Spring Transaction Management Example JDBC

Spring Transaction Management is one of the most widely used and important feature of Spring framework. Transaction Management is a trivial task in any enterprise application. We have already learned how to use JDBC API for Transaction Management. Spring provides extensive support for transaction management and help developers to focus more on business logic rather than worrying about the integrity of data incase of any system failures.

Spring Transaction Management

Some of the benefits of using Spring Transaction Management are:

  1. Support for Declarative Transaction Management. In this model, Spring uses AOP over the transactional methods to provide data integrity. This is the preferred approach and works in most of the cases.
  2. Support for most of the transaction APIs such as JDBC, Hibernate, JPA, JDO, JTA etc. All we need to do is use proper transaction manager implementation class. For example org.springframework.jdbc.datasource.DriverManagerDataSource for JDBC transaction management and org.springframework.orm.hibernate3.HibernateTransactionManager if we are using Hibernate as ORM tool.
  3. Support for programmatic transaction management by using TransactionTemplate or PlatformTransactionManager implementation.

Most of the features that we would want in a transaction manager is supported by Declarative transaction management, so we would use this approach for our example project.

Spring Transaction Management JDBC Example

We will create a simple Spring JDBC project where we will update multiple tables in a single transaction. The transaction should commit only when all the JDBC statements execute successfully otherwise it should rollback to avoid data inconsistency.

If you know JDBC transaction management, you might argue that we can get do it easily by setting auto-commit to false for the connection and based on the result of all the statements, either commit or rollback the transaction. Obviously we can do it, but that will result in a lot of boiler-plate code just for transaction management. Also the same code will present in all the places where we are looking for transaction management, causing tightly coupled and non-maintainable code.

Spring declarative transaction management addresses these concerns by using Aspect Oriented Programming to achieve loose coupling and avoid boiler-plate code in our application. Let’s see how Spring does it with a simple example.

Before we jump into our Spring project, let’s do some database setup for our use.

Spring Transaction Management – Database Setup

We will create two tables for our use and update both of them in a single transaction.

We could define foreign-key relationship here from Address id column to Customer id column, but for simplicity I am not having any constraint defined here.

Our Database setup is ready for spring transaction management project, lets create a simple Spring Maven Project in the Spring Tool Suite. Our final project structure will look like below image.


Let’s look into each of the pieces one by one, together they will provide a simple spring transaction management example with JDBC.

Spring Transaction Management – Maven Dependencies

Since we are using JDBC API, we would have to include spring-jdbc dependency in our application. We would also need MySQL database driver to connect to mysql database, so we will include mysql-connector-java dependency too.

spring-tx artifact provides transaction management dependencies, usually it’s included automatically by STS but if it’s not then you need to include it too. You might see some other dependencies for logging and unit testing, however we will not be using any of them. Our final pom.xml file looks like below code.

I have updated the Spring versions to the latest one as of today. Make sure MySQL database driver is compatible with your mysql installation.

Spring Transaction Management – Model Classes

We will create two Java Beans, Customer and Address that will map to our tables.

Notice that Customer bean has Address as one of it’s variables. When we will implement DAO for Customer, we will get data for both customer and address table and we will execute two separate insert queries for these tables and that’s why we need transaction management to avoid data inconsistency.

Spring Transaction Management – DAO Implementation

Let’s implement the DAO for Customer bean, for simplicity we will just have one method to insert record in both customer and address tables.

Notice that CustomerDAO implementation is not taking care of transaction management. This way we are achieving separation of concerns because sometimes we get DAO implementations from third party and we don’t have control on these classes.

Spring Declarative Transaction Management – Service

Let’s create a Customer Service that will use the CustomerDAO implementation and provide transaction management when inserting records in the customer and address tables in a single method.

If you notice the CustomerManager implementation, it’s just using CustomerDAO implementation to create the customer but provide declarative transaction management through annotating createCustomer() method with @Transactional annotation. That’s all we need to do in our code to get the benefits of Spring transaction management.

@Transactional annotation can be applied over methods as well as whole class. If you want all your methods to have transaction management features, you should annotate your class with this annotation. Read more about annotations at Java Annotations Tutorial.
The only part remaining is wiring spring beans to get spring transaction management example to work.

Spring Transaction Management – Bean Configuration

Create a Spring Bean Configuration file with name as “spring.xml”. We will use this in our test program to wire spring beans and execute our JDBC program to test transaction management.

Important points to note in the spring bean configuration file are:

  • tx:annotation-driven element is used to tell Spring context that we are using annotation based transaction management configuration. transaction-manager attribute is used to provide the transaction manager bean name. transaction-manager default value is transactionManager but I am still having it to avoid confusion. proxy-target-class attribute is used to tell Spring context to use class based proxies, without it you will get runtime exception with message such as Exception in thread “main” org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanNotOfRequiredTypeException: Bean named ‘customerManager’ must be of type [com.journaldev.spring.jdbc.service.CustomerManagerImpl], but was actually of type [com.sun.proxy.$Proxy6]
  • Since we are using JDBC, we are creating transactionManager bean of type org.springframework.jdbc.datasource.DataSourceTransactionManager. This is very important and we should use proper transaction manager implementation class based on our transaction API use.
  • dataSource bean is used to create the DataSource object and we are required to provide the database configuration properties such as driverClassName, url, username and password. Change these values based on your local settings.
  • We are injecting dataSource into customerDAO bean. Similarly we are injecting customerDAO bean into customerManager bean definition.

Our setup is ready, let’s create a simple test class to test our transaction management implementation.

Notice that I am explicitly setting address column value too long so that we will get exception while inserting data into Address table.

Now when we run our test program, we get following output.

Notice the log message says that data inserted into customer table successfully but exception thrown by MySQL database driver clearly says that value is too long for the address column. Now if you will check the Customer table, you won’t find any row there that means that transaction is rolled back completely.

If you are wondering where the transaction management magic is happening, look at the logs carefully and notice the AOP and Proxy classes created by Spring framework. Spring framework is using Around advice to generate a proxy class for CustomerManagerImpl and only committing the transaction if the method returns successfully. If there is any exception, it’s just rolling back the whole transaction. I would suggest you to read Spring AOP Example to learn more about Aspect Oriented Programming model.

That’s all for Spring Transaction Management Example, download the sample project from below link and play around with it to learn more.

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