When you create a bean definition, you create a recipe for creating actual instances of the class defined by that bean definition. The idea that a bean definition is a recipe is important, because it means that, as with a class, you can create many object instances from a single recipe.
You can control not only the various dependencies and configuration
values that are to be plugged into an object that is created from a
particular bean definition, but also the scope of
the objects created from a particular bean definition. This approach is
powerful and flexible in that you can choose the
scope of the objects you create through configuration instead of having to
bake in the scope of an object at the Java class level. Beans can be
defined to be deployed in one of a number of scopes: out of the box, the
Spring Framework supports five scopes, three of which are available only
if you use a web-aware
The following scopes are supported out of the box. You can also create a custom scope.
Table 3.4. Bean scopes
Scopes a single bean definition to a single object instance per Spring IoC container.
Scopes a single bean definition to any number of object instances.
Scopes a single bean definition to the lifecycle of a
single HTTP request; that is, each HTTP request has its own
instance of a bean created off the back of a single bean
definition. Only valid in the context of a web-aware Spring
Scopes a single bean definition to the lifecycle of
Scopes a single bean definition to the lifecycle of a
As of Spring 3.0, a thread scope is available, but is not registered by default. For more information, see the documentation for SimpleThreadScope. For instructions on how to register this or any other custom scope, see Section 18.104.22.168, “Using a custom scope”.
Only one shared instance of a singleton bean is managed, and all requests for beans with an id or ids matching that bean definition result in that one specific bean instance being returned by the Spring container.
To put it another way, when you define a bean definition and it is scoped as a singleton, the Spring IoC container creates exactly one instance of the object defined by that bean definition. This single instance is stored in a cache of such singleton beans, and all subsequent requests and references for that named bean return the cached object.
Spring's concept of a singleton bean differs from the Singleton
pattern as defined in the Gang of Four (GoF) patterns book. The GoF
Singleton hard-codes the scope of an object such that one and
only one instance of a particular class is created
ClassLoader. The scope of the
Spring singleton is best described as per container and per
bean. This means that if you define one bean for a particular
class in a single Spring container, then the Spring container creates
one and only one instance of the class defined by
that bean definition. The singleton scope is the default scope
in Spring. To define a bean as a singleton in XML, you would
write, for example:
<bean id="accountService" class="com.foo.DefaultAccountService"/> <!-- the following is equivalent, though redundant (singleton scope is the default) --> <bean id="accountService" class="com.foo.DefaultAccountService" scope="singleton"/>
The non-singleton, prototype scope of bean deployment results in
the creation of a new bean instance every time a
request for that specific bean is made. That is, the bean is injected
into another bean or you request it through a
getBean() method call on the container. As a rule,
use the prototype scope for all stateful beans and the singleton scope
for stateless beans.
The following diagram illustrates the Spring prototype scope. A data access object (DAO) is not typically configured as a prototype, because a typical DAO does not hold any conversational state; it was just easier for this author to reuse the core of the singleton diagram.
The following example defines a bean as a prototype in XML:
<!-- using spring-beans-2.0.dtd --> <bean id="accountService" class="com.foo.DefaultAccountService" scope="prototype"/>
In contrast to the other scopes, Spring does not manage the complete lifecycle of a prototype bean: the container instantiates, configures, and otherwise assembles a prototype object, and hands it to the client, with no further record of that prototype instance. Thus, although initialization lifecycle callback methods are called on all objects regardless of scope, in the case of prototypes, configured destruction lifecycle callbacks are not called. The client code must clean up prototype-scoped objects and release expensive resources that the prototype bean(s) are holding. To get the Spring container to release resources held by prototype-scoped beans, try using a custom bean post-processor, which holds a reference to beans that need to be cleaned up.
In some respects, the Spring container's role in regard to a
prototype-scoped bean is a replacement for the Java
new operator. All lifecycle management past that
point must be handled by the client. (For details on the lifecycle of a
bean in the Spring container, see Section 3.6.1, “Lifecycle callbacks”.)
When you use singleton-scoped beans with dependencies on prototype beans, be aware that dependencies are resolved at instantiation time. Thus if you dependency-inject a prototype-scoped bean into a singleton-scoped bean, a new prototype bean is instantiated and then dependency-injected into the singleton bean. The prototype instance is the sole instance that is ever supplied to the singleton-scoped bean.
However, suppose you want the singleton-scoped bean to acquire a new instance of the prototype-scoped bean repeatedly at runtime. You cannot dependency-inject a prototype-scoped bean into your singleton bean, because that injection occurs only once, when the Spring container is instantiating the singleton bean and resolving and injecting its dependencies. If you need a new instance of a prototype bean at runtime more than once, see Section 3.4.7, “Method injection”
global session scopes are only
available if you use a web-aware Spring
ApplicationContext implementation (such
XmlWebApplicationContext). If you use these
scopes with regular Spring IoC containers such as the
ClassPathXmlApplicationContext, you get an
IllegalStateException complaining about an
unknown bean scope.
To support the scoping of beans at the
global session levels (web-scoped beans), some
minor initial configuration is required before you define your beans.
(This initial setup is not required for the
standard scopes, singleton and prototype.)
How you accomplish this initial setup depends on your particular Servlet environment..
If you access scoped beans within Spring Web MVC, in effect,
within a request that is processed by the Spring
DispatcherPortlet, then no special setup is
DispatcherPortlet already expose all relevant
If you use a Servlet 2.4+ web container, with requests processed
outside of Spring's DispatcherServlet (for example, when using JSF or
Struts), you need to add the following
the declarations in your web applications
<web-app> ... <listener> <listener-class> org.springframework.web.context.request.RequestContextListener </listener-class> </listener> ... </web-app>
If you use an older web container (Servlet 2.3), use the
implementation. The following snippet of XML configuration must be
included in the
web.xml file of your web
application if you want to access web-scoped beans in requests outside
of Spring's DispatcherServlet on a Servlet 2.3 container. (The filter
mapping depends on the surrounding web application configuration, so
you must change it as appropriate.)
<web-app> .. <filter> <filter-name>requestContextFilter</filter-name> <filter-class>org.springframework.web.filter.RequestContextFilter</filter-class> </filter> <filter-mapping> <filter-name>requestContextFilter</filter-name> <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern> </filter-mapping> ... </web-app>
RequestContextFilter all do exactly the same
thing, namely bind the HTTP request object to the
Thread that is servicing that request. This
makes beans that are request- and session-scoped available further
down the call chain.
Consider the following bean definition:
<bean id="loginAction" class="com.foo.LoginAction" scope="request"/>
The Spring container creates a new instance of the
LoginAction bean by using the
loginAction bean definition for each and every HTTP
request. That is, the
loginAction bean is scoped at
the HTTP request level. You can change the internal state of the
instance that is created as much as you want, because other instances
created from the same
loginAction bean definition
will not see these changes in state; they are particular to an
individual request. When the request completes processing, the bean
that is scoped to the request is discarded.
Consider the following bean definition:
<bean id="userPreferences" class="com.foo.UserPreferences" scope="session"/>
The Spring container creates a new instance of the
UserPreferences bean by using the
userPreferences bean definition for the lifetime of
a single HTTP
Session. In other words,
userPreferences bean is effectively scoped at
Session level. As with
request-scoped beans, you can change the internal
state of the instance that is created as much as you want, knowing
that other HTTP
Session instances that
are also using instances created from the same
userPreferences bean definition do not see these
changes in state, because they are particular to an individual HTTP
Session. When the HTTP
Session is eventually discarded, the
bean that is scoped to that particular HTTP
Session is also discarded.
Consider the following bean definition:
<bean id="userPreferences" class="com.foo.UserPreferences" scope="globalSession"/>
global session scope is similar to the
Session scope (described above), and
applies only in the context of portlet-based web applications. The
portlet specification defines the notion of a global
Session that is shared among all
portlets that make up a single portlet web application. Beans defined
global session scope are scoped (or bound)
to the lifetime of the global portlet
If you write a standard Servlet-based web application and you
define one or more beans as having
scope, the standard HTTP
is used, and no error is raised.
The Spring IoC container manages not only the instantiation of your objects (beans), but also the wiring up of collaborators (or dependencies). If you want to inject (for example) an HTTP request scoped bean into another bean, you must inject an AOP proxy in place of the scoped bean. That is, you need to inject a proxy object that exposes the same public interface as the scoped object but that can also retrieve the real, target object from the relevant scope (for example, an HTTP request) and delegate method calls onto the real object.
You do not need to use the
The configuration in the following example is only one line, but it is important to understand the “why” as well as the “how” behind it.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:aop="http://www.springframework.org/schema/aop" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.0.xsd http://www.springframework.org/schema/aop http://www.springframework.org/schema/aop/spring-aop-3.0.xsd"> <!-- an HTTP Session-scoped bean exposed as a proxy --> <bean id="userPreferences" class="com.foo.UserPreferences" scope="session"> <!-- this next element effects the proxying of the surrounding bean --> <aop:scoped-proxy/> </bean> <!-- a singleton-scoped bean injected with a proxy to the above bean --> <bean id="userService" class="com.foo.SimpleUserService"> <!-- a reference to the proxied userPreferences bean --> <property name="userPreferences" ref="userPreferences"/> </bean> </beans>
To create such a proxy, you insert a child
<aop:scoped-proxy/> element into a scoped
bean definition. (If
you choose class-based proxying, you also need the CGLIB library in
your classpath. See the section called “Choosing the type of proxy to create” and Appendix C, XML Schema-based configuration.) Why do definitions of beans scoped at the
globalSession and custom-scope levels require the
<aop:scoped-proxy/> element ? Let's examine
the following singleton bean definition and contrast it with what you
need to define for the aforementioned scopes. (The following
userPreferences bean definition as it stands is
<bean id="userPreferences" class="com.foo.UserPreferences" scope="session"/> <bean id="userManager" class="com.foo.UserManager"> <property name="userPreferences" ref="userPreferences"/> </bean>
In the preceding example, the singleton bean
userManager is injected with a reference to the
userPreferences. The salient point here is that the
userManager bean is a singleton: it will be
instantiated exactly once per container, and its
dependencies (in this case only one, the
userPreferences bean) are also injected only once.
This means that the
userManager bean will only
operate on the exact same
that is, the one that it was originally injected with.
This is not the behavior you want when
injecting a shorter-lived scoped bean into a longer-lived scoped bean,
for example injecting an HTTP
Session-scoped collaborating bean as a
dependency into singleton bean. Rather, you need a single
userManager object, and for the lifetime of an HTTP
Session, you need a
userPreferences object that is specific to said
Session. Thus the container
creates an object that exposes the exact same public interface as the
UserPreferences class (ideally an object that
instance) which can fetch the real
UserPreferences object from the scoping
mechanism (HTTP request,
etc.). The container injects this proxy object into the
userManager bean, which is unaware that this
UserPreferences reference is a proxy. In this
example, when a
invokes a method on the dependency-injected
UserPreferences object, it actually is invoking
a method on the proxy. The proxy then fetches the real
UserPreferences object from (in this case) the
Session, and delegates the method
invocation onto the retrieved real
Thus you need the following, correct and complete, configuration
globalSession-scoped beans into collaborating
<bean id="userPreferences" class="com.foo.UserPreferences" scope="session"> <aop:scoped-proxy/> </bean> <bean id="userManager" class="com.foo.UserManager"> <property name="userPreferences" ref="userPreferences"/> </bean>
By default, when the Spring container creates a proxy for a
bean that is marked up with the
<aop:scoped-proxy/> element, a
CGLIB-based class proxy is created. This means that you
need to have the CGLIB library in the classpath of your
Note: CGLIB proxies only intercept public method calls! Do not call non-public methods on such a proxy; they will not be delegated to the scoped target object.
Alternatively, you can configure the Spring container to
create standard JDK interface-based proxies for such scoped beans,
false for the value of the
proxy-target-class attribute of the
<aop:scoped-proxy/> element. Using JDK
interface-based proxies means that you do not need additional
libraries in your application classpath to effect such proxying.
However, it also means that the class of the scoped bean must
implement at least one interface, and that all
collaborators into which the scoped bean is injected must reference
the bean through one of its interfaces.
<!-- DefaultUserPreferences implements the UserPreferences interface --> <bean id="userPreferences" class="com.foo.DefaultUserPreferences" scope="session"> <aop:scoped-proxy proxy-target-class="false"/> </bean> <bean id="userManager" class="com.foo.UserManager"> <property name="userPreferences" ref="userPreferences"/> </bean>
For more detailed information about choosing class-based or interface-based proxying, see Section 7.6, “Proxying mechanisms”.
As of Spring 2.0, the bean scoping mechanism is extensible. You
can define your own scopes, or even redefine existing scopes, although
the latter is considered bad practice and you
cannot override the built-in
To integrate your custom scope(s) into the Spring container, you
need to implement the
interface, which is described in this section. For an idea of how to
implement your own scopes, see the
Scope implementations that are supplied
with the Spring Framework itself and the Scope
Javadoc, which explains the methods you need to implement in
Scope interface has four methods to get
objects from the scope, remove them from the scope, and allow them to
The following method returns the object from the underlying scope. The session scope implementation, for example, returns the session-scoped bean (and if it does not exist, the method returns a new instance of the bean, after having bound it to the session for future reference).
Object get(String name, ObjectFactory objectFactory)
The following method removes the object from the underlying scope. The session scope implementation for example, removes the session-scoped bean from the underlying session. The object should be returned, but you can return null if the object with the specified name is not found.
Object remove(String name)
The following method registers the callbacks the scope should execute when it is destroyed or when the specified object in the scope is destroyed. Refer to the Javadoc or a Spring scope implementation for more information on destruction callbacks.
void registerDestructionCallback(String name, Runnable destructionCallback)
The following method obtains the conversation identifier for the underlying scope. This identifier is different for each scope. For a session scoped implementation, this identifier can be the session identifier.
After you write and test one or more custom
Scope implementations, you need to make
the Spring container aware of your new scope(s). The central method to
register a new
Scope with the Spring
void registerScope(String scopeName, Scope scope);
This method is declared on the
which is available on most of the concrete
ApplicationContext implementations that
ship with Spring via the BeanFactory property.
The first argument to the
registerScope(..) method is the unique name
associated with a scope; examples of such names in the Spring
container itself are
prototype. The second argument to the
registerScope(..) method is an actual
instance of the custom
implementation that you wish to register and use.
Suppose that you write your custom
Scope implementation, and then register
it as below.
The example below uses
Scope threadScope = new SimpleThreadScope(); beanFactory.registerScope("thread", threadScope);
You then create bean definitions that adhere to the scoping
rules of your custom
<bean id="..." class="..." scope="thread">
With a custom
implementation, you are not limited to programmatic registration of
the scope. You can also do the
registration declaratively, using the
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:aop="http://www.springframework.org/schema/aop" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.0.xsd http://www.springframework.org/schema/aop http://www.springframework.org/schema/aop/spring-aop-3.0.xsd"> <bean class="org.springframework.beans.factory.config.CustomScopeConfigurer"> <property name="scopes"> <map> <entry key="thread"> <bean class="org.springframework.context.support.SimpleThreadScope"/> </entry> </map> </property> </bean> <bean id="bar" class="x.y.Bar" scope="thread"> <property name="name" value="Rick"/> <aop:scoped-proxy/> </bean> <bean id="foo" class="x.y.Foo"> <property name="bar" ref="bar"/> </bean> </beans>
When you place <aop:scoped-proxy/> in a