This guide walks you through the steps for scheduling tasks with Spring.

What You Will Build

You will build an application that prints out the current time every five seconds by using Spring’s @Scheduled annotation.

What You Need

How to complete this guide

Like most Spring Getting Started guides, you can start from scratch and complete each step or you can bypass basic setup steps that are already familiar to you. Either way, you end up with working code.

To start from scratch, move on to Starting with Spring Initializr.

To skip the basics, do the following:

When you finish, you can check your results against the code in gs-scheduling-tasks/complete.

Starting with Spring Initializr

For all Spring applications, you should start with the Spring Initializr. The Initializr offers a fast way to pull in all the dependencies you need for an application and does a lot of the setup for you. This example needs no Spring dependencies. Spring Boot itself provides all the Spring packages that you need for this guide. The following image shows the Initializr set up for this sample project:

initializr
The preceding image shows the Initializr with Maven chosen as the build tool. You can also use Gradle. It also shows values of com.example and scheduling-tasks as the Group and Artifact, respectively. You will use those values throughout the rest of this sample.

The following listing shows the pom.xml file that is created when you choose Maven:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>
	<parent>
		<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
		<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
		<version>2.2.2.RELEASE</version>
		<relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->
	</parent>
	<groupId>com.example</groupId>
	<artifactId>scheduling-tasks</artifactId>
	<version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<name>scheduling-tasks</name>
	<description>Demo project for Spring Boot</description>

	<properties>
		<java.version>1.8</java.version>
	</properties>

	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter</artifactId>
		</dependency>

		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId>
			<scope>test</scope>
			<exclusions>
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>org.junit.vintage</groupId>
					<artifactId>junit-vintage-engine</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
			</exclusions>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>

	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-boot-maven-plugin</artifactId>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>

</project>

The following listing shows the build.gradle file that is created when you choose Gradle:

plugins {
	id 'org.springframework.boot' version '2.2.2.RELEASE'
	id 'io.spring.dependency-management' version '1.0.8.RELEASE'
	id 'java'
}

group = 'com.example'
version = '0.0.1-SNAPSHOT'
sourceCompatibility = '1.8'

repositories {
	mavenCentral()
}

dependencies {
	implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter'
	testImplementation('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test') {
		exclude group: 'org.junit.vintage', module: 'junit-vintage-engine'
	}
}

test {
	useJUnitPlatform()
}

Adding the awaitility Dependency

The tests in complete/src/test/java/com/example/schedulingtasks/ScheduledTasksTest.java require the awaitility library.

Later versions of the awaitility library do not work for this test, so you have to specify version 3.1.2.

To add the awaitility library to Maven, add the following dependency:

<dependency>
  <groupId>org.awaitility</groupId>
  <artifactId>awaitility</artifactId>
  <version>3.1.2</version>
  <scope>test</scope>
</dependency>

The following listing shows the finished pom.xml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>
	<parent>
		<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
		<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
		<version>2.2.2.RELEASE</version>
		<relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->
	</parent>
	<groupId>com.example</groupId>
	<artifactId>scheduling-tasks</artifactId>
	<version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<name>scheduling-tasks</name>
	<description>Demo project for Spring Boot</description>

	<properties>
		<java.version>1.8</java.version>
	</properties>

	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter</artifactId>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.awaitility</groupId>
			<artifactId>awaitility</artifactId>
			<version>3.1.2</version>
			<scope>test</scope>
		</dependency>

		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId>
			<scope>test</scope>
			<exclusions>
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>org.junit.vintage</groupId>
					<artifactId>junit-vintage-engine</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
			</exclusions>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>

	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-boot-maven-plugin</artifactId>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>

</project>

To add the awaitility library to Gradle, add the following dependency:

	testImplementation 'org.awaitility:awaitility:3.1.2'

The following listing shows the finished build.gradle file:

plugins {
	id 'org.springframework.boot' version '2.2.2.RELEASE'
	id 'io.spring.dependency-management' version '1.0.8.RELEASE'
	id 'java'
}

group = 'com.example'
version = '0.0.1-SNAPSHOT'
sourceCompatibility = '1.8'

repositories {
	mavenCentral()
}

dependencies {
	implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter'
	testImplementation 'org.awaitility:awaitility:3.1.2'
	testImplementation('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test') {
		exclude group: 'org.junit.vintage', module: 'junit-vintage-engine'
	}
}

test {
	useJUnitPlatform()
}

Create a Scheduled Task

Now that you have set up your project, you can create a scheduled task. The following listing (from src/main/java/com/example/schedulingtasks/ScheduledTasks.java) shows how to do so:

/*
 * Copyright 2012-2015 the original author or authors.
 *
 * Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
 * you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
 * You may obtain a copy of the License at
 *
 *	  https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
 *
 * Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
 * distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
 * WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
 * See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
 * limitations under the License.
 */

package com.example.schedulingtasks;

import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
import java.util.Date;

import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import org.springframework.scheduling.annotation.Scheduled;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Component;

@Component
public class ScheduledTasks {

	private static final Logger log = LoggerFactory.getLogger(ScheduledTasks.class);

	private static final SimpleDateFormat dateFormat = new SimpleDateFormat("HH:mm:ss");

	@Scheduled(fixedRate = 5000)
	public void reportCurrentTime() {
		log.info("The time is now {}", dateFormat.format(new Date()));
	}
}

The Scheduled annotation defines when a particular method runs.

This example uses fixedRate, which specifies the interval between method invocations, measured from the start time of each invocation. There are other options, such as fixedDelay, which specifies the interval between invocations measured from the completion of the task. You can also use @Scheduled(cron=". . .") expressions for more sophisticated task scheduling.

Enable Scheduling

Although scheduled tasks can be embedded in web applications and WAR files, the simpler approach (shown in in the next listing) creates a standalone application. To do so, package everything in a single, executable JAR file, driven by a good old Java main() method. The following listing (from src/main/java/com/example/schedulingtasks/SchedulingTasksApplication.java) shows the application class:

package com.example.schedulingtasks;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.scheduling.annotation.EnableScheduling;

@SpringBootApplication
@EnableScheduling
public class SchedulingTasksApplication {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		SpringApplication.run(SchedulingTasksApplication.class);
	}
}

@SpringBootApplication is a convenience annotation that adds all of the following:

  • @Configuration: Tags the class as a source of bean definitions for the application context.

  • @EnableAutoConfiguration: Tells Spring Boot to start adding beans based on classpath settings, other beans, and various property settings. For example, if spring-webmvc is on the classpath, this annotation flags the application as a web application and activates key behaviors, such as setting up a DispatcherServlet.

  • @ComponentScan: Tells Spring to look for other components, configurations, and services in the com/example package, letting it find the controllers.

The main() method uses Spring Boot’s SpringApplication.run() method to launch an application. Did you notice that there was not a single line of XML? There is no web.xml file, either. This web application is 100% pure Java and you did not have to deal with configuring any plumbing or infrastructure.

The @EnableScheduling annotation ensures that a background task executor is created. Without it, nothing gets scheduled.

Build an executable JAR

You can run the application from the command line with Gradle or Maven. You can also build a single executable JAR file that contains all the necessary dependencies, classes, and resources and run that. Building an executable jar so makes it easy to ship, version, and deploy the service as an application throughout the development lifecycle, across different environments, and so forth.

If you use Gradle, you can run the application by using ./gradlew bootRun. Alternatively, you can build the JAR file by using ./gradlew build and then run the JAR file, as follows:

java -jar build/libs/gs-scheduling-tasks-0.1.0.jar

If you use Maven, you can run the application by using ./mvnw spring-boot:run. Alternatively, you can build the JAR file with ./mvnw clean package and then run the JAR file, as follows:

java -jar target/gs-scheduling-tasks-0.1.0.jar
The steps described here create a runnable JAR. You can also build a classic WAR file.

Logging output is displayed, and you can see from the logs that it is on a background thread. You should see your scheduled task fire every five seconds. The following listing shows typical output:

...
2019-10-02 12:07:35.659  INFO 28617 --- [   scheduling-1] c.e.schedulingtasks.ScheduledTasks       : The time is now 12:07:35
2019-10-02 12:07:40.659  INFO 28617 --- [   scheduling-1] c.e.schedulingtasks.ScheduledTasks       : The time is now 12:07:40
2019-10-02 12:07:45.659  INFO 28617 --- [   scheduling-1] c.e.schedulingtasks.ScheduledTasks       : The time is now 12:07:45
2019-10-02 12:07:50.657  INFO 28617 --- [   scheduling-1] c.e.schedulingtasks.ScheduledTasks       : The time is now 12:07:50
...

Summary

Congratulations! You created an application with a scheduled task. Also, this technique works in any type of application.

See Also

The following guides may also be helpful:

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