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Spring Boot 2.4 Release Notes

Andy Wilkinson edited this page Jan 11, 2022 · 30 revisions
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Spring Boot 2.4 Release Notes

Upgrading from Spring Boot 2.3

Versioning scheme change

As of 2.4, Spring Boot is adopting the the new Spring versioning scheme - this means you should update the Spring Boot version in your build.gradle/pom.xml files from 2.3.5.RELEASE to 2.4.0.

JUnit 5’s Vintage Engine Removed from spring-boot-starter-test

If you upgrade to Spring Boot 2.4 and see test compilation errors for JUnit classes such as org.junit.Test, this may be because JUnit 5’s vintage engine has been removed from spring-boot-starter-test. The vintage engine allows tests written with JUnit 4 to be run by JUnit 5. If you do not want to migrate your tests to JUnit 5 and wish to continue using JUnit 4, add a dependency on the Vintage Engine, as shown in the following example for Maven:


If you are using Gradle, the equivalent configuration is shown in the following example:

testImplementation("org.junit.vintage:junit-vintage-engine") {
    exclude group: "org.hamcrest", module: "hamcrest-core"

Config File Processing (application properties and YAML files)

Spring Boot 2.4 has changed the way that and application.yml files are processed. If you only have a simple or application.yml file, your upgrade should be seamless. If, however, you’ve have a more complex setup (with profile specific properties, or profile activation properties) you may need to make some changes if you want to use the new features.

If you just want Spring Boot 2.3 compatible logic, you can set a spring.config.use-legacy-processing property to true in your or application.yml file.

Config Data Imports

Config locations specified via spring.config.location and spring.config.import (introduced in this release) will no longer fail silently if the file or folder does not exist. If you want to import a location, but you don’t mind skipping it if it cannot be found, you should now prefix it with optional:.

For example, spring.config.location=optional:/etc/config/ will import an file from /etc/config/ if it exists, and skip it if it does not.

If you want to treat all locations as optional you can set spring.config.on-not-found=ignore in SpringApplication.setDefaultProperties(…​) or with a system/environment variable.

Embedded database detection

The embedded database logic has been refined to consider a database as embedded only if it is in-memory. This change has two consequences if you’re using file-based persistence or server mode with H2, HSQL and Derby:

  • The sa username is no longer set. If you were relying on that behaviour, you’d need to set spring.datasource.username=sa in your configuration.

  • Such database won’t be initialised on startup anymore as they are no longer considered as embedded. You can tune this as usual using spring.datasource.initialization-mode.

User-defined MongoClientSettings no longer customized

If you are providing your own MongoClientSettings bean, it is no longer customized by the auto-configuration. If you were relying on that behaviour, in particular in combination with Embedded Mongo, consider applying the customizer to your own bean as shown in the following example:

public MongoClientSettings userDefinedMongoClientSettings(MongoProperties properties, Environment environment) {
   MongoClientSettings.Builder builder = MongoClientSettings.builder();
   new MongoPropertiesClientSettingsBuilderCustomizer(properties, environment).customize(builder);

Logback Configuration Properties

Logging properties that are specific to Logback have been renamed to reflect the fact that they are Logback-specific. The previous names have been deprecated.

The following Spring Boot properties have been changed:

  • logging.pattern.rolling-file-namelogging.logback.rollingpolicy.file-name-pattern

  • logging.file.clean-history-on-startlogging.logback.rollingpolicy.clean-history-on-start

  • logging.file.max-sizelogging.logback.rollingpolicy.max-file-size


  • logging.file.max-historylogging.logback.rollingpolicy.max-history

As have the system environment properties that they map to:






Default Servlet Registration

Spring Boot 2.4 will no longer register the DefaultServlet provided by your servlet container. In most applications, it isn’t used since the Spring MVC’s DispatcherServlet is the only servlet that’s required.

You can set server.servlet.register-default-servlet to true if you find you still need the default servlet.

Cookie request headers and Set-Cookie response headers are no longer included in HTTP traces by default. To restore Spring Boot 2.3’s behaviour, set management.trace.http.include to cookies, errors, request-headers, response-headers.

Undertow Path on Forward

By default, Undertow preserves the original request URL when a request is forwarded. This release overrides the Undertow default to comply with the Servlet spec. The previous Undertow default behavior can be restored by setting a property server.undertow.preserve-path-on-forward to true.


This release brings a significant overhaul of the Neo4j support. A number of properties in* have been removed and the support of Neo4j OGM has been removed as well.

Configuration of the Neo4j driver is done via the spring.neo4j.* namespace although URI and basic authentication from the data namespace are still supported in a deprecated fashion.

For more details about this change and what Spring Data Neo4j 6 brings, check the documentation.

Hazelcast 4

This release upgrades to Hazelcast 4 whilst keeping compatibility with Hazelcast 3.2.x. If you’re not ready to switch to Hazelcast 4, you can downgrade using the hazelcast.version property in your build.

Elasticsearch RestClient

The low-level Elasticsearch RestClient bean will no longer be auto-configured by Spring Boot. A RestHighLevelClient bean is still auto-configured.

Most users should not need to use the low-level client and should not be affected by this change.


The core infrastructure of R2DBC has moved to Spring Framework with a new spring-r2dbc module. If you are using this infrastructure, make sure to migrate deprecated access to the new core support.


The upgrade to Flyway 7 includes some changes to callback ordering. This will be a breaking change for anyone relying on registration order which we support via @Order and Ordered.

If you are using Flyway 5, make sure to upgrade to Flyway 6 before upgrading to Spring Boot 2.4 as Flyway only keeps schema upgrades for one feature release.

Removal of Plugin Management for Flatten Maven Plugin

Spring Boot’s build no longer makes use of the Flatten Maven Plugin (flatten-maven-plugin) and plugin management for it has been removed. If you were relying on Spring Boot’s managed version, you should add your own plugin management.

Version management for exec-maven-plugin

The version management for the exec-maven-plugin has been removed. If you are using this plugin, make sure to specify a version in your own pluginManagement.

Spring Boot Gradle Plugin

The DSL for the Spring Boot Gradle Plugin bootJar task has been updated so that the mainClass can be configured using a Property<String>. If you currently use mainClassName, for example:

bootJar {
	mainClassName 'com.example.ExampleApplication'

You should change it to mainClass:

bootJar {
	mainClass 'com.example.ExampleApplication'

Metrics export in integration tests

@SpringBootTest no longer configures available monitoring systems and only provide the in-memory MeterRegistry. If you were exporting metrics as part of an integration test, you can add @AutoConfigureMetrics to your test to restore the previous behaviour.

Deprecations from Spring Boot 2.2 and 2.3

Reflecting the Spring Boot release compatibility policy, code deprecated in Spring Boot 2.2 was removed in Spring Boot 2.4. Code deprecated in Spring Boot 2.3 remains in place, and is scheduled for removal in Spring Boot 2.5.

New and Noteworthy

Check the configuration changelog for a complete overview of the changes in configuration.

Spring Framework 5.3

Spring Boot 2.4 uses Spring Framework 5.3. The Spring Framework wiki has a what’s new section with details of the new release.

Spring Data 2020.0

Spring Boot 2.4 includes version 2020.0 (code-named Ockham) of the Spring Data release train. See the Spring Data wiki for release details.


This release brings support of reactive repositories and rely on a separate auto-configuration for the Neo4j driver. As a result, it is now possible to use Neo4j with or without Spring Data.

Health checks for Neo4j use the Driver and are available as long as the Neo4j driver is configured.

If you want to use @Transactional with reactive access, you’d need to configure the Neo4jReactiveTransactionManager bean yourself for now.

public ReactiveTransactionManager reactiveTransactionManager(Driver driver,
      ReactiveDatabaseSelectionProvider databaseNameProvider) {
    return new ReactiveNeo4jTransactionManager(driver, databaseNameProvider);


A R2dbcEntityTemplate is available to simplify the use of Reactive R2DBC usage through entities

Java 15 Support

Spring Boot 2.4 now fully supports (and is tested against) Java 15. The minimum supported version remains Java 8.

Custom property name support

When using constructor binding the name of the property is derived from the parameter name. This can be a problem if you want to use a java reserved keyword. For such situations, you can now use the @Name annotation, something like:

@ConfigurationProperties(prefix = "sample")
public class SampleConfigurationProperties {

  private final String importValue;

  public SampleConfigurationProperties(@Name("import") String importValue) {
    this.importValue = importValue;


The sample above exposes a sample.import property.

Layered jar enabled by default

This release enables layered jars and include the layertools by default. This should improve the efficiency of generated image using the build pack out-of-the-box and lets you benefit of that feature when crafting custom Dockerfile.

Importing Additional Application Config

As long as you haven’t set spring.config.use-legacy-processing to true, you can now import additional properties and yaml files directly from your main or application.yml.

You can use the spring.config.import property to specify one or more additional config files that should be imported into the Spring Environment. See this section of the reference guide for more details.

We’ve published a short blog explaining why we’ve made these changes.

Volume Mounted Config Directory Trees

The spring.config.import property can also be used to import configuration trees that are commonly used with Kubernetes. A configuration tree is an alternative way of providing key/value pairs. Each pair is declared in its own file, with the filename forming the property key, and the file contents providing the value.

For a complete example, see the updated reference documentation.

Properties loaded from config trees have trailing newline characters trimmed by default.

Importing Config Files That Have no File Extension

Some Cloud platforms only allow you to volume mount files without a file extension. If you have such a constraint, It’s now possible to import these files by providing a hint to Spring Boot about the content type. For example, spring.config.import=/etc/myconfig[.yaml] will load /etc/myconfig as YAML.

Origin Chains

The Origin interface has been updated with a new getParent() method. This allows us to provide a full origin chain that can show exactly where an item originated from.

For example, you might use spring.config.import in your to import a second file. The Origin of properties loaded from this second file will have a parent that points back to the orginal import declaration.

You can try this yourself by looking at the output of the actuator/env or actuator/configprops actuator endpoints.

Startup Endpoint

A new startup actuator endpoint is now available that shows information about your applications startup. The endpoint can help you identify beans that are taking longer than expected to start.

This work builds on the application startup tracking feature that was recently added to Spring Framwork 5.3. You can read more about the feature in the Spring Framework reference documentation.

The new actuator API is documented here.

Docker/Buildpack Support

Publishing Images

The Maven plugin spring-boot:build-image goal and Gradle plugin bootBuildImage task now have the ability to publish the generated image to a Docker registry. See the Maven and Gradle plugin documentation for more details on configuring the plugins for publishing images.


When using Spring Boot’s buildpack support, you can now use a private authenticated Docker registry for your builder or run image. Both username/password and token based authentication are supported.

The Maven and Gradle documentation have been updated to show the new configuration.

Paketo Buildpack Defaults

The image builder used by the Maven plugin spring-boot:build-image goal and Gradle plugin bootBuildImage task by default has been upgraded to the latest Paketo images. The Paketo image registry has been changed from Google Container Registry to Docker Hub for improved accessibility.

Maven Buildpack Support

The spring-boot:build-image Maven goal now puts all project modules dependencies in the "application" layer. This means that if you have multiple project modules in your build, they will now all end up in the same layer.

The XML schema has also been updated to allow the layer to be customized using new <includeModuleDependencies/> and <excludeModuleDependencies/> elements.

See the updated Maven documentation for details.

Gradle Buildpack Support

The bootBuildImage Gradle task now puts all project modules dependencies in the "application" layer. This means that if you have multiple project modules in your build, they will now all end up in the same layer.

You can also use includeProjectDependencies() and excludeProjectDependencies() in the DSL when customizing layers.

See the updated Gradle documentation for details.

Redis Cache Metrics

If you’re using Redis caching you can now expose cache statistics via Micrometer. Metrics logged include the number puts, gets and deletes as well as hits/misses. The number of pending requests and the lock wait duration are also recorded.

To enable the feature, set spring.cache.redis.enable-statistics to true.

Web Configuration Properties

Properties have been added to support configuration of the web locale and resource locations with either Spring MVC or Spring WebFlux. The new properties are:

  • spring.web.locale

  • spring.web.locale-resolver

  • spring.web.resources.*

A new property has been added to support configuration of the actuators management endpoint with either the servlet or reactive web stack:

  • management.server.base-path

These Spring MVC and servlet specific properties have been deprecated in favor of the new properties that support either web stack:

  • spring.mvc.locale

  • spring.mvc.locale-resolver

  • spring.resources.*

  • management.server.servlet.context-path

Register @WebListeners in a way that allows them to register servlets and filters

Servlet @WebListener classes are now registered in such a way that they may themselves register servlets and filters.

Earlier versions of Spring Boot registered them using a call to javax.servlet.Registration.Dynamic. This meant that the following section of Servlet specification (4.4) applied:

If the ServletContext passed to the ServletContextListener’s contextInitialized method where the ServletContextListener was neither declared in web.xml or web-fragment.xml nor annotated with @WebListener then an UnsupportedOperationException MUST be thrown for all the methods defined in ServletContext for programmatic configuration of servlets, filters and listeners.

As of Spring Boot 2.4, we no longer use dynamic registration and so it’s safe to call event.getServletContext().addServlet(…​) and event.getServletContext.addFilter(…​) from a ServletContextListener.contextInitialized method.

A side-effect of this change is that the Servlet container now creates the instance of the WebListener and, therefore, dependency injection such as with @Autowired can no longer be used. In such cases, @Component should be used instead.

Slice Test for Cassandra

An additional test slice can be used to test components that rely on Cassandra using @DataCassandraTest. As usual, only Cassandra Repositories and the required infrastructure is configured by default.

Here is an example using Testcontainers and @DynamicPropertSource:

@DataCassandraTest(properties = "")
@Testcontainers(disabledWithoutDocker = true)
class SampleDataCassandraTestIntegrationTests {

	static final CassandraContainer<?> cassandra = new CassandraContainer<>().withStartupAttempts(5)

	static void cassandraProperties(DynamicPropertyRegistry registry) {
				() -> cassandra.getHost() + ":" + cassandra.getFirstMappedPort());



Flyway 7

This release upgrades to Flyway 7 which brings some additional properties. For the open source edition we’ve add the following spring.flyway properties:

  • url

  • user

  • password

If you’re using the "teams" edition you can also make use of:

  • cherry-pick

  • jdbc-properties

  • oracle-kerberos-cache-file

  • oracle-kerberos-config-file

  • skip-executing-migrations

Configuration property for H2 Console’s web admin password

A new configuration property, spring.h2.console.settings.web-admin-password, for configuring H2 Console’s web admin password has been introduced. The password controls access to the console’s preferences and tools.

CqlSession-Based Health Indicators for Apache Cassandra

New CqlSession based health indicators, CassandraDriverHealthIndicator and CassandraDriverReactiveHealthIndicator, have been introduced. One of these indicators will be auto-configured when Cassandra’s Java Driver is on the classpath. The existing Spring Data Cassandra-based health indicators have been deprecated.

Filtered Scraping with Prometheus

The Actuator’s Prometheus endpoint, /actuator/prometheus, now supports an includedNames query parameter that can be used to filter the samples that are included in the response. See the Actuator API documentation for further details.

Spring Security SAML Configuration Properties

Properties have been added to allow configuration of a SAML2 relying party registration’s decryption credentials and Assertion Consumer Service (ACS). The properties are under the following headings:

Failure Analyzers

FailureAnalizers will now be considered even if a ApplicationContext was not created. This allows them to also analyze any exceptions thrown during Environment processing.

Note that any analyzer that implements BeanFactoryAware or EnvironmentAware will not be used unless the ApplicationContext was created.

Jar Optimizations

When generating runnable Spring Boot jars, empty starter dependencies will now be automatically removed. Since most starters only provide transitive dependencies, there is little point in packaging them in the final jar.

Spring Boot annotation processors are also removed as well as they are only useful during the build. These are spring-boot-autoconfigure-processor and spring-boot-configuration-processor.

If you have your own starter POMs that contain no code, you can add a Spring-Boot-Jar-Type entry to its MANIFEST.MF with the value "dependencies-starter". If you want to filter out an annotation processor, you can add the same property with the value "annotation-processor".


Apart from the changes listed above, there have also been lots of minor tweaks and improvements including:

  • Version of the JVM on which the application is running is now logged on startup.

  • Trailing whitespace is automatically trimmed from the value of logging.config.

  • R2DBC pool support exposes additional configuration properties.

  • Exception handling in LdapTemplate can be configured to ignore certain exceptions.

  • ISO offset date time format is support for MVC and Webflux.

  • Add a configuration property to opt-in for the new PathPatternParser in lieu of AntPathMatcher to parse and match request mapping path patterns.

  • @DurationUnit, @DataSizeUnit, and @PeriodUnit can annotate a constructor parameter using @ConstructorBinding.

  • The auto-configured RabbitConnectionFactory checks for the presence of CredentialsProvider and CredentialsRefreshService.

  • A health group can be defined with only exclusions.

  • AbstractRoutingDataSource can be ignored in health checks using

  • The localEntityIdTemplate of A SAML Relying party can be configured.

  • HTTP traces are measures with nanosecond precision.

  • A dedicated FailureAnalyzer provides a meaningful message when a Liquibase changelog is missing.

  • Netty’s request decoder can be customized using server.netty.* properties.

  • Plugin management for the Liquibase Maven Plugin that is consistent with the Liquibase version a Spring Boot version manages.

  • Basic authentication support for Prometheus PushGateway.

  • Allow selecting Jedis when both Jedis and Lettuce are available using spring.redis.client-type.

  • Allow disabling Redis Cluster dynamic sources refresh using spring.redis.lettuce.cluster.refresh.dynamic-sources.

  • The reference documentation now includes both Properties and YAML for all configuration examples.

  • RSocketServer’s fragment size can now be customized using the spring.rsocket.fragment-size property.

  • The charsets used to by Logback and Log4j logging can now be configured using the properties logging.charset.console and logging.charset.file.

  • Gradle’s configuration cache is supported when using Gradle 6.7 or later to build a Spring Boot application.

Dependency Upgrades

Spring Boot 2.4 moves to new versions of several Spring projects:

Numerous third-party dependencies have also been updated, some of the more noteworthy of which are the following:

Deprecations in Spring Boot 2.4

  • ConfigFileApplicationListener has been deprecated in favor of ConfigDataEnvironmentPostProcessor.

  • SpringApplicationBuilder and SpringApplication methods relating to the contextClass have been deprecated in favor of alternatives that use a contextFactory.

  • Some methods of CloudFoundryVcapEnvironmentPostProcessor have been deprecated to work with EnvironmentPostProcessor updates (these should affect most users).

  • The BuildLog build pack support class has deprecated a few methods and replaced them with alternatives that provide more details.

  • Logback constants in LoggingSystemProperties have been deprecated in favor of LogbackLoggingSystemProperties.

  • The isEagerInitFilters/setEagerInitFilters methods in UndertowServletWebServerFactory have been replaced by isEagerFilterInit/setEagerFilterInit.

  • A few methods from ApplicationEnvironmentPreparedEvent, ApplicationStartingEvent and SpringApplicationRunListener have been deprecated to support BootstrapContext.

  • The BuildLog for buildpack support has been updated to support more data (most users will not directly use this class).

  • Some Spring MVC and servlet specific properties have been deprecated (see the Web Configuration Properties section above).

  • Health indicators using Spring Data Cassandra have been deprecated in favour of the ones that are using the raw driver.