JavaLite Async is a lightweight system for processing asynchronous jobs. When developing a website, you often need to run some process while not slowing down user page refresh.

Async uses Apache Artemis under the hood, but makes it very easy to do so. While Apache Artemis is a JMS broker, the Async adds an abstraction layer based on a Command Pattern, which makes it trivial to add asynchronous processing:

Embedded broker instance

Setting up Apache Artemis requires substantial knowledge of JMS and this specific implementation. However, JavaLite Async makes it easy by configuring Apache Artemis with reasonable defaults

Async async = new Async("/opt/project1", false, new QueueConfig("email", new CommandListener(), 50));

where /opt/project1 is a place to store persistent messages, email is a name of a queue, and 50 is number of listeners (threads) to create for processing.

Writing a simple command

Lets write a command, which will simply print a message to console:

public class HelloCommand extends Command {

    private String message;

    public HelloCommand(String message) {
        this.message = message;

    public HelloCommand() {} //necessary to provide

    public void execute() {

Processing a command

Lets instantiate and start the broker:

Async async = new Async(filePath, false, new QueueConfig("MESSAGES_QUEUE", new CommandListener(), 5));

after that, sending a command for asynchronous processing is a one line of code:

for(int i = 0; i < 100; i++){
    async.send("MESSAGES_QUEUE", new HelloCommand("Hello, Dolly " + i));

as expected, the output of this process will be:

Hello, Dolly 0
Hello, Dolly 2
Hello, Dolly 1
Hello, Dolly 3
Hello, Dolly 4

In the example above, we allocated 5 threads for processing, therefore the order of execution of the comands will not necessarily be linear, since threads will process messages in parallel.

Creating multiple queues

The JavaLite Async allows to create and configure multiple queues:

Async async = new Async(filePath, false, 
new QueueConfig("MESSAGES_QUEUE", new CommandListener(), 5), 
new QueueConfig("ERROR_QUEUE", new CommandListener(), 0));

The constructor accepts an array of QueueConfig instances as a vararg.

Peeking into queues

Sometimes you need to peek into what is in the queue. Normally this is done in some administrative tools. Lets take a look at 3 top commands in the queue (the ones at the head of the queue):

List<Command> topCommands =  async.getTopCommands(3, "ERROR_QUEUE"); 

IMPORTANT: peeking into a queue does not remove commands from a queue.

Reading synchronously

You can read and process commands from an individual queue one at the time without a listener. In some cases, such as DMQ, you do not want to process errors automatically. Here is how you can process one command at the time:

ErrorCommand errorCommand = (ErrorCommand)receiveCommand("ERROR_QUEUE");
// act on the information in your command.

Text vs Binary messages

Since the underlying technology is JMS - Java Messaging Service, the communication protocol is limited to the types of messages supported by JMS. JavaLite Async may use one of two: javax.jms.TextMessage or javax.jms.BytesMessage. In both cases, the serialization of a command is first done to XML with the use of XStream.

If your command has a tranient field that cannot/should not be serialized, use the XStream annotation to ignore it:

public class HelloCommand extends Command {
    private Object ignoredElement;


In order to set Async to a binary mode, use this setter:


Do not switch from mode to mode while having persistent messages stored in your queues.

Commands with DB access

In cases where your queue processing requires a database connetion, you can use a class DBCommandListener:

Async async = new Async(filePath, false, new QueueConfig("MESSAGES_QUEUE", new DBCommandListener("java:comp/env/jdbc/yout_project"), 5));

So long as you configure a JNDI connection with access string: java:comp/env/jdbc/yout_project, the listener will find and open a database connection.

Look at the documentation of your container to learn how to configure a database connection pool and allocate a name to it. Here is an example from Tomcat JNDI datasource examples.

From the documentation of this class:

This class will open a new connection, start a new transaction and will execute the command. After that, the transaction will be committed. In case execution of a command fails, the transaction will be rolled back and command and exception wil be passed to onException(Command, Exception) method, where a subclass can process them further. The connection will be closed regardless of outcome.

Dependency injection

Like any other parts of JavaLite, the Async integrates with Google Guice:

Async async = Async(dataDirectory, useLibAio, injector, queueConfigs);

The third parameter is an instance of a Guice Injector.

As long as your commands have an @Inject annotation, they will be injected with services prior execution:

public class HelloCommand extends Command {

    PrintingService printingService;

    private String message;


    public void execute() {

Access to Artemis Config

If you have a complex configuration, you can access and use the Artemis API directly

org.apache.activemq.artemis.core.config.Condifuration artemisCOnfig = async.getConfig();

for more information, refer to Artemis documentation.

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