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Spring Boot Conditional Annotations



The world of Java programming, notably within the Spring Framework, constantly evolves, offering developers powerful tools and techniques to streamline application building. One such tool that stands out is the @Conditional annotation. This robust tool in Spring Boot is an absolute game-changer, offering a range of built-in annotations that allow developers to control configurations based on multiple criteria. This article dives deep into these conditional annotations, exploring their workings, features, and real-world applications.

Understanding the Power of @Conditional Annotation

@Conditional annotation in the Spring Boot environment is often considered a pivot for creating versatile and efficient applications. It empowers developers to conditionally include or exclude sections of configuration based on various criteria, ranging from the existence of specific beans to the detection of particular system properties or resources.

Spring Boot’s Predefined Conditional Annotations

Spring Boot doesn’t merely offer a single @Conditional annotation; it provides a suite of predefined conditional annotations, each designed for a specific type of condition. Let’s delve into these:

Class Conditions with @ConditionalOnClass and @ConditionalOnMissingClass

These annotations allow configurations to be included or excluded based on the presence or absence of particular classes in the runtime environment. Utilizing ASM (Abstract Syntax Tree) parsing, these annotations provide a flexibility to refer to actual classes, even if they might not exist on the running application’s classpath.

For instance, consider an application requiring a specific LoggingService only when EmbeddedAcmeService.class exists:

public class MyAutoConfiguration {

	static class EmbeddedConfiguration {

		public EmbeddedAcmeService embeddedAcmeService() {
			// Implementation here

Bean Conditions with @ConditionalOnBean and @ConditionalOnMissingBean

These annotations enable beans to be added or excluded based on the presence or absence of other beans. While the value attribute defines beans by type, the name attribute specifies them by their names. With @ConditionalOnBean, for instance, one can ensure that a MyService bean is created only if no other bean of that type exists in the ApplicationContext:

public class MyAutoConfiguration {

	public MyService myService() {
		// Implementation here

Property Conditions with @ConditionalOnProperty

Spring Boot provides a versatile mechanism to conditionally include beans or configuration segments based on certain conditions. One of the most commonly used annotations for this purpose is @ConditionalOnProperty. This annotation allows beans to be included or excluded based on properties defined in the Spring Environment.

In this section, we will delve into the intricacies of the @ConditionalOnProperty annotation and provide a few practical examples to demonstrate its use.

Understanding @ConditionalOnProperty

At its core, the @ConditionalOnProperty annotation checks if specific properties have a certain value or merely exist in the Spring Environment. Here’s the basic syntax:

@ConditionalOnProperty(name = "property.name", havingValue = "expectedValue")

The above would mean that the associated bean or configuration would only be loaded if the property property.name exists and has a value of expectedValue.

Here are some practical examples:

Simple Property Check

Suppose you have an application where you want to enable a specific service only when a property is set to true.

@ConditionalOnProperty(name = "feature.x.enabled", havingValue = "true")
public class FeatureXService {
    // Service Implementation

In this example, the FeatureXService would only be activated if the feature.x.enabled property is set to true in the application’s properties.

Checking for Property Existence

Sometimes, you might want to load a bean merely based on the existence of a property, regardless of its value.

public class DatabaseBackupService {
    // Service Implementation

Here, the DatabaseBackupService would only be created if there’s a database.backup.path property defined, regardless of its actual value.

Using matchIfMissing Attribute

By default, if the property specified using @ConditionalOnProperty is missing, the condition will not match. However, using the matchIfMissing attribute, you can control this behavior:

@ConditionalOnProperty(name = "logging.advanced.enabled", matchIfMissing = true)
public class AdvancedLoggingService {
    // Service Implementation

In this example, the AdvancedLoggingService will be loaded if either the logging.advanced.enabled property is not defined at all or if it’s set to true.

Multiple Property Conditions

You can also define multiple property conditions using the @ConditionalOnProperty annotation:

    name = { "database.type", "database.version" },
    havingValue = { "mysql", "5.7" }
public class MySQL57Connector {
    // Connector Implementation

Here, the MySQL57Connector will only be loaded if both database.type is set to mysql and database.version is set to 5.7.

In summary, the @ConditionalOnProperty annotation is a powerful tool in the Spring Boot arsenal, allowing for flexible and dynamic bean and configuration loading based on property values. As with all powerful tools, it should be used judiciously to ensure that application contexts remain clear and maintainable.

Resource Conditions with @ConditionalOnResource

The @ConditionalOnResource annotation in Spring Boot ensures that configurations are activated only when specific resources are present, be it a particular file or another type of resource. Leveraging Spring Boot’s comprehensive array of conditions, the @ConditionalOnResource annotation offers a tailored approach to instantiate and configure beans. This becomes invaluable when the intent is to adaptively load configurations or beans based on the availability of designated files in the classpath or filesystem.

In this section, we will cover the nuances of the @ConditionalOnResource annotation and provide practical examples of its usage.

Basics of @ConditionalOnResource

The primary purpose of the @ConditionalOnResource annotation is to check for the existence of a particular resource. Here’s a basic representation:

@ConditionalOnResource(resources = "classpath:file-name.extension")

This indicates that the associated bean or configuration would only be initialized if the specified resource file (file-name.extension) exists in the classpath.

Here are some practical examples:

Configuring Based on Properties File

Consider a scenario where you only want to load a specific configuration class if a particular properties file exists in the classpath:

@ConditionalOnResource(resources = "classpath:custom-config.properties")
public class CustomConfigLoader {
    // Configuration details

In this case, CustomConfigLoader will only be loaded if custom-config.properties is found in the classpath.

Loading Service Based on XML Configuration

Suppose you have an XML-based configuration for a service, and you want the service to be active only if the XML configuration exists:

@ConditionalOnResource(resources = "classpath:service-config.xml")
public class XMLConfiguredService {
    // Service Implementation

Here, XMLConfiguredService will only be active if service-config.xml exists in the classpath.

Checking for Multiple Resources

There might be cases where you want to conditionally load a bean only if multiple resources exist. This can be achieved by specifying multiple resources in the resources attribute:

@ConditionalOnResource(resources = {
public class DualConfigComponent {
    // Component Implementation

In this example, DualConfigComponent will only be loaded if both config-one.properties and config-two.properties are present in the classpath.

Conditional Loading Based on External Files

While it’s common to check resources in the classpath, @ConditionalOnResource can also be used to check resources outside of it:

@ConditionalOnResource(resources = "file:/etc/app/config.properties")
public class ExternalConfigComponent {
    // Component Implementation

Here, ExternalConfigComponent will only be loaded if config.properties exists in the /etc/app/ directory on the file system.

In summary, the @ConditionalOnResource annotation provides an effective way to conditionally load beans or configurations based on the presence of specific resources. This ensures flexibility in configuration management and allows for more dynamic applications that can adapt based on the resources available.

Web Application Conditions

In Spring Boot, annotations such as @ConditionalOnWebApplication and @ConditionalOnNotWebApplication are pivotal in determining whether an application operates within a web environment. They adeptly detect the presence of components like Spring’s WebApplicationContext, session scope, or a StandardServletEnvironment. These annotations offer a precise way to differentiate the application environment type, and the following examples will showcase their effective utilization:

Using @ConditionalOnWebApplication

This annotation ensures that certain beans or configurations are only loaded when the application runs within a web context.

public class WebConfig {

    public WebService defaultWebService() {
        return new DefaultWebService();

In this example, the DefaultWebService bean will only be instantiated if the application is a web application.

Customizing Web Behavior with @ConditionalOnWebApplication

Suppose you have a service that should only run when the application is web-based, like an authentication service for web sessions.

public class AuthenticationServiceConfig {

    public WebAuthenticationService webAuthenticationService() {
        return new WebAuthenticationService();

The WebAuthenticationService bean will only be initialized for web applications.

Using @ConditionalOnNotWebApplication

Sometimes, you might want specific configurations or beans to be present only when the application isn’t a web application.

public class NonWebConfig {

    public LocalFileService localFileService() {
        return new LocalFileService();

Here, the LocalFileService bean will only be instantiated for non-web applications.

Switching Data Sources Based on Application Type

Suppose you want to switch between different data sources based on whether your application runs in a web environment or not.

public class DataSourceConfig {

    public DataSource webDataSource() {
        return new WebDataSource();

    public DataSource standaloneDataSource() {
        return new StandaloneDataSource();

In this configuration, a WebDataSource bean is created for web applications, while a StandaloneDataSource is created for non-web applications.

In summary, by utilizing the @ConditionalOnWebApplication and @ConditionalOnNotWebApplication annotations, developers can achieve a high level of granularity and control over how components are loaded based on the nature of the application.

SpEL Expression Conditions with @ConditionalOnExpression

Spring’s SpEL (Spring Expression Language) stands out as a powerful feature, facilitating the querying and manipulation of objects. Using the @ConditionalOnExpression annotation in tandem with SpEL allows developers to conditionally incorporate configurations based on specific expression outcomes. To further illustrate, let’s delve into some examples that showcase its application:

Conditionally Creating a Bean Based on a Property Value

public FeatureX featureX() {
    return new FeatureX();

In this example, the featureX bean is instantiated and added to the Spring context only if the property app.featureX.enabled is set to true.

Combining Multiple Property Checks

@ConditionalOnExpression("${app.featureA.enabled:false} and ${app.featureB.enabled:false}")
public CombinedFeature combinedFeature() {
    return new CombinedFeature();

Here, the CombinedFeature bean is added only if both app.featureA.enabled and app.featureB.enabled properties are set to true.

Using Arithmetic Operations

@ConditionalOnExpression("#{${app.max.users} > 100}")
public HighCapacityService highCapacityService() {
    return new HighCapacityService();

In this scenario, the HighCapacityService bean is instantiated if the property app.max.users exceeds 100.

Utilizing Ternary Operations

@ConditionalOnExpression("'${app.environment}' == 'dev' ? true : false")
public DevelopmentTool developmentTool() {
    return new DevelopmentTool();

This example demonstrates the instantiation of the DevelopmentTool bean only if the app.environment property is set to dev.

Working with Lists and Arrays

public EnglishSupportService englishSupportService() {
    return new EnglishSupportService();

This example will instantiate the EnglishSupportService bean if the comma-separated list property app.supported.languages contains English.

These examples underscore the versatility and precision of SpEL in tandem with the @ConditionalOnExpression annotation, facilitating intricate conditions based on various system properties and configurations.

Combining Conditions: The Logic of AND & OR

In Spring Boot, combining conditions isn’t just about juxtaposing two or more annotations; it’s about creating a logical synergy between them for refined configuration control. By leveraging logical operators like AND and OR, you can achieve more targeted and layered configurations. Here are some practical examples to demonstrate this:

Using AND Logic

Imagine you want a bean to be created only if two conditions are met: a certain class is on the classpath and a specific property is set.

@ConditionalOnProperty(name = "example.property", havingValue = "true")
public class AndCombinedConfiguration {
    public ExampleService exampleService() {
        return new ExampleServiceImpl();

In this scenario, ExampleService will only be instantiated if ExampleClass is present on the classpath and the property example.property has a value of true.

Using OR Logic

Spring doesn’t provide a direct OR operator for conditions, but you can achieve OR logic using a custom condition. Let’s say you want a bean to be created if either a certain class is present or a specific property is set.

public class OrCondition implements Condition {

    public boolean matches(ConditionContext context, AnnotatedTypeMetadata metadata) {
        boolean classCondition = context.getBeanFactory().containsBean(ExampleClass.class.getName());
        boolean propertyCondition = "true".equals(context.getEnvironment().getProperty("example.property"));
        return classCondition || propertyCondition;

public class OrCombinedConfiguration {
    public ExampleService exampleService() {
        return new ExampleServiceImpl();

In this example, the ExampleService will be instantiated if either ExampleClass is present or the example.property is set to true.

These examples provide a foundational understanding, but the real-world scenarios can be far more complex, combining multiple ANDs and ORs. With Spring Boot’s conditional annotations, developers have the flexibility to craft configurations that closely align with application needs.

Crafting Custom Conditions in Spring

While Spring Boot offers a plethora of built-in conditions to cater to most scenarios, there will inevitably be unique requirements that necessitate custom conditions. By implementing the Condition interface, developers can define such custom conditions with bespoke logic. Let’s explore this through a couple of illustrative examples:

Checking Custom Property Value

Imagine you want to create a condition that checks if a property custom.feature.enabled is set to superTrue:

public class CustomPropertyCondition implements Condition {

    public boolean matches(ConditionContext context, AnnotatedTypeMetadata metadata) {
        String propertyValue = context.getEnvironment().getProperty("custom.feature.enabled");
        return "superTrue".equals(propertyValue);

public class CustomPropertyConfiguration {
    public CustomService customService() {
        return new CustomServiceImpl();

With this configuration, CustomService will only be instantiated if the property custom.feature.enabled has the exact value superTrue.

Checking the Presence of a Specific Bean

Suppose you want to ensure that a certain bean is only created if another bean, EssentialBean, is already defined in the context:

public class EssentialBeanCondition implements Condition {

    public boolean matches(ConditionContext context, AnnotatedTypeMetadata metadata) {
        return context.getBeanFactory().containsBean(EssentialBean.class.getName());

public class DependentConfiguration {
    public DependentService dependentService() {
        return new DependentServiceImpl();

Here, the DependentService bean will only be created if EssentialBean is present in the Spring context.

In summary, crafting custom conditions in Spring Boot is a powerful way to introduce flexibility and specificity into your configurations. With the capability to define custom logic through the Condition interface, developers can ensure that their configurations are precisely aligned with the application’s evolving needs.

Unlocking Advanced Capabilities with Java 8

Java 8 introduced groundbreaking features like lambda expressions, streams, and the new Date and Time API, among others. With these advancements, developers could write more concise, functional, and efficient code. Let’s delve into some examples showcasing how the @ConditionalOnJava annotation in Spring Boot can be utilized to leverage these features:

Lambda Expressions

public MyFunctionalInterface myBeanUsingLambda() {
    return () -> "Hello from Java 8!";

Here, the bean will only be created if the application is running on Java 8, allowing it to use lambda expressions safely.


public class StreamConfiguration {
    public List<String> filteredNames() {
        List<String> names = Arrays.asList("John", "Jane", "Doe", "Anna");
        return names.stream().filter(name -> !name.equals("Doe")).collect(Collectors.toList());

This configuration will only be loaded when Java 8 is in use, ensuring the stream operations can be executed without issues.

New Date and Time API

public LocalDateTime currentDateTime() {
    return LocalDateTime.now();

This bean leverages the enhanced Date and Time API introduced in Java 8. By using the @ConditionalOnJava annotation, you can ensure that the code will only execute in the appropriate Java environment.


public class OptionalConfiguration {

    public Optional<String> optionalBean() {
        return Optional.ofNullable("Sample String");

This configuration demonstrates the use of Optional, a container object that may or may not contain a non-null value. It ensures safer code by avoiding potential null references.

By using the @ConditionalOnJava annotation, developers can seamlessly integrate Java 8 features into their Spring Boot applications, ensuring compatibility and tapping into the enhanced capabilities Java 8 brings to the table.

AutoConfiguration Use Case of Conditional Annotations

In the world of Spring Boot, AutoConfiguration is a powerful tool. It allows for the automatic configuration of beans in the Spring context, streamlining the application setup process. Conditional annotations play a pivotal role in this by enabling or disabling certain configurations based on specific criteria.

Let’s consider a basic example. Suppose you’re developing a web application that can connect to a database. Depending on the availability of a certain library in your classpath, you want to autoconfigure a datasource.

Add Dependencies

Firstly, include the necessary Spring Boot starter dependencies in your pom.xml or build.gradle.

<!-- Spring Boot Starter Data JPA for database operations -->

Create an AutoConfiguration

You’ll then create an autoconfiguration class:

@ConditionalOnClass(name = "org.springframework.jdbc.datasource.DataSource")
public class DatabaseAutoConfiguration {

    public DataSource defaultDataSource() {
        //... create a basic DataSource instance

Here, the @ConditionalOnClass annotation checks if a specific class (in this case, a DataSource class from Spring’s JDBC module) is available in the classpath. If the class is present, the configuration will be activated.

Further, the @ConditionalOnMissingBean ensures that this default DataSource bean is only created if no other DataSource bean has been defined elsewhere in the application.

Include in spring.factories

To ensure Spring Boot recognizes your autoconfiguration, you’ll have to include it in the META-INF/spring.factories file:


Now, when your application starts, if the required JDBC classes are in the classpath, the DatabaseAutoConfiguration will kick in and provide a default DataSource bean unless one is already provided elsewhere in the application.

In conclusion, conditional annotations simplify the process of setting up different environments and scenarios in Spring Boot applications, making development more efficient and dynamic.

AutoConfiguration for an Arbitrary Spring Module Library using Conditional Annotations

AutoConfiguration is a cornerstone of Spring Boot’s philosophy of convention over configuration. It automates the process of setting up beans in the Spring context based on certain conditions. The conditional annotations in Spring Boot are used to determine whether these beans should be included based on specific conditions. Let’s illustrate this with an example of autoconfiguring an arbitrary Spring module that will only be loaded and setup if the Jackson library exists: the SpringModuleLibrary.

Scenario: Imagine there’s a Spring module called SpringModuleLibrary that helps with certain custom operations, and you want your application to autoconfigure certain beans if this module is present in the classpath.

Add Dependencies

Ensure the required dependencies for the SpringModuleLibrary are included in your project’s pom.xml or build.gradle file.

<!-- Dependency for the arbitrary SpringModuleLibrary -->

Create the AutoConfiguration

In this example, this module will only load if a particular library is int the classpath. In this example, we will use Jackson ObjectMapper as an example that the library depends on.

You’ll then craft an autoconfiguration class:

public class SpringModuleAutoConfiguration {

    public CustomService defaultCustomService() {
        return new CustomService(); // This is a service from SpringModuleLibrary that depends on Jackson ObjectMapper


Registration in _spring.factories

To make Spring Boot aware of this autoconfiguration, you’ll have to register it in the META-INF/spring.factories file:


By doing so, when your Spring Boot application starts and detects the SpringModuleLibrary in the classpath, the SpringModuleAutoConfiguration will automatically configure the required beans for you, unless they’re explicitly defined elsewhere in your application.

In essence, using conditional annotations, developers can seamlessly introduce and use third-party or custom Spring modules in their applications with minimal manual configurations.

In Conclusion

Spring Boot continues to revolutionize the way developers approach Java-based applications. Its vast array of conditional configurations, ranging from built-in annotations to custom conditions, provides developers with the flexibility to shape the behavior of their applications based on dynamic conditions. This level of granular control ensures that applications remain adaptive, efficient, and aligned with specific operational environments. By understanding and leveraging these conditional tools, developers can create robust, responsive, and finely-tuned applications that cater to diverse and evolving requirements. As we continue to journey through the evolving landscape of software development, the adaptability that Spring Boot’s conditional configurations offer will undoubtedly remain an invaluable asset.

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Managing AWS CloudFront Using Spring Shell
This article explores an efficient approach to deploying static pages in CloudFront while leveraging the content delivery capabilities of AWS S3 and the convenience of Spring Shell Command-Line Interface (CLI) using the AWS SDK for Java.
Spring Framework Events
Spring Framework provides a powerful event handling mechanism that allows components within an application context to communicate and respond to events. This mechanism is based on the Observer design pattern and is implemented using the ApplicationEvent class and the ApplicationListener interface.
Spring Bean Scopes
Understanding and Utilizing Bean Scopes in the Spring Framework In this article, we will delve into the concept of bean scopes in Spring Framework. Understanding and effectively utilizing bean scopes is essential for controlling the lifecycle and behavior of your beans, allowing you to enhance the flexibility and power of your Spring applications.
Spring 6 Error Handling Best Practices
Error handling and exception design are integral components of developing Spring RESTful APIs, ensuring the application’s reliability, stability, and user experience. These practices enable developers to effectively address unexpected scenarios, such as invalid requests, database errors, or service failures, by providing graceful error responses.
Spring Boot, Jackson, and Lombok Best Practices
This article discusses the recommended practices for using Jackson and Lombok in conjunction with Spring Boot, a popular framework for building enterprise-level Java applications.
Encrypting Properties File Values with Jasypt
Property files are text resources in your standard web application that contains key-value information. There may come a time when information should not be stored in plain sight. This article will demonstrate how to encrypt properties file values using Jasypt encryption module. Jasypt is freely available and comes with Spring Framework integration.
Spring Boot • Serialize Immutable Objects
This article illustrates how to serialize and write tests for immutable objects using Jackson and Lombok in Spring Boot.
Spring Boot Profiles & AWS Lambda: Deployment Guide
In this article, we will explore how to leverage the Spring Boot Profiles feature in an AWS Lambda Compute environment to configure and activate specific settings for each environment, such as development, testing, integration, and production.
AWS Lambda with Spring Boot: A Comprehensive Guide
This article explores the benefits of using Spring Boot with AWS Lambda, a powerful serverless compute service that enables developers to run code without worrying about server management. By integrating with the AWS cloud, AWS Lambda can respond to a variety of AWS events, such as S3, Messaging Gateways, API Gateway, and other generic AWS Resource events, providing an efficient and scalable solution for your application needs.
Secure SMTP with Spring JavaMailSender
This article discusses the use of Java Mail in the context of migrating email services to Google Apps For Your Domain. The author shares their experience with using the free service and encountered a problem with using the secure SMTP protocol to send emails programmatically through their old email account with the Spring JavaMailSender.