Spring Framework

Spring is the facto enterprise server and integration tool in Investment banks. This IOC based development and hosting service become very popular for java based service development. We should be clear on basic concept and usage of spring for any java based technical interview. The Spring Framework is an open source application framework and Inversion of control container for the Java platform. This framework reduce the cost and burden of application server and provided more flexibility to developers. Spring core module details.

    The Spring Framework comprises several modules that provide a range of services:
    •  Inversion of Control container: configuration of application components and lifecycle management of Java objects, done mainly via Dependency Injection
    • Aspect-oriented programming: enables implementation of cross-cutting routines
    •  Data access: working with relational database management systems on the Java platform using JDBC and object-relational mapping tools and with NoSQL databases
    •  Transaction management: unifies several transaction management APIs and coordinates transactions for Java objects
    • Model-view-controller: an HTTP- and servlet-based framework providing hooks for extension and customization for web applications and RESTful web services.
    • Remote Access framework: configurative RPC-style export and import of Java objects over networks supporting RMI, CORBA and HTTP-based protocols including web services (SOAP)
    •  Convention-over-configuration: a rapid application development solution for Spring-based enterprise applications is offered in the Spring Roo module
    • Batch processing: a framework for high-volume processing featuring reusable functions including logging/tracing, transaction management, job processing statistics, job restart, skip, and resource management
    • Authentication and authorization: configurable security processes that support a range of standards, protocols, tools and practices via the Spring Security sub-project (formerly Acegi Security System for Spring).
    • Remote Management: configurative exposure and management of Java objects for local or remote configuration via JMX
    • Messaging: configurative registration of message listener objects for transparent message-consumption from message queues via JMS, improvement of message sending over standard JMS APIs
    • Testing: support classes for writing unit tests and integration tests.

    Spring Interview Questions

    1) What is Spring Framework?
       Spring is a lightweight inversion of control and aspect-oriented container framework. Spring Framework’s contribution towards java community is immense and spring community is the largest and most innovative community by size. They have numerous projects under their portfolio and have their own spring dm server for running spring applications. This community is acquired by VMWare, a leading cloud compting company for enabling the java application in the cloud by using spring stacks. If you are looking to read more about the spring framework and its products, please read in their official site Spring Source.

    2) Explain Spring?
    • Lightweight : Spring is lightweight when it comes to size and transparency. The basic version of spring framework is around 1MB. And the processing overhead is also very negligible.
    • Inversion of control (IoC) : Loose coupling is achieved in spring using the technique Inversion of Control. The objects give their dependencies instead of creating or looking for dependent objects.
    • Aspect oriented (AOP) : Spring supports Aspect oriented programming and enables cohesive development by separating application business logic from system services.
    • Container : Spring contains and manages the life cycle and configuration of application objects.
    • Framework : Spring provides most of the intra functionality leaving rest of the coding to the developer.

    3) What are the different modules in Spring framework?
    The Core container module
    • Application context module
    • AOP module (Aspect Oriented Programming)
    • JDBC abstraction and DAO module
    • O/R mapping integration module (Object/Relational)
    • Web module
    • MVC framework module

    4) What is the structure of Spring framework?

    5) What is the Core container module?
      This module is provides the fundamental functionality of the spring framework. In this module BeanFactory is the heart of any spring-based application. The entire framework was built on the top of this module. This module makes the Spring container.

    6) What is Application context module?
      The Application context module makes spring a framework. This module extends the concept of BeanFactory, providing support for internationalization (I18N) messages, application lifecycle events, and validation. This module also supplies many enterprise services such JNDI access, EJB integration, remoting, and scheduling. It also provides support to other framework.

    7) What is AOP module?
    The AOP module is used for developing aspects for our Spring-enabled application. Much of the support has been provided by the AOP Alliance in order to ensure the interoperability between Spring and other AOP frameworks. This module also introduces metadata programming to Spring. Using Spring’s metadata support, we will be able to add annotations to our source code that instruct Spring on where and how to apply aspects.

    8) What is JDBC abstraction and DAO module?
    Using this module we can keep up the database code clean and simple, and prevent problems that result from a failure to close database resources. A new layer of meaningful exceptions on top of the error messages given by several database servers is bought in this module. In addition, this module uses Spring’s AOP module to provide transaction management services for objects in a Spring application.

    9) What are object/relational mapping integration module?
    Spring also supports for using of an object/relational mapping (ORM) tool over straight JDBC by providing the ORM module. Spring provide support to tie into several popular ORM frameworks, including Hibernate, JDO, and iBATIS SQL Maps. Spring’s transaction management supports each of these ORM frameworks as well as JDBC.

    10) What is web module?
    This module is built on the application context module, providing a context that is appropriate for web-based applications. This module also contains support for several web-oriented tasks such as transparently handling multipart requests for file uploads and programmatic binding of request parameters to your business objects. It also contains integration support with Jakarta Struts.

    11) What is Spring Mvc?
    Spring comes with a full-featured MVC framework for building web applications. Although Spring can easily be integrated with other MVC frameworks, such as Struts, Spring’s MVC framework uses IoC to provide for a clean separation of controller logic from business objects. It also allows you to decoratively bind request parameters to your business objects. It also can take advantage of any of Spring’s other services, such as I18N messaging and validation.

    12) What is a BeanFactory?
    A BeanFactory is an implementation of the factory pattern that applies Inversion of Control to separate the application’s configuration and dependencies from the actual application code.

    13) What is AOP Alliance?
    AOP Alliance is an open-source project whose goal is to promote adoption of AOP and interoperability among different AOP implementations by defining a common set of interfaces and components. We can use Spring AOP module or we can integrate services with AspectJ. We can only advice method join points using Spring AOP.
      Spring AOP works on concept of proxies using JDK dynamic proxies or CGLIB. 

    14) What is Spring configuration file?
    Spring configuration file is an XML file. This file contains the classes information and describes how these classes are configured and introduced to each other.

    15) What does a simple spring application contain?
    These applications are like any Java application. They are made up of several classes, each performing a specific purpose within the application. But these classes are configured and introduced to each other through an XML file. This XML file describes how to configure the classes, known as the Spring configuration file.

    16) What is XMLBeanFactory?
    BeanFactory has many implementations in Spring. But one of the most useful one is org.springframework.beans.factory.xml.XmlBeanFactory, which loads its beans based on the definitions contained in an XML file. To create an XmlBeanFactory, pass a java.io.InputStream to the constructor. The InputStream will provide the XML to the factory. For example, the following code snippet uses a java.io.FileInputStream to provide a bean definition XML file to XmlBeanFactory.

     BeanFactory factory = new XmlBeanFactory(
           new FileInputStream("beans.xml"));
    To retrieve the bean from a BeanFactory, call the getBean() method by passing the name of the bean you want to retrieve.

    MyBean myBean = (MyBean) factory.getBean("myBean");

    17) What are important ApplicationContext implementations in spring framework?
    • ClassPathXmlApplicationContext – This context loads a context definition from an XML file located in the class path, treating context definition files as class path resources.
    • FileSystemXmlApplicationContext – This context loads a context definition from an XML file in the filesystem.
    • XmlWebApplicationContext – This context loads the context definitions from an XML file contained within a web application.
    18) Explain Bean lifecycle in Spring framework?
    The spring container finds the bean’s definition from the XML file and instantiates the bean.
    1. Using the dependency injection, spring populates all of the properties as specified in the bean definition.
    2. If the bean implements the BeanNameAware interface, the factory calls setBeanName() passing the bean’s ID.
    3. If the bean implements the BeanFactoryAware interface, the factory calls setBeanFactory(), passing an instance of itself.
    4. If there are any BeanPostProcessors associated with the bean, their post- ProcessBeforeInitialization() methods will be called.
    5. If an init-method is specified for the bean, it will be called.
    6. Finally, if there are any BeanPostProcessors associated with the bean, their postProcessAfterInitialization() methods will be called.
    19) What is bean wiring?
    Combining together beans within the Spring container is known as bean wiring or wiring. When wiring beans, you should tell the container what beans are needed and how the container should use dependency injection to tie them together.

    20) How do add a bean in spring application?
       <bean name="/helloWorld" class="test.HelloWorldController">  

    In the bean tag the id attribute specifies the bean name and the class attribute specifies the fully qualified class name.

    21) What are singleton beans and how can you create prototype beans?
    Beans defined in spring framework are singleton beans. There is an attribute in bean tag named ‘singleton’ if specified true then bean becomes singleton and if set to false then the bean becomes a prototype bean. By default it is set to true. So, all the beans in spring framework are by default singleton beans.
      < bean class="com.act.Foo"    singleton="false">

    22) What are the important beans lifecycle methods?
    There are two important bean lifecycle methods. The first one is setup which is called when the bean is loaded in to the container. The second method is the teardown method which is called when the bean is unloaded from the container.

    23) How can you override beans default lifecycle methods?
    The bean tag has two more important attributes with which you can define your own custom initialization and destroy methods. Here I have shown a small demonstration. Two new methods fooSetup and fooTeardown are to be added to your Foo class.

         init-method="fooSetup" destroy="fooTeardown">;
    24) What are Inner Beans?
    When wiring beans, if a bean element is embedded to a property tag directly, then that bean is said to the Inner Bean. The drawback of this bean is that it cannot be reused anywhere else.

    25) What are the different types of bean injections?
    There are two types of bean injections.
    1. By setter
    2. By constructor

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