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PCF Spring Cloud Services Demo

This simple project demonstrates the use of Spring Cloud Services ('SCS') in PCF using Spring Boot microservice applications.

It contains two Spring Boot microservices:

  1. The cover-client a RESTful microservice which depends on...
  2. The cover-service another RESTful microservice.

Between them, these services use all three components of the Spring Cloud Services tile for Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Highlights include...

  • The cover-client uses the Eureka (Registry) to discover the cover-service.
  • The cover-client uses Hystrix (Service Breaker) to protect itself from the loss of the cover-service.
  • The cover-service uses Spring Cloud Config to get the list of "insurance covers" it provides.

Installing the PCF SCS Demo

I assume that you have already setup PCF and the CF Cli and have the Spring Cloud Services available to you in the marketplace. If you don't have PCF or don't have the necessary Spring Cloud Services installed, try using PCF Dev but remember to start PCF Dev with Spring Cloud Services available using cf dev start -s scs (you'll need at least 8GB of free RAM to do this and you may have to tweak the manifest).

  1. Clone this repository into a folder. Make this folder your current folder in your terminal or command line.

  2. Login to PCF and check the marketplace to make sure that the Spring Cloud Services are available to you as follows...

    $ cf marketplace
    p-circuit-breaker-dashboard   standard   Circuit Breaker Dashboard for Spring Cloud Applications
    p-config-server               standard   Config Server for Spring Cloud Applications
    p-service-registry            standard   Service Registry for Spring Cloud Applications
  3. If the required SCS services are available in the marketplace, you can now go ahead and provision these services using the script provided (windows users may need to add a non bash equivalent).

    $ ./

    If you decide not to use the script and provision them by hand, be aware that the Config server needs a JSON file containing the location of the Git repository that holds the application configuration for the microservices.

    You'll have to wait a few minutes while PCF provisions the services you've asked for. Check the status of the services periodically using the following command...

    $ cf services

    When the SCS services have been provisioned, your output form this command should look similar to that shown below. Note that services called breaker, registry, rabbit and config have been added to your list of services in PCF.

    name       service                       plan       bound apps                        last operation
    breaker    p-circuit-breaker-dashboard   standard   covers-consumer                   create succeeded
    registry   p-service-registry            standard   covers-consumer, covers-service,  create succeeded
    config     p-config-server               standard   covers-service                    create succeeded
    rabbit     p-rabbitmq                    standard   covers-zipkin, covers-service...  create succeeded
  4. You can now build and push the demo Spring Boot microservices to PCF as follows.

    $ ./gradlew clean assemble
    $ cf push

    Both a gradlew command for building the microservices and a manifest.yml describing the microservices has been provided for you.

Once the SCS services have been provisioned and the apps you build have been bound and deployed to PCF, you're ready to examine the power of their combined features with this microservice architecture.

Using the Microservices

To test the microservice apps you can use a simple curl to send requests to the cover-client microservice. The following command does this repeatedly every second...

$ while true; do sleep 1; curl cover-client.<your-pcf-domain-name>/mycovers; echo -e '\n'$(date); done

If you're more familiar with JMeter, you may prefer to use the JMeter project I've included in the root folder to automate the sending of these requests (but remember to reconfigure the JMeter project to use your PCF endpoint URI's).

When everything is working (i.e. when the cover-client microservice can see and talk to the cover-service microservice) you'll see output similar to that shown below...

No Cover, Auto Cover, Home Cover, Duvet Cover
Thu 24 Nov 2016 10:58:15 GMT

The types of insurance cover available (No Cover, Auto Cover, Home Cover, Duvet Cover) comes from a configuration property sourced from the SCS Config Service.

There is a random exception that will occasionally cause the circuit breaker to trip. When the fault occurs you'll see...

No Cover
Thu 24 Nov 2016 10:58:14 GMT

This is the cover-client using a fallback method to provide a reduced set of covers because it thinks the cover-service is unavailable.

Demo Highlights

  1. The config of the microservices is fully externalised (12factor style) and can be refreshed at any time without having to restart the application. If the config changes in Git here, the changes can be applied while the service is still running simply by calling the /refresh endpoint. This endpoint is automatically added by Spring Boot.

    $ curl -X POST -d "" cover-service.<your-pcf-domain-name>/refresh

    This is standard Spring Cloud Config functionality. What's special about this is that if you have 100 running service instances, a single POST to /refresh on just one of those instances is all you need to refresh the configuration for all 100 running instances without restarting. Pretty neat hah?

  2. The location of other services is discovered via a registry of logical names. As an example of this, the cover-client is using a logical name to discover a reference to the cover-service using the registry. There are no hard-coded endpoints.

    URI uri = URI.create("//COVERS-SERVICE/covers");

    This is standard Spring Cloud Registry functionality. What's also cool about this is that the microservices automatically register themselves with the registry when they boot. There is no complicated configuration other than the @EnableDiscoveryClient annotation in the application class. The registry server's contact details come from the environment properties that PCF automatically provides at startup as part of the service binding.

  3. Service-to-service calls are resilient and have useful fallbacks that can help prevent cascading exceptions. As an example, there is a circuit breaker protecting the service calls between the cover-client and the cover-service. This circuit breaker is artificially triggered from time to time in order to show the breaker in operation (as you can see if you open the code from the class).

    @HystrixCommand(fallbackMethod = "getCoversFallbackMethod")
    public String getCovers() {...}

    The method 'getCoversFallbackMethod()' contsins a simple fallback that returns No Covers

    public String getCoversFallbackMethod() {
        return "No Cover";
  4. Both of the microservices are configured to use Sleuth. When on the classpath, Sleuth automatically adds trace information to the log messages of Spring Boot applications...

    INFO [covers-service,2850d9e30f986e35,3e79aa27ebf9f9e3,true] 13 --- [io-8080-exec-10]

    Sleuth is configured to send these messages to the Zipkin server via a RabbitMQ based message stream. This allows the Zipkin server to paint a clear and overarching picture of all the service calls between all the microservices in the project. It can even diagram these interactions for you to aid your understanding your microservice communications.

Extra Credit - The Server Consoles

When you provisioned the services, SCS made the following UI consoles available to you...

  • RabbitMQ (RabbitMQ Console)
  • Service Registry (Eureka Dashboard)
  • Circuit Breaker (Hystrix Dashboard)

You can get to these consoles by following the Services(x) -> [Your Service Name] > Manage link in the PCF Apps Manager application.

Zipkin is not part of the SCS tile, but it also provides a UI for searching for traces which you can get to by opening the app in your browser using the link provided in the PCF Apps Manager.

About the Author

Ben Wilcock works for Pivotal as a Cloud Solutions Architect. Ben has a passion for microservices, cloud and mobile applications and helps Pivotal's Cloud Foundry customers to become more responsive, innovate faster and gain greater returns from their software investments. Ben is also a respected technology blogger who's articles have featured in DZone, Java Code Geeks, InfoQ and more.

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