Walkthrough: Upgrading to Spring Boot 2.x

This walkthrough outlines the steps necessary to upgrade Spring Boot from a 1.x version to a 2.x release. The specific code referenced upgrades from 1.5.9 to 2.1.1, but the steps should work for other 1.x and 2.x versions as well.

We will upgrade the LaunchCodeTraining / launchcart app, but you should be able to follow these steps for other apps as well. You can view each of the specific changes made in this walkthrough in this commit.

Updating build.gradle

  1. Near the top of your build.gradle file, change the springBootVersion parameter to the value '2.1.1.RELEASE'.
  2. Near the middle of the file, add the following plugin to the list of applied plugins: apply plugin: 'io.spring.dependency-management'
  3. If you have a bootRun block (most likely at the bottom of your file), delete it.

Updating Gradle

Spring Boot 2 requires Gradle version 4.4 or newer.

Open the file gradle/wrapper/gradle-wrapper.properties and find the line that defines distributionUrl. If URL references an older version of Gradle, update it:



You can check your work up to this point by opening the Gradle pane in IntelliJ and hitting the Refresh All Gradle Builds button (at top-left). Then open the Build pane and make sure there are no errors.

Using New Repository Methods

From the Gradle pane, select Tasks > build > build by double-clicking. This will build your project, flagging any compiler errors.

In particular, you will see quite a few errors relating to your Spring Data repository interfaces. This is due to some interface method name changes in Spring Data (part of the “Kay” release of Spring Data). We have been using the JpaRepository interface, which extends the CrudRepository interface``. Both of these interfaces have updated methods, which we will need update our code to use.

We will walk through the changes that affect the launchcart project, and which are most common. If you are upgrading another project you may find other method name changes. Refer documentation for JpaRepository and CrudRepository, as well as the Spring Data Kay Release blog post.


To carry out the updates detailed below, we recommend: 1. Reading all three subsections below before changing your code, to understand the necessary changes. 2. Referring to the error messages displayed in the Build pane, click through the errors one-by-one to update your code.


In JpaRepository, findOne has been renamed getOne. In all controllers and tests calling JpaRepository.findOne, update the method calls to getOne.


In earlier versions of Spring Data, the method CrudRepository.delete took the ID of an entity to delete. It not takes the object to delete itself. Thankfully, there is now a CrudRepository.deleteById method that takes an ID and deletes the corresponding item.

Update all usages of CrudRepository.delete to deleteById.


Previously, JpaRepository.findOne would return null when given the ID of a non-existant item. The caller could then check for null to determine whether or not an item with the given ID existed.

With the new Spring Data release, JpaRepository.findOne was renamed JpaRepository.getOne, and the new method has the behavior that it throws an exception if an item with the given ID does not exist.

In situations where JpaRepository.findOne was used in conjunction with a null check (such as ItemRestControllerTests.testDeleteItem and the DELETE method of ItemRestController), update your code to use the new existsById method.


To check your work up to this point, re-run the build task to ensure the build successfully completes.

Updating application.properties

At this point, if you run the bootRun task you will see an exception in the console, java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException (try it!). While this exception looks scary, it is actually harmless, as the status of the associated log message just above it (INFO) indicates.

To suppress the check that generates this exception, add the following line to application.properties:


Test Your App

Hopefully your app is fully upgraded and ready to go. To be sure, run all of your tests, and then start the app using the bootRun task. If you encounter any errors, review the steps above and/or the links below for help.