I have a method which extracts filedata and converts it into a String array:

import java.io.BufferedReader;
import java.io.ByteArrayInputStream;
import java.io.ByteArrayOutputStream;
import java.io.DataInputStream;
import org.apache.james.mime4j.message.BodyPart;
import org.apache.james.mime4j.message.Message;
import org.apache.james.mime4j.message.Multipart;
import org.apache.james.mime4j.message.TextBody;

protected String[] extractLedesText(byte[] fileData) {
    // Remove the BOM if present
    byte[] array = { (byte) 0xEF, (byte) 0xBB, (byte) 0xBF };
    byte[] data =  { fileData[0], fileData[1], fileData[2] };
    if (fileData.length > 3 && Arrays.equals(data, array)) {
        fileData = ArrayUtils.subarray(fileData, 3, fileData.length-1);            

    String ledes = new String(fileData);
    if (ledes.startsWith("MIME")) {

        try {
            ledes = null;
            Message signed = new Message(new ByteArrayInputStream(fileData));
            for (BodyPart part : ((Multipart) signed.getBody()).getBodyParts()) {
                if (part.getMimeType().equalsIgnoreCase("text/plain")) {
                    TextBody tb = (TextBody) part.getBody();
                    ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
                    return extractLedesText(baos.toByteArray());
            throw new BaseApplicationException(
                    "No MIME part found with MIME type of 'text/plain' while parsing submitted invoice file.");
        } catch (IOException ioe) {
            throw new BaseApplicationException(ioe);
    } else {
        return ledes.split("\\[]");


For example, below is the leads file:


The extractLedesText method converts the above file data to string array of lines.

We recently upgraded to Java 8 and am wondering whether this method can be optimized further.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this the Javadoc for the Message class? And the other Javadocs... \$\endgroup\$
    – h.j.k.
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 0:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ updated the question with the imports for Message and other classes \$\endgroup\$
    – OTUser
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:38

1 Answer 1


It looks like extractLedesText() is trying to do three things:

  1. Strip away any BOM from fileData.
  2. If this is a MIME message, extract only the TextBody part and pass that recursively into this method again.
  3. Else just do a split("\\[]") to get our desired String[] array.


Data massaging

You can use a helper method to achieve this:

private static byte[] filterBOM(byte[] fileData) {
    if (fileData.length < 3) {
        return fileData;
    final byte[] array = { (byte) 0xEF, (byte) 0xBB, (byte) 0xBF };
    final byte[] data =  { fileData[0], fileData[1], fileData[2] };
    return fileData.length > 3 && Arrays.equals(data, array) ? 
        Arrays.copyRangeOf(fileData, 3, fileData.length) : fileData;

I think it may be better to do a fileData.length < 3 check before you construct your data array. Also, I am using the Arrays utility class instead of ArrayUtils to copy part of the array.

Extracting the TextBody from a MIME message

You can make use of try-with-resources for both your ByteArrayInputStream and ByteArrayOutputStream instances, and I suppose this is where we can employ a bit of Stream trickery...

private static byte[] getTextBody(final String ledes) {
    final TextBody tb;
    try (final InputStream input = new ByteArrayInputStream(ledes.getBytes(StandardCharsets.UTF_8))) {
        tb = ((Multipart) new Message(input).getBody()).getBodyParts().stream()
                .filter(part -> part.getMimeType().equalsIgnoreCase("text/plain"))
                .findFirst().orElseThrow(() -> new BaseApplicationException(
                    "No MIME part found with MIME type of 'text/plain' while parsing submitted invoice file."))
    } catch (IOException e) {
        throw new BaseApplicationException(e);
    try (final ByteArrayOutputStream output = new ByteArrayOutputStream()) {
        return output.toByteArray();
    } catch (IOException e) {
        throw new BaseApplicationException(e);

We stream on the List from getBodyParts(), filtering those where their MIME type is "text/plain" and then look for the first matching BodyPart. If there isn't any, we call orElseThrow() with a new BaseApplicationException(...), otherwise we will getBody() and writeTo() your ByteArrayOutputStream. The output of this method is a byte[] array if there are no thrown Exceptions.

Putting it all together

protected String[] extractLedesText(byte[] fileData) {
    final String ledes = new String(filterBOM(fileData));
    return ledes.startsWith("MIME") ? extractLedesText(getTextBody(ledes)) : ledes.split("\\[]");

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