Spring Interceptors: How to use them correctly?

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Hi folks! we’ll focus on understanding the Spring Interceptors and how to use it correctly.

What is Spring interceptors

When a request is sent to spring controller, it will have to pass through Spring Interceptors (0 or more) before being processed by Controller.

Spring Interceptor is only applied to requests that are sending to a Controller.

Spring Interceptor – HandlerInterceptor

  1. preHandle(): This method is used to intercept the request before it’s handed over to the Controller. This method should return ‘true’ to let Spring know to process the request through another spring interceptor or to send it to handler method if there are no further spring interceptors. If this method returns ‘false’ Spring Framework assumes that request has been handled by the spring interceptor itself and no further processing is needed. We should use response object to send response to the client request in this case. Object handler is the chosen handler object to handle the request. This method can throw Exception also, in that case Spring MVC Handling Exception should be useful to send error page as response.
  2. postHandle(): This HandlerInterceptor interceptor method is called when HandlerAdapter has invoked the handler but DispatcherServlet is yet to render the view. This method can be used to add additional attribute to the ModelAndView object to be used in the view pages. We can use this spring interceptor method to determine the time taken by handler method to process the client request.
  3. afterCompletion(): This is a HandlerInterceptor callback method that is called once the handler is executed and view is rendered.

Following is the example on how to use interceptors

public class ProductServiceInterceptor implements HandlerInterceptor {
   public boolean preHandle(
      HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response, Object handler) throws Exception {
      // You can do your processing here
      return true;
   public void postHandle(
      HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response, Object handler, 
      ModelAndView modelAndView) throws Exception {}
   public void afterCompletion(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response, 
      Object handler, Exception exception) throws Exception {}

You will have to register this Interceptor with InterceptorRegistry by using WebMvcConfigurerAdapter as shown below

public class ProductServiceInterceptorAppConfig extends WebMvcConfigurerAdapter {
   ProductServiceInterceptor productServiceInterceptor;

   public void addInterceptors(InterceptorRegistry registry) {

You can find the source code here



After going through this blog, you can use interceptors in an effective way. Just like adding request header(s) before sending the request to the controller or adding the response header(s) before sending the response to the client.


Written by 

Munander is a Software Consultant in Knoldus Software LLP. He has done b.tech from IMS Engineering college, Ghaziabad. He has decent knowledge of C,C++,Java,Angular and Lagom. He always tries to explore new technologies. His hobbies include playing cricket and adventure.

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