Spring Autowiring using byName

In this article, we will walk through an example demonstrating ‘byName’ autowiring mode. In practical, bean dependencies needs to be configured in an explicit bean wiring mode but Spring provides a feature called autowiring where collaborating beans are resolved at runtime.

When attribute autowire=“byName” is set in the <bean> element, then at runtime Spring injects the dependent beans by inspecting the beans defined in the configuration file with the same name.

For example,

If there are two beans defined in the Spring configuration file let say “address” & “employee”. And employee has address property (i.e.; setAddress() method in Employee), then container will look for the bean definition named “address”. If found, then it sets the value otherwise do nothing.

We will see a detailed example and its explanation below.

Technology Used

  • Java 1.7
  • Eclipse Kepler IDE
  • Maven 3.0.4
  • Spring-4.0.0-RELEASE

Mavenize or download required jars

Add Spring-4.0.0 dependencies to the pom.xml


Folks who aren’t familiar with Maven concepts or don’t require maven for their project, can download the below jars individually from the spring site and include them in the classpath

  • spring-core-4.0.0-RELEASE
  • spring-context-4.0.0-RELEASE
  • spring-beans-4.0.0-RELEASE
  • spring-aop-4.0.0-RELEASE
  • spring-expression-4.0.0-RELEASE
  • commons-logging-1.1.1
  • aopalliance-1.0

Let’s see coding in action


Create simple Spring beans Address and Employee

Address class

Simple & straight forward spring beans with four primitive properties and its getter/setters with one public method called “printAddressDetail()” to print the address details


package com.spring.series.auto.wiring;

public class Address {

	private String street;
	private String city;
	private String state;
	private String zipcode;

	 * getter's and setter's
	public String getStreet() {
		return street;
	public void setStreet(String street) {
		this.street = street;
	public String getCity() {
		return city;
	public void setCity(String city) {
		this.city = city;
	public String getState() {
		return state;
	public void setState(String state) {
		this.state = state;
	public String getZipcode() {
		return zipcode;
	public void setZipcode(String zipcode) {
		this.zipcode = zipcode;

	 * This method prints the address details
	public void printAddressDetail(){
		System.out.println("Address Street \t\t: " + street);
		System.out.println("Address City \t\t: " + city);
		System.out.println("Address State \t\t: " + state);
		System.out.println("Address Zip Code \t: " + zipcode);

Employee class

Same here too, spring bean with four primitive properties and one complex property named “address” and its getter/setters with one public method called “printEmployeeDetail()” to print the employee details


package com.spring.series.auto.wiring;

public class Employee {

	private String name;
	private int age;
	private String employeeCode;
	private String designation;
	private Address address;

	 * getter's and setter's
	public String getName() {
		return name;
	public void setName(String name) {
		this.name = name;
	public int getAge() {
		return age;
	public void setAge(int age) {
		this.age = age;
	public String getEmployeeCode() {
		return employeeCode;
	public void setEmployeeCode(String employeeCode) {
		this.employeeCode = employeeCode;
	public String getDesignation() {
		return designation;
	public void setDesignation(String designation) {
		this.designation = designation;
	public Address getAddress() {
		return address;
	public void setAddress(Address address) {
		this.address = address;

	 * This method prints the employee details
	public void printEmployeeDetail(){

		System.out.println("Employee Name \t\t: " + name);
		System.out.println("Employee Age \t\t: " + age);
		System.out.println("Employee Code \t\t: " + employeeCode);
		System.out.println("Employee Designation \t: " + designation);

		System.out.println("\nInvoking Address object & Printing Address details\n");

		// this loc invokes method of Address class & this object is injected during spring bean instantiation

Create Spring Bean Configuration file (Spring XML)

Two beans named “employee” & “address” are defined in the configuration file where employee bean is dependent on address bean.

If you look at the definition for employee bean there isn’t any property element for address. This is because definition for address bean has been declared in the same file and in addition to this, employee bean has a autowire attribute i.e.; autowire=“byName” which helps to resolve the dependencies at runtime.

At runtime container looks for the “address” bean and injects it, which is the property in the “employee” bean.

Note: Autowiring works only for objects and for simple types i.e.; primitives values needs to be provided explicitly using the <property> element see here


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
	xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:context="http://www.springframework.org/schema/context"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
	http://www.springframework.org/schema/context http://www.springframework.org/schema/context/spring-context-4.0.xsd">

	<!-- employee bean definition goes here -->
	<bean id="employee" class="com.spring.series.auto.wiring.Employee"
		<property name="name" value="Mark" />
		<property name="age" value="32" />
		<property name="employeeCode" value="E10910" />
		<property name="designation" value="Software Architect" />

	<!-- address bean definition goes here -->
	<bean id="address" class="com.spring.series.auto.wiring.Address">
		<property name="street" value="Spring Office St." />
		<property name="city" value="Columbus" />
		<property name="state" value="OHIO" />
		<property name="zipcode" value="43211" />


Note: Name of the Spring Bean Configuration file can be anything (not necessary to have SpringContext.xml) and it’s your choice. But, in the enterprise application keep these file names appropriate to the business context. So that it will increase the readability of the application.

Project Structure in Eclipse (Package Explorer view)


Test the Application that’s exactly …. Run it!

Let’s test using ApplicationContext


package com.spring.series.auto.wiring;

import org.springframework.context.ApplicationContext;
import org.springframework.context.support.ClassPathXmlApplicationContext;

public class TestEmployee {

	public static void main(String[] args) {

	private static void testAutoWiring(){

		ApplicationContext applicationContext = new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("com/spring/series/auto/wiring/SpringContext.xml");
		Employee employee = (Employee) applicationContext.getBean("employee");

		System.out.println("Spring Autowiring using byName mode \n");

		// invoke print() method of Employee class

Output in console

Spring Autowiring using byName mode 

Employee Name 		: Mark
Employee Age 		: 32
Employee Code 		: E10910
Employee Designation 	: Software Architect

Invoking Address object & Printing Address details

Address Street 		: Spring Office St.
Address City 		: Columbus
Address State 		: OHIO
Address Zip Code 	: 43211

In the next article, we will see an demonstration for autowiring byType

Download project

Spring Autowiring using byName (3kB)

Happy Coding !!
Happy Learning !!

Spring Autowiring using byType
Spring Autowiring