFactory in a background thread because that process usually takes up a significant amount of startup time in a Spring application. To make use of that background initialization effectively, we need to make sure that JPA repositories are initialized as late as possible.

As of Spring Data JPA 2.1 you can now configure a BootstrapMode (either via the @EnableJpaRepositories annotation or the XML namespace) that takes the following values:

  • DEFAULT (default) — Repositories are instantiated eagerly unless explicitly annotated with @Lazy. The lazification only has effect if no client bean needs an instance of the repository as that will require the initialization of the repository bean.

  • LAZY — Implicitly declares all repository beans lazy and also causes lazy initialization proxies to be created to be injected into client beans. That means, that repositories will not get instantiated if the client bean is simply storing the instance in a field and not making use of the repository during initialization. Repository instances will be initialized and verified upon first interaction with the repository.

  • DEFERRED — Fundamentally the same mode of operation as LAZY, but triggering repository initialization in response to an ContextRefreshedEvent so that repositories are verified before the application has completely started.

Recommendations

If you’re not using asynchronous JPA bootstrap stick with the default bootstrap mode.

In case you bootstrap JPA asynchronously, DEFERRED is a reasonable default as it will make sure the Spring Data JPA bootstrap only waits for the EntityManagerFactory setup if that itself takes longer than initializing all other application components. Still, it makes sure that repositories are properly initialized and validated before the application signals it’s up.

LAZY is a decent choice for testing scenarios and local development. Once you’re pretty sure that repositories will properly bootstrap, or in cases where you’re testing other parts of the application, executing verification for all repositories might just unnecessarily increase the startup time. The same applies to local development in which you only access parts of the application which might just need a single repository initialized.

5.2. Persisting Entities

This section describes how to persist (save) entities with Spring Data JPA.

5.2.1. Saving Entities

Saving an entity can be performed with the CrudRepository.save(…) method. It persists or merges the given entity by using the underlying JPA EntityManager. If the entity has not yet been persisted, Spring Data JPA saves the entity with a call to the entityManager.persist(…) method. Otherwise, it calls the entityManager.merge(…) method.

Entity State-detection Strategies

Spring Data JPA offers the following strategies to detect whether an entity is new or not:

  • Version-Property and Id-Property inspection (default): By default Spring Data JPA inspects first if there is a Version-property of non-primitive type. If there is the entity is considered new if the value is null. Without such a Version-property Spring Data JPA inspects the identifier property of the given entity. If the identifier property is null, then the entity is assumed to be new. Otherwise, it is assumed to be not new.

  • Implementing Persistable: If an entity implements Persistable, Spring Data JPA delegates the new detection to the isNew(…) method of the entity. See the JavaDoc for details.

  • Implementing EntityInformation: You can customize the EntityInformation abstraction used in the SimpleJpaRepository implementation by creating a subclass of JpaRepositoryFactory and overriding the getEntityInformation(…) method accordingly. You then have to register the custom implementation of JpaRepositoryFactory as a Spring bean. Note that this should be rarely necessary. See the JavaDoc for details.

5.3. Query Methods

This section describes the various ways to create a query with Spring Data JPA.

5.3.1. Query Lookup Strategies

The JPA module supports defining a query manually as a String or having it being derived from the method name.

Declared Queries

Although getting a query derived from the method name is quite convenient, one might face the situation in which either the method name parser does not support the keyword one wants to use or the method name would get unnecessarily ugly. So you can either use JPA named queries through a naming convention (see Using JPA Named Queries for more information) or rather annotate your query method with @Query (see Using @Query for details).

5.3.2. Query Creation

Generally, the query creation mechanism for JPA works as described in “Query methods”. The following example shows what a JPA query method translates into:

Example 53. Query creation from method names
public interface UserRepository extends Repository<User, Long> {

  List<User> findByEmailAddressAndLastname(String emailAddress, String lastname);
}

We create a query using the JPA criteria API from this, but, essentially, this translates into the following query: select u from User u where u.emailAddress = ?1 and u.lastname = ?2. Spring Data JPA does a property check and traverses nested properties, as described in “Property Expressions”.

The following table describes the keywords supported for JPA and what a method containing that keyword translates to:

Table 3. Supported keywords inside method names
Keyword Sample JPQL snippet

And

findByLastnameAndFirstname

… where x.lastname = ?1 and x.firstname = ?2

Or

findByLastnameOrFirstname

… where x.lastname = ?1 or x.firstname = ?2

Is,Equals

findByFirstname,findByFirstnameIs,findByFirstnameEquals

… where x.firstname = ?1

Between

findByStartDateBetween

… where x.startDate between ?1 and ?2

LessThan

findByAgeLessThan

… where x.age < ?1

LessThanEqual

findByAgeLessThanEqual

… where x.age <= ?1

GreaterThan

findByAgeGreaterThan

… where x.age > ?1

GreaterThanEqual

findByAgeGreaterThanEqual

… where x.age >= ?1

After

findByStartDateAfter

… where x.startDate > ?1

Before

findByStartDateBefore

… where x.startDate < ?1

IsNull

findByAgeIsNull

… where x.age is null

IsNotNull,NotNull

findByAge(Is)NotNull

… where x.age not null

Like

findByFirstnameLike

… where x.firstname like ?1

NotLike

findByFirstnameNotLike

… where x.firstname not like ?1

StartingWith

findByFirstnameStartingWith

… where x.firstname like ?1 (parameter bound with appended %)

EndingWith

findByFirstnameEndingWith

… where x.firstname like ?1 (parameter bound with prepended %)

Containing

findByFirstnameContaining

… where x.firstname like ?1 (parameter bound wrapped in %)

OrderBy

findByAgeOrderByLastnameDesc

… where x.age = ?1 order by x.lastname desc

Not

findByLastnameNot

… where x.lastname <> ?1

In

findByAgeIn(Collection<Age> ages)

… where x.age in ?1

NotIn

findByAgeNotIn(Collection<Age> ages)

… where x.age not in ?1

True

findByActiveTrue()

… where x.active = true

False

findByActiveFalse()

… where x.active = false

IgnoreCase

findByFirstnameIgnoreCase

… where UPPER(x.firstame) = UPPER(?1)

In and NotIn also take any subclass of Collection as aparameter as well as arrays or varargs. For other syntactical versions of the same logical operator, check “Repository query keywords”.

5.3.3. Using JPA Named Queries

The examples use the <named-query /> element and @NamedQuery annotation. The queries for these configuration elements have to be defined in the JPA query language. Of course, you can use <named-native-query /> or @NamedNativeQuery too. These elements let you define the query in native SQL by losing the database platform independence.
XML Named Query Definition

To use XML configuration, add the necessary <named-query /> element to the orm.xml JPA configuration file located in the META-INF folder of your classpath. Automatic invocation of named queries is enabled by using some defined naming convention. For more details, see below.

Example 54. XML named query configuration
<named-query name="User.findByLastname">
  <query>select u from User u where u.lastname = ?1</query>
</named-query>

The query has a special name that is used to resolve it at runtime.

Annotation-based Configuration

Annotation-based configuration has the advantage of not needing another configuration file to be edited, lowering maintenance effort. You pay for that benefit by the need to recompile your domain class for every new query declaration.

Example 55. Annotation-based named query configuration
@Entity
@NamedQuery(name = "User.findByEmailAddress",
  query = "select u from User u where u.emailAddress = ?1")
public class User {

}
Declaring Interfaces

To allow execution of these named queries, specify the UserRepository as follows:

Example 56. Query method declaration in UserRepository
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

  List<User> findByLastname(String lastname);

  User findByEmailAddress(String emailAddress);
}

Spring Data tries to resolve a call to these methods to a named query, starting with the simple name of the configured domain class, followed by the method name separated by a dot. So the preceding example would use the named queries defined in the examlpe instead of trying to create a query from the method name.

5.3.4. Using @Query

Using named queries to declare queries for entities is a valid approach and works fine for a small number of queries. As the queries themselves are tied to the Java method that executes them, you can actually bind them directly by using the Spring Data JPA @Query annotation rather than annotating them to the domain class. This frees the domain class from persistence specific information and co-locates the query to the repository interface.

Queries annotated to the query method take precedence over queries defined using @NamedQuery or named queries declared in orm.xml.

The following example shows a query created with the @Query annotation:

Example 57. Declare query at the query method using @Query
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

  @Query("select u from User u where u.emailAddress = ?1")
  User findByEmailAddress(String emailAddress);
}
Using Advanced LIKE Expressions

The query execution mechanism for manually defined queries created with @Query allows the definition of advanced LIKE expressions inside the query definition, as shown in the following example:

Example 58. Advanced like expressions in @Query
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

  @Query("select u from User u where u.firstname like %?1")
  List<User> findByFirstnameEndsWith(String firstname);
}

In the preceding example, the LIKE delimiter character (%) is recognized, and the query is transformed into a valid JPQL query (removing the %). Upon query execution, the parameter passed to the method call gets augmented with the previously recognized LIKE pattern.

Native Queries

The @Query annotation allows for running native queries by setting the nativeQuery flag to true, as shown in the following example:

Example 59. Declare a native query at the query method using @Query
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

  @Query(value = "SELECT * FROM USERS WHERE EMAIL_ADDRESS = ?1", nativeQuery = true)
  User findByEmailAddress(String emailAddress);
}
Spring Data JPA does not currently support dynamic sorting for native queries, because it would have to manipulate the actual query declared, which it cannot do reliably for native SQL. You can, however, use native queries for pagination by specifying the count query yourself, as shown in the following example:
Example 60. Declare native count queries for pagination at the query method by using @Query
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

  @Query(value = "SELECT * FROM USERS WHERE LASTNAME = ?1",
    countQuery = "SELECT count(*) FROM USERS WHERE LASTNAME = ?1",
    nativeQuery = true)
  Page<User> findByLastname(String lastname, Pageable pageable);
}

A similar approach also works with named native queries, by adding the .count suffix to a copy of your query. You probably need to register a result set mapping for your count query, though.

5.3.5. Using Sort

Sorting can be done be either providing a PageRequest or by using Sort directly. The properties actually used within the Order instances of Sort need to match your domain model, which means they need to resolve to either a property or an alias used within the query. The JPQL defines this as a state field path expression.

Using any non-referenceable path expression leads to an Exception.

However, using Sort together with @Query lets you sneak in non-path-checked Order instances containing functions within the ORDER BY clause. This is possible because the Order is appended to the given query string. By default, Spring Data JPA rejects any Order instance containing function calls, but you can use JpaSort.unsafe to add potentially unsafe ordering.

The following example uses Sort and JpaSort, including an unsafe option on JpaSort:

Example 61. Using Sort and JpaSort
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

  @Query("select u from User u where u.lastname like ?1%")
  List<User> findByAndSort(String lastname, Sort sort);

  @Query("select u.id, LENGTH(u.firstname) as fn_len from User u where u.lastname like ?1%")
  List<Object[]> findByAsArrayAndSort(String lastname, Sort sort);
}

repo.findByAndSort("lannister", new Sort("firstname"));               (1)
repo.findByAndSort("stark", new Sort("LENGTH(firstname)"));           (2)
repo.findByAndSort("targaryen", JpaSort.unsafe("LENGTH(firstname)")); (3)
repo.findByAsArrayAndSort("bolton", new Sort("fn_len"));              (4)
1 Valid Sort expression pointing to property in domain model.
2 Invalid Sort containing function call. Thows Exception.
3 Valid Sort containing explicitly unsafe Order.
4 Valid Sort expression pointing to aliased function.

5.3.6. Using Named Parameters

By default, Spring Data JPA uses position-based parameter binding, as described in all the preceding examples. This makes query methods a little error-prone when refactoring regarding the parameter position. To solve this issue, you can use @Param annotation to give a method parameter a concrete name and bind the name in the query, as shown in the following example:

Example 62. Using named parameters
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

  @Query("select u from User u where u.firstname = :firstname or u.lastname = :lastname")
  User findByLastnameOrFirstname(@Param("lastname") String lastname,
                                 @Param("firstname") String firstname);
}
The method parameters are switched according to their order in the defined query.
As of version 4, Spring fully supports Java 8’s parameter name discovery based on the -parameters compiler flag. By using this flag in your build as an alternative to debug information, you can omit the @Param annotation for named parameters.

5.3.7. Using SpEL Expressions

As of Spring Data JPA release 1.4, we support the usage of restricted SpEL template expressions in manually defined queries that are defined with @Query. Upon query execution, these expressions are evaluated against a predefined set of variables. Spring Data JPA supports a variable called entityName. Its usage is select x from #{#entityName} x. It inserts the entityName of the domain type associated with the given repository. The entityName is resolved as follows: If the domain type has set the name property on the @Entity annotation, it is used. Otherwise, the simple class-name of the domain type is used.

The following example demonstrates one use case for the #{#entityName} expression in a query string where you want to define a repository interface with a query method and a manually defined query:

Example 63. Using SpEL expressions in repository query methods - entityName
@Entity
public class User {

  @Id
  @GeneratedValue
  Long id;

  String lastname;
}

public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User,Long> {

  @Query("select u from #{#entityName} u where u.lastname = ?1")
  List<User> findByLastname(String lastname);
}

To avoid stating the actual entity name in the query string of a @Query annotation, you can use the #{#entityName} variable.

The entityName can be customized by using the @Entity annotation. Customizations in orm.xml are not supported for the SpEL expressions.

Of course, you could have just used User in the query declaration directly, but that would require you to change the query as well. The reference to #entityName picks up potential future remappings of the User class to a different entity name (for example, by using @Entity(name = "MyUser").

Another use case for the #{#entityName} expression in a query string is if you want to define a generic repository interface with specialized repository interfaces for a concrete domain type. To not repeat the definition of custom query methods on the concrete interfaces, you can use the entity name expression in the query string of the @Query annotation in the generic repository interface, as shown in the following example:

Example 64. Using SpEL expressions in repository query methods - entityName with inheritance
@MappedSuperclass
public abstract class AbstractMappedType {
  …
  String attribute
}

@Entity
public class ConcreteType extends AbstractMappedType { … }

@NoRepositoryBean
public interface MappedTypeRepository<T extends AbstractMappedType>
  extends Repository<T, Long> {

  @Query("select t from #{#entityName} t where t.attribute = ?1")
  List<T> findAllByAttribute(String attribute);
}

public interface ConcreteRepository
  extends MappedTypeRepository<ConcreteType> { … }

In the preceding example, the MappedTypeRepository interface is the common parent interface for a few domain types extending AbstractMappedType. It also defines the generic findAllByAttribute(…) method, which can be used on instances of the specialized repository interfaces. If you now invoke findByAllAttribute(…) on ConcreteRepository, the query becomes select t from ConcreteType t where t.attribute = ?1.

5.3.8. Modifying Queries

All the previous sections describe how to declare queries to access a given entity or collection of entities. You can add custom modifying behavior by using the facilities described in “Custom Implementations for Spring Data Repositories”. As this approach is feasible for comprehensive custom functionality, you can modify queries that only need parameter binding by annotating the query method with @Modifying, as shown in the following example:

Example 65. Declaring manipulating queries
@Modifying
@Query("update User u set u.firstname = ?1 where u.lastname = ?2")
int setFixedFirstnameFor(String firstname, String lastname);

Doing so triggers the query annotated to the method as an updating query instead of a selecting one. As the EntityManager might contain outdated entities after the execution of the modifying query, we do not automatically clear it (see the JavaDoc of EntityManager.clear() for details), since this effectively drops all non-flushed changes still pending in the EntityManager. If you wish the EntityManager to be cleared automatically, you can set the @Modifying annotation’s clearAutomatically attribute to true.

The @Modifying annotation is only relevant in combination with the @Query annotation. Derived query methods or custom methods do not require this Annotation.

Derived Delete Queries

Spring Data JPA also supports derived delete queries that let you avoid having to declare the JPQL query explicitly, as shown in the following example:

Example 66. Using a derived delete query
interface UserRepository extends Repository<User, Long> {

  void deleteByRoleId(long roleId);

  @Modifying
  @Query("delete from User u where user.role.id = ?1")
  void deleteInBulkByRoleId(long roleId);
}

Although the deleteByRoleId(…) method looks like it basically produces the same result as the deleteInBulkByRoleId(…), there is an important difference between the two method declarations in terms of the way they get executed. As the name suggests, the latter method issues a single JPQL query (the one defined in the annotation) against the database. This means even currently loaded instances of User do not see lifecycle callbacks invoked.

To make sure lifecycle queries are actually invoked, an invocation of deleteByRoleId(…) executes a query and then deletes the returned instances one by one, so that the persistence provider can actually invoke @PreRemove callbacks on those entities.

In fact, a derived delete query is a shortcut for executing the query and then calling CrudRepository.delete(Iterable<User> users) on the result and keeping behavior in sync with the implementations of other delete(…) methods in CrudRepository.

5.3.9. Applying Query Hints

To apply JPA query hints to the queries declared in your repository interface, you can use the @QueryHints annotation. It takes an array of JPA @QueryHint annotations plus a boolean flag to potentially disable the hints applied to the additional count query triggered when applying pagination, as shown in the following example:

Example 67. Using QueryHints with a repository method
public interface UserRepository extends Repository<User, Long> {

  @QueryHints(value = { @QueryHint(name = "name", value = "value")},
              forCounting = false)
  Page<User> findByLastname(String lastname, Pageable pageable);
}

The preceding declaration would apply the configured @QueryHint for that actually query but omit applying it to the count query triggered to calculate the total number of pages.

5.3.10. Configuring Fetch- and LoadGraphs

The JPA 2.1 specification introduced support for specifying Fetch- and LoadGraphs that we also support with the @EntityGraph annotation, which lets you reference a @NamedEntityGraph definition. You can use that annotation on an entity to configure the fetch plan of the resulting query. The type (Fetch or Load) of the fetching can be configured by using the type attribute on the @EntityGraph annotation. See the JPA 2.1 Spec 3.7.4 for further reference.

The following example shows how to define a named entity graph on an entity:

Example 68. Defining a named entity graph on an entity.
@Entity
@NamedEntityGraph(name = "GroupInfo.detail",
  attributeNodes = @NamedAttributeNode("members"))
public class GroupInfo {

  // default fetch mode is lazy.
  @ManyToMany
  List<GroupMember> members = new ArrayList<GroupMember>();

  …
}

The following example shows how to reference a named entity graph on a repository query method:

Example 69. Referencing a named entity graph definition on a repository query method.
@Repository
public interface GroupRepository extends CrudRepository<GroupInfo, String> {

  @EntityGraph(value = "GroupInfo.detail", type = EntityGraphType.LOAD)
  GroupInfo getByGroupName(String name);

}

It is also possible to define ad hoc entity graphs by using @EntityGraph. The provided attributePaths are translated into the according EntityGraph without needing to explicitly add @NamedEntityGraph to your domain types, as shown in the following example:

Example 70. Using AD-HOC entity graph definition on an repository query method.
@Repository
public interface GroupRepository extends CrudRepository<GroupInfo, String> {

  @EntityGraph(attributePaths = { "members" })
  GroupInfo getByGroupName(String name);

}

5.3.11. Projections

Spring Data query methods usually return one or multiple instances of the aggregate root managed by the repository. However, it might sometimes be desirable to create projections based on certain attributes of those types. Spring Data allows modeling dedicated return types, to more selectively retrieve partial views of the managed aggregates.

Imagine a repository and aggregate root type such as the following example:

Example 71. A sample aggregate and repository
class Person {

  @Id UUID id;
  String firstname, lastname;
  Address address;

  static class Address {
    String zipCode, city, street;
  }
}

interface PersonRepository extends Repository<Person, UUID> {

  Collection<Person> findByLastname(String lastname);
}

Now imagine that we want to retrieve the person’s name attributes only. What means does Spring Data offer to achieve this? The rest of this chapter answers that question.

Interface-based Projections

The easiest way to limit the result of the queries to only the name attributes is by declaring an interface that exposes accessor methods for the properties to be read, as shown in the following example:

Example 72. A projection interface to retrieve a subset of attributes
interface NamesOnly {

  String getFirstname();
  String getLastname();
}

The important bit here is that the properties defined here exactly match properties in the aggregate root. Doing so lets a query method be added as follows:

Example 73. A repository using an interface based projection with a query method
interface PersonRepository extends Repository<Person, UUID> {

  Collection<NamesOnly> findByLastname(String lastname);
}

The query execution engine creates proxy instances of that interface at runtime for each element returned and forwards calls to the exposed methods to the target object.

Projections can be used recursively. If you want to include some of the Address information as well, create a projection interface for that and return that interface from the declaration of getAddress(), as shown in the following example:

Example 74. A projection interface to retrieve a subset of attributes
interface PersonSummary {

  String getFirstname();
  String getLastname();
  AddressSummary getAddress();

  interface AddressSummary {
    String getCity();
  }
}

On method invocation, the address property of the target instance is obtained and wrapped into a projecting proxy in turn.

Closed Projections

A projection interface whose accessor methods all match properties of the target aggregate is considered to be a closed projection. The following example (which we used earlier in this chapter, too) is a closed projection:

Example 75. A closed projection
interface NamesOnly {

  String getFirstname();
  String getLastname();
}

If you use a closed projection, Spring Data can optimize the query execution, because we know about all the attributes that are needed to back the projection proxy. For more details on that, see the module-specific part of the reference documentation.

Open Projections

Accessor methods in projection interfaces can also be used to compute new values by using the @Value annotation, as shown in the following example:

Example 76. An Open Projection
interface NamesOnly {

  @Value("#{target.firstname + ' ' + target.lastname}")
  String getFullName();
  …
}

The aggregate root backing the projection is available in the target variable. A projection interface using @Value is an open projection. Spring Data cannot apply query execution optimizations in this case, because the SpEL expression could use any attribute of the aggregate root.

The expressions used in @Value should not be too complex — you want to avoid programming in String variables. For very simple expressions, one option might be to resort to default methods (introduced in Java 8), as shown in the following example:

Example 77. A projection interface using a default method for custom logic
interface NamesOnly {

  String getFirstname();
  String getLastname();

  default String getFullName() {
    return getFirstname.concat(" ").concat(getLastname());
  }
}

This approach requires you to be able to implement logic purely based on the other accessor methods exposed on the projection interface. A second, more flexible, option is to implement the custom logic in a Spring bean and then invoke that from the SpEL expression, as shown in the following example:

Example 78. Sample Person object
@Component
class MyBean {

  String getFullName(Person person) {
    …
  }
}

interface NamesOnly {

  @Value("#{@myBean.getFullName(target)}")
  String getFullName();
  …
}

Notice how the SpEL expression refers to myBean and invokes the getFullName(…) method and forwards the projection target as a method parameter. Methods backed by SpEL expression evaluation can also use method parameters, which can then be referred to from the expression. The method parameters are available through an Object array named args. The following example shows how to get a method parameter from the args array:

Example 79. Sample Person object
interface NamesOnly {

  @Value("#{args[0] + ' ' + target.firstname + '!'}")
  String getSalutation(String prefix);
}

Again, for more complex expressions, you should use a Spring bean and let the expression invoke a method, as described earlier.

Class-based Projections (DTOs)

Another way of defining projections is by using value type DTOs (Data Transfer Objects) that hold properties for the fields that are supposed to be retrieved. These DTO types can be used in exactly the same way projection interfaces are used, except that no proxying happens and no nested projections can be applied.

If the store optimizes the query execution by limiting the fields to be loaded, the fields to be loaded are determined from the parameter names of the constructor that is exposed.

The following example shows a projecting DTO:

Example 80. A projecting DTO
class NamesOnly {

  private final String firstname, lastname;

  NamesOnly(String firstname, String lastname) {

    this.firstname = firstname;
    this.lastname = lastname;
  }

  String getFirstname() {
    return this.firstname;
  }

  String getLastname() {
    return this.lastname;
  }

  // equals(…) and hashCode() implementations
}
Avoid boilerplate code for projection DTOs

You can dramatically simplify the code for a DTO by using Project Lombok, which provides an @Value annotation (not to be confused with Spring’s @Value annotation shown in the earlier interface examples). If you use Project Lombok’s @Value annotation, the sample DTO shown earlier would become the following:

@Value
class NamesOnly {
	String firstname, lastname;
}

Fields are private final by default, and the class exposes a constructor that takes all fields and automatically gets equals(…) and hashCode() methods implemented.

Dynamic Projections

So far, we have used the projection type as the return type or element type of a collection. However, you might want to select the type to be used at invocation time (which makes it dynamic). To apply dynamic projections, use a query method such as the one shown in the following example:

Example 81. A repository using a dynamic projection parameter
interface PersonRepository extends Repository<Person, UUID> {

  <T> Collection<T> findByLastname(String lastname, Class<T> type);
}

This way, the method can be used to obtain the aggregates as is or with a projection applied, as shown in the following example:

Example 82. Using a repository with dynamic projections
void someMethod(PersonRepository people) {

  Collection<Person> aggregates =
    people.findByLastname("Matthews", Person.class);

  Collection<NamesOnly> aggregates =
    people.findByLastname("Matthews", NamesOnly.class);
}

5.4. Stored Procedures

The JPA 2.1 specification introduced support for calling stored procedures by using the JPA criteria query API. We Introduced the @Procedure annotation for declaring stored procedure metadata on a repository method.

The examples to follow use the following procedure:

Example 83. The definition of the plus1inout procedure in HSQL DB.
/;
DROP procedure IF EXISTS plus1inout
/;
CREATE procedure plus1inout (IN arg int, OUT res int)
BEGIN ATOMIC
 set res = arg + 1;
END
/;

Metadata for stored procedures can be configured by using the NamedStoredProcedureQuery annotation on an entity type.

Example 84. StoredProcedure metadata definitions on an entity.
@Entity
@NamedStoredProcedureQuery(name = "User.plus1", procedureName = "plus1inout", parameters = {
  @StoredProcedureParameter(mode = ParameterMode.IN, name = "arg", type = Integer.class),
  @StoredProcedureParameter(mode = ParameterMode.OUT, name = "res", type = Integer.class) })
public class User {}

You can reference stored procedures from a repository method in multiple ways. The stored procedure to be called can either be defined directly by using the value or procedureName attribute of the @Procedure annotation or indirectly by using the name attribute. If no name is configured, the name of the repository method is used as a fallback.

The following example shows how to reference an explicitly mapped procedure:

Example 85. Referencing explicitly mapped procedure with name "plus1inout" in database.
@Procedure("plus1inout")
Integer explicitlyNamedPlus1inout(Integer arg);

The following example shows how to reference an implicitly mapped procedure by using a procedureName alias:

Example 86. Referencing implicitly mapped procedure with name "plus1inout" in database via procedureName alias.
@Procedure(procedureName = "plus1inout")
Integer plus1inout(Integer arg);

The following example shows how to reference an explicitly mapped named procedure in EntityManager:

Example 87. Referencing explicitly mapped named stored procedure "User.plus1IO" in EntityManager.
@Procedure(name = "User.plus1IO")
Integer entityAnnotatedCustomNamedProcedurePlus1IO(@Param("arg") Integer arg);

The following example shows how to reference an implicitly named stored procedure in EntityManager by using the method name:

Example 88. Referencing implicitly mapped named stored procedure "User.plus1" in EntityManager by using the method name.
@Procedure
Integer plus1(@Param("arg") Integer arg);

5.5. Specifications

JPA 2 introduces a criteria API that you can use to build queries programmatically. By writing a criteria, you define the where clause of a query for a domain class. Taking another step back, these criteria can be regarded as a predicate over the entity that is described by the JPA criteria API constraints.

Spring Data JPA takes the concept of a specification from Eric Evans' book, “Domain Driven Design”, following the same semantics and providing an API to define such specifications with the JPA criteria API. To support specifications, you can extend your repository interface with the JpaSpecificationExecutor interface, as follows:

public interface CustomerRepository extends CrudRepository<Customer, Long>, JpaSpecificationExecutor {
 …
}

The additional interface has methods that let you execute specifications in a variety of ways. For example, the findAll method returns all entities that match the specification, as shown in the following example:

List<T> findAll(Specification<T> spec);

The Specification interface is defined as follows:

public interface Specification<T> {
  Predicate toPredicate(Root<T> root, CriteriaQuery<?> query,
            CriteriaBuilder builder);
}

Specifications can easily be used to build an extensible set of predicates on top of an entity that then can be combined and used with JpaRepository without the need to declare a query (method) for every needed combination, as shown in the following example:

Example 89. Specifications for a Customer
public class CustomerSpecs {

  public static Specification<Customer> isLongTermCustomer() {
    return new Specification<Customer>() {
      public Predicate toPredicate(Root<Customer> root, CriteriaQuery<?> query,
            CriteriaBuilder builder) {

         LocalDate date = new LocalDate().minusYears(2);
         return builder.lessThan(root.get(_Customer.createdAt), date);
      }
    };
  }

  public static Specification<Customer> hasSalesOfMoreThan(MonetaryAmount value) {
    return new Specification<Customer>() {
      public Predicate toPredicate(Root<T> root, CriteriaQuery<?> query,
            CriteriaBuilder builder) {

         // build query here
      }
    };
  }
}

Admittedly, the amount of boilerplate leaves room for improvement (that may eventually be reduced by Java 8 closures), but the client side becomes much nicer, as you will see later in this section. The _Customer type is a metamodel type generated using the JPA Metamodel generator (see the Hibernate implementation’s documentation for an example). So the expression, _Customer.createdAt, assumes the Customer has a createdAt attribute of type Date. Besides that, we have expressed some criteria on a business requirement abstraction level and created executable Specifications. So a client might use a Specification as follows:

Example 90. Using a simple Specification
List<Customer> customers = customerRepository.findAll(isLongTermCustomer());

Why not create a query for this kind of data access? Using a single Specification does not gain a lot of benefit over a plain query declaration. The power of specifications really shines when you combine them to create new Specification objects. You can achieve this through the default methods of Specification we provide to build expressions similar to the following:

Example 91. Combined Specifications
MonetaryAmount amount = new MonetaryAmount(200.0, Currencies.DOLLAR);
List<Customer> customers = customerRepository.findAll(
  isLongTermCustomer().or(hasSalesOfMoreThan(amount)));

Specification offers some “glue-code” default methods to chain and combine Specification instances. These methods let you extend your data access layer by creating new Specification implementations and combining them with already existing implementations.

5.6. Query by Example

5.6.1. Introduction

This chapter provides an introduction to Query by Example and explains how to use it.

Query by Example (QBE) is a user-friendly querying technique with a simple interface. It allows dynamic query creation and does not require you to write queries that contain field names. In fact, Query by Example does not require you to write queries by using store-specific query languages at all.

5.6.2. Usage

The Query by Example API consists of three parts:

  • Probe: The actual example of a domain object with populated fields.

  • ExampleMatcher: The ExampleMatcher carries details on how to match particular fields. It can be reused across multiple Examples.

  • Example: An Example consists of the probe and the ExampleMatcher. It is used to create the query.

Query by Example is well suited for several use cases:

  • Querying your data store with a set of static or dynamic constraints.

  • Frequent refactoring of the domain objects without worrying about breaking existing queries.

  • Working independently from the underlying data store API.

Query by Example also has several limitations:

  • No support for nested or grouped property constraints, such as firstname = ?0 or (firstname = ?1 and lastname = ?2).

  • Only supports starts/contains/ends/regex matching for strings and exact matching for other property types.

Before getting started with Query by Example, you need to have a domain object. To get started, create an interface for your repository, as shown in the following example:

Example 92. Sample Person object
public class Person {

  @Id
  private String id;
  private String firstname;
  private String lastname;
  private Address address;

  // … getters and setters omitted
}

The preceding example shows a simple domain object. You can use it to create an Example. By default, fields having null values are ignored, and strings are matched by using the store specific defaults. Examples can be built by either using the of factory method or by using ExampleMatcher. Example is immutable. The following listing shows a simple Example:

Example 93. Simple Example
Person person = new Person();                         (1)
person.setFirstname("Dave");                          (2)

Example<Person> example = Example.of(person);         (3)
1 Create a new instance of the domain object.
2 Set the properties to query.
3 Create the Example.

Examples are ideally be executed with repositories. To do so, let your repository interface extend QueryByExampleExecutor<T>. The following listing shows an excerpt from the QueryByExampleExecutor interface:

Example 94. The QueryByExampleExecutor
public interface QueryByExampleExecutor<T> {

  <S extends T> S findOne(Example<S> example);

  <S extends T> Iterable<S> findAll(Example<S> example);

  // … more functionality omitted.
}

5.6.3. Example Matchers

Examples are not limited to default settings. You can specify your own defaults for string matching, null handling, and property-specific settings by using the ExampleMatcher, as shown in the following example:

Example 95. Example matcher with customized matching
Person person = new Person();                          (1)
person.setFirstname("Dave");                           (2)

ExampleMatcher matcher = ExampleMatcher.matching()     (3)
  .withIgnorePaths("lastname")                         (4)
  .withIncludeNullValues()                             (5)
  .withStringMatcherEnding();                          (6)

Example<Person> example = Example.of(person, matcher); (7)
1 Create a new instance of the domain object.
2 Set properties.
3 Create an ExampleMatcher to expect all values to match. It is usable at this stage even without further configuration.
4 Construct a new ExampleMatcher to ignore the lastname property path.
5 Construct a new ExampleMatcher to ignore the lastname property path and to include null values.
6 Construct a new ExampleMatcher to ignore the lastname property path, to include null values, and to perform suffix string matching.
7 Create a new Example based on the domain object and the configured ExampleMatcher.

By default, the ExampleMatcher expects all values set on the probe to match. If you want to get results matching any of the predicates defined implicitly, use ExampleMatcher.matchingAny().

You can specify behavior for individual properties (such as "firstname" and "lastname" or, for nested properties, "address.city"). You can tune it with matching options and case sensitivity, as shown in the following example:

Example 96. Configuring matcher options
ExampleMatcher matcher = ExampleMatcher.matching()
  .withMatcher("firstname", endsWith())
  .withMatcher("lastname", startsWith().ignoreCase());
}

Another way to configure matcher options is to use lambdas (introduced in Java 8). This approach creates a callback that asks the implementor to modify the matcher. You need not return the matcher, because configuration options are held within the matcher instance. The following example shows a matcher that uses lambdas:

Example 97. Configuring matcher options with lambdas
ExampleMatcher matcher = ExampleMatcher.matching()
  .withMatcher("firstname", match -> match.endsWith())
  .withMatcher("firstname", match -> match.startsWith());
}

Queries created by Example use a merged view of the configuration. Default matching settings can be set at the ExampleMatcher level, while individual settings can be applied to particular property paths. Settings that are set on ExampleMatcher are inherited by property path settings unless they are defined explicitly. Settings on a property patch have higher precedence than default settings. The following table describes the scope of the various ExampleMatcher settings:

Table 4. Scope of ExampleMatcher settings
Setting Scope

Null-handling

ExampleMatcher

String matching

ExampleMatcher and property path

Ignoring properties

Property path

Case sensitivity

ExampleMatcher and property path

Value transformation

Property path

5.6.4. Executing an example

In Spring Data JPA, you can use Query by Example with Repositories, as shown in the following example:

Example 98. Query by Example using a Repository
public interface PersonRepository extends JpaRepository<Person, String> { … }

public class PersonService {

  @Autowired PersonRepository personRepository;

  public List<Person> findPeople(Person probe) {
    return personRepository.findAll(Example.of(probe));
  }
}
Currently, only SingularAttribute properties can be used for property matching.

The property specifier accepts property names (such as firstname and lastname). You can navigate by chaining properties together with dots (address.city). You can also tune it with matching options and case sensitivity.

The following table shows the various StringMatcher options that you can use and the result of using them on a field named firstname:

Table 5. StringMatcher options
Matching Logical result

DEFAULT (case-sensitive)

firstname = ?0

DEFAULT (case-insensitive)

LOWER(firstname) = LOWER(?0)

EXACT (case-sensitive)

firstname = ?0

EXACT (case-insensitive)

LOWER(firstname) = LOWER(?0)

STARTING (case-sensitive)

firstname like ?0 + '%'

STARTING (case-insensitive)

LOWER(firstname) like LOWER(?0) + '%'

ENDING (case-sensitive)

firstname like '%' + ?0

ENDING (case-insensitive)

LOWER(firstname) like '%' + LOWER(?0)

CONTAINING (case-sensitive)

firstname like '%' + ?0 + '%'

CONTAINING (case-insensitive)

LOWER(firstname) like '%' + LOWER(?0) + '%'

5.7. Transactionality

By default, CRUD methods on repository instances are transactional. For read operations, the transaction configuration readOnly flag is set to true. All others are configured with a plain @Transactional so that default transaction configuration applies. For details, see JavaDoc of SimpleJpaRepository. If you need to tweak transaction configuration for one of the methods declared in a repository, redeclare the method in your repository interface, as follows:

Example 99. Custom transaction configuration for CRUD
public interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Long> {

  @Override
  @Transactional(timeout = 10)
  public List<User> findAll();

  // Further query method declarations
}

Doing so causes the findAll() method to run with a timeout of 10 seconds and without the readOnly flag.

Another way to alter transactional behaviour is to use a facade or service implementation that (typically) covers more than one repository. Its purpose is to define transactional boundaries for non-CRUD operations. The following example shows how to use such a facade for more than one repository:

Example 100. Using a facade to define transactions for multiple repository calls
@Service
class UserManagementImpl implements UserManagement {

  private final UserRepository userRepository;
  private final RoleRepository roleRepository;

  @Autowired
  public UserManagementImpl(UserRepository userRepository,
    RoleRepository roleRepository) {
    this.userRepository = userRepository;
    this.roleRepository = roleRepository;
  }

  @Transactional
  public void addRoleToAllUsers(String roleName) {

    Role role = roleRepository.findByName(roleName);

    for (User user : userRepository.findAll()) {
      user.addRole(role);
      userRepository.save(user);
    }
}

This example causes call to addRoleToAllUsers(…) to run inside a transaction (participating in an existing one or creating a new one if none are already running). The transaction configuration at the repositories is then neglected, as the outer transaction configuration determines the actual one used. Note that you must activate <tx:annotation-driven /> or use @EnableTransactionManagement explicitly to get annotation-based configuration of facades to work. This example assumes you use component scanning.

5.7.1. Transactional query methods

To let your query methods be transactional, use @Transactional at the repository interface you define, as shown in the following example:

Example 101. Using @Transactional at query methods
@Transactional(readOnly = true)
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

  List<User> findByLastname(String lastname);

  @Modifying
  @Transactional
  @Query("delete from User u where u.active = false")
  void deleteInactiveUsers();
}

Typically, you want the readOnly flag to be set to true, as most of the query methods only read data. In contrast to that, deleteInactiveUsers() makes use of the @Modifying annotation and overrides the transaction configuration. Thus, the method runs with the readOnly flag set to false.

You can use transactions for read-only queries and mark them as such by setting the readOnly flag. Doing so does not, however, act as a check that you do not trigger a manipulating query (although some databases reject INSERT and UPDATE statements inside a read-only transaction). The readOnly flag is instead propagated as a hint to the underlying JDBC driver for performance optimizations. Furthermore, Spring performs some optimizations on the underlying JPA provider. For example, when used with Hibernate, the flush mode is set to NEVER when you configure a transaction as readOnly, which causes Hibernate to skip dirty checks (a noticeable improvement on large object trees).

5.8. Locking

To specify the lock mode to be used, you can use the @Lock annotation on query methods, as shown in the following example:

Example 102. Defining lock metadata on query methods
interface UserRepository extends Repository<User, Long> {

  // Plain query method
  @Lock(LockModeType.READ)
  List<User> findByLastname(String lastname);
}

This method declaration causes the query being triggered to be equipped with a LockModeType of READ. You can also define locking for CRUD methods by redeclaring them in your repository interface and adding the @Lock annotation, as shown in the following example:

Example 103. Defining lock metadata on CRUD methods
interface UserRepository extends Repository<User, Long> {

  // Redeclaration of a CRUD method
  @Lock(LockModeType.READ);
  List<User> findAll();
}

5.9. Auditing

5.9.1. Basics

Spring Data provides sophisticated support to transparently keep track of who created or changed an entity and when the change happened. To benefit from that functionality, you have to equip your entity classes with auditing metadata that can be defined either using annotations or by implementing an interface.

Annotation-based Auditing Metadata

We provide @CreatedBy and @LastModifiedBy to capture the user who created or modified the entity as well as @CreatedDate and @LastModifiedDate to capture when the change happened.

Example 104. An audited entity
class Customer {

  @CreatedBy
  private User user;

  @CreatedDate
  private DateTime createdDate;

  // … further properties omitted
}

As you can see, the annotations can be applied selectively, depending on which information you want to capture. The annotations capturing when changes were made can be used on properties of type Joda-Time, DateTime, legacy Java Date and Calendar, JDK8 date and time types, and long or Long.

Interface-based Auditing Metadata

In case you do not want to use annotations to define auditing metadata, you can let your domain class implement the Auditable interface. It exposes setter methods for all of the auditing properties.

There is also a convenience base class, AbstractAuditable, which you can extend to avoid the need to manually implement the interface methods. Doing so increases the coupling of your domain classes to Spring Data, which might be something you want to avoid. Usually, the annotation-based way of defining auditing metadata is preferred as it is less invasive and more flexible.

AuditorAware

In case you use either @CreatedBy or @LastModifiedBy, the auditing infrastructure somehow needs to become aware of the current principal. To do so, we provide an AuditorAware<T> SPI interface that you have to implement to tell the infrastructure who the current user or system interacting with the application is. The generic type T defines what type the properties annotated with @CreatedBy or @LastModifiedBy have to be.

The following example shows an implementation of the interface that uses Spring Security’s Authentication object:

Example 105. Implementation of AuditorAware based on Spring Security
class SpringSecurityAuditorAware implements AuditorAware<User> {

  public Optional<User> getCurrentAuditor() {

    return Optional.ofNullable(SecurityContextHolder.getContext())
			  .map(SecurityContext::getAuthentication)
			  .filter(Authentication::isAuthenticated)
			  .map(Authentication::getPrincipal)
			  .map(User.class::cast);
  }
}

The implementation accesses the Authentication object provided by Spring Security and looks up the custom UserDetails instance that you have created in your UserDetailsService implementation. We assume here that you are exposing the domain user through the UserDetails implementation but that, based on the Authentication found, you could also look it up from anywhere. :leveloffset: -1

5.9.2. JPA Auditing

General Auditing Configuration

Spring Data JPA ships with an entity listener that can be used to trigger the capturing of auditing information. First, you must register the AuditingEntityListener to be used for all entities in your persistence contexts inside your orm.xml file, as shown in the following example:

Example 106. Auditing configuration orm.xml
<persistence-unit-metadata>
  <persistence-unit-defaults>
    <entity-listeners>
      <entity-listener class="….data.jpa.domain.support.AuditingEntityListener" />
    </entity-listeners>
  </persistence-unit-defaults>
</persistence-unit-metadata>

You can also enable the AuditingEntityListener on a per-entity basis by using the @EntityListeners annotation, as follows:

@Entity
@EntityListeners(AuditingEntityListener.class)
public class MyEntity {

}
The auditing feature requires spring-aspects.jar to be on the classpath.

With orm.xml suitably modified and spring-aspects.jar on the classpath, activating auditing functionality is a matter of adding the Spring Data JPA auditing namespace element to your configuration, as follows:

Example 107. Activating auditing using XML configuration
<jpa:auditing auditor-aware-ref="yourAuditorAwareBean" />

As of Spring Data JPA 1.5, you can enable auditing by annotating a configuration class with the @EnableJpaAuditing annotation. You must still modify the orm.xml file and have spring-aspects.jar on the classpath. The following example shows how to use the @EnableJpaAuditing annotation:

Example 108. Activating auditing with Java configuration
@Configuration
@EnableJpaAuditing
class Config {

  @Bean
  public AuditorAware<AuditableUser> auditorProvider() {
    return new AuditorAwareImpl();
  }
}

If you expose a bean of type AuditorAware to the ApplicationContext, the auditing infrastructure automatically picks it up and uses it to determine the current user to be set on domain types. If you have multiple implementations registered in the ApplicationContext, you can select the one to be used by explicitly setting the auditorAwareRef attribute of @EnableJpaAuditing.

5.10. Miscellaneous Considerations

5.10.1. Using JpaContext in Custom Implementations

When working with multiple EntityManager instances and custom repository implementations, you need to wire the correct EntityManager into the repository implementation class. You can do so by explicitly naming the EntityManager in the @PersistenceContext annotation or, if the EntityManager is @Autowired, by using @Qualifier.

As of Spring Data JPA 1.9, Spring Data JPA includes a class called JpaContext that lets you obtain the EntityManager by managed domain class, assuming it is managed by only one of the EntityManager instances in the application. The following example shows how to use JpaContext in a custom repository:

Example 109. Using JpaContext in a custom repository implementation
class UserRepositoryImpl implements UserRepositoryCustom {

  private final EntityManager em;

  @Autowired
  public UserRepositoryImpl(JpaContext context) {
    this.em = context.getEntityManagerByManagedType(User.class);
  }

  …
}

The advantage of this approach is that, if the domain type gets assigned to a different persistence unit, the repository does not have to be touched to alter the reference to the persistence unit.

5.10.2. Merging persistence units

Spring supports having multiple persistence units. Sometimes, however, you might want to modularize your application but still make sure that all these modules run inside a single persistence unit. To enable that behavior, Spring Data JPA offers a PersistenceUnitManager implementation that automatically merges persistence units based on their name, as shown in the following example:

Example 110. Using MergingPersistenceUnitmanager
<bean class="….LocalContainerEntityManagerFactoryBean">
  <property name="persistenceUnitManager">
    <bean class="….MergingPersistenceUnitManager" />
  </property>
</bean>
Classpath Scanning for @Entity Classes and JPA Mapping Files

A plain JPA setup requires all annotation-mapped entity classes to be listed in orm.xml. The same applies to XML mapping files. Spring Data JPA provides a ClasspathScanningPersistenceUnitPostProcessor that gets a base package configured and optionally takes a mapping filename pattern. It then scans the given package for classes annotated with @Entity or @MappedSuperclass, loads the configuration files that match the filename pattern, and hands them to the JPA configuration. The post-processor must be configured as follows:

Example 111. Using ClasspathScanningPersistenceUnitPostProcessor
<bean class="….LocalContainerEntityManagerFactoryBean">
  <property name="persistenceUnitPostProcessors">
    <list>
      <bean class="org.springframework.data.jpa.support.ClasspathScanningPersistenceUnitPostProcessor">
        <constructor-arg value="com.acme.domain" />
        <property name="mappingFileNamePattern" value="**/*Mapping.xml" />
      </bean>
    </list>
  </property>
</bean>
As of Spring 3.1, a package to scan can be configured on the LocalContainerEntityManagerFactoryBean directly to enable classpath scanning for entity classes. See the JavaDoc for details.

5.10.3. CDI Integration

Instances of the repository interfaces are usually created by a container, for which Spring is the most natural choice when working with Spring Data. Spring offers sophisticated support for creating bean instances, as documented in Creating Repository Instances. As of version 1.1.0, Spring Data JPA ships with a custom CDI extension that allows using the repository abstraction in CDI environments. The extension is part of the JAR. To activate it, include the Spring Data JPA JAR on your classpath.

You can now set up the infrastructure by implementing a CDI Producer for the EntityManagerFactory and EntityManager, as shown in the following example:

class EntityManagerFactoryProducer {

  @Produces
  @ApplicationScoped
  public EntityManagerFactory createEntityManagerFactory() {
    return Persistence.createEntityManagerFactory("my-presistence-unit");
  }

  public void close(@Disposes EntityManagerFactory entityManagerFactory) {
    entityManagerFactory.close();
  }

  @Produces
  @RequestScoped
  public EntityManager createEntityManager(EntityManagerFactory entityManagerFactory) {
    return entityManagerFactory.createEntityManager();
  }

  public void close(@Disposes EntityManager entityManager) {
    entityManager.close();
  }
}

The necessary setup can vary depending on the JavaEE environment. You may need to do nothing more than redeclare a EntityManager as a CDI bean, as follows:

class CdiConfig {

  @Produces
  @RequestScoped
  @PersistenceContext
  public EntityManager entityManager;
}

In the preceding example, the container has to be capable of creating JPA EntityManagers itself. All the configuration does is re-export the JPA EntityManager as a CDI bean.

The Spring Data JPA CDI extension picks up all available EntityManager instances as CDI beans and creates a proxy for a Spring Data repository whenever a bean of a repository type is requested by the container. Thus, obtaining an instance of a Spring Data repository is a matter of declaring an @Injected property, as shown in the following example:

class RepositoryClient {

  @Inject
  PersonRepository repository;

  public void businessMethod() {
    List<Person> people = repository.findAll();
  }
}

Appendix

Appendix A: Namespace reference

The <repositories /> Element

The <repositories /> element triggers the setup of the Spring Data repository infrastructure. The most important attribute is base-package, which defines the package to scan for Spring Data repository interfaces. See “XML configuration”. The following table describes the attributes of the <repositories /> element:

Table 6. Attributes
Name Description

base-package

Defines the package to be scanned for repository interfaces that extend *Repository (the actual interface is determined by the specific Spring Data module) in auto-detection mode. All packages below the configured package are scanned, too. Wildcards are allowed.

repository-impl-postfix

Defines the postfix to autodetect custom repository implementations. Classes whose names end with the configured postfix are considered as candidates. Defaults to Impl.

query-lookup-strategy

Determines the strategy to be used to create finder queries. See “Query Lookup Strategies” for details. Defaults to create-if-not-found.

named-queries-location

Defines the location to search for a Properties file containing externally defined queries.

consider-nested-repositories

Whether nested repository interface definitions should be considered. Defaults to false.

Appendix B: Populators namespace reference

The <populator /> element

The <populator /> element allows to populate the a data store via the Spring Data repository infrastructure.[1]

Table 7. Attributes
Name Description

locations

Where to find the files to read the objects from the repository shall be populated with.

Appendix C: Repository query keywords

Supported query keywords

The following table lists the keywords generally supported by the Spring Data repository query derivation mechanism. However, consult the store-specific documentation for the exact list of supported keywords, because some keywords listed here might not be supported in a particular store.

Table 8. Query keywords
Logical keyword Keyword expressions

AND

And

OR

Or

AFTER

After, IsAfter

BEFORE

Before, IsBefore

CONTAINING

Containing, IsContaining, Contains

BETWEEN

Between, IsBetween

ENDING_WITH

EndingWith, IsEndingWith, EndsWith

EXISTS

Exists

FALSE

False, IsFalse

GREATER_THAN

GreaterThan, IsGreaterThan

GREATER_THAN_EQUALS

GreaterThanEqual, IsGreaterThanEqual

IN

In, IsIn

IS

Is, Equals, (or no keyword)

IS_EMPTY

IsEmpty, Empty

IS_NOT_EMPTY

IsNotEmpty, NotEmpty

IS_NOT_NULL

NotNull, IsNotNull

IS_NULL

Null, IsNull

LESS_THAN

LessThan, IsLessThan

LESS_THAN_EQUAL

LessThanEqual, IsLessThanEqual

LIKE

Like, IsLike

NEAR

Near, IsNear

NOT

Not, IsNot

NOT_IN

NotIn, IsNotIn

NOT_LIKE

NotLike, IsNotLike

REGEX

Regex, MatchesRegex, Matches

STARTING_WITH

StartingWith, IsStartingWith, StartsWith

TRUE

True, IsTrue

WITHIN

Within, IsWithin

Appendix D: Repository query return types

Supported Query Return Types

The following table lists the return types generally supported by Spring Data repositories. However, consult the store-specific documentation for the exact list of supported return types, because some types listed here might not be supported in a particular store.

Geospatial types (such as GeoResult, GeoResults, and GeoPage) are available only for data stores that support geospatial queries.
Table 9. Query return types
Return type Description

void

Denotes no return value.

Primitives

Java primitives.

Wrapper types

Java wrapper types.

T

An unique entity. Expects the query method to return one result at most. If no result is found, null is returned. More than one result triggers an IncorrectResultSizeDataAccessException.

Iterator<T>

An Iterator.

Collection<T>

A Collection.

List<T>

A List.

Optional<T>

A Java 8 or Guava Optional. Expects the query method to return one result at most. If no result is found, Optional.empty() or Optional.absent() is returned. More than one result triggers an IncorrectResultSizeDataAccessException.

Option<T>

Either a Scala or Vavr Option type. Semantically the same behavior as Java 8’s Optional, described earlier.

Stream<T>

A Java 8 Stream.

Streamable<T>

A convenience extension of Iterable that directy exposes methods to stream, map and filter results, concatenate them etc.

Types that implement Streamable and take a Streamable constructor or factory method argument

Types that expose a constructor or ….of(…)/….valueOf(…) factory method taking a Streamable as argument. See Returning Custom Streamable Wrapper Types for details.

Vavr Seq, List, Map, Set

Vavr collection types. See Support for Vavr Collections for details.

Future<T>

A Future. Expects a method to be annotated with @Async and requires Spring’s asynchronous method execution capability to be enabled.

CompletableFuture<T>

A Java 8 CompletableFuture. Expects a method to be annotated with @Async and requires Spring’s asynchronous method execution capability to be enabled.

ListenableFuture

A org.springframework.util.concurrent.ListenableFuture. Expects a method to be annotated with @Async and requires Spring’s asynchronous method execution capability to be enabled.

Slice

A sized chunk of data with an indication of whether there is more data available. Requires a Pageable method parameter.

Page<T>

A Slice with additional information, such as the total number of results. Requires a Pageable method parameter.

GeoResult<T>

A result entry with additional information, such as the distance to a reference location.

GeoResults<T>

A list of GeoResult<T> with additional information, such as the average distance to a reference location.

GeoPage<T>

A Page with GeoResult<T>, such as the average distance to a reference location.

Mono<T>

A Project Reactor Mono emitting zero or one element using reactive repositories. Expects the query method to return one result at most. If no result is found, Mono.empty() is returned. More than one result triggers an IncorrectResultSizeDataAccessException.

Flux<T>

A Project Reactor Flux emitting zero, one, or many elements using reactive repositories. Queries returning Flux can emit also an infinite number of elements.

Single<T>

A RxJava Single emitting a single element using reactive repositories. Expects the query method to return one result at most. If no result is found, Mono.empty() is returned. More than one result triggers an IncorrectResultSizeDataAccessException.

Maybe<T>

A RxJava Maybe emitting zero or one element using reactive repositories. Expects the query method to return one result at most. If no result is found, Mono.empty() is returned. More than one result triggers an IncorrectResultSizeDataAccessException.

Flowable<T>

A RxJava Flowable emitting zero, one, or many elements using reactive repositories. Queries returning Flowable can emit also an infinite number of elements.

Appendix E: Frequently Asked Questions

Common

  1. I’d like to get more detailed logging information on what methods are called inside JpaRepository (for exmaple). How can I gain them?

    You can make use of CustomizableTraceInterceptor provided by Spring, as shown in the following example:

    <bean id="customizableTraceInterceptor" class="
      org.springframework.aop.interceptor.CustomizableTraceInterceptor">
      <property name="enterMessage" value="Entering $[methodName]($[arguments])"/>
      <property name="exitMessage" value="Leaving $[methodName](): $[returnValue]"/>
    </bean>
    
    <aop:config>
      <aop:advisor advice-ref="customizableTraceInterceptor"
        pointcut="execution(public * org.springframework.data.jpa.repository.JpaRepository+.*(..))"/>
    </aop:config>

Infrastructure

  1. Currently I have implemented a repository layer based on HibernateDaoSupport. I create a SessionFactory by using Spring’s AnnotationSessionFactoryBean. How do I get Spring Data repositories working in this environment?

    You have to replace AnnotationSessionFactoryBean with the HibernateJpaSessionFactoryBean, as follows:

    Example 112. Looking up a SessionFactory from a HibernateEntityManagerFactory
    <bean id="sessionFactory" class="org.springframework.orm.jpa.vendor.HibernateJpaSessionFactoryBean">
      <property name="entityManagerFactory" ref="entityManagerFactory"/>
    </bean>

Auditing

  1. I want to use Spring Data JPA auditing capabilities but have my database already configured to set modification and creation date on entities. How can I prevent Spring Data from setting the date programmatically.

    Set the set-dates attribute of the auditing namespace element to false.

Appendix F: Glossary

AOP

Aspect oriented programming

Commons DBCP

Commons DataBase Connection Pools - a library from the Apache foundation that offers pooling implementations of the DataSource interface.

CRUD

Create, Read, Update, Delete - Basic persistence operations.

DAO

Data Access Object - Pattern to separate persisting logic from the object to be persisted

Dependency Injection

Pattern to hand a component’s dependency to the component from outside, freeing the component to lookup the dependent itself. For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependency_Injection.

EclipseLink

Object relational mapper implementing JPA - http://www.eclipselink.org

Hibernate

Object relational mapper implementing JPA - http://www.hibernate.org

JPA

Java Persistence API

Spring

Java application framework - http://projects.spring.io/spring-framework


1. see XML configuration