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Spring Boot: Working With Database Using JDBCTemplate

Sep 1, 2022 · 7 min read

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to connect a Spring Boot application with a relational database using JDBCTemplate. First, some background on why JDBCTemplate is used.


In the Java world, the tool that’s used to integrate a database with the language is called Java Database Connectivity (JDBC). JDBC allows you to connect to a DBMS to work with databases. However, JDBC is very verbose, you have to write a lengthy block of code just to execute a simple SQL query, which is not very comfortable to use. Here is an example:

String sql = "INSERT INTO student VALUES (?,?)";
try (PreparedStatement st = con.prepareStatement(sql)) {
st.setString(1, name);
st.setInt(2, age);
} catch (SQLException e) {
// handle exceptions

Spring’s JDBCTemplate comes to the rescue. JDBCTemplate reduces the verbosity of plain JDBC considerably, which you will see in the following tutorial.

Creating A CRUD App

In this tutorial, we’ll be creating a backend service that exposes 3 endpoints: adding a record to the database, removing a record from the database, and showing all the records in the database.

We’ll be working with a PostgreSQL database. Inside, there’ll be a table called student with 3 columns.

  1. id — An auto-incrementing integer.
  2. name — The name of the student.
  3. age — The age of the student.

Note: the examples in this tutorial will work with any relational database technology you choose with some minor adjustments. I also assume that you have some basic knowledge of Java, Spring Boot, JDBC, and SQL.

Generate Spring Boot Project

First, let’s use Spring Initializr to generate the base for our app. We need to include these dependencies inside the generated pom.xml.


The last dependency is the JDBC Driver for your chosen database, which is PostgreSQL in this case. Also, the reason we add <scope>runtime</scope> is because the app only needs the JDBC driver at runtime, it’s not needed for compilation.

Configure Database

Next, let’s define our table by creating a file in /src/main/resources/ called schema.sql.


Next, we have to tell Spring how to connect to our application. We can do this by changing the file located in /src/main/resources/ to look like this:


Going from the first line: your connection URL, your DB username, your DB password, and the last line is there to instruct Spring Boot to always run your schema.sql file you defined earlier every time your start the app.

Create Model Class

Now that we’re done with the basic configuration for the database, let’s start working on our app. First, we’ll create a model class called Student that models our table structure.

package com.example.model;
public class Student {
private int id;
private String name;
private int age;
// constructor, getters, and setters

Create Repository Class

Next, we define StudentRepository which is a bean in the application context that’ll be used by our controller to interact with the database.

package com.example.repository;
public class StudentRepository {

Since StudentRepository is a bean in the application context, we can inject an instance of JdbcTemplate that we’ll use to work with the database.

At this point, you must be wondering where the instance of JdbcTemplate is coming from. This is part of Spring Boot’s magic. When Spring Boot detects that you have PostgreSQL as a dependency, it automatically configures a DataSource and a JdbcTemplate instance for you.

Later in the tutorial, I’ll show you how to define your own DataSource and JdbcTemplate instances when you need them.

The code block below shows you how to inject the JdbcTemplate.

package com.example.repository;
public class StudentRepository {
private final JdbcTemplate jdbc;
public StudentRepository(JdbcTemplate jdbc) {
this.jdbc = jdbc;

Now that we have the JdbcTemplate instance, we can start working on our CRUD jobs. All we have to do is to pass the SQL and its parameters to a method called update() of the instance. The method abstracts away all the JDBC steps that we have to do.

First, let’s work on the method to insert and delete a record from the table as they’re pretty straightforward. We’ll call them addStudent() and deleteStudent respectively.

public class StudentRepository {
// codes omitted
public void addStudent(Student student) {
String sql = "INSERT INTO student (name, age) VALUES (?, ?)";
jdbc.update(sql, student.getName(), student.getAge());
public void deleteStudent(int id) {
String sql = "DELETE FROM student WHERE id = ?";
jdbc.update(sql, id);

See how more succinct it is than working directly with JDBC provided by the JDK.

Retrieving data involves more steps, but it’s also not that difficult. We’ll now work on the method to retrieve all records from the table called findAll().

public class StudentRepository {
// codes omitted
public List<Student> findAll() {
String sql = "SELECT * FROM student";
RowMapper<Student> studentRowMapper = (r, i) -> {
int id = r.getInt("id");
String name = r.getString("name");
int age = r.getInt("age");
return new Student(id, name, age);
return jdbc.query(sql, studentRowMapper);

Notice that this time we’re using jdbc.query() instead of jdbc.update(). The query() method takes two parameters, the SQL command, and a RowMapper. RowMapper is responsible for transforming a row from the ResultSet into a specific object. In this case, the Student object which our app knows how to work with.

Create Controller Class

Now that we are done with our repository object that’s in charge of CRUD, the final step is to expose these methods through endpoints. In other words, it’s time to implement the controller.

package com.example.controller;
public class StudentController {
private final StudentRepository studentRepository;
public StudentController(StudentRepository studentRepository) {
this.studentRepository = studentRepository;
public void addStudent(@RequestBody Student student) {
public void deleteStudent(@RequestBody Student student) {
public List<Student> getAllStudent() {
return studentRepository.findAll();

We use constructor dependency injection to get the repository object from the Spring context, then we implement the 3 endpoints to execute the CRUDs method from our StudentRepository.

In case you are wondering why the GET endpoint knows that List<Student> has to be returned to the client in JSON format, the answer is, again, Spring Boot’s magic. By adding the @RestController annotation instead of vanilla @Controller, we don’t need to explicitly convert POJO to JSON. Spring Boot will handle it for us.

Wrap Up

And that’s it. We’re done with the app. You can start the app and test the endpoints using your favorite API testing tools like Postman or cURL.

Note: when calling the POST and DELETE endpoints, you have to attach a request body containing a JSON that model the Student object and contains an id respectively.

Here is an example of how the request body should look like when calling the POST endpoint:

"name": "John",
"age": 17

You can ignore the id field because it’s managed by the database as per our schema definition earlier.

Here is an example of how the request body should look like when calling the DELETE endpoint:

"id": 1

Finally, you can find the source code for this tutorial here.

Bonus: Creating Custom Data Source

Spring automatically configures a DataSource bean for you based on the content of your file. This is what you need most of the time, but there might come a time when you also have to define your own DataSource bean.

For example:

  • Your DataSource implementation might depend on some condition at runtime.
  • You need multiple DataSource instances.
  • You are using vanilla Spring.

To define DataSource yourself, you have to make a custom configuration class. Inside the class, you define a method annotated with @Bean. The DataSource is simply a bean that you can add to the Spring context just like any other bean. Here is an example:

public class ProjectConfiguration {
public DataSource dataSource() {
HikariDataSource dataSource = new HikariDataSource();
return dataSource;

I’m using Hikari Connection Pool because it’s the default in Spring, but feel free to use any implementation you prefer.