The XSLTProcessor can be used to customize the output of the HttpAdaptor. It basically takes the XML output of the HttpAdaptor and process it by using XSL. This enables you to customize the look as you wish. Normally the processing will produce HTML files you can display in a standard browser.

The actual files to be used are specified via the File property. This points to dir where the template files are. Optionally you can package all your files in a .jar or .zip file and deliver that instead.

The processor identifies which xsl template to use from the HTTP request. i.e. if the request is mbean it will try to find a mbean.xsl file and use it to process the resulting XML tree. You can modify this by passing a template variable. For instance. http://host:port/mbean?objectname=Test:name=test1&template=testmbean In that case the HttpAdaptor will build a mbean resulting tree but instead of being processed using the mbean.xsl, it will use testmbean.xsl.

An identity transformation file is included in the distribution and you can use it to get the original XML message. For instancehttp://host:port/mbean?objectname=Test:name=test1&template=identity

If you need to deliver extra files like images or raw HTML, you can add it to the target filesystem. The processor knows a few MIME types which are classified according to the extension. This includes:

  • GIF images: extension=".gif", MIME type: "image/gif"

  • PNG images: extension=".png", MIME type: "image/png"

  • JPG images: extension=".jpg", MIME type: "image/jpg"

  • HTML raw files: extension=".html,.html", MIME type: "text/html"

  • HTML raw files: extension=".css", MIME type: "text/css"

  • XML files: extension=".xml", MIME type: "text/xml"

  • XSL files: extension=".xsl", MIME type: "text/xsl"

  • etc...

You can add extra MIME type with the addMimeType method. If a MIME type is not found for a given extension a text/plain type is assigned


For the XSLTProcessor to work you need a JAXP parser (Which you need for using the raw HttpAdaptor too) and a TRaX (Transformation API for XML) library. In principle anyone should work but there are differences between the different implementations and versions. It follows some tested and working platforms:

  • Java SDK 1.4.0, using the bundled parser and transformation library
  • Java SDK 1.4.1, using the bundled parser and transformation library
  • Java SDK 1.4.0 + saxon 6.5.2, Working since MX4j version 1.1.1. Not working with MX4J version 1.1
  • Java SDK 1.4.0 + saxon 7.2, Working since MX4j version 1.1.1.
  • Java SDK 1.4.0 + jd.xslt 1.2.8, Working since MX4j version 1.1.1.

Combinations reported not to work

  • Usage of xalan 2.0 and xerces 1.2.3 has been reported as not working


The XSLTProcessor has the following attributes and operations that you can use to customize the operation.

  • File: Determines where to look for xsl files. If the target file is a dir, it assumes that xsl files are located on the dir. Otherwise if it points to a .jar or .zip files, it assumes that the files are located inside. Pointing it to a file system is especially useful for testing.

  • PathInJar: Sets the dir in the jar file where xsl files reside

  • UseJar: Read-only. It tells whether the processor is reading from a jar file

  • UsePath: Read-only. It tells whether the processor is reading from a dir

  • UseCache: Indicates whether to cache the transformation objects. This speeds-up the process. It is usually set to true, but you can set it to false for easier testing

  • Locale: It's the locale used for i18n pruposes. By default it is "en"

  • LocaleString: Sets the locale by using a String

  • addMimeType: Adds a mime type in the form of a addMimeType(".pdf", "application/pdf"). The XSLTProcessor will use th given MIME type for files with the given extension

For example you can set the attributes as follow:

ObjectName processorName = new ObjectName("Server:name=XSLTProcessor");
server.createMBean("mx4j.tools.adaptor.http.XSLTProcessor", processorName, null);

// set it to use a dir
server.setAttribute(processorName, new Attribute("File", "/home/tibu/devel/mx4j/src/core/mx4j/adaptor/http/xsl"));

// set it to use a compressed file
server.setAttribute(processorName, new Attribute("File", "/home/tibu/skins.jar"));

// set the target dir
server.setAttribute(processorName, new Attribute("PathInJar", "/mx4j/adaptor/http/xsl"));

// set not to use cache
server.setAttribute(processorName, new Attribute("UseCache", Boolean.FALSE));

// set not to use cache
server.setAttribute(processorName, new Attribute("LocaleString", "fi"));

// adds a mime type
server.invoke(processorName, "addMimeType", new Object[] {".pdf", "application/pdf"}, new String[] {"java.lang.String", "java.lang.String"});

XSL Development

If you want to develop your own GUI, please refer to the xsl sources of the GUI delivered in the mx4j-tools.jar file

An important element to help you in the development are implicit params passed to the template. This includes all the request variables in the form of request.variable params. For instance with the follwing request


There will be two paramaters request.objectname and request.template

Besides, there is alwyas a locale variable as request.locale. Notice that you can explicitly set the locale in a request passing the locale varible like http://host.port/mbean?objectname=Test:name=test1&template=testmbean&locale=de


Since MX4J version 1.1.1 the XSLTProcessor supports internationalization. This is done replacing the previously hardcoded strings with a call to the 'str' template on the common.xsl. The 'str' template takes an id which points to the string actually displayed on screen. An xml file contains the strings indexed by id. With the current distribution a strings_en.xml file is shipped containing the standard english translation.

If you want to create your own translation add or replace strings_XX.xml files by your own translation on the jar file. The strings accept a replacement of up to two parameters which are indicated wth brackets like {0} or {1}