How do I access Map element using Spring EL?

In the previous example, How do I access collections members using Spring EL?, you have seen how to access a member of a collection using Spring EL square-braces [] operator. In this post you will learn how to use the same operator to access an element of a Map object.

For demonstration, we will use the same Book class in the previous example to create the bean. The class without the corresponding getters and setters is as follows:

package org.kodejava.spring.core.el;

public class Book {
    private Long id;
    private String title;
    private String author;
    private String type;

    // Getters & Setters

Next, let’s create the spring configuration file. In this configuration file we create a map using the <util:map> with the map id of books and add some key-value pair entries in the map.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""
       xmlns:util="" xmlns:p=""

    <util:map id="books">
        <entry key="0-201-61622-X" value="The Pragmatic Programmer" />
        <entry key="978-1-934356-56-2" value="Hello, Android" />
        <entry key="978-1-933988-69-6" value="Secret of The JavaScript Ninja" />
        <entry key="978-1-449-37017-6" value="Java EE 7 Essentials" />
        <entry key="9781935182962" value="Spring Roo in Action" />

    <bean id="book1" class="org.kodejava.spring.core.el.Book" p:title="#{books['9781935182962']}" />
    <bean id="book2" class="org.kodejava.spring.core.el.Book" p:title="#{books['978-1-933988-69-6']}" />


After defining the map, you can see how we access an element of the map. We use the square-braces operator [], we use the same operator as we are accessing a collection member. But instead of passing the index to the operator we pass the key of the map element that we are going to read.

<bean id="book2" class="org.kodejava.spring.core.el.Book" p:title="#{books['978-1-933988-69-6']}"/>

Finally, to run the configuration you’ll need to create the following class:

package org.kodejava.spring.core.el;


public class SpELMapExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try (ClassPathXmlApplicationContext context =
                     new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("spel-map.xml")) {

            Book book1 = (Book) context.getBean("book1");
            Book book2 = (Book) context.getBean("book2");

            System.out.println("book1.getTitle() = " + book1.getTitle());
            System.out.println("book2.getTitle() = " + book2.getTitle());

And example of output produced by this code can be seen below:

book1.getTitle() = Spring Roo in Action
book2.getTitle() = Secret of The JavaScript Ninja

Maven Dependencies


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