Once the MBean representing a MIB has been instantiated and bound to one of the two SNMP adaptors, it is accessible through that SNMP adaptor. SNMP managers can send requests to operate on the contents of the MIB. The SNMP adaptor interprets the SNMP management requests, performs the operation on the corresponding MBean and returns the SNMP response to the manager. One SNMP protocol adaptor is compatible with SNMPv1 and SNMPv2c, and the other is compatible with these two protocols as well as SNMPv3.
The advantage of having an SNMP agent “inside” a Java dynamic management agent is that you can use the other communications protocols to interact with MIBs and manage the SNMP adaptor. Because both the registered MIBs and the adaptor are MBeans, they are exposed for management. In our simple agent, the MIB was registered, and you can view its MBeans in a web browser through the HTML protocol adaptor.
If our agent were to include other connectors, management applications could connect to the agent and also manage the MIB and the SNMP adaptor. A non-SNMP manager could instantiate new MIB objects, bind them to the SNMP adaptor and operate on the exposed attributes and operations of the MIB.
Non-SNMP managers can operate on the variables of a MIB, getting and setting values, regardless of any SNMP manager that might also be accessing them through the SNMP adaptor. When dealing with a table, however, they cannot create new table entry MBeans without adding them to the table. For example, in the InterfacesImpl.java class, we called the addEntry method of the IfTable object before registering the entry MBeans with the MBean server. This ensures that the new entries are visible when an SNMP manager accesses the table.
In order for a non-SNMP manager to create a table entry, you must customize the table's group MBean to expose this functionality. Briefly, you would need to write a new method that instantiates and initializes the entry's MBean, adds the MBean to the table object, and registers the entry MBean in the MBean server. Advanced customization such as this is not covered in our examples. In general, the designer of the agent and management applications is responsible for all coherency issues when accessing MIBs concurrently through different protocols and when adding table entries.