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

What you’ll build

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

What you’ll 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 Build with Gradle.

To skip the basics, do the following:

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

Build with Gradle

Build with Gradle

First you set up a basic build script. You can use any build system you like when building apps with Spring, but the code you need to work with Gradle and Maven is included here. If you’re not familiar with either, refer to Building Java Projects with Gradle or Building Java Projects with Maven.

Create the directory structure

In a project directory of your choosing, create the following subdirectory structure; for example, with mkdir -p src/main/java/hello on *nix systems:

└── src
    └── main
        └── java
            └── hello

Create a Gradle build file

build.gradle

buildscript {
    repositories {
        mavenCentral()
    }
    dependencies {
        classpath("org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-gradle-plugin:1.5.6.RELEASE")
    }
}

apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'eclipse'
apply plugin: 'idea'
apply plugin: 'org.springframework.boot'

jar {
    baseName = 'gs-scheduling-tasks'
    version =  '0.1.0'
}

repositories {
    mavenCentral()
}

sourceCompatibility = 1.8
targetCompatibility = 1.8

dependencies {
    compile("org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter")
    testCompile("junit:junit")
}

The Spring Boot gradle plugin provides many convenient features:

  • It collects all the jars on the classpath and builds a single, runnable "über-jar", which makes it more convenient to execute and transport your service.

  • It searches for the public static void main() method to flag as a runnable class.

  • It provides a built-in dependency resolver that sets the version number to match Spring Boot dependencies. You can override any version you wish, but it will default to Boot’s chosen set of versions.

Build with Maven

Build with Maven

First you set up a basic build script. You can use any build system you like when building apps with Spring, but the code you need to work with Maven is included here. If you’re not familiar with Maven, refer to Building Java Projects with Maven.

Create the directory structure

In a project directory of your choosing, create the following subdirectory structure; for example, with mkdir -p src/main/java/hello on *nix systems:

└── src
    └── main
        └── java
            └── hello

pom.xml

<?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 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
    <modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>

    <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
    <artifactId>gs-scheduling-tasks</artifactId>
    <version>0.1.0</version>

    <parent>
        <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
        <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
        <version>1.5.6.RELEASE</version>
    </parent>

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

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

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

</project>

The Spring Boot Maven plugin provides many convenient features:

  • It collects all the jars on the classpath and builds a single, runnable "über-jar", which makes it more convenient to execute and transport your service.

  • It searches for the public static void main() method to flag as a runnable class.

  • It provides a built-in dependency resolver that sets the version number to match Spring Boot dependencies. You can override any version you wish, but it will default to Boot’s chosen set of versions.

Build with your IDE

Build with your IDE

Create a scheduled task

Now that you’ve set up your project, you can create a scheduled task.

src/main/java/hello/ScheduledTasks.java

package hello;

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. NOTE: This example uses fixedRate, which specifies the interval between method invocations measured from the start time of each invocation. There are other options, like 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 apps and WAR files, the simpler approach demonstrated below creates a standalone application. You package everything in a single, executable JAR file, driven by a good old Java main() method.

src/main/java/hello/Application.java

package hello;

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

@SpringBootApplication
@EnableScheduling
public class Application {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        SpringApplication.run(Application.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.

  • Normally you would add @EnableWebMvc for a Spring MVC app, but Spring Boot adds it automatically when it sees spring-webmvc on the classpath. This 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 hello package, allowing it to find the controllers.

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

@EnableScheduling 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. Or you can build a single executable JAR file that contains all the necessary dependencies, classes, and resources, and run that. This 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 are using Gradle, you can run the application using ./gradlew bootRun. Or you can build the JAR file using ./gradlew build. Then you can run the JAR file:

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

If you are using Maven, you can run the application using ./mvnw spring-boot:run. Or you can build the JAR file with ./mvnw clean package. Then you can run the JAR file:

java -jar target/gs-scheduling-tasks-0.1.0.jar
The procedure above will create a runnable JAR. You can also opt to build a classic WAR file instead.

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 5 seconds:

[...]
2016-08-25 13:10:00.143  INFO 31565 --- [pool-1-thread-1] hello.ScheduledTasks : The time is now 13:10:00
2016-08-25 13:10:05.143  INFO 31565 --- [pool-1-thread-1] hello.ScheduledTasks : The time is now 13:10:05
2016-08-25 13:10:10.143  INFO 31565 --- [pool-1-thread-1] hello.ScheduledTasks : The time is now 13:10:10
2016-08-25 13:10:15.143  INFO 31565 --- [pool-1-thread-1] hello.ScheduledTasks : The time is now 13:10:15

Summary

Congratulations! You created an application with a scheduled task. Heck, the actual code was shorter than the build file! This technique works in any type of application.

See Also

The following guides may also be helpful:

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