IntelliJ Platform SDK DevGuide

Spring API

Spring API allows 3rd party plugins to re-use, integrate with or extend existing Spring Framework support in IntelliJ IDEA.

Using Spring-API

To develop plugins integrating with Spring-API you will need to use IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition version 13.1 (or higher).

Setting up IntelliJ Platform SDK


Please create an IntelliJ Platform SDK to include all minimum required files. Then add $IDEA_HOME$/plugins/Spring/lib/spring.jar to its classpath (not to your plugin module’s dependencies).

Existing SDK

Follow these steps to modify existing IntelliJ Platform SDK:

  • add to classpath (not to your plugin module’s dependencies)
    • $IDEA_HOME$/plugins/Spring/lib/spring-api.jar
    • $IDEA_HOME$/plugins/Spring/lib/spring.jar
  • add to sourcepath
    • $IDEA_HOME$/lib/src/

General Notes

If you use other Spring functionality (e.g. Spring EL) in your plugin, make sure to add all required JARs to your IntelliJ Platform SDK classpath to make your plugin’s tests work.

Please use only Spring-related functionality exposed in spring-api.jar (where sources are provided) in your plugin. Using any other “internal” (implementation) classes from Spring plugin itself (spring.jar) is not supported.


Add <depends>com.intellij.spring</depends> to your plugin.xml to require “Spring Support” plugin to be activated. All available extension points are provided under com.intellij.spring prefix. Note that “Spring Support” plugin itself has dependencies to a few other plugins which need to be enabled in your sandbox (see notifications on startup).

Main concepts

A Spring facet can be attached on a Module. (Nearly) All Spring functionality requires an existing and properly setup Spring facet.

Spring facets usually contain one more user-configured or automatically provided filesets, which group a set of Spring related configuration files (XML, Code or .properties files).

A fileset usually corresponds to an actual application context configuration at runtime. Hierarchies can be modeled by depending on another fileset (possibly from another module).

As an API-user, you will usually rather work with SpringModel (which is built on top of fileset(s)).

API updates

How do I…

Spring Setup

To check availability of Spring/Spring Facet etc. see com.intellij.spring.model.utils.SpringCommonUtils.

2016.2 See com.intellij.spring.SpringLibraryUtil to obtain information about exact version of Spring in use.

Spring Model

Obtain Spring Model by file, PsiElement, ..

See SpringManager#getSpringModel(s)... and com.intellij.spring.model.utils.SpringModelUtils.

Contribute implicit model(s)

See com.intellij.spring.SpringModelProvider to provide implicit filesets (e.g. provided by another framework in specific configuration file).

Version 15 See com.intellij.spring.facet.SpringAutodetectedFileSet for a convenient base class. Please note that autodetected filesets cannot be edited/modified by users in Spring facet.

Customize implicit models configuration

2017.1 See com.intellij.spring.facet.SpringFileSetEditorCustomization to customize presentation and/or add extra settings/actions for specific autodetected filesets.

Contribute implicit beans

See com.intellij.spring.model.jam.CustomComponentsDiscoverer or com.intellij.spring.model.SpringImplicitBeansProviderBase to provide implicit (framework-specific) beans (e.g. “servletContext” by Spring MVC).

Version 15 CustomComponentsDiscoverer has been split into com.intellij.spring.model.custom.CustomLocalComponentsDiscoverer and com.intellij.spring.model.custom.CustomModuleComponentsDiscoverer respectively.

Contribute custom bean scope

Version 14 See com.intellij.spring.model.scope.SpringCustomBeanScope to provide custom (e.g. framework specific) bean scopes.

Obtain/Create Spring Profiles

Version 14.1 com.intellij.spring.profiles.SpringProfilesFactory


Search for bean by name


Version 14: com.intellij.spring.model.utils.SpringModelSearchers#findBean

Search for beans by type

Choose one of com.intellij.spring.CommonSpringModel#findBeansByPsiClassXXX variants (please note deprecated methods).

Version 14: com.intellij.spring.model.utils.SpringModelSearchers#findBeans

Version 16: note deprecation of SpringModelSearchParameters.BeanClass#withInheritors(GlobalSearchScope)

Find out if bean with given name/type exists

Version 14: com.intellij.spring.model.utils.SpringModelSearchers#doesBeanExist (please note deprecated methods)

Mark bean as infrastructure bean

Version 14: implement SpringInfrastructureBean, such beans obtain special icon and can be filtered in various places in UI.

XML Configuration

All support for XML-based Spring configuration files is provided via DOM-API.

Add support for additional Spring namespace

See EP com.intellij.spring.dom.SpringCustomNamespaces, registered namespace-key must match the one registered with your DOM elements via @Namespace. Register available elements via standard DomExtender<Beans> EP or com.intellij.spring.dom.SpringCustomNamespaces#registerExtensions (Version 14).

Please pay attention to getModelVersion and getStubVersion (see javadoc).

Add reference to Spring Bean in my DomElement

Use the following template:

@RequiredBeanType("") // optional
GenericAttributeValue<SpringBeanPointer> getMyAttributeName();

Code Configuration

Add reference to Spring Bean in my JamElement

Version 14

JamStringAttributeMeta.Single<SpringBeanPointer> ATTRIBUTE_META =
        new SpringBeanReferenceJamConverter(""));

Version 16 See com.intellij.spring.model.aliasFor.SpringAliasForUtils to obtain corresponding @AliasFor JAM.


Version 15 See com.intellij.spring.spi.SpringSpiManager.

IDE features

Add inspections to Spring Validator

Add additional inspections (e.g. for custom namespace) to Spring Validator (Settings|Compiler|Validation) via EP com.intellij.spring.SpringInspectionsRegistry$Contributor.

Add additional files to Spring Validator

Version 14.1 Additional files to be processed by inspections registered with Spring Validator (e.g. specific .properties configuration files) can be registered via com.intellij.spring.SpringInspectionsRegistry$AdditionalFilesContributor

Configure Spring support for other frameworks

Use com.intellij.spring.facet.SpringConfigurator to provide “automatic” configuration when Spring facet is added via framework wizard.


Please do not reference bean icons from SpringApiIcons directly, but use SpringPresentationProvider to re-use unified icon/bean name. See SpringBeansPsiElementCellRenderer for popup/list renderer.

Last modified: 22 May 2017