Development

ApplicationContextException using SpringBoot with Gradle and IntelliJ IDEA

In my spare time I decided to have a better look to SpringBoot and in doing so I decided to leave back Maven and Eclipse and to move to Gradle and IntelliJ, which I already use to develop Android applications.

During the first phase of my development I encountered a strange issue: it seems that IntelliJ IDEA will add wrong dependencies to your SpringBoot project which will cause it to crash at runtime.

This was the exception thrown and the full stack trace:

org.springframework.context.ApplicationContextException: Unable to start embedded container; nested exception is org.springframework.context.ApplicationContextException: Unable to start EmbeddedWebApplicationContext due to missing EmbeddedServletContainerFactory bean.
	at org.springframework.boot.context.embedded.EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.onRefresh(EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.java:133) ~[spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.context.support.AbstractApplicationContext.refresh(AbstractApplicationContext.java:532) ~[spring-context-4.2.5.RELEASE.jar:4.2.5.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.boot.context.embedded.EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.refresh(EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.java:118) ~[spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication.refresh(SpringApplication.java:766) [spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication.createAndRefreshContext(SpringApplication.java:361) [spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication.run(SpringApplication.java:307) [spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication.run(SpringApplication.java:1191) [spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication.run(SpringApplication.java:1180) [spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at com.sampleapp.SampleAppApplication.main(SampleAppApplication.java:16) [main/:na]
	at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method) ~[na:1.8.0_72]
	at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(NativeMethodAccessorImpl.java:62) ~[na:1.8.0_72]
	at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.java:43) ~[na:1.8.0_72]
	at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:498) ~[na:1.8.0_72]
	at com.intellij.rt.execution.application.AppMain.main(AppMain.java:144) [idea_rt.jar:na]
Caused by: org.springframework.context.ApplicationContextException: Unable to start EmbeddedWebApplicationContext due to missing EmbeddedServletContainerFactory bean.
	at org.springframework.boot.context.embedded.EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.getEmbeddedServletContainerFactory(EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.java:185) ~[spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.boot.context.embedded.EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.createEmbeddedServletContainer(EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.java:158) ~[spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	at org.springframework.boot.context.embedded.EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.onRefresh(EmbeddedWebApplicationContext.java:130) ~[spring-boot-1.3.3.RELEASE.jar:1.3.3.RELEASE]
	... 13 common frames omitted

This stacktrace is related to SpringBoot v1.3.3 but I experienced the same issue even with SpringBoot v1.4.0.

In the end I found that IntelliJ was putting this line in the build.gradle file:

providedRuntime(‘org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-tomcat’)

After removing that line, the project ran without issues.
So if you are experiencing an ApplicationContextException and you couldn’t find its cause, try to have a look at your build.gradle file.