Spring AOP tutorial -I


Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) complements Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) by providing another way of thinking about program structure. The key unit of modularity in OOP is the class, whereas in AOP the unit of modularity is the aspect. Aspects enable the modularization of concerns such as transaction management that cut across multiple types and objects.

AOP concepts:

Aspect: a modularization of a concern that cuts across multiple classes. Transaction management is a good example of a crosscutting concern in J2EE applications. In my words: a trigger which can affect the multiple classes a one point….
Join point: a point during the execution of a program, such as the execution of a method or the handling of an exception. In Spring AOP, a join point always represents a method execution. In my words: a locus of points where execution will happen.
Advice: action taken by an aspect at a particular join point. Different types of advice include “around,” “before” and “after” advice. (Advice types are discussed below.) In my words : the action to be taken at the point.
Pointcut: a predicate that matches join points. Advice is associated with a pointcut expression and runs at any join point matched by the pointcut (for example, the execution of a method with a certain name). The concept of join points as matched by pointcut expressions is central to AOP, and Spring uses the AspectJ pointcut expression language by default. In my words a criteria used to locate point.
Introduction: declaring additional methods or fields on behalf of a type. Spring AOP allows you to introduce new interfaces (and a corresponding implementation) to any advised object. For example, you could use an introduction to make a bean implement an IsModified interface, to simplify caching. (An introduction is known as an inter-type declaration in the AspectJ community.)
Target object: object being advised by one or more aspects. Also referred to as the advised object. Since Spring AOP is implemented using runtime proxies, this object will always be a proxied object.
AOP proxy: an object created by the AOP framework in order to implement the aspect contracts (advise method executions and so on). In the Spring Framework, an AOP proxy will be a JDK dynamic proxy or a CGLIB proxy.

Consider the example:

Lets declare an interface:

public interface Foo {

Foo getFoo(String fooName,int age);

void getAfter();

void getBefore(String myName);


A class implementing the interface:

public class DefaultFooService implements FooService {

public Foo getFoo(String name, int age) {

return new Foo(name, age);


public void getAfter() {}

public void getBefore(String myName) {}


Till here we have simple java implementation.
Now let see come AOP concepts in picture.
Before – Now I want that before the getBefore() method is called I want to log message saying what is the parameter passed.
After – Also I want that once any method in the interface is called a message should be logged after it.
I have a class which will be called to satisfy the above criteria.

public class SimpleProfiler {

public void afterMethod() throws Throwable {

System.out.println(“After the method call”);


public void beforeMethod(String myName){

System.out.println(“My name is “+myName);



The afterMethod() will log message after any method is called and beforeMethod() will log message before getBefore() is called.
To configure this we will used xmlThis is how I configure my spring.xml.

<beans xmlns=http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans&#8221;



xsi:schemaLocation=http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-2.5.xsd

http://www.springframework.org/schema/aop http://www.springframework.org/schema/aop/spring-aop-2.5.xsd&#8221;>

<!– this is the object that will be proxied by Spring’s AOP infrastructure –>

1 <bean id=“fooService” class=“DefaultFooService”/>


3 <!– this is the actual advice itself –>

4 <bean id=“profiler” class=“SimpleProfiler”/>


6 <aop:config>

7                <aop:aspect ref=”profiler”>

14 <aop:pointcut id=“aopafterMethod”

expression=“execution(* FooService.*(..))”/>

15 <aop:after pointcut-ref=“aopafterMethod”


16 <aop:pointcut id=“aopBefore”

expression=“execution(* FooService.getBefore(String)) and args(myName)”/>

17 <aop:before pointcut-ref=“aopBefore”





Let see how we have configure the AOP .

  • Line 1 is used to create a proxy AOP object..
  • Line 7 we define the aspect “SimpleProfiler” class which will come into picture at different point-cuts.
  • Line 6 is used to configure the AOP.
  • Line 14 defines a pointcut in which an expression needs to mention. In this case the expressions say that “call afterMethod of SimpleProfiler class for any method declared inside the FooService interface.
  • Note Line 14 doesn’t define when to call afterMethod().This is done in line 15
  • Line 15 states that call afterMethod() for id aopAfterMethod
  • Similarly for beforeMethod we define in Line 16,17.

    In above example we have

    Aspect – SimpleProfiler.class
    Point-cut – aopafterMethod,aopBefore
    Advice <aop:before> <aop:after>

    Now I am ready to run my main class and class methods of FooService.

    public class Boo {
    public static void main(final String[] args) throws Exception {
    BeanFactory ctx = new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("spring.xml");
    FooService foo = (FooService) ctx.getBean("fooService");
    foo.getFoo("Pengo", 12);

    OutPut is
    After the method call ( log messagefor getAfter method )
    My name is Harshit (log message for getBefore)
    After the method call (log message for getAfter method)

    How to build various pointcut expression.


    18 thoughts on “Spring AOP tutorial -I

    1. Do you mean the interface FooService in the code:
      public interface Foo { ….

      Foo is a concrete class, isn’t it?

    2. There are a few typos: which parameter is called and we will used xml, etc…

      Question: in your xml line 13:

      What and where is the method “profile”?

      1. thanks for pointing the error.
        You need to create a dumy class Foo.
        I have removed some code not relevant in xml

    3. args(myObj) forces me to name variable as myObj

      If the exact name of the argument (which is myObj) from aroundUpdate is passed in as args(myObj) in my pointcut, then aroundUpdate successfully gets the corresponding object inside the body of aroundUpdate method.
      However, this forces the classes that that get intercepted by aroundUppdate method to name variable as myObj in the update method.

      For example, MyDao.update method has to have method signature as MyDao.update (IDomain myObj). In other words. myObj has to be the name of the argument for it to work. I cannot arbitrarily name it as apple, oragange, instead of myObj.

      The configuration shows below works, as long as the update method of classes have myObj as the name of the argument


      public Integer aroundUpdate(ProceedingJoinPoint pjp, IDomain myObj) throws Throwable{

      // code

      public Integer update(IDomain myObj){
      // code
      Is there any way that I can use the fully qualified name of the IDomainObject (instead of myObj) in the above point cut expression?

      If I could use IDomainObject in args, as opposed to myObj in the pointcut and could get a handle of the object inside the body of atroundUpdate, that would have solved my purpose.

      When I try putting IDomainObject in pointcut as args(org.IDomainObject) and keep update method in MyDao as update(IDomain myObj), I get excception as:

      org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name ‘_protectPointcutPostProcessor’: BeanPostProcessor before instantiation of bean failed; nested exception is org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name ‘org.springframework.aop.aspectj.AspectJPointcutAdvisor#1’: Instantiation of bean failed; nested exception is org.springframework.beans.BeanInstantiationException: Could not instantiate bean class [org.springframework.aop.aspectj.AspectJPointcutAdvisor]: Constructor threw exception; nested exception is java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: error at ::0 formal unbound in pointcut
      at org.springframework.beans.factory.support.AbstractAutowireCapableBeanFactory$1.run(AbstractAutowireCapableBeanFactory.java:405)
      at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(AccessController.java:219)
      According to Spring documentation, I can do so.

      There is a similar proof in:

      HTML Code:
      http://denis-zhdanov.blogspot.com/2009/07/spring-aop-filtering-invocations-by.htmlIdeal situation would be to create pointcut as args(org.IDomain) because evey update method of *Dao does take an instance of IDomain as an argument. But I get exception when I try doing so, as shown above.

      My goal is NOT to be forced to put the name of the argument as myObj for every update method of Dao that needs to invoke this point cut.

      Could anyone please suggest what I am missing?

      Could anybody suggest any variation in pointcut that will get me around?

      Is there any other alternative?

    4. Very nice effort. Could be even simpler though. Might I add following Maven dependencies required:





      Thank you.
      Anup Jani

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