Spring Shell seamlessly integrates command-line applications with the Spring framework, offering a robust and flexible environment for developers. In this article, we’ll expand on setting up a Spring Shell project and explore its features, with a detailed focus on parameters, options, and annotations available for crafting powerful commands in Java.

Setting Up a Spring Shell Project

Let’s start by revisiting the steps to set up a basic Spring Shell project:

Step 1: Create a Spring Boot Project

Initiate a new Spring Boot project using your preferred build tool, such as Maven or Gradle. Utilize tools like Spring Initializer or your IDE for a streamlined setup.

Step 2: Add Spring Shell Dependencies

Include the necessary dependencies for Spring Shell in your pom.xml (Maven) or build.gradle (Gradle):

<!-- For Maven -->
// For Gradle
implementation 'org.springframework.shell:spring-shell-starter:2.0.0.RELEASE'

Step 3: Create a Simple Command

Create a class annotated with @ShellComponent and define a method annotated with @ShellMethod:

import org.springframework.shell.standard.ShellComponent;
import org.springframework.shell.standard.ShellMethod;
import org.springframework.shell.standard.ShellOption;

public class MyCommands {

    @ShellMethod("Say hello")
    public String hello() {
        return "Hello, Spring Shell!";

Now, let’s dive into the annotations and explore the available options for enhancing and customizing your commands.

Annotations for Crafting Commands

1. @ShellMethod

The @ShellMethod annotation marks a method as a command. It has the following options:

  • value (alias: key): Specifies the command name. Example: @ShellMethod(value = "greet", key = "hello").
  • help: Defines the description of the command. Example: @ShellMethod(help = "Say hello").
@ShellMethod(value = "greet", key = "hello", help = "Say hello")
public String hello() {
    return "Hello, Spring Shell!";

2. @ShellOption

The @ShellOption annotation is used to define options for a command. It has several options:

  • value (alias: key): Specifies the option name. Example: @ShellOption(value = "num1", key = "firstNumber").
  • help: Defines the description of the option. Example: @ShellOption(help = "First number").
  • defaultValue: Specifies the default value for the option. Example: @ShellOption(defaultValue = "0").
  • arity: Indicates the number of values an option can take. Example: @ShellOption(arity = 2).
@ShellMethod("Add two numbers with an optional parameter")
public int addNumbers(int num1, @ShellOption(defaultValue = "0") int num2) {
    return num1 + num2;

3. @ShellComponent

The @ShellComponent annotation designates a class as a Spring Shell component, allowing it to be discovered by the Spring Shell runtime. Commands are typically defined within classes annotated with @ShellComponent.

public class MyCommands {
    // Commands go here

4. @ShellMethodAvailability

The @ShellMethodAvailability annotation is used to conditionally enable or disable a command based on specific criteria. It has one option:

  • value: Specifies the method that determines the availability of the command. Example: @ShellMethodAvailability("dynamicCommandAvailability").
public String dynamicCommand() {
    return "Dynamic Command";

public Availability dynamicCommandAvailability() {
    // Your logic to determine if the command should be available
    return Availability.available();


Spring Shell’s annotations provide a powerful way to create and customize commands within your command-line applications. By utilizing various options within @ShellMethod and @ShellOption, you can craft interactive, dynamic, and feature-rich command-line interfaces. Explore these annotations, experiment with different configurations, and elevate your command-line application development with Spring Shell. Happy coding!

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By Jeffery Miller

I am known for being able to quickly decipher difficult problems to assist development teams in producing a solution. I have been called upon to be the Team Lead for multiple large-scale projects. I have a keen interest in learning new technologies, always ready for a new challenge.