Tutorial: Reactive Spring Boot Part 8 – Kotlin RSocket Server

Trisha Gee

In this lesson we add a new back end service in Kotlin, this time emitting the prices via RSocket, a protocol for reactive streams.

This is the eighth part of our tutorial showing how to build a Reactive application using Spring Boot, Kotlin, Java and JavaFX.  The original inspiration was a 70 minute live demo.

This blog post contains a video showing the process step-by-step and a textual walk-through (adapted from the transcript of the video) for those who prefer a written format.

This tutorial is a series of steps during which we will build a full Spring Boot application featuring a Kotlin back end, a Java client and a JavaFX user interface.

At this point in the tutorial series, we’ve successfully created an end to end application that publishes prices from a Kotlin Spring Boot service and shows them on a JavaFX line chart.  This uses HTTP and server sent events.  However, since this is a reactive application we might want to choose a protocol that’s better suited to streaming data.

In this step we’re going to create a service that produces price data via the RSocket protocol.

Creating an RSocket Controller

We’re going to make these changes in the Kotlin Spring Boot application that we created back in Part One of this tutorial, our StockServiceApplication.kt. Our existing service has a REST Controller.  We’re going to create a similar class for RSocket.

  1. Inside StockServiceApplication.kt, create a new class RSocketController.
  2. Annotated it as a Spring Controller.
  3. Create a new Kotlin function that takes a single argument.
  4. (Tip: we can use the fun1 Live Template to get IntelliJ IDEA to create the outline of this function for us.)
  5. Call the function prices, the same as the RestController function.  This takes a String symbol and returns a Flux of StockPrice.

@SpringBootApplication
class StockServiceApplication

// main function here...

@RestController
class RestController() {
    // controller body here...
}

@Controller
class RSocketController() {
    fun prices(symbol: String): Flux<StockPrice> {
        
    }
}

// StockPrice data class here

(note: this code will not compile yet, the function needs to return something)

Introducing a Price Service

This prices function is going to look a lot like the prices function in the RestController since it’s actually going to do the same thing. The only difference is it’s going to publish the prices in a different way.  To reduce duplication, let’s introduce a price service that contains the shared logic.

  1. Add a priceService constructor parameter of type PriceService.
  2. (Tip: if we type priceService into the prices method body, we can press Alt+Enter on the red text and get IntelliJ IDEA to “create property priceService as a constructor parameter”)
  3. Create the PriceService class inside this same file.
  4. (Tip: we can press Alt+Enter on the red PriceService type in the constructor and get IntelliJ IDEA to “Create class PriceService” in this StockServiceApplication.kt file)
  5. Annotate the PriceService with @Service.

@SpringBootApplication
class StockServiceApplication

// main function here...

// @RestController here... 

@Controller
class RSocketController(val priceService: PriceService) {
    fun prices(symbol: String): Flux<StockPrice> {
        
    }
}

@Service
class PriceService {

}

// StockPrice data class here...

Moving shared code into the PriceService

  1. Create a function called generatePrices in the service class.
  2. (Tip: if we call priceService.generatePrices from inside the prices function of RSocketController, we can press Alt+Enter on the red function call and get IntelliJ IDEA to generate the function for us.)
  3. This function needs to take a symbol of type String, and return a Flux of StockPrice, the same as our prices functions.
  4. The logic for this function already exists in RestController.prices, so copy the body of that function into the new generatePrices function.
  5. This needs the randomStockPrice function too, so copy this from RestController into PriceService.
  6. Make sure the prices method of RSocketController calls generatePrices and returns the results.

@SpringBootApplication
class StockServiceApplication

// main function here...

// @RestController here... 

@Controller
class RSocketController(val priceService: PriceService) {
    fun prices(symbol: String): Flux<StockPrice> {
        return priceService.generatePrices(symbol)
    }
}

@Service
class PriceService {
    fun generatePrices(symbol: String): Flux<StockPrice> {
        return Flux
            .interval(Duration.ofSeconds(1))
            .map { StockPrice(symbol, randomStockPrice(), now()) }
    }

    private fun randomStockPrice(): Double {
        return ThreadLocalRandom.current().nextDouble(100.0)
    }
}

// StockPrice data class here...

Reducing duplicated code

Now everything here is compiling, we can remove the duplicated code in the RestController.

  1. Introduce a priceService constructor parameter to the RestController.
  2. Call generatePrices from inside RestController.prices instead of generating the prices there.
  3. Remove the randomStockPrice function inside RestController since it’s not being used.
  4. (Tip: we can press Alt+Enter on the grey randomStockPrices function name and select Safe delete to remove this. Or we can use Alt+Delete/⌘⌦ on the function name).

@RestController
class RestController(val priceService: PriceService) {
    @GetMapping(value = ["/stocks/{symbol}"],
                produces = [MediaType.TEXT_EVENT_STREAM_VALUE])
    fun prices(@PathVariable symbol: String): Flux<StockPrice> {
        return priceService.generatePrices(symbol)
    }
}

@Controller
class RSocketController(val priceService: PriceService) {
    fun prices(symbol: String): Flux<StockPrice> {
        return priceService.generatePrices(symbol)
    }
}

@Service
class PriceService {
    fun generatePrices(symbol: String): Flux<StockPrice> {
        return Flux
            .interval(Duration.ofSeconds(1))
            .map { StockPrice(symbol, randomStockPrice(), now()) }
    }

    private fun randomStockPrice(): Double {
        return ThreadLocalRandom.current().nextDouble(100.0)
    }
}

Refactoring to reduce boilerplate

The prices functions on both the RestController and the RSocketController are now simply calling the PriceService, so all the common code is in one place.  Kotlin allows us to simplify this code even further.

  1. Convert the prices function to an expression body and remove the declared return type.
  2. (Tip: if we press Alt+Enter on the curly braces of the function, IntelliJ IDEA offers the option of “Convert to expression body”. Once we’ve done this, the return type will be highlighted and we can easily delete it.)
  3. Do this with both prices functions.

@RestController
class RestController(val priceService: PriceService) {
    @GetMapping(value = ["/stocks/{symbol}"],
                produces = [MediaType.TEXT_EVENT_STREAM_VALUE])
    fun prices(@PathVariable symbol: String) = priceService.generatePrices(symbol)

}

@Controller
class RSocketController(val priceService: PriceService) {
    fun prices(symbol: String) = priceService.generatePrices(symbol)
}

Because this function is a simple delegation, this might be a more useful, and certainly shorter, way to write it.

Setting up the message mapping

The RestController function is annotated with GetMapping, which sets up the URL for clients to connect to consume this stream of prices.  We need to do something similar for the RSocketController function.

  1. Add a MessageMapping annotation onto RSocketController.prices.
  2. Add the dependency spring-boot-starter-rsocket to the pom.xml file.
  3. (Tip: IntelliJ IDEA can help us here with code completion in pom.xml, or you can generate a dependency)

<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-rsocket</artifactId>
</dependency>

  1. Back in our StockServiceApplication file, we can add an import for MessageMapping.
  2. Pass in to the @MessageMapping annotation a String route so that clients can connect.

@Controller
class RSocketController(val priceService: PriceService) {
    @MessageMapping("stockPrices")
    fun prices(symbol: String) = priceService.generatePrices(symbol)
}

Setting up an RSocket server

If we start the application now, we can see which servers have been started.  At this time, we should only have Netty on port 8080.  We want an RSocket server as well.

  1. Go to application.properties and define an RSocket server port as 7000.
spring.rsocket.server.port=7000

Simply defining the port here is enough to get Spring Boot to start an RSocket server for us, so when we re-start the application, we will see a Netty RSocket server started on port 7000 (for an example see the end of the video).

Now we have a prices service started on port 7000 ready for a client to connect to it to receive stock prices via RSocket. Stay tuned for the next lesson, where we’ll connect to this server and consume the prices.

Full code is available on GitHub.

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