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Fail-fast Validations Using Java 8 Streams

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Fail-fast Validations Using Java 8 Streams

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I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen code which fail-fast validates the state of something, using an approach like

public class PersonValidator {
  public boolean validate(Person person) {
    boolean valid = person != null;
    if (valid) valid = person.givenName != null;
    if (valid) valid = person.familyName != null;
    if (valid) valid = person.age != null;
    if (valid) valid = person.gender != null;
    // ...and many more

It works, but it’s a brute force approach that’s filled with repetition due to the valid check. If your code style enforces braces for if statements (+1 for that), your method is also three times longer and growing every time a new check is added to the validator.

Using Java 8’s new stream API, we can improve this by taking the guard condition of if (valid) and making a generic validator that handles the plumbing for you.

import java.util.LinkedList;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.function.Predicate;
public class GenericValidator<T> implements Predicate {
  private final List<Predicate<T>> validators = new LinkedList<>();
  public GenericValidator(List<Predicate<T>> validators) {

  public boolean test(final T toValidate) {
    return validators.parallelStream()
                     .allMatch(predicate -> predicate.test(toValidate));

Using this, we can rewrite the Person validator to be a specification of the required validations.

public class PersonValidator extends GenericValidator<Person> {

  private static final List<Predicate<Person>> VALIDATORS = new LinkedList<>();

  static {
    VALIDATORS.add(person -> person.givenName != null);
    VALIDATORS.add(person -> person.familyName != null);
    VALIDATORS.add(person -> person.age != null);
    VALIDATORS.add(person -> person.gender != null);
    // ...and many more

  public PersonValidator() {

PersonValidator, and all your other validators, can now focus completely on validation. The behaviour hasn’t changed – the validation still fails fast. There’s no boiler plate, which is A Good Thing.

This one’s going in the toolbox.

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Published at DZone with permission of Steve Chaloner, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.


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