Contexts and Dependency Injection for the Java EE Platform is a JCP standard for dependency injection and contextual lifecycle management and one of the most important and popular parts of Java EE.


Contexts and Dependency Injection for Java EE (CDI) was introduced as part of the Java EE platform, and has quickly become one of the most important and popular components of the platform.

The CDI specification defines a set of complementary services that help improve the structure of application code. CDI layers an enhanced lifecycle and interaction model over existing Java component types, including managed beans and Enterprise Java Beans.

You can run CDI in a Java EE or SE environment. However to leverage the full capabilities of CDI, it is recommended to use a Java EE container. In this tutorial, we will cover just the EE approach and we will be using Wildfly-Swarm, a lighweight alternative to the Wildfly Java EE container which is also a very good fit for deploying microservices.

What We will Cover

CDI is quite broad; as it provides integration and contracts with the wider Java EE ecosystem. This being an introductory post, we limit the scope of what is covered to:

  • Bean Scope
  • Producer
  • Inject
  • Event


Project Structure

At the end of this guide our folder structure will look similar to the following:

|  |__main/
|  |  |__java/
|  |  |  |__com/
|  |  |  |  |__juliuskrah/
|  |  |  |  |  |__cdi/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |__business/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |__dto/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |__mapper/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |__entity/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |__repository/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |__web/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |__resources/
|  |  |  |__db/
|  |  |  |  |__migration/
|  |  |  |  |  |__`V1__Create_customer_table.sql`
|  |  |  |__META-INF/
|  |  |  |  |__persistence.xml
|  |  |  |__modules/
|  |  |  |  |__com/
|  |  |  |  |  |__h2database/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |__h2/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |__main/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |__module.xml
|  |  |  |__project-defaults.yaml
|  |  |__webapp/
|  |  |  |__WEB-INF/
|  |  |  |  |__views/
|  |  |  |  |  |__index.xhtml
|  |  |  |  |  |__templates/
|  |  |  |  |  |  |__default.xhtml

Setting Up

Download the initial project (zip| tar.gz) and extract. Import the extracted project into Eclipse and follow the Mapstruct instructions to generate mappers in Eclipse.

Run the application as a Java application; use org.wildfly.swarm.Swarm as the main class. ince it is up, access the application in your browser http://localhost:8080. Let’s start by understanding what a bean scope is.

Bean Scopes

A bean is exactly what you think it is. Only now, it has a true identity in the container environment.

Managed Beans are defined as container-managed objects with minimal programming restrictions, otherwise known by the acronym POJO (Plain Old Java Object). They support a small set of basic services, such as resource injection, lifecycle callbacks and interceptors. Companion specifications, such as EJB and CDI, build on this basic model.

A bean is usually an application class that contains business logic. It may be called directly from Java code, or it may be invoked via the Unified EL. A bean may access transactional resources. Dependencies between beans are managed automatically by the container. Most beans are stateful and contextual. The lifecycle of a bean is managed by the container.

The scope of a bean determines:

  • the lifecycle of each instance of the bean and
  • which clients share a reference to a particular instance of the bean.

For a given thread in a CDI application, there may be an active context associated with the scope of the bean. This context may be unique to the thread (for example, if the bean is request scoped), or it may be shared with certain other threads (for example, if the bean is session scoped) or even all other threads (if it is application scoped).

The scope of a bean defines the lifecycle and visibility of its instances. The CDI context model is extensible, accommodating arbitrary scopes. However, certain important scopes are built into the specification, and provided by the container. Each scope is represented by an annotation type.

According to the CDI specification, a scope determines:

  • When a new instance of any bean with that scope is created
  • When an existing instance of any bean with that scope is destroyed
  • Which injected references refer to any instance of a bean with that scope

For example, if we have a session-scoped bean, CustomerRepository , all beans that are called in the context of the same HttpSession will see the same instance of CustomerRepository. This instance will be automatically created the first time a CustomerRepository is needed in that session, and automatically destroyed when the session ends.

Built-in Scopes

CDI defines four built-in scopes:

  • @RequestScoped: A bean instance is created for each request.
  • @SessionScoped: Creates a bean bound to the HTTP Session.
  • @ApplicationScoped: A single bean instance is shared by the application.
  • @ConversationScoped: The conversation scope is a bit like the traditional session scope in that it holds state associated with a user of the system, and spans multiple requests to the server.

    A conversation represents a task—a unit of work from the point of view of the user. The conversation context holds state associated with what the user is currently working on. If the user is doing multiple things at the same time, there are multiple conversations.

    The conversation context is active during any servlet request (since CDI 1.1). Most conversations are destroyed at the end of the request. If a conversation should hold state across multiple requests, it must be explicitly promoted to a long-running conversation.

Let’s start by creating some Application-Scoped beans:

file: src/main/java/com/juliuskrah/cdi/repository/

public class CustomerRepository {
  // ...

file: src/main/java/com/juliuskrah/cdi/business/

public class CustomerService {
  // ...

We can Inject these beans into other beans. We will cover this later in this post.


CDI distinguishes between two types of producers:

  • Producer methods let us overcome certain limitations that arise when a container, instead of the application, is responsible for instantiating objects. They’re also the easiest way to integrate objects which are not beans into the CDI environment.
  • A producer field is a simpler alternative to a producer method. A producer field is declared by annotating a field of a bean class with the @Produces annotation — the same annotation used for producer methods. A producer field is really just a shortcut that lets us avoid writing a useless getter method.

Let’s demonstrate that with an example:

file: src/main/java/com/juliuskrah/cdi/

public class ApplicationResources {

  EntityManager em;

  public Logger produceLog(InjectionPoint injectionPoint) {
    return Logger.getLogger(injectionPoint.getMember().getDeclaringClass());

We created a producer field EntityManager, which will enable us inject an EntityManager into CDI beans. We also created a producer method Logger to easily inject a logger into bean classes.


The @Inject annotation lets us define an injection point that is injected during bean instantiation. Injection can occur via three different mechanisms.

  • Bean constructor parameter injection: A bean can only have one injectable constructor.
  • Initializer method parameter injection: A bean can have multiple initializer methods.
  • And direct field injection: Getter and setter methods are not required for field injection to work.

Dependency injection always occurs when the bean instance is first instantiated by the container. Simplifying just a little, things happen in this order:

  • First, the container calls the bean constructor (the default constructor or the one annotated @Inject), to obtain an instance of the bean.
  • Next, the container initializes the values of all injected fields of the bean.
  • Next, the container calls all initializer methods of bean (the call order is not portable, don’t rely on it).
  • Finally, the @PostConstruct method, if any, is called.

file: src/main/java/com/juliuskrah/cdi/repository/

public class CustomerRepository {
  private EntityManager em;

  public CustomerRepository() {}

  public CustomerRepository(EntityManager em) {
    this.em = em;

  // ...

file: src/main/java/com/juliuskrah/cdi/web/

public class IndexController {
  private CustomerService customerService;
  private Logger log;

  // ...


Dependency injection enables loose-coupling by allowing the implementation of the injected bean type to vary, either at deployment time or runtime. Events go one step further, allowing beans to interact with no compile time dependency at all. Event producers raise events that are delivered to event observers by the container.

This basic schema might sound like the familiar observer/observable pattern, but there are a couple of twists:

  • not only are event producers decoupled from observers; observers are completely decoupled from producers,
  • observers can specify a combination of “selectors” to narrow the set of event notifications they will receive, and
  • observers can be notified immediately, or can specify that delivery of the event should be delayed until the end of the current transaction.

CDI events are made up of:

  • Event Payload: The event object carries state from producer to consumer. The event object is nothing more than an instance of a concrete Java class. (The only restriction is that an event type may not contain type variables).
  • Event Observers: An observer method is a method of a bean with a parameter annotated @Observes or @ObservesAsync. The annotated parameter is called the event parameter. The type of the event parameter is the observed event type.
  • Event Producers: Event producers fire events either synchronously or asynchronously using an instance of the parameterized Event interface. An instance of this interface is obtained by injection.

file: src/main/java/com/juliuskrah/cdi/business/

public class CustomerService {
  @Inject // Inject event
  private Event<CustomerBean> customerEventSrc;

  public CustomerBean createCustomer(CustomerBean customer) {
    Customer c = // ...
    // Produce customer event;
    return customer;

   * The producer and observer do not necessarily have to be in the same class
  public void onCustomerListChanged(
    // Observe customer event 
    @Observes(notifyObserver = Reception.IF_EXISTS, 
    during = TransactionPhase.AFTER_COMPLETION) 
    final CustomerBean customer) {
    // Add your logic here
  // ...


This is an introductory post to CDI. We covered the basics of CDI with @Inject, @Produces and bean scopes. As usual you can find the full example to this guide in the github repository. Until the next post, keep doing cool things :+1:.