tutorial - types of java beans

What is a JavaBean exactly? (10)

I understood, I think, that a "Bean" is a Java class with properties and getters/setters. As much as I understand, it is the equivalent of a C struct. Is that true?

Also, is there a real syntactic difference between a bean and a regular class? Is there any special definition or an interface?

Basically, why is there a term for this?

Edit: If you can be so kind and add information regarding the Serializable interface, and what it means, to your answer, I'd be very grateful.

A Java Bean is a java class [conceptual] that should follow following conventions:

  1. It should have a no-arg constructor.
  2. It should be Serializable.
  3. It should provide methods to set and get the values of the properties, known as getter and setter methods.

It is a reusable software component. It can encapsulate many object into one object so that same object can be accessed from multiples places and is a step towards easy maintenance of code.

A Java Bean is essentially a class, what classifies a class as a bean is: 1. It should implement serializable interface (A Marker interface). 2. The constructor should be public and have no arguments (What other people call it a no-arg constructor). 3. It should have getter and setters.

Good to note the serialVersionUID field is important for maintaining object state. Below code qualifies as a bean:

public class DataDog implements java.io.Serializable {

private static final long serialVersionUID = -3774654564564563L;

private int id;
private String nameOfDog;

//The constructor should NOT have arguments
public DataDog () {}

/** 4. getter/setter */

// getter(s)
public int getId() {
    return id;
public String getNameOfDog() {
    return nameOfDog;
// setter(s)
public void setId(int id) {
    this.id = id;
public void setNameOfDog(String nameOfDog) {
    this.nameOfDog = nameOfDog;

As per the Wikipedia:

  1. The class must have a public default constructor (with no arguments). This allows easy instantiation within editing and activation frameworks.

  2. The class properties must be accessible using get, set, is (can be used for boolean properties instead of get), and other methods (so-called accessor methods and mutator methods) according to a standard naming convention. This allows easy automated inspection and updating of bean state within frameworks, many of which include custom editors for various types of properties. Setters can have one or more than one argument.

  3. The class should be serializable. [This allows applications and frameworks to reliably save, store, and restore the bean's state in a manner independent of the VM and of the platform.]

For more information follow this link.

Explanation with an example.

1. import java.io.Serializable

As for the Serialization, see the documentation.

2. private fields

Fields should be private for prevent outer classes to easily modify those fields. Instead of directly accesing to those fields, usuagly getter/setter methods are used.

3. Constructor

A public constructor without any argument.

4. getter/setter

Getter and setter methods for accesing private fields.

/** 1. import java.io.Serializable */
public class User implements java.io.Serializable {
    /** 2. private fields */
    private int id;
    private String name;

    /** 3. Constructor */
    public User() {
    public User(int id, String name) {
        this.id = id;
        this.name = name;

    /** 4. getter/setter */
    // getter
    public int getId() {
        return id;
    public String getName() {
        return name;
    // setter
    public void setId(int id) {
        this.id = is;
    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;

Java Beans is a standard, and its basic syntax requirements have been clearly explained by the other answers.

However, IMO, it is more than a simple syntax standard. The real meaning or intended usage of Java Beans is, together with various tool supports around the standard, to facilitate code reuse and component-based software engineering, i.e. enable developers to build applications by assembling existing components (classes) and without having to write any code (or only have to write a little glue code). Unfortunately this technology is way under-estimated and under-utilized by the industry, which can be told from the answers in this thread.

If you read Oracle's tutorial on Java Beans, you can get a better understanding in that.

JavaBeans are Java classes which adhere to an extremely simple coding convention. All you have to do is to

  1. Implement java.io.Serializable interface - To save the state of an object
  2. use a public empty argument constructor - To instantiate the object
  3. And provide public getter and setter methods - To get and set the values of private variables (properties ).

Regarding the second part of your question, Serialization is a persistence mechanism used to store objects as a sequence of signed bytes. Put less formally, it stores the state of an object so you can retrieve it later, by de-serialization.

There's a term for it to make it sound special. The reality is nowhere near so mysterious.

Basically, a "Bean":

  • is a serializable object (that is, it implements java.io.Serializable, and does so correctly), that
  • has "properties" whose getters and setters are just methods with certain names (like, say, getFoo() is the getter for the "Foo" property), and
  • has a public 0-arg constructor (so it can be created at will and configured by setting its properties).


As for Serializable: That is nothing but a "marker interface" (an interface that doesn't declare any functions) that tells Java that the implementing class consents to (and implies that it is capable of) "serialization" -- a process that converts an instance into a stream of bytes. Those bytes can be stored in files, sent over a network connection, etc, and have enough info to allow a JVM (at least, one that knows about the object's type) to reconstruct the object later -- possibly in a different instance of the application, or even on a whole other machine!

Of course, in order to do that, the class has to abide by certain limitations. Chief among them is that all instance fields must be either primitive types (int, bool, etc), instances of some class that is also serializable, or marked as transient so that Java won't try to include them. (This of course means that transient fields will not survive the trip over a stream. A class that has transient fields should be prepared to reinitialize them if necessary.)

A class that can not abide by those limitations should not implement Serializable (and, IIRC, the Java compiler won't even let it do so.)

To understand JavaBean you need to notice the followings: JavaBean is a conceptual stuff and can not represent a class of specific things

JavaBean is a development tool can be visualized in the operation of reusable software components

JavaBean is based on the Sun JavaBeans specification and can be reusable components. Its biggest feature is the re-usability.

You will find Serialization useful when deploying your project across multiple servers since beans will be persisted and transferred across them.