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Add Object Cache Monitoring Using JMX and Aspects : Page 5

Find out how to add cache monitoring to your applications using JMX MBeans and AOP technologies—without altering the application code.


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Building the Sample Application
The sample application for this article is based on an earlier object caching framework described in my article Object Caching With AOP. It's a simple loan processing application where the interest rates for a specified product type (Mortgages or HELOC) are required to process the loan application information. It stores these interest rates in an object cache to reduce database calls and improve application performance. This article enhances the LoanApp module from the original project to add monitoring and management functionality.

You'll find that different aspects tackle the object caching and JMX monitoring functions. These aspects are called ObjectCache.java, which defines the base cache methods, JBossCache.java, which defines caching logic using JBossCache API, and finally, CacheMonitor.java which implements the monitoring logic.

In Listing 1, the method called getInterestRates in the LoanAppHelper class retrieves interest rates from the database using JDBC calls. This is the method you want to intercept using an aspect to check if the data is already in the cache, retrieving it from the database only if the rates are not already cached.

Around advice intercepts any call to the getInterestRates method to check if the requested data is already present in the cache. Listing 2 shows the pointcut and around advice that handles the object caching functionality.

The following code sample shows how to add the MBean functionality to a plain Java object using the introduction advice. First, define an interface called CacheMonitorMBean and then write introduction advice to inject the JMX code into the InterestRates object. Here's the interface code.

public interface CacheMonitorMBean { public CacheStats getCacheStats(); public void setCacheStats(CacheStats cacheStats); }

And here's the introduction advice.

declare parents: InterestRates implements CacheMonitorMBean; public CacheStats getCacheStats() { } public void setCacheStats(CacheStats cacheStats) { // Populate cache details }

You also need a monitoring aspect (with around advice) to update the cache statistics whenever getInterestRates() method gets called. Here's an excerpt of the monitoring aspect code. The around advice populates the cache monitor bean with the cache details.



@Pointcut("execution(List LoanAppHelper.getInterestRates(String)) && args(productGroup)") void pcPrintCacheStatistics(String productGroup){}; @Around("pcPrintCacheStatistics(productGroup)") public List aroundPcPrintCacheStatistics( ProceedingJoinPoint thisJoinPoint, String productGroup) { System.out.println( "aroundPcPrintCacheStatistics"); long start = System.currentTimeMillis(); try { printCacheStatistics(); } catch (Exception e) { e.printStackTrace(); } catch (Throwable t) { t.printStackTrace(); } return null; }

Testing the Application
 
Figure 2. Eclipse Window: This screenshot of the Eclipse window shows the AJDT build configuration.
You can compile and build the LoanProc application using an Ant build file (Refer to the build.xml file located in CacheMonitorAOP project's main directory). The AJDT build configuration file injects the caching and monitoring logic. You can also run the AJDT build from the command line using parameters to specify which aspects can be woven into the application code. Figure 2 shows the AJDT build properties file (ajdt.properties) which you can use to enable or disable the Aspects—to weave or unweave those functions into the application code.

I've included a few JUnit test scripts in the sample code that you can use to test different object cache management scenarios. I also ran a performance test using JMeter to monitor the cache trends. After running the tests, you can view the cache monitor details using the JConsole program.

Using code like that in the sample application along with Aspects and JMX, you can introduce instrumentation into an object cache in a Java enterprise application without modifying any existing application logic. Although not implemented here, another feature of the framework that you should explore is cache invalidation, letting you invalidate cached objects on demand. For example, you might want to include cache invalidation capabilities as part of a Web-based administration tool.



Srini Penchikala works as an Information Systems Subject Matter Expert at Flagstar Bank. His IT career spans over nine years with systems architecture, design, and development experience in client/server and Internet applications. He has been involved in designing and developing J2EE applications since 1998. Srini holds a Master's degree (Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville) and a bachelor's degree (Sri Venkateswara University, India) in Engineering. In his free time, Srini loves to research new J2EE technologies and frameworks.
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