Spring Tutorial Step by Step
The basis for the context package is the ApplicationContext interface, located in the org.springframework.context package. Deriving from the BeanFactory interface, it provides all the functionality of BeanFactory. To allow working in a more framework-oriented fashion, using layering and hierarchical contexts, the context package also provides the following functionality:
a)MessageSource, providing access to messages in i18n-style
b)Access to resources, such as URLs and files
c)Event propagation to beans implementing the ApplicationListener interface
d)Loading of multiple (hierarchical) contexts, allowing each to be focused on one particular layer, for example the web layer of an application
As the ApplicationContext includes all functionality of the BeanFactory, it is generally recommended that it be used over the BeanFactory, except for a few limited situations such as perhaps in an Applet, where memory consumption might be critical, and a few extra kilobytes might make a difference.