Compound property names in Spring

With this example we will show you how compound or nested property names work in Spring.

You can use compound or nested property names when you set bean properties, as long as all components of the path except the final property name are not null.

If you already have an idea on how to create a maven project in Eclipse will be great otherwise I will tell you here how to create a maven project in Eclipse.

The following things are required in order to run the application
Eclipse Kepler
JDK 1.8
Have maven 3 installed and configured
Spring dependencies in pom.xml
Now we will see the below steps how to create a maven based spring project in Eclipse
Step 1. Create a standalone maven project in Eclipse

Go to File -> New -> Other. On popup window under Maven select Maven Project. Then click on Next. Select the workspace location – either default or browse the location. Click on Next. Now in next window select the row as highlighted from the below list of archtypes and click on Next button.

Now enter the required fields (Group Id, Artifact Id) as shown below
Group Id : com.roytuts
Artifact Id : spring-compound-property
Step 2. Modify the pom.xml file as shown below.

<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""
        <!-- Spring framework -->
        <!-- junit -->

Step 3. If you see JRE System Library[J2SE-1.4] then change the version by below process

Do right-click on the project and go to Build -> Configure build path, under Libraries tab click on JRE System Library[J2SE-1.4], click on Edit button and select the appropriate jdk 1.8 from the next window. Click on Finish then Ok.

Step 4. Create src/main/resources folder for putting the resource files.

Do right-click on the project and go New -> Source Folder. Give Folder name: as src/main/resources and click on Finish button.

Step 5. Create an XML properties file under src/main/resources.

Do right-click on src/main/resources in the project and go New -> file. Give File name: as applicationContext.xml and click on Finish button.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""
    <bean id="compoundPropertyName" class="com.roytuts.spring.collection.Bar">
        <property name="foo.fred.bob.jhon" value="Jhon Rambo" />

Step 6. Create a POJO classes

package com.roytuts.spring.collection;
public class Bob {
    private String jhon;
    public String getJhon() {
        return jhon;
    public void setJhon(String jhon) {
        this.jhon = jhon;
package com.roytuts.spring.collection;
public class Fred {
    private Bob bob;
    public Fred() {
        bob = new Bob();
    public Bob getBob() {
        return bob;
    public void setBob(Bob bob) {
        this.bob = bob;
package com.roytuts.spring.collection;
public class Foo {
    private Fred fred;
    public Foo() {
        fred = new Fred();
    public Fred getFred() {
        return fred;
    public void setFred(Fred fred) {
        this.fred = fred;
package com.roytuts.spring.collection;
public class Bar {
    private Foo foo;
    public Bar() {
        foo = new Foo();
    public Foo getFoo() {
        return foo;
    public void setFoo(Foo foo) { = foo;

Step 7. Create a Test class which will test our code how it works

package com.roytuts.spring.collection;
import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.springframework.context.ApplicationContext;
public class SpringCompoundPropertyNameTest {
    private Bar bar;
    public void setUp() {
        ApplicationContext applicationContext = new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext(
        bar = applicationContext.getBean("compoundPropertyName", Bar.class);
    public void testGetFoo() {

Step 8. Run the above test class, you will get below output

Jhon Rambo

That’s all. Thanks for reading.

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