What Are the Models of Spring Webflow?

Spring Webflow is a powerful framework that provides a solution for managing the flow of a web application. It allows developers to define the navigation, state, and behavior of their application in a declarative way.

To understand how Spring Webflow works, it’s essential to know about its various models. In this article, we will explore the different models of Spring Webflow and how they contribute to building robust web applications.

The Flow Model

At the core of Spring Webflow is the Flow Model. It represents the overall structure and behavior of a specific flow within an application. A flow consists of multiple states and transitions that define how a user navigates through different screens or steps in an application.

Each state in a flow represents a specific screen or step in the application’s workflow. States can have view templates, actions, and event handlers.

The view template defines the HTML or XML-based view that gets rendered when the user is in that particular state. Actions perform business logic or interact with external systems, while event handlers respond to events triggered during user interactions.

A transition represents a possible path from one state to another. It defines which events trigger the transition and any conditions that need to be satisfied for it to occur. Transitions enable users to move between states based on their actions or system events.

The Action Model

The Action Model within Spring Webflow is responsible for executing business logic associated with each state transition. Actions can be defined at various levels – globally for all flows, at a specific flow level, or even at an individual state level.

  • Globally: Actions defined globally are available for all flows within an application.

    They can be used for common tasks like authentication, logging, or auditing.

  • Flow-Level: Actions defined at the flow level are specific to that flow. They are reusable within that flow and can be invoked from multiple states.
  • State-Level: Actions defined at the state level are specific to a particular state. They are executed when entering or exiting that state and can be used for tasks like data loading or cleanup.

Actions in Spring Webflow can be implemented using various techniques, such as plain Java methods, Spring beans, or even external service invocations. The framework provides hooks to configure transaction management, exception handling, and other aspects related to action execution.

The View Model

The View Model within Spring Webflow represents the data required by the view templates associated with each state. It allows developers to bind data from the model layer to the view layer and vice versa.

Data in the view model can be populated using different strategies such as invoking actions, retrieving data from external systems, or passing data between states during transitions. The framework supports various data binding techniques for mapping form inputs to model objects and vice versa.

In addition to simple data binding, Spring Webflow also provides support for more advanced features like validation, conversion, and formatting of data in the view model.

The Flow Registry Model

The Flow Registry Model is responsible for managing multiple flows within an application. It acts as a centralized registry where flows are registered and can be accessed by other components of the application.

The Flow Registry allows developers to define flow relationships and dependencies between different flows. It also provides mechanisms for dynamically creating flows based on runtime conditions or user input.

Flows registered in the Flow Registry can be accessed using unique identifiers, making it easy to navigate between different flows or subflows within an application.


In this article, we explored the different models of Spring Webflow – the Flow Model, Action Model, View Model, and Flow Registry Model. These models work together to provide a comprehensive solution for managing the flow and behavior of web applications.

By understanding these models and their usage within Spring Webflow, developers can build complex web applications with ease and maintainability. The declarative nature of Spring Webflow allows for better separation of concerns and promotes reusable components.

So go ahead and dive into the world of Spring Webflow, harness its power, and build amazing web applications!