Java Dynamic Management Kit 5.1 Tutorial

8.2.2 NotificationListener Interface

Listeners must implement the NotificationListener interface, and they are registered in the notification broadcasters to receive the notifications. The listener interface defines a handler method that receives all notifications of the broadcaster where the listener is registered. We say that a listener is registered when it has been added to the broadcaster's list of notification recipients. This is completely independent of any registration of either object in the MBean server.

Like the broadcaster, the listener is generic, meaning that it can handle any number of different notifications. Its algorithm usually involves determining the type of the notification and taking the appropriate action. A listener can even be registered with several broadcasters and handle all of the notifications that are sent.

Note –

The handler is a callback method that the broadcaster calls with the notification object it wants to send. As such, it runs in the broadcaster's thread and should therefore run rapidly and return promptly. The code of the handler should rely on other threads to execute long computations or blocking operations.

In our example, the listener is a trivial class that has a constructor and the handler method. Our handler simply prints out the nature of the notification and the name of the MBean to which it applied. Other listeners on the agent side might themselves be MBeans that process the event and update the state of their resource or the quality of their service in response. For example, the relation service must know when any MBeans participating in relations are unregistered. It does this by listening to MBean server delegate notifications.

Example 8–1 Listener for MBean Server Delegate Notifications


public class AgentListener implements NotificationListener {

         public AgentListener() {

         public void handleNotification(Notification n,
                                   Object h) {

        // Process the different types of notifications fired by the
        // MBean server delegate.
        String type = n.getType();

         try {
            if (type.equals(
                    MBeanServerNotification.REGISTRATION_NOTIFICATION)) {
                    echo("\t>> \"" +
                        ((MBeanServerNotification) n).getMBeanName() +
                        "\" has been registered in the server");
                 } else if (type.equals(
                    MBeanServerNotification.UNREGISTRATION_NOTIFICATION)) {
                     echo("\t>> \"" +
                          ((MBeanServerNotification)n).getMBeanName() +
                          "\" has been unregistered from the server\n");
                 } else {
                      echo("\t>> Unknown event type (?)\n");
        } catch (Exception e) {

In most cases, the notification object passed to the handler method is an instance of the Notification class. This class provides the notification type as well as a time-stamp, a sequence number, a message string, and user data of any type. All of these are provided by the broadcaster to pass any needed information to its listeners. Because listeners are usually registered through the MBean server, they only know the broadcaster by its object name, given by the getSource method of the notification object.

Note –

The notification model does not assume that notifications will be received in the same order that they are sent. If notification order is critical to your application, your broadcaster should set the sequence numbers appropriately, and your listeners should sort the received notifications.

The MBean server delegate sends MBeanServerNotification objects that are subclasses of the Notification class. This subclass provides two constants to identify the notification types sent by the delegate and a method that gives the object name of the MBean that was registered or unregistered. Our notification handler uses these to print out the type of operation and the object name to which the operation applies.