When developing applications you often need some data when you start out, and it’s always a problem getting it into the application, should you use the domain model to programatically create all the records, should you dump the data directly into the database?

The following demo does it by using Jackson2RepositoryPopulatorFactoryBean


place .json files in src/main/resources/mock-data, they don’t have to be named anything special. Just make sure that the get loaded in the correct order, so that the entities that you are trying to link to with @DbRef exists.


Only the root objects need to have the special _class key, so that jackson knows where to start.

So if you have a embedded object include it as usual

    "_class": "se.radley.demo.user.User",
    "id": "leon",
    "email": "leon@radley.se",
    "firstName": "Leon",
    "lastName": "Radley",
    "address": {
      "street": "my street",
      "city": "my city"

If you need to link to another document via @DbRef the other document needs to have a constructor or factory method to be able to create the document

 * Factory constructor for creating DbRefs
 * @param id
private User(String id) {
    this.id = id;

public static User ref(String id) {
    return new User(id);

That way you can easily create references to objects without having to get the from the db with

User leon = User.ref("leon");