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What is Interceptor in Java?

Interceptors play a crucial role in software development, especially in the context of frameworks and middleware. In Java, interceptors provide a powerful mechanism to intercept method invocations or events in a program's execution flow. It allows developers to add cross-cutting concerns, such as logging, authentication, and transaction management, without tightly coupling these concerns with the core logic of the application.


An interceptor, in the context of Java, is a design pattern that allows developers to intercept method calls or events before or after they are executed. It provides a way to add behavior to a program without modifying the actual code of the target object or method.

Interceptors are widely used in various Java frameworks, including Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), Spring, and Java EE, to implement cross-cutting concerns. They are also commonly used for tasks like logging, security checks, and performance monitoring.

How Interceptors Work?

The interceptor pattern typically involves a set of components:

  1. Target Object: This is the object or method that we want to intercept. It contains the core logic of the application.
  2. Interceptor: The interceptor is responsible for intercepting method invocations or events related to the target object. It provides the additional behavior that we want to apply.
  3. Interceptor Chain: This is a sequence of interceptors that are invoked in a specific order. Each interceptor in the chain can add its behavior before and after the method call of the target object.
  4. Invoker: The invoker is responsible for invoking the target object's method. It is part of the interceptor chain and ensures that the target method is executed.

Use Cases for Interceptors


One of the most common use cases for interceptors is logging. By intercepting method invocations, developers can log input parameters, execution time, and return values. This helps in debugging and performance monitoring.

Authentication and Authorization

Interceptors can be used to enforce security checks before allowing a method to be executed. This is especially useful for tasks like authentication and authorization.

Transaction Management

Interceptors can be used to manage transactions by starting, committing, or rolling back transactions before and after method invocations.

Implementing Interceptors in Java

Java provides various mechanisms to implement interceptors:

  1. Dynamic Proxies: Java's dynamic proxy mechanism allows you to create a proxy object that intercepts method calls to the target object. This is used extensively in libraries like Spring AOP.
  2. Annotations and Reflection: By using annotations and reflection, you can define interceptors and apply them to methods or classes.
  3. Frameworks: Many Java frameworks, such as Spring, Java EE, and EJB, provide built-in support for interceptors.


Before invoking method: add
After invoking method: add
Before invoking method: subtract
After invoking method: subtract
Sum: 8
Difference: 7

Interceptors are a powerful tool in Java programming for adding cross-cutting concerns to an application. They allow developers to separate core logic from concerns like logging, security, and transactions. By using interceptors, developers can create more modular, maintainable, and robust applications. Understanding and effectively using interceptors is a valuable skill for any Java developer.

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