Annotation Interface Autowired

Marks a constructor, field, setter method, or config method as to be autowired by Spring's dependency injection facilities. This is an alternative to the JSR-330 Inject annotation, adding required-vs-optional semantics.

Autowired Constructors

Only one constructor of any given bean class may declare this annotation with the required() attribute set to true, indicating the constructor to be autowired when used as a Spring bean. Furthermore, if the required attribute is set to true, only a single constructor may be annotated with @Autowired. If multiple non-required constructors declare the annotation, they will be considered as candidates for autowiring. The constructor with the greatest number of dependencies that can be satisfied by matching beans in the Spring container will be chosen. If none of the candidates can be satisfied, then a primary/default constructor (if present) will be used. Similarly, if a class declares multiple constructors but none of them is annotated with @Autowired, then a primary/default constructor (if present) will be used. If a class only declares a single constructor to begin with, it will always be used, even if not annotated. An annotated constructor does not have to be public.

Autowired Fields

Fields are injected right after construction of a bean, before any config methods are invoked. Such a config field does not have to be public.

Autowired Methods

Config methods may have an arbitrary name and any number of arguments; each of those arguments will be autowired with a matching bean in the Spring container. Bean property setter methods are effectively just a special case of such a general config method. Such config methods do not have to be public.

Autowired Parameters

Although @Autowired can technically be declared on individual method or constructor parameters since Spring Framework 5.0, most parts of the framework ignore such declarations. The only part of the core Spring Framework that actively supports autowired parameters is the JUnit Jupiter support in the spring-test module (see the TestContext framework reference documentation for details).

Multiple Arguments and 'required' Semantics

In the case of a multi-arg constructor or method, the required() attribute is applicable to all arguments. Individual parameters may be declared as Java-8 style Optional or, as of Spring Framework 5.0, also as @Nullable or a not-null parameter type in Kotlin, overriding the base 'required' semantics.

Autowiring Arrays, Collections, and Maps

In case of an array, Collection, or Map dependency type, the container autowires all beans matching the declared value type. For such purposes, the map keys must be declared as type String which will be resolved to the corresponding bean names. Such a container-provided collection will be ordered, taking into account Ordered and @Order values of the target components, otherwise following their registration order in the container. Alternatively, a single matching target bean may also be a generally typed Collection or Map itself, getting injected as such.

Not supported in BeanPostProcessor or BeanFactoryPostProcessor

Note that actual injection is performed through a BeanPostProcessor which in turn means that you cannot use @Autowired to inject references into BeanPostProcessor or BeanFactoryPostProcessor types. Please consult the javadoc for the AutowiredAnnotationBeanPostProcessor class (which, by default, checks for the presence of this annotation).

Juergen Hoeller, Mark Fisher, Sam Brannen
See Also:
  • Optional Element Summary

    Optional Elements
    Modifier and Type
    Optional Element
    Declares whether the annotated dependency is required.
  • Element Details

    • required

      boolean required
      Declares whether the annotated dependency is required.

      Defaults to true.