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Spring – Event Handling

You have seen in all the chapters that the core of Spring is the ApplicationContext, which manages the complete life cycle of the beans. The ApplicationContext publishes certain types of events when loading the beans. For example, a ContextStartedEvent is published when the context is started and ContextStoppedEvent is published when the context is stopped.

Event handling in the ApplicationContext is provided through theApplicationEvent class and ApplicationListener interface. Hence, if a bean implements the ApplicationListener, then every time an ApplicationEvent gets published to the ApplicationContext, that bean is notified.

Spring provides the following standard events:
Sr.No.Spring Built-in Events & Description
This event is published when the ApplicationContext is either initialized or refreshed. This can also be raised using the refresh() method on the ConfigurableApplicationContext interface.
This event is published when the ApplicationContext is started using the start() method on the ConfigurableApplicationContext interface. You can poll your database or you can restart any stopped application after receiving this event.
This event is published when the ApplicationContext is stopped using the stop() method on the ConfigurableApplicationContext interface. You can do the required housekeep work after receiving this event.
This event is published when the ApplicationContext is closed using the close() method on the ConfigurableApplicationContext interface. A closed context reaches its end of life; it cannot be refreshed or restarted.
This is a web-specific event telling all beans that an HTTP request has been serviced.
Spring's event handling is single-threaded so if an event is published, until and unless all the receivers get the message, the processes are blocked and the flow will not continue. Hence, care should be taken when designing your application if the event handling is to be used.

Listening to Context Events

To listen to a context event, a bean should implement the ApplicationListenerinterface which has just one method onApplicationEvent(). So let us write an example to see how the events propagate and how you can put your code to do the required task based on certain events.

Let us have a working Eclipse IDE in place and take the following steps to create a Spring application:
1Create a project with a name SpringExample and create a packagecom.jtc under the src folder in the created project.
2Add required Spring libraries using Add External JARs option as explained in the Spring Hello World Example chapter.
3Create Java classes HelloWorld, CStartEventHandler, CStopEventHandlerand MainApp unde r the com.jtc package.
4Create Beans configuration file Beans.xml under the src folder.
5The final step is to create the content of all the Java files and Bean Configuration file and run the application as explained below.
Here is the content of HelloWorld.java file

package com.jtc;
public class HelloWorld {
private String message; public void setMessage(String message){
this.message = message;
public void getMessage(){
System.out.println("Your Message : " + message);

Following is the content of the CStartEventHandler.java file

package com.jtc;
import org.springframework.context.ApplicationListener;
import org.springframework.context.event.ContextStartedEvent;
public class CStartEventHandler
implements ApplicationListener<ContextStartedEvent>{
public void onApplicationEvent(ContextStartedEvent event) {
System.out.println("ContextStartedEvent Received"); }

Following is the content of the CStopEventHandler.java file

package com.jtc;
import org.springframework.context.ApplicationListener;
import org.springframework.context.event.ContextStoppedEvent;
public class CStopEventHandler
implements ApplicationListener<ContextStoppedEvent>{
public void onApplicationEvent(ContextStoppedEvent event) {
System.out.println("ContextStoppedEvent Received");

Following is the content of the MainApp.java file

package com.jtc;
import org.springframework.context.ConfigurableApplicationContext;
import org.springframework.context.support.ClassPathXmlApplicationContext;
public class MainApp {
public static void main(String[] args) {
ConfigurableApplicationContext context =
new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("Beans.xml");
// Let us raise a start event.
HelloWorld obj = (HelloWorld) context.getBean("helloWorld");
// Let us raise a stop event.

Following is the configuration file Beans.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
<bean id="helloWorld" class="com.jtc.HelloWorld">
<property name="message" value="Hello World!"/>
<bean id="cStartEventHandler"
<bean id="cStopEventHandler"

Once you are done creating the source and bean configuration files, let us run the application. If everything is fine with your application, it will print the following message:

ContextStartedEvent Received
Your Message : Hello World!
ContextStoppedEvent Received

If you like, you can publish your own custom events and later you can capture the same to take any action against those custom events. If you are interested in writing your own custom events, you can check Custom Events in Spring
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