Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cloud Foundry Java Client - Streaming events

Cloud Foundry Java Client provides Java based bindings for interacting with a running Cloud Foundry instance. One of the neat things about this project is that it has embraced the Reactive Stream based API's for its method signatures, specifically using the Reactor implementation, this is especially useful when consuming streaming data.

In this post I want to demonstrate a specific use case where this library really shines - in streaming events from Cloud Foundry

Loggregator is the subsystem in Cloud Foundry responsible for aggregating all the logs produced within the system and provides ways for this information to be streamed out to external systems. The "Traffic Controller" component within Loggregator exposes a Websocket based endpoint streaming out these events, the Cloud Foundry Java client abstracts the underlying websocket client connection details and provides a neat way to consume this information.

As a pre-requisite, you will need a running instance of Cloud Foundry to try out the sample and the best way to get it working locally is to use PCF Dev.

Assuming that you have a running instance, the way to connect to this instance from code using the cf-java-client library is along the following lines:

SpringCloudFoundryClient cfClient = SpringCloudFoundryClient.builder()

Using this, a client to the Traffic Controller can be created the following way:

DopplerClient dopplerClient = ReactorDopplerClient.builder()

That is essentially it, doppler client provides methods to stream the underlying events, if you are interested in all the unfiltered information(appropriately referred to as the firehose), you can do it the following way:

Flux<Event> cfEvents = this.dopplerClient.firehose(

The result is a Flux type from the Reactor library encapsulating the streaming data which can be observed by attaching a subscriber, say for a basic example of a subscriber simply logging the events to the console the following way:

cfEvents.subscribe(e ->;

However the real power of Flux is in the very powerful fluent methods that it provides, so for eg if I were interested in a subset of say just the Application level logs, I would essentially want to filter down the data, extract the log from it and print the log the following way:

 .filter(e -> LogMessage.class.isInstance(e))
 .map(e -> (LogMessage)e)

If you want to play with this sample which as an added bonus has been Spring Boot enabled, I have it available in my github repository.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Spring Cloud with Turbine AMQP

I have previously blogged about using Spring Cloud with Turbine, a Netflix OSS library which provides a way to aggregate the information from Hystrix streams across a cluster.

The default aggregation flow is however pull-based, where Turbine requests the hystrix stream from each instance in the cluster and aggregates it together - this tends to be way more configuration heavy.

Spring Cloud Turbine AMQP offers a different model, where each application instance pushes the metrics from Hystrix commands to Turbine through a central RabbitMQ broker.

This blog post recreates the sample that I had configured previously using Spring Cloud support for AMQP - the entire sample is available at my github repo if you just want the code.

The changes are very minor for such a powerful feature, all the application which wants to feed the hystrix stream to an AMQP broker is to add these dependencies expressed in maven the following way:


These dependencies would now auto-configure all the connectivity details with RabbitMQ sample topic exchange and would start feeding in the hystrix stream data into this RabbitMQ topic.

Similarly on the Turbine end all that needs to be done is to specify the appropriate dependencies:


This would consume the hystrix messages from RabbitMQ and would in turn expose an aggregated stream over an http endpoint.

Using this aggregated stream a hystrix dashboard can be displayed along these lines:

The best way to try out the sample is using docker-compose and the README with the sample explains how to build the relevant docker containers and start it up using docker-compose.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Approaches to binding a Spring Boot application to a service in Cloud Foundry

If you want to try out Cloud Foundry the simplest way to do that is to download the excellent PCF Dev or to create a trial account at the Pivotal Web Services site.

The rest of the post assumes that you have an installation of Cloud Foundry available to you and that you have a high level understanding of Cloud Foundry. The objective of this post is to list out of the options you have in integrating your Java application to a service instance - this demo uses mysql as a sample service to integrate with but the approach is generic enough.

Overview of the Application

The application is fairly simple Spring-Boot app, it is a REST service exposing three domain types and their relationships, representing a university - Course, Teacher and Student. The domain instances are persisted to a MySQL database. The entire source code and the approaches are available at this github location if you want to jump ahead.

To try the application locally, first install a local mysql server database, on a Mac OSX box with homebrew available, the following set of commands can be run:

brew install mysql

mysql.server start
mysql -u root
# on the mysql prompt: 

CREATE USER 'univadmin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'univadmin';
GRANT ALL ON univdb.* TO 'univadmin'@'localhost';

Bring up the Spring-Boot under cf-db-services-sample-auto:

mvn spring-boot:run

and an endpoint with a sample data will be available at http://localhost:8080/courses.

Trying this application on Cloud Foundry

If you have an installation of PCF Dev running locally, you can try out a deployment of the application the following way:

cf api --skip-ssl-validation
cf login # login with admin/admin credentials

Create a Mysql service instance:
cf create-service p-mysql 512mb mydb

and push the app! (manifest.yml provides the binding of the app to the service instance)
cf push

An endpoint should be available at

Approaches to service connectivity

Now that we have an application that works locally and on a sample local Cloud Foundry, these are the approaches to connecting to a service instance.

Approach 1 - Do nothing, let the Java buildpack handle the connectivity details

This approach is demonstrated in the cf-db-services-sample-auto project. Here the connectivity to the local database has been specified using Spring Boot and looks like this:


    show-sql: true
    hibernate.ddl-auto: none
    database: MYSQL

    driverClassName: com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
    url: jdbc:mysql://localhost/univdb?autoReconnect=true&useSSL=false
    username: univadmin
    password: univadmin

When this application is pushed to Cloud Foundry using the Java Buildpack, a component called the java-buildpack-auto-reconfiguration is injected into the application which reconfigures the connectivity to the service based on the runtime service binding.

Approach 2 - Disable Auto reconfiguration and use runtime properties

This approach is demonstrated in the cf-db-services-sample-props project. When a service is bound to an application, there is a set of environment properties injected into the application under the key "VCAP_SERVICES". For this specific service the entry looks something along these lines:

  "p-mysql": [
    "credentials": {
     "hostname": "",
     "jdbcUrl": "jdbc:mysql://**\u0026password=***",
     "name": "cf_456d9e1e_e31e_43bc_8e94_f8793dffdad5",
     "password": "***",
     "port": 3306,
     "uri": "mysql://***:***",
     "username": "***"
    "label": "p-mysql",
    "name": "mydb",
    "plan": "512mb",
    "provider": null,
    "syslog_drain_url": null,
    "tags": [

The raw json is a little unwieldy to consume, however Spring Boot automatically converts this data into a flat set of properties that looks like this:

"": "512mb",
"": "******",
"": "******",
"": "******",
"": "******",
"[0]": "mysql",
"": "******",
"": "mysql",
"": "******",
"": "p-mysql",
"": "",
"": "",
"": "******",
"": "mydb",

Given this, the connectivity to the database can be specified in a Spring Boot application the following way - in a application.yml file:

    url: ${}
    username: ${}
    password: ${}

One small catch though is that since I am now explicitly taking control of specifying the service connectivity, the runtime java-buildpack-auto-reconfiguration has to be disabled, which can done by a manifest metadata:
  - name: cf-db-services-sample-props
    path: target/cf-db-services-sample-props-1.0.0.RELEASE.jar
    memory: 512M
      - mydb



Approach 3 - Using Spring Cloud Connectors

The third approach is to use the excellent Spring Cloud Connectors project and a configuration which specifies a service connectivity looks like this and is demonstrated in the cf-db-services-sample-connector sub-project:

public  class CloudFoundryDatabaseConfig {

    public Cloud cloud() {
        return new CloudFactory().getCloud();

    public DataSource dataSource() {
        DataSource dataSource = cloud().getServiceConnector("mydb", DataSource.class, null);
        return dataSource;

Pros and Cons

These are the Pros and Cons with each of these approaches:

Approaches Pros Cons
Approach 1 - Let Buildpack handle it
1. Simple, the application that works locally will work without any changes on the cloud

1. Magical - the auto-reconfiguration may appear magical to someone who does not understand the underlying flow
2. The number of service types supported is fairly limited -
say for eg, if a connectivity is required to Cassandra then Auto-reconfiguration will not work
Approach 2 - Explicit Properties 1. Fairly straightforward.
2. Follows the Spring Boot approach and uses some of the best practices of Boot based applications - for eg, there is a certain order in which datasource connection pools are created, all those best practices just flow in using this approach.
1. The Auto-reconfiguration will have to be explicitly disabled
2. Need to know what the flattened properties look like
3. A "cloud" profile may have to be manually injected through environment properties to differentiate local development and cloud deployment
4. Difficult to encapsulate reusability of connectivity to newer service types - say Cassandra or DynamoDB.
Approach 3 - Spring Cloud Connectors 1. Simple to integrate
2. Easy to add in re-usable integration to newer service types
1. Bypasses the optimizations of Spring Boot connection pool logic.


My personal preference is to go with Approach 2 as it most closely matches the Spring Boot defaults, not withstanding the cons of the approach. If more complicated connectivity to a service is required I will likely go with approach 3. Your mileage may vary though


1. Scott Frederick's spring-music has been a constant guide.
2. I have generously borrowed from Ben Hale's pong_matcher_spring sample.