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Data Annotations

Spring Boot provides a variety of annotations that simplify data access operations and help you work with databases and ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) frameworks. In this section, we will explore the commonly used data annotations in Spring Boot and demonstrate how they can be effectively used in your projects.

1. @Entity
The `@Entity` annotation is used to mark a class as an entity in the context of an ORM framework, such as Hibernate. It indicates that the class represents a table in the database and its instances correspond to rows in that table. Here’s an example:

“`java
@Entity
@Table(name = “users”)
public class User {

@Id
@GeneratedValue(strategy = GenerationType.IDENTITY)
private Long id;

private String name;

// Getters and setters

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `User` class is annotated with `@Entity`, indicating that it represents an entity in the database. The `@Table` annotation is used to specify the table name in case it differs from the default mapping. The `@Id` annotation defines the primary key of the entity, and the `@GeneratedValue` annotation specifies the strategy for generating the primary key values.

2. @Repository
The `@Repository` annotation is used to indicate that a class is a repository, responsible for data access operations such as querying the database and persisting entities. It serves as a marker for Spring to automatically create the necessary bean and handle exceptions translation. Here’s an example:

“`java
@Repository
public interface UserRepository extends JpaRepository<User, Long> {

List<User> findByLastName(String lastName);

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `UserRepository` interface is annotated with `@Repository`, indicating that it is a repository. It extends `JpaRepository`, which is a Spring Data interface providing generic CRUD operations for the `User` entity. The `findByLastName` method is a custom query method defined in the repository, allowing you to search for users based on their last name.

3. @Autowired
The `@Autowired` annotation is used to automatically wire dependencies by type. It allows Spring to automatically inject the required beans into the annotated fields, constructors, or methods. Here’s an example:

“`java
@Service
public class UserService {

private UserRepository userRepository;

@Autowired
public UserService(UserRepository userRepository) {
this.userRepository = userRepository;
}

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `UserService` class is annotated with `@Service`, indicating that it is a service component. The `UserRepository` dependency is automatically injected into the constructor using the `@Autowired` annotation. Spring scans the classpath for a bean of type `UserRepository` and provides it as an argument when creating an instance of `UserService`.

4. @Transactional
The `@Transactional` annotation is used to define the boundaries of a transactional method. It ensures that the method is executed within a transaction, allowing you to perform multiple database operations as a single atomic unit. Here’s an example:

“`java
@Service
public class UserService {

private UserRepository userRepository;

@Autowired
public UserService(UserRepository userRepository) {
this.userRepository = userRepository;
}

@Transactional
public void updateUser(User user) {
// Perform some business logic
// Update the user entity
userRepository.save(user);

// Other database operations
// …
}

// …
}
“`

In this example, the `updateUser` method is annotated with `@Transactional`, indicating that it should be executed within a transaction. The method updates the user entity and performs other database operations, ensuring that all operations are committed

or rolled back as a single transaction.

These are just a few examples of data annotations provided by Spring Boot. They simplify data access operations, dependency injection, and transaction management, making it easier to work with databases and ORM frameworks. By utilizing these annotations effectively, you can build robust and efficient data-driven applications.

In the next section, we will explore annotations related to testing annotations with Spring Boot.

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Ozzie Feliciano CTO @ Felpfe Inc.

Ozzie Feliciano is a highly experienced technologist with a remarkable twenty-three years of expertise in the technology industry.

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