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Java Records Tutorial: A Comprehensive Guide

Java records, introduced in JDK 14, are a new addition to the Java language that provides a compact way to define classes which are transparent holders for shallowly immutable data. They are well-suited for use as simple data carriers in a variety of use cases, making code more readable and maintainable. In this tutorial, we'll explore the concept of Java records, discuss their syntax and semantics, and learn how to use them effectively in our Java applications.

What are Java Records?

Java records are a new kind of class type introduced in Java 14, which aim to simplify the task of creating classes that mainly serve as simple data containers. They are used to encapsulate data without containing business logic or methods (other than those related to the data). Records are intended to be concise, readable, and straightforward, making them ideal for use in scenarios where data needs to be represented as a tuple-like structure.

Syntax and Semantics of Java Records

Let's start by exploring the syntax and semantics of Java records. The syntax for defining a record is as follows:

public record Person(String name, int age) { }

In this example, we are declaring a record called Person with two components: name of type String and age of type int. The public modifier indicates that the record is accessible from other classes in the same package.

Records can also have annotations, a package-private or a private modifier, and a final modifier. However, they cannot be abstract, nor can they extend any other class.

Records are implicitly final, immutable (i.e., they have no setter methods), and provide a canonical constructor, equals(), hashCode(), and toString() methods.

Using Java Records

Let's take a closer look at how to use Java records in our applications:

Creating an Instance of a Record

Creating an instance of a record is straightforward. We can use the canonical constructor provided by the record itself:

Person person = new Person("John Doe", 30);

Accessing Record Components

Similar to how we access fields in a regular class, we can access the components of a record using the dot notation:

String name =; int age = person.age();

Using Records in Collections

Records are interchangeable with classes for all ordinary usage, including using them in collections such as List, Set, and Map. For example:

List<Person> people = new ArrayList<>(); people.add(new Person("Jane Doe", 25));

Immutability and Records

As mentioned earlier, records are immutable by default, meaning that their state cannot be modified once they are created. This provides a level of safety and predictability when working with data.

Benefits of Using Java Records

Java records offer several benefits when it comes to simplifying the creation and management of data classes:

  1. Conciseness: Records require less boilerplate code compared to traditional Java classes.
  2. Readability: With a compact syntax, records are easier to read and understand.
  3. Immutability: Records are inherently immutable, promoting safer programming practices.
  4. Built-in Methods: Records provide default implementations for equals(), hashCode(), and toString() methods, reducing the need for manual implementation.

Comparison with Regular Classes

It's important to note that records are not meant to replace regular classes in Java. Records are specifically designed for use cases where data is the primary concern and functionality is secondary. If a class requires more complex behavior or methods beyond simple data interaction, a regular class should be used instead.


In this tutorial, we've covered the basics of Java records, including their syntax, usage, and benefits. With their compact syntax, built-in immutability, and automatic method generation, records provide a powerful tool for simplifying the creation and management of data classes in Java. By understanding the use cases and advantages of records, you can leverage them effectively in your applications to improve readability and maintainability.

By embracing Java records, you can write more concise and intuitive code, ultimately leading to better software development practices and more robust applications.

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