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Java Multithreaded Servers

1 Multithreaded Servers in Java
2 Singlethreaded Server in Java
3 Multithreaded Server in Java
4 Thread Pooled Server




Multithreaded Server in Java


This text describes a simple multithreaded server implemented in Java. The code is based on the singlethreaded server desbribed in the text on Singlethreaded Servers. The main difference is the server loop. Rather than processing the incoming requests in the same thread that accepts the client connection, the connection is handed off to a worker thread that will process the request.

Note: This code uses a "thread per connection" design which most of us originally thought less efficient than a thread pooled server. But read this blog post and think again:
Writing Java Multithreaded Servers - whats old is new

Here is how the server loop looks in the multithreaded edition:

    while(! isStopped()){
        Socket clientSocket = null;
        try {
            clientSocket = this.serverSocket.accept();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            if(isStopped()) {
                System.out.println("Server Stopped.") ;
                return;
            }
            throw new RuntimeException(
                "Error accepting client connection", e);
        }
        
            new Thread(
            new WorkerRunnable(
            clientSocket, "Multithreaded Server")
            ).start();
        
    }

The only change in the loop from the singlethreaded server to here is the code in bold:

new Thread(
    new WorkerRunnable(
        clientSocket, "Multithreaded Server")
).start();

Rather than processing the incoming requests in the same thread that accepts the client connection, the connection is handed off to a worker thread that processes the request. That way the thread listening for incoming requests spends as much time as possible in the serverSocket.accept() call. That way the risk is minimized for clients being denied access to the server because the listening thread is not inside the accept() call.

Here is the code for the WorkerRunnable class, which is passed to the worker thread constructor:

package servers;

import java.io.InputStream;
import java.io.OutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.net.Socket;

/**

 */
public class WorkerRunnable implements Runnable{

    protected Socket clientSocket = null;
    protected String serverText   = null;

    public WorkerRunnable(Socket clientSocket, String serverText) {
        this.clientSocket = clientSocket;
        this.serverText   = serverText;
    }

    public void run() {
        try {
            InputStream input  = clientSocket.getInputStream();
            OutputStream output = clientSocket.getOutputStream();
            long time = System.currentTimeMillis();
            output.write(("HTTP/1.1 200 OK\n\nWorkerRunnable: " +
this.serverText + " - " +
time +
"").getBytes());
            output.close();
            input.close();
            System.out.println("Request processed: " + time);
        } catch (IOException e) {
            //report exception somewhere.
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

Multithreaded Server Advantages

The advantages of a multithreaded server compared to a singlethreaded server are summed up below:

  1. Less time is spent outside the accept() call.
  2. Long running client requests do not block the whole server

As mentioned earlier the more time the thread calling serverSocket.accept() spends inside this method call, the more responsive the server will be. Only when the listening thread is inside the accept() call can clients connect to the server. Otherwise the clients just get an error.

In a singlethreaded server long running requests may make the server unresponsive for a long period. This is not true for a multithreaded server, unless the long-running request takes up all CPU time time and/or network bandwidth.


Multithreaded Server Code

Here is the full code for the MultiThreadedServer:

package servers;

import java.net.ServerSocket;
import java.net.Socket;
import java.io.IOException;

public class MultiThreadedServer implements Runnable{

    protected int          serverPort   = 8080;
    protected ServerSocket serverSocket = null;
    protected boolean      isStopped    = false;
    protected Thread       runningThread= null;

    public MultiThreadedServer(int port){
        this.serverPort = port;
    }

    public void run(){
        synchronized(this){
            this.runningThread = Thread.currentThread();
        }
        openServerSocket();
        while(! isStopped()){
            Socket clientSocket = null;
            try {
                clientSocket = this.serverSocket.accept();
            } catch (IOException e) {
                if(isStopped()) {
                    System.out.println("Server Stopped.") ;
                    return;
                }
                throw new RuntimeException(
                    "Error accepting client connection", e);
            }
            new Thread(
                new WorkerRunnable(
                    clientSocket, "Multithreaded Server")
            ).start();
        }
        System.out.println("Server Stopped.") ;
    }


    private synchronized boolean isStopped() {
        return this.isStopped;
    }

    public synchronized void stop(){
        this.isStopped = true;
        try {
            this.serverSocket.close();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException("Error closing server", e);
        }
    }

    private void openServerSocket() {
        try {
            this.serverSocket = new ServerSocket(this.serverPort);
        } catch (IOException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException("Cannot open port 8080", e);
        }
    }

}

And here is the code to run it:

MultiThreadedServer server = new MultiThreadedServer(9000);
new Thread(server).start();

try {
    Thread.sleep(20 * 1000);
} catch (InterruptedException e) {
    e.printStackTrace();
}
System.out.println("Stopping Server");
server.stop();

When the server is running you can access it using an ordinary web browser. Use the address http://localhost:9000/



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