Using NotNull Annotation in method argument

@Nullable and @NotNull do nothing on their own. They are supposed to act as Documentation tools.

The @Nullable Annotation reminds you about the necessity to introduce an NPE check when:

  1. Calling methods that can return null.
  2. Dereferencing variables (fields, local variables, parameters) that can be null.

The @NotNull Annotation is, actually, an explicit contract declaring the following:

  1. A method should not return null.
  2. A variable (like fields, local variables, and parameters) cannot should not hold null value.

For example, instead of writing:

 * @param aX should not be null
public void setX(final Object aX ) {
    // some code

You can use:

public void setX(@NotNull final Object aX ) {
    // some code

Additionally, @NotNull is often checked by ConstraintValidators (eg. in spring and hibernate).

The @NotNull annotation doesn’t do any validation on its own because the annotation definition does not provide any ConstraintValidator type reference.

For more info see:

  1. Bean validation


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