Twelve Best Practices For Spring XML Configurations
Subject:   abstract=true not necessary for being a parent bean
Date:   2006-02-01 21:43:53
From:   Timo_Rantalaiho
It is not necessary to specify abstract=true for a parent bean. Any bean can be the parent bean of another. abstract=true causes that the parent bean itself will not be instantiated.

Sometimes it is beneficial to inherit another bean definition like this, though I agree with other commenters that autowiring is a more general good solution.