public abstract void retransformClasses (Class<?>… classes) throws UnmodifiableClassException

Retransform the supplied set of classes.

This function facilitates the instrumentation of already loaded classes. When classes are initially loaded or when they are redefined, the initial class file bytes can be transformed with the ClassFileTransformer. This function reruns the transformation process (whether or not a transformation has previously occurred). This retransformation follows these steps:

The order of transformation is described in the transform method. This same order is used in the automatic reapplication of retransformation incapable transforms.

The initial class file bytes represent the bytes passed to ClassLoader.defineClass or redefineClasses (before any transformations were applied), however they might not exactly match them. The constant pool might not have the same layout or contents. The constant pool may have more or fewer entries. Constant pool entries may be in a different order; however, constant pool indices in the bytecodes of methods will correspond. Some attributes may not be present. Where order is not meaningful, for example the order of methods, order might not be preserved.

This method operates on a set in order to allow interdependent changes to more than one class at the same time (a retransformation of class A can require a retransformation of class B).

If a retransformed method has active stack frames, those active frames continue to run the bytecodes of the original method. The retransformed method will be used on new invokes.

This method does not cause any initialization except that which would occur under the customary JVM semantics. In other words, redefining a class does not cause its initializers to be run. The values of static variables will remain as they were prior to the call.

Instances of the retransformed class are not affected.

The retransformation may change method bodies, the constant pool and attributes. The retransformation must not add, remove or rename fields or methods, change the signatures of methods, or change inheritance. These restrictions maybe be lifted in future versions. The class file bytes are not checked, verified and installed until after the transformations have been applied, if the resultant bytes are in error this method will throw an exception.

If this method throws an exception, no classes have been retransformed.

This method is intended for use in instrumentation, as described in the class specification.

classes    array of classes to retransform; a zero-length array is allowed, in this case, this method does nothing

java.lang.instrument.UnmodifiableClassException    if a specified class cannot be modified (isModifiableClass would return false)
java.lang.UnsupportedOperationException    if the current configuration of the JVM does not allow retransformation (isRetransformClassesSupported is false) or the retransformation attempted to make unsupported changes
java.lang.ClassFormatError    if the data did not contain a valid class
java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError    if the name in the class file is not equal to the name of the class
java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError    if the class file version numbers are not supported
java.lang.ClassCircularityError    if the new classes contain a circularity
java.lang.LinkageError    if a linkage error occurs
java.lang.NullPointerException    if the supplied classes array or any of its components is null.

See also:
isRetransformClassesSupported, addTransformer, java.lang.instrument.ClassFileTransformer

Since:  1.6