Java Dynamic Management Kit 5.1 Tutorial

Chapter 7 MBean Server Interceptors

An MBean server forwards requests it receives to its default interceptor. A feature of the Java Dynamic Management Kit (Java DMK) enables you to modify this behavior of the MBean server and replace the default interceptor by another object implementing the same interface.

The example provided demonstrates how you can use the concept of MBean server interceptors to forward requests to a specific interceptor, and to support “virtual” MBeans. The code samples in this chapter are from the files in the MBeanServerInterceptor example directory located in the main examplesDir/current directory (see “Directories and Classpath” in the Preface).

This chapter covers the following topics:

7.1 Overview of MBean Server Interceptors

The concept of interceptors exploits the proxy design pattern to enable you to modify the behavior of the MBean server. By default, the MBean server appears from the outside like a hollow shell that simply forwards every operation to the default interceptor. You can replace this default interceptor by another object implementing the same interface, to change the semantics of the MBean server. In most cases, you would use this other object to forward most or all operations to the default interceptor after doing some processing. However, you can also use it to forward some operations to other handlers instead, for instance depending on the object names involved. Figure 7–1 shows schematically how you can insert an interceptor between the MBean server and the default interceptor.

Figure 7–1 Inserting a User Interceptor Between the MBean Server and the Default Interceptor

Diagram showing that a user interceptor is inserted between the MBean server and the default interceptor

Some examples of the uses of interceptors are as follows:

Interceptors can be composed. When an interceptor is added, it is usually inserted between the MBean server shell and the current interceptor. Initially, the current interceptor is the default one. But if another interceptor has already been inserted, this other interceptor is the current one. Hence, a request could pass through several interceptors on its way to the default interceptor, for example a security checker and a logger.

7.2 Specifying the Behavior of an MBean Server Interceptor

The behavior to be implemented by an interceptor is specified by means of the MBeanServerInterceptor interface. An MBean server interceptor has essentially the same interface as an MBean server. An MBean server forwards received requests to its default interceptor, which might handle them itself or forward them to other interceptors.

7.3 Changing the Default Interceptor

The default interceptor can be changed by using the setMBeanServerInterceptor method of the JdmkMBeanServer interface. The JdmkMBeanServer interface provides methods for getting and setting the default MBeanServerInterceptor used for request treatment.

By default, the MBeanServer implementation returned by the MBeanServerFactory is not a JdmkMBeanServer, and does not support MBeanServerInterceptors. To use interceptor you have to set the System property to com.sun.jdmk.JdmkMBeanServerBuilder before obtaining an MBean server from the MBeanServerFactory. How to set this system property is shown in Step 2.

Note –

Particular care must be taken when replacing the default MBean server interceptor with a user interceptor. The MBean server implemented in the Java DMK 5.1 passes requests to its default interceptor without checking the result returned, or the exceptions thrown by the interceptor.

Consequently, user interceptors, which implement most of the methods defined in the MBeanServer interface, must behave as specified for the corresponding MBeanServer methods in the JMX specification. In particular, a method in an MBean server interceptor must not throw any exceptions apart from the following:

If an MBean server interceptor does not respect this condition, and, for example, throws a NullPointerException exception, this might have unexpected effects on calling code, which might not be protected against such behavior.

7.4 Running the MBean Server Interceptor Example

The MBean server interceptor example in the examples directory shows you two of the main functions of MBean server interceptors, forwarding requests to a specific MBean server interceptor, and creating virtual MBeans.

The examplesDir/current/MBeanServerInterceptor directory contains the following source files:

To Run the MBean Server Interceptor Example
  1. Compile all files in the examplesDir/current/MBeanServerInterceptor directory with the javac command.

    For example, on the Solaris platform, type:

    $ cd examplesDir/current/MBeanServerInterceptor/
    $ javac -classpath classpath *.java
  2. Run the example using the classes you have just built, by typing the following command in a terminal window:

    $ java \ \

    Here, you can see that the system property is set to com.sun.jdmk.JdmkMBeanServerBuilder before the Agent is started, as explained in 7.3 Changing the Default Interceptor.

  3. Interact with the agent through the standard input and output in the window where it was started.

  4. Load the agent's URL in your web browser:


    You only see the MBeans registered in the DefaultMBeanInterceptor, namely the connector and adaptor MBeans, and the MBeanServerDelegate.

  5. Press Enter to insert the FileMBeanServerInterceptor and view the files from the local directory as virtual MBeans.

  6. Reload the agent's URL in your web browser to view the new MBeans:

  7. Press Enter to stop the agent.