java @resource - What is the difference between @Inject and @Autowired in Spring Framework? Which one to use under what condition?




when works (9)

As of Spring 3.0, Spring offers support for JSR-330 dependency injection annotations (@Inject, @Named, @Singleton).

There is a separate section in the Spring documentation about them, including comparisons to their Spring equivalents.

I am going through some blogs on SpringSource and in one of the blogs, author is using @Inject and I suppose he can also use @Autowired.

Here is the piece of code:

@Inject private CustomerOrderService customerOrderService;

I am not sure about the difference between @Inject and @Autowired and would appreciate it if someone explained their difference and which one to use under what situation?


Here is a blog post that compares @Resource, @Inject, and @Autowired, and appears to do a pretty comprehensive job.

From the link:

With the exception of test 2 & 7 the configuration and outcomes were identical. When I looked under the hood I determined that the ‘@Autowired’ and ‘@Inject’ annotation behave identically. Both of these annotations use the ‘AutowiredAnnotationBeanPostProcessor’ to inject dependencies. ‘@Autowired’ and ‘@Inject’ can be used interchangeable to inject Spring beans. However the ‘@Resource’ annotation uses the ‘CommonAnnotationBeanPostProcessor’ to inject dependencies. Even though they use different post processor classes they all behave nearly identically. Below is a summary of their execution paths.

Tests 2 and 7 that the author references are 'injection by field name' and 'an attempt at resolving a bean using a bad qualifier', respectively.

The Conclusion should give you all the information you need.


Assuming here you're referring to the javax.inject.Inject annotations. @Inject is part of the Java CDI (Contexts and Dependency Injection) standard introduced in Java EE 6 (JSR-299), read more. Spring has chosen to support using @Inject synonymously with their own @Autowired annotation.

So, to answer your question, @Autowired is Spring's own (legacy) annotation. @Inject is part of a new Java technology called CDI that defines a standard for dependency injection similar to Spring. In a Spring application, the two annotations works the same way as Spring has decided to support some JSR-299 annotations in addition to their own.


The @Inject annotation is one of the JSR-330 annotations collection. This has Match by Type,Match by Qualifier, Match by Name execution paths. These execution paths are valid for both setter and field injection.The behavior of @Autowired annotation is same as the @Inject annotation. The only difference is the @Autowired annotation is a part of the Spring framework. @Autowired annotation also has the above execution paths. So I recommend the @Autowired for your answer.


The key difference(noticed when reading the Spring Docs) between @Autowired and @Inject is that, @Autowired has the 'required' attribute while the @Inject has no 'required' attribute.


@Inject has no 'required' attribute


In addition to the above:

  1. The default scope for @Autowired beans is Singleton whereas using JSR 330 @Inject annotation it is like Spring's prototype.
  2. There is no equivalent of @Lazy in JSR 330 using @Inject
  3. There is no equivalent of @Value in JSR 330 using @Inject

Better use @Inject all the time. Because it is java configuration approach(provided by sun) which makes our application agnostic to the framework. So if you spring also your classes will work.

If you use @Autowired it will works only with spring because @Autowired is spring provided annotation.


In simple words,

applicationContext.xml defines the beans that are shared among all the servlets. If your application have more than one servlet, then defining the common resources in the applicationContext.xml would make more sense.

spring-servlet.xml defines the beans that are related only to that servlet. Here it is the dispatcher servlet. So, your Spring MVC controllers must be defined in this file.

There is nothing wrong in defining all the beans in the spring-servlet.xml if you are running only one servlet in your web application.





java spring dependency-injection autowired inject