Welcome!

Java Authors: Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Hovhannes Avoyan, Tim Hinds, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Java, XML, Microservices Journal, Websphere, Weblogic, AJAX & REA, Apache

Java: Article

Componentizing a Monolithic Application in Java

Using a simple homegrown component model and framework

Component-oriented development has many architectural advantages. In spite of this, many developers tend to solve problems the monolithic way on the first go. This article demonstrates how a monolithic design can be modified to achieve component-based design. During this conversion process, the necessity of Component Models and Frameworks are highlighted. The article demonstrates the componentization of an example monolithic application using a simple homegrown component model and framework developed by the authors.

Introducing E-Store - A Business Application
Let us assume that we need to implement a simple E-store business application. The application needs to cater to the following simple business use cases for a single actor - the consumer.

  • Browse the catalog of products - Consumer can browse through the items in the store. E-store app displays the different products available in the store along with their price
  • Buy one or more products - User adds one or more quantities of a product to the shopping cart. If sufficient stock is available, E-Store app adds the selected items to the shopping cart
  • Check-out - User can checkout with the items in the shopping cart. E-store app displays the total price of all the items in the shopping cart. Subsequently, stock quantities of the purchased items are reduced

Monolithic Implementation of E-Store
The E-Store application explained above can be realized with the help of the classes shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Class Diagram for E-Store Application

The implementation of the above design in source code and binary code form can be obtained from the links provided at the end of the article. The implementation of the monolithic application is explained briefly in the sections below.

Application Startup - UI
The monolithic E-Store application starts up with the UI class main method. During its startup, the UI class instantiates the Store (E-Store) class. The code snippet corresponding to this is shown in Listing 1.

public class UI {

static Store estore = new Store();

public static void main(String[] args) {
int userChoice = mainMenu();
...
}
...
}

Listing 1: Startup Code - UI Class

The E-Store class instantiates the Inventory and ShoppingCart classes during its startup as shown in Listing 2.

public class Store {

Inventory inventory = new Inventory();
ShoppingCart shoppingCart = new ShoppingCart();
...
}

Listing 2: Startup Code - E-Store Class

The inventory class initializes the stock during its instantiation, by creating instances of Product class objects. The code snippet is shown in Listing 3

public class Inventory {

private Map<Product, Integer> stock = new HashMap<Product, Integer>();

public Inventory() {initStock();}

private void initStock() {
Product newIPad = new Product("NewIPad", 400.00);
stock.put(newIPad, 50);

Product galaxyTab2 = new Product("GalaxyTab2", 300.00);
stock.put(galaxyTab2, 75);

Product kindleFire = new Product("KindleFire", 250.00);
stock.put(kindleFire, 30);
}
...

}

Listing 3: Startup Code - Inventory Initialization

Once the startup is done, the UI class presents a console based menu as shown in Listing 4.

Welcome to eStore!
------------------------

1. Browse Catalog
2. Buy Items
3. Check Out
4. Exit

Choose an option:
1

Listing 4: Console based UI Menu

When the user chooses any one of the options, the UI class calls upon its implementation in the E-Store business class. The implementation of each of these is explained briefly in next few sections.

Browse Catalog Use case Realization
The getCatalog() method in the E-Store class implements this use case. When the getCatalog() method in E-Store class is called, it fetches the list of products from Inventory and returns the same. Code snippet is shown in Listing 5.

public Collection<Product> getCatalog() {

return inventory.getProducts();

}

Listing 5: E-Store Class - getCatalog() implementation

Buy Items Use case Realization
The buyItem() method in the E-Store class implements this use case. The UI class calls this method by passing the name of the product chosen by the user, and the quantity he wants to buy. If sufficient quantity is available in stock, the item is added to the shopping cart and the method returns success; otherwise, the method returns failure and no item is added to shopping cart. The code snippet is presented in Listing 6.

public boolean buyItem(String name, int quantity) {
Product product = inventory.getProduct(name);
if (product == null) return false;

if (inventory.getStock(product) >= quantity) {
shoppingCart.addItem(product, quantity);
return true;
}
return false;
}

Listing 6: E-Store Class - buyItem() implementation

Check Out Use Case Realization
The checkout() method in the E-Store class implements this use case. It reduces the stock in the inventory by the quantity bought. It also returns the total price to be paid by the user. This implementation is shown in Listing 7.

public double checkOut() {
for(Product product : shoppingCart.getItems()) {
int quantity = shoppingCart.getCount(product);
inventory.reduceStock(product, quantity);
}
double price = shoppingCart.getTotalPrice();
shoppingCart.clearItems();
return price;

}

Listing 7: E-Store Class - checkOut() Implementation

What's wrong with the Monolithic implementation?
The initial implementation of E-Store discussed above fulfills all the functional requirements of the application laid down earlier. Still this is not considered as architecturally sound application design because all the classes in the application are tightly coupled to each other. Consider the dependency metrics shown in the table below:

Table 1: Class dependency details

No.

Class

Depends On

# of Dependencies

Dependency Depth

1.

Product

 

0

0

2.

Inventory

Product

1

1

3.

ShoppingCart

Product

1

1

4.

EStore

Inventory, ShoppingCart, Product

3

2

5.

UI

EStore, Product

2

3

 

 

 

 

 

The tight coupling results in high resistance to change in implementation. For example, any change to Product class will require complete change in the application.

Let us say that the E-Store likes to announce promotional sale for three days. During these three days, the total price of the shopping cart should be discounted by 10%. In order to achieve this, we need to change the ShoppingCart class implementation. When the ShoppingCart class is changed, the E-Store class also needs to be recompiled. When the E-Store class is recompiled, the UI class also needs to be recompiled.

What happens at the end of the promotional sale when the E-Store wants to discontinue the discounts? We need to recompile all the 3 classes one more time. Ideally, since the changes affect only the ShoppingCart behavior, rest of the application modules should not have been affected. But due to the tight coupling, other modules are also affected.

Loosening the Coupling through Componentization
Low coupling design principle suggests that there should not be tight coupling among unstable entities. Having dependency on a relatively stable entity does not bring forth the evils of tight coupling.

In order to make the application modules loosely coupled, we need to componentize the application. A component is a deployable piece of software that would be independently developed and independently maintained. Independence here refers to development and maintenance of a component independent of the other components which collaborate with this component in an application assembly. In a component based application, change to one component should not directly affect the application.

We avoid tight coupling between components by introducing the abstraction of Component Interface. A component interface exposes the signature of the functionalities implemented by component. The Component Interface will be a relatively stable entity as compared to the Component Implementation.

A component consumes interfaces that it depends on for fulfilling the required functionality and provides interfaces for the functionality it provides. For collaboration with the other components, the component would work through the interfaces provided by the other components. Practically, the component should not depend on the implementation of the other components; it should depend only on the interfaces provided by those components. This way, the coupling among components is through the relatively stable interfaces and not through the highly instable implementations. Thus the principle of low coupling is upheld.

In addition to the low coupling achieved, componentization of a monolithic application also brings about substitutability of components. This means a component of the application can be substituted by another component without affecting the overall application. The only requirement is that the replacing component must offer the same set of interfaces as was offered by the component being replaced.

Componentizing the E-Store Application
We need to introduce the Component Interface abstraction in the monolithic design shown in Figure 1. Looking at the dependency details represented in the Table 1, the Product, ShoppingCart, Inventory and Store classes should be represented as components. From the implementation classes of Product, Inventory, ShoppingCart, and Store, we can extract Java Interfaces IProduct, IInventory, IShoppingCart, and IStore respectively using the refactoring tools in the IDE. The extracted interfaces are shown in Figure 2. It must be noted in Figure 9 that the method signatures in IInventory, IShoppingCart, and IStore are changed to refer to IProduct interface in place of the Product class in the corresponding methods in Figure 1.

Figure 2: E-Store Interfaces - Class Diagram

In this E-Store application, there are four components represented by their interfaces - IProduct, IInventory, IShoppingCart and IStore. After the interfaces are extracted from the monolithic implementation, it will be a good design to get these interfaces packaged into a separate Java Package called estore.ifce.

The package can also be compiled to a JAR resulting in a deployable and independently maintainable estore.ifce module. This module does not implement any component, but it simply defines ONLY the interfaces which would be implemented by other components in the application. All the components depend ONLY on this common interface module and they need not depend on individual implementation components.

Following the above principle, if we separate the implementation of Product, Inventory, ShoppingCart, and Store into individual packages and into individual JARs, we get the  package structure shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Package Diagram separating interface from implementation

When we refactor the code into multiple components as shown above, two code segments fail to compile as shown in Figure 4 and Figure 5. Kindly look at Listings 2 and 3 for reference.

Figure 4: Compilation error in Inventory class post Componentization

Figure 5: Compilation error in Store class post Componentization

The compilation errors occurred due to the fact that above code tried to invoke the implementation code of other components directly. We have arranged our dependencies such that one component would not depend on the internal implementation of the other component. The above code violates this.

This problem can be solved in various ways. This is where all the component models and frameworks come to the rescue. Component models like RMI, EJB, Spring, OSGi and SCA have their own way of creating object references to components from the interfaces. Users can choose to use one of these frameworks or models for initializing the component. However in this article, we will look at a simple component model developed to solve this problem without using any of the component models and frameworks. This component model uses some of the principles of design pattern and best practices which is explained in detail below.

The problem of direct reference to implementation can be resolved by introducing a ‘Factory' object that can be used by the component to obtain an object of the corresponding type. A generalized Factory object could have a signature as below:

public interface IFactory<T> {
public T createInstance();

}

To avoid tight coupling, the Factory object is really useful. So, instead of coupling to a concrete class which implements IProduct, the Inventory implementation can depend on a Factory object of type IFactory<IProduct>. By invoking the createInstance() method on the factory object, the Inventory class can obtain new IProduct objects. Similarly the IInventory and IShoppingCart objects can be obtained from the respective Factory objects using createInstance() method in the Store class.

IProduct iPad = productFactory.createInstance();
.....
IShoppingCart shoppingCart = shoppingCartFactory.createInstance();
IInventory inventory = inventoryFactory.createInstance();

To obtain a factory object, a FactoryRegistry class is used as a common factory registry for registering and retrieving factory objects using the whiteboard pattern. The common registry object can be implemented as shown in Listing 8.

public class FactoryRegistry {

private static Map<Class<?>, IFactory<?>> factoryMap = new HashMap<Class<?>, IFactory<?>>();

public static void registerFactory(Class<?> ifceClazz, IFactory<?> factory) {
factoryMap.put(ifceClazz, factory);
}

public static IFactory<?> getFactory(Class<?> ifceClazz) {
return factoryMap.get(ifceClazz);
}
}

Listing 8: FactoryRegistry Class

The Inventory class can obtain a reference to a product factory object of type IFactory<IProduct> using the whiteboard pattern. Similarly any factory object can be retrieved from the FactoryRegistry.

IFactory<IProduct> productFactory =
(IFactory<IProduct>) FactoryRegistry.getFactory(IProduct.class);

One important question that remains unanswered is how, where and when these factory objects are registered with the FactoryRegistry. All component implementations only try to GET references. As mentioned earlier, component models like RMI, EJB, OSGi have their own service repository where these references are registered and components using these references look up the repository to get an object of the corresponding type. In this simple model, a registry program named ‘ComponentRunner' is handwritten which will look up for IFactory type interfaces and its implementations and register them appropriately so that getFactory method returns an initialized factory object. Kindly refer to the source code provided for details on ComponentRunner.

Implementation of this model will help in resolving the compilation issue highlighted in Figures 4 and 5. The modified code without any compilation error using the factory pattern and registry lookup is shown in Listings 9 and 10.

private void initStock() {

IFactory<IProduct> productFactory = (IFactory<IProduct>) FactoryRegistry.getFactory(IProduct.class);

IProduct iPad = productFactory.createInstance();
iPad.setName("NewIPad");
iPad.setPrice(400.00);
stock.put(iPad, 50);

IProduct gTab = productFactory.createInstance();
gTab.setName("GalaxyTab2");
gTab.setPrice(300.00);
stock.put(gTab, 75);

IProduct kindle = productFactory.createInstance();
kindle.setName("KindleFire");
kindle.setPrice(250.00);
stock.put(kindle, 30);

}

Listing 9: Modified Inventory Class without compilation error

public class Store implements IStore {

IInventory inventory;
IShoppingCart shoppingCart;

public Store() {
IFactory<IInventory> inventoryFactory = (IFactory<IInventory>) FactoryRegistry.getFactory(IInventory.class);
IFactory<IShoppingCart> shoppingCartFactory = (IFactory<IShoppingCart>) FactoryRegistry.getFactory(IShoppingCart.class);

shoppingCart = shoppingCartFactory.createInstance();
inventory = inventoryFactory.createInstance();
}
......

Listing 10: Modified E-Store Class without compilation error

Apart from the above highlighted modifications, the business logic implementation in the components remains the same as before in the monolithic case.

Executing the Sample Application
The sample application demonstrated in this article is available as a zip file for download. The zip file contains a complete Eclipse Workspace with the source as well as binary files. To run the componentized version of this application, it is required to follow the steps below:

  1. Create a folder named ‘run'.
  2. Export the components - store, product, inventory, shopping cart, component model, store app projects from the eclipse workspace to a Jar file in the ‘run' folder, say ‘eStore.jar' for example. In order to reuse these components in other applications, individual projects can be exported as separate jar files.
  3. Copy the contents of ‘bin' folder from comprunner project to the ‘run' folder. The bin folder contains a sub folder named ‘comprunner' which contains the ComponentRunner class.
  4. Open a command prompt and change the directory to ‘run' folder.
  5. To execute the ComponentRunner, type the following in command prompt

Conclusion
The advantage of a component-oriented approach is well explained with a sample application. In this article, we also saw the limitations of having a monolithic application and how the dependencies bring in tight coupling between components. Low coupling between components can be achieved by the abstraction of Component interface. Interfaces also bring in component substitutability. A component can depend on some interfaces and provide interfaces. Interface is the key mechanism in component design principles. Initialization of component implementations can happen using several mechanisms which are different for different component models and frameworks. In this sample, a home grown component model - a factory based model is used for initializing the components and component references are registered with a simple repository - CompRunner for look up.

More Stories By Piram Manickam

Piram Manickam works at Infosys Limited. He would like to acknowledge and thank Sangeetha S, a beloved colleague and friend, for her invaluable contributions in this work.

More Stories By Subrahmanya SV

Subrahmanya SV works at Infosys Limited. He would like to acknowledge and thank Sangeetha S, a beloved colleague and friend, for her invaluable contributions in this work.

More Stories By S Sangeetha

S Sangeetha is a Senior Technical Architect at the E-Commerce Research Labs at Infosys Limited. She has over 15 years of experience in architecture, design and development of enterprise Java applications. She is also involved in enhancing the technical skills of Architects at Infosys. She has co-authored a book on ‘J2EE Architecture’ and also has written numerous articles on Java for various online Java forums like JavaWorld, java.net, DevX.com and internet.com. She can be reached at [email protected]

Comments (1)

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 heard for many years how developing nations would be able to develop mobile-phone networks quickly, perhaps even leapfrog developed nations, because their lack of traditional, wired networks would not inhibit them from deploying the new technology. Now there is talk of history repeating itself with the Industrial Internet--a key aspect of the emerging Internet of Things. For example, Guo Ping, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Chinese electronics giant Huawei, said in a recent report from the World Economic Forum, "The Industrial Internet will afford emerging markets a unique opportunity ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
The Internet of Things Maturity Model (IoTMM) is a qualitative method to gauge the growth and increasing impact of IoT capabilities in an IT environment from both a business and technology perspective. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will first scan the IoT landscape and investigate the major challenges and barriers. The key areas of consideration are identified to get started with IoT journey. He will then pinpoint the need of a tool for effective IoT adoption and implementation, which leads to IoTMM in which five maturity levels are defined: Advanced, Dynamic, Optimized, Primitive,...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
So I guess we’ve officially entered a new era of lean and mean. I say this with the announcement of Ubuntu Snappy Core, “designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices,” according to Canonical. “Snappy Ubuntu Core is the smallest Ubuntu available, designed for security and efficiency in devices or on the cloud.” This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), is available on public clouds, and for ARM and x86 devices on several IoT boards. It’s a Trend! This announcement comes just as...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
In his session at WebRTC Summit, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. He will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter Dunkley is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS...
It's time to put the "Thing" back in IoT. Whether it’s drones, robots, self-driving cars, ... There are multiple incredible examples of the power of IoT nowadays that are shadowed by announcements of yet another twist on statistics, databases, .... Sorry, I meant, Big Data(TM), tiered storage(TM), complex systems(TM), smart nations(TM), .... In his session at WebRTC Summit, Dr Alex Gouaillard, CTO and Co-Founder of Temasys, will discuss the concrete, cool, examples of IoT already happening today, and how mixing all those different sources of visual and audio input can make your life happier ...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Site24x7, the cloud infrastructure monitoring service, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Site24x7 is a cloud infrastructure monitoring service that helps monitor the uptime and performance of websites, online applications, servers, mobile websites and custom APIs. The monitoring is done from 50+ locations across the world and from various wireless carriers, thus providing a global perspective of the end-user experience. Site24x7 supports monitoring H...
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed by t...