Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Chris Schwarz

Related Topics: Java IoT, Open Source Cloud, Machine Learning

Java IoT: Article

Asynchronous Logging Using Spring

Create applications that require high-volume logging without impacting an application’s performance

Each application developer faces the problem of logging usage information. On the one hand, the more logging that's done the easier it is to detect and locate the source of problems. On the other hand, large volume logging might impair an application's performance.

This problem is typically solved by defining various log levels dependent on a program's maturity. For example, a program in developmental stages would have a higher logging requirements; logging requirements would be relatively lower in the production phase. If an application requires a lot of logging for audit purposes, then special measures are required to protect performance.

This article provides a possible solution for this problem by using Spring asynchronous support.

Rationale for High-Volume Logging
Logging is used extensively to help find problems within applications. A developer who finds a problem can investigate it by enabling debug logging. He may then reproduce the problem, or create additional logging if needed. Programmers usually require extensive logging to locate problems.

However, the aforementioned process is not a universal solution. If a developer comes across a one-time event that does not happen again, then he has to uncover and fix the problem using only existing log data. For instance, a security problem should not be resolved by enabling full logging and waiting for another intrusion. Such cases require a lot of logging upfront.

Above and beyond the use of logging for application development, regulatory compliance requirements also demand a minimum amount of logging.

Possible Solutions
The simplest solution would be to log everything synchronously, right inside business logic methods. Of course this solution would reduce processing speed, but if an application does not have strict performance requirements, it might not be a problem.

A developer may also use some existing solutions, such as synchronous logging. Examples include log4j, AsyncAppender, and JMS. The latter is especially useful if none of the logging events should be lost.

Very often logging operations are not very fast because, for reliability purposes, these logs are often written either to a database or to a remote server. In addition, data may be subject to operations before they can be logged.

Consider a simple case when logging is needed, but performance should not be affected.

Please note that threads may not necessarily execute in the same order as they were called, so you'll have to sort the logged events by timestamp in order to have them in chronological order.

Spring 3.0 Asynchronous Support
Overview

Spring 2.0 provided a TaskExecutor abstraction that could be used for running asynchronous tasks. Evolution to version 3.0 enabled annotations to be used for this purpose. Refer to the Task Execution and Scheduling section in the Spring 3.0 documentation.

There are several built-in TaskExecutor implementations, and not all of them are asynchronous. For example, the SyncTaskExecutor invokes a task in the calling thread.

This article will concentrate on the ThreadPoolTaskExecutor - the most commonly used implementation in the Java 5 environment.

The ThreadPoolTaskExecutor provides the following configurable parameters:

pool-size: Defines the size of a pool; it also accepts a "core-max" range. The "core" is the initial number of threads in a pool; the "max" is the maximum number of threads. If only one number is defined, then the core and max are the same size.

Please note that the executor will first use the core number of threads, and then add threads to the pool only when the queue is full.

queue-capacity: Refers to the size of the task queue when all threads are busy. By default the queue is unlimited. That might lead to an OutOfMemory exception and disrupt the application, therefore, a specific queue size should be defined.

rejection-policy: A parameter that determines what should happen if both the thread pool and queue are full. In this case the task is rejected, and then the rejection policy determines what should happen to it.

The following policies are supported:

  • AbortPolicy: Executor will throw a TaskRejectedException
  • DiscardPolicy: Tasks will be skipped
  • DiscardOldestPolicy: Oldest tasks will be skipped
  • CallerRunsPolicy: Task will be executed in caller thread (synchronously)

Spring 3.0 allows bean configuration using both Annotations and XML. We will consider Annotation and XML configuration of TaskExecutors only.

Here is a simple business class that requires logging.

@Service
public class BankOperator {

@Autowired

private BusinessLogger businessLogger;

public void transferMoney() {

//... business logic for transferring money
// writing log
businessLogger.logMoneyTransfer(new Date(), "John", new BigDecimal(100));
}
}

As you can see the businessLogger has a specific method for a specific business operation. Developers always pass the current timestamp and a number of parameters. The timestamp is needed because the logging method will be invoked asynchronously at an arbitrary time in the future. The list of parameters will depend on what kind of logging is done. Usually this kind of logging is saved to a database, so developers need a number of parameters that will be mapped to the fields of the database table.

The maximum possible amount of operations should utilize asynchronous logging.

For example, if logging information depends on an account number, years of service and the balance of a bank account, then it's better to pass these three parameters to a logging method. The logging logic would be implemented, thereby, lessening the influence of logging on execution of the primary service.

XML - configuration
The configuration of ThreadPoolTaskExecutor looks like this:

<bean id="businessLogExecutor" class="org.springframework.scheduling.concurrent.ThreadPoolTaskExecutor">
<property name="corePoolSize" value="1" />
<property name="maxPoolSize" value="1" />
<property name="queueCapacity" value="1" />
<property name="rejectedExecutionHandler" ref="callerRuns" />
</bean>

<bean id="callerRuns" class="java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor.CallerRunsPolicy"/>

Spring 3.0 enables developers to use the ‘executor' element to create a ThreadPoolTaskExecutor instance:

<task:executor id="businessLogExecutor"
pool-size="5-25"
queue-capacity="100"
rejection-policy="CALLER_RUNS"/>

The logger class might look like the following:

public class AsyncBusinessLogger implements BusinessLogger {

private TaskExecutor taskExecutor;


public void setTaskExecutor(TaskExecutor taskExecutor) {

this.taskExecutor = taskExecutor;
}

public void logMoneyTransfer(final Date timestamp, final String customerName, final BigDecimal sum) {

taskExecutor.execute(new Runnable() {
public void run() {
System.out.println("Customer '" + customerName + "' transfered $" + sum + " on " + timestamp);
}
});
}
}

A BusinessLogger may resemble the following:

<bean id="businessLogger" class="com.axmor.async.logging.AsyncBusinessLogger">
<property name="taskExecutor" ref="businessLogExecutor" />
</bean>

Using XML configuration is a more flexible approach. A developer can tell many Business Loggers to use the same TaskExecutor, or tell a single Business Logger to use multiple TaskExecutors.

@Async annotation
To use the @Async annotation, turn on task annotation support by including the following in config.xml:

<task:annotation-driven />

In this case, the ThreadPoolTaskExecutor with default settings will be used.

To use the aforementioned executor, insert the following instead:

<task:annotation-driven executor="businessLogExecutor"/>

The logger will look like the following:

@Service
public class AsyncBusinessLogger implements BusinessLogger {

@Async

public void logMoneyTransfer(Date timestamp, String customerName, BigDecimal sum) {
System.out.println("Customer '" + customerName + "' transfered $" + sum + " on " + timestamp);
}
}

The result is simpler and cleaner code. But a less flexible configuration comes at a price: all methods annotated with @Async will use the same TaskExecutor throughout the application.

@Async vs TaskExecutor: when to use
Using the @Async annotation is much simpler than having to wire the task executor to call tasks manually.

Usually the @Async annotation is the preferred method.

In cases where a developer doesn't want to use a single TaskExecutor for all asynchronous operations, which is the case for @Async annotation, he will have to use TaskExecutors.

Conclusion
Developers should strongly consider using asynchronous logging when creating applications that require high-volume logging without impacting an application's performance.

The article shows how easy it is to create your own custom asynchronous logging using Spring 3.0 Async support.

More Stories By Mylnikov Sergey

Mylnikov Sergey is a senior software engineer in the IBM Solution Group at Axmor Software. He has over seven years of experience in software development, as well as strong knowledge in Java SE/EE and web application development. He has been a technical lead and software architect in several successfully completed enterprise projects for US, UK, and Australian customers.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...