Spring’s dependency checking in bean configuration file is used to make sure all properties of a certain types (primitive, collection or object) have been set. In most scenarios, you just need to make sure a particular property has been set, but not all properties..

For this case, you need @Required annotation, see following example :

@Required example

A Customer object, apply @Required in setPerson() method to make sure the person property has been set.

package com.mkyong.common;
 
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Required;
 
public class Customer 
{
	private Person person;
	private int type;
	private String action;
 
	public Person getPerson() {
		return person;
	}
	@Required
	public void setPerson(Person person) {
		this.person = person;
	}
}

Simply apply the @Required annotation will not enforce the property checking, you also need to register an RequiredAnnotationBeanPostProcessor to aware of the @Required annotation in bean configuration file.

The RequiredAnnotationBeanPostProcessor can be enabled in two ways.

1. Include <context:annotation-config />

Add Spring context and <context:annotation-config /> in bean configuration file.

<beans 
	...
	xmlns:context="http://www.springframework.org/schema/context"
	...
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/context
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/context/spring-context-2.5.xsd">
	...
	<context:annotation-config />
	...
</beans>

Full example,

<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
	xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xmlns:context="http://www.springframework.org/schema/context"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-2.5.xsd
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/context
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/context/spring-context-2.5.xsd">
 
	<context:annotation-config />
 
	<bean id="CustomerBean" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer">
		<property name="action" value="buy" />
		<property name="type" value="1" />
	</bean>
 
	<bean id="PersonBean" class="com.mkyong.common.Person">
		<property name="name" value="mkyong" />
		<property name="address" value="address ABC" />
		<property name="age" value="29" />
	</bean>
 
</beans>
2. Include RequiredAnnotationBeanPostProcessor

Include ‘RequiredAnnotationBeanPostProcessor’ directly in bean configuration file.

<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
	xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-2.5.xsd">
 
<bean 
class="org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.RequiredAnnotationBeanPostProcessor"/>
 
	<bean id="CustomerBean" class="com.mkyong.common.Customer">
		<property name="action" value="buy" />
		<property name="type" value="1" />
	</bean>
 
	<bean id="PersonBean" class="com.mkyong.common.Person">
		<property name="name" value="mkyong" />
		<property name="address" value="address ABC" />
		<property name="age" value="29" />
	</bean>
 
</beans>

If you run it , the following error message will be throw, because person property is unset.

org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanInitializationException: 
	Property 'person' is required for bean 'CustomerBean'

Conclusion

Try @Required annotation, it is more flexible than dependency checking in XML file, because it can apply to a particular property only.

Custom @Required
Please read this article about how to create a new custom @Required-style annotation.

Reference

  1. http://static.springsource.org/spring/docs/2.5.x/reference/metadata.html#metadata-annotations-required
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