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Spring Basics: What Is a Dependency?

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Spring Basics: What Is a Dependency?

Learn more about the most important aspect of the Spring Framework — dependency injection.

· Java Zone ·
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The most important feature of the Spring Framework is dependency injection. To understand dependency injection, you first need to understand the concept of dependencies.

We Will Learn

  • What is a dependency?
  • How are applications built? How is one layer dependent on another?
  • How is a class dependent on another?
  • How does the Spring Framework perform dependency injection?

In this article, we have a look at what a dependency is in general and in the context of the Spring Framework.

Dependencies at a High Level

We build enterprise applications in multiple layers: image info

A typical Java application will have three layers in its architecture: web, business, and data.

  • The web layer
  • The business layer
  • The data layer

In the above scenario:

  • The web layer depends on the business layer. The business layer is a dependency of the web layer.
  • The business layer depends on the data layer. The data layer is a dependency of the business layer.

Dependencies at Class Level

Let’s look at an example:

public class ClientBOImpl implemented ClientBO {
ProductDO productDO;
ClientDO clientDo;

public Amount getClientProductsSum(long cliendId) {

public void saveChangedProducts(long clientId,
List<Product> userEnteredProducts) {


ClientBOImpl is the business class, and it makes use of two data layer classes — ProductDO and ClientDO.

Let’s now have a look at the business logic within  ````ClientBOImpl```:

  • getClientProductsSum(): This returns the sum of all products for a given client.
  • saveChangedProducts(): When products are modified on the application page, this method is called.

Both methods in ClientBOImpl need either ProductDO or ClientDO. ProductDO and ClientDO are dependencies of ClientBOImpl.

Inputs/Outputs Are Not Dependencies

If you look at public Amount getClientProductsSum(long clientId)clientId is merely an input, not a dependency. Similarly, the total calculated amount returned by getClientProductsSum is an output, not a dependency.

A Few More Examples of Dependencies

Example 1

Have a look at the following code:

public class ComplexAlgorithmImpl {
private SortAlgorithm sortAlgorithm;

public interface SortAlgorithm {
public int[] sort(int[] numbers);

public class QuickSortAlgorithm implements SortAlogrithm {

ComplexAlgorithmImpl performs a lot of complex logic, and sorting is one of the steps.

The SortAlgorithm is a dependency of ComplexAlgorithmImpl.

Since SortAlgorithm is an interface, you can easily change the actual sort algorithm used by ComplexAlgorithmImpl without changing its code.

Example 2

Consider the following code:

import java.sql.ResultSet;

public class PersonJdbcDao {
JdbcTemplate jdbcTemplate;

class PersonRowMapper implements RowMapper<Person> {
public Person mapRow(ResultSet rs, int rowNum) throws SQLException {

To execute a query on the database, PersonJdbcDao needs JdbcTemplate. Therefore, JdbcTemplate is a dependency of PersonJdbcDao.

Let’s look at a simple method:

public Person findById(int id) {
return jdbcTemplate.queryForObject(//...);

id is the input for this method, and the output returned is of type Person.

In the above method, we are making use of the dependency jdbcTemplate . The inputs and outputs are not dependencies.

Do check out our video on the same topic:

image info


In this article, we focused on the most important concept in Spring Framework — dependency.

Stay tuned for more posts on Spring Framework basics!

java ,spring ,spring framework ,dependency ,dependency injection ,spring for beginners ,spring framework for beginners

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