Spring DI - Injecting Inner Beans Constructor


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As you know Java inner classes are defined within the scope of other classes, similarly, inner beans are beans that are defined within the scope of another bean. Thus, a <bean/> element inside the <property/> or <constructor-arg/> elements is called inner bean and it is shown below.

<?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
   http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.0.xsd">

   <bean id = "outerBean" class = "...">
      <constructor-arg name = "target">
         <bean id = "innerBean" class = "..."/>
      </constructor-arg>
   </bean>

</beans>

Example

The following example shows a class TextEditor that can only be dependency-injected using constructor-based injection.

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

  • TextEditor.java − A class containing a SpellChecker as dependency.

  • SpellChecker.java − A dependency class.

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

Here is the content of TextEditor.java file −

package com.tutorialspoint;
public class TextEditor {
   private SpellChecker spellChecker;
   
   public TextEditor(SpellChecker spellChecker) {
      System.out.println("Inside TextEditor constructor." );
      this.spellChecker = spellChecker;
   }
   // a getter method to return spellChecker
   public SpellChecker getSpellChecker() {
      return spellChecker;
   }
   public void spellCheck() {
      spellChecker.checkSpelling();
   }
}

Following is the content of another dependent class file SpellChecker.java

package com.tutorialspoint;
public class SpellChecker {
   public SpellChecker(){
      System.out.println("Inside SpellChecker constructor." );
   }
   public void checkSpelling(){
      System.out.println("Inside checkSpelling." );
   }
}

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");
      TextEditor te = (TextEditor) context.getBean("textEditor");
      te.spellCheck();
   }
}

Following is the configuration file applicationcontext.xml which has configuration for the setter-based injection but using inner beans

<?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
   http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.0.xsd">

   <!-- Definition for textEditor bean using inner bean -->
   <bean id = "textEditor" class = "com.tutorialspoint.TextEditor">
      <constructor-arg name = "spellChecker">
         <bean id = "spellChecker" class = "com.tutorialspoint.SpellChecker"/>
      </constructor-arg>
   </bean>

</beans>

Output

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 −

Inside SpellChecker constructor.
Inside TextEditor constructor.
Inside checkSpelling.
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