Spring bean scopes (Request, Session, Global Session) with example

When you define a bean in the configuration file, you are just defining the structure of the bean or it is just a class. With that definition, you can create any number of instances. Here the advantage of the bean is that, you are not only allowed to define the dependencies for the beans, you also can set the scope for the beans. The spring framework supports following five scopes. Out of which three scopes are supported only in web ApplicationContext.

  1. Singleton
  2. Prototype
  3. Request
  4. Session
  5. Global Session

I’ve already covered Singleton and Prototype in the post “Spring bean with examples”. Now let’s see an example of how to use Request and Session scopes.

Note:Request, Session and Global Session scopes are valid in the context of a web-aware Spring ApplicationContext. This means that you can only use these scoped beans in a an application deployed to a web server. Spring can be used in applications that run in standard JVMs along with applications that run in servlet containers (Tomcat, etc). Request, Session and Global session however, only exists in web servers so it has no meaning if the application is running in a standard desktop environment.
If you use these scopes with regular Spring IoC containers such as the ClassPathXmlApplicationContext, you get an IllegalStateException complaining about an unknown bean scope.

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Request and Session Scope Example

Request scopes a bean definition to an HTTP request. Only valid in the context of a web-aware Spring ApplicationContext. Session scopes a bean definition to an HTTP session. Only valid in the context of a web-aware Spring ApplicationContext.

Step 1: Create Project

Let us have working Eclipse IDE in place. Create a Dynamic Web Project with a name Spring-Req-Session-scope-Eg. Follow the option File -> New -> Project ->Dynamic Web Project and finally select Dynamic Web Project wizard from the wizard list. Now name your project as Spring-Req-Session-scope-Eg using the wizard window.

Step 2: Add external libraries

Drag and drop below mentioned Spring and other libraries into the folder WebContent/WEB-INF/lib:

  • antlr-2.7.2.jar
  • aopalliance-1.0.jar
  • org.springframework.web.servlet-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar
  • spring-aop-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar
  • spring-aspects-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar
  • spring-beans-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar
  • spring-context-support-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar
  • spring-context-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar
  • spring-core-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar
  • spring-expression-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar
  • commons-logging-1.1.1.jar
  • spring-web-3.2.2.RELEASE.jar

Step 3: Create bean and Controller

Create the following packages under src folder. (Right click onsrc -> New -> Package -> package-name)

 com.javabeat.controller and

Create the the bean files com\javabeat\beans\HelloRequestScopeData.java (for request scope) and com\javabeat\beans\HelloSessionScopeData.java (for session scope). These beans are wired into a basic Spring MVC application. Contents of these files are as below:


package com.javabeat.beans;

public interface HelloRequestScopeData {
	public String getDate();


package com.javabeat.beans;

public interface HelloSessionScopeData {
	public String getDate();

Create the bean implementation file com\javabeat\impl\HelloRequestScopeDataImpl.java and com\javabeat\impl\HelloSessionScopeDataImpl.java. Contents of these files are as below:


package com.javabeat.impl;

import java.util.Date;
import com.javabeat.beans.HelloRequestScopeData;

public class HelloRequestScopeDataImpl implements HelloRequestScopeData {

	private final Date date;

	public HelloRequestScopeDataImpl(Date date) {
		this.date = date;

	public String getDate() {
		return date.toString();


package com.javabeat.impl;

import java.util.Date;
import com.javabeat.beans.HelloSessionScopeData;

public class HelloSessionScopeDataImpl implements HelloSessionScopeData {
	private final Date date;

	public HelloSessionScopeDataImpl(Date date) {
		this.date = date;

	public String getDate() {
		return date.toString();

Create the controller com\javabeat\controller\HelloController.java, the contents are as below:


package com.javabeat.controller;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.ui.Model;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;

import com.javabeat.beans.HelloRequestScopeData;
import com.javabeat.beans.HelloSessionScopeData;

public class HelloController {

	private HelloRequestScopeData requestscopehellodata;

	private HelloSessionScopeData sessionscopehellodata;

	@RequestMapping(value = "/")
	public String hellodata(Model model) {
		model.addAttribute("requestscopedate", requestscopehellodata.getDate());
		model.addAttribute("sessionscopedate", sessionscopehellodata.getDate());

		/* return to view "hello.jsp" */
		return "hello";

This controller has a dependency of type HelloRequestScopeData and HelloSessionScopeData. We display the date from bean in both requets and session scope. The veiw is returned to “hello.jsp”.

Note:  In the above example@Autowired annotation will search for the matching type in the spring beans and automatically wire the   suitable bean instance to the object. You need not declare any other explicit mentioning of the injecting the objects, @Autowired is most powerful annotation to decide the suitable object. @RequestMapping is the context path definition for the request. This annotation maps all the matching request from that path will be send to this particular controller method. For more details please read spring mvc tutorials.

Step 4: Create Configuration files


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
id="WebApp_ID" version="2.5">


<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
 <mvc:annotation-driven />
  <property name="prefix" value="/WEB-INF/jsp/" />
  <property name="suffix" value=".jsp" />

<context:component-scan base-package="com.javabeat" />
<context:annotation-config />
<bean id="requestscope" class="com.javabeat.impl.HelloRequestScopeDataImpl" scope="request">
    <bean class="java.util.Date" />
   <aop:scoped-proxy proxy-target-class="false" />
<bean id="sessionscope" class="com.javabeat.impl.HelloSessionScopeDataImpl" scope="session">
    <bean class="java.util.Date" />
   <aop:scoped-proxy proxy-target-class="false" />

Here two beans are defined one has “request” (for bean HelloRequestScopeDataImpl) scope and other “session” (for bean HelloSessionScopeDataImpl) scope. The request scope tells Spring to instantiate a new HelloRequestScopeDataImpl bean with each Web request, and to make that bean available only within the context of that Web request. The session scope tells Spring to instantiate a new HelloSessionScopeDataImpl bean with each Web session, and to make that bean available only within the context of that Web session.

The <aop:scoped-proxy /> element tells Spring that this bean is not to be injected as a dependency directly, but instead an AOP proxy of this bean is to be injected in its place. The proxy-target-class=”false” attribute tells Spring not to use a CGLIB proxy, but a JDK dynamic proxy instead.

A simple view displays the Date, one which is created for each request the controller receives and one is for each session. The contents of the file are as below:


<%@page language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1"
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
<title>Hello World</title>
   <h2>---Request Scope Date----</h2>
   <h2>---Session Scope Date----</h2>

Step 5: Deploy and Execute

The final structure of the project is as show below:
Final dir_structure_req scope

Once you are done with creating source and configuration files, export your application. Right click on your application(Spring-Req-Session-scope-Eg) and use Export > WAR File option and save your Spring.war file in Tomcat’s webapps folder.

Step 6: Output

Now start your Tomcat server and make sure you are able to access other web pages from webapps folder using a standard browser. Now try to access the URL http://localhost:8080/spring/ and if everything is fine with your Spring Web Application, you should see the following result:


Global Session Scope

The global session scope is similar to the Session scope and really only makes sense in the context of portlet-based web applications. The portlet specification defines the notion of a global Session that is shared among all of the various portlets that make up a single portlet web application. Beans defined at the global session scope are bound to the lifetime of the global portlet Session.


In my earlier post I have explained about “Spring bean with examples”. In this post we saw an example of how to use the scopes Request and Session. My next post shall cover creating custom scope for Spring beans. If you have any questions on scopes, please write it on the comments section. If you are interested in receiving the future articles, please subscribe here.



About Manisha Patil

Manisha S Patil, currently residing at Pune India. She is currently working as freelance writer for websites. She had earlier worked at Caritor Bangalore, TCS Bangalore and Sungard Pune. She has 5 years of experience in Java/J2EE technologies.

  • Nag

    I have a developed a webapp using spring mvc 3.0. I have configured all the beans in the default scope(Controllers/Service/Dao’s beans in singleton). I just observed that when multiple users are working on my webapp concurrently on the same functionality(All users are clicking the same button of the same page at the same time) then the screen is hanging. I am anticipating the fact since all the beans are in singleton scope the data objects must be getting locked and the screen is hanging. Hence i am trying to specify request scopes to the beans. I hope you understand till here. Can you suggest what are best practices to specify scopes to beans i.e., what scopes should be given to controllers, to service, to daos and to VO’s. I am getting the follwoing error when i was specifying scope to a VO in my configuration file.

    org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name ‘commonController’ defined in ServletContext resource [/WEB-INF/Lockit_Refactored-servlet.xml]: Cannot resolve reference to bean ‘dashboardServiceImpl’ while setting bean property ‘dashboardService'; nested exception is org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name ‘dashboardServiceImpl': Injection of autowired dependencies failed; nested exception is org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Could not autowire method: public void com.verudix.lockit.service.DashboardServiceImpl.setDashboardVO(com.verudix.lockit.vo.DashboardVO); nested exception is org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name ‘dashboardVO': Scope ‘request’ is not active for the current thread; consider defining a scoped proxy for this bean if you intend to refer to it from a singleton; nested exception is java.lang.IllegalStateException: No thread-bound request found: Are you referring to request attributes outside of an actual web request, or processing a request outside of the originally receiving thread? If you are actually operating within a web request and still receive this message, your code is probably running outside of DispatcherServlet/DispatcherPortlet: In this case, use RequestContextListener or RequestContextFilter to expose the current request.

    My configuration file is as below:

    I know i might be confusing you, but revert back if you want to know anything more specific about my issue.


    • http://www.javabeat.net Krishna Srinivasan

      You have not pasted your configuration file. Also note that it is always good to use the default scope for the spring beans. The hanging of the screen could have been some other problems. It may not be the problem with spring scopes.

  • sekhar

    Hi . Thanks for posting the example. But am facing issue in this example. My query is, here HomeController is singleton, whereas HelloRequestScopeData is created once for every new HttpRequest. So far fine. But coming to HomeController, HelloRequestScopeData instance is shared one. So i tested for threadSafety, For this, i used Thread.sleep(10000) as first line of code in helloData() method of Homecontroller. I observed that each request is processed only when previous request completes the task. I doubt synchronizing of HttpRequest leads to perfomance issues. Plz update me if am wrong.. My modified method is below:

    public String hellodata(Model model) {
    try {
    System.out.println(Thread.currentThread()+ ” went to sleep….@ “+new Date());
    } catch (InterruptedException e) {
    // TODO Auto-generated catch block
    model.addAttribute(“requestscopedate”, requestscopehellodata.getDate());
    model.addAttribute(“sessionscopedate”, sessionscopehellodata.getDate());
    /* return to view “hello.jsp” */
    return “hello”;

    the sysout statement for second httprequest is printing only after the first request completes the process

  • Martin

    In a singleton, class level variable (requestscopehellodata), shouldn’t store data.

    • sekhar

      Hi Martin. Thanks for ur reply. Ofcourse u r right. But in the above example, sequential processing of Requests is taking place. I think solution is making controller request scope bean. But is there any solution that can work with controller as singleton????