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Building Custom Starters and Autoconfigurations in Spring Boot: A Complete Guide

Updated: Apr 27


Spring Boot is a popular framework for building enterprise-grade applications in Java. It provides a lot of built-in functionality and makes it easy to get started with your project. However, as your project grows, you may find that you need to create custom starters and autoconfigurations to simplify your code and make it more maintainable. In this blog post, we'll cover how to build custom starters and autoconfigurations in Spring Boot.



What are Starters and Autoconfigurations?


Starters are a way to package all the necessary dependencies for a specific feature or functionality in your application. For example, if you're building a web application, you may want to include a starter that includes all the dependencies needed to use Spring MVC or Spring Security. Starters can be used to simplify the build process and make it easier to get started with a particular feature.


Autoconfigurations, on the other hand, are used to configure beans in your application automatically. When Spring Boot starts up, it scans your project for any autoconfiguration classes and uses them to configure your application. This can save you a lot of time and effort because you don't have to manually configure every bean in your application.



Building Custom Starters


To build a custom starter, you'll need to create a new Maven or Gradle project and add the necessary dependencies for the feature or functionality you want to include. You'll also need to create a spring.factories file in the META-INF directory that lists the autoconfiguration classes that should be enabled when your starter is included in a project.


Here's an example spring.factories file:


org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.EnableAutoConfiguration=\
com.example.web.MyWebAutoConfiguration,\
com.example.security.MySecurityAutoConfiguration

In this example, we're enabling two autoconfiguration classes: MyWebAutoConfiguration and MySecurityAutoConfiguration. These classes will be used to configure beans in the application when the starter is included in a project.


Once you've created your starter project, you can package it as a JAR file and include it in your other Spring Boot projects. To use the starter, simply add it as a dependency in your project's pom.xml or build.gradle file.


Building Custom Autoconfigurations


To build a custom autoconfiguration, you'll need to create a new class that implements the org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.AutoConfiguration interface. This class should have a @Configuration annotation and should define the beans that need to be configured.


Here's an example autoconfiguration class:


@Configuration
public class MyAutoConfiguration {
 
    @Bean
    public MyBean myBean() {
        return new MyBean();
    }
}

In this example, we're defining a new bean called myBean. This bean will be automatically configured when Spring Boot starts up.


Once you've created your autoconfiguration class, you'll need to package it in a JAR file and include it in your project's classpath. Spring Boot will automatically scan for any autoconfiguration classes and use them to configure your application.


Conclusion


In this blog post, we've covered how to build custom starters and autoconfigurations in Spring Boot. Starters can be used to simplify the build process and make it easier to get started with a particular feature, while autoconfigurations can save you a lot of time and effort by automatically configuring beans in your application. By building your own custom starters and autoconfigurations, you can simplify your code and make it more maintainable.


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