CRUD and error handling with Http4s

Hi everybody!

Last year I wrote an introductory post to Http4s and a few months later I started using it in the company I was working for. Results have been very good so far regarding readability in a pure-functional-style, usability, throughput and performance in production environments so I would recommend the use of it.

In this post I want to show you how to create a simple CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) demo, always needed when creating an API. And in this kind of operations you will always need to handle expected errors from the backend and returning the appropriate HTTP Status Code and response. So let’s start!

EDIT: This post has been written in October 2016 using Http4s v0.14.6 for the examples and things have changed quite a lot ever since. For a newer version using Http4s v0.18.x (Cats v1.0.0-RC1) please check out this Giter8 Templatethis repo and this blog post about all the updates.

CRUD for users

In this demo we will create a CRUD for an User (username, email and age). We will support the following operations:

  1. Find all the users sorted by username
  2. Create a new user:
    • If the username already exists return a descriptive error.
    • Otherwise return the user with the designated id.
  3. Find user by id:
    • Return either the user or a descriptive message indicating user not found.
  4. Edit the age of a user by id:
    • Return either a successful code or a descriptive message indicating user not found.
  5. Delete user by id:
    • Return either a successful code or a descriptive message indicating user not found.

HTTP Status Code Responses

So far this is the definition of the most common use of a crud with some validations. Let’s see how we define the HTTP Endpoints for all these operations:

  1. GET /users | /users?sort=ASC/users?sort=DESC
    • Returns a 200 http status code with a list of all the users.
  2. POST /users
    • If the username is already in use returns a 409 http status code indicating the duplication.
    • Otherwise creates the user and returns a 201 http status code and the user with id in the body.
  3. GET /users/{id}
    • If the user exists it returns a 200 http status code and the user itself.
    • Otherwise it returns a 400 http status code indicating user not found.
  4. PUT /users/{id}
    • If the user exists it returns a 202 http status code.
    • Otherwise it returns a 400 http status code indicating user not found.
  5. DELETE /users/{id}
    • If the user exists it returns a 204 http status code.
    • Otherwise it returns a 400 http status code indicating user not found.

OK, show me the code!

We will start by creating the main app running the server, as indicated by the official documentation, it’s recommended to extend the ServerApp trait that will handle the shutdown and clean up of the resources automatically:

package com.gvolpe.http.server

import com.gvolpe.http.server.endpoint.UserHttpEndpoint
import org.http4s.server.{Server, ServerApp}
import org.http4s.server.blaze._
import scalaz.concurrent.Task

object HttpApi extends ServerApp {

  override def server(args: List[String]): Task[Server] = {
    BlazeBuilder
      .bindHttp(8080, "localhost")
      .mountService(UserHttpEndpoint.service)
      .start
  }

}

By default we use the Blaze server as it is the native backend supported by http4s but it’s also possible to use different servers, however that topic is out of the goal of this post.

Our UserService trait defines the CRUD operations always returning a scalaz.concurrent.Task[A] as shown below:

trait UserService {
  def save(user: User): Task[Unit]
  def findAll(sort: UserSorting): Task[List[User]]
  def find(id: Long): Task[User]
  def remove(id: Long): Task[Unit]
  def edit(id: Long, age: Int): Task[Unit]
}

We will not care about the implementation of this service because what it matters in this case is the returning types and the possible expected errors that a Task might contain when it runs. However you can take a look at our default implementation on GitHub (link at the end of the post).

In the code shown above the type UserSorting is just an ADT defining two possible values, either Asc or Desc.

Main User HTTP Endpoint

So this is how our UserHttpEndpoint object referenced by the main server app looks like. First of all, we define the codecs available implicitly in the scope of the object. For this purpose we are using the amazing Circe library using automated codec derivation.

implicit def circeJsonDecoder[A](implicit decoder: Decoder[A]) = jsonOf[A]
implicit def circeJsonEncoder[A](implicit encoder: Encoder[A]) = jsonEncoderOf[A]

Then we define the main resources of the endpoint as an HttpService that represents a PartialFunction[Request, Task[Response]]:

val service = HttpService {
  case GET -> Root / "users" : ? SortQueryParamMatcher(sort) =>
    Ok(UserService.findAll(UserSorting.from(sort)))
  case req @ POST -> Root / "users" =>
    req.decode[UserForm] { userForm =>
      val user = User(Random.nextInt(1000), userForm.username, userForm.email, userForm.age)
      UserService.save(user).flatMap(_ => Created(s"User with id: ${user.id}")).handleWith(errorHandler)
    }
  case GET -> Root / "users" / LongVar(id) =>
    Ok(UserService.find(id)).handleWith(errorHandler)    
  case DELETE -> Root / "users" / LongVar(id) =>
    UserService.remove(id).flatMap(_ => NoContent()).handleWith(errorHandler)
  case req @ PUT -> Root / "users" / LongVar(id) =>
    req.decode[UserAgeForm] { ageForm =>
      UserService.edit(id, ageForm.age).flatMap(_ => Accepted()).handleWith(errorHandler)
    }
}

In the code shown above we are using a SortQueryParamMatcher and an errorHandler variable that we didn’t see yet, so this is how is defined:

object SortQueryParamMatcher extends OptionalQueryParamDecoderMatcher[String]("sort")
  
private val errorHandler: PartialFunction[Throwable, Task[Response]] = {
  case UserNotFoundException(id)              => BadRequest(s"User with id: $id not found!")
  case DuplicatedUsernameException(username)  => Conflict(s"Username $username already in use!")
}

Adding a new validation would be just adding a new case in the partial function, very simple isn’t it?

Final thoughts

As I said at the beginning of this post I totally encourage the use of this powerful library if you like to write pure functional code and at the same time having great performance results. The documentation has improved a lot since the last year so please give it a try and let me know if you would like me to write about any other feature of this library not covered either here or in the official docs.

As always, a demo project for this post is available on GitHub, check it out here!

Until next post!
Gabriel.

PS: I’m currently on a world trip for undetermined amount of time and sometimes with limited connection to Internet so the gaps between posts might be bigger but I’ll try to keep on writing. I suppose I’ll be back in the industry next year at some point… Cheers from India!

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Typed Actors

Hi everybody!

On these days I had a break and I was able to investigate something different from work not related to streams and I discovered this library Typed Actors by @knutwalker which I liked so much that I decided to write a post about it. And just a short post because its documentation is already very good! For the impatient here’s the demo project I’ve created 🙂

AKKA ACTORS

As you might know, if you ever used Akka actors, its main method type ‘receive’ is Any => Unit, exposing the lack of type safety. This is very dangerous and human error prone, given the fact that you can send any message to an Actor B and it might not handle that specific type of message. But what if you can get errors in compile time to identify these cases? Well, this is what Typed Actors provide and it’s very nice to work with.

TYPED ACTORS

Taken directly from its documentation, Typed Actors has the following goals:

  • add a compile-time layer to existing ActorRefs with minimal runtime overhead
  • be compatible with all of the existing Akka modules, traits, and extensions in terms of composition and behavior

There are a few ways to define a TypedActor but the one I like the most and I recommend is to extend the TypedActor trait to add more exhaustiveness check for our types. Let’s see a few examples:

import com.gvolpe.typed.examples.actor.StrictTypedActor._
import de.knutwalker.akka.typed._

object StrictTypedActor {
  sealed trait StrictMessage extends Product with Serializable
  case object StrictOne extends StrictMessage
  case object StrictTwo extends StrictMessage

  case object NotStrict

  // Same as Props[StrictMessage, StrictTypedActor] but using type derivation
  def props = PropsFor[StrictTypedActor]
}

class StrictTypedActor extends TypedActor.Of[StrictMessage] {
  override def typedReceive: TypedReceive = {
    case StrictOne => println(s"received StrictOne at $typedSelf")
    case StrictTwo => println(s"received StrictTwo at $typedSelf")
//    case NotStrict => println(s"this does not compile!")
  }
}

In the case above, the actor will only handle messages of type StrictMessage defined as an ADT. Let’s see the types that we will get when using this typed actor and what we can do with it:

  import akka.actor.ActorSystem
  import de.knutwalker.akka.typed._ 

  implicit val system = ActorSystem("typed-actors-demo")

  val actor: ActorRef[StrictMessage] = ActorOf(StrictTypedActor.props, name = "typed-actor")

  actor ! StrictOne
//actor ! "Hello world!" // This won't compile!!!

It’s very nice that if we try to send a message that is not handled by the actor we get a compilation error!

INTERACTION WITH EXISTING AKKA ACTORS

It’s also possible to work with an existent unsafe actor application without any problems. The library provides two main functions to switch between typed and untyped actors all we want. Let’s see an example:

  import akka.actor.ActorSystem
  import de.knutwalker.akka.typed._ 

  implicit val system = ActorSystem("typed-actors-demo")

  val actor: ActorRef[StrictMessage] = ActorOf(StrictTypedActor.props, name = "typed-actor")

  val unsafeActor: UntypedActorRef = actor.untyped // Alias for akka.actor.ActorRef

  val typedAgain: ActorRef[StrictMessage] = unsafeActor.typed[StrictMessage]

That’s it, not too much to add. Typed Actors makes it easy only by adding a small extra amount of code and we gain all the best of type safety. However we decide how much type safety we want to put in our application just because it’s very easy to have both typed and untyped actors living together in the same context.

EXAMPLES

There are a lot of cases that I haven’t mentioned in this post like Union Types, Ask Pattern (or ReplyTo), Persistence Actors and the Typed Creator module among others, but almost everything is possible using this powerful library. Check out the official documentation that is awesome! And I’ve also created a demo project with a lot of examples and also the Akka example to calculate a Pi approximation converted to use Typed Actors. Check it out on GitHub!

Until next post!
Gabriel.

From Scalaz Streams to FS2

Hi everybody!

Last April I wrote this post about Scalaz Streams where I explained how we consume orders from Kafka, persist them to Cassandra, call a web service to update the prices and finally publish the result to RabbitMQ. And this was achieved by running two streams in parallel. Here’s the graphic to recap:

pricer_streams_parallel

Today I will introduce the same problem but solved with FS2: Functional Streams for Scala instead, the evolution of Scalaz Streams. If you are one of those impatient creatures here is the code 😉

MAIN DIFFERENCES

Our main flow was defined as follows:

def flow(consumer: ProcessT[Order],
           logger: Sink[Task, Order],
           storageEx: Exchange[Order, Order],
           pricer: Channel[Task, Order, Order],
           publisher: Sink[Task, Order])
          (implicit S: Strategy)= {
    merge.mergeN(
      Process(
        consumer          observe   logger    to  storageEx.write,
        storageEx.read    through   pricer    to  publisher
      )
    )
  }

And from this Scalaz Streams code we can name the changes in FS2:

  1. Process[F[_], +A] is now Stream[F[_], +A]
  2. Channel[F[_], +A, +B] is now Pipe[F[_], A, B] which is an alias type for Stream[F, A] => Stream[F, B]
  3. Sink[F[_], +A] is the same as Channel being the type of B Unit. Pipe[F[_], A, Unit]
  4. Exchange is not there anymore so we have to supply it using two streams.
  5. merge.mergeN is now fs2.concurrent.join

So this is how it looks the pricer flow with FS2:

def flow(consumer: StreamT[Order],
           logger: SinkT[Order],
           storage: OrderStorage,
           pricer: PipeT[Order, Order],
           publisher: SinkT[Order])(implicit S: fs2.Strategy) = {
    fs2.concurrent.join(2)(
      Stream(
        consumer      observe logger to storage.write,
        storage.read  through pricer to publisher
      )
    )

Note: All the functions are now defined with a generic effect type whereas before a lot of the functions were pretty tight to Scalaz Task. FS2 requires an implicit Async[F] where F is the effect type in order to run the stream. By default, an Async implementation for Task is provided implicitly.

TIMER, SCHEDULER: time package

One of the things that I improved in this new version is the Order Generator. Before it was a naive implementation using Task and blocking the thread for 2 seconds. Now it’s been implemented using the functions provided by the fs2.time package. Here’s the code:

  implicit val scheduler = fs2.Scheduler.fromFixedDaemonPool(2, "generator-scheduler")
  implicit val S         = fs2.Strategy.fromFixedDaemonPool(2, "generator-timer")

  private val defaultOrderGen: PipeT[Int, Order] = { orderIds =>
    val tickInterrupter = time.sleep[Task](11.seconds) ++ Stream(true)
    val orderTick       = time.awakeEvery[Task](2.seconds).interruptWhen(tickInterrupter)
    (orderIds zip orderTick) flatMap { case (id, t) =>
      val itemId    = Random.nextInt(500).toLong
      val itemPrice = Random.nextInt(10000).toDouble
      val newOrder  = Order(id.toLong, List(Item(itemId, s"laptop-$id", itemPrice)))
      Stream.emit(newOrder)
    }
  }

The function time.awakeEvery[Task] generates a Stream[Task, FiniteDuration]. And any Stream has the function interruptWhen(haltWhenTrue: Stream[F[_], Boolean] available to halt when the given stream of Boolean returns true. Based on this I used the function time.sleep[Task] wich generates a Stream[Task, Nothing] and append a Stream(true) to it. So after the given duration this combination will return what we need for the interrupter; a Stream[Task, Boolean].

QUEUES, SIGNALS AND TOPICS: async package

Another breaking change is the way queues, signals and topics, among others, are being generated. In Scalaz Stream they were tight to Task as the effect type whereas in FS2 you have to provide it. And the other difference you will notice is that on creation before you would get a Queue[A] whereas in FS2 you get a F[Queue[F, A]] as follows:

// Scalaz Streams
val oldQ: Queue[Int] = async.boundedQueue[Int](100) 
// FS2 
val newQ: Task[Queue[Task, Int]] = async.boundedQueue[Task, Int](100)

UTILS

The util functions channel.lift and sink.lift that I used in the first demo are no longer available so I created a FS2Utils file to provide similar functionality.

And finally one interesting function I’m using in the final combination of the streams is mergeHaltBoth wich works as merge but it will halt when one of the streams halt. In our case the Order Generator flow will halt after 11 seconds.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

I was inspired to write this post after watch the excellent series of videos published by Michael Pilquist and because at my work we are strongly using Scalaz Streams (maybe we migrate to FS2 sometime in the near future, I don’t know yet). Also the official guide and migration guide are really useful.

And again, the demo project for this post is available on GitHub. That’s all I have today hope you enjoyed it.

Until next post!
Gabriel.

Functional Chain of Responsibility pattern

Hi everyone!

If you are familiar with any OOP language you might have been used the Chain of Responsibility pattern at least once. Today’s topic is about solving the same problem but in a functional way. Let’s see the alternatives we have.

OOP Style

Because it’s possible to write OOP and imperative code in Scala one can rewrite this pattern the same way you would do it in Java. This is an example I found on Gist. Obviously, you shouldn’t do it this way!

Partial Functions

In one of the posts of the amazing series The Neophyte’s Guide to Scala by Daniel Westheide he mentions the alternative to the Chain of Responsibility pattern by chaining partial functions using the orElse method. And following this alternative here’s a good example I found in the blog post Design Patterns in Scala by Pavel Fatin.

This is the simplest way to solve it. However one of the cons is that you always need to specify a default partial function in case neither of the functions can be applied.

Let’s say that we want to apply only one of different rules and when we find the right one, we apply it and finish the flow by returning a value. This is how we would do it:

case class DemoState(number: Int)

type PFRule = PartialFunction[DemoState, Option[String]]

private def numberRule(f: Int => Boolean, result: String): PFRule = {
  case DemoState(n) if f(n) => Option(result)
}

val GreaterThanFiveRule = numberRule(_ > 5, "Greater than five")
val LessThanFiveRule    = numberRule(_ < 5, "Less than five")
val EqualsFiveRule      = numberRule(_ == 5, "Equals five")

val NumberRules = GreaterThanFiveRule orElse LessThanFiveRule orElse EqualsFiveRule

NumberRules(5) // It will return "Equals five"
NumberRules(1) // It will return "Less than five"
NumberRules(7) // It will return "Greater than five"

We can combine any PartialFunction of the same type using orElse. The order is very important. If you have rules than can be applied in different cases, the order will define the priority.

Tail Recursive technique

I’ve found one interesting solution using a tail-recursive approach and the rules defined as Either in this post. Let’s say that we have defined the same number rules in this way using Scalaz disjunction:

import scalaz._, Scalaz._

trait Rule[A, B] {
  def handle(request: B): A \/ B
}

type FiveRule = Rule[String, DemoState]

case object GreaterThanFiveRule extends FiveRule {
  override def handle(state: DemoState): String \/ DemoState =
    if (state.number > 5) "Greater than five".left
    else state.right
}

case object LessThanFiveRule extends FiveRule {
  override def handle(state: DemoState): String \/ DemoState =
    if (state.number < 5) "Less than five".left
    else state.right
}

case object EqualsFiveRule extends FiveRule {
  override def handle(state: DemoState): String \/ DemoState =
    if (state.number == 5) "Equals five".left
    else state.right
}

val NumberRules = List(GreaterThanFiveRule, LessThanFiveRule, EqualsFiveRule) 

And the tail-recursive technique to apply only one of the rules:

implicit class RuleListHandler[A, B](list: List[Rule[A, B]]) {
  def applyOnlyOneTailRec(request: B): A \/ B = {
    @tailrec
    def loop(req: B, rules: List[Rule[A, B]]): A \/ B = {
      if (rules.isEmpty) req.right
      else rules.head.handle(req) match {
        case -\/(value)   => value.left
        case \/-(handler) => loop(req, rules.tail)
      }
    }
    loop(request, list)
  }
}

Then we can apply only one rule by calling this function:

// This will return -\/(Equals five)
NumberRules applyOnlyOneTailRec (_.handle(DemoState(5)))

Applicative Functor Traverse

If your code base is mostly Scalaz, another option to apply the same logic is to use the Applicative method traverse that is defined this way:

trait Traverse[F[_]] extends Functor[F] with Foldable[F] { self =>
  def traverseImpl[G[_]:Applicative,A,B](fa: F[A])(f: A => G[B]): G[F[B]]
}

If you’ve ever used Scala Future you might have used both sequence and/or traverse methods:

val list: List[Future[Int]] = List(Future(1), Future(2))
val x: Future[List[Int]] = Future.sequence(list) map (l => l map (n => n+1))
val y: Future[List[Int]] = Future.traverse(list)(l => l map (n => n+1))

Traverse is the same to map over an Applicative and then apply sequence but with a better performance because it doesn’t need the additional list to copy the values before apply map. In the case of Future is just sequence and then map. In Scalaz anything can be traversable if there’s evidence that it’s an Applicative Functor Foldable as defined in The Essence of the Iterator pattern paper. And more about the implementation in Scalaz here.

The tail-recursive technique is a naive solution that we can replace by calling traverse to apply only one of the rules because it’s going to fail-fast:

// This will return -\/(Equals five) as in the tail-recursive solution
NumberRules traverseU (_.handle(DemoState(5)))

The problem with working with the monadic fail-fast technique and disjunction is that we’ll have the expected value in the left side. One thing that we can probably do is to invoke swap once we get the value to flip sides between left and right. I defined an implicit function to do this for any given List of Rules:

implicit class RuleListHandler[A, B](list: List[Rule[A, B]]) {
  def applyOnlyOneTraverse(request: B): List[B] \/ A = {
    list traverseU (_.handle(request)) swap
  }
}

// This will return \/-(Greater than five)
NumberRules applyOnlyOneTraverse DemoState(8)

In Scalaz you will find the function traverse and traverseU (the same with sequence). The difference is that traverseU can derive the type of the Applicative by using unapply whereas for traverse you need to specify the type.

As always, an example project showing different combinations can be found on GitHub.

Until the next post!
Gabriel.

Scalaz Streams: Parallel computing and better testing

Hi there,

I finally made some time to write this post after being back home for holidays and switching teams in my current job. I’ve been working in this new project since February where we are widely using Scalaz Streams, which gave me the possibility to learn a lot (thanks Fred!).

Last year I wrote about designing a full project using Akka Streams being able to test every piece of the stream as a partial flow graph. Now I’ll talk about doing something similar using Scalaz Streams which has the advantage of being always in control of the concurrency and parallelism. If you want to see a comparison between them, check out the good Adam Warski’s post about it… So let’s start by defining a case!

Definition of the case

We need to consume messages of Orders of Items from Kafka, persisting every order to Cassandra, update the item prices by applying a margination profit and publish the updated order downstream to Rabbit MQ.

That’s the real case but for the sake of simplicity, in the following example I’m not going to use Kafka, Cassandra and Rabbit MQ but an in memory representation to simulate the same behavior.

So I started by drawing the streaming flow and how the different components are connected:

pricer_streams

Looks pretty simple isn’t it? Well in this design every order has to be consumed from Kafka, be logged, persisted to Cassandra, updated by the pricer service and finally published to Rabbit MQ. In general, a processing overhead always occurs when I/O operations are involved, in this case the persisting phase. Hence parallelising the streaming between writing and reading is recommended. So this is how the graphic looks like after the flow has been split out in two:

pricer_streams_parallel
With this design we can continuously consume and persisting orders and in parallel we can read, update and publish the orders downstream.

Okay, show me the code….

Fair enough! In Scalaz Streams a stream is represented as a Process[+F[_], +A] where F is the effect side and A the value side. The most general use case has a Task in place of F[_]. Then we have different type aliases of a Process that are more meaningful like Sink (used for side effects processing), Channel (effectful process that can send values and get back responses) and Writer (a Process[+F[_], +A] where A is a disjunction) among others. We also have an Exchange that represents the interconnection between two systems, a read side and a write side. Knowing about this components we can model the graphic in this way:

Note: If you are not so familiar with all this concepts I recommend you to read this user notes written by Devon Miller.

Kakfa      - consumer: Process[Task, Order]
Logger     - logger: Sink[Task, Order]
Cassandra  - storageEx: Exchange[Order, Order]
Pricer     - pricer: Channel[Task, Order, Order]
Rabbit MQ  - publisher: Sink[Task, Order])

Then we can connect every component as in the graphic and specify the parallel processing using scalaz.stream.merge.mergeN:

merge.mergeN(
  Process(
    consumer          observe   logger    to  storageEx.write,
    storageEx.read    through   pricer    to  publisher
  )
)

The code above deserves a bit of explanation. I’m using scalaz.stream.merge.mergeN that can merge N streams (Process[+F[_], +A]) in a nondeterministic way. This means that given stream1 and stream2 is going to take an element from the faster publisher. This means nondeterministic parallelization. It’s the way that the merge function works for Wye using two streams but more optimized (using nondeterminism.njoin under the hood).

This code is part of the PricerStream object. I’ve also created another process to generate random Orders to be consumed by the main process. All the source code for this demo is available on GitHub, check it out here!

Testing

Having the definition of the streaming flow isolated makes it easy to test the behavior in isolation. The flow method in the PricerStream object only defines how the components are connected and accepts each one of them as a parameter.  All we have to do is created an in memory representation of this components and invoke the flow. Then we can assert whether an order has been published or not.

For example, this is how we test the main flow defined above:

val (consumer, logger, storageEx, pricer, publisherEx, kafkaQ) = createStreams
val result = for {
  _           <-  eval(kafkaQ.enqueueOne(testOrder))
  _           <-  PricerStream.flow(consumer, logger, storageEx, pricer, publisherEx.write)
  update      <-  publisherEx.read.take(1)
} yield {
  update.items foreach { item =>
    item.price should be (OrderTestGenerator.FixedUpdatedPrice)
  }
}
result.take(1).runLast.timed(3.seconds).run.get

Take a look at the source code to discover what’s going on here! The createStreams method is returning all the mocks that we need to simulate Kafka, Cassandra and RabbitMQ for instance. Then we create a stream in a for-comprehension style by publishing “testOrder” to the Kafka topic, invoking the Pricer Stream flow and finally asserting on the Order published downstream. This is quite simple once you understand how it works and how powerful it is!

Okay, that’s pretty much what I have today! There are a few points I would like to dig in deeper like benchmarks and performance that are actually beyond the topic of this post but hopefully I can write about it later on.

Recommended Resources

There are a lot of resources out there very useful. I’d like to point you specifically to the classic Daniel Spiewak’s talk and to the excellent Derek Chen Becker’s talk given at LambdaConf 2015. I’ve created a playground project with all the stuff I learned from this talks, check it out! And of course it’s always good to check the Additional Resources wiki page of FS2.

Until next post!

Gabriel.

Cassandra Scala drivers

Hi there! After a long time of laziness I came back to write something about what I’ve done during this time of absence apart from my holidays. And BTW happy new year!

In the last year I’ve been working quite a lot with Cassandra, always using the official Java Driver supported by DataStax, the company behind the database. And I remember that I’ve searched before for a Scala driver and reactive if it was possible and I found only one but not very good to me at that moment. The thing is during this week I was challenged to create a program to basically query some of our Cassandra tables by exposing a REST API, so I started looking for a cool Scala driver.

RESEARCH RESULTS

Starting by simply type “scala cassandra driver” in Google these are the first four results:
scala-driver-search

First a reactive type-safe driver, second a Scala wrapper of the official Java driver, third the official web site driver list and last a Stack Overflow topic about it.

WORKING WITH PHANTOM

So I decided to give Phantom a chance because it has a high activity on GitHub, it is an open source driver and I think the DSL is pretty good. However I found a few problems trying to start working with; a basic thing like getting a connection to the database using username/password authentication is not supported by the DSL. And after research for a while I found that a lot of good features are only present in the commercial version.

That’s why after getting the problem mentioned above I kept searching for more Scala drivers and summing up this is the list:

  • scala-cassandra: just a wrapper around the official Java driver. Last activity on GitHub 2 years ago.
  • cascal: one of the drivers mentioned in the official DataStax driver list apart from Phantom. Last activity on GitHub 3 years ago.
  • cassie: developed by Twitter. Last activity on GitHub 3 years ago.
  • scqla: lack of design, no DSL. Last activity on GitHub 2 years ago.

As you can see all of this projects are no longer maintained, so once again I came back to Phantom trying to make it work.

PHANTOM SSL EXTENSION

After a few hours trying to get a connection using Phantom, including opening an issue (hopefully I’ll get a response soon), I created a project to share my workaround solution which I called phantom-ssl-extension, mainly intended to work with Java 8.

It consists on the creation of a CustomSessionProvider mixing Phantom with the official Java driver and a few util functions. I invite you to check the example out in order to see how it works and I hope you had enjoyed this short research post.

Until next time!
Gabriel.

Akka Stream 2.0-M1: Quick Update

Yesterday was announced the first milestone of the second version of Akka Stream and Http. I wanted to give it a try so I updated the previous project in order to work with this new version. You’ll find a new branch called “akka-stream-2.0-M1”.

UPDATED PROJECT

Functions partial and closed of FlowGraph are no longer existing. They were replaced by function create. As you can see for instance in EventInputFlow the change is very straight forward in partial cases.

One of the most significant changes I had to do was in the FlowTestKit where I was using FlowGraph.closed. And as I pointed above it was replaced by the function create. But in this case it’s mandatory to return a ClosedShape. With this new object it’s not possible to invoke the run() function because it’s not runnable like previously. To make it runnable it’s necessary to use RunnableGraph.fromGraph(closedShape) and then you can invoke the run() function.

All the changes introduced in the project can be seen in this comparison with the master branch.

MORE NEW CHANGES

Another big change that I’m not using in the demo project is the wrap() function. It was replaced by descriptive functions depending on the case. If you want to create a Flow from a FlowShape you should use Flow.fromGraph but if you need to create a Flow from a Sink and Source you should use now the function Flow.fromSinkAndSource  or Flow.fromSinkAndSourceMat.

If you were using FlexiMerge and FlexiRoute for custom stream processing you’ll notice that they have been replaced by GraphStage. Take a look at the migration guide from 1.0 to 2.x to see all the changes introduced in this first milestone and if you can give it a try!

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s promising what is coming in this new Akka Stream 2 world. The API is becoming stronger, powerful and very handy. And talking about performance it’s worth to mention that the stream processing is faster now and it will be much faster in the upcoming versions – with the introduction of GraphStage it will be possible to execute multiple stream processing steps inside one actor, reducing the numbers of thread-hops -. Other libraries such as Akka Http are getting improvements too thanks to Akka Stream joint efforts.

Until next post!
Gabriel.