Last modified on 11 May 2009, at 20:39

WebObjects/Web Applications/Development/Calling Commandline Applications

Here, the "cat" and "outputCat" are debugging output categories:

 Process process=null;
 try {
   process = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(commandLine);
   OutputStream output = process.getOutputStream();
   output.write(inputString.getBytes());
   output.close();
   process.waitFor();
   DataInputStream dis=new DataInputStream(process.getInputStream());
   String output;
    do {
           output = dis.readLine();
           if (output != null)
               outputCat.debug(output);
       } while (output != null);
       dis.close();
 } catch (IOException e) {
   cat.error("IOException: " + e.toString());
 } catch (InterruptedException e) {
   cat.error("Interrupted process: " + e.toString());
 } finally {
   if (process != null)
       process.destroy();
   outputCat.debug("Process finished.");
 }

Note: A number of people have reported problems with process.waitFor() on Windows. The WebObjects Development List at Omnigroup has a number of people's workaround code for this problem.

Note 2: The procedure given here, of course, is to call anything executable from the command line from your Java program, not just Perl scripts.

Mike SchragEdit

process.waitFor() is not just a problem on Windows. This code will cause problems. Process maintains buffers for stdout and stderr. If you do not consume those streams, you will run into deadlocks. The proper way to use Runtime.exec is to setup a thread for stderr and a thread for stdout and consume them yourself into your own buffer that does not have the same restrictions that the stock VM has.

There's a good example of this technique on JavaWorld.