CDI Passivation Uncovered

Frequently there is confusion about passivation of contextual instances with CDI, especially when non-passivating scopes such as request scoped are injected in passivatable once.

The specification defines passivation (serialization) capabilities, allowing the container to free memory by transferring idle objects to secondary storage when required.

The temporary transfer of the state of an idle object held in memory to some form of secondary storage is called passivation.
The transfer of the passivated state back into memory is called activation.

CDI-Spec 1.2 – Chapter 6.6.1

CDI’s session and conversation scopes are the only build-in passivation capable scopes. Request and application scopes are not passivating capable. If a bean is defined with a passivating scope, it and all applied interceptors and decorators must be serializable (see CDI 1.2 Specification – 6.6.1. Passivation capable beans).

Passivation of Normal Scoped injections

When working with passivation capable scopes such as @SessionScoped, it is still possible to inject references to non-passivating scopes such as @ApplicationScoped. Application scoped beans are not passivation capable, however the injected dependencies are.

public class MySession implements Serializable {
  private MyAppData myAppData;

public class MyAppData {

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Pushing ahead on Concurrency for Java EE 8

JSR-236 has only been a half-hearted attempt at bringing asynchronous operations to the wider Java EE context, leaving many gaps or even specification bugs depending on how you see it. As of now the Concurrency Utilities for Java EE specification remains closed for Java EE 8.

One of the more painful omissions being the rather ambiguously defined CDI context propagation. Tasks and Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI)
CDI beans can be used as tasks. Such tasks could make use of injection if they are themselves components or
are created dynamically using various CDI APIs. However, application developers should be aware of the
following when using CDI beans as tasks:

  • Tasks that are submitted to a managed instance of ExecutorService may still be running after the
    lifecycle of the submitting component. Therefore, CDI beans with a scope of @RequestScoped,
    @SessionScoped, or @ConversationScoped are not recommended to use as tasks as it cannot be guaranteed
    that the tasks will complete before the CDI context is destroyed.
  • CDI beans with a scope of @ApplicationScoped or @Dependent can be used as tasks. However, it is still
    possible that the task could be running beyond the lifecycle of the submitting component, such as when
    the component is destroyed.
  • The transitive closure of CDI beans that are injected into tasks should follow the above guidelines
    regarding their scopes.

JSR-236 Concurrency Utilities for Java EE Version 1.0 FR

This specification leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The current consensus is that the spawning thread’s request, session and conversation contexts are not propagated to the asynchronous process. Furthermore the request context is not even activated for the asynchronous operation (see discussion “inheritance of CDI scopes” for more details).
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Building extensible Java EE Applications – Part 2

The first part covered adapting and packaging extensible Java EE applications.

Introducing Plug-ins

This part will demonstrate how Java EE application can be extended via plug-ins.

To do so we will have to define Service provider interface(s) (SPI).

public interface CorePlugin {
  public String getName();

The applications SPI should be provided in a separate JAR decoupling plug-ins from the core application and avoid cyclic dependency issues (see the previous post for more details).
Continue reading Building extensible Java EE Applications – Part 2

Building extensible Java EE Applications – Part 1

With the advent of Java EE 6 it has become easier to build extensible applications. In this first post we will briefly explore how core components of standard applications can be customized with CDI @Specializes/@Decorator and more interestingly packaging the customized applications.


Specialization in Java EE allows for simple customization of existing beans via inheritance. If a @Specializes bean is found on the classpath it will be injected instead of the original.

The specializing bean has to extend the original bean, it inherits all qualifiers and its name, if defined with @Named.

public class CoreService {
    public void doStuff() {
        System.out.println("Default implementation is doing Stuff.");

public class MySpezializedService extends CoreService {
    public void doStuff() {
        System.out.println("Spezialized implementation is doing Stuff.");

MySpezializedService will be injected instead of MyDefaultService in any place where MyDefaultService has been defined for injection.
Continue reading Building extensible Java EE Applications – Part 1

Concurrency Control for CDI

At the moment there is no standard concurrency control mechanism for CDI managed beans, and at the time of writing it has not been taken into consideration for CDI 2.0 specification either.

The lack of any container based concurrency control, can lead to issues when working with unprotected contexts such as Application- or Session-Scoped beans.

Unlike EJB’s, where the container handles concurrency control, CDI only defines concurrency control for the conversation context.

The container ensures that a long-running conversation may be associated with at most one request at a time, by blocking or rejecting concurrent requests. If the container rejects a request, it must associate the request with a new transient conversation and throw an exception of type javax.enterprise.context.BusyConversationException from the restore view phase of the JSF lifecycle. The application may handle this exception using the JSF ExceptionHandler.
Conversation context lifecycle in Java EE – CDI Spec

Aside from this concurrency is only mentioned in conjunction with CDI EJB interaction.

Whilst all other relevant normal scoped contexts (Application- and Session- Scoped) are completely unguarded, the specification only defines a non adaptable concurrency control for conversation scoped beans. In my previous post on sychronizing access to CDI Conversations, I described how some of these limitation can be overcome.
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Stateful JAX-WS with CDI – Part 1

Usually it is desirable to keep web services stateless. This is because it allows for easier scalability (since no state has to be shared across multiple instances) and reduced load on system resources (as no state has to be held or cleaned up).

However, there are scenarios where it may be desirable to maintain server sided states across multiple requests. As I have demonstrated in my previous post CDI CONVERSATIONS FOR JAX-RS WITH JEE 6, it is possible to utilize CDI conversation scope in JAX-RS restful services. CDI conversation scope was designed to deal with the limitation of having one session per browser, allowing for tab-specific state to be kept on the server side.

JAX-WS is primarily used in fat-/smart-client server scenarios. Fat-/Smart-clients, unlike browsers, are capable of managing multiple sessions as required. JAX-WS has build-in support for SOAP and HTTP session management (see JAX-WS 2.2 Rev a, Chp. Session Management).

Setting up the session context on the server side is a simple matter of defining a @SessionScoped CDI bean…

public class Interactions implements Serializable {

  private List<String> names = new ArrayList<>();

  public String interact(String name) {
    final String interactions = "Hi " + name + ", I previously interacted with " + names;
    return interactions;

  public Integer getNumberOfInteractions() {
    return names.size();

Continue reading Stateful JAX-WS with CDI – Part 1

CDI VooDoo – The Bean Manager and Circular Injection

CDI supports circular dependency injection when at least one of the beans has a normal scope*, this may be useful when sharing contextual information between beans of same or different scope (e.g. MVC pattern).

The CDI BeanManager is responsible for the creation of all CDI beans and managing contextual access to all normal scoped beans.

public class Foo {
   private Bar bar;

public class Bar {
   private Foo foo;

Continue reading CDI VooDoo – The Bean Manager and Circular Injection

CDI 1.1/1.2 Im-/Ex-plicit bean archives

Implicit bean archive
CDI 1.1 introduced the notation of implicit bean archives, making the inclusion of beans.xml optional. Only beans annotated with bean defining annotations will be considered.

An implicit bean archive is any other archive which contains one or more bean classes with a bean defining annotation, or one or more session beans.
CDI 1.1 specification, 12.1. Bean archives

It is important to note that CDI 1.1 defined all JSR-330 javax.inject.* annotations as bean defining, however this caused some problems with archives that use other JSR-330 compliant injection frameworks, most notably google guava library.

The CDI 1.2 maintenance release addresses these by limiting bean defining annotations to:

  • @ApplicationScoped, @SessionScoped, @ConversationScoped and @RequestScoped annotations,
  • all other normal scope types,
  • @Interceptor and @Decorator annotations,
  •  all stereotype annotations (i.e. annotations annotated with @Stereotype),
  •  and the @Dependent scope annotation.

CDI 1.2 specification, 2.5.1. Bean defining annotations

Any bean that does not define at least one bean defining annotation, will be ignored by CDI. Most notably beans solely defining @Named or CDI pseudo-scopes other than @Dependent, such as @Singleton will be ignored.
Continue reading CDI 1.1/1.2 Im-/Ex-plicit bean archives

CDI Conversations for JAX-RS with JEE 6

RESTful services are a great basis for client sided JavaScript WebApps whether written in jQuery UI or AngularJS among others. However browsers can only associate server responses to the correct tab if the request is unique, otherwise if the site is open in multiple tabs the response may be routed to any one of the open tabs.

The routing issue can be solved by simply adding an arbitrary tab specific unique parameter to the request that allows the browser to route the response to the correct tab.


This works as long as we don’t want to maintain any tab specific server sided state. CDI Conversations offer and easy and ready made solution to this problem. When dealing with JSF applications it is a simple matter of dealing with conversations, since the entire handling is performed by the respective CDI and JSF implementation.
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Using JCache in JEE 6/7

I can’t count the number of times I have come across yet another mostly buggy custom caching solution. Be it a HashMap stuck into a random DAO, a service or an annotation driven solution with interceptors of one flavor or another. I guess this is partially to blame on the long pending JCache specification (JSR-107), which has now been finalized last year some 13 years on from when it was first conceived.

Although JSR-107 missed the deadline for inclusion in the JEE 7 specification, it is still fairly easy to provide the required dependencies with your application to get full JSR-107 support in any JEE 6 or 7 compliant application server.

If you wanted, you could use the JSR-107 reference implementation, however it is strongly advised not to use the reference caching provider implementation since there is neither support nor an active community backing it.
Continue reading Using JCache in JEE 6/7