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Deciding where to attach interceptors

Overview

There are a number of runtime objects that host interceptor chains. These include:

  • the endpoint object

  • the service object

  • the proxy object

  • the factory object used to create the endpoint or the proxy

  • the binding

  • the central Bus object

A developer can attach their own interceptors to any of these objects. The most common objects to attach interceptors are the bus and the individual endpoints. Choosing the correct object requires understanding how these runtime objects are combined to make an endpoint.

Endpoints and proxies

Attaching interceptors to either the endpoint or the proxy is the most fine grained way to place an interceptor. Any interceptors attached directly to an endpoint or a proxy only effect the specific endpoint or proxy. This is a good place to attach interceptors that are specific to a particular incarnation of a service. For example, if a developer wants to expose one instance of a service that converts units from metric to imperial they could attach the interceptors directly to one endpoint.

Factories

Using the Spring configuration to attach interceptors to the factories used to create an endpoint or a proxy has the same effect as attaching the interceptors directly to the endpoint or proxy. However, when interceptors are attached to a factory programmatically the interceptors attached to the factory are propagated to every endpoint or proxy created by the factory.

Bindings

Attaching interceptors to the binding allows the developer to specify a set of interceptors that are applied to all endpoints that use the binding. For example, if a developer wants to force all endpoints that use the raw XML binding to include a special ID element, they could attach the interceptor responsible for adding the element to the XML binding.

Buses

The most general place to attach interceptors is the bus. When interceptors are attached to the bus, the interceptors are propagated to all of the endpoints managed by that bus. Attaching interceptors to the bus is useful in applications that create multiple endpoints that share a similar set of interceptors.

Combining attachment points

Because an endpoint's final set of interceptor chains is an amalgamation of the interceptor chains contributed by the listed objects, several of the listed object can be combined in a single endpoint's configuration. For example, if an application spawned multiple endpoints that all required an interceptor that checked for a validation token, that interceptor would be attached to the application's bus. If one of those endpoints also required an interceptor that converted Euros into dollars, the conversion interceptor would be attached directly to the specific endpoint.

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