Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Jim Kaskade, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Java IoT, Open Source Cloud, IoT User Interface

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

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.

public class BankOperator {


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 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"

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" />

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:

public class AsyncBusinessLogger implements BusinessLogger {


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.

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
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
Donna Yasay, President of HomeGrid Forum, today discussed with a panel of technology peers how certification programs are at the forefront of interoperability, and the answer for vendors looking to keep up with today's growing industry for smart home innovation. "To ensure multi-vendor interoperability, accredited industry certification programs should be used for every product to provide credibility and quality assurance for retail and carrier based customers looking to add ever increasing num...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.