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Subject [Apache Geronimo Wiki] New: GBeansArticle1
Date Tue, 21 Dec 2004 04:03:04 GMT
   Date: 2004-12-20T20:03:04
   Editor: SrinathPerera <>
   Wiki: Apache Geronimo Wiki
   Page: GBeansArticle1

   no comment

New Page:


= Geronimo GBean Architecture =
== Abstract ==

“The Geronimo, Apache J2EE Container is build on top of a Kernel that does know nothing about
J2EE. The Kernel is essentially a framework for the Components called GBeans and that framework
supports Inversion of Control, IOC. The Article explains the theoretical aspects, GBean Life
Cycle, GBean States and Dependency Injection with few examples and explains how to write a
Simple GBean.” 

== Introduction ==

Consider a platform like Linux or Windows which has a Operating System core that provides
the system calls and set of application that run on top of the those system calls. Geronimo
is built on top of a similar core which knows nothing about the J2EE and that core, Geronimo
Kernel is essentially a framework for components called GBeans. 
Any Complex System can be modeled as set of components that hold states, set of   relationships
among them and how each component reacts for certain events. What Geronimo Kernel does is
provide a framework for the GBeans with following Services.

 1. GBeans can hold states either persistent or non-persistent 
 1. Relationships among the GBeans can be defined with them
 1. GBeans can contains logic that defines how the GBeans react to the events that occurred

	Almost Everything in Geronimo is a GBean, Containers, Connectors, adapters, application so
on. GBeans generated a Mesh of component as Explained by the following figure. 

	J2EE Container comprised of two types of Citizens, the first class citizens like Web Container,
EJB Containers who provides the core services, And the second class citizens which are the
applications deployed in the first class citizens like EJBs and Servlets.
	The architecture of the Geronimo can be explained in terms of GBeans behaviors. All the time
the Geronimo is set of running GBeans, and each First class Citizen is a set of GBeans that
are related and they are loaded via the plans which are essentially a XML serialization of
GBeans. When the plans are loaded and started the GBeans that included in the plans will be
started and in simple words the EJB Containers or the Web Container will be started. 
	The applications that run in a J2EE Container are explained by the Deployment Descriptors
and the Java Classes that are packed as a j2ee application archive. Geronimo Deployer parses
those archives that explains the J2EE application and constructs GBeans out of them. When
those constructed GBeans are started the j2ee application is deployed and available inside
the J2EE Container. Those GBeans can be serialized and stored and as a result once an application
is converted to GBean and added to the Geronimo it will be available even after the server
is restarted. 

== GBeans in a Conceptual point of View ==

The concepts that provide the base for the GBeans have much longer history in the sense that
the Geronimo Kernel is an inversion of Control, IOC framework where the  IOC is also known
as the dependency injection. 
The essence of IOC or the dependency injection is to create a loosely coupled architecture
where the dependencies among components are managed by the framework. When a component has
a dependency on other component the IOC framework will find the correct component and make
it available to the first component. The dependency injection name comes from the fact that
the framework automatically injects the dependencies to the component. 
Most simple form of IOC or the Dependency injection is to by system wide known values. For
an instance let us assume this is Web Service that is to deployed inside Axis, do not worry
about Axis but just assume that the Axis will load the following class and called the doit()

public class WS{
	public WS(MesageContext msgctx){


        public void doit(){


But Axis has something call MesageContext that has all the configuration information. In order
to give a reference of Message Context to the WS class Axis can say “if you have a Constructor
like XX(MessageContext) or you have a method like setMessageContext(MessageContext msgctx)
I will inject the MessageContext to you”

This is the simplest form of dependency injection the framework look at the class and find
out that the class expected a  MessageContext to be inject it in. Or in other words the IOC
framework inspect our components for certain patterns in methods, Parameters and the Constructors
that when the pattern is found provides a Service to the Component, in the example we consider
the service is giving a reference to the message Context. 

To get a better understanding about the use of the IOC one should look at the methods that
were used to develop the system with decoupled components. The decoupling of the system is
all about the interaction among the components. 

 1. Interfaces and Header files together with Factories provide decoupling of the system with
minimal amount of coding.
 1. The property files together with the, interfaces and factories (e.g. loading of the different
implementations of JNDI using the property files.) make it possible to decouple with out recompilation
of the code.
 1. Registry Service together with lookups separate the service information from the caller
by hiding them behind a name.
 1. IOC or the dependency injection allows the automatic injection of references as they become

	The Idea of IOC is to define all the relationships among the components in terms of the framework
level configurations and each component is injected to the other components that refer the
service when the first component is available. 
For an example let us consider the how a GBean G1 obtains a reference to a Configuration Store.
The G1 is configured specifying the patterns of the reference it is expected. 

e.g. bean.setReferencePatterns(“configStore”,*:type=configStore,*”);

When a another GBean whose name match the pattern “*:type=configStore,*” is started it is
automatically injected in to the G1. This is more like Aspect Oriented programming, AOP where
the developer says to the framework what is need to be done rather than how to do it. 

	But this does not means that the IOC is the only way to create decoupled systems and all
the four ways of doing is useful and used in practice. It is matter of choosing the right
tool for the occasion and there are good examples as well as bad examples for each.

== GBean Life Cycle ==
GBean can be in any of the three states stored, loaded and running where the stored state
it is saved in a configuration store or saved in a plan. When it is loaded the kernel mapped
it to a name and knows about it. Each GBeans is a bind with a name at start up and that name
is not persistent. This can be explained by an analogy, we can think about the GBean as a
Java Class and the name as a variable name the where the compiler bind to the specific instance
of the class. In the same way the class can have more than one instance   the same GBean can
be loaded under more than one name and stored in number of places

== State of GBeans ==
GBeans have two types of states, attributes and references. The references will be covered
under the third part. The attributes are two types, persistent and non-persistence. The GBeans
can be stored and restored using the inbuilt support. 
There are special types of magic attributes defined by the architecture; the values for the
magic attributes loaded depend on the environment the GBean loaded on. For an example the
magic attribute “kernel” refers to the Kernel and when it is specified at the constructor
it is automatically injected to the class by the framework. Similarly the ClassLoader attributes
inject the current class loader and the ObjectName attributes inject the current name the
GBean started under. 
Complete list of all magic attributes can be found in the GBeanMBean class in the kernel.
 The magic attributes can not be persistent as they are bound with the environment it is started.
Note that in our first example of dependency injection where a Web Service is deployed to
Axis, the MessageContext is a Magic attribute. 
GBean with one attribute val 1 will be look like this.

public class MyGBean implements GBeanLifecycle {
    private final String val;
    static {
        GBeanInfoBuilder infoFactory =  ...
        // attributes
        infoFactory.addAttribute("val", String.class, true);
        // operations
        infoFactory.setConstructor(new String[]{"val"});
        GBEAN_INFO = infoFactory.getBeanInfo();

     public ConstructorInjectionGbean(String val )     {
	this.val = val;

To starting Our GBean can be done with the following code. The GBean implementation is done
on top of JMX and the GBeanMBean accepts GBean info and convert it in to an Mbean.

GBeanMBean gmb = new GBeanMBean(MyGBan.GBEAN_INFO);
gmb.setAttribute(“value”,”To be or not to be that is the queation”);
ObjectName myGbeanName = ObjectName.newInstance(“”);

== Dependency Injection ==

There are two types of relationships 

1. Single references 
1. Reference Collections

===  Single references ===
The references are injected to a GBean in one of the two ways; the getter/setter injection
and the constructor injection based on how the dependencies injected in to the java Class
that use to implements the GBean. With the getter and setter injection framework injects the
attributes/ references using the getter and setter methods where as in the constructor injection
s injects the parameters as constructor parameters. The second approach is more preferable
as with that the GBeans support so called good citizen pattern making sure that the GBean
is in usable state once it is started. Geronimo supports both methods but moving towards the
complete constructor injection. 

Following is a simple GBean that uses constructor injection.

public class MyGBean implements GBeanLifecycle {
    private final String GBean1 bean1;
    static {
        GBeanInfoBuilder infoFactory =  ...
        // attributes
        infoFactory.addReferance("Bean1", GBean1.class, true); ---------(A)
        // operations
        infoFactory.setConstructor(new String[]{"Bean1"}); -------------(B)
        GBEAN_INFO = infoFactory.getBeanInfo();

     public ConstructorInjectionGbean(GBean1bean1 )     {-----------(C)
	this.bean1 = bean1;

Here the Line (A) said that there is a reference to the GBean1 and line (B) registered the
matching constructor (C). In the Following code the developer specified the reference instance
of GBean1 and start GBeans.

ObjectName GBean1= ObjectName.newInstance(“”);
... //start the GBEan 1
GBeanMBean gmb = new GBeanMBean(MyGBan.GBEAN_INFO);
gmb.setReferencePatterns(“GBean1”, GBean1Name);

ObjectName myGbeanName = ObjectName.newInstance(“”);

When the MyGBean is started an instance of GBeean1 is injected via the constructor.

=== Reference Collections ===
Only difference when the Reference collection come in to play is replacing the GBean1 references
in the above example with Collection and when specifying the name of the referenced GBean
it is specified as a pattern with * and?


The code asks the framework to make available all the GBeans with the Domain name “”.
When a GBean that whose matches the patterns is started it is automatically injected to the
referee GBean. 

Logic in GBeans
GBeans leave the handling of the logic more or less in the form of usual java code and the
Methods in the GBean class can be register to the GBean by adding a         

new Object[]{val1,val2},new String[]{
val2.getClass().getName()}); --------- (A)

Kernel supports kernel.invoke(“objectName”,“methodName”,.. )  Using which one can call
any method in any other GBean. But use of this is discouraged and accepted way to do it is
to register reference pattern and obtain the instance of the other GBean injected in and code
simple java style on the code. 

E.g. Say GBean G1 need to call the doit() on GBean G2 the crude way to do it is to  


Correct way to do it is write G1 like 

class G1 implements GBeanLifCycle{
private final G2 g2;
    static {
        GBeanInfoBuilder infoFactory = new GBeanInfoBuilder("G1",
        infoFactory.addReference("G2",G2.class); --------- (A)
	 infoFactory.addConstructer("G2"); ---------------- (B)
 GBEAN_INFO = infoFactory.getBeanInfo();
    public ConstructorInjectionGbean(G1 g2 )     {
	this.g2 = g2;
    public void doG1Work(){


At line (A) defining there is a reference to G2 and at line (B) adding a constructor that
inject the G2 and G1 obtain a reference to the G2. Then   logic is implemented using simple
java code. 
GBeans have interfaces that make the GBean implements a given method. By making the GBean
class implements the a interface and putting a entry 
infoFactory.addInterface(“interfaceName”) will automatically add the all the methods in
the interface to the GBean and the getters and setter will be mapped to the attributes. 

== Sample Code  ==
You can find few Sample GBeans and few Test Cases that demonstrate their use from [].
To run the test case you need maven installed in your machine. 

== Summary ==
The GBean architecture knows nothing about J2EE and a General framework for the developed
loosely coupled System with IOC. It can be used outside Geronimo and can have potential to
be the generic Architecture for loosely coupled Systems. This article explains the concepts
and how to use the GBeans.

== References ==

[1] The Article, A Brief Introduction to IoC by Sam Newman, 02/10/2004

[2] Inversion of Control Containers and the Dependency Injection pattern, by Martin Fowler,

[3] IoC Overview, Web Work dashboard

[4] Article Dependency Inversion Principle,

[5] Interview with Dian Sundstrom, at Server Side

[6] Geronimo Kernel Module

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