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Demo of an APT plugin that converts @Configuration to functional bean registrations, which are known to be faster and also more amenable to AOT compilation (native image building).

Takes this:

public class SampleConfiguration {

    public Foo foo() {
        return new Foo();

    public Bar bar(Foo foo) {
        return new Bar(foo);

and transforms it to this:

public class SampleConfigurationInitializer 
      implements ApplicationContextInitializer<GenericApplicationContext> {

    public void initialize(GenericApplicationContext context) {
        context.registerBean( SampleConfiguration.class);
        context.registerBean(Foo.class, () -> context.getBean(SampleConfiguration.class).foo());
        context.registerBean(Bar.class, () -> context.getBean(SampleConfiguration.class).bar(context.getBean(Foo.class)));

You then need a Spring application bootstrap utility that recognizes the ApplicationContextInitializer and treats it in a special way. This is provided in the modules of this project, so just add them as dependencies:


and set the APT processor up as a compiler plugin:


To use functional versions of Spring Boot autoconfiguration you need to include additional dependencies, for example (with generated.version=2.1.1.BUILD-SNAPSHOT for Spring Boot 2.1.1):


The convention is that the artifact ID is the same as the Spring Boot dependency, but the group ID is different and the classifier is "func" (to make the jar file names unique). There is also a spring-init-library with some scraps of support for Spring Cloud.

You can use @Import or @ImportAutoConfiguration (more idiomatically) to include existing autoconfigurations in your app. Example (a simple, non-web application):

@ImportAutoConfiguration({ ConfigurationPropertiesAutoConfiguration.class,
		PropertyPlaceholderAutoConfiguration.class })
public class SampleApplication {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		SpringApplication app = new SpringApplication(SampleApplication.class);;


Look at the samples for code to copy. If you are using Eclipse you will need the M2E APT plugin.

Build and run:

$ ./mvnw package
$ java -jar samples/application/target/*.jar
  .   ____          _            __ _ _
 /\\ / ___'_ __ _ _(_)_ __  __ _ \ \ \ \
( ( )\___ | '_ | '_| | '_ \/ _` | \ \ \ \
 \\/  ___)| |_)| | | | | || (_| |  ) ) ) )
  '  |____| .__|_| |_|_| |_\__, | / / / /
 :: Spring Boot ::  (v2.1.0.RELEASE)

Bar: com.acme.Bar@7c3ebc6b

The command line runner output comes out on stdout after the Spring Boot app has started.


Before you build, run the script in the "generated" directory. It will clone Spring Boot and all the source code needed to generate initializers from Spring Boot autoconfigurations.

You can then build and run everything from the command line, or from an IDE. If you are using Eclipse, you need to disable the Maven project nature for the "processor" project (or work with it in a different workspace). It only has 2 dependencies, so it's quite easy to manually set up the classpath for that project (then you have to build it on the command line before you refresh the sample apps).

You can debug the APT processor by running on the command line and attaching a debugger, e.g:

(cd modules/tests-lib/; MAVEN_OPTS="-Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=y,address=8000" mvn clean compile)
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