Retrieve all the implementations of an interface in Java

+1 vote

Can someone explain how to retrieve the entire list of the implementations of an interface in Java?

Jul 24, 2018 in Java by 93.lynn
• 1,600 points

2 answers to this question.

+1 vote

Hi...I think you can achieve this by using the following:

  1. Reflections: As Reflections help you to perform the following actions:
    • get all subtypes of some type
    • get all types annotated with some annotation 
    • get all types annotated with some annotation, including annotation parameters matching
    • get all methods annotated with some
      Reflections reflections = new Reflections("firstdeveloper.examples.reflections");
      Set<Class<? extends Fruit>> classes = reflections.getSubTypesOf(Fruit.class);
  2. ServiceLoader 
    ServiceLoader<Fruit> loader = ServiceLoader.load(Fruit.class);
    for (Fruit implClass : loader) {
        System.out.println(implClass.getClass().getSimpleName()); ​
    // prints Apple, Mango
    Do remember, you need to define Fruit as a ServiceProviderInterface (SPI) and declare its implementations. you do that by creating a file in resources/META-INF/services with the name examples.reflections.Fruit and declare all implementations of Fruit in it.
  3. package-level annotation

    Package[] packages = Package.getPackages();
    for (Package p : packages) {
        MyPackageAnnotation annotation = p.getAnnotation(MyPackageAnnotation.class);
        if (annotation != null) {
            Class<?>[]  implementations = annotation.implementationsOfPet();
            for (Class<?> impl : implementations) {

    and the annotation definition:

    public @interface MyPackageAnnotation {
        Class<?>[] implementationsOfPet() default {};

    and you need to declare the package-level annotation in a file named inside that package. here are sample contents:

    @MyPackageAnnotation(implementationsOfPet = {Apple.class, Mango.class})
    package examples.reflections;

    Note that only packages that are known to the ClassLoader at that time will be loaded by a call to Package.getPackages(). In case you need to know more about Java interface, join our Java training class today.

answered Jul 24, 2018 by anto.trigg4
• 3,440 points
+4 votes
answered Dec 21, 2019 by Roberto
• 460 points

edited Jul 7, 2020 by Roberto
Hi @roberto, there is an option to edit your answer. Please edit the answer with the updated link.

Thank you

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