A general-purpose command framework for Java.
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Command4j is a general-purpose command framework for Java (>= 7). It lets you program custom interceptors (wrappers, filters), and handle cross-cutting concerns.


A good example is calling a remote web service. By putting the call itself into a command, command4j offers a couple of built-in extensions to deal with situations such as:

  • logging
  • failover/retry
  • exception translation
  • enforce timeout

Also, a command can be executed asynchronously, no need to wait for the result.



The command is the code to be executed. It can get an optional argument A and can return a result R. (If more than one argument must be passed to the command, an aggregator argument containing the others must be used.)

Commands can be chained: Execute command 1, take the result, feed it to command 2, return (and such).


The mode contains definitions that apply to a whole execution of a command, and is usually used for executing many commands.


The executor can execute a command directly. And it can create a CommandExecutorService, which can run commands concurrently.


Such extensions allow it to wrap the Command. This allows for executing code before, after or around each command. An example is a logging extension that informs before and after each execution.


Command with Timeout
//a command that sleeps 100ms, then returns null.
Command<Void, Void> command = new Command<Void, Void>() {
    @Nullable @Override
    public Void call(@NotNull Optional<Void> arg, @NotNull ExecutionContext ec) throws Exception {
        return null;
//wrap the command with the timeout extension and allow max 500ms:
command = TimeoutExtensions.withTimeout(command, Duration.millis(500));
CommandExecutor executor = new CommandExecutorBuilder().build();
executor.execute(cmd, Mode.create(), null); //works, 100 is less than 500
Exception Translation
//a command that throws
Command<Void, Void> command = new Command<Void, Void>() {
    @Nullable @Override
    public Void call(@NotNull Optional<Void> arg, @NotNull ExecutionContext ec) throws Exception {
        throw new UnsupportedOperationException("Nah, can't do!");
//some exception translator impl
ExceptionTranslator myExceptionTranslator = new ExceptionTranslator() {
    public boolean canTranslate(@NotNull Throwable t) {
        return t instanceof UnsupportedOperationException;
    @NotNull @Override
    public Exception translate(@NotNull Throwable t) throws Exception {
        throw new MyException("Translated", t);
//creating an executor that features translation:
CommandExecutor exceptionTranslationExecutor = new CommandExecutorBuilder()
    .withExtension(new ExceptionTranslationExtension())
//enabling my translator in the mode:
Mode mode = Mode.create().with(ExceptionTranslationExtension.TRANSLATOR, myExceptionTranslator);
exceptionTranslationExecutor.command(cmd, mode, null);
Using an Executor Service
CommandExecutor commandExecutor = new CommandExecutorBuilder()
        //put in my extensions
ExecutorService javaExecutor = Executors.newFixedThreadPool(numThreads);
CommandExecutorService executorService = commandExecutor.service(javaExecutor);
Command<Void,Void> command = new Sleep(100);
for (int i=0; i<999; i++) {
    ListenableFuture<Optional<Void>> submit = executorService.submit(cmd, mode, null);

For these and more examples see the unit tests.


Guava (usually the latest version)

For the Optional class, and the ListeningExecutorService, and probably some more.

org.slf4j slf4j-api

For the Logger interface.

com.intellij annotations

For the @Nullable and @NotNull annotations


Command4j has been in development at http://www.optimaize.com for use in the http://www.nameapi.org web services for a long time, and is now published on GitHub. The interfaces and classes are well documented, and there is a fair amount of unit tests.


MIT License


Command4j was prototyped and written in large parts by Eike Kettner.

For Maven Users

The library is available from Maven Central, the latest version is http://search.maven.org/#artifactdetails%7Ccom.optimaize.command4j%7Ccommand4j%7C0.5%7Cjar