In order to interact between each other, components can provide services and use services provided by other components. A Jadex Service is generally represented by an arbitrary Java Interface and has to be declared on the providing and/or requiring component. The service interface can be implemented as a Java class. Inside the component, access to services is then granted via Component Features or Injections.

For services provided for general use by the Jadex Active Components Platform, please refer to Platform Services.


To implement a Jadex Service, two things are required: A Java Interface and an implementation of this interface.

Java Interface

The interface can be a plain Java interface like this:

public interface ISumService {
    public IFuture<Integer> addValues(int a, int b);

Again, using the futurized return type allows you to perform work asynchronously while a service call is executing. You can refer to the chapter Futures for more information.

Java Implementation

To provide an implementation for the specified service, just create a new class implementing the Java interface and mark it with the @Service annotation:

public class SumService implements ISumService {
    public IFuture<Integer> addValues(int a, int b) {
        int sum = a + b;
        return new Future<Integer>(sum);

Providing Services

A service can be provided by any component. Just add the following Annotation to your component's code to make it provide the SumService declared above:

    @ProvidedService(name="sum", type=ISumService.class, implementation=@Implementation(SumService.class))
public class SumAgent {...

To provide multiple services, just add them to the comma-separated list of @ProvidedServices.

Inside the @ProvidedService annotation, the following parameters can be specified:

Parameter Description
name The name of the provided service, used for referencing the service.
type The type (interface) of the service
implementation The @Implementation of the service (see below)
scope The Scope of the provided service, see Service Scopes. Defaults to global.
publish A @Publish annotation (see Publishing)
properties Properties (NameValue array) (see Properties)

The implementation is usually given by specifying a class that implements the service type. This class should usually have an empty constructor. Additionally, the following parameters can be specified:

Parameter Description
value A class implementing the service
expression Java expression to be executed for instantiation of the service. Can be used instead of value to pass constructor arguments.
proxytype The type of the service proxy that is created.

Service Scopes

Whether a service is visible for another component depends on it's scope as shown in the figure below.

Service Scopes
Service Scopes

Possible scopes are:

Scope Description
none No search will be performed / Nobody will see the service
local Only visible inside the local component
component Visible inside the local component and sub-components
application Visible inside the whole application (defined by an application component
parent Visible inside the parent component
platform Visible inside the local platform
global Globally visible

See the RequiredServiceInfo class for matching String constants.

Service Scopes are respected in two cases: When providing a service and during service search. This means a locally provided service cannot be found by other components, even if the search scope is set to global.

Using Services

Depending on the defined scope, a service can be used by the local component only, by related components or by remote components, too. To use a service, it has to be declared as Required Service inside the using component:

    @RequiredService(name="sumService", type=ISumService.class, 
public class UsingAgent {...

To require multiple services, just add them to the list of @RequiredServices (comma-separated).

Inside the @RequiredService annotation, the following parameters can be specified:

Parameter Description
name The name of the required service, used for referencing the service.
type The type (interface) of the service
multiple Set to true if multiple instances of the service should be used, see Advanced Service Topics
binding A @Binding annotation (see below)
multiplextype The type for multiplexing. See service multiplexing.
nfprops The required service non functional properties. See non functional properties.

The @Binding annotation defines parameters of the service binding that Jadex will establish between providing and requiring components. Most notably, it defines the search scope. Other parameters are:

Parameter Description
scope The search scope to find the required service.
dynamic If set to true, a new search will be initiated every time the required service is accessed.
create Set to true if the service should be instantiated by the local component
creationInfo @CreationInfo annotation, see Advanced Service Topics
proxytype To access a service, a proxy is created. By default, this proxy decouples the two component threads involved in a service call. Read more about this in [../guides/ac/05 Services/#interceptor-handling].

Accessing Services

Using Injection

Usually, you want to retrieve the instance of a required service and perform operations on it inside the component. You can use the following Annotation to inject the service instance into a field:

private ISumService sumService

The service can then be used inside the component after it is started (@AgentCreated is called).

Some injection annotations can also be applied to methods. In this case, the service instance can be passed as method parameter when it is found:
public void setSumService(ISumService sum) { ...

Instead of injecting the service instance, you can directly inject values of the service:

@RequiredServices(@RequiredService(name="piService", ...))
public class PiAgent {
    private double pi 

This will look up the value of the field pi in the piService and inject it into the component field. Note that both field names have to be equal.

Using Component Features

You can also access the required services of a component by using the RequiredServicesFeature. Inject the feature inside the code of your component and call getRequiredService():

private IRequiredServiceFeature reqFeat;
    ISumService sum = reqFeat.getRequiredService("sumService").get();

Note that the name specified must match the required service declaration (as seen above). By using the IProvidedServiceFeature, you can also get access to services provided by your component.

The IService interface

Each Required Service is made available to the Component by a Proxy that implements the IService interface. This interface provides access to some metadata which can be accessed by casting any service to the IService interface:

IService sumservice = (IService) sum;
IServiceIdentifier id = sumservice.getServiceIdentifier();
IComponentIdentifier cid = id.getProviderId();
String platformName = cid.getPlatformName();

The Component Identifier of the service provider is probably the most interesting information held by the IService interface, as it can be used to check on which component and platform the service is running. Check the API documentation for IService for more information.

Accessing the Component

Sometimes it is necessary to access component features, the InternalAccess or even the component's POJO object itself from inside the service. This can be done using the @ServiceComponent annotation:

private IExecutionFeature exeFeat;

private IInternalAccess agentAccess;

private MyAgent agent;

This annotation will also inject Agent Capabilities (see BDI Capabilities) and other instances that can be guessed by the Parameter Guesser.

Service Lifecycle

Just as components, services have their own lifecycle. For each step in the cycle there is an annotation which can be used on methods to perform actions during the lifecycle step.

Annotation Description
@ServiceStart A method marked with this annotation will be called upon creation of the service. Injected fields will be available at this point.
@ServiceShutdown A method marked with this annotation will be called just before the service is terminated.

Advanced Topics

This section discusses some of the more advanced topics regarding services.

More Annotations

The most important annotations were already discussed. The following is an uncomplete list of other potentially useful annotations. For a full reference, have a look at the jadex.bridge.service.annotation package.

Annotation Description
@ServiceIdentifier Can be used on fields to inject the ServiceIdentifier
@Excluded Can be used on methods or classes that should not be available from remote. Will throw an UnsupportedOperationException when called.

Accessing non-declared Services

The SServiceProvider helper class provides means to obtain services from any component without having to declare them as required services. The method getService(provider, cid, type) allows fetching a declared service of a specific component directly:

ISumService sum = SServiceProvider.getService(platformAccess, providerCid, ISumService.class).get();

Note that we use the platform as search entry point, but we specify the cid of the component providing the service. Thus we state that we want to search for the ISumService only in this specific component.

You can also use the method getService(provider, type) to initiate a search on all components instead. The other getService() methods allow to specify search filters or scopes. Using getServices(), you can also find multiple instances of the service, if available.

If you want to avoid calling other platforms during search and only want to lookup local components, use the getLocalServices() instead.

For further information, please have a look into to API documentation of SServiceProvider.

Embedding services

You can also embed the service logic directly in your component, which might be a better choice in some cases. To do so, just add the @Service Annotation to your component class and let it implement the service interface:

public class SumAgent implements ISumService {...

Using @Agent(autoprovide=true), you can also leave out the @ProvidedServices Declaration:

public class SumAgent implements ISumService {...

Auto-Instantiation of Required Services

Most of the time, this annotation is not needed. If you want a component trigger auto-instantiation of the required service components, set create to true in the @Binding annotation and specify the type of the providing component:

@RequiredServices({@RequiredService(name="sumservice", type=ISumService.class, 
    binding=@Binding(create=true, creationInfo=@CreationInfo(type="sum")))
public class UsingAgent {...

In this case, the classpath will be searched for a component of type sum (e.g., SumAgent), which will be instantiated when UsingAgent is started.

Using Multiple services


Proxy types


Non Functional Properties

Service Multiplexing