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Creating Asynchronous Java Code with Future

Java X Future


Java Future is one of several ways to work with the language asynchronously, providing a multi-thread context in which it is possible to execute tasks in parallel without blocking the process.

In the example below, we will simulate sending a fictitious email in which, even during sending, the process will not be blocked, that is, it will not be necessary to wait for the sending to finish for the other functionalities or mechanisms to operate again.

EmailService class

Understanding the EmailService class

The class above represents the sending emails in a fictitious way, the idea of ​​using the loop is to simulate the sending is precisely to delay the process itself.

Finally, at the end of sending, the method sendEmailBatch(int numberOfEmailsToBeSent) returns a String containing a message referring to the end of the process.

EmailServiceAsync class

Understanding the EmailServiceAsync class

The EmailServiceAsync class represents the asynchronous mechanism itself, in it we have the method sendEmailBatchAsync(int numberOfEmailsToBeSent) which will be responsible for making the process of sending dummy e-mails asynchronous.

The asynchronous process is managed by using the ExecutorService instance which facilitates the management of tasks asynchronously which are assigned to a pool of threads. In this case, the call to the sendEmailBatch(int numberOfEmailsToBeSent) method boils down to a task (task) which will be assigned to a Thread defined in Executors.newFixedThreadPool(1).

Finally, the method returns a Future that is literally a promise that task will be completed at some point, representing an asynchronous process.

EmailServiceAsyncRun class

Understanding the EmailServiceAsyncRun class

It is in this class where we will test the asynchronous process using Future. Let's recap, in the EmailService class, we've created a method called sendEmailBatch(int numberOfEmailsToBeSent) in which we're simulating through the for the sending of dummy email and printing a sending message that we'll use to test the concurrency.

In the EmailServiceAsync class, the sendEmailBatchAsync(int numberOfEmailsToBeSent) method creates an ExecutorService instance that will manage the tasks together with the thread pool, which in this case, we are creating just one Thread defined in Executors.newFixedThreadPool(1) and will return a Future.

Now in the EmailServiceAsyncRun class, this is where we actually test the process, let's understand by parts:

  • We instantiate an object of type EmailServiceAsync

  • We create an object of type Future<String> and assign it to the return of the emailAsync.sendEmailBatchAsync(500) method. The idea of ​​argument 500 is just to control the iteration of the For, delaying the process to be finished. We could even use Thread.sleep() as an alternative and set a delay time which would also work fine.

  • Note that we are using the futureReturn.isDone() method to control the while iteration control, that is, this method allows the process not to be blocked while the email flow is executed. In this case, any process that you want to implement to compete while sending is done, can be created inside the while, such as a flow of updating customer tables or any other process.

  • On line 20, using the futureReturn.get() method, we're printing the result of sending the emails.

  • And finally, we finish the executorService and its tasks through the executorService.shutdown() method.

Running the process

Notice clearly that there are two distinct processes running, the process of sending email "Sending email Nº 498.." and the process of updating a customer table.

Finally the process is finished when the message "A total of 500 emails has been sent" is printed.

Java Future

Java Future

Working with blocking processes

The use of Future is widely used for use cases where we need to block a proces. The current Thread will be blocked until the process being executed by Future ends. To do so, simply invoke the futureReturn.get() method directly without using any iteration control as used in the previous example.

An important point is that this type of approach can cause resources to be wasted due to the blocking of the current Thread.


The use of Future is very promising when we need to add asynchronous processes to our code in the simplest way or even use it to block processes. It's a lean API with a certain resource limitation but that works well for some scenarios.

Hope you enjoyed!


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