Spring

@Component vs @Repository vs @Service in Spring

Introduction:

With Spring’s auto-scanning feature, it automatically detects various beans defined in our application. We usually annotate our beans using one of the available Spring annotations – @Component, @Repository, @Service, @Controller.

On detecting the bean, Spring simply registers it into the ApplicationContext.

In this quick tutorial, we’ll look at the difference between @Component, @Repository, and, @Service Spring annotations.

@Component:

We can use @Component annotation to mark a bean as a Spring-managed component. In other words, it’s a generic stereotype for any Spring-managed component.

We can enable an auto-scan using <context:component-scan> tag. During auto-scan, Spring will scan and register all beans marked with a @Component annotation:

@Repository:

@Repository annotation is a specialization over @Component annotation:

Since @Repository is a type of @Component, Spring also auto-scans and registers them.

@Repository is a stereotype for the persistence layer. Its job is to catch all persistence related exceptions and rethrow them as a Spring DataAccessException.

For this, we should configure PersistenceExceptionTranslationPostProcessor in our application context:

This bean post processor adds an advisor to all beans marked with @Repository. The advisor’s responsibility is to translate the platform-specific exceptions to the Spring’s unified unchecked exceptions.

@Service:

Just like @Repository, @Service is another specialization of @Component:

Just like @Repository, @Service is also a type of @Component. That means Spring will also automatically detect such beans.

The @Service annotation represents that our bean holds some business logic. Till date, it doesn’t provide any specific behavior over @Component.

Still, we should annotate the service-layer beans with the @Service annotation to make our intent clear. Additionally, we never know if someday Spring chooses to add some specific functionality to it.

Differences in NutShell:

Let’s quickly sum up the differences between @Component, @Repository and, @Service:

  • @Component is the most generic stereotype and marks a bean as a Spring-managed component
  • Both @Service and @Repository annotations are the specializations over the @Component annotation
  • @Repository is a stereotype used for persistence layer. It translates any persistence related exceptions into a Spring’s DataAccessException
  • @Service is used for the beans at the service layer. Currently, it doesn’t offer any additional functionality over @Component
  • It’s always preferable to use @Repository and @Service annotations over @Component, wherever applicable. It communicates the bean’s intent more clearly

Conclusion:

In this mini-tutorial, we have learned the difference between the popular Spring annotations – @Component, @Service, and @Repository.

To conclude, we should always prefer using the annotations based on their specific layer conventions.

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