Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Jnan Dash, Klaus Enzenhofer, Sanjeev Khurana

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Client/Server Is Not the Only Fruit

Client/Server Is Not the Only Fruit

The vast majority of Java enterprise applications are architected along the lines of Sun's original PetStore showcase application. Rather than seeing this as a market stall displaying all the J2EE goods on offer, developers took it as a blueprint for enterprise applications. It certainly created a lot of work for Java application developers (as well as systems administrators and systems integrators), but whether most of the applications needed most of the possible layers - including bean-managed persistence and the ubiquitous DAO - is open for question at the very least. This article briefly describes some of the testability shortcomings of the traditional J2EE model and presents some alternatives.

The J2EE Model
With J2EE we are tied to a single logical server in a client/server architecture, and any component such as a servlet or EJB has to be deployed to the server (potentially a time-consuming process) before we know whether it works. This makes it difficult to use test-driven techniques to develop these components. To make a small change to such a component requires a code change, a recompile, and a redeploy. On many commercial application servers this sequence of events takes too long to be repeated as frequently as TDD requires. The developer is encouraged to deploy bigger changes less often, and therefore has a higher risk of introducing errors.

A few patterns alleviate some of this, most notably the Front Controller/Dispatcher pattern. This has a single component (a servlet in the Web container or a stateless session bean in the EJB tier) that dispatches requests to a POJO (Plain Old Java Object). A POJO is much better suited for unit testing - we can simply instantiate it in a known state and then exercise its behavior. From a TDD perspective, this is what makes a framework like WebWork more "agile" than Struts; for instance, the actual components are testable outside of a container.

Service-Oriented Architectures
J2EE encourages us to model a system in terms of components interacting with one another. Instead we can model in terms of services that an application provides or "things that it does." These services can exist on different machines or in different virtual machines on the same host. As long as we have a means of locating a service, we can use it. In terms of testability, this makes life a lot easier for us. A service is simply a class that implements an interface, so we can test its behavior in isolation or in conjunction with other services just by instantiating a service object and calling methods on it.

Service-oriented mechanisms such as SOAP, XML-RPC, or JINI are cleanly separated from the actual services they advertise. Compare this to a session bean, which is tightly coupled to its container: it requires a number of container-specific classes just to function (such as a javax.ejb. SessionContext), and has a whole complex life cycle associated with it. Both of these make testing a session bean a lot more complex - and add greatly to the time it takes to make a change and test it.

Event-Driven Architectures
So far we have focused on synchronous behavior. The concept of modeling a system in terms of messages or events being produced and consumed asynchronously from queues is very powerful and yet still largely overlooked. Event-driven systems are renowned for their resilience, but they also lend themselves very nicely to a test-driven approach. As with services, an event consumer or listener is typically a Java class that implements an interface. As long as the consumer class is decoupled from the delivery mechanism, we can easily test its behavior. We can model synchronous behavior asynchronously to gain both scalability and testability. A Staged, Event-Driven Architecture (SEDA) simulates synchronous processing by means of a series of stages, each represented by a queue. Thus each stage can be unit-tested and developed separately.

Summary
When you're writing an enterprise application in Java, you shouldn't feel constrained to the classic J2EE model. Investigate some of the alternatives; ask lots of questions; and evaluate the costs, benefits, and risks of using a different approach. But most important, as a developer try to find an architecture that enables you to write testable code. Remember, PetStore is a showcase of technologies, not a blueprint.

More Stories By Dan North

Dan North has been writing software for 12 years, and is a programmer and coach for ThoughtWorks (www.thoughtworks.com), a software development consultancy, where he encourages people to write tests.

Comments (2) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
Tom 03/10/04 12:44:18 AM EST

I agree on the statements made here. Personally I use the approach of moving all logic into POJO''s, which have no knowledge of how their functionality is made public. The servlet or EJB or webservice doing that, is just a hand-through taking care of the appropriate protocol.

Tom 03/10/04 12:43:24 AM EST

I agree on the statements made here. Personally I use the approach of moving all logic into POJO''s, which have no knowledge of how their functionality is made public. The servlet or EJB or webserver doing that, is just a hand-through taking care data of the appropriate protocol.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Addteq will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Addteq specializes in creating innovative solutions to solve business processes through the use of DevOps automation. Addteq was founded on the firm belief that automation is essential for successful software releases. Addteq's products and services are centered around the fundamental approach of understanding the pr...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. 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 management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions 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. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.