Questions d'entretiens chez Spring MVC

1. Introduction

Spring MVC est le framework Web d'origine de Spring basé sur l'API Servlet. Il fournit une architecture Model-View-Controller qui peut être utilisée pour développer des applications Web flexibles.

Dans ce didacticiel, nous nous concentrerons sur les questions qui y sont liées, car il s'agit souvent d'un sujet lors d'un entretien d'embauche de développeur Spring.

Pour plus de questions sur Spring Framework, vous pouvez consulter un autre article sur Spring de notre série de questions d'entrevue.

2. Questions de base sur Spring MVC

Q1. Pourquoi devrions-nous utiliser Spring MVC?

Spring MVC met en œuvre une séparation claire des préoccupations qui nous permet de développer et de tester facilement nos applications .

Les concepts comme:

  • Servlet répartiteur
  • Contrôleurs
  • Afficher les résolveurs
  • Vues, ​​modèles
  • ModelAndView
  • Attributs de modèle et de session

sont complètement indépendants les uns des autres et ne sont responsables que d'une seule chose.

Par conséquent, MVC nous offre une assez grande flexibilité . Il est basé sur des interfaces (avec les classes d'implémentation fournies), et nous pouvons configurer chaque partie du framework à l'aide d'interfaces personnalisées.

Une autre chose importante est que nous ne sommes pas liés à une technologie de vue spécifique (par exemple, JSP), mais nous avons la possibilité de choisir parmi celles que nous aimons le plus .

De plus, nous n'utilisons pas Spring MVC uniquement dans le développement d'applications Web, mais également dans la création de services Web RESTful .

Q2. Quel est le rôle de l' annotation @Autowired ?

L' annotation @Autowired peut être utilisée avec des champs ou des méthodes pour injecter un bean par type . Cette annotation permet à Spring de résoudre et d'injecter des beans collaboratifs dans votre bean.

Pour plus de détails, veuillez consulter le tutoriel sur @Autowired au printemps.

Q3. Expliquer un attribut de modèle

L' annotation @ModelAttribute est l'une des annotations les plus importantes de Spring MVC. Il lie un paramètre de méthode ou une valeur de retour de méthode à un attribut de modèle nommé, puis l'expose à une vue Web .

Si nous l'utilisons au niveau de la méthode, cela indique que le but de cette méthode est d'ajouter un ou plusieurs attributs de modèle.

D'autre part, lorsqu'il est utilisé comme argument de méthode, il indique que l'argument doit être récupéré à partir du modèle. Lorsqu'il n'est pas présent, nous devons d'abord l'instancier, puis l'ajouter au modèle. Une fois présents dans le modèle, nous devons remplir les champs d'arguments à partir de tous les paramètres de demande qui ont des noms correspondants.

Vous trouverez plus d'informations sur cette annotation dans notre article relatif à l' annotation @ModelAttribute .

Q4. Expliquez la différence entre @Controller et @RestController ?

La principale différence entre les annotations @Controller et @RestController est que l' annotation @ResponseBody est automatiquement incluse dans @RestController . Cela signifie que nous n'avons pas besoin d'annoter nos méthodes de gestion avec @ResponseBody . Nous devons le faire dans une classe @Controller si nous voulons écrire le type de réponse directement dans le corps de la réponse HTTP.

Q5. Décrire une variable de chemin

Nous pouvons utiliser l' annotation @PathVariable comme paramètre de méthode de gestionnaire afin d'extraire la valeur d'une variable de modèle d'URI .

Par exemple, si nous voulons récupérer un utilisateur par identifiant sur www.monsite.com/user/123 , nous devons mapper notre méthode dans le contrôleur en tant que / user / {id} :

@RequestMapping("/user/{id}") public String handleRequest(@PathVariable("id") String userId, Model map) {}

Le @PathVariable n'a qu'un seul élément nommé valeur . C'est facultatif et nous l'utilisons pour définir le nom de la variable du modèle URI . Si nous omettons l'élément value, le nom de la variable du modèle URI doit correspondre au nom du paramètre de la méthode.

Il est également permis d'avoir plusieurs annotations @PathVariable , soit en les déclarant l'une après l'autre:

@RequestMapping("/user/{userId}/name/{userName}") public String handleRequest(@PathVariable String userId, @PathVariable String userName, Model map) {}

ou en les mettant tous dans une Map ou MultiValueMap :

@RequestMapping("/user/{userId}/name/{userName}") public String handleRequest(@PathVariable Map varsMap, Model map) {}

Q6. Validation à l'aide de Spring MVC

Spring MVC prend en charge les spécifications JSR-303 par défaut. Nous devons ajouter JSR-303 et ses dépendances d'implémentation à notre application Spring MVC . Hibernate Validator, par exemple, est l'une des implémentations JSR-303 à notre disposition.

JSR-303 est une spécification de l'API Java pour la validation de bean, qui fait partie de Jakarta EE et JavaSE, qui garantit que les propriétés d'un bean répondent à des critères spécifiques, en utilisant des annotations telles que @NotNull , @Min et @Max . Plus d'informations sur la validation sont disponibles dans l'article Java Bean Validation Basics.

Spring propose l' annotation @Validator et la classe BindingResult . L' implémentation du validateur générera des erreurs dans la méthode du gestionnaire de requêtes du contrôleur lorsque nous aurons des données invalides. Ensuite, nous pouvons utiliser la classe BindingResult pour obtenir ces erreurs.

En plus d'utiliser les implémentations existantes, nous pouvons créer les nôtres. Pour ce faire, nous créons d'abord une annotation conforme aux spécifications JSR-303. Ensuite, nous implémentons la classe Validator . Une autre façon serait d'implémenter l' interface Validator de Spring et de la définir comme validateur via l' annotation @InitBinder dans la classe Controller .

To check out how to implement and use your own validations, please see the tutorial regarding Custom Validation in Spring MVC.

Q7. What are the @RequestBody and the @ResponseBody?

The @RequestBody annotation, used as a handler method parameter, binds the HTTP Request body to a transfer or a domain object. Spring automatically deserializes incoming HTTP Request to the Java object using Http Message Converters.

When we use the @ResponseBody annotation on a handler method in the Spring MVC controller, it indicates that we'll write the return type of the method directly to the HTTP response body. We'll not put it in a Model, and Spring won't interpret as a view name.

Please check out the article on @RequestBody and @ResponseBody to see more details about these annotations.

Q8. Explain Model, ModelMap and ModelAndView?

The Model interface defines a holder for model attributes. The ModelMap has a similar purpose, with the ability to pass a collection of values. It then treats those values as if they were within a Map. We should note that in Model (ModelMap) we can only store data. We put data in and return a view name.

On the other hand, with the ModelAndView, we return the object itself. We set all the required information, like the data and the view name, in the object we're returning.

You can find more details in the article on Model, ModelMap, and ModelView.

Q9. Explain SessionAttributes and SessionAttribute

The @SessionAttributes annotation is used for storing the model attribute in the user’s session. We use it at the controller class level, as shown in our article about the Session Attributes in Spring MVC:

@Controller @RequestMapping("/sessionattributes") @SessionAttributes("todos") public class TodoControllerWithSessionAttributes { @GetMapping("/form") public String showForm(Model model, @ModelAttribute("todos") TodoList todos) { // method body return "sessionattributesform"; } // other methods }

In the previous example, the model attribute ‘todos‘ will be added to the session if the @ModelAttribute and the @SessionAttributes have the same name attribute.

If we want to retrieve the existing attribute from a session that is managed globally, we'll use @SessionAttribute annotation as a method parameter:

@GetMapping public String getTodos(@SessionAttribute("todos") TodoList todos) { // method body return "todoView"; }

Q10. What is the Purpose of @EnableWebMVC?

The @EnableWebMvc annotation's purpose is to enable Spring MVC via Java configuration. It's equivalent to in an XML configuration. This annotation imports Spring MVC Configuration from WebMvcConfigurationSupport. It enables support for @Controller-annotated classes that use @RequestMapping to map incoming requests to a handler method.

You can learn more about this and similar annotations in our Guide to the Spring @Enable Annotations.

Q11. What Is ViewResolver in Spring?

The ViewResolver enables an application to render models in the browser – without tying the implementation to a specific view technology – by mapping view names to actual views.

For more details about the ViewResolver, have a look at our Guide to the ViewResolver in Spring MVC.

Q12. What is the BindingResult?

BindingResult is an interface from org.springframework.validation package that represents binding results. We can use it to detect and report errors in the submitted form. It's easy to invoke — we just need to ensure that we put it as a parameter right after the form object we're validating. The optional Model parameter should come after the BindingResult, as it can be seen in the custom validator tutorial:

@PostMapping("/user") public String submitForm(@Valid NewUserForm newUserForm, BindingResult result, Model model) { if (result.hasErrors()) { return "userHome"; } model.addAttribute("message", "Valid form"); return "userHome"; }

When Spring sees the @Valid annotation, it'll first try to find the validator for the object being validated. Then it'll pick up the validation annotations and invoke the validator. Finally, it'll put found errors in the BindingResult and add the latter to the view model.

Q13. What is a Form Backing Object?

The form backing object or a Command Object is just a POJO that collects data from the form we're submitting.

We should keep in mind that it doesn't contain any logic, only data.

To learn how to use form backing object with the forms in Spring MVC, please take a look at our article about Forms in Spring MVC.

Q14. What Is the Role of the @Qualifier Annotation?

It is used simultaneously with the @Autowired annotation to avoid confusion when multiple instances of a bean type are present.

Let's see an example. We declared two similar beans in XML config:

When we try to wire the bean, we'll get an org.springframework.beans.factory.NoSuchBeanDefinitionException. To fix it, we need to use @Qualifier to tell Spring about which bean should be wired:

@Autowired @Qualifier("person1") private Person person;

Q15. What Is the Role of the @Required Annotation?

The @Required annotation is used on setter methods, and it indicates that the bean property that has this annotation must be populated at configuration time. Otherwise, the Spring container will throw a BeanInitializationException exception.

Also, @Required differs from @Autowired – as it is limited to a setter, whereas @Autowired is not. @Autowired can be used to wire with a constructor and a field as well, while @Required only checks if the property is set.

Let's see an example:

public class Person { private String name; @Required public void setName(String name) { this.name = name; } }

Now, the name of the Person bean needs to be set in XML config like this:

Please note that @Required doesn't work with Java based @Configuration classes by default. If you need to make sure that all your properties are set, you can do so when you create the bean in the @Bean annotated methods.

Q16. Describe the Front Controller Pattern

In the Front Controller pattern, all requests will first go to the front controller instead of the servlet. It'll make sure that the responses are ready and will send them back to the browser. This way we have one place where we control everything that comes from the outside world.

The front controller will identify the servlet that should handle the request first. Then, when it gets the data back from the servlet, it'll decide which view to render and, finally, it'll send the rendered view back as a response:

To see the implementation details, please check out our Guide to the Front Controller Pattern in Java.

Q17. What Are Model 1 and Model 2 Architectures?

Model 1 and Model 2 represent two frequently used design models when it comes to designing Java Web Applications.

In Model 1, a request comes to a servlet or JSP where it gets handled. The servlet or the JSP processes the request, handles business logic, retrieves and validates data, and generates the response:

Since this architecture is easy to implement, we usually use it in small and simple applications.

On the other hand, it isn't convenient for large-scale web applications. The functionalities are often duplicated in JSPs where business and presentation logic are coupled.

The Model 2 is based on the Model View Controller design pattern and it separates the view from the logic that manipulates the content.

Furthermore, we can distinguish three modules in the MVC pattern: the model, the view, and the controller. The model is representing the dynamic data structure of an application. It's responsible for the data and business logic manipulation. The view is in charge of displaying the data, while the controller serves as an interface between the previous two.

In Model 2, a request is passed to the controller, which handles the required logic in order to get the right content that should be displayed. The controller then puts the content back into the request, typically as a JavaBean or a POJO. It also decides which view should render the content and finally passes the request to it. Then, the view renders the data:

3. Advanced Spring MVC Questions

Q18. What’s the Difference Between @Controller, @Component, @Repository, and @Service Annotations in Spring?

According to the official Spring documentation, @Component is a generic stereotype for any Spring-managed component. @Repository, @Service, and @Controller are specializations of @Component for more specific use cases, for example, in the persistence, service, and presentation layers, respectively.

Let's take a look at specific use cases of last three:

  • @Controller – indicates that the class serves the role of a controller, and detects @RequestMapping annotations within the class
  • @Service – indicates that the class holds business logic and calls methods in the repository layer
  • @Repository – indicates that the class defines a data repository; its job is to catch platform-specific exceptions and re-throw them as one of Spring’s unified unchecked exceptions

Q19. What Are DispatcherServlet and ContextLoaderListener?

Simply put, in the Front Controller design pattern, a single controller is responsible for directing incoming HttpRequests to all of an application’s other controllers and handlers.

Spring’s DispatcherServlet implements this pattern and is, therefore, responsible for correctly coordinating the HttpRequests to the right handlers.

On the other hand, ContextLoaderListener starts up and shuts down Spring’s root WebApplicationContext. It ties the lifecycle of ApplicationContext to the lifecycle of the ServletContext. We can use it to define shared beans working across different Spring contexts.

For more details on DispatcherServlet, please refer to this tutorial.

Q20. What Is a MultipartResolver and When Should We Use It?

The MultipartResolver interface is used for uploading files. The Spring framework provides one MultipartResolver implementation for use with Commons FileUpload and another for use with Servlet 3.0 multipart request parsing.

Using these, we can support file uploads in our web applications.

Q21. What Is Spring MVC Interceptor and How to Use It?

Spring MVC Interceptors allow us to intercept a client request and process it at three places – before handling, after handling, or after completion (when the view is rendered) of a request.

The interceptor can be used for cross-cutting concerns and to avoid repetitive handler code like logging, changing globally used parameters in Spring model, etc.

For details and various implementations, take a look at Introduction to Spring MVC HandlerInterceptor article.

Q22. What is an Init Binder?

A method annotated with @InitBinder is used to customize a request parameter, URI template, and backing/command objects. We define it in a controller and it helps in controlling the request. In this method, we register and configure our custom PropertyEditors, a formatter, and validators.

The annotation has the ‘value‘ element. If we don't set it, the @InitBinder annotated methods will get called on each HTTP request. If we set the value, the methods will be applied only for particular command/form attributes and/or request parameters whose names correspond to the ‘value‘ element.

It's important to remember that one of the arguments must be WebDataBinder. Other arguments can be of any type that handler methods support except for command/form objects and corresponding validation result objects.

Q23. Explain a Controller Advice

The @ControllerAdvice annotation allows us to write global code applicable to a wide range of controllers. We can tie the range of controllers to a chosen package or a specific annotation.

By default, @ControllerAdvice applies to the classes annotated with @Controller (or @RestController). We also have a few properties that we use if we want to be more specific.

If we want to restrict applicable classes to a package, we should add the name of the package to the annotation:

@ControllerAdvice("my.package") @ControllerAdvice(value = "my.package") @ControllerAdvice(basePackages = "my.package")

It's also possible to use multiple packages, but this time we need to use an array instead of the String.

Besides restricting to the package by its name, we can do it by using one of the classes or interfaces from that package:

@ControllerAdvice(basePackageClasses = MyClass.class)

The ‘assignableTypes‘ element applies the @ControllerAdvice to the specific classes, while ‘annotations‘ does it for particular annotations.

It's noteworthy to remember that we should use it along with @ExceptionHandler. This combination will enable us to configure a global and more specific error handling mechanism without the need to implement it every time for every controller class.

Q24. What Does the @ExceptionHandler Annotation Do?

The @ExceptionHandler annotation allows us to define a method that will handle the exceptions. We may use the annotation independently, but it's a far better option to use it together with the @ControllerAdvice. Thus, we can set up a global error handling mechanism. In this way, we don't need to write the code for the exception handling within every controller.

Let's take a look at the example from our article about Error Handling for REST with Spring:

@ControllerAdvice public class RestResponseEntityExceptionHandler extends ResponseEntityExceptionHandler { @ExceptionHandler(value = { IllegalArgumentException.class, IllegalStateException.class }) protected ResponseEntity handleConflict(RuntimeException ex, WebRequest request) { String bodyOfResponse = "This should be application specific"; return handleExceptionInternal(ex, bodyOfResponse, new HttpHeaders(), HttpStatus.CONFLICT, request); } }

We should also note that this will provide @ExceptionHandler methods to all controllers that throw IllegalArgumentException or IllegalStateException. The exceptions declared with @ExceptionHandler should match the exception used as the argument of the method. Otherwise, the exception resolving mechanism will fail at runtime.

One thing to keep in mind here is that it's possible to define more than one @ExceptionHandler for the same exception. We can't do it in the same class though since Spring would complain by throwing an exception and failing on startup.

On the other hand, if we define those in two separate classes, the application will start, but it'll use the first handler it finds, possibly the wrong one.

Q25. Exception Handling in Web Applications

We have three options for exceptions handling in Spring MVC:

  • per exception
  • per controller
  • globally

If an unhandled exception is thrown during web request processing, the server will return an HTTP 500 response. To prevent this, we should annotate any of our custom exceptions with the @ResponseStatus annotation. This kind of exceptions is resolved by HandlerExceptionResolver.

This will cause the server to return an appropriate HTTP response with the specified status code when a controller method throws our exception. We should keep in mind that we shouldn't handle our exception somewhere else for this approach to work.

Another way to handle the exceptions is by using the @ExceptionHandler annotation. We add @ExceptionHandler methods to any controller and use them to handle the exceptions thrown from inside that controller. These methods can handle exceptions without the @ResponseStatus annotation, redirect the user to a dedicated error view, or build a totally custom error response.

We can also pass in the servlet-related objects (HttpServletRequest, HttpServletResponse, HttpSession, and Principal) as the parameters of the handler methods. But, we should remember that we can't put the Model object as the parameter directly.

The third option for handling errors is by @ControllerAdvice classes. It'll allow us to apply the same techniques, only this time at the application level and not only to the particular controller. To enable this, we need to use the @ControllerAdvice and the @ExceptionHandler together. This way exception handlers will handle exceptions thrown by any controller.

Pour plus d'informations sur ce sujet, consultez l'article Gestion des erreurs pour REST avec Spring.

4. Conclusion

Dans cet article, nous avons exploré certaines des questions liées à Spring MVC qui pourraient survenir lors de l'entretien technique pour les développeurs Spring. Vous devez prendre ces questions en compte comme point de départ pour des recherches ultérieures car il ne s'agit en aucun cas d'une liste exhaustive.

Nous vous souhaitons bonne chance dans vos prochaines interviews!