Spring Application Events

Today, we are going to implement a simple example using spring application events.

Spring application events allow us to throw and listen to specific application events that we can process as we wish. Events are meant for exchanging information between loosely coupled components. As there is no direct coupling between publishers and subscribers, it enables us to modify subscribers without affecting the publishers and vice-versa.

To build our PoC and to execute it, we are going to need just a few classes. We will start with a basic Spring Boot project with the ‘web’ starter. And, once we have that in place (you can use the Spring Initializr) we can start adding our classes.

Let’s start with a very basic ‘User’ model

public class User {

    private String firstname;
    private String lastname;

    public String getFirstname() {
        return firstname;

    public User setFirstname(String firstname) {
        this.firstname = firstname;
        return this;

    public String getLastname() {
        return lastname;

    public User setLastname(String lastname) {
        this.lastname = lastname;
        return this;

    public String toString() {
        return "User{" +
                "firstname='" + firstname + '\'' +
                ", lastname='" + lastname + '\'' +

Nothing out of the ordinary here. Just a couple of properties and some getter and setter methods.

Now, let’s build a basic service that is going to simulate a ‘register’ operation:

import org.springframework.context.ApplicationEventPublisher;

public class UserService {

    private static final Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(UserService.class);

    private final ApplicationEventPublisher publisher;

    public UserService(ApplicationEventPublisher publisher) {
        this.publisher = publisher;

    public void register(final User user) {
        logger.info("Registering {}", user);

        publisher.publishEvent(new UserRegistered(user));

Here we have the first references to the event classes the Spring Framework offers us. The ‘ApplicationEventPublished’ that it will allow us to publish the desired event to be consumer by listeners.

The second reference we are going to have to the events framework is when we create and event class we are going to send. In this case, the class ‘UserRegistered’ we can see on the publishing line above.

import org.springframework.context.ApplicationEvent;

public class UserRegistered extends ApplicationEvent {

    public UserRegistered(User user) {

As we can see, extending the class ‘ApplicationEvent’ we have very easily something we can publish and listen to it.

Now. let’s implements some listeners. The first of them is going to be one implementing the class ‘ApplicationListener’ and, the second one, it is going to be annotation based. Two simple options offered by Spring to build our listeners.

import org.springframework.context.ApplicationListener;
import org.springframework.context.event.EventListener;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Component;

public class UserListeners {

    // Technical note: By default listener events return 'void'. If an object is returned, it will be published as an event

     * Example of event listener using the implementation of {@link ApplicationListener}
    static class RegisteredListener implements ApplicationListener<UserRegistered> {

        private static final Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(RegisteredListener.class);

        public void onApplicationEvent(UserRegistered event) {
            logger.info("Registration event received for {}", event);

     * Example of annotation based event listener
    static class RegisteredAnnotatedListener {

        private static final Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(RegisteredAnnotatedListener.class);

        void on(final UserRegistered event) {
            logger.info("Annotated registration event received for {}", event);

As we can see, very basic stuff. It is worth it to mention the ‘Technical note’. By default, the listener methods return ‘void’, they are initially design to received an event, do some stuff and finish. But, obviously, they can at the same time publish some messages, we can achieve this easily, returning an object. The returned object will be published as any other event.

Once we have all of this, let’s build a simple controller to run the process:

public class UserController {

    private final UserService userService;

    public UserController(UserService userService) {
        this.userService = userService;

    public void register(@RequestParam("firstname") final String firstname,
                         @RequestParam("lastname") final String lastname) {

        userService.register(new User().setFirstname(firstname).setLastname(lastname));

Nothing out of the ordinary, simple stuff.

We can invoke the controller with any tools we want but, a simple way, it is using cURL.

curl -X GET "http://localhost:8080/api/users?firstname=john&lastname=doe"

Once we call the endpoint, we can see the log messages generated by the publisher and the listeners:

Registering User{firstname='john', lastname='doe'}
Annotated registration event received for dev.binarycoders.spring.event.UserRegistered
Registration event received for dev.binarycoders.spring.event.UserRegistered

As we can see, the ‘register’ action is executed and it publishes the event and, both listeners, the annotated and the implemented, receive and process the message.

As usual you can find the source for this example here, in the ‘spring-events’ module.

For some extra information, you can take a look at one of the videos of the last SpringOne.

Spring Application Events

Spring Boot with Kafka

Today we are going to build a very simple demo code using Spring Boot and Kafka.

The application is going to contain a simple producer and consumer. In addition, we will add a simple endpoint to test our development and configuration.

Let’s start.

The project is going to be using:

  • Java 14
  • Spring Boot 2.3.4

A good place to start generating our project is Spring Initialzr. There we can create easily the skeleton of our project adding some basic information about our project. We will be adding two dependencies:

  • Spring Web.
  • Spring for Apache Kafka.
  • Spring Configuration Processor (Optional).

Once we are done filling the form we only need to generate the code and open it on our favourite code editor.

As an optional dependency, I have added the “Spring Boot Configuration Processor” dependency to be able to define some extra properties that we will be using on the “application.properties” file. As I have said is optional, we are going to be able to define and use the properties without it but, it going to solve the warning of them not been defined. Up to you.

Whit the three dependencies, our “pom.xml” should look something like:


The next step is going to be creating our kafka producer and consumer to be able to send a message using the distributed event streaming platform.

For the producer code we are just going to create a basic method to send a message making use of the “KafkaTemplate” offered by Spring.

public class KafkaProducer {
    public static final String TOPIC_NAME = "example_topic";

    private final KafkaTemplate<String, String> kafkaTemplate;

    public KafkaProducer(KafkaTemplate<String, String> kafkaTemplate) {
        this.kafkaTemplate = kafkaTemplate;

    public void send(final String message) {
        kafkaTemplate.send(TOPIC_NAME, message);

The consumer code is going to be even more simple thanks to the “KafkaListener” provided by Spring.

public class KafkaConsumer {

    @KafkaListener(topics = {KafkaProducer.TOPIC_NAME}, groupId = "example_group_id")
    public void read(final String message) {

And finally, to be able to test it, we are going to define a Controller to invoke the Kafka producer.

public class KafkaController {

    private final KafkaProducer kafkaProducer;

    public KafkaController(KafkaProducer kafkaProducer) {
        this.kafkaProducer = kafkaProducer;

    public void publish(@RequestBody String message) {


With this, all the necessary code is done. Let’s now go for the configuration properties and the necessary Docker images to run all of this.

First, the “application.properties” file. It is going to contain some basic configuration properties for the producer and consumer.



# Kafka consumer properties

# kafka producer properties

In the line 8, we can see the property “spring.kafka.consumer.group-id”. If we look carefully at it, we will see that it match the previous definition of the “groupId” we have done on the consumer.

Lines 10, 11 and 15, 16 define the serialization and de-serialization classes.

Finally, in the list 3 and 4 we have defined a couple of properties to avoid repetition. This are the properties that are showing us a warning message.

To fix it, if we have previously added the “Spring Configuration Processor” dependency, now, we can add the file:


With the definition of this properties:

  "properties": [
      "name": "spring-boot-kafka.config.kafka.server",
      "type": "java.lang.String",
      "description": "Location of the Kafka server."
      "name": "spring-boot-kafka.config.kafka.port",
      "type": "java.lang.String",
      "description": "Port of the Kafka server."

We are almost there. The only thing remaining is the Apache Kafka. Because we do not want to deal with the complexity of setting an Apache Kafka server, we are going to leverage the power of Docker and create a “docker-compose” file to run it for us:

version: '3'

    image: wurstmeister/zookeeper
      - 2181:2181
    container_name: zookepper

    image: wurstmeister/kafka
      - 9092:9092
      KAFKA_ZOOKEEPER_CONNECT: zookeeper:2181
      KAFKA_CREATE_TOPIC: "example_topic:1:3"

As we can see, simple stuff, nothing out of the ordinary. Two images, one for Zookepper and one for Apache Kafka, the definition of some ports (remember to match them with the ones in the application.propeties file) and a few variables need for the Apache Kafka image.

With this, we can run the docker-compose file and obtain two containers running:

Now, we can test the end point we have built previously. In this case, to make it simple, we are going to use curl:

`curl -d '{"message":"Hello from Kafka!}' -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X POST http://localhost:8081/kafka/publish`

The result should be something like:

And, this is all. You can find the full source code here.

Enjoy it!

Spring Boot with Kafka