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Abhishek Gupta

Native CDI Qualifiers: @Any and @Default

Let’s take a look at the out-of-the-box qualifiers in CDI

There are three qualifiers declared by the CDI specification – @Any, @Default, @New

  • @Any: Think of it as an omnipresent qualifier. It’s there even if its not ;-)
  • @Default: As the name suggests, this qualifier treated as a default when none other qualifiers have been specific. The only exception to this rule is when the @Named (javax.inject) qualifier is used as well
  • @New: Used to obtain a new instance of a bean on-demand. The new instance is scope independent. This has been deprecated since CDI 1.1

Here are some simple examples:

Qualifiers at Bean (class) level

//Explicit qualifier not specified, hence @Default is assumed

public class CSVParser implements Parser{
//implementation ...

//Explicit qualifier specified

public class XMLParser implements Parser{
//implementation ...

Qualifiers at Injection point

public class ParsingService{
  Parser parser //an implementation of the CSVParser class is injected (default behavior)
  //business logic

public class ParsingService{
  Parser parser //an implementation of the XMLParser class is injected
  //business logic

What’s so special about @Any ?

As stated earlier, the @Any qualifier is omnipresent i.e. it is always there, no matter what. The interesting part is that if you explicitly mention this annotation, it opens up the following options

  • You have access to all possible implementations of a bean
    public class ParsingService{
      Instance<Parser> parsers; //javax.enterprise.inject.Instance handles the magic behind the scenes
      public void availableParsingOptions(){
        for(Parser parser : parsers){
          System.out.println("Parser implementation class: "+ parser.getConcreteImplName());
          System.out.println("Supported format: "+ parser.getSupportedFormat().getName());
  • It does not suppress the default bean (if any) or any of the explicit (qualified) implementations. You can still look them up dynamically (at run time)
    public class ParsingService{
      Instance<Parser> parsers;
      public Parser chooseParser(){
        //@XMLParser (qualifier annotation) being enforced programmatically
        Parser selected = parsers.select(new XMLParserQualifier()).get();
        return (selected.isUnsatisfied() || selected.isAmbiguous()) ? null : selected;
      //javax.enterprise.util.AnnotationLiteral project qualifiers as objects
      private static class XMLParserQualifier extends AnnotationLiteral<XMLParser> implements XMLParser{}

That’s all for a quickie on default CDI qualifiers. You might want to check out one of my earlier posts on basics of custom qualifiers in CDI


Reference: Native CDI Qualifiers: @Any and @Default from our JCG partner Abhishek Gupta at the Object Oriented.. blog.
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