MINA based Application Architecture

It's the question most asked : 'How does a MINA based application look like'? In this article lets see what's the architecture of MINA based application. Have tried to gather the information from presentations based on MINA.

A Bird's Eye View :

Here, we can see that MINA is the glue between your application (be it a client or a server) and the underlying network layer, which can be based on TCP, UDP, in-VM comunication or even a RS-232C serial protocol for a client.

You just have to design your application on top of MINA without having to handle all the complexity of the newtork layer.

Lets take a deeper dive into the details now. The following image shows a bit more the internal of MINA, and what are each of the MINA components doing :

(The image is from Emmanuel Lécharny presentation MINA in real life (ApacheCon EU 2009))

Broadly, MINA based applications are divided into 3 layers

  • I/O Service - Performs actual I/O
  • I/O Filter Chain - Filters/Transforms bytes into desired Data Structures and vice-versa
  • I/O Handler - Here resides the actual business logic

So, in order to create a MINA based Application, you have to :

  1. Create an I/O service - Choose from already available Services (*Acceptor) or create your own
  2. Create a Filter Chain - Choose from already existing Filters or create a custom Filter for transforming request/response
  3. Create an I/O Handler - Write business logic, on handling different messages

This is pretty much it.

You can get a bit deeper by reading those two pages :

Of course, MINA offers more than just that, and you will robably have to take care of many oher aspects, like the messages encoding/decoding, the network configuration how to scale up, etc... We will have a further look at those aspects in the next chapters.