1. Overview

In this tutorial, we’ll go through practical use cases of the Spring JDBC module.

All the classes in Spring JDBC are divided into four separate packages:

  • core — the core functionality of JDBC. Some of the important classes under this package include JdbcTemplate, SimpleJdbcInsert, SimpleJdbcCall and NamedParameterJdbcTemplate.
  • datasource — utility classes to access a data source. It also has various data source implementations for testing JDBC code outside the Jakarta EE container.
  • object — DB access in an object-oriented manner. It allows running queries and returning the results as a business object. It also maps the query results between the columns and properties of business objects.
  • support — support classes for classes under core and object packages, e.g., provides the SQLException translation functionality

    Further reading:

    Spring Security: Exploring JDBC Authentication

    Explore the capabilities offered by Spring to perform JDBC Authentication using an existing DataSource configuration.

    Introduction to Spring Data JPA

    Introduction to Spring Data JPA with Spring 4 - the Spring config, the DAO, manual and generated queries and transaction management.

2. Configuration

Let’s start with some simple configuration of the data source.

We’ll use a MySQL database:

public class SpringJdbcConfig {
    public DataSource mysqlDataSource() {
        DriverManagerDataSource dataSource = new DriverManagerDataSource();

        return dataSource;

Alternatively, we can also make good use of an embedded database for development or testing.

Here is a quick configuration that creates an instance of H2 embedded database and pre-populates it with simple SQL scripts:

public DataSource dataSource() {
    return new EmbeddedDatabaseBuilder()

Finally, the same can be done using XML configuring for the datasource:

<bean id="dataSource" class="org.apache.commons.dbcp.BasicDataSource" 
    <property name="driverClassName" value="com.mysql.jdbc.Driver"/>
    <property name="url" value="jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/springjdbc"/>
    <property name="username" value="guest_user"/>
    <property name="password" value="guest_password"/>

3. The JdbcTemplate and Running Queries

3.1. Basic Queries

The JDBC template is the main API through which we’ll access most of the functionality that we’re interested in:

  • creation and closing of connections
  • running statements and stored procedure calls
  • iterating over the ResultSet and returning results

First, let’s start with a simple example to see what the JdbcTemplate can do:

int result = jdbcTemplate.queryForObject(
    "SELECT COUNT(*) FROM EMPLOYEE", Integer.class);

And here’s a simple INSERT:

public int addEmplyee(int id) {
    return jdbcTemplate.update(
      "INSERT INTO EMPLOYEE VALUES (?, ?, ?, ?)", id, "Bill", "Gates", "USA");

Notice the standard syntax of providing parameters using the ? character.

Next, let’s look at an alternative to this syntax.

3.2. Queries With Named Parameters

To get support for named parameters, we’ll use the other JDBC template provided by the framework — the NamedParameterJdbcTemplate.

Additionally, this wraps the JbdcTemplate and provides an alternative to the traditional syntax using ? to specify parameters.

Under the hood, it substitutes the named parameters to JDBC ? placeholder and delegates to the wrapped JDCTemplate to run the queries:

SqlParameterSource namedParameters = new MapSqlParameterSource().addValue("id", 1);
return namedParameterJdbcTemplate.queryForObject(
  "SELECT FIRST_NAME FROM EMPLOYEE WHERE ID = :id", namedParameters, String.class);

Notice how we are using the MapSqlParameterSource to provide the values for the named parameters.

Let’s look at using properties from a bean to determine the named parameters:

Employee employee = new Employee();


SqlParameterSource namedParameters = new BeanPropertySqlParameterSource(employee);
return namedParameterJdbcTemplate.queryForObject(
  SELECT_BY_ID, namedParameters, Integer.class);

Note how we’re now using the BeanPropertySqlParameterSource implementations instead of specifying the named parameters manually like before.

3.3. Mapping Query Results to Java Object

Another very useful feature is the ability to map query results to Java objects by implementing the RowMapper interface.

For example, for every row returned by the query, Spring uses the row mapper to populate the java bean:

public class EmployeeRowMapper implements RowMapper<Employee> {
    public Employee mapRow(ResultSet rs, int rowNum) throws SQLException {
        Employee employee = new Employee();


        return employee;

Subsequently, we can now pass the row mapper to the query API and get fully populated Java objects:

String query = "SELECT * FROM EMPLOYEE WHERE ID = ?";
Employee employee = jdbcTemplate.queryForObject(query, new EmployeeRowMapper(), id);

4. Exception Translation

Spring comes with its own data exception hierarchy out of the box — with DataAccessException as the root exception — and it translates all underlying raw exceptions to it.

So, we keep our sanity by not handling low-level persistence exceptions. We also benefit from the fact that Spring wraps the low-level exceptions in DataAccessException or one of its sub-classes.

This also keeps the exception handling mechanism independent of the underlying database we are using.

Besides the default SQLErrorCodeSQLExceptionTranslator, we can also provide our own implementation of SQLExceptionTranslator.

Here’s a quick example of a custom implementation — customizing the error message when there is a duplicate key violation, which results in error code 23505 when using H2:

public class CustomSQLErrorCodeTranslator extends SQLErrorCodeSQLExceptionTranslator {
    protected DataAccessException
      customTranslate(String task, String sql, SQLException sqlException) {
        if (sqlException.getErrorCode() == 23505) {
          return new DuplicateKeyException(
            "Custom Exception translator - Integrity constraint violation.", sqlException);
        return null;

To use this custom exception translator, we need to pass it to the JdbcTemplate by calling setExceptionTranslator() method:

CustomSQLErrorCodeTranslator customSQLErrorCodeTranslator = 
  new CustomSQLErrorCodeTranslator();

5. JDBC Operations Using SimpleJdbc Classes

SimpleJdbc classes provide an easy way to configure and run SQL statements. These classes use database metadata to build basic queries. So, SimpleJdbcInsert and SimpleJdbcCall classes provide an easier way to run insert and stored procedure calls.

5.1. SimpleJdbcInsert

Let’s take a look at running simple insert statements with minimal configuration.

The INSERT statement is generated based on the configuration of SimpleJdbcInsert. All we need is to provide the Table name, Column names and values.

First, let’s create a SimpleJdbcInsert:

SimpleJdbcInsert simpleJdbcInsert = 
  new SimpleJdbcInsert(dataSource).withTableName("EMPLOYEE");

Next, let’s provide the Column names and values, and run the operation:

public int addEmplyee(Employee emp) {
    Map<String, Object> parameters = new HashMap<String, Object>();
    parameters.put("ID", emp.getId());
    parameters.put("FIRST_NAME", emp.getFirstName());
    parameters.put("LAST_NAME", emp.getLastName());
    parameters.put("ADDRESS", emp.getAddress());

    return simpleJdbcInsert.execute(parameters);

Further, we can use the executeAndReturnKey() API to allow the database to generate the primary key. We’ll also need to configure the actual auto-generated column:

SimpleJdbcInsert simpleJdbcInsert = new SimpleJdbcInsert(dataSource)

Number id = simpleJdbcInsert.executeAndReturnKey(parameters);
System.out.println("Generated id - " + id.longValue());

Finally, we can also pass in this data by using the BeanPropertySqlParameterSource and MapSqlParameterSource.

5.2. Stored Procedures With SimpleJdbcCall

Let’s also take a look at running stored procedures.

We’ll make use of the SimpleJdbcCall abstraction:

SimpleJdbcCall simpleJdbcCall = new SimpleJdbcCall(dataSource)
public Employee getEmployeeUsingSimpleJdbcCall(int id) {
    SqlParameterSource in = new MapSqlParameterSource().addValue("in_id", id);
    Map<String, Object> out = simpleJdbcCall.execute(in);

    Employee emp = new Employee();
    emp.setFirstName((String) out.get("FIRST_NAME"));
    emp.setLastName((String) out.get("LAST_NAME"));

    return emp;

6. Batch Operations

Another simple use case is batching multiple operations together.

6.1. Basic Batch Operations Using JdbcTemplate

Using JdbcTemplate, Batch Operations can be run via the batchUpdate() API.

The interesting part here is the concise but highly useful BatchPreparedStatementSetter implementation:

public int[] batchUpdateUsingJdbcTemplate(List<Employee> employees) {
    return jdbcTemplate.batchUpdate("INSERT INTO EMPLOYEE VALUES (?, ?, ?, ?)",
        new BatchPreparedStatementSetter() {
            public void setValues(PreparedStatement ps, int i) throws SQLException {
                ps.setInt(1, employees.get(i).getId());
                ps.setString(2, employees.get(i).getFirstName());
                ps.setString(3, employees.get(i).getLastName());
                ps.setString(4, employees.get(i).getAddress();
            public int getBatchSize() {
                return 50;

6.2. Batch Operations Using NamedParameterJdbcTemplate

We also have the option of batching operations with the NamedParameterJdbcTemplatebatchUpdate() API.

This API is simpler than the previous one. So, there’s no need to implement any extra interfaces to set the parameters, as it has an internal prepared statement setter to set the parameter values.

Instead, the parameter values can be passed to the batchUpdate() method as an array of SqlParameterSource.

SqlParameterSource[] batch = SqlParameterSourceUtils.createBatch(employees.toArray());
int[] updateCounts = namedParameterJdbcTemplate.batchUpdate(
    "INSERT INTO EMPLOYEE VALUES (:id, :firstName, :lastName, :address)", batch);
return updateCounts;

7. Spring JDBC With Spring Boot

Spring Boot provides a starter spring-boot-starter-jdbc for using JDBC with relational databases.

As with every Spring Boot starter, this one helps us get our application up and running quickly.

7.1. Maven Dependency

We’ll need the spring-boot-starter-jdbc dependency as the primary one. We’ll also need a dependency for the database that we’ll be using. In our case, this is MySQL:


7.2. Configuration

Spring Boot configures the data source automatically for us. We just need to provide the properties in a properties file:


And that’s it. Our application is up and running just by doing these configurations only. We can now use it for other database operations.

The explicit configuration we saw in the previous section for a standard Spring application is now included as part of Spring Boot auto-configuration.

8. Conclusion

In this article, we looked at the JDBC abstraction in the Spring Framework. We covered the various capabilities provided by Spring JDBC with practical examples.

We also looked into how we can quickly get started with Spring JDBC using a Spring Boot JDBC starter.

The source code for the examples is available over on GitHub.

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