Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Extension points in tomcat5

My search for the ideal extension/hook/callback mechanism is over. After many months ( or years - if I count the many variations on Interceptors and 3.2 refactorings ) of search, I give up on the combined Valve/Interceptor and any other variation.

All tomcat developers seem to agree that JMX is the "right" solution to configure and manage the components inside tomcat. I believe JMX notification is the "right" solution for extension points and callbacks.

The benefits seem clear:

* a clean, simple, well documented and unlikely to change model.

* it'll be easy to know what notification a component sends and what notifications a component handles ( using JMX metadata )

* consistent configuration

* one simple and neutral interface - completely independent of tomcat internals

The only problem is that the notification model doesn't support the Valve - but instead of trying to support both Valve and Interceptor, we should just keep Valves around for all modules that need this kind of functionality.

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