Passing Parameters JavaFX FXML

Using MVC

Most of this answer focuses on a direct call to pass a parameter from a calling class to the controller.

If instead, you want to decouple the caller and controller and use a more general architecture involving a model class with settable and listenable properties to achieve inter-controller communication, see the following basic overview:

  • Applying MVC With JavaFx

Recommended Approach

This answer enumerates different mechanisms for passing parameters to FXML controllers.

For small applications I highly recommend passing parameters directly from the caller to the controller – it’s simple, straightforward and requires no extra frameworks.

For larger, more complicated applications, it would be worthwhile investigating if you want to use Dependency Injection or Event Bus mechanisms within your application.

Passing Parameters Directly From the Caller to the Controller

Pass custom data to an FXML controller by retrieving the controller from the FXML loader instance and calling a method on the controller to initialize it with the required data values.

Something like the following code:

public Stage showCustomerDialog(Customer customer) {
  FXMLLoader loader = new FXMLLoader(

  Stage stage = new Stage(StageStyle.DECORATED);
    new Scene(loader.load())

  CustomerDialogController controller = loader.getController();

  return stage;


class CustomerDialogController {
  @FXML private Label customerName;
  void initialize() {}
  void initData(Customer customer) {

A new FXMLLoader is constructed as shown in the sample code i.e. new FXMLLoader(location). The location is a URL and you can generate such a URL from an FXML resource by:

new FXMLLoader(getClass().getResource("sample.fxml"));

Be careful NOT to use a static load function on the FXMLLoader, or you will not be able to get your controller from your loader instance.

FXMLLoader instances themselves never know anything about domain objects. You do not directly pass application specific domain objects into the FXMLLoader constructor, instead you:

  1. Construct an FXMLLoader based upon fxml markup at a specified location
  2. Get a controller from the FXMLLoader instance.
  3. Invoke methods on the retrieved controller to provide the controller with references to the domain objects.

This blog (by another writer) provides an alternate, but similar, example.

Setting a Controller on the FXMLLoader

CustomerDialogController dialogController = 
    new CustomerDialogController(param1, param2);

FXMLLoader loader = new FXMLLoader(

Pane mainPane = loader.load();

You can construct a new controller in code, passing any parameters you want from your caller into the controller constructor. Once you have constructed a controller, you can set it on an FXMLLoader instance before you invoke the load() instance method.

To set a controller on a loader (in JavaFX 2.x) you CANNOT also define a fx:controller attribute in your fxml file.

Due to the limitation on the fx:controller definition in FXML, I personally prefer getting the controller from the FXMLLoader rather than setting the controller into the FXMLLoader.

Having the Controller Retrieve Parameters from an External Static Method

This method is exemplified by Sergey’s answer to Javafx 2.0 How-to Application.getParameters() in a file.

Use Dependency Injection

FXMLLoader supports dependency injection systems like Guice, Spring or Java EE CDI by allowing you to set a custom controller factory on the FXMLLoader. This provides a callback that you can use to create the controller instance with dependent values injected by the respective dependency injection system.

An example of JavaFX application and controller dependency injection with Spring is provided in the answer to:

  • Adding Spring Dependency Injection in JavaFX (JPA Repo, Service)

A really nice, clean dependency injection approach is exemplified by the afterburner.fx framework with a sample air-hacks application that uses it. afterburner.fx relies on JEE6 javax.inject to perform the dependency injection.

Use an Event Bus

Greg Brown, the original FXML specification creator and implementor, often suggests considering use of an event bus, such as the Guava EventBus, for communication between FXML instantiated controllers and other application logic.

The EventBus is a simple but powerful publish/subscribe API with annotations that allows POJOs to communicate with each other anywhere in a JVM without having to refer to each other.

Follow-up Q&A

on first method, why do you return Stage? The method can be void as well because you already giving the command show(); just before return stage;. How do you plan usage by returning the Stage

It is a functional solution to a problem. A stage is returned from the showCustomerDialog function so that a reference to it can be stored by an external class which may wish to do something, such as hide the stage based on a button click in the main window, at a later time. An alternate, object-oriented solution could encapsulate the functionality and stage reference inside a CustomerDialog object or have a CustomerDialog extend Stage. A full example for an object-oriented interface to a custom dialog encapsulating FXML, controller and model data is beyond the scope of this answer, but may make a worthwhile blog post for anybody inclined to create one.

Additional information supplied by StackOverflow user named @dzim

Example for Spring Boot Dependency Injection

The question of how to do it “The Spring Boot Way”, there was a discussion about JavaFX 2, which I anserwered in the attached permalink.
The approach is still valid and tested in March 2016, on Spring Boot v1.3.3.RELEASE:

Sometimes, you might want to pass results back to the caller, in which case you can check out the answer to the related question:

  • JavaFX FXML Parameter passing from Controller A to B and back

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