Tutorial :What's the difference between Spring BeanFactoryAware and ApplicationContextAware?


Both can be used to get bean instance, but which one is better to be used to implement?


If you need a reference to the BeanFactory, then use BeanFactoryAware. If you need a reference to the ApplicationContext, then use ApplicationContextAware.

Note that the ApplicationContext interface is a subclass of BeanFactory, and provides additional methods on top of the basic BeanFactory interface.

If all you need to do is call getBean(), then BeanFactory is sufficient.

Note also that Spring 2.5+ provides a nicer way of getting yourself wired with a BeanFactory or ApplicationContext, e.g.

private @Autowired ApplicationContext appContext;  private @Autowired BeanFactory beanFactory;  

No need for the XyzAware interfaces.


An ApplicationContext is an extended version of a BeanFactory and therefore offers additional functionalities.

So whether to use ApplicationContextAware or BeanFactoryAware boils down to the question: Do you explicitely need any of the additional ApplicationContext functionalities? If you do implement ApplicationContextAware otherwise stick to BeanFactoryAware.


Do you require access to the additional features available on an ApplicationContext? If so, then you should of course use ApplicationContextAware. If not, BeanFactoryAware will be sufficient.

Amongst many other things, an ApplicationContext has additional methods for inspecting the beans e.g. containsBeanDefinition, getBeanDefinitionCount, getBeanDefinitionNames, getBeanNamesForType, getBeansOfType that may be useful to you and which are not available on BeanFactory

I usually implement ApplicationContextAware

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