Sometimes you need to audit or profile your Java application. The easiest but most intrusive way to do this is to do a bunch of
System.out.printlns (which is obviously bad) or to use loggers. After adding a lot of logging statements, your application becomes cluttered with unnecessary boilerplate code.
Profiling, instrumentation or method measuring are great examples of cross-cutting concerns that might be nicely solved using AOP (Aspect Oriented Programming.) Basically, it allows you to invoke a certain action upon some defined conditions without the need for changing the instrumented code. The process of applying the aspects to your code is called weaving.
There are three types of weaving (not every AOP implementation must support all of them):
- source code weaving (the aspect is applied to the inspected source code before the compilation),
- byte code weaving (the aspect is applied to the compiled,
- runtime weaving (the aspect is applied to the running, live application within the JVM).
As a side note, you can create your own simple runtime weaving AOP tool by using Java Agents that are invoked before any other written source code method (in the matter of fact, agent methods are invoked even before the
static void main(String args) method of your Java class.)