56.2. Processing messages


In normal message processing, an interceptor's handleMessage() method is invoked. It receives that message data as a Message object. Along with the actual contents of the message, the Message object may contain a number of properties related to the message or the message processing state. The exact contents of the Message object depends on the interceptors preceding the current interceptor in the chain.

Getting the message contents

The Message interface provides two methods that can be used in extracting the message contents:
  • public <T> T getContent(java.lang.Class<T>  format);
    The getContent() method returns the content of the message in an object of the specified class. If the contents are not available as an instance of the specified class, null is returned. The list of available content types is determined by the interceptor's location on the interceptor chain and the direction of the interceptor chain.
  • public Collection<Attachment> getAttachments();
    The getAttachments() method returns a Java Collection object containing any binary attachments associated with the message. The attachments are stored in org.apache.cxf.message.Attachment objects. Attachment objects provide methods for managing the binary data.
    Attachments are only available after the attachment processing interceptors have executed.

Determining the message's direction

The direction of a message can be determined by querying the message exchange. The message exchange stores the inbound message and the outbound message in separate properties.[3]
The message exchange associated with a message is retrieved using the message's getExchange() method. As shown in Example 56.1, “Getting the message exchange”, getExchange() does not take any parameters and returns the message exchange as a org.apache.cxf.message.Exchange object.

Example 56.1. Getting the message exchange

Exchange getExchange();
The Exchange object has four methods, shown in Example 56.2, “Getting messages from a message exchange”, for getting the messages associated with an exchange. Each method will either return the message as a org.apache.cxf.Message object or it will return null if the message does not exist.

Example 56.2. Getting messages from a message exchange

Message getInMessage();
Message getInFaultMessage();
Message getOutMessage();
Message getOutFaultMessage();
Example 56.3, “Checking the direction of a message chain” shows code for determining if the current message is outbound. The method gets the message exchange and checks to see if the current message is the same as the exchange's outbound message. It also checks the current message against the exchanges outbound fault message to error messages on the outbound fault interceptor chain.

Example 56.3. Checking the direction of a message chain

public static boolean isOutbound()
   Exchange exchange = message.getExchange();
        return message != null
               && exchange != null
               && (message == exchange.getOutMessage()
                   || message == exchange.getOutFaultMessage());


Example 56.4, “Example message processing method” shows code for an interceptor that processes zip compressed messages. It checks the direction of the message and then performs the appropriate actions.

Example 56.4. Example message processing method

import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.util.zip.GZIPInputStream;

import org.apache.cxf.message.Message;
import org.apache.cxf.phase.AbstractPhaseInterceptor;
import org.apache.cxf.phase.Phase;

public class StreamInterceptor extends AbstractPhaseInterceptor<Message>

  public void handleMessage(Message message)
        boolean isOutbound = false;
        isOutbound = message == message.getExchange().getOutMessage()
               || message == message.getExchange().getOutFaultMessage();

        if (!isOutbound)
             InputStream is = message.getContent(InputStream.class);
             GZIPInputStream zipInput = new GZIPInputStream(is);
             message.setContent(InputStream.class, zipInput);
          catch (IOException ioe)
         // zip the outbound message

[3] It also stores inbound and outbound faults separately.