Module java.naming

Interface EventContext

All Superinterfaces:
All Known Subinterfaces:

public interface EventContext extends Context
Contains methods for registering/deregistering listeners to be notified of events fired when objects named in a context changes.


The name parameter in the addNamingListener() methods is referred to as the target. The target, along with the scope, identify the object(s) that the listener is interested in. It is possible to register interest in a target that does not exist, but there might be limitations in the extent to which this can be supported by the service provider and underlying protocol/service.

If a service only supports registration for existing targets, an attempt to register for a nonexistent target results in a NameNotFoundException being thrown as early as possible, preferably at the time addNamingListener() is called, or if that is not possible, the listener will receive the exception through the NamingExceptionEvent.

Also, for service providers that only support registration for existing targets, when the target that a listener has registered for is subsequently removed from the namespace, the listener is notified via a NamingExceptionEvent (containing a NameNotFoundException).

An application can use the method targetMustExist() to check whether an EventContext supports registration of nonexistent targets.

Event Source

The EventContext instance on which you invoke the registration methods is the event source of the events that are (potentially) generated. The source is not necessarily the object named by the target. Only when the target is the empty name is the object named by the target the source. In other words, the target, along with the scope parameter, are used to identify the object(s) that the listener is interested in, but the event source is the EventContext instance with which the listener has registered.

For example, suppose a listener makes the following registration:

      NamespaceChangeListener listener = ...;
      src.addNamingListener("x", SUBTREE_SCOPE, listener);
When an object named "x/y" is subsequently deleted, the corresponding NamingEvent (evt) must contain:
      evt.getEventContext() == src

Furthermore, listener registration/deregistration is with the EventContext instance, and not with the corresponding object in the namespace. If the program intends at some point to remove a listener, then it needs to keep a reference to the EventContext instance on which it invoked addNamingListener() (just as it needs to keep a reference to the listener in order to remove it later). It cannot expect to do a lookup() and get another instance of an EventContext on which to perform the deregistration.

Lifetime of Registration

A registered listener becomes deregistered when:
  • It is removed using removeNamingListener().
  • An exception is thrown while collecting information about the events. That is, when the listener receives a NamingExceptionEvent.
  • Context.close() is invoked on the EventContext instance with which it has registered.
Until that point, an EventContext instance that has outstanding listeners will continue to exist and be maintained by the service provider.

Listener Implementations

The registration/deregistration methods accept an instance of NamingListener. There are subinterfaces of NamingListener for different of event types of NamingEvent. For example, the ObjectChangeListener interface is for the NamingEvent.OBJECT_CHANGED event type. To register interest in multiple event types, the listener implementation should implement multiple NamingListener subinterfaces and use a single invocation of addNamingListener(). In addition to reducing the number of method calls and possibly the code size of the listeners, this allows some service providers to optimize the registration.

Threading Issues

Like Context instances in general, instances of EventContext are not guaranteed to be thread-safe. Care must be taken when multiple threads are accessing the same EventContext concurrently. See the package description for more information on threading issues.