Spring DI - Collections Setter


You have seen how to configure primitive data type using value attribute and object references using ref attribute of the <property> tag in your Bean configuration file. Both the cases deal with passing singular value to a bean.

Now what if you want to pass plural values like Java Collection types such as List, Set, Map, and Properties. To handle the situation, Spring offers following types of collection configuration elements which are as follows −

Sr.No Element & Description


This helps in wiring ie injecting a list of values, allowing duplicates.



This helps in wiring a set of values but without any duplicates.



This can be used to inject a collection of name-value pairs where the name and value are both Strings.

You can use either <list> or <set> to wire any implementation of java.util.Collection or an array.

In this example, we're showcasing passing direct values of the collection elements.


The following example shows a class JavaCollection that is using collections as dependency injected using setters.

Let's update the project created in Spring DI - Create Project chapter. We're adding following files −

  • JavaCollection.java − A class containing a collections as dependency.

  • MainApp.java − Main application to run and test.

Here is the content of JavaCollection.java file −

package com.tutorialspoint;
import java.util.*;

public class JavaCollection {
   List<String> addressList;
   Set<String>  addressSet;
   Properties addressProp;

   // a setter method to set List
   public void setAddressList(List<String> addressList) {
      this.addressList = addressList;
   // prints and returns all the elements of the list.
   public List<String> getAddressList() {
      System.out.println("List Elements :"  + addressList);
      return addressList;
   // a setter method to set Set
   public void setAddressSet(Set<String> addressSet) {
      this.addressSet = addressSet;
   // prints and returns all the elements of the Set.
   public Set<String> getAddressSet() {
      System.out.println("Set Elements :"  + addressSet);
      return addressSet;
   // a setter method to set Property
   public void setAddressProp(Properties addressProp) {
      this.addressProp = addressProp;
   // prints and returns all the elements of the Property.
   public Properties getAddressProp() {
      System.out.println("Property Elements :"  + addressProp);
      return addressProp;

Following is the content of the MainApp.java file −

package com.tutorialspoint;

import org.springframework.context.ApplicationContext;
import org.springframework.context.support.ClassPathXmlApplicationContext;

public class MainApp {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      ApplicationContext context = new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("applicationcontext.xml");
      JavaCollection jc=(JavaCollection)context.getBean("javaCollection");


Following is the configuration file applicationcontext.xml which has configuration for all the type of collections −

<?xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?>

<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

   <!-- Definition for javaCollection -->
   <bean id = "javaCollection" class = "com.tutorialspoint.JavaCollection">
      <!-- results in a setAddressList(java.util.List) call -->
      <property name = "addressList">

      <!-- results in a setAddressSet(java.util.Set) call -->
      <property name = "addressSet">
      <!-- results in a setAddressProp(java.util.Properties) call -->
      <property name = "addressProp">
            <prop key = "one">INDIA</prop>
            <prop key = "two">JAPAN</prop>
            <prop key = "three">USA</prop>
            <prop key = "four">UK</prop>


Once you are done creating the source and bean configuration files, let us run the application. If everything is fine with your application, it will print the following message −

List Elements :[INDIA, JAPAN, USA, UK]
Set Elements :[INDIA, JAPAN, USA, UK]
Property Elements :{four=UK, one=INDIA, two=JAPAN, three=USA}