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Working with JMX

1. Introduction

Given that Groovy sits directly on top of Java, Groovy can leverage the tremendous amount of work already done for JMX with Java. In addition, Groovy provides a GroovyMBean class which makes an MBean look like a normal Groovy object. This simplifies Groovy code for interacting with MBeans. For example, the following code:

println server.getAttribute(beanName, 'Age')
server.setAttribute(beanName, new Attribute('Name', 'New name'))
Object[] params = [5, 20]
String[] signature = [Integer.TYPE, Integer.TYPE]
println server.invoke(beanName, 'add', params, signature)

can be simplified to:

def mbean = new GroovyMBean(server, beanName)
println mbean.Age
mbean.Name = 'New name'
println mbean.add(5, 20)

The remainder of this page shows you how to:

  • Monitor the JVM using MXBeans

  • Monitor Apache Tomcat and display statistics

  • Monitor Oracle OC4J and display information

  • Monitor BEA WebLogic and display information

  • Leverage Spring’s MBean annotation support to export your Groovy beans as MBeans

2. Monitoring the JVM

MBeans are not accessed directly by an application but are managed by a repository called an MBean server. Java includes a special MBean server called the platform MBean server, which is built into the JVM. Platform MBeans are registered in this server using unique names.

You can monitor the JVM through its platform MBeans with the following code:


def os = ManagementFactory.operatingSystemMXBean
\tarchitecture = $os.arch
\tname = $
\tversion = $os.version
\tprocessors = $os.availableProcessors

def rt = ManagementFactory.runtimeMXBean
println """RUNTIME:
\tname = $
\tspec name = $rt.specName
\tvendor = $rt.specVendor
\tspec version = $rt.specVersion
\tmanagement spec version = $rt.managementSpecVersion

def cl = ManagementFactory.classLoadingMXBean
\tisVerbose = ${cl.isVerbose()}
\tloadedClassCount = $cl.loadedClassCount
\ttotalLoadedClassCount = $cl.totalLoadedClassCount
\tunloadedClassCount = $cl.unloadedClassCount

def comp = ManagementFactory.compilationMXBean
println """COMPILATION:
\ttotalCompilationTime = $comp.totalCompilationTime

def mem = ManagementFactory.memoryMXBean
def heapUsage = mem.heapMemoryUsage
def nonHeapUsage = mem.nonHeapMemoryUsage
println """MEMORY:
\tcommitted = $heapUsage.committed
\tinit = $heapUsage.init
\tmax = $heapUsage.max
\tused = $heapUsage.used
\tcommitted = $nonHeapUsage.committed
\tinit = $nonHeapUsage.init
\tmax = $nonHeapUsage.max
\tused = $nonHeapUsage.used

ManagementFactory.memoryPoolMXBeans.each { mp ->
    println "\tname: " +
    String[] mmnames = mp.memoryManagerNames
    mmnames.each{ mmname ->
        println "\t\tManager Name: $mmname"
    println "\t\tmtype = $mp.type"
    println "\t\tUsage threshold supported = " + mp.isUsageThresholdSupported()

def td = ManagementFactory.threadMXBean
println "THREADS:"
td.allThreadIds.each { tid ->
    println "\tThread name = ${td.getThreadInfo(tid).threadName}"

ManagementFactory.garbageCollectorMXBeans.each { gc ->
    println "\tname = $"
    println "\t\tcollection count = $gc.collectionCount"
    println "\t\tcollection time = $gc.collectionTime"
    String[] mpoolNames = gc.memoryPoolNames
    mpoolNames.each { mpoolName ->
        println "\t\tmpool name = $mpoolName"

When run, you will see something like this:

	architecture = x86
	name = Windows XP
	version = 5.1
	processors = 2

	name = 620@LYREBIRD
	spec name = Java Virtual Machine Specification
	vendor = Sun Microsystems Inc.
	spec version = 1.0
	management spec version = 1.0

	isVerbose = false
	loadedClassCount = 919
	totalLoadedClassCount = 919
	unloadedClassCount = 0

	totalCompilationTime = 91

	committed = 3108864
	init = 0
	max = 66650112
	used = 1994728
	committed = 9240576
	init = 8585216
	max = 100663296
	used = 5897880

	name: Code Cache
		Manager Name: CodeCacheManager
		mtype = Non-heap memory
		Usage threshold supported = true
	name: Eden Space
		Manager Name: MarkSweepCompact
		Manager Name: Copy
		mtype = Heap memory
		Usage threshold supported = false
	name: Survivor Space
		Manager Name: MarkSweepCompact
		Manager Name: Copy
		mtype = Heap memory
		Usage threshold supported = false
	name: Tenured Gen
		Manager Name: MarkSweepCompact
		mtype = Heap memory
		Usage threshold supported = true
	name: Perm Gen
		Manager Name: MarkSweepCompact
		mtype = Non-heap memory
		Usage threshold supported = true

	Thread name = Monitor Ctrl-Break
	Thread name = Signal Dispatcher
	Thread name = Finalizer
	Thread name = Reference Handler
	Thread name = main

	name = Copy
		collection count = 60
		collection time = 141
		mpool name = Eden Space
		mpool name = Survivor Space
	name = MarkSweepCompact
		collection count = 0
		collection time = 0
		mpool name = Eden Space
		mpool name = Survivor Space
		mpool name = Tenured Gen
		mpool name = Perm Gen

3. Monitoring Tomcat

First start up Tomcat with JMX monitoring enabled by setting the following:


You can do this in your startup script and may choose any available port, we used 9004.

The following code uses JMX to discover the available MBeans in the running Tomcat, determine which are web modules, extract the processing time for each web module and displays the result in a graph using JFreeChart:

import groovy.swing.SwingBuilder

import as JmxFactory
import as JmxUrl
import javax.swing.WindowConstants as WC

import org.jfree.chart.ChartFactory
import as Dataset
import org.jfree.chart.plot.PlotOrientation as Orientation

def serverUrl = 'service:jmx:rmi:///jndi/rmi://localhost:9004/jmxrmi'
def server = JmxFactory.connect(new JmxUrl(serverUrl)).MBeanServerConnection
def serverInfo = new GroovyMBean(server, 'Catalina:type=Server').serverInfo
println "Connected to: $serverInfo"

def query = new ObjectName('Catalina:*')
String[] allNames = server.queryNames(query, null)
def modules = allNames.findAll { name ->
}.collect{ new GroovyMBean(server, it) }

println "Found ${modules.size()} web modules. Processing ..."
def dataset = new Dataset()

modules.each { m ->
    dataset.addValue m.processingTime, 0, m.path

def labels = ['Time per Module', 'Module', 'Time']
def options = [false, true, true]
def chart = ChartFactory.createBarChart(*labels, dataset,
                Orientation.VERTICAL, *options)
def swing = new SwingBuilder()
def frame = swing.frame(title:'Catalina Module Processing Time', defaultCloseOperation:WC.EXIT_ON_CLOSE) {
    panel(id:'canvas') { rigidArea(width:600, height:250) }
chart.draw(, swing.canvas.bounds)

When run, we will see a trace of progress being made:

Connected to: Apache Tomcat/6.0.13
Found 5 web modules. Processing ...

The output will look like this:


Note: if you get errors running this script, see the Troubleshooting section below.

4. OC4J Example

Here is a script to access OC4J and print out some information about the server, its runtime and (as an example) the configured JMS destinations:

import oracle.oc4j.admin.jmx.remote.api.JMXConnectorConstant

def serverUrl = new JMXServiceURL('service:jmx:rmi://localhost:23791')
def serverPath = 'oc4j:j2eeType=J2EEServer,name=standalone'
def jvmPath = 'oc4j:j2eeType=JVM,name=single,J2EEServer=standalone'
def provider = 'oracle.oc4j.admin.jmx.remote'
def credentials = [
    (JMXConnectorConstant.CREDENTIALS_LOGIN_KEY): 'oc4jadmin',
    (JMXConnectorConstant.CREDENTIALS_PASSWORD_KEY): 'admin'
def env = [
    (JMXConnectorFactory.PROTOCOL_PROVIDER_PACKAGES): provider,
    (JMXConnector.CREDENTIALS): credentials
def server = JmxFactory.connect(serverUrl, env).MBeanServerConnection
def serverInfo = new GroovyMBean(server, serverPath)
def jvmInfo = new GroovyMBean(server, jvmPath)
println """Connected to $serverInfo.node. \
Server started ${new Date(serverInfo.startTime)}.
OC4J version:  $serverInfo.serverVersion from $serverInfo.serverVendor
JVM version:   $jvmInfo.javaVersion from $jvmInfo.javaVendor
Memory usage:  $jvmInfo.freeMemory bytes free, \
$jvmInfo.totalMemory bytes total

def query = new'oc4j:*')
String[] allNames = server.queryNames(query, null)
def dests = allNames.findAll { name ->
}.collect { new GroovyMBean(server, it) }

println "Found ${dests.size()} JMS destinations. Listing ..."
dests.each { d -> println "$ $d.location" }

Here is the result of running this script:

Connected to LYREBIRD. Server started Thu May 31 21:04:54 EST 2007.
OC4J version: from Oracle Corp.
JVM version:   1.6.0_01 from Sun Microsystems Inc.
Memory usage:  8709976 bytes free, 25153536 bytes total

Found 5 JMS destinations. Listing ...
Demo Queue: jms/demoQueue
Demo Topic: jms/demoTopic
jms/Oc4jJmsExceptionQueue: jms/Oc4jJmsExceptionQueue
jms/RAExceptionQueue: jms/RAExceptionQueue
OracleASRouter_store: OracleASRouter_store

As a slight variation, this script displays a pie chart of memory usage using JFreeChart:

import org.jfree.chart.ChartFactory
import javax.swing.WindowConstants as WC
import oracle.oc4j.admin.jmx.remote.api.JMXConnectorConstant

def url = 'service:jmx:rmi://localhost:23791'
def credentials = [:]
credentials[JMXConnectorConstant.CREDENTIALS_LOGIN_KEY] = "oc4jadmin"
credentials[JMXConnectorConstant.CREDENTIALS_PASSWORD_KEY] = "password"
def env = [:]
env[JMXConnectorFactory.PROTOCOL_PROVIDER_PACKAGES] = "oracle.oc4j.admin.jmx.remote"
env[JMXConnector.CREDENTIALS] = credentials
def server = JMXConnectorFactory.connect(new JMXServiceURL(url), env).MBeanServerConnection
def jvmInfo = new GroovyMBean(server, 'oc4j:j2eeType=JVM,name=single,J2EEServer=standalone')

def piedata = new
piedata.setValue "Free", jvmInfo.freeMemory
piedata.setValue "Used", jvmInfo.totalMemory - jvmInfo.freeMemory

def options = [true, true, true]
def chart = ChartFactory.createPieChart('OC4J Memory Usage', piedata, *options)
chart.backgroundPaint = java.awt.Color.white
def swing = new groovy.swing.SwingBuilder()
def frame = swing.frame(title:'OC4J Memory Usage', defaultCloseOperation:WC.EXIT_ON_CLOSE) {
    panel(id:'canvas') { rigidArea(width:350, height:250) }
chart.draw(, swing.canvas.bounds)

Which looks like:


5. WebLogic Example

This script prints out information about the server followed by information about JMS Destinations (as an example). Many other mbeans are available.

import javax.naming.Context

def urlRuntime = '/jndi/'
def urlBase = 'service:jmx:t3://localhost:7001'

def serviceURL = new JMXServiceURL(urlBase + urlRuntime)
def h = new Hashtable()
h.put(Context.SECURITY_PRINCIPAL, 'weblogic')
h.put(Context.SECURITY_CREDENTIALS, 'weblogic')
def server = JMXConnectorFactory.connect(serviceURL, h).MBeanServerConnection
def domainName = new ObjectName('com.bea:Name=RuntimeService,')
def rtName = server.getAttribute(domainName, 'ServerRuntime')
def rt = new GroovyMBean(server, rtName)
println "Server: name=$rt.Name, state=$rt.State, version=$rt.WeblogicVersion"
def destFilter = Query.match(Query.attr('Type'), Query.value('JMSDestinationRuntime'))
server.queryNames(new ObjectName('com.bea:*'), destFilter).each { name ->
    def jms = new GroovyMBean(server, name)
    println "JMS Destination: name=$jms.Name, type=$jms.DestinationType, messages=$jms.MessagesReceivedCount"

Here is the output:

Server: name=examplesServer, state=RUNNING, version=WebLogic Server 10.0  Wed May 9 18:10:27 EDT 2007 933139
JMS Destination: name=examples-jms!exampleTopic, type=Topic, messages=0
JMS Destination: name=examples-jms!exampleQueue, type=Queue, messages=0
JMS Destination: name=examples-jms!jms/MULTIDATASOURCE_MDB_QUEUE, type=Queue, messages=0
JMS Destination: name=examplesJMSServer!examplesJMSServer.TemporaryQueue0, type=Queue, messages=68
JMS Destination: name=examples-jms!quotes, type=Topic, messages=0
JMS Destination: name=examples-jms!weblogic.wsee.wseeExamplesDestinationQueue, type=Queue, messages=0
JMS Destination: name=examples-jms!weblogic.examples.ejb30.ExampleQueue, type=Queue, messages=0

6. Spring Example

You can also use Spring to automatically register beans as JMX aware.

Here is an example class (Calculator.groovy):

import org.springframework.jmx.export.annotation.*

@ManagedResource(objectName="bean:name=calcMBean", description="Calculator MBean")
public class Calculator {

    private int invocations

    @ManagedAttribute(description="The Invocation Attribute")
    public int getInvocations() {
        return invocations

    private int base = 10

    @ManagedAttribute(description="The Base to use when adding strings")
    public int getBase() {
        return base

    @ManagedAttribute(description="The Base to use when adding strings")
    public void setBase(int base) {
        this.base = base

    @ManagedOperation(description="Add two numbers")
        @ManagedOperationParameter(name="x", description="The first number"),
        @ManagedOperationParameter(name="y", description="The second number")])
    public int add(int x, int y) {
        return x + y

    @ManagedOperation(description="Add two strings representing numbers of a particular base")
        @ManagedOperationParameter(name="x", description="The first number"),
        @ManagedOperationParameter(name="y", description="The second number")])
    public String addStrings(String x, String y) {
        def result = Integer.valueOf(x, base) + Integer.valueOf(y, base)
        return Integer.toString(result, base)

Here is the Spring configuration file (beans.xml):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""
    <bean id="mbeanServer"
        <property name="locateExistingServerIfPossible" value="true"/>

    <bean id="exporter"
        <property name="assembler" ref="assembler"/>
        <property name="namingStrategy" ref="namingStrategy"/>
        <property name="beans">
                <entry key="bean:name=defaultCalcName" value-ref="calcBean"/>
        <property name="server" ref="mbeanServer"/>
        <property name="autodetect" value="true"/>

    <bean id="jmxAttributeSource"

    <!-- will create management interface using annotation metadata -->
    <bean id="assembler"
        <property name="attributeSource" ref="jmxAttributeSource"/>

    <!-- will pick up the ObjectName from the annotation -->
    <bean id="namingStrategy"
        <property name="attributeSource" ref="jmxAttributeSource"/>

    <bean id="calcBean"
        <property name="base" value="10"/>

Here is a script which uses this bean and configuration:


// get normal bean
def ctx = new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("beans.xml")
def calc = ctx.getBean("calcBean")

Thread.start {
    // access bean via JMX, use a separate thread just to
    // show that we could access remotely if we wanted
    def server = ManagementFactory.platformMBeanServer
    def mbean = new GroovyMBean(server, 'bean:name=calcMBean')
    sleep 1000
    assert 8 == mbean.add(7, 1)
    mbean.Base = 8
    assert '10' == mbean.addStrings('7', '1')
    mbean.Base = 16
    sleep 2000
    println "Number of invocations: $mbean.Invocations"
    println mbean

assert 15 == calc.add(9, 6)
assert '11' == calc.addStrings('10', '1')
sleep 2000
assert '20' == calc.addStrings('1f', '1')

And here is the resulting output:

Number of invocations: 5
MBean Name:

  (rw) int Base
  (r) int Invocations
  int add(int x, int y)
  java.lang.String addStrings(java.lang.String x, java.lang.String y)
  int getInvocations()
  int getBase()
  void setBase(int p1)

You can even attach to the process while it is running with jconsole. It will look something like:


We started the Groovy application with the JVM argument.

See also:

7. Troubleshooting

7.1. java.lang.SecurityException

If you get the following error, your container’s JMX access is password protected:

java.lang.SecurityException: Authentication failed! Credentials required

To fix that, add an environment with the credentials when connecting, like this (password has to be set before that):

def jmxEnv = null
if (password != null) {
    jmxEnv = [(JMXConnector.CREDENTIALS): (String[])["monitor", password]]
def connector = JMXConnectorFactory.connect(new JMXServiceURL(serverUrl), jmxEnv)

Details for the software you are trying to monitor/manage may differ slightly. Check out the other examples using credentials above if appropriate (e.g. OC4J and WebLogic). If you still have troubles, you will have to consult the documentation for the software you are trying to monitor/manage for details on how to provide credentials.

8. JmxBuilder

JmxBuilder is a Groovy-based domain specific language for the Java Management Extension (JMX) API. It uses the builder pattern (FactoryBuilder) to create an internal DSL that facilitates the exposure of POJO’s and Groovy beans as management components via the MBean server. JmxBuilder hides the complexity of creating and exporting management beans via the JMX API and provides a set of natural Groovy constructs to interact with the JMX infrastructure.

8.1. Instantiating JmxBuilder

To start using JmxBuilder, simply make sure the jar file is on your class path. Then you can do the following in your code:

def jmx = new JmxBuilder()

That’s it! You are now ready to use the JmxBuilder.


  • You can pass in an instance of your own MBeanServer to the builder (JmxBuilder(MBeanServer))

  • If no MBeanServer is specified, the builder instance will default to the underlying platform MBeanServer.

Once you have an instance of JmxBuilder, you are now ready to invoke any of its builder nodes.

8.2. JMX Connectors

Remote connectivity is a crucial part of the JMX architecture. JmxBuilder facilitates the creation of connector servers and connector clients with a minimal amount of coding.

8.2.1. Connector Server

JmxBuilder.connectorServer() supports the full Connector api syntax and will let you specify properties, override the URL, specify your own host, etc.


        "sslEnabled" : true | false
        // any valid connector property

Note that the serverConnector node will accept four ServerConnector property aliases (authenticate, passwordFile,accessFile, and sslEnabled). You can use these aliases or provided any of the RMI-supported properties.

Example - Connector Server (see correction below)

jmx.connectorServer(port: 9000).start()

The snippet above returns an RMI connector that will start listening on port 9000. By default, the builder will internally generate URL "service:jmx:rmi:///jndi/rmi://localhost:9000/jmxrmi".

NOTE: Sadly you are as likely to get something like the following when attempting to run the previous snippet of code (example is incomplete, see below):

Caught: Cannot bind to URL [rmi://localhost:9000/jmxrmi]: javax.naming.ServiceUnavailableException [Root exception is java.rmi.ConnectException: Connection refused to host: localhost; nested exception is:
?????? Connection refused]

This occurs on Mac and Linux (CentOS 5) with Groovy 1.6 installed. Perhaps there were assumptions made about the configuration of the /etc/hosts file?

The correct example is shown below.

Connector Example (Corrected) - Connector Server

The example above does not create the RMI registry. So, in order to export, you have to first export the RMI object registry (make sure to import java.rmi.registry.LocateRegistry).

import java.rmi.registry.LocateRegistry

jmx.connectorServer(port: 9000).start()

8.2.2. Connector Client

JmxBuilder.connectorClient() node lets you create JMX connector client object to connect to a JMX MBean Server.


jmx.connectorClient (

Example - Client Connector

Creating a connector client can be done just as easily. With one line of code, you can create an instance of a JMX Connector Client as shown below.

def client = jmx.connectorClient(port: 9000)

You can then access the MBeanServerConnection associated with the connector using:


8.3. JmxBuilder MBean Export

You can export a Java object or a Groovy object with minimal coding. JmxBuilder will even find and export dynamic Groovy methods injected at runtime.

8.3.1. Implicit vs Explicit Descriptors

When using the builder, you can let JmxBuilder implicitly generate all of your MBean descriptor info. This is useful when you want to write minimal code to quickly export your beans. You can also explicitly declare all descriptor info for the bean. This gives you total control on how you want to describe every piece of information that you want to export for the underlying bean.

8.3.2. The JmxBuilder.export() Node

The JmxBuilder.export() node provides a container where all management entities to be exported to the MBeanServer are placed. You can place one or more bean() or timer() nodes as children of the export() node. JmxBuilder will automatically batch export the entities described by the nodes to the MBean server for management (see example below).

def beans = jmx.export {
    bean(new Foo())
    bean(new Bar())
    bean(new SomeBar())

In the code snippet above, JmxBuilder.export() will export three management beans to the MBean server.

8.3.3. JmxBuilder.export() Syntax

JmxBuilder.export() node supports the registrationPolicy parameter to specify how JmxBuilder will behave to resolve bean name collision during MBean registration:

  • replace - JmxBuilder.export() will replace any bean already registered with the MBean during export.

  • ignore - The bean being exported will be ignored if the same bean is already registered.

  • error - JmxBuilder.export() throws an error upon bean name collision during registration.

8.3.4. Integration with GroovyMBean Class

When you export an MBean to the MBeanServer, JmxBuilder will return an instance of GroovyMBean representing the management bean that have been exported by the builder. Nodes such as bean() and timer() will return an instances of GroovyMBean when they are invoked. The export() node returns an array of all of GroovyMBean[] representing all managed objects exported to the MBean server.

8.3.5. MBean Registration with JmxBuilder.bean()

This portion of this reference uses class RequestController to illustrate how to use JmxBuilder to export runtime management beans. The class is for illustration purpose and can be a POJO or a Groovy bean.


class RequestController {
    // constructors
    RequestController() { super() }
    RequestController(Map resource) { }

    // attributes
    boolean isStarted() { true }
    int getRequestCount() { 0 }
    int getResourceCount() { 0 }
    void setRequestLimit(int limit) { }
    int getRequestLimit() { 0 }

    // operations
    void start() { }
    void stop() { }
    void putResource(String name, Object resource) { }
    void makeRequest(String res) { }
    void makeRequest() { }
Implicit Export

As mentioned earlier, you can use JmxBuilder’s flexible syntax to export any POJO/POGO with no descriptor. The builder can automatically describe all aspects of the management beans using implicit defaults. These default values can easily be overridden as we’ll see in this in the next section.

The simplest way to export a POJO or POGO is listed below.

jmx.export {
    bean(new RequestController(resource: "Hello World"))

What this does:

  • First, the JmxBuilder.export() node will export an MBean to the MBeanServer representing the declared POJO instance.

  • The builder will generate a default ObjectName for the MBean and all other MBean descriptor information.

  • JmxBuilder will automatically export all declared attributes (MBean getter/setters), constructors, and operations on the instance.

  • The exported attributes will have read-only visibility.

Remember, JmxBuilder.export() returns an array of GroovyMBean[] objects for all exported instances. So, once you call JmxBuilder.export(), you have immediate access to the underlying MBean proxy (via GroovyMBean).

JConsole view of Exported Bean


8.3.6. JmxBuilder.bean() Syntax

The JmxBuilder.bean() node supports an extensive set of descriptors to describe your bean for management. The JMX MBeanServer uses these descriptors to expose meta data about the bean exposed for management.

jmx.export {
        target:bean instance,
        attributes:[ "AttrubuteName1","AttributeName2",...,"AttributeName_n" ]
                onChange:{event-> // event handler}

            "Constructor Name":[],
            "Constructor Name":[ "ParamType1","ParamType2,...,ParamType_n" ],
            "Constructor Name":[
                    "ParamType2":[desc:"...", name:"..."],...,
                    "ParamType_n":[desc:"...", name:"..."]

        operations:[ "OperationName1", "OperationName2",...,"OperationNameN" ],
            "OperationName2":[ "type1","type2,"type3" ]
                    "ParamType2":[desc:"...", name:"..."],...,
                    "ParamType_n":[desc:"...", name:"..."]
                onInvoked:{event-> JmxBuilder.send(event:"", to:"")}

            "ListenerName1":[event: "...", from:ObjectName, call:{event->}],
            "ListenerName2":[event: "...", from:ObjectName, call:&methodPointer]


Instead of describing the entire node, the following section explore each attribute separately.

8.3.7. Bean() Node - Specifying MBean ObjectName

Using the bean() node descriptors, you can specify your own MBean ObjectName.

def ctrl = new RequestController(resource:"Hello World")
def beans = jmx.export {
    bean(target: ctrl, name: "jmx.tutorial:type=Object")

The ObjectName can be specified as a String or an instance of the ObjectName.

8.4. Bean() Node - Attribute Export

JMX attributes are the setters and getters on the underlying bean. The JmxBuilder.bean() node provides several ways to flexibly describe and export MBean attributes. You can combine them however you want to achieve any level of attribute visibility. Let’s take a look.

8.4.1. Export All Attributes with Wildcard "*"

The following code snippet will describe and export all attributes on the bean as read-only. JmxBuilder will use default values to describe the attributes that exported for management.

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
    bean(target: new RequestController(),
    name: objName,
    attributes: "*")

8.4.2. Export Attribute List

JmxBuilder will let you specify a list of attributes to export.

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
        target: new RequestController(),
        name: objName,
        attributes: ["Resource", "RequestCount"]

In the snippet above, only the "Resource" and "RequestCount" attributes will be exported. Again, since no descriptors are provided, JmxBuilder will use sensible defaults to describe the exported attributes.

8.4.3. Export Attribute with Explicit Descriptors

One of the strengths of JmxBuilder is its flexibility in describing MBean. With the builder you can describe all aspects of the MBeans attribute that you want to export to the MBeanServer (see syntax above).

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
        target: new RequestController(),
        name: objName,
        attributes: [
            "Resource": [desc: "The resource to request.", readable: true, writable: true, defaultValue: "Hello"],
            "RequestCount": "*"

In the snippet above, attribute "Resource" is fully-described using all supported descriptors (i.e. desc, readable, writable, defaultValue) for a JMX attribute. However, we use the wildcard to describe attribute RequestCount and it will be exported and described using defaults.

8.5. Bean() Node - Constructor Export

JmxBuilder supports the explicit description and export of constructors defined in the underlying bean. There are several options available when exporting constructors. You can combine them however you want to achieve the desired level of manageability.

8.5.1. Export all Constructors with "*"

You can use the builder’s special '""' notation to *export all constructors declared on the underlying bean. The builder will use default values to describe the MBean constructors.

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
        target: new RequestController(),
        name: objName,
        constructors: "*"

8.5.2. Export Constructors using Parameter Descriptor

JmxBuilder lets you target specific constructor to export by describing the parameter signature. This is useful when you have several constructors with different parameter signature and you want to export specific constructors.

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
        target: new RequestController(),
        name: objName,
        constructors: [
            "RequestController": ["Object"]

Here, JmxBuilder will export a constructor that takes one parameter of type "Object". Again, JmxBuilder will use default values to fill in the description of the constructor and the parameters.

8.5.3. Export Constructor with Explicit Descriptors

JmxBuilder allows you to fully-describe the constructor that you want to target for export (see syntax above).

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
    bean(target: new RequestController(), name: objName,
        constructors: [
            "RequestController": [
                desc: "Constructor takes param",
                params: ["Object" : [name: "Resource", desc: "Resource for controller"]]

In the code above, JmxBuilder will target a constructor that takes one parameter for export to the MBeanServer. Notice how the constructor can be fully-described using all optional descriptor keys including parameter descriptors.

8.6. Bean() Node - Operation Export

Similar to constructors, JmxBuilder supports the description and export of MBean operations using a flexible notation (see above for syntax). You can combine these notations however you want to achieve the level of operation manageability desired.

8.6.1. Export All Operations with "*"

You can use the builder’s special '""'' notation to *export all operations defined on the bean to be exposed for management. The builder will use default descriptor values for the operations being exported.

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
        target: new RequestController(),
        name: objName,
        operations: "*"

In this snippet, JmxBuilder will export all bean operations and will use default values to describe them in the MBeanServer.

8.6.2. Export Operation List

JmxBuilder has a shorthand notation that lets you quickly target operations to be exported by providing a list of methods to export.

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
        target: new RequestController(),
        name: objName,
        operations: ["start", "stop"]

In the snippet above, the builder will only export methods start() and stop(). All other methods will be ignored. JmxBuilder will use default descriptor values to describe the operations being exported.

8.6.3. Export Operations by Signature

Using JmxBuilder, you can target methods to export for management using the methods’s parameter signature. This is useful when you want to distinguish methods with the same name that you want to export (i.e. stop() instead of stop(boolean)).

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
        target: new RequestController(),
        name: objName,
        operations: [
            "makeRequest": ["String"]

In the snippet above, JmxBuilder would select method makeRequest(String) to be exported instead of the other version makeRequest() which takes no parameter. In this shorthand context, the signature is specified as a list of type (i.e. "String").

8.6.4. Export Operations with Explicit Descriptors

JmxBuilder supports detailed descriptors for bean operations. You can supply deep descriptor info about any operation on your bean including a name, description, method parameters, parameter type, and parameter description.

def objName = new ObjectName("jmx.tutorial:type=Object")
def beans = jmx.export {
    bean(target: new RequestController(), name: objName,
        operations: [
            "start": [desc: "Starts request controller"],
            "stop": [desc: "Stops the request controller"],
            "setResource": [params: ["Object"]],
            "makeRequest": [
                desc: "Executes the request.",
                params: [
                    "String": [name: "Resource", desc: "The resource to request"]

The snippet above shows all of the ways JmxBuilder allows you to describe an operation targeted for management:

  • Operations start() and stop() are described by the "desc" key (this is enough since there are no params).

  • In operation setResource() uses of a shorthand version of params: to describe the parameters for the method.

  • makeRequest() uses the the extended descriptor syntax to describe all aspects of the operation.

8.7. Embedding Descriptor

JmxBuilder supports the ability to embed descriptors directly in your Groovy class. So, instead of wrapping your description around the declared object (as we’ve seen here), you can embed your JMX descriptors directly in your class.


class RequestControllerGroovy {
    // attributes
    boolean started
    int requestCount
    int resourceCount
    int requestLimit
    Map resources

    // operations
    void start() { }
    void stop(){ }
    void putResource(String name, Object resource) { }
    void makeRequest(String res) { }
    void makeRequest() { }

    static descriptor = [
        name: "jmx.builder:type=EmbeddedObject",
        operations: ["start", "stop", "putResource"],
        attributes: "*"

// export
    bean(new RequestControllerGroovy())

There are two things going on in the code above:

  • Groovy class RequestControllerGroovy is defined and includes a static descriptor member. That member is used to declare a JmxBuilder descriptor to describe member of the class targeted for JMX export.

  • The second part of the code shows how to use JmxBuilder to export that class for management.

8.8. Timer Export

JMX standards mandate that the implementation of the API makes available a timer service. Since JMX is a component-based architecture, timers provide an excellent signalling mechanism to communicate to registered listener components in the MBeanServer. JmxBuilder supports the creation and export of timers using the same easy syntax we’ve seen so far.

8.8.1. Timer Node Syntax


The timer() node supports several attributes:

  • name: - Required The qualified JMX ObjectName instance (or String) for the timer.

  • event: - The JMX event type string that will be broadcast with every timing signal (default "jmx.builder.event").

  • message: - An optional string value that can be sent to listeners.

  • data: - An optional object that can be sent to listeners of timing signal.

  • startDate: - When to start timer. Set of valid values [ "now", date object ]. Default is "now"

  • period: - A timer’s period expressed as either a number of millisecond or time unit (day, hour, minute, second). See description below.

  • occurrences: - A number indicating the number of time to repeat timer. Default is forever.

8.8.2. Exporting a Timer

def timer = jmx.timer(name: "jmx.builder:type=Timer", event: "heartbeat", period: "1s")

This snippet above describes, creates, and exports a standard JMX Timer component. Here, the timer() node returns a GroovyMBean that represents the registered timer MBean in the MBeanServer.

An alternative way of exporting timers is within the JmxBuilder.export() node.

def beans = jmx.export {
    timer(name: "jmx.builder:type=Timer1", event: "event.signal", period: "1s")
    timer(name: "jmx.builder:type=Timer2", event: "event.log", period: "1s")

8.8.3. Timer Period

The timer() node supports a flexible notation for specifying the timer period values. You can specify the time in second, minutes, hour, and day. The default is millisecond.

  • timer(period: 100) = 100 millisecond

  • timer(period: "1s") = 1 second

  • timer(period: "1m") = 1 minute

  • timer(period: "1h") = 1 hour

  • timer(period: "1d") = 1 day

The node will automatically translate.

8.9. JmxBuilder and Events

An integral part of JMX is its event model. Registered management beans can communicate with each other by broadcasting events on the MBeanServer’s event bus. JmxBuilder provides several ways to easily listen and react to events broadcasted on the MBeanServer’s event bus. Developers can capture any event on the bus or throw their own to be consumed by other components registered on the MBeanServer.

8.9.1. Event Handling Closures

JmxBuilder leverages Groovy’s use of closures to provide simple, yet elegant, mean of reacting to JMX events. JmxBuilder supports two closure signatures:

callback = { ->
    // event handling code here.

JmxBuilder executes the closure and passes no information about the event that was captured on the bus.

With Event Parameter
callback = { event ->
    // event handling code

JmxBuilder will pass an "event" object to the closure using this format. The event object contains information about the event was intercepted so that it can be handled by the handler. The parameter will contain different set of info depending on the event that was captured.

8.9.2. Handling Attribute onChange Event

When describing attributes (see bean() node section above), you can provide a closure (or method pointer) for callback to be executed when the value of the attribute is updated on the exported MBean. This gives developers an opportunity to listen to and react to state changes on the MBean.

jmx.export {
        target: new RequestController(), name: "jmx.tutorial:type=Object",
        attributes: [
            "Resource": [
                readable: true, writable: true,
                onChange: { e ->
                    println e.oldValue
                    println e.newValue

The sample snippet above shows how to specify an "onChange" callback closure when describing MBean attributes. In this sample code, whenever attribute "Resource" is updated via the exported MBean, the onChange event will be executed.

8.9.3. Attribute onChange Event Object

When handling the attribute onChange event, the handler closure will receive an event object with the following info:

  • event.oldValue - the previous attribute value before the change event.

  • event.newValue - the new value of the attribute after the change.

  • event.attribute - the name of the attribute on which the event occurred.

  • event.attributeType - the data type of the attribute that causes the event.

  • event.sequenceNumber - a numeric value representing the sequence number of event.

  • event.timeStamp - a time stamp for the event occurrence.

8.9.4. Handling Operation onCall Event

Similar to mbean attributes, JmxBuilder affords developers the ability to listen for operation invocation on an MBean registered in the MBeaServer. JmxBuilder accepts a callback closure that will be executed after the MBean method has invoked.

class EventHandler {
    void handleStart(e){
        println e
def handler = new EventHandler()

def beans = jmx.export {
    bean(target: new RequestController(), name: "jmx.tutorial:type=Object",
        operations: [
            "start": [
                desc:"Starts request controller",

The snippet above shows how to declare an "onCall" closure to be used as listener when operation "start()" is invoked on the MBean. This sample uses the method pointer syntax to illustrate the versatility of JmxBuilder.

8.9.5. Operation onCall Event Object

When handling the operation onCall event, the callback closure will receive an event object with the following info:

  • event.event - the event type string that was broadcasted.

  • event.source - The object on which the method was invoked.

  • - the data type of the attribute that causes the event.

  • event.sequenceNumber - a numeric value representing the sequence number of event.

  • event.timeStamp - a time stamp for the event occurrence.

8.10. Listener MBean

When you export an MBean with the bean() node, you can define events the MBean can listen and react to. The bean() node provides a "listeners:" attribute that lets you define event listeners that your bean can react to.

def beans = jmx.export {
    timer(name: "jmx.builder:type=Timer", event: "heartbeat", period: "1s").start()
    bean(target: new RequestController(), name: "jmx.tutorial:type=Object",
        operations: "*",
        listeners: [
            heartbeat: [
                from: "jmx.builder:type=Timer",
                call: { e ->
                    println e

In the sample above, we see the syntax for adding listeners to an exported MBean.

  • Fist, a timer is exported and started.

  • Then an MBean is declared that will listen to the timer event and do something meaningful.

  • The "heartbeat:" name is arbitrary and has no correlation to the timer declared above.

  • The source of the event is specified using the "from:" attribute.

You can also specify an event type you are interested in receiving from a broadcaster (since a broadcaster can be emitting multiple events).

8.10.1. Listening to JMX Events

In some cases, you will want to create stand-alone event listeners (not attached to exported MBeans). JmxBuilder provides the Listener() node to let you create JMX listeners that can listen to MBeanServer events. This is useful when creating JMX client applications to monitor/manage JMX agents on remote JMX MBeanServers.

8.10.2. Listener Node Syntax

    event: "...",
    from: "object name" | ObjectName,
    call: { event-> }

Here is the description of the listener() node attributes:

  • event: An optional string that identifies the JMX event type to listen for.

  • from (required): The JMX ObjectName of the component to listen to. This can be specified as a string or an instance of ObjectName

  • call: The closure to execute when the event is captured. This can also be specified as a Groovy method pointer.

Here is an example of JmxBuilder’s listener node:

jmx.timer(name: "jmx.builder:type=Timer", period: "1s").start()

    from: "jmx.builder:type=Timer",
    call: { e ->
        println "beep..."

This example shows how you can use a stand alone listener (outside of an MBean export). Here, we export a timer with a 1 second resolution. Then, we specify a listener to that timer that will print "beep" every second.

8.11. Emitting JMX Events

JmxBuilder provides the tools needed to broadcast your own events on the MBeanServer’s event bus. There are no restrictions on the event type you can broadcast. You simply declare your emitter and the event type that you want to send, then broadcast your event at any time. Any registered component in the MBeanServer can register themselves to listen to your events.

8.11.1. Emitter Syntax

jmx.emitter(name:"Object:Name", event:"type")

The attributes for the node Emitter() can be summarized as follows:

  • name: an optional JMX ObjectName used to register your emitter in the MBeanServer. Default is jmx.builder:type=Emitter,name=Emitter@OBJECT_HASH_VALUE

  • event: an option string value that describes the JMX event type. Default is "jmx.builder.event.emitter".

8.11.2. Declare the Emitter

def emitter = jmx.emitter()

The snippet declares the emitter using implicit descriptor syntax. JmxBuilder will do the followings:

  • Create and register an emitter MBean with a default ObjectName.

  • Setup a default event type with value "jmx.builder.event.emitter".

  • Return a GroovyMBean representing the emitter.

As with other nodes in the builder, you can override all keys in the emitter() node. You can specify the ObjectName and the event type.

8.11.3. Broadcast Event

Once you have declared your emitter, you can broadcast your event.


The sample above shows the emitter sending an event, once it has been declared. Any JMX component registered in the MBeanServer can register to receive message from this emitter.

8.11.4. Sending Event Objects

You can optionally pass data to the receiver when you send the message.


If you use an event listener closure (see above) that accepts a parameter, you can access that value.