How to choose the right bean scope?

When working with JavaServer Faces (JSF), it is important to understand the different bean scopes available and how to choose the right one for your specific use case. The bean scope determines the lifecycle and visibility of a managed bean in the JSF application. In this article, we will explore the purpose of each bean scope and provide guidelines to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Bean Scopes

Before diving into the details of each bean scope, let's briefly discuss what a bean scope is in the context of JSF. In simple terms, the scope defines the lifespan of an instance of a managed bean. Each instance of a managed bean represents a specific state of the application, and the scope determines how long that state will be maintained and where it can be accessed.

1. @RequestScoped

The @RequestScoped scope is the default scope for managed beans. It means that a new instance of the bean will be created for each HTTP request made to the server. This is useful for beans that hold request-specific data and do not need to be shared across multiple requests. For example, a bean responsible for handling form submissions or a bean that performs a specific operation during a request can be marked as @RequestScoped.

public class MyRequestBean {
    // Bean properties and methods

2. @ViewScoped

The @ViewScoped scope is used when you want to maintain the state of a bean across multiple postbacks of the same JSF view. A new instance of the bean is created when the view is initially accessed and remains active until the user navigates to a different view. This scope is useful for managing view-specific data, such as form inputs or wizard steps. By using @ViewScoped, you ensure that the bean's state is preserved throughout the user's interaction with the view.

public class MyViewBean {
    // Bean properties and methods

3. @FlowScoped

The @FlowScoped scope is used in combination with the JSF 2.2 Flow feature, which allows you to define a sequence of views and actions to guide the user through a specific task or workflow. The @FlowScoped bean scope ensures that the state of the bean is maintained throughout the entire flow, from the start to the end. This scope is ideal for managing data and actions related to a specific flow, such as a multi-step registration process or an order checkout process.

public class MyFlowBean {
    // Bean properties and methods

4. @SessionScoped

The @SessionScoped scope allows you to store a managed bean instance in the user's HTTP session. This means that the bean's state is preserved across multiple requests from the same user. This scope is commonly used for beans that hold user-specific data, such as a shopping cart or user preferences. By using @SessionScoped, you can ensure that the bean's state is accessible throughout the user's session.

public class MySessionBean {
    // Bean properties and methods

5. @ApplicationScoped

The @ApplicationScoped scope makes a managed bean shared across the entire application. Only one instance of the bean is created and shared among all users. This scope is suitable for beans that hold application-wide data, such as configuration settings or global variables. By using @ApplicationScoped, you ensure that the bean's state is consistent across all users and requests.

public class MyApplicationBean {
    // Bean properties and methods

Choosing the Right Bean Scope

Now that we understand the purpose of each bean scope, let's discuss how to choose the right one for your specific use case. When deciding on a bean scope, consider the following factors:

  • Lifecycle: Determine how long the bean's state needs to be maintained. If the state is request-specific, use @RequestScoped. If it needs to be preserved across postbacks of the same view, use @ViewScoped. If it needs to span a specific flow, use @FlowScoped. If it needs to be accessible throughout the user's session, use @SessionScoped. If it needs to be consistent across all users, use @ApplicationScoped.
  • Concurrency: Consider whether the bean needs to be thread-safe. By default, JSF manages the concurrency of @ViewScoped and @FlowScoped beans, so you don't need to worry about concurrent access. However, if your bean holds mutable state and is accessed concurrently, you may need to implement thread-safety measures. For @SessionScoped and @ApplicationScoped beans, you should always ensure thread-safety.
  • Memory Usage: Be mindful of the memory usage as the scope of the bean increases. Beans with longer lifecycles, such as @SessionScoped or @ApplicationScoped, may consume more memory if they hold large amounts of data. In such cases, consider optimizing the bean or using a different scope.
  • Performance: Consider the performance implications of bean serialization and deserialization. Beans with longer lifecycles, such as @SessionScoped or @ApplicationScoped, undergo serialization and deserialization when stored in the session. This can impact the performance of your application, especially if the bean has complex dependencies or large amounts of data.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose the right bean scope that aligns with your application's requirements.


Choosing the right bean scope is crucial for managing the state and performance of your JSF application. The available bean scopes, such as @RequestScoped, @ViewScoped, @FlowScoped, @SessionScoped, and @ApplicationScoped, offer different levels of lifespan and visibility for managed beans. By understanding the purpose of each scope and considering the factors discussed in this article, you can make an informed decision and ensure your beans are correctly scoped.