Spring Data enables you track who modified an entity and when, with just a few annotations. When combined with Spring Security, you can set this metadata based on the active user.


This project only looks at persistence and setting the audit metadata. It uses the active user to lookup an Author when saving a Blogpost entity.

Entities & repositories

The Author class extends AbstractPersistable to get a generated primary key with proper equals(Object) and hashCode() implementations.

@EqualsAndHashCode(callSuper = true)
@ToString(callSuper = true)
public class Author extends AbstractPersistable<Long> {
  private String name;

  private Date createdDate;

The BlogPost class in turn extends AbstractAuditable with type arguments <Author, Long>, to add Author createdBy() and Date createdDate(), as well as Author modifiedBy() and Date modifiedDate() methods. In the database the relation between BlogPost and Author tables will be captured as a foreign key.

@EqualsAndHashCode(callSuper = true)
@ToString(callSuper = true)
public class Blogpost extends AbstractAuditable<Author, Long> {

  private String title;
  private String content;
  private boolean published;


Both entities are annotated with @EntityListeners(AuditingEntityListener.class), which is a JPA entity listener to capture auditing information on persisting and updating entities.

Our repositories merely extend the Spring Data Repository interface to define the save and findByName methods.

Enable JPA Auditing

We define a AuditSecurityConfiguration class, which we annotate with @EnableJpaAuditing to enable auditing in JPA via annotation configuration. This will trigger Spring Data into setting the audit metadata on your entities.

public class AuditSecurityConfiguration {
  AuditorAware<Author> auditorAware(AuthorRepository repo) {
    // Lookup Author instance corresponding to logged in user
    return () -> Optional.ofNullable(SecurityContextHolder.getContext())

The AuditSecurityConfiguration class defines a single AuditorAware<Author> bean, needed to lookup the Author entity corresponding to the active user. Note that the return type matches the auditing type argument set on the Blogpost class.


Our AuditSecurityConfigurationTest ties together all elements to ensure audit metadata is looked up and set when saving a Blogpost entity.

There are additional tests that verify the current behavior when an Author can not be found.


With audit information automatically set by Spring Data, you’re perfectly set to track who modified entities and when. This audit information can then also be used in owner access restrictions if desired.