Spring bean thread safety guide

Is Spring controller/service/singleton thread-safe?

It’s a commonly asked question by Spring newcomers and probably a must-have warm-up question on job interviews. As usual in programming, the answer is: it depends. The main factor which determines thread safety of a component is its scope.

Let’s get down to it and see what Spring’s scopes have to offer in multithreaded programming.

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Accessing prototype bean in singleton

It’s not sheer coincidence or a random choice that the default scope in Spring is the singleton. The vast majority of business logic in our applications is placed in stateless objects, which thanks to the lack of state can be safely reused across the whole code base. However, sometimes some data needs to be stored between sequential calls to object’s methods. In that case we need to have more control over the life cycle of such object.

Spring provides us with several scopes which live shorter than singletons and perfectly fit for short term data storage. The problem appears when you try to inject such scoped bean into a singleton. This post describes the possible options to access shorter living object inside these that reside in the container for longer periods. Although all examples will focus on a prototype inside a singleton, presented information applies to other scopes as well.

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