org.springframework.core.annotation

Annotation Type AliasFor



  • @Retention(value=RUNTIME)
     @Target(value=METHOD)
     @Documented
    public @interface AliasFor
    @AliasFor is an annotation that is used to declare aliases for annotation attributes.

    Usage Scenarios

    • Explicit aliases within an annotation: within a single annotation, @AliasFor can be declared on a pair of attributes to signal that they are interchangeable aliases for each other.
    • Explicit alias for attribute in meta-annotation: if the annotation() attribute of @AliasFor is set to a different annotation than the one that declares it, the attribute() is interpreted as an alias for an attribute in a meta-annotation (i.e., an explicit meta-annotation attribute override). This enables fine-grained control over exactly which attributes are overridden within an annotation hierarchy. In fact, with @AliasFor it is even possible to declare an alias for the value attribute of a meta-annotation.
    • Implicit aliases within an annotation: if one or more attributes within an annotation are declared as attribute overrides for the same meta-annotation attribute (either directly or transitively), those attributes will be treated as a set of implicit aliases for each other, resulting in behavior analogous to that for explicit aliases within an annotation.

    Usage Requirements

    Like with any annotation in Java, the mere presence of @AliasFor on its own will not enforce alias semantics. For alias semantics to be enforced, annotations must be loaded via the utility methods in AnnotationUtils. Behind the scenes, Spring will synthesize an annotation by wrapping it in a dynamic proxy that transparently enforces attribute alias semantics for annotation attributes that are annotated with @AliasFor. Similarly, AnnotatedElementUtils supports explicit meta-annotation attribute overrides when @AliasFor is used within an annotation hierarchy. Typically you will not need to manually synthesize annotations on your own since Spring will do that for you transparently when looking up annotations on Spring-managed components.

    Implementation Requirements

    • Explicit aliases within an annotation:
      1. Each attribute that makes up an aliased pair must be annotated with @AliasFor, and either attribute() or value() must reference the other attribute in the pair.
      2. Aliased attributes must declare the same return type.
      3. Aliased attributes must declare a default value.
      4. Aliased attributes must declare the same default value.
      5. annotation() should not be declared.
    • Explicit alias for attribute in meta-annotation:
      1. The attribute that is an alias for an attribute in a meta-annotation must be annotated with @AliasFor, and attribute() must reference the attribute in the meta-annotation.
      2. Aliased attributes must declare the same return type.
      3. annotation() must reference the meta-annotation.
      4. The referenced meta-annotation must be meta-present on the annotation class that declares @AliasFor.
    • Implicit aliases within an annotation:
      1. Each attribute that belongs to a set of implicit aliases must be annotated with @AliasFor, and attribute() must reference the same attribute in the same meta-annotation (either directly or transitively via other explicit meta-annotation attribute overrides within the annotation hierarchy).
      2. Aliased attributes must declare the same return type.
      3. Aliased attributes must declare a default value.
      4. Aliased attributes must declare the same default value.
      5. annotation() must reference an appropriate meta-annotation.
      6. The referenced meta-annotation must be meta-present on the annotation class that declares @AliasFor.

    Example: Explicit Aliases within an Annotation

    In @ContextConfiguration, value and locations are explicit aliases for each other.

     public @interface ContextConfiguration {
    
        @AliasFor("locations")
        String[] value() default {};
    
        @AliasFor("value")
        String[] locations() default {};
    
        // ...
     }

    Example: Explicit Alias for Attribute in Meta-annotation

    In @XmlTestConfig, xmlFiles is an explicit alias for locations in @ContextConfiguration. In other words, xmlFiles overrides the locations attribute in @ContextConfiguration.

     @ContextConfiguration
     public @interface XmlTestConfig {
    
        @AliasFor(annotation = ContextConfiguration.class, attribute = "locations")
        String[] xmlFiles();
     }

    Example: Implicit Aliases within an Annotation

    In @MyTestConfig, value, groovyScripts, and xmlFiles are all explicit meta-annotation attribute overrides for the locations attribute in @ContextConfiguration. These three attributes are therefore also implicit aliases for each other.

     @ContextConfiguration
     public @interface MyTestConfig {
    
        @AliasFor(annotation = ContextConfiguration.class, attribute = "locations")
        String[] value() default {};
    
        @AliasFor(annotation = ContextConfiguration.class, attribute = "locations")
        String[] groovyScripts() default {};
    
        @AliasFor(annotation = ContextConfiguration.class, attribute = "locations")
        String[] xmlFiles() default {};
     }

    Example: Transitive Implicit Aliases within an Annotation

    In @GroovyOrXmlTestConfig, groovy is an explicit override for the groovyScripts attribute in @MyTestConfig; whereas, xml is an explicit override for the locations attribute in @ContextConfiguration. Furthermore, groovy and xml are transitive implicit aliases for each other, since they both effectively override the locations attribute in @ContextConfiguration.

     @MyTestConfig
     public @interface GroovyOrXmlTestConfig {
    
        @AliasFor(annotation = MyTestConfig.class, attribute = "groovyScripts")
        String[] groovy() default {};
    
        @AliasFor(annotation = ContextConfiguration.class, attribute = "locations")
        String[] xml() default {};
     }

    Spring Annotations Supporting Attribute Aliases

    As of Spring Framework 4.2, several annotations within core Spring have been updated to use @AliasFor to configure their internal attribute aliases. Consult the Javadoc for individual annotations as well as the reference manual for details.

    Since:
    4.2
    Author:
    Sam Brannen
    See Also:
    AnnotatedElementUtils, AnnotationUtils, AnnotationUtils.synthesizeAnnotation(Annotation, java.lang.reflect.AnnotatedElement), SynthesizedAnnotation
    • Optional Element Summary

      Optional Elements 
      Modifier and Type Optional Element and Description
      java.lang.Class<? extends java.lang.annotation.Annotation> annotation
      The type of annotation in which the aliased attribute() is declared.
      java.lang.String attribute
      The name of the attribute that this attribute is an alias for.
      java.lang.String value
      Alias for attribute().
    • Element Detail

      • value

        @AliasFor(value="attribute")
        public abstract java.lang.String value
        Alias for attribute().

        Intended to be used instead of attribute() when annotation() is not declared — for example: @AliasFor("value") instead of @AliasFor(attribute = "value").

        Default:
        ""
      • attribute

        @AliasFor(value="value")
        public abstract java.lang.String attribute
        The name of the attribute that this attribute is an alias for.
        See Also:
        value()
        Default:
        ""
      • annotation

        public abstract java.lang.Class<? extends java.lang.annotation.Annotation> annotation
        The type of annotation in which the aliased attribute() is declared.

        Defaults to Annotation, implying that the aliased attribute is declared in the same annotation as this attribute.

        Default:
        java.lang.annotation.Annotation.class