Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Stackify Blog, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Designing Custom Multithreading Frameworks in J2EE Containers

An efficient way to improve the performance of Java apps

A custom multithreading framework is an efficient way to improve the performance of Java applications. It uses an asynchronous parallel pattern to implement the business process. However, its traditional Java thread-based implementation shouldn't be used in applications hosted in a J2EE Application Server because the threads in that framework are beyond the control of the J2EE Container. This article will discuss an intelligent solution for implementing custom multithreading by using message-driven beans. This message-driven bean based multithreading framework enables the J2EE container to manage threads and multiple MDBs to execute the business logic in parallel.

Java multithreading makes maximum use of the CPU by keeping the processor's idle time to minimum. To avoid the overhead of creating threads on-the-fly, every J2EE application server container has a default thread pool that contains a set of execute threads. The container can borrow one of the threads from the pool, and assign it a task. Upon completion of the task, the thread goes into a wait state ready to accept another assignment. The J2EE container monitors all execute threads in that pool. Custom threads are different from execute threads. They are created and controlled by the applications rather than the container. This article will introduce a solution implementing custom multithreading in a J2EE container.

Asynchronous Parallel Design Pattern

The analysis model of the custom multithreading framework is based on the concept of asynchronous parallel design pattern. The pattern combines the advantages of delegate, asynchronous, and parallel design patterns. It's a model that consists of an asynchronous interface and a business engine. The business engine is composed of multiple parallel instances of business services, and fulfills the business processes. Figure 1 shows the class diagram representing the structure of the asynchronous parallel pattern.

The client doesn't have to have knowledge of the services that the back-end business engine provides. It simply sends the requests to the delegate, which adds the incoming requests to a mediator repository and returns a result to the client. The client doesn't go into a block state waiting for a response from the back-end business engine. The repository notifies the business engine when new requests are received. The multiple parallel instances of the services in the business engine then pick up the requests from the repository and process them concurrently. Figure 2 shows sequence diagrams that illustrate typical interactions among the components of the asynchronous parallel pattern.

Our example is based on an online brokerage system. We choose to model the process of an investor placing an order that is routed to the market for execution. I simplify the business scenario so we can focus on the custom multithreading framework.

Java Thread-Based Custom Multithreading Framework (CMF)

The components of a Java thread-based CMF include a Thread Pool, Worker Thread, Task Dispatcher, Task, and Task Queue. The class diagram in Figure 3 shows the solution model of a Java thread-based multithreading framework.

The Task interface represents the abstract of the business cases fulfilled in the business process. Business cases are modeled by the Java class that implements the Task interface. For example, the Trade class represents the Stock Trade in a stock trading process. The business logic for processing each business case is implemented in the ‘execute' method of each class.

The TaskFIFOQueue and the TaskDispatcher classes implement the asynchronous interface of the asynchronous parallel pattern. The TaskFIFOQueue class is designed as an intermediary repository that stores unassigned tasks. The TaskDispatcher class works as the delegate of the framework, which receives clients' requests, creates an instance of a Java class implementing Task interface for each incoming request (such as Trade class), adds a new instance to TaskFIFOQueue. The client can continue with other activities without having to wait for its request to be processed. The code snippet in Listing 1 at the end of this article shows how to add or get a task from the TaskFIFOQueue.

The business engine of the asynchronous parallel pattern is implemented by the WorkThread class and the ThreadPool class. The WorkThread class provides the threads that will process the assigned task. Each instance of the WorkThread class is a custom thread, created and controlled by the application. The Thread-Pool class serves as the central control point to manage custom threads. Using an object of the ThreadPool class to store running threads lets us allocate custom threads in a predictable way, reuse an existing thread for multiple tasks, and save time for thread instantiation and initialization. The code in Listing 2 at the end of this article demonstrates how to implement the business engine.

When the TaskDispatcher receives a request from a client, it creates an instance of a particular Task-type class, such as the Trade class, and adds the instance to the TaskFIFOQueue. The TaskFIFOQueue then notifies all waiting threads that a new task is ready to be picked up. The current active WorkerThread gets the task from the TaskFIFOQueue and starts to process the task by running the execute() method of the particular Task-type class. After the WorkThreads finishes the task, it goes into a wait state and is ready to accept the next task. The sequence diagram in Figure 4 illustrates the sample collaborations for the CMF.

Although Java thread-based CMF provides an efficient solution to improve the overall performance of Java applications, it shouldn't be used in applications hosted in the J2EE application server. Java thread-based CMF is discouraged in the J2EE applications for the following reasons.

J2EE Application Server Can't Control Custom Threads
The J2EE application server container is configured to manage all the threads in the Java Virtual Machine. The threads from the CMF won't carry the implicit context that a container normally puts on a thread. The container loses control over the custom threads created explicitly by the CMF because it's not aware of their existence.

Consequently, if a custom thread fails, the container will not be able to detect the failure and so can't recover the thread - either by reclaiming the resources occupied by the particular thread or by restarting it to complete the assigned task. The presence of unmanaged failed threads in the application server can seriously impact the stability, scalability, and performance of the application server.

Thread- Based CMF Affects the Load Balancing in the J2EE Application Cluster
Since a J2EE application server isn't aware of the custom threads in the CMF, it's also not aware of the work being done by the threads, and so won't account for the impact that the additional threads have on the overall workload of the server. This will affect the load balancing of the J2EE application cluster. It will potentially over-assign work to the server, and result in significant throughput or performance problems with the server.

The EJB 2.0 specification integrates EJB with JMS, and defines a new type of Enterprise JavaBean: Message-Driven Bean (MDB). It enables the EJB container to support the asynchronous parallel design pattern. Because the basic theories of the Java thread-based CMF don't negatively impact the application server runtime, we'll use the same analysis model to design the MDB-based CMF. For the purpose of demonstration, the MDB-based framework will be implemented and deployed on WebLogic Server 8.1.

More Stories By Di Li

Di Li, a Sun certified enterprise architect, is an expert in the areas of business process modeling, enterprise architecture design, and software architecting. He has over 10 years of experience in software engineering and technical architecture. Li worked in providing the end-to-end solution of financial services, e-business, and enterprise application integration. You can contact him at [email protected]

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're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks 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. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
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...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 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 planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 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 planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
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...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo 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 is an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalized support service from its globally located cloud platform...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile 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. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
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. Launched in 2016, Cloudistics helps anyone bring the power of the cloud to the data center in an easy-to-use, on- premises cloud platform that automatically provides high performance resources for all types of applications: Docke...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University 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. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University 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. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, 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. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...