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Ob1k - A modern RPC Framework

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Ob1k is an asynchronous light-weight RPC framework for rapid development of async, high performance micro-services. Unlike traditional servlet containers, Ob1k is based on Netty , doing asynchronous event-driven model, and uses a fixed thread-per-core pool for serving.

The coordination of an asynchronous request is performed by using ComposableFuture, which enable you to easily create, compose and combine asynchonous computations.

You can start an Ob1k embedded server from your code and once started it will serve HTTP requests based on the endpoints you have configured. Check out our examples for that.


Ob1k project consists of the following sub libraries:

  • ob1k-concurrent - Concurrency utils, contains ComposableFuture - an alternative implementation of futures in Java.
  • ob1k-core - RPC framework client and server infrastructure.
  • ob1k-http - Asynchronous HTTP client
  • ob1k-db - Asynchronous MySQL client.
  • ob1k-cache - Asynchronous Memcached client, and guava cache wrapper.
  • ob1k-cql - Asynchronous Cassandra client.
  • ob1k-security - Authentication and authorization for Ob1k.
  • ob1k-consul - Ob1k based Consul API which simplifies registration and discovery for Ob1k services.
  • ob1k-swagger - Ob1k swagger plugin that will generate the Swagger APi protocol and also provide the Swagger UI.

Getting started

Micro-services architecture consists of a group of different services which communicate with each other. Ob1k supplies the infrastructure to build such microservices and the means for them to communicate. The communication between services is based on a RPC protocol, (HTTP with JSON or MessagePack payload), using a user provided, strongly typed interface.

Ob1k is published to Bintray.

Setting up Maven

To start using Ob1k, add the following dependency to your pom:


Ob1k Server

Let's start with creating an Ob1k server.

The first step will be creating a new Ob1k service. A service (similar to controller in MVC) aggregates set of related endpoints into one serving context. Each method in the implementation will be mapped to a URL which clients as well as a simple web browsers can invoke. In the next example we are create a service with an endpoint named helloWorld which gets no arguments and returns a string.

public interface IHelloService extends Service {
   ComposableFuture<String> helloWorld();

The method implementation just returns a "Hello world" string which will be returned by the Ob1k framework to the client:

public class HelloService implements IHelloService {
   public ComposableFuture<String> helloWorld() {
     return fromValue("Hello World!");

Now that you have the service endpoint we can build the Ob1k server. For that, we will need to set the port to use and the base URL which is called context. In addition we need to bind our services to a URL under the context. After setting some more properties (e.g. requestTimeout) we call the build method and this creates a server.

final Server server = ServerBuilder.newBuilder().
  configure(builder -> builder.usePort(8080).requestTimeout(50, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS)).
  service(builder -> builder.register(new HelloService(), "/hello")).

To start the server:


Now you can access the service endpoint just go to http://localhost:8080/services/hello/helloWorld

Ob1k Client

Now we are going to create an Ob1k client. Most of the times Ob1k clients are going to be executed inside an Ob1k service, but for simplicity we will show just the client code for now. We use the ClientBuilder to build the client by specifying a target URL, the interface of the service we're invoking, content type (which is controlled by the client) and can be either JSON or MessagePack, timeouts, etc.

final String target = "http://localhost:8080/services/hello";
final IHelloService helloService = new ClientBuilder<>(IHelloService.class).
            setTargetProvider(new SimpleTargetProvider(target)).

Now that we have helloService we can invoke methods on it which will be directed automatically to the server.

final ComposableFuture<String> helloWorld = helloService.helloWorld();

And that's it :)


More examples can be found here ob1k-example


Ob1k Presentation Slides


Ob1k is released under version 2.0 of the Apache License.