1. Overview

When single-threaded execution isn't enough, we can use annotations from the org.springframework.scheduling.annotation package.

In this quick tutorial, we're going to explore the Spring Scheduling Annotations.

2. @EnableAsync

With this annotation, we can enable asynchronous functionality in Spring.

We must use it with @Configuration:

class VehicleFactoryConfig {}

Now, that we enabled asynchronous calls, we can use @Async to define the methods supporting it.

3. @EnableScheduling

With this annotation, we can enable scheduling in the application.

We also have to use it in conjunction with @Configuration:

class VehicleFactoryConfig {}

As a result, we can now run methods periodically with @Scheduled.

4. @Async

We can define methods we want to execute on a different thread, hence run them asynchronously.

To achieve this, we can annotate the method with @Async:

void repairCar() {
    // ...

If we apply this annotation to a class, then all methods will be called asynchronously.

Note, that we need to enable the asynchronous calls for this annotation to work, with @EnableAsync or XML configuration.

More information about @Async can be found in this article.

5. @Scheduled

If we need a method to execute periodically, we can use this annotation:

@Scheduled(fixedRate = 10000)
void checkVehicle() {
    // ...

We can use it to execute a method at fixed intervals, or we can fine-tune it with cron-like expressions.

@Scheduled leverages the Java 8 repeating annotations feature, which means we can mark a method with it multiple times:

@Scheduled(fixedRate = 10000)
@Scheduled(cron = "0 * * * * MON-FRI")
void checkVehicle() {
    // ...

Note, that the method annotated with @Scheduled should have a void return type.

Moreover, we have to enable scheduling for this annotation to work for example with @EnableScheduling or XML configuration.

For more information about scheduling read this article.

6. @Schedules

We can use this annotation to specify multiple @Scheduled rules:

  @Scheduled(fixedRate = 10000), 
  @Scheduled(cron = "0 * * * * MON-FRI")
void checkVehicle() {
    // ...

Note, that since Java 8 we can achieve the same with the repeating annotations feature as described above.

7. Conclusion

In this article, we saw an overview of the most common Spring scheduling annotations.

As usual, the examples are available over on GitHub.

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