Sunday Nov 21, 2010

TOTD #151: Transactional Interceptors using CDI - Extensible Java EE 6

One of the questions often asked in recently, and I've been wondering too, is how to enable transactions using CDI Interceptors. This Tip Of The Day (TOTD) will share some basic piece of code on how to author a CDI interceptor that enable transactions. TOTD #134 provide more details about interceptors. Weld documentation certainly provide good details about how all the pieces fit together.

Lets jump to the code straight away. Lets look at the transaction interceptor binding code:

package org.glassfish.samples;

import static java.lang.annotation.ElementType.TYPE;
import static java.lang.annotation.ElementType.METHOD;
import static java.lang.annotation.RetentionPolicy.RUNTIME;
import java.lang.annotation.Inherited;
import java.lang.annotation.Retention;
import java.lang.annotation.Target;
import javax.interceptor.InterceptorBinding;

@Target({METHOD, TYPE})
public @interface TxInterceptorBinding {

And the actual interceptor:

package org.glassfish.samples;

import javax.annotation.Resource;
import javax.interceptor.AroundInvoke;
import javax.interceptor.Interceptor;
import javax.interceptor.InvocationContext;
import javax.transaction.UserTransaction;

@TxInterceptorBinding @Interceptor
public class TxInterceptor {
    @Resource UserTransaction tx;
    public Object manageTransaction(InvocationContext context) throws Exception {
        System.out.println("Starting transaction");
        Object result = context.proceed();
        System.out.println("Committing transaction");
        return result;

This interceptor is injecting a "UserTransaction" and sandwiching the business method invocation between start and end of trnasaction. This interceptor is not dealing with any rollback scenarios or exception handling and so will need to be modified for a real-life scenario.

"beans.xml" looks like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""

This basically enables the interceptor.

With all the plumbing code now ready, lets use this interceptor on our application code as:

package org.glassfish.samples;

public class ShoppingCart {
    public void checkOut() {
        System.out.println("Checking out");

The important part is "@TxInterceptorBinding" as a class-level annotation. Now this ShoppingCart can be injected in any Java EE resource such as:

@Inject ShoppingCart shoppingCart;

such as in a Servlet. Now invoking the servlet shows the following sequence of code in the server log:

INFO: Starting transaction
INFO: Checking out
INFO: Committing transaction

That's it folks!

The code for this sample application can be downloaded from here. Just download and unzip the code, open the project in NetBeans (tried with 7.0 beta) and run it on GlassFish or any other Java EE 6-compliant container.

If you are using EJBs in a WAR, which is now allowed per Java EE 6, then you can certainly leverage all the annotation-driven transactions within your web application instead of maintaining your own interceptor-driven transactions. A similar approach can be used for security as well.

How are you dealing with transactions in your web application - using CDI-based interceptors or let the container manage it all for you ?

Technorati: totd cdi javaee6 glassfish interceptors transactions

Monday May 10, 2010

TOTD #134: Interceptors 1.1 in Java EE 6 - What and How ?

TOTD #129 explained Managed Beans 1.0, this Tip Of The Day (TOTD) attempts to explain the basics of Interceptors 1.1 - a "new" specification introduced in the Java EE 6.

The specification is not entirely new as the concept is borrowed from the EJB 3.0 specification and abstracted at a higher level so that it can be more generically applied to a broader set of specifications in the platform. Interceptors do what they say - they intercept on invocations and lifecycle events on an associated target class. Basically, interceptor is a class whose methods are invoked when business methods on the target class are invoked and/or lifecycle events such as methods that create/destroy the bean occur. Interceptors are typically used to implement cross-cutting concerns like logging, auditing, and profiling.

Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI, aka JSR 299) uses the concept defined by Interceptors 1.1 and adds the notion of interceptors binding.

Let see some code to make it all clear.

Each interceptor require at least one interceptor binding to associate with the target class. An interceptor binding is defined as:

import java.lang.annotation.ElementType;
import java.lang.annotation.Retention;
import java.lang.annotation.RetentionPolicy;
import java.lang.annotation.Target;
import javax.interceptor.InterceptorBinding;

@Target({ElementType.METHOD, ElementType.TYPE})
public @interface MyInterceptorBinding {

And then the interceptor is defined as:

import javax.interceptor.AroundInvoke;
import javax.interceptor.Interceptor;
import javax.interceptor.InvocationContext;

public class MyInterceptor {

    public Object intercept(InvocationContext context) throws Exception {
        System.out.println("before interception");
        Object result = context.proceed();
        System.out.println("after interception");

        return result;

The "@AroundInvoke" annotation (can be only one per interceptor) on a method in the interceptor class ensures that this method is invoked around the business method interception. This will be more clear after the program flow is explained later. Multiple interceptors can be chained and the flow/outcome may be diverted in any of them using "InvocationContext".

The associated target bean looks like:

. . .
import javax.interceptor.Interceptors;

public class MyManagedBean {
    public void setupResources() {
        // setup your resources
        System.out.println("Setting up resources ...");

    . . .


The only missing part on the server-side is enabling bean discovery by adding an empty "beans.xml" as:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""

Notice, there is no need to explicitly mention <interceptors> in "beans.xml". Multiple interceptors on a bean can be easily defined as:

@Interceptors({MyInterceptor.class, MyInterceptor2.class})
public class MyManagedBean {

Lets see how this bean and interceptor can be used. Create a Servlet as:

@WebServlet(name="TestServlet", urlPatterns={"/TestServlet"})
public class TestServlet extends HttpServlet {

Inject a bean as ...

MyManagedBean bean;

and then invoke the bean's method in "doGet" or "doPost" methods of the servlet as:

String result = bean.sayHello("Duke");

Notice that @Inject is used to inject the managed bean and bean discovery is enabled by adding an empty "beans.xml". This ensures that CDI inject works as expected and all the interceptors are invoked as well. Another alternative is to inject the bean using @Resource but "beans.xml" need to be removed in order for the interceptors to be invoked. So inject your bean using @Inject + "beans.xml" or @Resource. The recommended approach is to use @Inject + "beans.xml" as CDI might be used in other parts of your applications as well.

If 2 interceptors, each with a separate interceptor binding, managed bean class, and the servlet is included in a web application then the directory structure will look like:


If there are "System.out.println"s inserted at relevant positions in the interceptor and the Servlet code, then the code flow looks like:

Before Intercept
Before Intercept2
After Intercept2
After Intercept

"Before XXX" messages are printed by a method from the interceptors, in the order of chaining, before "context.proceed" is invoked in all the interceptors. "sayHello" method is invoked from the "doGet" or "doPost" method in the Servlet. "After XXX" messages are printed from the interceptors after "context.proceed" method is invoked, this time in the reverse order of chain. And finally "processRequest" method is invoked again from the "doGet" or "doPost" method in the Servlet.

The complete source code for the sample explained above can be downloaded here.

Technorati: javaee glassfish v3 managedbeans interceptors cdi ejb servlet


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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.

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