AndreaNobili AndreaNobili - 1 year ago 259
Java Question

How correctly close the ApplicationContext in Spring?

I am studying for the Spring Core certification and I have some dount about on this question finded into the provided study material:

What is the preferred way to close an application context?

I know that if I have something like this:

ConfigurableApplicationContext context = …
// Destroy the application

by the use of the close() method on the context objet the ApplicationContext is closed and the application is destroyed.

But I think that this is not the best way that I have to do it.

Reading the official documentation I find that I can also do something like this:


that register a Shutdown Hook with the JVM so it is the JVM that will trigger Spring's close phase before JVM exits. So on JVM exit, Spring's close phase will execute.

On the documentation I can read that: uUsually not possible to call context.close() because many applications (web applications) run indefinitely But what exactly means this last assertion? why web application run indefinitely?

So my doubts is: can I use this second way to close an application context also with not web application? Is it prefered respect the context.close() ?


Answer Source

As you are aware that ContextLoaderListener is the one that takes care of initializing and destroying your ApplicationContext, when you shutdown your server, that ContextLoaderListener's contextDestroyed method is invoked.

  public void contextDestroyed(ServletContextEvent event){

In that closeWebApplicationContext, they actually call the close method on ApplicationContext like this

  if ((this.context instanceof ConfigurableWebApplicationContext)) {

This is straight from spring-web-4.1.5.jar. As it is evident from here, they use close to destroy ApplicationContext in web applications.

But registerShutdownHook is used to explicitly shut down IoC container in non-web applications something like a standalone desktop application, specially when you're creating the ApplicationContext manually from ClassPathXmlApplicationContext (or) FileSystemXmlApplicationContext (or) some other types.

This is done to release all resources used by your spring application and to call destroy method on your spring beans if any.

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