Spring Auto-Wiring Beans

In Spring framework, you can wire beans automatically with auto-wiring feature. To enable it, just define the “autowire” attribute in <bean>.

	<bean id="customer" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer" autowire="byName" />

In Spring, 5 Auto-wiring modes are supported.

  • no – Default, no auto wiring, set it manually via “ref” attribute
  • byName – Auto wiring by property name. If the name of a bean is same as the name of other bean property, auto wire it.
  • byType – Auto wiring by property data type. If data type of a bean is compatible with the data type of other bean property, auto wire it.
  • constructor – byType mode in constructor argument.
  • autodetect – If a default constructor is found, use “autowired by constructor”; Otherwise, use “autowire by type”.

Examples

A Customer and Person object for auto wiring demonstration.

package com.mkyong.common;
 
public class Customer 
{
	private Person person;
 
	public Customer(Person person) {
		this.person = person;
	}
 
	public void setPerson(Person person) {
		this.person = person;
	}
	//...
}
package com.mkyong.common;
 
public class Person 
{
	//...
}

1. Auto-Wiring ‘no’

This is the default mode, you need to wire your bean via ‘ref’ attribute.

	<bean id="customer" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer">
                  <property name="person" ref="person" />
	</bean>
 
	<bean id="person" class="com.mkyong.common.Person" />

2. Auto-Wiring ‘byName’

Auto-wire a bean by property name. In this case, since the name of “person” bean is same with the name of the “customer” bean’s property (“person”), so, Spring will auto wired it via setter method – “setPerson(Person person)“.

	<bean id="customer" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer" autowire="byName" />
 
	<bean id="person" class="com.mkyong.common.Person" />

See full example – Spring Autowiring by Name.

3. Auto-Wiring ‘byType’

Auto-wire a bean by property data type. In this case, since the data type of “person” bean is same as the data type of the “customer” bean’s property (Person object), so, Spring will auto wired it via setter method – “setPerson(Person person)“.

	<bean id="customer" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer" autowire="byType" />
 
	<bean id="person" class="com.mkyong.common.Person" />

See full example – Spring Autowiring by Type.

4. Auto-Wiring ‘constructor’

Auto-wire a bean by property data type in constructor argument. In this case, since the data type of “person” bean is same as the constructor argument data type in “customer” bean’s property (Person object), so, Spring auto wired it via constructor method – “public Customer(Person person)“.

	<bean id="customer" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer" autowire="constructor" />
 
	<bean id="person" class="com.mkyong.common.Person" />

See full example – Spring Autowiring by Constructor.

5. Auto-Wiring ‘autodetect’

If a default constructor is found, uses “constructor”; Otherwise, uses “byType”. In this case, since there is a default constructor in “Customer” class, so, Spring auto wired it via constructor method – “public Customer(Person person)“.

	<bean id="customer" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer" autowire="autodetect" />
 
	<bean id="person" class="com.mkyong.common.Person" />

See full example – Spring Autowiring by AutoDetect.

Note
It’s always good to combine both ‘auto-wire’ and ‘dependency-check’ together, to make sure the property is always auto-wire successfully.

	<bean id="customer" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer" 
			autowire="autodetect" dependency-check="objects />
 
	<bean id="person" class="com.mkyong.common.Person" />

Conclusion

In my view, Spring ‘auto-wiring’ make development faster with great costs – it added complexity for the entire bean configuration file, and you don’t even know which bean will auto wired in which bean.

In practice, i rather wire it manually, it is always clean and work perfectly, or better uses @Autowired annotation, which is more flexible and recommended.

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About the Author

mkyong
Founder of Mkyong.com and HostingCompass.com, love Java and open source stuff. Follow him on Twitter, or befriend him on Facebook or Google Plus. If you like my tutorials, consider make a donation to these charities.

Comments

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  • Ranjith

    great and simple explanation for spring newbies.earlier i had referred some books to understand this auto wiring concept,but your explanation solved my problem.

  • Prem Tiwari

    I think you dont need to go anywhere such a crystal clear explanation.

    Thanks alot for your efforts Sir ..please keep posting. God bless you. :)

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  • benson

    I think there is a typo in your note.
    Missing a mark ‘”‘ in the attribute dependency-check.
    BTW,I’m your big fan.

  • rm

    “there is a default constructor in “Customer” class”
    There isn’t.

    I thought, default constructor means:

    public Customer() {
      // something
    }

    Without any arguments.

    Why do you call it default?

  • Arun

    simple and sweet!

  • Raju

    Easy to learn basic concepts.

  • suresh

    very nice..

  • Nagesh

    It is very nice tutorials;
    Excellent effort for bring all most all JAVA/JAVA frame works on single thread.
    It is very useful for me to revise quickly.
    Thanks a lot for your efforts.
    Please keep posting such type of atricles.

  • Vivek

    This is not what I was looking for. You stink!!

    • Roshan

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      He is doing a very good work.
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  • Prashant Pratap Singh

    Very simple to understand.
    Thanks a lot.

  • Dhandapani S

    Wonder full explanation…. thanks

    • http://www.it.iitb.ac.in/~palwencha/ nagraj palwencha

      good explanation with example
      Thanks a lot

  • Siddhraj Atodaria

    Great…..
    Thanks ……….

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  • Natraj
     Very nice tutorial.
  • Manish

    Wonderfully simple & good tutorial,
    Thanks

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