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Spring Web Services


Spring Web Services (Spring-WS) is a product of the Spring community focused on creating document-driven Web services. Spring Web Services aims to facilitate contract-first SOAP service development, allowing for the creation of flexible web services using one of the many ways to manipulate XML payloads. The product is based on Spring itself, which means you can use the Spring concepts such as dependency injection as an integral part of your Web service.

People use Spring-WS for many reasons, but most are drawn to it after finding alternative SOAP stacks lacking when it comes to following Web service best practices. Spring-WS makes the best practice an easy practice. This includes practices such as the WS-I basic profile, Contract-First development, and having a loose coupling between contract and implementation. The other key features of Spring Web services are:


  • Makes the Best Practice an Easy Practice: Spring Web Services makes enforcing best practices easier. This includes practices such as the WS-I basic profile, Contract-First development, and having a loose coupling between contract and implementation.

  • Powerful mappings: You can distribute incoming XML request to any object, depending on message payload, SOAP Action header, or an XPath expression.

  • XML API support: Incoming XML messages can be handled in standard JAXP APIs such as DOM, SAX, and StAX, but also JDOM, dom4j, XOM, or even marshalling technologies.

  • Flexible XML Marshalling: The Object/XML Mapping module in the Spring Web Services distribution supports JAXB 1 and 2, Castor, XMLBeans, JiBX, and XStream. And because it is a separate module, you can use it in non-Web services code as well.

  • Reuses your Spring expertise: Spring-WS uses Spring application contexts for all configuration, which should help Spring developers get up-to-speed nice and quickly. Also, the architecture of Spring-WS resembles that of Spring-MVC.

  • Supports WS-Security: WS-Security allows you to sign SOAP messages, encrypt and decrypt them, or authenticate against them.

  • Integrates with Acegi Security: The WS-Security implementation of Spring Web Services provides integration with Spring Security. This means you can use your existing configuration for your SOAP service as well.

  • Built by Maven: This assists you in effectively reusing the Spring Web Services artifacts in your own Maven-based projects.

  • Apache license. You can confidently use Spring-WS in your project.

Spring Boot Config

Spring Boot will automatically:

  • Configure a MessageDispatcherServlet in the servlet container

  • Scan all .wsdl and .xsd documents for WSDL and schema-defined beans

Spring Initializr

Quickstart Your Project

Bootstrap your application with Spring Initializr.


Each Spring project has its own; it explains in great details how you can use project features and what you can achieve with them.
4.0.0 CURRENT GA Reference Doc. API Doc.
4.0.1-SNAPSHOT SNAPSHOT Reference Doc. API Doc.
3.1.5-SNAPSHOT SNAPSHOT Reference Doc. API Doc.
3.1.4 GA Reference Doc. API Doc.
3.0.12.RELEASE GA Reference Doc. API Doc.
2.4.7.RELEASE GA Reference Doc. API Doc.
Branch Initial Release End of Support End Commercial Support *
2022-11-21 2023-11-21 2025-03-21
2021-05-18 2023-11-18 2025-03-18
2017-10-30 2018-10-30 2022-05-18
2016-08-29 2017-08-29 2018-12-29

OSS support

Free security updates and bugfixes with support from the Spring community. See VMware Tanzu OSS support policy.

Commercial support

Business support from Spring experts during the OSS timeline, plus extended support after OSS End-Of-Life.
Publicly available releases for critical bugfixes and security issues when requested by customers.

Future release

Generation not yet released, timeline is subject to changes.

About commercial support (*)

This page shows the current state of project releases and does not define the commercial support policy. Please refer to the official support policy for more information.