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From "Dan Diephouse" <>
Subject Re: Configuration
Date Mon, 22 Jan 2007 19:35:51 GMT
OK, first let me try to give a little more context, as my last email was
rather vague. Then I'll try to answer your specific questions.

In our current code we have a ConfigurationProvider mechanism. As I
understand the motivation for this as it allows configuration values to come
form places other than the bean itself. Supporting this use case is a Good

As I dug through Spring 2's documentation, I noticed the
BeanFactoryPostProcessor [1] and BeanPostProcessor interfaces [2]. These
allow customizing of how the beans are configured. One example of this bean
is the PropertyOverrideConfigurer bean. It can take values from a properties
file and override a bean's properties with them. Other examples take
configuration from web.xml files or from databases. Spring can take a list
of these BeanFactoryPostProcessors and they can be ordered. Since any bean
that takes configuration values goes through the Configurer or comes from
Spring itself, this means our configuration could be done via these

I'm thinking, this seems to do exactly what we want and so lets see if we
can reuse it instead of writing our own mechanism. The one notable problem
is how to wire in the service model.

I'll divide our configuration sources into 3 areas: the bean (i.e.
HTTPDestinationConfigBean), the service model (i.e. EndpointInfo), and
"other stuff" (i.e. JDBC). And lets look at it in the context of our
favorite hypothetical example, the HTTPServerPolicy. Under the proposal we
would have a call like this in the AbstractHTTPDestination constructor:

setServer(bus.getConfiguration(endpointInfo, new HTTPServerPolicy(),

The resolution order would be like this:
1. The default value - i.e. new HTTPServerPolicy();
2. The value found on the service model - this would potentially be from the
3. The value set on the bean in the config file
4. The value set on the bean via "other stuff" aka

Note that all the getConfiguration() method is doing is simply encapsulating
our service model traversing logic. So it would check the endpointInfo, then
the bindingInfo, then the ServiceInfo. If no value was found, it would
return the "new HTTPServerPolicy".

I'm going to guess that the #1 objection toward this would be that the
resolution model isn't configurable. For instance I could have specified a
configuration in the WSDL, in a <bean> and in a property file. Which one
should CXF use? First, this highlights that in the current code there is no
way to merge these values at all as its kind of an all or nothing approach.
A ConfigurationProvider would simply grab the value from the service model
and give that to the HTTP transport. But, if we let Spring handle this, our
merging will occur automatically. Example:
1. The value from the service model gets set on the JettyHTTPDestination via
our setServer(...) call above.
2. There is a <property name="server.contentType" value="text/json"/> on the
Spring bean definition. This calls getServer().setContentType("text/json")
instead of creating a new HTTPServerPolicy
3. The -D...JettyHTTPDestination.server.receiveTimeout=300 property is set
from the command line. This operates similarly to #2.

All three would then be merged into one HTTPServerPolicy object then. So we
have some added flexibility here IMO. Second, I don't know that I really see
any use cases for changing the ordering. This is partly because I don't see
multiple configuration sources being a case that occurs much (if at all?
Maybe wsdl + xml, or wsdl+properties, but I doubt all three). But also
because I'm not sure that I would want my WSDL to override what I set in my
xml config or specify via command line. If there are objections to the
ordering of the resolution, or it not being flexible enough, could you
please elaborate on some use cases?

More comments inline...


On 1/22/07, Andrea Smyth <> wrote:
> Dan Diephouse wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > Just wanted to propose something a bit more concrete via Configuration
> > before going about it. Basically we have these cases:
> > 1. Configuration comes from Spring XML
> > 2. Configuration comes from service model (WSDL, API)
> > 3. Configuration may come from some data source (Database, properties
> > file)
> >
> > Instead of the ConfigurationProvider approach we can simplify by
> > 1. Making beans just beans without our code generation customization
> > 2. Creating a method on the Bus to get configuration values:
> >
> > HTTPServerPolicy p = bus.getConfigurationValue(endpointInfo,
> > getDefaultHTTPServerPolicy(), HTTTPServerPolicy.class);
> Do you want to reintroduce configuration APIs -  what about testability?

 I don't think testability changes much from our current code to what this
proposal outlines. We set a value on our service model and then we run a
unit test to make sure the component used it.

It looks like every bean client will need access to the bus ...

I'd consider making the getConfigurationValue method a static. The one use
case you had raised is that if you want to have a default value that is set
globally on the Bus (i.e. a Bus had a default HTTPServerPolicy). Although I
think that could just as easily be done with a BeanPostProcessor. So maybe a
static method is in order.

Also not sure how this API is to be used, specifically
> a) when should a bean client use the bean's getter only/when should it
> use the bean's getter and/or the above API?

You would pretty much only use the getConfigurationValue if you needed to
get the value out of the service model. So its quite a bit different than
the original Configuration interface.

b) where does the default value come from? In order to distinguish
> default value from in injected value (i.e. value coming from sources 1.
> and 3. above) and value coming from service model it looks like every
> bean should have a
> T getTProperty();
> and a
> // no (public) setter for this one
> T getDefaultTProperty(); ?
> Where is the preference of injected value vs. default value vs. obtained
> from service model determined? IMO it's important this happens in one
> place only, and if it's in bus.getConfigurationValue(...) we need to
> pass both the default and the injected value.

See my explanation at the top.

> > The method definition would be something like this:
> >
> > <T> T getConfigurationValue(AbstractPropertiesHolder, T defaultValue,
> > Class<T> type);
> >
> > This method would then search through the Bus, Endpoint, etc for the
> > HTTPServerPolicy value. If none is found the default value is returned.
> What do you mean with searching through the Bus?

See my above example of setting the HTTPServerPolicy on the Bus.

> > You may ask, isn't it simpler to just call getHTTPServerPolicy() on the
> > current code? In actuality no, because we need to write
> > ConfigurationProviders which actually search the service model, so its
> > more
> > code.
> One generic ConfigurationProvider can be used in most if not all cases,
> and there would be no more code to that than there would be to the
> implementation of the above getConfigurationValue - in fact they'd be
> pretty much the same thing.
> Its not that ConfigurationProvider doesn't work, its that I want to have
Spring do as much of the work as possible and require as little
configuration code as possible for implementors.

- Dan
Dan Diephouse
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