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Introduction

A Java library for implementing a Service Locator design pattern called Pouch. (Isn't the Service Locator an Anti-Pattern?)

The goal of this library is to provide the benefits of Inversion of Control (IoC), without the downsides of Dependency Injection.

See the FAQ for common questions.

Pouch consists of two parts:

  1. A design pattern
  2. A Java library for implementing the pattern

The concepts presented herein represent one possible design. They do not represent the only possible design, nor the best design for your specific situation. You are expected to evolve the examples found below to come up with your own design, using as much or as little of the code as you see fit.

Plugin modules

These extensions facilitate integration with 3rd-party libraries:

  • Jersey 1: Integrates pouch with Jersey 1.
  • Jersey 2: Integrates pouch with Jersey 2.
  • Dropwizard: Integrates pouch with Dropwizard.

Getting started

Include the following lines in your pom.xml file:

<dependency>
    <groupId>org.bitbucket.cowwoc</groupId>
    <artifactId>pouch</artifactId>
    <version>1.14</version>
</dependency>

You can find the latest Javadoc at https://cowwoc.bitbucket.io/pouch/javadoc/latest/

Design pattern

Scopes

Service Locators are registries that contain one or more values.
Service Locators are divided into one or more scopes. Scopes guarantee that values will remain unchanged during their lifetime. For example:

public interface ApplicationScope
{
    /**
     * @return the application's license key
     */
    String getLicenseKey();
}

ApplicationScope guarantees that every invocation of ApplicationScope.getLicenseKey() will return the same object. This allows scopes to be implemented as immutable objects (this is encouraged though it isn't required).

Scopes that need to return different values over their lifetime can return a Builder or Supplier that will, in turn, return different values.

Interfaces with multiple implementations

Scopes are implemented in terms of interfaces with two or more implementations. If there was only one implementation, we wouldn't need inversion of control.

For example:

import org.bitbucket.cowwoc.pouch.Reference;

public class MainApplicationScope implements ApplicationScope
{
    private final Reference<String> licenseKey = LazyReference.create(() -> expensiveComputation());

    @Override
    public String getLicenseKey()
    {
        return licenseKey.getValue();
    }
}

public class TestApplicationScope implements ApplicationScope
{
    @Override
    public String getLicenseKey()
    {
        return "invalid key";
    }
}

This allows developers to configure a system that behaves differently when running in production vs unit tests.

Scope inheritance

Imagine we have:

  • ApplicationScope: values specific to an application run
  • TransactionScope: values specific to a database transaction
  • HttpScope: values specific to an HTTP request

Notice that an ApplicationScope contains values whose lifetime span multiple HTTP requests. To denote this fact, we define HttpScope as extending
the ApplicationScope class. When a new HttpScope is constructed, we pass in the parent scope. When HttpScope is asked to provide a value found in
a parent scope, we simply delegate the request to the parent, as follows:

public interface ApplicationScope
{
    String getLicenseKey();
}

public interface TransactionScope extends ApplicationScope
{
    Connection getConnection();
}

public interface HttpScope extends TransactionScope
{
    /**
     * @return the URI that was requested
     */
    URI getRequestedUri();
}

public class MainHttpScope implements HttpScope
{
    private final TransactionScope parent;

    public MainHttpScope(TransactionScope parent)
    {
        this.parent = parent;
    }

    @Override
    public Connection getConnection()
    {
        return parent.getConnection();
    }

    public URI getRequestedUri()
    {
        throw new UnsupportedOperationException("Will be implemented in a future release");
    }
}

The lifetime of child scopes must be equal to or less than the lifetime of the parent scope. This means that child scopes cannot exist without the parent. For example, the above conceptual model assumes that an HttpScope cannot exist without a TransactionScope but a TransactionScope may exist without an HttpScope. This enables a background thread to initiate a database connection without an HTTP request, but an HTTP request cannot be initiated without a database connection.

Service provider interfaces

Sometimes scopes need to expose methods to other scopes, but hide them from end-users.

For example:

/**
 * Methods that {@code ApplicationScope}s must implement, but are hidden from end-users.
 */
interface ApplicationScopeSpi extends ApplicationScope
{
    /**
     * @param serviceLocator the Jersey dependency-injection mechanism
     * @return a new HTTP scope
     * @throws NullPointerException if {@code serviceLocator} is null
     */
    HttpScope createHttpScope(ServiceLocator serviceLocator) throws NullPointerException;

    /**
     * Notifies the parent that a child scope has closed.
     * <p>
     * @param scope the scope that was closed
     * @throws NullPointerException  if {@code scope} is null
     * @throws IllegalStateException if the parent scope is closed
     */
    void onClosed(AutoCloseable scope)
        throws NullPointerException, IllegalStateException;
}

Now, if ApplicationScope implementations (e.g. MainApplicationScope) implement the ApplicationScopeSpi interface, and users code against the ApplicationScope interface then
HttpScope can invoke ApplicationScopeSpi.onClose(AutoCloseable) but end-users cannot see this method.

abstract class AbstractHttpScope
    implements HttpScope
{
    private final ApplicationScopeSpi parent;

    AbstractHttpScope(ApplicationScopeSpi parent)
    {
        this.parent = parent;
    }

    @Override
    public void close() throws RuntimeException
    {
        if (closed)
            return;
        closed = true;
        try
        {
            beforeClose();
        }
        finally
        {
            parent.onClosed(this);
        }
    }

    /**
     * A method that is invoked before closing the scope. Subclasses wishing to extend {@code close()}
     * should override this method.
     */
    protected abstract void beforeClose();
}

Waiting for child scopes to shut down

When running in a multi-threaded environment, such as a web server, you might want to wait for ongoing HTTP requests to complete before shutting down the server. You can use the ConcurrentChildScopes class to implement this as follows:

abstract class AbstractApplicationScope implements ApplicationScopeSpi
{
    /**
     * The maximum amount of time to wait for child scopes to close.
     */
    private static final Duration SHUTDOWN_TIMEOUT = Duration.ofSeconds(10);
    protected final ConcurrentChildScopes children = new ConcurrentChildScopes();
    private final AtomicBoolean closed = new AtomicBoolean();

    @Override
    public void onClosed(AutoCloseable scope) throws NullPointerException
    {
        children.onClosed(scope);
    }

    @Override
    public boolean isClosed()
    {
        return closed.get();
    }

    @Override
    public void close()
    {
        if (!closed.compareAndSet(false, true))
            return;
        children.close(SHUTDOWN_TIMEOUT);
    }
}

public class MainApplicationScope extends AbstractApplicationScope
{
    @Override
    public TransactionScope createTransactionScope()
        throws IllegalStateException
    {
        if (isClosed())
            throw new IllegalStateException("Scope is closed");
        return children.createChildScope(() -> new MainTransactionScope(this));
    }
}

Try it!

The pouch-jersey2 code repository contains a working example. Download a copy and try it for yourself.

Class guide

class-guide.png

Related projects

  • Preconditions: Fluent preconditions for Java methods.
  • JayWire promises to provide the power of dependency injection without the "magic".

License

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0: http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Updated