How do I inject collections using map element in Spring?

In this example you will see how to wire map collections. For this purpose we can use the <map> element in the Spring configuration file. This element declares the java.util.Map. We will reuse the bean that we use in the previous example How do I inject collections using list element in Spring?.

The <map> element can have many <entry> element with the key and value-ref attribute.

Here is the configuration example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""

    <bean id="song1" class="org.kodejava.example.spring.collections.Song">
        <property name="title" value="I Saw Her Standing There" />
        <property name="writer" value="Beatles" />

    <bean id="song2" class="org.kodejava.example.spring.collections.Song">
        <property name="title" value="Misery" />
        <property name="writer" value="Beatles" />

    <bean id="song3" class="org.kodejava.example.spring.collections.Song">
        <property name="title" value="Anna (Go to Him)" />
        <property name="writer" value="Beatles" />

    <bean id="publisher" class="org.kodejava.example.spring.collections.Publisher">
        <property name="name" value="EMI Studios"/>
    <bean id="album" class="org.kodejava.example.spring.collections.Album">
        <property name="title" value="Please Please Me"/>
        <property name="year" value="1963"/>
        <property name="publisher">
                <entry key="publisher" value-ref="publisher"/>


The <map> element can have many <entry> elements. We can use the key attribute to use a string as its key. If you want the key to be a reference to other bean in the Spring context you can use the key-ref instead.

The value-ref is used to set the value to refer to another bean. If the value is a simple value such as string you can use the value attribute.

To run it create the following program:

package org.kodejava.example.spring.collections;

import org.springframework.context.ApplicationContext;

public class DemoMap {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        ApplicationContext context =
                new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext(
                        new String[] {"CollectionMap.xml"});

        Album album = (Album) context.getBean("album");
        System.out.println("Album = " + album);

And here what you’ll get on the console:

Album = Album{title='Please Please Me', year=1963, 
    publisher={publisher=Publisher{name=EMI Studios}}, 
Wayan Saryada

Wayan Saryada

A programmer, runner, recreational diver, currently living in the island of Bali, Indonesia. Mostly programming in Java, creating web based application with Spring Framework, JPA, etc. If you need help on Java programming you can hire me on Fiverr.
Wayan Saryada

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