Event Handling in Spring


You have seen in all the chapters that core of Spring is the ApplicationContext, which manages 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 the ApplicationEvent class and ApplicationListener interface. So 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:

S.N.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 re/start 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 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 event handling is to be used.

Listening to Context Events:

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

Let us have working Eclipse IDE in place and follow the following steps to create a Spring application:

1Create a project with a name SpringExample and create a package com.tutorialspoint 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, CStopEventHandler and MainApp under the com.tutorialspoint 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.tutorialspoint;

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.tutorialspoint;

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.tutorialspoint;

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.tutorialspoint;

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.tutorialspoint.HelloWorld">
      <property name="message" value="Hello World!"/>

   <bean id="cStartEventHandler" 

   <bean id="cStopEventHandler" 


Once you are done with creating source and bean configuration files, let us run the application. If everything is fine with your application, this 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