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CreationalDecouplingAbout 1 min


The purpose of the Converter pattern is to provide a generic, common way of bidirectional
conversion between corresponding types, allowing a clean implementation in which the types do not
need to be aware of each other. Moreover, the Converter pattern introduces bidirectional collection
mapping, reducing a boilerplate code to minimum.


Real world example

In real world applications it is often the case that database layer consists of entities that need
to be mapped into DTOs for use on the business logic layer. Similar mapping is done for
potentially huge amount of classes and we need a generic way to achieve this.

In plain words

Converter pattern makes it easy to map instances of one class into instances of another class.

Programmatic Example

We need a generic solution for the mapping problem. To achieve this, let's introduce a generic

public class Converter<T, U> {

  private final Function<T, U> fromDto;
  private final Function<U, T> fromEntity;

  public Converter(final Function<T, U> fromDto, final Function<U, T> fromEntity) {
    this.fromDto = fromDto;
    this.fromEntity = fromEntity;

  public final U convertFromDto(final T dto) {
    return fromDto.apply(dto);

  public final T convertFromEntity(final U entity) {
    return fromEntity.apply(entity);

  public final List<U> createFromDtos(final Collection<T> dtos) {

  public final List<T> createFromEntities(final Collection<U> entities) {

The specialized converters inherit from this base class as follows.

public class UserConverter extends Converter<UserDto, User> {

  public UserConverter() {
    super(UserConverter::convertToEntity, UserConverter::convertToDto);

  private static UserDto convertToDto(User user) {
    return new UserDto(user.getFirstName(), user.getLastName(), user.isActive(), user.getUserId());

  private static User convertToEntity(UserDto dto) {
    return new User(dto.getFirstName(), dto.getLastName(), dto.isActive(), dto.getEmail());


Now mapping between User and UserDto becomes trivial.

var userConverter = new UserConverter();
var dtoUser = new UserDto("John", "Doe", true, "whatever[at]");
var user = userConverter.convertFromDto(dtoUser);

Class diagram

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Converter Pattern


Use the Converter Pattern in the following situations:

  • When you have types that logically correspond with each other and you need to convert entities
    between them.
  • When you want to provide different ways of types conversions depending on the context.
  • Whenever you introduce a DTO (Data transfer object), you will probably need to convert it into the
    domain equivalence.