Transforming Strings into Powerful Enums – Dive into Java Coding Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview of Enums in Java
  3. Converting Strings to Enums
  4. Enhancing Enums with Custom Properties
  5. Benefits of using Enums in Java
  6. Java Coding Examples:
  7. Example 1: Converting Strings to Enums
  8. Example 2: Custom Properties in Enums
  9. Example 3: EnumSet – A Set Collection for Enums
  10. Conclusion


If you've ever worked with Python, you're well aware that it's a dynamically typed language. This means that variables don't need to be declared before use, like they do in statically typed languages such as Java. However, this makes it more difficult to enforce data constraints and ensure data consistency. One way to address this is by using enums, which are essentially a set of predefined constants. Enums can help you write more readable, maintainable code and minimize errors.

But what if you're working with data that's not available at compile time or that you want to load dynamically from a configuration file, a database, or an API? This is where transforming strings into powerful enums comes in. By converting strings into enums at runtime, you can benefit from all the advantages of enums while still being flexible with the data. This is a powerful technique that's widely used in real-world applications. In this guide, we'll explore how to transform strings into enums in Python, using coding examples to illustrate the concepts.

Overview of Enums in Java

In Java programming, an enum is a special type of data type that is used to define a set of constants. Enums provide a way to define a limited number of values that a variable can take on. This makes it easy to work with a small set of defined values, while also ensuring that data remains consistent and handled correctly throughout the program.

Enums in Java are created using the enum keyword, followed by a list of possible values enclosed in curly braces. Each value is separated by a comma, and can have an optional value assigned to it. Enums can also have methods and constructors, just like any other class in Java.

One key advantage of using enums is that they help to ensure type safety. This means that the compiler will catch errors if a variable is assigned a value that is not part of the defined set of constants.

Enums can be used in a variety of ways in Java, including as parameters for functions and methods, as well as within conditional statements such as if statements. By leveraging the power of enums, developers can make their code more robust, reliable, and efficient. In the upcoming sections, we'll delve deeper into some specific coding examples of how to use enums in Java to transform strings into powerful enums.

Converting Strings to Enums

is a common task when working with Java programming. Enums provide a powerful and concise way to represent a fixed set of options or values. The ability to convert Strings to Enums allows you to receive inputs as Strings and then work with them as Enums.

To convert a String to an Enum, you can use the Enum.valueOf() method. This method takes in the Enum class and the name of the Enum value as a String, and then returns the corresponding Enum value. Here's an example:

public enum Color {

String input = "RED";
Color color = Color.valueOf(input);

In this example, we define an Enum called Color with three options: RED, GREEN, and BLUE. We then receive a String input "RED" and convert it to the corresponding Enum value using the valueOf() method. The resulting Enum value is assigned to the variable color.

It's important to note that the valueOf() method is case-sensitive. If the input String does not match any of the Enum values, a runtime IllegalArgumentException is thrown.

In summary, in Java provides a powerful way to receive input as Strings and then work with them as Enums. By using the valueOf() method, you can convert a String to the corresponding Enum value.

Enhancing Enums with Custom Properties


One of the powerful features of Enums in Java is the ability to add custom properties to each enumerated value. These custom properties can be used to provide additional information about the values, such as their display names or database ids.

To add custom properties to an Enum value, we first need to define the properties as instance variables in the Enum class. For example, let's say we want to add a display name property to a "Color" Enum:

public enum Color {

   private String displayName;

   Color(String displayName) {
      this.displayName = displayName;

   public String getDisplayName() {
      return displayName;

In this example, we have added a private instance variable called "displayName" to the Color Enum, and have defined a constructor that takes a String parameter to initialize this variable. We have also added a public getter method for the displayName variable.

Now, we can use the getDisplayName() method to retrieve the display name of each Color value:

System.out.println(Color.RED.getDisplayName()); // Output: "Red"
System.out.println(Color.GREEN.getDisplayName()); // Output: "Green"
System.out.println(Color.BLUE.getDisplayName()); // Output: "Blue"

Adding custom properties to Enums can make them even more powerful and useful in our Java programs.

Benefits of using Enums in Java

Enums in Java provide a number of benefits that make them a powerful tool for developers. One of the primary advantages of enums is that they make code more readable and maintainable by providing a clear and concise way to represent a set of related constants. This is particularly useful when working with complex structures or systems that require a lot of customization or configuration.

Another benefit of using enums is that they help with type safety. Because enums are a distinct type in Java, it's impossible to use an invalid value as an enum constant. This can help prevent bugs and errors in code, as well as make code easier to debug.

Enums can also improve code performance in certain situations. Because enum values are cached by the JVM, they can be compared using a reference comparison instead of an expensive value comparison in certain cases. This can result in faster code execution and lower memory usage.

Finally, enums can provide a level of extensibility to Java code that is difficult to achieve with other techniques. By using enums to represent a fixed set of constants, developers can easily add new values as needed without having to modify existing code. This can make code more flexible and future-proof, which is especially important in large-scale systems.

Java Coding Examples:

To showcase the power of transforming strings into enums in Java, let's look at a few simple coding examples:

Example 1: Creating an Enum

public enum Fruit {

In this example, we have defined an enum called "Fruit" that contains four values – APPLE, ORANGE, BANANA, and PINEAPPLE. These values are constant objects that have been defined using the enum keyword.

Example 2: Using an Enum in a Switch Statement

public static void main(String[] args) {
  Fruit fruit = Fruit.APPLE;
  switch (fruit) {
    case APPLE:
      System.out.println("You picked an apple!");
    case ORANGE:
      System.out.println("You picked an orange!");
    case BANANA:
      System.out.println("You picked a banana!");
    case PINEAPPLE:
      System.out.println("You picked a pineapple!");
      System.out.println("Invalid fruit selection.");

In this example, we use the enum "Fruit" as the control expression in a switch statement. Based on the value of the "fruit" variable, one of the four cases will execute.

Example 3: Using an Enum in a Loop

for (Fruit fruit : Fruit.values()) {

In this example, we use the "values" method of the "Fruit" enum to loop through each of the enum's values and print them to the console. This can be useful when you want to perform some action on each value of an enum.

In conclusion, transforming strings into enums in Java can provide a number of benefits, including improved code readability, increased type safety, and more efficient code execution. By using the examples provided, you can start incorporating enums into your Java code today.

Example 1: Converting Strings to Enums

In Java, enums are a powerful feature for creating a set of named constants. Sometimes, we may need to convert a string representation of an enum to the corresponding enum type. Fortunately, Java provides a way to do this conversion using the valueOf() method.

Let's take a look at an example:

enum Seasons {

public static void main(String[] args) {
    String seasonName = "SPRING";
    Seasons season = Seasons.valueOf(seasonName);

In this example, we have defined an enum called Seasons with four constants. We then declare a string variable seasonName and assign it the value "SPRING". We then use the valueOf() method to convert the string to an enum by passing in the string value as the argument. Finally, we print out the converted enum value using the println() method.

The output of this code will be:


We can see that the string "SPRING" has been successfully converted to the Seasons.SPRING enum value.

One thing to note is that the valueOf() method throws an IllegalArgumentException if the specified name does not match any of the enum constants. To handle this exception, we can wrap the conversion code in a try-catch block:

try {
    Seasons season = Seasons.valueOf(seasonName);
} catch (IllegalArgumentException e) {
    System.out.println("Invalid season name: " + seasonName);

This code will catch any IllegalArgumentException that is thrown and print out an error message instead of crashing the program.

Example 2: Custom Properties in Enums

For this example, we will be exploring the use of custom properties within enums. Enum classes in Python can be given their own attributes and methods, which can be useful in implementing specific functionalities or customizations based on your desired use case.

To demonstrate this, let's consider a hypothetical scenario where we're building a video game character class with different character types. We can create an enum class with different types of characters, such as warrior, mage, and archer. Each of these character types can have their own unique properties, such as health, strength, and agility.

We can define our custom properties by adding them as arguments to our enum class. For example, we can add the properties "health" and "strength" to the warrior class like so:

from enum import Enum

class Character(Enum):
    WARRIOR = (100, 10)
    MAGE = (50, 5)
    ARCHER = (75, 8)

    def __init__(self, health, strength): = health
        self.strength = strength

In this example, we've defined our custom properties "health" and "strength" as arguments within each character type. We've also implemented an __init__() method that initializes these properties when a new instance of a character type is created.

Now let's say we want to retrieve the health value for our warrior character. We can simply access the warrior object and its health property like so:

my_character = Character.WARRIOR

This would output the value 100, which is the default value we assigned to the health property of the warrior character.

Overall, custom properties in enums can be useful for building more complex and customized applications in Python. By defining custom properties and methods within an enum class, you can create more robust and configurable data structures for your programming needs.

Example 3: EnumSet – A Set Collection for Enums

EnumSet is a collection class in Java that is designed to hold a set of enums. It is an efficient and type-safe replacement for traditional collections such as List or Set. EnumSet is especially useful when working with enums that have a small number of values because it's faster and consumes less memory than other collection classes. In this example, we will dive into how to use EnumSet and its methods in Java programming.

First, we declare an enum type called Day that represents the days of the week. We then use EnumSet to create a set of all weekdays by calling EnumSet.range(Day.MONDAY, Day.FRIDAY). The range method returns an EnumSet that represents a range of enum constants.

    enum Day {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // create a set of all weekdays
        EnumSet<Day> weekdays = EnumSet.range(Day.MONDAY, Day.FRIDAY);
        System.out.println(weekdays); // output: [MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY]

We can also create an EnumSet of days that are not weekends by calling EnumSet.complementOf(EnumSet.of(Day.SATURDAY, Day.SUNDAY)).

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // create a set of days that are not weekends
        EnumSet<Day> workdays = EnumSet.complementOf(EnumSet.of(Day.SATURDAY, Day.SUNDAY));
        System.out.println(workdays); // output: [MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY]

We can add or remove elements from an EnumSet using the add() or remove() methods.

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        EnumSet<Day> days = EnumSet.noneOf(Day.class);

        System.out.println(days); // output: [TUESDAY]

In summary, EnumSet is a powerful collection class in Java that allows us to work with sets of enums in an efficient and type-safe way. We can create EnumSet objects using the range() and complementOf() methods, and add or remove elements using the add() or remove() methods.


In this article, we explored the power of enums in Java, and how we can transform strings into powerful enums. We learned that enums provide a safe, easy-to-read, and reliable way to define constant values, and how they can be used to perform a range of important programming operations.

We started by looking at how to define and use enums in Java, and saw how they can be used to encapsulate data and simplify code. We then examined how to transform strings into enums, and how to use enums to perform a range of operations, including string comparisons, switch statements, and more.

Overall, enums are a powerful feature of Java that can greatly simplify and streamline programming efforts. By transforming strings into powerful enums, we can take advantage of Java's robust and reliable programming features, and build powerful and efficient programs that deliver the results we need. So whether you're a novice programmer just starting out or an experienced Java developer looking to enhance your skills, using enums can be a valuable tool for creating innovative and effective code.

My passion for coding started with my very first program in Java. The feeling of manipulating code to produce a desired output ignited a deep love for using software to solve practical problems. For me, software engineering is like solving a puzzle, and I am fully engaged in the process. As a Senior Software Engineer at PayPal, I am dedicated to soaking up as much knowledge and experience as possible in order to perfect my craft. I am constantly seeking to improve my skills and to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the field. I have experience working with a diverse range of programming languages, including Ruby on Rails, Java, Python, Spark, Scala, Javascript, and Typescript. Despite my broad experience, I know there is always more to learn, more problems to solve, and more to build. I am eagerly looking forward to the next challenge and am committed to using my skills to create impactful solutions.

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