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How to implement HttpSessionListener

The HttpSessionListenerinterface is used to monitor when sessions are created and destroyed on the application server. Its best practical use would be to track session use statistics for a server. To receive notification events, the implementation class must be configured in the deployment descriptor for the web application. This entry points the server to a class that will be called when a session is created or destroyed. The entry required is simple. All you need is a listener and listener-class element in the following format. The listener-class element must be a fully qualified class name.


The HttpSessionListenerinterface has two methods:

  • public void sessionCreated(HttpSessionEvent se) : Notification that a session was created.
  • public void sessionDestroyed(HttpSessionEvent se) : Notification that a session is about to be invalidated.

The following example demonstrates how these methods may be used:

package com.test.mypackage;
import javax.servlet.*;
import javax.servlet.http.*;
import java.util.Date;

public class MyHttpSessionListener implements HttpSessionListener
    public void sessionCreated(HttpSessionEvent se)
        HttpSession session = se.getSession();
        System.out.print(getTime() + " (session) Created:");
        System.out.println("ID=" + session.getId() + " MaxInactiveInterval="
 + session.getMaxInactiveInterval());
    public void sessionDestroyed(HttpSessionEvent se)
        HttpSession session = se.getSession();
        // session has been invalidated and all session data
//(except Id)is no longer available
        System.out.println(getTime() + " (session) Destroyed:ID="
+ session.getId());
    private String getTime()
        return new Date(System.currentTimeMillis()).toString();

There is no distinct difference between session timeout and session invalidation from the perspective of the session object. Other HttpSession API methods may be used to determine timeout and invalidation values. The HttpSessionListener and HttpSessionAttributeListener is defined in <listener> in your web.xml file. They are “application-wide”, they manage all the session in your web-application! And they are instanticated by your web-container. Even if your session attribute implements HttpSessionListener or HttpSessionAttributeListener, but you do not define that in web.xml, there is NO HttpSessionListener or HttpSessionAttributeListener instance in your web-application at all! (If you just create an HttpSessionListener instance by your own, it won’t work because your web-application does not know at all, it only checks the web.xml).


How Class.forName(“…”) works

When we create an instance of a class using new operator, it does two things

1. Load the class in to memory, if it is not loaded –
which means creating in-memory representation of the class from the .class file so that an instance can be created out of it. This includes initializing static variables (resolving of that class)
2. create an instance of that class and store the reference to the variable.

Class.forName does only the first thing.
It loads the class in to memory and return that reference as an instance of Class. If we want to create an instance then, we can call newInstance method of that class. which will invoke the default constructor (no argument constructor).
Note that if the default constructor is not accessible, then newInstance method will throw an IllegalAccessException. and if the class is an abstract class or interface or it does not have a default constructor, then it will throw an InstantiationException. If any exception araises during resolving of that class, it will throw an ExceptionInInitializerError.

If the default constructor is not defined, then we have to invoke the defiend constructor using reflection API.

But the main advantage with Class.forName is, it can accept the class name as a String argument. So we can pass the class name dynamically. But if we create an instance of a class using new operator, the class name can’t be changed dynamically.

Class.forName() inturn will call loadClass method of the caller ClassLoader (ClassLoder of the class from where Class.forName is invoked).

By default, the Class.forName() resolve that class. which means, initialize all static variables inside that class.
same can be changed using the overloaded method of Class.forName(String name,boolean initialize,ClassLoader loader)

The main reason for loading jdbc driver using Class.forName() is, the driver can change dynamically.
in the static block all Drivers will create an instance of itself and register that class with DriverManager using DriverManager.registerDriver() method. Since the Class.forName(String className) by default resolve the class, it will initialize the static initializer.
So when we call Class.forName(“com.sun.jdbc.odbc.JdbcOdbcDriver”),
the Driver class will be loaded, instantiated and registers with DriverManager

So if you are using new Operator you have to do the following things.

Driver drv = new com.sun.jdbc.odbc.JdbcOdbcDriver();