Configuring Spring Boot for Microsoft SQL Server

Configuring Spring Boot for Microsoft SQL Server


Out of the box, Spring Boot is very easy to use with the H2 Database. Spring programmers typically prefer writing code against such lightweight in-memory database, rather than on an enterprise database server such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle.

In-memory databases come with several restrictions making them useful only in the development stages in local environments. While in-memory databases are great to develop against, data is not persisted to disk, thus is lost when the database is shut down.

As the development progresses, you would most probably require an RDBMS to develop and test your application before deploying it to use a production database server. I have written a series of posts on integrating Spring Boot for Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL.

Spring makes switching between RDBM’s simple. When you’re using Spring Data JPA with an ORM technology such as Hibernate, the persistence layer is nicely well decoupled. Which allows you to run your code against multiple databases. The level of decoupling even allows you to easily switch between an RDBMS and a NoSQL database, such as MongoDB. One of my previous post on Integrating Spring Boot for MongoDB covers that.

In this post, I will discuss Spring Boot configuration for Microsoft SQL Server.

SQL Server Configuration

For this post, I’m using SQL Server 2014 Express installed locally on my laptop. I used SQL Server 2014 Management Studio to connect to the database server using SQL Server Authentication.
Connect To SQL Server
Once you are logged in, create a springbootdb database from the Object Explorer window.
Configure SQL Server database for use with Spring Boot

A common problem that trips up many Java developers trying to connect to SQL Server is this error: The TCP/IP connection to the host localhost, port 1433 has failed. Error: “Connection refused: connect. Verify the connection properties, check that an instance of SQL Server is running on the host and accepting TCP/IP connections at the port, and that no firewall is blocking TCP connections to the port.”.

I too learned the hard way to resolve it with these steps.

    1. From the Start menu, open SQL Server 2014 Configuration Manager.
    2. Click Protocol for SQLEXPRESS under SQL Server Network Configuration on the left pane. On the right pane, right- click TCP/IP, and select Properties.
    3. On the TCP/IP Properties dialog box that appears, click the IP Addresses tab.
    4. Scroll down to locate the IPALL node. Remove any value, if present for TCP Dynamic Ports and specify 1433 for TCP Port.

TCP/IP Properties for SQL Server

  1. Click OK.
  2. Again right-click TCP/IP on the right pane, and select Enable.
  3. On the SQL Server Services node, right-click SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS), and select Restart.

This sets up SQL Server to be reached from JDBC code.

SQL Server Dependencies

To connect with SQL Server from Java applications, Microsoft provides a Microsoft JDBC Driver for SQL Server. However, till November 2016, Maven did not directly support the driver as it was not open sourced. By making it open source, Microsoft finally made the driver available on the Maven Central Repository. More information can be found here.

The Maven POM file of my Spring Boot application that brings in the database driver is this.


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Spring Boot Properties

We need to override the H2 database properties being set by default in Spring Boot. The nice part is, Spring Boot sets default database properties only when you don’t. So, when we configure SQL Server for use, Spring Boot won’t setup the H2 database anymore.

The following data source configurations are required to configure SQL Server with Spring Boot.

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spring.jpa.hibernate.ddl-auto = create-drop

As we are using JPA, we need to configure Hibernate for SQL Server too. Line 7 tells Hibernate to recreate the database on startup. This is definitely not the behavior we want if this was actually a production database You can set this property to the following values: none, validate, update, create-drop.

For a production database, you probably want to use validate.

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JPA Entity

In our example application, we will perform CRUD operations on a user. For that, we will write a simple JPA entity, User for our application. I have written a post to use Spring Data JPA in a Spring Boot Web application, and so won’t go into JPA here.


import javax.persistence.*;

@Table(name = "user_tbl")
public class User {
    @GeneratedValue(strategy = GenerationType.AUTO)
    private Integer id;
    private String name;
    private int age;
    public User() {

    public User(String name, int age) { = name;
        this.age = age;

    public Integer getId() {
        return id;
    public void setId(Integer id) { = id;

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    public void setName(String name) { = name;

    public int getAge() {
        return age;
    public void setAge(int age) {
        this.age = age;
    public String toString() {
        return "User{" +
                ", name='" + name + '\'' +
                ", Age=" + age +

JPA Repository

Spring Data JPA CRUD Repository is a feature of Spring Data JPA that I extensively use. Using it, you can just define an interface that extends CrudRepository to manage entities for most common operations, such as saving an entity, updating it, deleting it, or finding it by id. Spring Data JPA uses generics and reflection to generate the concrete implementation of the interface we define.

For our User domain class we can define a Spring Data JPA repository as follows.



public interface UserRepository extends CrudRepository<User, Integer> {
    User findByName(String name);

That’s all we need to setup in Spring Boot to use SQL Server.

Let’s write some test code for this setup.


import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.boot.test.context.SpringBootTest;
import org.springframework.test.context.junit4.SpringRunner;

import static org.junit.Assert.*;
public class UserRepositoryTest {
    private UserRepository userRepository;
    public void setUp() throws Exception {
        User user1= new User("Alice", 23);
        User user2= new User("Bob", 38);
        //save user, verify has ID value after save
        assertNull(user2.getId());//null before save;;

    public void testFetchData(){
        /*Test data retrieval*/
        User userA = userRepository.findByName("Bob");
        assertEquals(38, userA.getAge());
        /*Get all products, list should only have two*/
        Iterable users = userRepository.findAll();
        int count = 0;
        for(User p : users){
        assertEquals(count, 2);

For the test, I have used JUnit. To know more about JUnit, you can refer my series on JUnit Testing.

The result of the JUnit test is this.

JUnit Test Result for SQL Server


As you can see, it is very easy to configure Spring Boot for SQL Server. As usual, Spring Boot will auto configure sensible defaults for you. And as needed, you can override the default Spring Boot properties for your specific application.

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    23 comments on “Configuring Spring Boot for Microsoft SQL Server

    1. May 24, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      I’ve hit an issue with this where I get the following message when starting up:

      org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name ‘requestMappingHandlerAdapter’ defined in class path resource [org/springframework/boot/autoconfigure/web/WebMvcAutoConfiguration$EnableWebMvcConfiguration.class]: Bean instantiation via factory method failed; nested exception is org.springframework.beans.BeanInstantiationException: Failed to instantiate [org.springframework.web.servlet.mvc.method.annotation.RequestMappingHandlerAdapter]: Factory method ‘requestMappingHandlerAdapter’ threw exception; nested exception is java.lang.NoSuchFieldError: defaultReader

      Also, the property spring.jpa.hibernate.dialect is an unknown property for me. I cannot use it.

      I’ve tested with both 6.1.0.jre7 and 6.1.0.jre8 and get the same error. Any ideas?

      • May 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm

        No, nothing is jumping out at me. Looks like a possible dependency conflict – like maybe you have mixed versions

      • August 29, 2017 at 6:19 am

        Hi, I’m experiencing the same issue, did you figure this one out? Thank you very much

    2. June 17, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      its working for me
      but can you please make a complete example on how to manipulate the data and view it ??
      thanks already
      and there is something worth mentioning here which is if the the datatype in the DB is NVARCHAR exception will occur we need to add “columnDefinition” like this:
      @Column(name = “Name”, columnDefinition = “NVARCHAR”)
      thanks 🙂

    3. August 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

      Do you have an example with Windows Authentication? Thank you

      • August 16, 2017 at 9:15 am

        No, I do not

    4. September 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Question about the pom.xml. Why is the SQL Server JDBC Driver commented out?

      • September 1, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        That was a mistake – fixed now.