Java Records

Java Records

Immutable data carriers

Java language is known for being too much verbose which results in writing an ample number of lines to store immutable data fetched from a database or URL connection for processing. Java records(first introduced in J14 and finalized in J16) provide an easier way to declare data carriers.

Java Grammer


{ClassModifier} record TypeIdentifier [TypeParameters] RecordHeader [SuperInterfaces] RecordBody


( [RecordComponentList] )


RecordComponent { , RecordComponent}


{Annotation} UnannType Identifier VariableArityRecordComponent


{Annotation} UnannType {Annotation} ... Identifier


{ {RecordBodyDeclaration} }


ClassBodyDeclaration CompactConstructorDeclaration


{ConstructorModifier} SimpleTypeName ConstructorBody

Java record is nothing but a special class that the compiler generates based on its declaration. All the auto-created Java record classes extend java.lang.Record object and are declared as a final class.

During compilation, the following are automatically created for a Java Record.

  • For each component in the header, two members: a public accessor method with the same name and return type as the component, and a private final field with the same type as the component.
  • A canonical constructor whose signature is the same as the header, and which assigns each private field to the corresponding argument from a new expression that instantiates the record.
  • equals and hashCode methods which ensure that two record values are equal if they are of the same type and contain equal component values.
  • toString method that returns a string representation of all the record components, along with their names.

Any of the above automatically created methods can be overridden if needed.

A sample class created by the compiler for a record class is shown below.


In case validation/processing needs to be done on the supplied parameters to a constructor, records provide an easier way to write the implementation part alone leaving out the assignments of parameters passed. This in turn saves time and avoids errors where a variable assignment gets missed or assigned wrongly.

record Range(int lo, int hi) {
        Range {
            if (lo > hi)
                throw new IllegalArgumentException(String.format("(%d,%d)", lo, hi));

Similar to any Java type, records come with some restrictions on their usage. -Records cannot extend any class.

  • Records cannot declare instance fields (other than the private final fields that correspond to the components of the record component list); any other declared fields must be static.
  • Records cannot be abstract; they are implicitly final.
  • The components of a record are implicitly final.

Further reading