Service Bus Live Monitoring

I explained in the last articles how I tested the Play Framework, Web sockets and how I integrated all this nice stuff with a real example based on a Service Bus, Web services Notifications, etc…

This time, let’s go one step further. We have a Service Bus which is Web service notification enabled like last time. We can bind services to the bus, expose service endpoints as Web services, blahblahblah… But, this time, I am interested on having some real time monitoring of service invocations. It means that each time a message goes through the service bus (a service invocation in fact), I want to know (almmost) immediatly the service response time.
Hopefuly, the PetalsLink Distributed Service Bus I develop and use provides many extension points. One is the capability to add modules to the routing engine ie the software module each message must be able to go through on service request and response. So adding some router module which catch all the messages, timestamp them and then send this monitoring data to someone is quite easy. At the implementation level, this monitoring router module publishes monitoring reports to the service bus notification engine topic dedicated to monitoring stuff.

So, a client interested in monitoring data just has to register itself as subscriber to the monitoring notification topic. Every time a message is published in the topic, it will be delivered to all the subscribers. Up to the subscriber to display data as soon as it can. This is where Play, Web sockets and some cool javascript library came in. Since I never developed javascript stuff, I tried to find an easy to integrate solution to create some moving plots, asking twitter. I finally found the Smoothie Chart library which is really easy to use and updates graph in real time.

The high level architecture of the system can be defined as

The following video shows the result of the complete stack: Each time a message a service is invoked with SOAPUI, a Web service notification is sent to a Play application which subscribed to the monitoring topic, the Play application then pushes the data to the client by using a Web socket. Finally, the javascript code on the client side feeds the Smoothie chart which updates automatically. At the end, it is quite simple and efficient.

Oh, I forgot to say something: This took me 2 or 3 hours to create all this stuff… The code has been published on github in the dsbmanager-webapp project.

Create a management application in 3 hours with Play

Story, code, compare

Yet another ‘nightly project’ (thanks to current house build project and the lack of sleep it brings). This time I needed to be able to manage the so-famous Service Bus from some Web enabled tooling. I already developed such tool in a research project but the fact is that the licence of some libraries are not compatible with the petalslink open source approach. The second thing is that it is GWT based (which bores me, has almost 100 libraries dependencies and takes 10 minutes to compile). So this application is a good candidate to compare development productivity between GWT and the Play Framework. Here is a summary of the application creation:

  • I bootstraped the application yesterday during lunch between 1PM and 2PM. I was already able to invoke most of the interesting service bus actions with the help of service bus SOAP API.
  • I added some pages and actions last night, let say that since it was between 11PM and 1AM I was not very productive…
  • I fixed some bugs this morning

As a result, I think I worked around 3 hours on this application. I think I spent one hour to resolve a dependency conflict between Play and a CXF dependency but as a result I have a good result which is almost equivalent in functionality to the GWT based application. I still miss some operations but I do not need them for now… I feel ashamed to say how long it tooks me to create the GWT version…


Let’s talk about deployment… I did not have time to play with heroku to push this application in the cloud. Tis will be a future step but since I use Play and git, I am able to push the code to github and then pull it on an OVH server I rent. I am able to provide this instance for some project partners if they want to manage the service bus. The time it took? 5 minutes (wget play, git clone and play start…).


The Play enabled application is available on github at chamerling/dsbmanager-webapp.

Some Play Framework, Service Bus, WS Notification and Web Sockets…

The Context

In the previous post I was introducing some tests I did with Play Framework and Web sockets. To summarize, it was just ‘about’ receiving messages on the Play! application and pushing them to the browser. This time, let’s go one step forward: Let’s add some infrastructure stuff to do something more real…

In the current case, I want to introduce a service bus which allows to create a real integration between service consumers and producers (I need to write another article in response to this nice videocast about integration from Zenexity guys ‘EAI & ESB n’apportent rien si les applications ne sont pas intégrables et interopérables’, but I really need more time to explain my thoughs…).
Using a service bus in the current case (and not for this case in fact…) must bring some added value. Here I choose to show that a service bus, even if it is not so lightweight at all, can provide some real cool features that you can have out of the box. Now, let’s add some event stuff to switch to an event-based world where we can have tons of event producers and let’s say thousands of event consumers. Since I can not setup such hude amount of actors, let’s say that we have one event producer and two event consumers:

  • The event producer wants to publish some stuff somewhere. To illustrate, let’s say that we have a weather sensor connected to our platform.
  • The platform provides a list of topics which producers can use to publish data. One is the weather topic which will be used by the producer above.
  • The event consumers want to be notified on new weather data i.e. as soon as the weather sensor publish new data. To keep it simple, they need to subscribe to the weather topic provided by the platform.

To recap, in the event context, the event producer only knows the service he has to push weather data to, the event consumers just have to subscribe to a topic they are interested in. All the knowledge stuff about producers, consumers, topics and all the mapping is delgated at the service bus level. Yes, true it is exactly like in some topic-based messaging stuff because at the end of the day, it is topic-based messaging stuff…

The Stuff

Now we can speak about the stuff we are going to use in the software point of view for notificaiton actors…

  • The event producer will not be a sensor but a Play! application. The application sends Web service notifications message to the service bus on a given topic.
  • The service bus is (of course) the Petals Distributed Service Bus with some Web service notification modules inside.
  • The event consumers are 1/A Play! application exposing a Web service to receive notification it subscribes to and 2/ A local java application displaying OS X notifications using Growl (let’s use JavaGrowl I published some days ago…). Note that the Play! application which have subscribed to notifications pushes them to their clients (browsers) using the funky Websocket stuff.

Let’s look at what really happens in a short video:

  • I use the Play! powered application play-soap-wsnclient to subscribe to notification on behalf of the play-soap-websocket Web application.
  • In Eclipse, I start a Web service notification powered Web service which subscribes to the same notification topic. Its listener is configured to use JavaGrowl to display incoming notifications.
  • I use play-soap-wsnclient to send notification messages to the notification service hosted on the service bus.
  • Once received, the service bus forwards the notification to all the subscribers using internal routing and WSN stuff.
  • The play-soap-websocket Web application receives a notification and push it to the client browser using Websocket.
  • At the same time, the Java application also receives a notification and display it using Growl.

One (or more) step(s) further…

And what if we have something which is not a Web service which subscribes to notifications? With the help of a service bus like Petals ESB/DSB, we just have to add a component which knows how to speak with the subscriber. For example, let’s say that SOAP is bad and that REST is the best thing ever. Can we have REST services receiving notifications? Yes, we can! Let’s just add the REST connector to the service bus. Another protocol/transport/format? Develop and add the new one. This is where the service bus can also help you. Hopefully, there are also other things which are possible with a service bus, we will see it later in other posts if I have time (as usual): Let’s think about business processes, service orchestration, transformation…
Next time we will have a look on what we can do if we use the distributed feature of the service bus, for example, receiving some notifications on one node and be able to notify subscribers which are bound to other nodes…

Source Code