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Spring Module for Play 2.0

This module helps you integrate Spring managed beans directly within your play 2.0 application. This module is a continuation of Nicolas Leroux's original Spring Module for play 1.x, available on Github


To install this plugin, you will have to download the project and run

sbt package

Then copy the jar file (i.e. target/scala-2.9.1/play-2.0-spring-module_2.9.1-1.1-SNAPSHOT.jar) to your Play project's library (usually in the lib directory).


This module is very simple to configure: simply place your Spring application context in conf/application-context.xml. When this module is installed Play will look at this location and construct a context to load Spring managed beans from. Alternatively you may specify a series of optional configuration parameters in conf/application.conf determining how the context is loaded.

If you need to load an alternative application-context file use the spring.context parameter. In addition there are two optional parameters controlling how the context is interpreted. By default play assumes the context uses namespaces which were introduced in Spring 2.0. If you do not need them or they are causing you problems, you can turn off namespaces. The other option is to include Play configuration (i.e. items from conf/application.conf) using Spring's PropertyPlaceholderConfigurer. This means that you can access play-based configuration within your spring context file by simply using ${ ... }.

spring.context = another-application-context.xml
# Defaults to "application-context.xml"

spring.namespace-aware = true
# Defaults to true
spring.add-play-properties = true
# Defaults to true

How To Use Play With Spring

Retrieving beans from application code

You can obtain Spring managed beans instances from within your play application using the play.modules.spring.Spring helper.

import play.api.modules.spring.Spring

// Reference a bean by name
MyBean bean = Spring.getBean("byBeanName");

// Reference a bean by type
MyBean bean = Spring.getBeanOfType(MyBean.class);

// Reference a set of beans by type
Map<String,MyBean> beans = Spring.getBeansOfType(MyBean.class);

See example project:

Component scanning & annotation-based configuration

This spring module supports annotation-based configuration of Spring beans through component scanning. Earlier version of the Play framework and Spring Module required extra play specific configuration for Spring's component scanning and annotation-based configuration to work correctly. With the new version of Play 2.0 this is no longer required because behind the scenes the Play framework is not magically manipulating the classpath. To enable annotation configuration all you need to do is set up the appropriate spring context using the annotation-config and component-scan elements. Here's an example:

<context:annotation-config />
<context:component-scan base-package="beans" />

See example project:

Injecting dependencies into controllers

You can inject dependencies into Play controllers! Earlier versions of the Play framework did not allow for dependency injection into controller objects because they were all static. However that restriction is no longer present with the newest version of the framework.

To enable spring-managed controllers in your application you will need to follow at least some kind of singlton/factory pattern for constructing controllers. Either with an explicit controller factory or through a singleton pattern with static accessory method (i.e. getInstance()). For example using a controllers.ControllerFactory with two methods as shown:

public static ControllerOne getControllerOne() {
    return Spring.getBeanOfType(ControllerOne.class);

public static ControllerTwo getControllerTwo() {
    return Spring.getBeanOfType(ControllerTwo.class);

The factory will produce controller instances that must inherit from Play's play.mvc.Controller class. However the action methods do not need to remain static, they just need to return a play.mvc.Result object for display. Using this example your need to modify your conf/routes file to accommodate the ControllerFactory, as shown below:

GET    /one     controllers.ControllerFactory.getControllerOne.index()
GET    /two     controllers.ControllerFactory.getControllerTwo.index()

See example project: