Akka Java Documentation


Akka Java Documentation Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Typesafe Inc March 06, 2014 CONTENTS 1 Introduction 1 1.1 What is Akka?............................................1 1.2 Why Akka?..............................................3 1.3 Getting Started............................................4 1.4 The Obligatory Hello World.....................................7 1.5 Use-case and Deployment Scenarios.................................7 1.6 Examples of use-cases for Akka...................................8 2 General 9 2.1 Terminology, Concepts........................................9 2.2 Actor Systems............................................ 11 2.3 What is an Actor?.......................................... 13 2.4 Supervision and Monitoring..................................... 15 2.5 Actor References, Paths and Addresses............................... 18 2.6 Location Transparency........................................ 24 2.7 Akka and the Java Memory Model.................................. 25 2.8 Message Delivery Reliability.................................... 27 2.9 Configuration............................................. 32 3 Actors 68 3.1 Actors................................................ 68 3.2 Typed Actors............................................. 87 3.3 Fault Tolerance............................................ 92 3.4 Dispatchers.............................................. 106 3.5 Mailboxes.............................................. 109 3.6 Routing................................................ 114 3.7 Building Finite State Machine Actors................................ 131 3.8 Persistence.............................................. 134 3.9 Testing Actor Systems........................................ 152 3.10 Actors (Java with Lambda Support)................................. 165 3.11 FSM (Java with Lambda Support).................................. 184 3.12 Persistence (Java with Lambda Support)............................... 193 4 Futures and Agents 211 4.1 Futures................................................ 211 4.2 Agents................................................ 219 5 Networking 222 5.1 Cluster Specification......................................... 222 5.2 Cluster Usage............................................. 230 5.3 Remoting............................................... 256 5.4 Serialization............................................. 273 5.5 I/O.................................................. 278 5.6 Using TCP.............................................. 280 i 5.7 Using UDP.............................................. 291 5.8 ZeroMQ............................................... 294 5.9 Camel................................................. 299 6 Utilities 312 6.1 Event Bus............................................... 312 6.2 Logging................................................ 317 6.3 Scheduler............................................... 323 6.4 Duration............................................... 326 6.5 Circuit Breaker............................................ 327 6.6 Akka Extensions........................................... 331 6.7 Microkernel............................................. 333 7 HowTo: Common Patterns 335 7.1 Scheduling Periodic Messages.................................... 335 7.2 Single-Use Actor Trees with High-Level Error Reporting...................... 336 7.3 Template Pattern........................................... 339 8 Experimental Modules 340 8.1 Persistence.............................................. 340 8.2 Multi Node Testing.......................................... 356 8.3 Actors (Java with Lambda Support)................................. 361 8.4 FSM (Java with Lambda Support).................................. 380 8.5 External Contributions........................................ 389 9 Information for Akka Developers 417 9.1 Building Akka............................................ 417 9.2 Multi JVM Testing.......................................... 419 9.3 I/O Layer Design........................................... 422 9.4 Developer Guidelines........................................ 424 9.5 Documentation Guidelines...................................... 425 9.6 Team................................................. 428 10 Project Information 429 10.1 Migration Guides........................................... 429 10.2 Issue Tracking............................................ 437 10.3 Licenses............................................... 437 10.4 Sponsors............................................... 438 10.5 Project................................................ 438 11 Additional Information 440 11.1 Frequently Asked Questions..................................... 440 11.2 Books................................................. 443 11.3 Other Language Bindings...................................... 443 11.4 Akka in OSGi............................................ 443 11.5 Incomplete List of HTTP Frameworks................................ 444 ii CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 What is Akka? Scalable real-time transaction processing We believe that writing correct concurrent, fault-tolerant and scalable applications is too hard. Most of the time it’s because we are using the wrong tools and the wrong level of abstraction. Akka is here to change that. Using the Actor Model we raise the abstraction level and provide a better platform to build correct, concurrent, and scalable applications. For fault-tolerance we adopt the “Let it crash” model which the telecom industry has used with great success to build applications that self-heal and systems that never stop. Actors also provide the abstraction for transparent distribution and the basis for truly scalable and fault-tolerant applications. Akka is Open Source and available under the Apache 2 License. Download from http://typesafe.com/stack/downloads/akka/ Please note that all code samples compile, so if you want direct access to the sources, have a look over at the Akka Docs Project. 1.1.1 Akka implements a unique hybrid Actors Actors give you: • Simple and high-level abstractions for concurrency and parallelism. • Asynchronous, non-blocking and highly performant event-driven programming model. • Very lightweight event-driven processes (approximately 2.7 million actors per GB RAM). See Actors (Scala) and Untyped Actors (Java) Fault Tolerance • Supervisor hierarchies with “let-it-crash” semantics. • Supervisor hierarchies can span over multiple JVMs to provide truly fault-tolerant systems. • Excellent for writing highly fault-tolerant systems that self-heal and never stop. See Fault Tolerance (Scala) and Fault Tolerance (Java) 1 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Location Transparency Everything in Akka is designed to work in a distributed environment: all interactions of actors use pure message passing and everything is asynchronous. For an overview of the remoting see Location Transparency Persistence Messages received by an actor can optionally be persisted and replayed when the actor is started or restarted. This allows actors to recover their state, even after JVM crashes or when being migrated to another node. 1.1.2 Scala and Java APIs Akka has both a scala-api and a Java Documentation. 1.1.3 Akka can be used in two different ways • As a library: used by a web app, to be put into WEB-INF/lib or as a regular JAR on your classpath. • As a microkernel: stand-alone kernel to drop your application into. See the Use-case and Deployment Scenarios for details. 1.1.4 What happened to Cloudy Akka? The commercial offering was earlier referred to as Cloudy Akka. This offering consisted of two things: • Cluster support for Akka • Monitoring & Management (formerly called Atmos) Cloudy Akka has been discontinued and the Cluster support is now being moved into the Open Source version of Akka (the upcoming Akka 2.1), while Monitoring & Management (Atmos) has been re-branded as the Typesafe Console, which is now part of the commercial subscription for the Typesafe Stack (see below for details). 1.1.5 Typesafe Stack Akka is now also part of the Typesafe Stack. The Typesafe Stack is a modern software platform that makes it easy for developers to build scalable software applications. It combines the Scala programming language, Akka, the Play! web framework and robust developer tools in a simple package that integrates seamlessly with existing Java infrastructure. The Typesafe Stack is all fully open source. 1.1.6 Typesafe Console On top of the Typesafe Stack we also have a commercial product called Typesafe Console which provides the following features: 1. Slick Web UI with real-time view into the system 2. Management through Dashboard, JMX and REST 3. Dapper-style tracing of messages across components and remote nodes 4. Real-time statistics 5. Very low overhead monitoring agents (should always be on in production) 1.1. What is Akka? 2 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 6. Consolidation of statistics and logging information to a single node 7. Storage of statistics data for later processing 8. Provisioning and rolling upgrades Read more here. 1.2 Why Akka? 1.2.1 What features can the Akka platform offer, over the competition? Akka provides scalable real-time transaction processing. Akka is an unified runtime and programming model for: • Scale up (Concurrency) • Scale out (Remoting) • Fault tolerance One thing to learn and admin, with high cohesion and coherent semantics. Akka is a very scalable piece of software, not only in the context of performance but also in the size of applications it is useful for. The core of Akka, akka-actor, is very small and easily dropped into an existing project where you need asynchronicity and lockless concurrency without hassle. You can choose to include only the parts of akka you need in your application and then there’s the whole package, the Akka Microkernel, which is a standalone container to deploy your Akka application in. With CPUs growing more and more cores every cycle, Akka is the alternative that provides outstanding performance even if you’re only running it on one machine. Akka also supplies a wide array of concurrency-paradigms, allowing users to choose the right tool for the job. 1.2.2 What’s a good use-case for Akka? We see Akka being adopted by many large organizations in a big range of industries: • Investment and Merchant Banking • Retail • Social Media • Simulation • Gaming and Betting • Automobile and Traffic Systems • Health Care • Data Analytics and much more. Any system with the need for high-throughput and low latency is a good candidate for using Akka. Actors let you manage service failures (Supervisors), load management (back-off strategies, timeouts and processing-isolation), as well as both horizontal and vertical scalability (add more cores and/or add more ma- chines). Here’s what some of the Akka users have to say about how they are using Akka: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4493001/good-use-case-for-akka All this in the ApacheV2-licensed open source project. 1.2. Why Akka? 3 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 1.3 Getting Started 1.3.1 Prerequisites Akka requires that you have Java 1.6 or later installed on you machine. 1.3.2 Getting Started Guides and Template Projects The best way to start learning Akka is to download Typesafe Activator and try out one of Akka Template Projects. 1.3.3 Download There are several ways to download Akka. You can download it as part of the Typesafe Platform (as described above). You can download the full distribution with microkernel, which includes all modules. Or you can use a build tool like Maven or SBT to download dependencies from the Akka Maven repository. 1.3.4 Modules Akka is very modular and consists of several JARs containing different features. • akka-actor – Classic Actors, Typed Actors, IO Actor etc. • akka-agent – Agents, integrated with Scala STM • akka-camel – Apache Camel integration • akka-cluster – Cluster membership management, elastic routers. • akka-kernel – Akka microkernel for running a bare-bones mini application server • akka-osgi – base bundle for using Akka in OSGi containers, containing the akka-actor classes • akka-osgi-aries – Aries blueprint for provisioning actor systems • akka-remote – Remote Actors • akka-slf4j – SLF4J Logger (event bus listener) • akka-testkit – Toolkit for testing Actor systems • akka-zeromq – ZeroMQ integration In addition to these stable modules there are several which are on their way into the stable core but are still marked “experimental” at this point. This does not mean that they do not function as intended, it primarily means that their API has not yet solidified enough in order to be considered frozen. You can help accelerating this process by giving feedback on these modules on our mailing list. • akka-contrib – an assortment of contributions which may or may not be moved into core modules, see External Contributions for more details. The filename of the actual JAR is for example akka-actor_2.10-2.3-SNAPSHOT.jar (and analog for the other modules). How to see the JARs dependencies of each Akka module is described in the Dependencies section. 1.3.5 Using a release distribution Download the release you need from http://typesafe.com/stack/downloads/akka and unzip it. 1.3. Getting Started 4 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 1.3.6 Using a snapshot version The Akka nightly snapshots are published to http://repo.akka.io/snapshots/ and are versioned with both SNAPSHOT and timestamps. You can choose a timestamped version to work with and can de- cide when to update to a newer version. The Akka snapshots repository is also proxied through http://repo.typesafe.com/typesafe/snapshots/ which includes proxies for several other repositories that Akka mod- ules depend on. Warning: The use of Akka SNAPSHOTs, nightlies and milestone releases is discouraged unless you know what you are doing. 1.3.7 Microkernel The Akka distribution includes the microkernel. To run the microkernel put your application jar in the deploy directory and use the scripts in the bin directory. More information is available in the documentation of the Microkernel (Scala) / Microkernel (Java). 1.3.8 Using a build tool Akka can be used with build tools that support Maven repositories. 1.3.9 Maven repositories For Akka version 2.1-M2 and onwards: Maven Central For previous Akka versions: Akka Repo Typesafe Repo 1.3.10 Using Akka with Maven The simplest way to get started with Akka and Maven is to check out the Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Main in Java. Since Akka is published to Maven Central (for versions since 2.1-M2), is it enough to add the Akka dependencies to the POM. For example, here is the dependency for akka-actor: com.typesafe.akka akka-actor_2.10 2.3-SNAPSHOT Note: for snapshot versions both SNAPSHOT and timestamped versions are published. 1.3.11 Using Akka with SBT The simplest way to get started with Akka and SBT is to check out the Akka/SBT template project. Summary of the essential parts for using Akka with SBT: SBT installation instructions on https://github.com/harrah/xsbt/wiki/Setup build.sbt file: 1.3. Getting Started 5 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT name := "My Project" version := "1.0" scalaVersion := "2.10.3" resolvers += "Typesafe Repository" at "http://repo.typesafe.com/typesafe/releases/" libraryDependencies += "com.typesafe.akka"%% "akka-actor"% "2.3-SNAPSHOT" Note: the libraryDependencies setting above is specific to SBT v0.12.x and higher. If you are using an older version of SBT, the libraryDependencies should look like this: libraryDependencies += "com.typesafe.akka"% "akka-actor_2.10"% "2.3-SNAPSHOT" 1.3.12 Using Akka with Gradle Requires at least Gradle 1.4 Uses the Scala plugin apply plugin: ’scala’ repositories { mavenCentral() } dependencies { compile ’org.scala-lang:scala-library:2.10.3’ } tasks.withType(ScalaCompile) { scalaCompileOptions.useAnt = false } dependencies { compile group: ’com.typesafe.akka’, name: ’akka-actor_2.10’, version: ’2.3-SNAPSHOT’ compile group: ’org.scala-lang’, name: ’scala-library’, version: ’2.10.3’ } 1.3.13 Using Akka with Eclipse Setup SBT project and then use sbteclipse to generate a Eclipse project. 1.3.14 Using Akka with IntelliJ IDEA Setup SBT project and then use sbt-idea to generate a IntelliJ IDEA project. 1.3.15 Using Akka with NetBeans Setup SBT project and then use nbsbt to generate a NetBeans project. You should also use nbscala for general scala support in the IDE. 1.3. Getting Started 6 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 1.3.16 Do not use -optimize Scala compiler flag Warning: Akka has not been compiled or tested with -optimize Scala compiler flag. Strange behavior has been reported by users that have tried it. 1.3.17 Build from sources Akka uses Git and is hosted at Github. • Akka: clone the Akka repository from http://github.com/akka/akka Continue reading the page on Building Akka 1.3.18 Need help? If you have questions you can get help on the Akka Mailing List. You can also ask for commercial support. Thanks for being a part of the Akka community. 1.4 The Obligatory Hello World The actor based version of the tough problem of printing a well-known greeting to the console is introduced in a Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Main in Java. The tutorial illustrates the generic launcher class akka.Main which expects only one command line argument: the class name of the application’s main actor. This main method will then create the infrastructure needed for running the actors, start the given main actor and arrange for the whole application to shut down once the main actor terminates. There is also another Typesafe Activator tutorial in the same problem domain that is named Hello Akka!. It describes the basics of Akka in more depth. 1.5 Use-case and Deployment Scenarios 1.5.1 How can I use and deploy Akka? Akka can be used in different ways: • As a library: used as a regular JAR on the classpath and/or in a web app, to be put into WEB-INF/lib • As a stand alone application by instantiating ActorSystem in a main class or using the Microkernel (Scala) / Microkernel (Java) Using Akka as library This is most likely what you want if you are building Web applications. There are several ways you can use Akka in Library mode by adding more and more modules to the stack. Using Akka as a stand alone microkernel Akka can also be run as a stand-alone microkernel. See Microkernel (Scala) / Microkernel (Java) for more infor- mation. 1.4. The Obligatory Hello World 7 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 1.6 Examples of use-cases for Akka We see Akka being adopted by many large organizations in a big range of industries all from investment and merchant banking, retail and social media, simulation, gaming and betting, automobile and traffic systems, health care, data analytics and much more. Any system that have the need for high-throughput and low latency is a good candidate for using Akka. There is a great discussion on use-cases for Akka with some good write-ups by production users here 1.6.1 Here are some of the areas where Akka is being deployed into production Transaction processing (Online Gaming, Finance/Banking, Trading, Statistics, Betting, Social Media, Telecom) Scale up, scale out, fault-tolerance / HA Service backend (any industry, any app) Service REST, SOAP, Cometd, WebSockets etc Act as message hub / integration layer Scale up, scale out, fault-tolerance / HA Concurrency/parallelism (any app) Correct Simple to work with and understand Just add the jars to your existing JVM project (use Scala, Java, Groovy or JRuby) Simulation Master/Worker, Compute Grid, MapReduce etc. Batch processing (any industry) Camel integration to hook up with batch data sources Actors divide and conquer the batch workloads Communications Hub (Telecom, Web media, Mobile media) Scale up, scale out, fault-tolerance / HA Gaming and Betting (MOM, online gaming, betting) Scale up, scale out, fault-tolerance / HA Business Intelligence/Data Mining/general purpose crunching Scale up, scale out, fault-tolerance / HA Complex Event Stream Processing Scale up, scale out, fault-tolerance / HA 1.6. Examples of use-cases for Akka 8 CHAPTER TWO GENERAL 2.1 Terminology, Concepts In this chapter we attempt to establish a common terminology to define a solid ground for communicating about concurrent, distributed systems which Akka targets. Please note that, for many of these terms, there is no sin- gle agreed definition. We simply seek to give working definitions that will be used in the scope of the Akka documentation. 2.1.1 Concurrency vs. Parallelism Concurrency and parallelism are related concepts, but there are small differences. Concurrency means that two or more tasks are making progress even though they might not be executing simultaneously. This can for example be realized with time slicing where parts of tasks are executed sequentially and mixed with parts of other tasks. Parallelism on the other hand arise when the execution can be truly simultaneous. 2.1.2 Asynchronous vs. Synchronous A method call is considered synchronous if the caller cannot make progress until the method returns a value or throws an exception. On the other hand, an asynchronous call allows the caller to progress after a finite number of steps, and the completion of the method may be signalled via some additional mechanism (it might be a registered callback, a Future, or a message). A synchronous API may use blocking to implement synchrony, but this is not a necessity. A very CPU intensive task might give a similar behavior as blocking. In general, it is preferred to use asynchronous APIs, as they guarantee that the system is able to progress. Actors are asynchronous by nature: an actor can progress after a message send without waiting for the actual delivery to happen. 2.1.3 Non-blocking vs. Blocking We talk about blocking if the delay of one thread can indefinitely delay some of the other threads. A good example is a resource which can be used exclusively by one thread using mutual exclusion. If a thread holds on to the resource indefinitely (for example accidentally running an infinite loop) other threads waiting on the resource can not progress. In contrast, non-blocking means that no thread is able to indefinitely delay others. Non-blocking operations are preferred to blocking ones, as the overall progress of the system is not trivially guaranteed when it contains blocking operations. 2.1.4 Deadlock vs. Starvation vs. Live-lock Deadlock arises when several participants are waiting on each other to reach a specific state to be able to progress. As none of them can progress without some other participant to reach a certain state (a “Catch-22” problem) all 9 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT affected subsystems stall. Deadlock is closely related to blocking, as it is necessary that a participant thread be able to delay the progression of other threads indefinitely. In the case of deadlock, no participants can make progress, while in contrast Starvation happens, when there are participants that can make progress, but there might be one or more that cannot. Typical scenario is the case of a naive scheduling algorithm that always selects high-priority tasks over low-priority ones. If the number of incoming high-priority tasks is constantly high enough, no low-priority ones will be ever finished. Livelock is similar to deadlock as none of the participants make progress. The difference though is that instead of being frozen in a state of waiting for others to progress, the participants continuously change their state. An example scenario when two participants have two identical resources available. They each try to get the resource, but they also check if the other needs the resource, too. If the resource is requested by the other participant, they try to get the other instance of the resource. In the unfortunate case it might happen that the two participants “bounce” between the two resources, never acquiring it, but always yielding to the other. 2.1.5 Race Condition We call it a Race condition when an assumption about the ordering of a set of events might be violated by external non-deterministic effects. Race conditions often arise when multiple threads have a shared mutable state, and the operations of thread on the state might be interleaved causing unexpected behavior. While this is a common case, shared state is not necessary to have race conditions. One example could be a client sending unordered packets (e.g UDP datagrams) P1, P2 to a server. As the packets might potentially travel via different network routes, it is possible that the server receives P2 first and P1 afterwards. If the messages contain no information about their sending order it is impossible to determine by the server that they were sent in a different order. Depending on the meaning of the packets this can cause race conditions. Note: The only guarantee that Akka provides about messages sent between a given pair of actors is that their order is always preserved. see Message Delivery Reliability 2.1.6 Non-blocking Guarantees (Progress Conditions) As discussed in the previous sections blocking is undesirable for several reasons, including the dangers of dead- locks and reduced throughput in the system. In the following sections we discuss various non-blocking properties with different strength. Wait-freedom A method is wait-free if every call is guaranteed to finish in a finite number of steps. If a method is bounded wait-free then the number of steps has a finite upper bound. From this definition it follows that wait-free methods are never blocking, therefore deadlock can not happen. Additionally, as each participant can progress after a finite number of steps (when the call finishes), wait-free methods are free of starvation. Lock-freedom Lock-freedom is a weaker property than wait-freedom. In the case of lock-free calls, infinitely often some method finishes in a finite number of steps. This definition implies that no deadlock is possible for lock-free calls. On the other hand, the guarantee that some call finishes in a finite number of steps is not enough to guarantee that all of them eventually finish. In other words, lock-freedom is not enough to guarantee the lack of starvation. Obstruction-freedom Obstruction-freedom is the weakest non-blocking guarantee discussed here. A method is called obstruction-free if there is a point in time after which it executes in isolation (other threads make no steps, e.g.: become suspended), 2.1. Terminology, Concepts 10 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT it finishes in a bounded number of steps. All lock-free objects are obstruction-free, but the opposite is generally not true. Optimistic concurrency control (OCC) methods are usually obstruction-free. The OCC approach is that every participant tries to execute its operation on the shared object, but if a participant detects conflicts from others, it rolls back the modifications, and tries again according to some schedule. If there is a point in time, where one of the participants is the only one trying, the operation will succeed. 2.1.7 Recommended literature • The Art of Multiprocessor Programming, M. Herlihy and N Shavit, 2008. ISBN 978-0123705914 • Java Concurrency in Practice, B. Goetz, T. Peierls, J. Bloch, J. Bowbeer, D. Holmes and D. Lea, 2006. ISBN 978-0321349606 2.2 Actor Systems Actors are objects which encapsulate state and behavior, they communicate exclusively by exchanging messages which are placed into the recipient’s mailbox. In a sense, actors are the most stringent form of object-oriented programming, but it serves better to view them as persons: while modeling a solution with actors, envision a group of people and assign sub-tasks to them, arrange their functions into an organizational structure and think about how to escalate failure (all with the benefit of not actually dealing with people, which means that we need not concern ourselves with their emotional state or moral issues). The result can then serve as a mental scaffolding for building the software implementation. Note: An ActorSystem is a heavyweight structure that will allocate 1. . . N Threads, so create one per logical application. 2.2.1 Hierarchical Structure Like in an economic organization, actors naturally form hierarchies. One actor, which is to oversee a certain function in the program might want to split up its task into smaller, more manageable pieces. For this purpose it starts child actors which it supervises. While the details of supervision are explained here, we shall concentrate on the underlying concepts in this section. The only prerequisite is to know that each actor has exactly one supervisor, which is the actor that created it. The quintessential feature of actor systems is that tasks are split up and delegated until they become small enough to be handled in one piece. In doing so, not only is the task itself clearly structured, but the resulting actors can be reasoned about in terms of which messages they should process, how they should react normally and how failure should be handled. If one actor does not have the means for dealing with a certain situation, it sends a corresponding failure message to its supervisor, asking for help. The recursive structure then allows to handle failure at the right level. Compare this to layered software design which easily devolves into defensive programming with the aim of not leaking any failure out: if the problem is communicated to the right person, a better solution can be found than if trying to keep everything “under the carpet”. Now, the difficulty in designing such a system is how to decide who should supervise what. There is of course no single best solution, but there are a few guidelines which might be helpful: • If one actor manages the work another actor is doing, e.g. by passing on sub-tasks, then the manager should supervise the child. The reason is that the manager knows which kind of failures are expected and how to handle them. • If one actor carries very important data (i.e. its state shall not be lost if avoidable), this actor should source out any possibly dangerous sub-tasks to children it supervises and handle failures of these children as ap- propriate. Depending on the nature of the requests, it may be best to create a new child for each request, 2.2. Actor Systems 11 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT which simplifies state management for collecting the replies. This is known as the “Error Kernel Pattern” from Erlang. • If one actor depends on another actor for carrying out its duty, it should watch that other actor’s liveness and act upon receiving a termination notice. This is different from supervision, as the watching party has no influence on the supervisor strategy, and it should be noted that a functional dependency alone is not a criterion for deciding where to place a certain child actor in the hierarchy. There are of course always exceptions to these rules, but no matter whether you follow the rules or break them, you should always have a reason. 2.2.2 Configuration Container The actor system as a collaborating ensemble of actors is the natural unit for managing shared facilities like scheduling services, configuration, logging, etc. Several actor systems with different configuration may co-exist within the same JVM without problems, there is no global shared state within Akka itself. Couple this with the transparent communication between actor systems—within one node or across a network connection—to see that actor systems themselves can be used as building blocks in a functional hierarchy. 2.2.3 Actor Best Practices 1. Actors should be like nice co-workers: do their job efficiently without bothering everyone else needlessly and avoid hogging resources. Translated to programming this means to process events and generate re- sponses (or more requests) in an event-driven manner. Actors should not block (i.e. passively wait while occupying a Thread) on some external entity—which might be a lock, a network socket, etc.—unless it is unavoidable; in the latter case see below. 2. Do not pass mutable objects between actors. In order to ensure that, prefer immutable messages. If the encapsulation of actors is broken by exposing their mutable state to the outside, you are back in normal Java concurrency land with all the drawbacks. 3. Actors are made to be containers for behavior and state, embracing this means to not routinely send behavior within messages (which may be tempting using Scala closures). One of the risks is to accidentally share mutable state between actors, and this violation of the actor model unfortunately breaks all the properties which make programming in actors such a nice experience. 4. Top-level actors are the innermost part of your Error Kernel, so create them sparingly and prefer truly hierarchical systems. This has benefits with respect to fault-handling (both considering the granularity of configuration and the performance) and it also reduces the strain on the guardian actor, which is a single point of contention if over-used. 2.2.4 Blocking Needs Careful Management In some cases it is unavoidable to do blocking operations, i.e. to put a thread to sleep for an indeterminate time, waiting for an external event to occur. Examples are legacy RDBMS drivers or messaging APIs, and the underlying reason is typically that (network) I/O occurs under the covers. When facing this, you may be tempted to just wrap the blocking call inside a Future and work with that instead, but this strategy is too simple: you are quite likely to find bottlenecks or run out of memory or threads when the application runs under increased load. The non-exhaustive list of adequate solutions to the “blocking problem” includes the following suggestions: • Do the blocking call within an actor (or a set of actors managed by a router [Java, Scala]), making sure to configure a thread pool which is either dedicated for this purpose or sufficiently sized. • Do the blocking call within a Future, ensuring an upper bound on the number of such calls at any point in time (submitting an unbounded number of tasks of this nature will exhaust your memory or thread limits). • Do the blocking call within a Future, providing a thread pool with an upper limit on the number of threads which is appropriate for the hardware on which the application runs. 2.2. Actor Systems 12 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • Dedicate a single thread to manage a set of blocking resources (e.g. a NIO selector driving multiple chan- nels) and dispatch events as they occur as actor messages. The first possibility is especially well-suited for resources which are single-threaded in nature, like database han- dles which traditionally can only execute one outstanding query at a time and use internal synchronization to ensure this. A common pattern is to create a router for N actors, each of which wraps a single DB connection and handles queries as sent to the router. The number N must then be tuned for maximum throughput, which will vary depending on which DBMS is deployed on what hardware. Note: Configuring thread pools is a task best delegated to Akka, simply configure in the application.conf and instantiate through an ActorSystem [Java, Scala] 2.2.5 What you should not concern yourself with An actor system manages the resources it is configured to use in order to run the actors which it contains. There may be millions of actors within one such system, after all the mantra is to view them as abundant and they weigh in at an overhead of only roughly 300 bytes per instance. Naturally, the exact order in which messages are processed in large systems is not controllable by the application author, but this is also not intended. Take a step back and relax while Akka does the heavy lifting under the hood. 2.3 What is an Actor? The previous section about Actor Systems explained how actors form hierarchies and are the smallest unit when building an application. This section looks at one such actor in isolation, explaining the concepts you encounter while implementing it. For a more in depth reference with all the details please refer to Actors (Scala) and Untyped Actors (Java). An actor is a container for State, Behavior, a Mailbox, Children and a Supervisor Strategy. All of this is encapsu- lated behind an Actor Reference. Finally, this happens When an Actor Terminates. 2.3.1 Actor Reference As detailed below, an actor object needs to be shielded from the outside in order to benefit from the actor model. Therefore, actors are represented to the outside using actor references, which are objects that can be passed around freely and without restriction. This split into inner and outer object enables transparency for all the desired operations: restarting an actor without needing to update references elsewhere, placing the actual actor object on remote hosts, sending messages to actors in completely different applications. But the most important aspect is that it is not possible to look inside an actor and get hold of its state from the outside, unless the actor unwisely publishes this information itself. 2.3.2 State Actor objects will typically contain some variables which reflect possible states the actor may be in. This can be an explicit state machine (e.g. using the fsm-scala module), or it could be a counter, set of listeners, pending requests, etc. These data are what make an actor valuable, and they must be protected from corruption by other actors. The good news is that Akka actors conceptually each have their own light-weight thread, which is completely shielded from the rest of the system. This means that instead of having to synchronize access using locks you can just write your actor code without worrying about concurrency at all. Behind the scenes Akka will run sets of actors on sets of real threads, where typically many actors share one thread, and subsequent invocations of one actor may end up being processed on different threads. Akka ensures that this implementation detail does not affect the single-threadedness of handling the actor’s state. 2.3. What is an Actor? 13 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Because the internal state is vital to an actor’s operations, having inconsistent state is fatal. Thus, when the actor fails and is restarted by its supervisor, the state will be created from scratch, like upon first creating the actor. This is to enable the ability of self-healing of the system. Optionally, an actor’s state can be automatically recovered to the state before a restart by persisting received messages and replaying them after restart (see Persistence). 2.3.3 Behavior Every time a message is processed, it is matched against the current behavior of the actor. Behavior means a function which defines the actions to be taken in reaction to the message at that point in time, say forward a request if the client is authorized, deny it otherwise. This behavior may change over time, e.g. because different clients obtain authorization over time, or because the actor may go into an “out-of-service” mode and later come back. These changes are achieved by either encoding them in state variables which are read from the behavior logic, or the function itself may be swapped out at runtime, see the become and unbecome operations. However, the initial behavior defined during construction of the actor object is special in the sense that a restart of the actor will reset its behavior to this initial one. 2.3.4 Mailbox An actor’s purpose is the processing of messages, and these messages were sent to the actor from other actors (or from outside the actor system). The piece which connects sender and receiver is the actor’s mailbox: each actor has exactly one mailbox to which all senders enqueue their messages. Enqueuing happens in the time-order of send operations, which means that messages sent from different actors may not have a defined order at runtime due to the apparent randomness of distributing actors across threads. Sending multiple messages to the same target from the same actor, on the other hand, will enqueue them in the same order. There are different mailbox implementations to choose from, the default being a FIFO: the order of the messages processed by the actor matches the order in which they were enqueued. This is usually a good default, but applications may need to prioritize some messages over others. In this case, a priority mailbox will enqueue not always at the end but at a position as given by the message priority, which might even be at the front. While using such a queue, the order of messages processed will naturally be defined by the queue’s algorithm and in general not be FIFO. An important feature in which Akka differs from some other actor model implementations is that the current behavior must always handle the next dequeued message, there is no scanning the mailbox for the next matching one. Failure to handle a message will typically be treated as a failure, unless this behavior is overridden. 2.3.5 Children Each actor is potentially a supervisor: if it creates children for delegating sub-tasks, it will automatically supervise them. The list of children is maintained within the actor’s context and the actor has access to it. Modifications to the list are done by creating (context.actorOf(...)) or stopping (context.stop(child)) children and these actions are reflected immediately. The actual creation and termination actions happen behind the scenes in an asynchronous way, so they do not “block” their supervisor. 2.3.6 Supervisor Strategy The final piece of an actor is its strategy for handling faults of its children. Fault handling is then done transparently by Akka, applying one of the strategies described in Supervision and Monitoring for each incoming failure. As this strategy is fundamental to how an actor system is structured, it cannot be changed once an actor has been created. Considering that there is only one such strategy for each actor, this means that if different strategies apply to the various children of an actor, the children should be grouped beneath intermediate supervisors with matching strategies, preferring once more the structuring of actor systems according to the splitting of tasks into sub-tasks. 2.3. What is an Actor? 14 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 2.3.7 When an Actor Terminates Once an actor terminates, i.e. fails in a way which is not handled by a restart, stops itself or is stopped by its supervisor, it will free up its resources, draining all remaining messages from its mailbox into the system’s “dead letter mailbox” which will forward them to the EventStream as DeadLetters. The mailbox is then replaced within the actor reference with a system mailbox, redirecting all new messages to the EventStream as DeadLetters. This is done on a best effort basis, though, so do not rely on it in order to construct “guaranteed delivery”. The reason for not just silently dumping the messages was inspired by our tests: we register the TestEventLis- tener on the event bus to which the dead letters are forwarded, and that will log a warning for every dead letter received—this has been very helpful for deciphering test failures more quickly. It is conceivable that this feature may also be of use for other purposes. 2.4 Supervision and Monitoring This chapter outlines the concept behind supervision, the primitives offered and their semantics. For details on how that translates into real code, please refer to the corresponding chapters for Scala and Java APIs. 2.4.1 What Supervision Means As described in Actor Systems supervision describes a dependency relationship between actors: the supervisor delegates tasks to subordinates and therefore must respond to their failures. When a subordinate detects a failure (i.e. throws an exception), it suspends itself and all its subordinates and sends a message to its supervisor, signaling failure. Depending on the nature of the work to be supervised and the nature of the failure, the supervisor has a choice of the following four options: 1. Resume the subordinate, keeping its accumulated internal state 2. Restart the subordinate, clearing out its accumulated internal state 3. Stop the subordinate permanently 4. Escalate the failure, thereby failing itself It is important to always view an actor as part of a supervision hierarchy, which explains the existence of the fourth choice (as a supervisor also is subordinate to another supervisor higher up) and has implications on the first three: resuming an actor resumes all its subordinates, restarting an actor entails restarting all its subordinates (but see below for more details), similarly terminating an actor will also terminate all its subordinates. It should be noted that the default behavior of the preRestart hook of the Actor class is to terminate all its children before restarting, but this hook can be overridden; the recursive restart applies to all children left after this hook has been executed. Each supervisor is configured with a function translating all possible failure causes (i.e. exceptions) into one of the four choices given above; notably, this function does not take the failed actor’s identity as an input. It is quite easy to come up with examples of structures where this might not seem flexible enough, e.g. wishing for different strategies to be applied to different subordinates. At this point it is vital to understand that supervision is about forming a recursive fault handling structure. If you try to do too much at one level, it will become hard to reason about, hence the recommended way in this case is to add a level of supervision. Akka implements a specific form called “parental supervision”. Actors can only be created by other actors—where the top-level actor is provided by the library—and each created actor is supervised by its parent. This restriction makes the formation of actor supervision hierarchies implicit and encourages sound design decisions. It should be noted that this also guarantees that actors cannot be orphaned or attached to supervisors from the outside, which might otherwise catch them unawares. In addition, this yields a natural and clean shutdown procedure for (sub-trees of) actor applications. 2.4. Supervision and Monitoring 15 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Warning: Supervision related parent-child communication happens by special system messages that have their own mailboxes separate from user messages. This implies that supervision related events are not deter- ministically ordered relative to ordinary messages. In general, the user cannot influence the order of normal messages and failure notifications. For details and example see the Discussion: Message Ordering section. 2.4.2 The Top-Level Supervisors An actor system will during its creation start at least three actors, shown in the image above. For more information about the consequences for actor paths see Top-Level Scopes for Actor Paths. /user: The Guardian Actor The actor which is probably most interacted with is the parent of all user-created actors, the guardian named "/user". Actors created using system.actorOf() are children of this actor. This means that when this guardian terminates, all normal actors in the system will be shutdown, too. It also means that this guardian’s supervisor strategy determines how the top-level normal actors are supervised. Since Akka 2.1 it is possible to configure this using the setting akka.actor.guardian-supervisor-strategy, which takes the fully- qualified class-name of a SupervisorStrategyConfigurator. When the guardian escalates a failure, the root guardian’s response will be to terminate the guardian, which in effect will shut down the whole actor system. /system: The System Guardian This special guardian has been introduced in order to achieve an orderly shut-down sequence where logging re- mains active while all normal actors terminate, even though logging itself is implemented using actors. This is realized by having the system guardian watch the user guardian and initiate its own shut-down upon re- ception of the Terminated message. The top-level system actors are supervised using a strategy which will restart indefinitely upon all types of Exception except for ActorInitializationException and ActorKilledException, which will terminate the child in question. All other throwables are escalated, which will shut down the whole actor system. /: The Root Guardian The root guardian is the grand-parent of all so-called “top-level” actors and supervises all the special actors mentioned in Top-Level Scopes for Actor Paths using the SupervisorStrategy.stoppingStrategy, whose purpose is to terminate the child upon any type of Exception. All other throwables will be escalated . . . but to whom? Since every real actor has a supervisor, the supervisor of the root guardian cannot be a real 2.4. Supervision and Monitoring 16 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT actor. And because this means that it is “outside of the bubble”, it is called the “bubble-walker”. This is a synthetic ActorRef which in effect stops its child upon the first sign of trouble and sets the actor system’s isTerminated status to true as soon as the root guardian is fully terminated (all children recursively stopped). 2.4.3 What Restarting Means When presented with an actor which failed while processing a certain message, causes for the failure fall into three categories: • Systematic (i.e. programming) error for the specific message received • (Transient) failure of some external resource used during processing the message • Corrupt internal state of the actor Unless the failure is specifically recognizable, the third cause cannot be ruled out, which leads to the conclusion that the internal state needs to be cleared out. If the supervisor decides that its other children or itself is not affected by the corruption—e.g. because of conscious application of the error kernel pattern—it is therefore best to restart the child. This is carried out by creating a new instance of the underlying Actor class and replacing the failed instance with the fresh one inside the child’s ActorRef; the ability to do this is one of the reasons for encapsulating actors within special references. The new actor then resumes processing its mailbox, meaning that the restart is not visible outside of the actor itself with the notable exception that the message during which the failure occurred is not re-processed. The precise sequence of events during a restart is the following: 1. suspend the actor (which means that it will not process normal messages until resumed), and recursively suspend all children 2. call the old instance’s preRestart hook (defaults to sending termination requests to all children and calling postStop) 3. wait for all children which were requested to terminate (using context.stop()) during preRestart to actually terminate; this—like all actor operations—is non-blocking, the termination notice from the last killed child will effect the progression to the next step 4. create new actor instance by invoking the originally provided factory again 5. invoke postRestart on the new instance (which by default also calls preStart) 6. send restart request to all children which were not killed in step 3; restarted children will follow the same process recursively, from step 2 7. resume the actor 2.4.4 What Lifecycle Monitoring Means Note: Lifecycle Monitoring in Akka is usually referred to as DeathWatch In contrast to the special relationship between parent and child described above, each actor may monitor any other actor. Since actors emerge from creation fully alive and restarts are not visible outside of the affected supervisors, the only state change available for monitoring is the transition from alive to dead. Monitoring is thus used to tie one actor to another so that it may react to the other actor’s termination, in contrast to supervision which reacts to failure. Lifecycle monitoring is implemented using a Terminated message to be received by the monitoring actor, where the default behavior is to throw a special DeathPactException if not otherwise handled. In order to start listening for Terminated messages, invoke ActorContext.watch(targetActorRef). To stop listening, invoke ActorContext.unwatch(targetActorRef). One important property is that the mes- sage will be delivered irrespective of the order in which the monitoring request and target’s termination occur, i.e. you still get the message even if at the time of registration the target is already dead. 2.4. Supervision and Monitoring 17 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Monitoring is particularly useful if a supervisor cannot simply restart its children and has to terminate them, e.g. in case of errors during actor initialization. In that case it should monitor those children and re-create them or schedule itself to retry this at a later time. Another common use case is that an actor needs to fail in the absence of an external resource, which may also be one of its own children. If a third party terminates a child by way of the system.stop(child) method or sending a PoisonPill, the supervisor might well be affected. 2.4.5 One-For-One Strategy vs. All-For-One Strategy There are two classes of supervision strategies which come with Akka: OneForOneStrategy and AllForOneStrategy. Both are configured with a mapping from exception type to supervision directive (see above) and limits on how often a child is allowed to fail before terminating it. The difference between them is that the former applies the obtained directive only to the failed child, whereas the latter applies it to all siblings as well. Normally, you should use the OneForOneStrategy, which also is the default if none is specified explicitly. The AllForOneStrategy is applicable in cases where the ensemble of children has such tight dependencies among them, that a failure of one child affects the function of the others, i.e. they are inextricably linked. Since a restart does not clear out the mailbox, it often is best to terminate the children upon failure and re-create them explicitly from the supervisor (by watching the children’s lifecycle); otherwise you have to make sure that it is no problem for any of the actors to receive a message which was queued before the restart but processed afterwards. Normally stopping a child (i.e. not in response to a failure) will not automatically terminate the other children in an all-for-one strategy; this can easily be done by watching their lifecycle: if the Terminated message is not handled by the supervisor, it will throw a DeathPactException which (depending on its supervisor) will restart it, and the default preRestart action will terminate all children. Of course this can be handled explicitly as well. Please note that creating one-off actors from an all-for-one supervisor entails that failures escalated by the tempo- rary actor will affect all the permanent ones. If this is not desired, install an intermediate supervisor; this can very easily be done by declaring a router of size 1 for the worker, see routing-scala or Routing. 2.5 Actor References, Paths and Addresses This chapter describes how actors are identified and located within a possibly distributed actor system. It ties into the central idea that Actor Systems form intrinsic supervision hierarchies as well as that communication between actors is transparent with respect to their placement across multiple network nodes. 2.5. Actor References, Paths and Addresses 18 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The above image displays the relationship between the most important entities within an actor system, please read on for the details. 2.5.1 What is an Actor Reference? An actor reference is a subtype of ActorRef, whose foremost purpose is to support sending messages to the actor it represents. Each actor has access to its canonical (local) reference through the self field; this reference is also included as sender reference by default for all messages sent to other actors. Conversely, during message processing the actor has access to a reference representing the sender of the current message through the sender method. There are several different types of actor references that are supported depending on the configuration of the actor system: • Purely local actor references are used by actor systems which are not configured to support networking functions. These actor references will not function if sent across a network connection to a remote JVM. • Local actor references when remoting is enabled are used by actor systems which support networking func- tions for those references which represent actors within the same JVM. In order to also be reachable when sent to other network nodes, these references include protocol and remote addressing information. • There is a subtype of local actor references which is used for routers (i.e. actors mixing in the Router trait). Its logical structure is the same as for the aforementioned local references, but sending a message to them dispatches to one of their children directly instead. • Remote actor references represent actors which are reachable using remote communication, i.e. sending messages to them will serialize the messages transparently and send them to the remote JVM. • There are several special types of actor references which behave like local actor references for all practical purposes: – PromiseActorRef is the special representation of a Promise for the purpose of being completed by the response from an actor. akka.pattern.ask creates this actor reference. – DeadLetterActorRef is the default implementation of the dead letters service to which Akka routes all messages whose destinations are shut down or non-existent. – EmptyLocalActorRef is what Akka returns when looking up a non-existent local actor path: it is equivalent to a DeadLetterActorRef, but it retains its path so that Akka can send it over the network and compare it to other existing actor references for that path, some of which might have been obtained before the actor died. • And then there are some one-off internal implementations which you should never really see: – There is an actor reference which does not represent an actor but acts only as a pseudo-supervisor for the root guardian, we call it “the one who walks the bubbles of space-time”. – The first logging service started before actually firing up actor creation facilities is a fake actor reference which accepts log events and prints them directly to standard output; it is Logging.StandardOutLogger. 2.5.2 What is an Actor Path? Since actors are created in a strictly hierarchical fashion, there exists a unique sequence of actor names given by recursively following the supervision links between child and parent down towards the root of the actor system. This sequence can be seen as enclosing folders in a file system, hence we adopted the name “path” to refer to it. As in some real file-systems there also are “symbolic links”, i.e. one actor may be reachable using more than one path, where all but one involve some translation which decouples part of the path from the actor’s actual supervision ancestor line; these specialities are described in the sub-sections to follow. An actor path consists of an anchor, which identifies the actor system, followed by the concatenation of the path elements, from root guardian to the designated actor; the path elements are the names of the traversed actors and are separated by slashes. 2.5. Actor References, Paths and Addresses 19 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT What is the Difference Between Actor Reference and Path? An actor reference designates a single actor and the life-cycle of the reference matches that actor’s life-cycle; an actor path represents a name which may or may not be inhabited by an actor and the path itself does not have a life-cycle, it never becomes invalid. You can create an actor path without creating an actor, but you cannot create an actor reference without creating corresponding actor. Note: That definition does not hold for actorFor, which is one of the reasons why actorFor is deprecated in favor of actorSelection. You can create an actor, terminate it, and then create a new actor with the same actor path. The newly created actor is a new incarnation of the actor. It is not the same actor. An actor reference to the old incarnation is not valid for the new incarnation. Messages sent to the old actor reference will not be delivered to the new incarnation even though they have the same path. Actor Path Anchors Each actor path has an address component, describing the protocol and location by which the corresponding actor is reachable, followed by the names of the actors in the hierarchy from the root up. Examples are: "akka://my-sys/user/service-a/worker1" // purely local "akka.tcp://my-sys@host.example.com:5678/user/service-b" // remote Here, akka.tcp is the default remote transport for the 2.2 release; other transports are pluggable. A re- mote host using UDP would be accessible by using akka.udp. The interpretation of the host and port part (i.e.‘‘serv.example.com:5678‘‘ in the example) depends on the transport mechanism used, but it must abide by the URI structural rules. Logical Actor Paths The unique path obtained by following the parental supervision links towards the root guardian is called the logical actor path. This path matches exactly the creation ancestry of an actor, so it is completely deterministic as soon as the actor system’s remoting configuration (and with it the address component of the path) is set. Physical Actor Paths While the logical actor path describes the functional location within one actor system, configuration-based remote deployment means that an actor may be created on a different network host than its parent, i.e. within a different actor system. In this case, following the actor path from the root guardian up entails traversing the network, which is a costly operation. Therefore, each actor also has a physical path, starting at the root guardian of the actor system where the actual actor object resides. Using this path as sender reference when querying other actors will let them reply directly to this actor, minimizing delays incurred by routing. One important aspect is that a physical actor path never spans multiple actor systems or JVMs. This means that the logical path (supervision hierarchy) and the physical path (actor deployment) of an actor may diverge if one of its ancestors is remotely supervised. 2.5.3 How are Actor References obtained? There are two general categories to how actor references may be obtained: by creating actors or by looking them up, where the latter functionality comes in the two flavours of creating actor references from concrete actor paths and querying the logical actor hierarchy. 2.5. Actor References, Paths and Addresses 20 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Creating Actors An actor system is typically started by creating actors beneath the guardian actor using the ActorSystem.actorOf method and then using ActorContext.actorOf from within the created actors to spawn the actor tree. These methods return a reference to the newly created actor. Each actor has direct access (through its ActorContext) to references for its parent, itself and its children. These references may be sent within messages to other actors, enabling those to reply directly. Looking up Actors by Concrete Path In addition, actor references may be looked up using the ActorSystem.actorSelection method. The selection can be used for communicating with said actor and the actor corresponding to the selection is looked up when delivering each message. To acquire an ActorRef that is bound to the life-cycle of a specific actor you need to send a message, such as the built-in Identify message, to the actor and use the sender() reference of a reply from the actor. Note: actorFor is deprecated in favor of actorSelection because actor references acquired with actorFor behave differently for local and remote actors. In the case of a local actor reference, the named actor needs to exist before the lookup, or else the acquired reference will be an EmptyLocalActorRef. This will be true even if an actor with that exact path is created after acquiring the actor reference. For remote actor references acquired with actorFor the behaviour is different and sending messages to such a reference will under the hood look up the actor by path on the remote system for every message send. Absolute vs. Relative Paths In addition to ActorSystem.actorSelection there is also ActorContext.actorSelection, which is available inside any actor as context.actorSelection. This yields an actor selection much like its twin on ActorSystem, but instead of looking up the path starting from the root of the actor tree it starts out on the current actor. Path elements consisting of two dots ("..") may be used to access the parent actor. You can for example send a message to a specific sibling: context.actorSelection("../brother")! msg Absolute paths may of course also be looked up on context in the usual way, i.e. context.actorSelection("/user/serviceA")! msg will work as expected. Querying the Logical Actor Hierarchy Since the actor system forms a file-system like hierarchy, matching on paths is possible in the same way as sup- ported by Unix shells: you may replace (parts of) path element names with wildcards («*» and «?») to formulate a selection which may match zero or more actual actors. Because the result is not a single actor reference, it has a different type ActorSelection and does not support the full set of operations an ActorRef does. Selections may be formulated using the ActorSystem.actorSelection and ActorContext.actorSelection methods and do support sending messages: context.actorSelection("../*")! msg will send msg to all siblings including the current actor. As for references obtained using actorFor, a traversal of the supervision hierarchy is done in order to perform the message send. As the exact set of actors which match a selection may change even while a message is making its way to the recipients, it is not possible to watch a selection for liveliness changes. In order to do that, resolve the uncertainty by sending a request and gathering all answers, extracting the sender references, and then watch all discovered concrete actors. This scheme of resolving a selection may be improved upon in a future release. 2.5. Actor References, Paths and Addresses 21 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Summary: actorOf vs. actorSelection vs. actorFor Note: What the above sections described in some detail can be summarized and memorized easily as follows: • actorOf only ever creates a new actor, and it creates it as a direct child of the context on which this method is invoked (which may be any actor or actor system). • actorSelection only ever looks up existing actors when messages are delivered, i.e. does not create actors, or verify existence of actors when the selection is created. • actorFor (deprecated in favor of actorSelection) only ever looks up an existing actor, i.e. does not create one. 2.5.4 Actor Reference and Path Equality Equality of ActorRef match the intention that an ActorRef corresponds to the target actor incarnation. Two actor references are compared equal when they have the same path and point to the same actor incarnation. A reference pointing to a terminated actor does not compare equal to a reference pointing to another (re-created) actor with the same path. Note that a restart of an actor caused by a failure still means that it is the same actor incarnation, i.e. a restart is not visible for the consumer of the ActorRef. Remote actor references acquired with actorFor do not include the full information about the underlying actor identity and therefore such references do not compare equal to references acquired with actorOf, sender, or context.self. Because of this actorFor is deprecated in favor of actorSelection. If you need to keep track of actor references in a collection and do not care about the exact actor incarnation you can use the ActorPath as key, because the identifier of the target actor is not taken into account when comparing actor paths. 2.5.5 Reusing Actor Paths When an actor is terminated, its reference will point to the dead letter mailbox, DeathWatch will publish its final transition and in general it is not expected to come back to life again (since the actor life cycle does not allow this). While it is possible to create an actor at a later time with an identical path—simply due to it being impossible to enforce the opposite without keeping the set of all actors ever created available—this is not good practice: remote actor references acquired with actorFor which “died” suddenly start to work again, but without any guarantee of ordering between this transition and any other event, hence the new inhabitant of the path may receive messages which were destined for the previous tenant. It may be the right thing to do in very specific circumstances, but make sure to confine the handling of this precisely to the actor’s supervisor, because that is the only actor which can reliably detect proper deregistration of the name, before which creation of the new child will fail. It may also be required during testing, when the test subject depends on being instantiated at a specific path. In that case it is best to mock its supervisor so that it will forward the Terminated message to the appropriate point in the test procedure, enabling the latter to await proper deregistration of the name. 2.5.6 The Interplay with Remote Deployment When an actor creates a child, the actor system’s deployer will decide whether the new actor resides in the same JVM or on another node. In the second case, creation of the actor will be triggered via a network connection to happen in a different JVM and consequently within a different actor system. The remote system will place the new actor below a special path reserved for this purpose and the supervisor of the new actor will be a remote actor reference (representing that actor which triggered its creation). In this case, context.parent (the supervisor reference) and context.path.parent (the parent node in the actor’s path) do not represent the same actor. However, looking up the child’s name within the supervisor will find it on the remote node, preserving logical structure e.g. when sending to an unresolved actor reference. 2.5. Actor References, Paths and Addresses 22 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 2.5.7 What is the Address part used for? When sending an actor reference across the network, it is represented by its path. Hence, the path must fully encode all information necessary to send messages to the underlying actor. This is achieved by encoding protocol, host and port in the address part of the path string. When an actor system receives an actor path from a remote node, it checks whether that path’s address matches the address of this actor system, in which case it will be resolved to the actor’s local reference. Otherwise, it will be represented by a remote actor reference. 2.5.8 Top-Level Scopes for Actor Paths At the root of the path hierarchy resides the root guardian above which all other actors are found; its name is "/". The next level consists of the following: •"/user" is the guardian actor for all user-created top-level actors; actors created using ActorSystem.actorOf are found below this one. •"/system" is the guardian actor for all system-created top-level actors, e.g. logging listeners or actors automatically deployed by configuration at the start of the actor system. •"/deadLetters" is the dead letter actor, which is where all messages sent to stopped or non-existing actors are re-routed (on a best-effort basis: messages may be lost even within the local JVM). •"/temp" is the guardian for all short-lived system-created actors, e.g. those which are used in the imple- mentation of ActorRef.ask. •"/remote" is an artificial path below which all actors reside whose supervisors are remote actor references The need to structure the name space for actors like this arises from a central and very simple design goal: everything in the hierarchy is an actor, and all actors function in the same way. Hence you can not only look up the actors you created, you can also look up the system guardian and send it a message (which it will dutifully 2.5. Actor References, Paths and Addresses 23 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT discard in this case). This powerful principle means that there are no quirks to remember, it makes the whole system more uniform and consistent. If you want to read more about the top-level structure of an actor system, have a look at The Top-Level Supervisors. 2.6 Location Transparency The previous section describes how actor paths are used to enable location transparency. This special feature deserves some extra explanation, because the related term “transparent remoting” was used quite differently in the context of programming languages, platforms and technologies. 2.6.1 Distributed by Default Everything in Akka is designed to work in a distributed setting: all interactions of actors use purely message passing and everything is asynchronous. This effort has been undertaken to ensure that all functions are available equally when running within a single JVM or on a cluster of hundreds of machines. The key for enabling this is to go from remote to local by way of optimization instead of trying to go from local to remote by way of generalization. See this classic paper for a detailed discussion on why the second approach is bound to fail. 2.6.2 Ways in which Transparency is Broken What is true of Akka need not be true of the application which uses it, since designing for distributed execution poses some restrictions on what is possible. The most obvious one is that all messages sent over the wire must be serializable. While being a little less obvious this includes closures which are used as actor factories (i.e. within Props) if the actor is to be created on a remote node. Another consequence is that everything needs to be aware of all interactions being fully asynchronous, which in a computer network might mean that it may take several minutes for a message to reach its recipient (depending on configuration). It also means that the probability for a message to be lost is much higher than within one JVM, where it is close to zero (still: no hard guarantee!). 2.6.3 How is Remoting Used? We took the idea of transparency to the limit in that there is nearly no API for the remoting layer of Akka: it is purely driven by configuration. Just write your application according to the principles outlined in the previous sections, then specify remote deployment of actor sub-trees in the configuration file. This way, your application can be scaled out without having to touch the code. The only piece of the API which allows programmatic influence on remote deployment is that Props contain a field which may be set to a specific Deploy instance; this has the same effect as putting an equivalent deployment into the configuration file (if both are given, configuration file wins). 2.6.4 Peer-to-Peer vs. Client-Server Akka Remoting is a communication module for connecting actor systems in a peer-to-peer fashion, and it is the foundation for Akka Clustering. The design of remoting is driven by two (related) design decisions: 1. Communication between involved systems is symmetric: if a system A can connect to a system B then system B must also be able to connect to system A independently. 2. The role of the communicating systems are symmetric in regards to connection patterns: there is no system that only accepts connections, and there is no system that only initiates connections. The consequence of these decisions is that it is not possible to safely create pure client-server setups with prede- fined roles (violates assumption 2) and using setups involving Network Address Translation or Load Balancers (violates assumption 1). 2.6. Location Transparency 24 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT For client-server setups it is better to use HTTP or Akka I/O. 2.6.5 Marking Points for Scaling Up with Routers In addition to being able to run different parts of an actor system on different nodes of a cluster, it is also possible to scale up onto more cores by multiplying actor sub-trees which support parallelization (think for example a search engine processing different queries in parallel). The clones can then be routed to in different fashions, e.g. round-robin. The only thing necessary to achieve this is that the developer needs to declare a certain actor as “withRouter”, then—in its stead—a router actor will be created which will spawn up a configurable number of children of the desired type and route to them in the configured fashion. Once such a router has been declared, its configuration can be freely overridden from the configuration file, including mixing it with the remote deployment of (some of) the children. Read more about this in Routing (Scala) and Routing (Java). 2.7 Akka and the Java Memory Model A major benefit of using the Typesafe Platform, including Scala and Akka, is that it simplifies the process of writing concurrent software. This article discusses how the Typesafe Platform, and Akka in particular, approaches shared memory in concurrent applications. 2.7.1 The Java Memory Model Prior to Java 5, the Java Memory Model (JMM) was ill defined. It was possible to get all kinds of strange results when shared memory was accessed by multiple threads, such as: • a thread not seeing values written by other threads: a visibility problem • a thread observing ‘impossible’ behavior of other threads, caused by instructions not being executed in the order expected: an instruction reordering problem. With the implementation of JSR 133 in Java 5, a lot of these issues have been resolved. The JMM is a set of rules based on the “happens-before” relation, which constrain when one memory access must happen before another, and conversely, when they are allowed to happen out of order. Two examples of these rules are: • The monitor lock rule: a release of a lock happens before every subsequent acquire of the same lock. • The volatile variable rule: a write of a volatile variable happens before every subsequent read of the same volatile variable Although the JMM can seem complicated, the specification tries to find a balance between ease of use and the ability to write performant and scalable concurrent data structures. 2.7.2 Actors and the Java Memory Model With the Actors implementation in Akka, there are two ways multiple threads can execute actions on shared memory: • if a message is sent to an actor (e.g. by another actor). In most cases messages are immutable, but if that message is not a properly constructed immutable object, without a “happens before” rule, it would be possible for the receiver to see partially initialized data structures and possibly even values out of thin air (longs/doubles). • if an actor makes changes to its internal state while processing a message, and accesses that state while processing another message moments later. It is important to realize that with the actor model you don’t get any guarantee that the same thread will be executing the same actor for different messages. To prevent visibility and reordering problems on actors, Akka guarantees the following two “happens before” rules: 2.7. Akka and the Java Memory Model 25 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • The actor send rule: the send of the message to an actor happens before the receive of that message by the same actor. • The actor subsequent processing rule: processing of one message happens before processing of the next message by the same actor. Note: In layman’s terms this means that changes to internal fields of the actor are visible when the next message is processed by that actor. So fields in your actor need not be volatile or equivalent. Both rules only apply for the same actor instance and are not valid if different actors are used. 2.7.3 Futures and the Java Memory Model The completion of a Future “happens before” the invocation of any callbacks registered to it are executed. We recommend not to close over non-final fields (final in Java and val in Scala), and if you do choose to close over non-final fields, they must be marked volatile in order for the current value of the field to be visible to the callback. If you close over a reference, you must also ensure that the instance that is referred to is thread safe. We highly recommend staying away from objects that use locking, since it can introduce performance problems and in the worst case, deadlocks. Such are the perils of synchronized. 2.7.4 STM and the Java Memory Model Akka’s Software Transactional Memory (STM) also provides a “happens before” rule: • The transactional reference rule: a successful write during commit, on an transactional reference, happens before every subsequent read of the same transactional reference. This rule looks a lot like the ‘volatile variable’ rule from the JMM. Currently the Akka STM only supports deferred writes, so the actual writing to shared memory is deferred until the transaction commits. Writes during the transaction are placed in a local buffer (the writeset of the transaction) and are not visible to other transactions. That is why dirty reads are not possible. How these rules are realized in Akka is an implementation detail and can change over time, and the exact details could even depend on the used configuration. But they will build on the other JMM rules like the monitor lock rule or the volatile variable rule. This means that you, the Akka user, do not need to worry about adding synchronization to provide such a “happens before” relation, because it is the responsibility of Akka. So you have your hands free to deal with your business logic, and the Akka framework makes sure that those rules are guaranteed on your behalf. 2.7.5 Actors and shared mutable state Since Akka runs on the JVM there are still some rules to be followed. • Closing over internal Actor state and exposing it to other threads class MyActor extends Actor{ var state=... def receive={ case_ => //Wrongs // Very bad, shared mutable state, // will break your application in weird ways Future{ state= NewState} anotherActor? message onSuccess{r => state=r} 2.7. Akka and the Java Memory Model 26 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT // Very bad, "sender" changes for every message, // shared mutable state bug Future{ expensiveCalculation(sender())} //Rights // Completely safe, "self" is OK to close over // and it’s an ActorRef, which is thread-safe Future{ expensiveCalculation()} onComplete{f => self!f.value.get} // Completely safe, we close over a fixed value // and it’s an ActorRef, which is thread-safe val currentSender= sender() Future{ expensiveCalculation(currentSender)} } } • Messages should be immutable, this is to avoid the shared mutable state trap. 2.8 Message Delivery Reliability Akka helps you build reliable applications which make use of multiple processor cores in one machine (“scaling up”) or distributed across a computer network (“scaling out”). The key abstraction to make this work is that all interactions between your code units—actors—happen via message passing, which is why the precise semantics of how messages are passed between actors deserve their own chapter. In order to give some context to the discussion below, consider an application which spans multiple network hosts. The basic mechanism for communication is the same whether sending to an actor on the local JVM or to a remote actor, but of course there will be observable differences in the latency of delivery (possibly also depending on the bandwidth of the network link and the message size) and the reliability. In case of a remote message send there are obviously more steps involved which means that more can go wrong. Another aspect is that local sending will just pass a reference to the message inside the same JVM, without any restrictions on the underlying object which is sent, whereas a remote transport will place a limit on the message size. Writing your actors such that every interaction could possibly be remote is the safe, pessimistic bet. It means to only rely on those properties which are always guaranteed and which are discussed in detail below. This has of course some overhead in the actor’s implementation. If you are willing to sacrifice full location transparency—for example in case of a group of closely collaborating actors—you can place them always on the same JVM and enjoy stricter guarantees on message delivery. The details of this trade-off are discussed further below. As a supplementary part we give a few pointers at how to build stronger reliability on top of the built-in ones. The chapter closes by discussing the role of the “Dead Letter Office”. 2.8.1 The General Rules These are the rules for message sends (i.e. the tell or ! method, which also underlies the ask pattern): • at-most-once delivery, i.e. no guaranteed delivery • message ordering per sender–receiver pair The first rule is typically found also in other actor implementations while the second is specific to Akka. Discussion: What does “at-most-once” mean? When it comes to describing the semantics of a delivery mechanism, there are three basic categories: • at-most-once delivery means that for each message handed to the mechanism, that message is delivered zero or one times; in more casual terms it means that messages may be lost. 2.8. Message Delivery Reliability 27 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • at-least-once delivery means that for each message handed to the mechanism potentially multiple attempts are made at delivering it, such that at least one succeeds; again, in more casual terms this means that messages may be duplicated but not lost. • exactly-once delivery means that for each message handed to the mechanism exactly one delivery is made to the recipient; the message can neither be lost nor duplicated. The first one is the cheapest—highest performance, least implementation overhead—because it can be done in a fire-and-forget fashion without keeping state at the sending end or in the transport mechanism. The second one requires retries to counter transport losses, which means keeping state at the sending end and having an acknowledgement mechanism at the receiving end. The third is most expensive—and has consequently worst performance—because in addition to the second it requires state to be kept at the receiving end in order to filter out duplicate deliveries. Discussion: Why No Guaranteed Delivery? At the core of the problem lies the question what exactly this guarantee shall mean: 1. The message is sent out on the network? 2. The message is received by the other host? 3. The message is put into the target actor’s mailbox? 4. The message is starting to be processed by the target actor? 5. The message is processed successfully by the target actor? Each one of these have different challenges and costs, and it is obvious that there are conditions under which any message passing library would be unable to comply; think for example about configurable mailbox types and how a bounded mailbox would interact with the third point, or even what it would mean to decide upon the “successfully” part of point five. Along those same lines goes the reasoning in Nobody Needs Reliable Messaging. The only meaningful way for a sender to know whether an interaction was successful is by receiving a business-level acknowledgement message, which is not something Akka could make up on its own (neither are we writing a “do what I mean” framework nor would you want us to). Akka embraces distributed computing and makes the fallibility of communication explicit through message pass- ing, therefore it does not try to lie and emulate a leaky abstraction. This is a model that has been used with great success in Erlang and requires the users to design their applications around it. You can read more about this approach in the Erlang documentation (section 10.9 and 10.10), Akka follows it closely. Another angle on this issue is that by providing only basic guarantees those use cases which do not need stronger reliability do not pay the cost of their implementation; it is always possible to add stronger reliability on top of basic ones, but it is not possible to retro-actively remove reliability in order to gain more performance. Discussion: Message Ordering The rule more specifically is that for a given pair of actors, messages sent from the first to the second will not be received out-of-order. This is illustrated in the following: Actor A1 sends messages M1, M2, M3 to A2 Actor A3 sends messages M4, M5, M6 to A2 This means that: 1. If M1 is delivered it must be delivered before M2 and M3 2. If M2 is delivered it must be delivered before M3 3. If M4 is delivered it must be delivered before M5 and M6 4. If M5 is delivered it must be delivered before M6 2.8. Message Delivery Reliability 28 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5. A2 can see messages from A1 interleaved with messages from A3 6. Since there is no guaranteed delivery, any of the messages may be dropped, i.e. not arrive at A2 Note: It is important to note that Akka’s guarantee applies to the order in which messages are enqueued into the recipient’s mailbox. If the mailbox implementation does not respect FIFO order (e.g. a PriorityMailbox), then the order of processing by the actor can deviate from the enqueueing order. Please note that this rule is not transitive: Actor A sends message M1 to actor C Actor A then sends message M2 to actor B Actor B forwards message M2 to actor C Actor C may receive M1 and M2 in any order Causal transitive ordering would imply that M2 is never received before M1 at actor C(though any of them might be lost). This ordering can be violated due to different message delivery latencies when A,B and C reside on different network hosts, see more below. Note: Actor creation is treated as a message sent from the parent to the child, with the same semantics as discussed above. Sending a message to an actor in a way which could be reordered with this initial creation message means that the message might not arrive because the actor does not exist yet. An example where the message might arrive too early would be to create a remote-deployed actor R1, send its reference to another remote actor R2 and have R2 send a message to R1. An example of well-defined ordering is a parent which creates an actor and immediately sends a message to it. Communication of failure Please note, that the ordering guarantees discussed above only hold for user messages between actors. Failure of a child of an actor is communicated by special system messages that are not ordered relative to ordinary user messages. In particular: Child actor C sends message M to its parent P Child actor fails with failure F Parent actor P might receive the two events either in order M,F or F,M The reason for this is that internal system messages has their own mailboxes therefore the ordering of enqueue calls of a user and system message cannot guarantee the ordering of their dequeue times. 2.8.2 The Rules for In-JVM (Local) Message Sends Be careful what you do with this section! Relying on the stronger reliability in this section is not recommended since it will bind your application to local- only deployment: an application may have to be designed differently (as opposed to just employing some message exchange patterns local to some actors) in order to be fit for running on a cluster of machines. Our credo is “design once, deploy any way you wish”, and to achieve this you should only rely on The General Rules. Reliability of Local Message Sends The Akka test suite relies on not losing messages in the local context (and for non-error condition tests also for remote deployment), meaning that we actually do apply the best effort to keep our tests stable. A local tell operation can however fail for the same reasons as a normal method call can on the JVM: 2.8. Message Delivery Reliability 29 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • StackOverflowError • OutOfMemoryError • other VirtualMachineError In addition, local sends can fail in Akka-specific ways: • if the mailbox does not accept the message (e.g. full BoundedMailbox) • if the receiving actor fails while processing the message or is already terminated While the first is clearly a matter of configuration the second deserves some thought: the sender of a message does not get feedback if there was an exception while processing, that notification goes to the supervisor instead. This is in general not distinguishable from a lost message for an outside observer. Ordering of Local Message Sends Assuming strict FIFO mailboxes the abovementioned caveat of non-transitivity of the message ordering guarantee is eliminated under certain conditions. As you will note, these are quite subtle as it stands, and it is even possible that future performance optimizations will invalidate this whole paragraph. The possibly non-exhaustive list of counter-indications is: • Before receiving the first reply from a top-level actor, there is a lock which protects an internal interim queue, and this lock is not fair; the implication is that enqueue requests from different senders which arrive during the actor’s construction (figuratively, the details are more involved) may be reordered depending on low-level thread scheduling. Since completely fair locks do not exist on the JVM this is unfixable. • The same mechanism is used during the construction of a Router, more precisely the routed ActorRef, hence the same problem exists for actors deployed with Routers. • As mentioned above, the problem occurs anywhere a lock is involved during enqueueing, which may also apply to custom mailboxes. This list has been compiled carefully, but other problematic scenarios may have escaped our analysis. How does Local Ordering relate to Network Ordering As explained in the previous paragraph local message sends obey transitive causal ordering under certain condi- tions. If the remote message transport would respect this ordering as well, that would translate to transitive causal ordering across one network link, i.e. if exactly two network hosts are involved. Involving multiple links, e.g. the three actors on three different nodes mentioned above, then no guarantees can be made. The current remote transport does not support this (again this is caused by non-FIFO wake-up order of a lock, this time serializing connection establishment). As a speculative view into the future it might be possible to support this ordering guarantee by re-implementing the remote transport layer based completely on actors; at the same time we are looking into providing other low- level transport protocols like UDP or SCTP which would enable higher throughput or lower latency by removing this guarantee again, which would mean that choosing between different implementations would allow trading guarantees versus performance. 2.8.3 Higher-level abstractions Based on a small and consistent tool set in Akka’s core, Akka also provides powerful, higher-level abstractions on top it. Messaging Patterns As discussed above a straight-forward answer to the requirement of reliable delivery is an explicit ACK–RETRY protocol. In its simplest form this requires 2.8. Message Delivery Reliability 30 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • a way to identify individual messages to correlate message with acknowledgement • a retry mechanism which will resend messages if not acknowledged in time • a way for the receiver to detect and discard duplicates The third becomes necessary by virtue of the acknowledgements not being guaranteed to arrive either. An ACK- RETRY protocol with business-level acknowledgements is supported by Channels of the Akka Persistence mod- ule. Duplicates can be detected by tracking the sequence numbers of messages received via channels. Another way of implementing the third part would be to make processing the messages idempotent on the level of the business logic. Another example of implementing all three requirements is shown at Reliable Proxy Pattern (which is now super- seded by Channels). Event Sourcing Event sourcing (and sharding) is what makes large websites scale to billions of users, and the idea is quite simple: when a component (think actor) processes a command it will generate a list of events representing the effect of the command. These events are stored in addition to being applied to the component’s state. The nice thing about this scheme is that events only ever are appended to the storage, nothing is ever mutated; this enables perfect replication and scaling of consumers of this event stream (i.e. other components may consume the event stream as a means to replicate the component’s state on a different continent or to react to changes). If the component’s state is lost—due to a machine failure or by being pushed out of a cache—it can easily be reconstructed by replaying the event stream (usually employing snapshots to speed up the process). Event sourcing is supported by Akka Persistence. Mailbox with Explicit Acknowledgement By implementing a custom mailbox type it is possible retry message processing at the receiving actor’s end in order to handle temporary failures. This pattern is mostly useful in the local communication context where delivery guarantees are otherwise sufficient to fulfill the application’s requirements. Please note that the caveats for The Rules for In-JVM (Local) Message Sends do apply. An example implementation of this pattern is shown at Mailbox with Explicit Acknowledgement. 2.8.4 Dead Letters Messages which cannot be delivered (and for which this can be ascertained) will be delivered to a synthetic actor called /deadLetters. This delivery happens on a best-effort basis; it may fail even within the local JVM (e.g. during actor termination). Messages sent via unreliable network transports will be lost without turning up as dead letters. What Should I Use Dead Letters For? The main use of this facility is for debugging, especially if an actor send does not arrive consistently (where usually inspecting the dead letters will tell you that the sender or recipient was set wrong somewhere along the way). In order to be useful for this purpose it is good practice to avoid sending to deadLetters where possible, i.e. run your application with a suitable dead letter logger (see more below) from time to time and clean up the log output. This exercise—like all else—requires judicious application of common sense: it may well be that avoiding to send to a terminated actor complicates the sender’s code more than is gained in debug output clarity. The dead letter service follows the same rules with respect to delivery guarantees as all other message sends, hence it cannot be used to implement guaranteed delivery. 2.8. Message Delivery Reliability 31 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT How do I Receive Dead Letters? An actor can subscribe to class akka.actor.DeadLetter on the event stream, see Event Stream (Java) or event-stream-scala (Scala) for how to do that. The subscribed actor will then receive all dead letters published in the (local) system from that point onwards. Dead letters are not propagated over the network, if you want to collect them in one place you will have to subscribe one actor per network node and forward them manually. Also consider that dead letters are generated at that node which can determine that a send operation is failed, which for a remote send can be the local system (if no network connection can be established) or the remote one (if the actor you are sending to does not exist at that point in time). Dead Letters Which are (Usually) not Worrisome Every time an actor does not terminate by its own decision, there is a chance that some messages which it sends to itself are lost. There is one which happens quite easily in complex shutdown scenarios that is usually benign: seeing a akka.dispatch.Terminate message dropped means that two termination requests were given, but of course only one can succeed. In the same vein, you might see akka.actor.Terminated messages from children while stopping a hierarchy of actors turning up in dead letters if the parent is still watching the child when the parent terminates. 2.9 Configuration You can start using Akka without defining any configuration, since sensible default values are provided. Later on you might need to amend the settings to change the default behavior or adapt for specific runtime environments. Typical examples of settings that you might amend: • log level and logger backend • enable remoting • message serializers • definition of routers • tuning of dispatchers Akka uses the Typesafe Config Library, which might also be a good choice for the configuration of your own ap- plication or library built with or without Akka. This library is implemented in Java with no external dependencies; you should have a look at its documentation (in particular about ConfigFactory), which is only summarized in the following. Warning: If you use Akka from the Scala REPL from the 2.9.x series, and you do not provide your own ClassLoader to the ActorSystem, start the REPL with “-Yrepl-sync” to work around a deficiency in the REPLs provided Context ClassLoader. 2.9.1 Where configuration is read from All configuration for Akka is held within instances of ActorSystem, or put differently, as viewed from the outside, ActorSystem is the only consumer of configuration information. While constructing an ac- tor system, you can either pass in a Config object or not, where the second case is equivalent to passing ConfigFactory.load() (with the right class loader). This means roughly that the default is to parse all application.conf, application.json and application.properties found at the root of the class path—please refer to the aforementioned documentation for details. The actor system then merges in all reference.conf resources found at the root of the class path to form the fallback configuration, i.e. it inter- nally uses appConfig.withFallback(ConfigFactory.defaultReference(classLoader)) 2.9. Configuration 32 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The philosophy is that code never contains default values, but instead relies upon their presence in the reference.conf supplied with the library in question. Highest precedence is given to overrides given as system properties, see the HOCON specification (near the bottom). Also noteworthy is that the application configuration—which defaults to application—may be overridden using the config.resource property (there are more, please refer to the Config docs). Note: If you are writing an Akka application, keep you configuration in application.conf at the root of the class path. If you are writing an Akka-based library, keep its configuration in reference.conf at the root of the JAR file. 2.9.2 When using JarJar, OneJar, Assembly or any jar-bundler Warning: Akka’s configuration approach relies heavily on the notion of every module/jar having its own reference.conf file, all of these will be discovered by the configuration and loaded. Unfortunately this also means that if you put/merge multiple jars into the same jar, you need to merge all the reference.confs as well. Otherwise all defaults will be lost and Akka will not function. If you are using Maven to package your application, you can also make use of the Apache Maven Shade Plugin support for Resource Transformers to merge all the reference.confs on the build classpath into one. The plugin configuration might look like this: org.apache.maven.plugins maven-shade-plugin 1.5 package shade true allinone *:* reference.conf akka.Main 2.9. Configuration 33 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 2.9.3 Custom application.conf A custom application.conf might look like this: # In this file you can override any option defined in the reference files. # Copy in parts of the reference files and modify as you please. akka { # Loggers to register at boot time (akka.event.Logging$DefaultLogger logs # to STDOUT) loggers = ["akka.event.slf4j.Slf4jLogger"] # Log level used by the configured loggers (see "loggers") as soon # as they have been started; before that, see "stdout-loglevel" # Options: OFF, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG loglevel = "DEBUG" # Log level for the very basic logger activated during ActorSystem startup. # This logger prints the log messages to stdout (System.out). # Options: OFF, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG stdout-loglevel = "DEBUG" actor { provider = "akka.cluster.ClusterActorRefProvider" default-dispatcher { # Throughput for default Dispatcher, set to 1 for as fair as possible throughput = 10 } } remote { # The port clients should connect to. Default is 2552. netty.tcp.port = 4711 } } 2.9.4 Including files Sometimes it can be useful to include another configuration file, for example if you have one application.conf with all environment independent settings and then override some settings for specific environments. Specifying system property with -Dconfig.resource=/dev.conf will load the dev.conf file, which includes the application.conf dev.conf: include "application" akka{ loglevel= "DEBUG" } More advanced include and substitution mechanisms are explained in the HOCON specification. 2.9.5 Logging of Configuration If the system or config property akka.log-config-on-start is set to on, then the complete configuration at INFO level when the actor system is started. This is useful when you are uncertain of what configuration is 2.9. Configuration 34 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT used. If in doubt, you can also easily and nicely inspect configuration objects before or after using them to construct an actor system: Welcome to Scala version 2.10.3 (Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM, Java 1.6.0_27). Type in expressions to have them evaluated. Type :help for more information. scala> import com.typesafe.config._ import com.typesafe.config._ scala> ConfigFactory.parseString("a.b=12") res0: com.typesafe.config.Config = Config(SimpleConfigObject({"a" : {"b" : 12}})) scala> res0.root.render res1: java.lang.String = { # String: 1 "a" : { # String: 1 "b" : 12 } } The comments preceding every item give detailed information about the origin of the setting (file & line number) plus possible comments which were present, e.g. in the reference configuration. The settings as merged with the reference and parsed by the actor system can be displayed like this: final ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create(); System.out.println(system.settings()); // this is a shortcut for system.settings().config().root().render() 2.9.6 A Word About ClassLoaders In several places of the configuration file it is possible to specify the fully-qualified class name of something to be instantiated by Akka. This is done using Java reflection, which in turn uses a ClassLoader. Getting the right one in challenging environments like application containers or OSGi bundles is not always trivial, the current approach of Akka is that each ActorSystem implementation stores the current thread’s context class loader (if available, otherwise just its own loader as in this.getClass.getClassLoader) and uses that for all reflective accesses. This implies that putting Akka on the boot class path will yield NullPointerException from strange places: this is simply not supported. 2.9.7 Application specific settings The configuration can also be used for application specific settings. A good practice is to place those settings in an Extension, as described in: • Scala API: extending-akka-scala.settings • Java API: Application specific settings 2.9.8 Configuring multiple ActorSystem If you have more than one ActorSystem (or you’re writing a library and have an ActorSystem that may be separate from the application’s) you may want to separate the configuration for each system. Given that ConfigFactory.load() merges all resources with matching name from the whole class path, it is easiest to utilize that functionality and differentiate actor systems within the hierarchy of the configuration: 2.9. Configuration 35 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT myapp1{ akka.loglevel= "WARNING" my.own.setting= 43 } myapp2{ akka.loglevel= "ERROR" app2.setting= "appname" } my.own.setting= 42 my.other.setting= "hello" val config= ConfigFactory.load() val app1= ActorSystem("MyApp1", config.getConfig("myapp1").withFallback(config)) val app2= ActorSystem("MyApp2", config.getConfig("myapp2").withOnlyPath("akka").withFallback(config)) These two samples demonstrate different variations of the “lift-a-subtree” trick: in the first case, the configuration accessible from within the actor system is this akka.loglevel="WARNING" my.own.setting= 43 my.other.setting="hello" // plus myapp1 and myapp2 subtrees while in the second one, only the “akka” subtree is lifted, with the following result akka.loglevel="ERROR" my.own.setting= 42 my.other.setting="hello" // plus myapp1 and myapp2 subtrees Note: The configuration library is really powerful, explaining all features exceeds the scope affordable here. In particular not covered are how to include other configuration files within other files (see a small example at Including files) and copying parts of the configuration tree by way of path substitutions. You may also specify and parse the configuration programmatically in other ways when instantiating the ActorSystem. import akka.actor.ActorSystem import com.typesafe.config.ConfigFactory val customConf= ConfigFactory.parseString(""" akka.actor.deployment { /my-service { router = round-robin-pool nr-of-instances = 3 } } """) // ConfigFactory.load sandwiches customConfig between default reference // config and default overrides, and then resolves it. val system= ActorSystem("MySystem", ConfigFactory.load(customConf)) 2.9.9 Reading configuration from a custom location You can replace or supplement application.conf either in code or using system properties. If you’re using ConfigFactory.load() (which Akka does by default) you can replace application.conf by defining -Dconfig.resource=whatever,-Dconfig.file=whatever, or -Dconfig.url=whatever. 2.9. Configuration 36 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT From inside your replacement file specified with -Dconfig.resource and friends, you can include "application" if you still want to use application.{conf,json,properties} as well. Settings specified before include "application" would be overridden by the included file, while those after would override the included file. In code, there are many customization options. There are several overloads of ConfigFactory.load(); these allow you to specify something to be sand- wiched between system properties (which override) and the defaults (from reference.conf), replacing the usual application.{conf,json,properties} and replacing -Dconfig.file and friends. The simplest variant of ConfigFactory.load() takes a resource basename (instead of application); myname.conf, myname.json, and myname.properties would then be used instead of application.{conf,json,properties}. The most flexible variant takes a Config object, which you can load using any method in ConfigFactory. For example you could put a config string in code using ConfigFactory.parseString() or you could make a map and ConfigFactory.parseMap(), or you could load a file. You can also combine your custom config with the usual config, that might look like: // make a Config with just your special setting Config myConfig= ConfigFactory.parseString("something=somethingElse"); // load the normal config stack (system props, // then application.conf, then reference.conf) Config regularConfig= ConfigFactory.load(); // override regular stack with myConfig Config combined= myConfig.withFallback(regularConfig); // put the result in between the overrides // (system props) and defaults again Config complete= ConfigFactory.load(combined); // create ActorSystem ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("myname", complete); When working with Config objects, keep in mind that there are three “layers” in the cake: • ConfigFactory.defaultOverrides() (system properties) • the app’s settings • ConfigFactory.defaultReference() (reference.conf) The normal goal is to customize the middle layer while leaving the other two alone. • ConfigFactory.load() loads the whole stack • the overloads of ConfigFactory.load() let you specify a different middle layer • the ConfigFactory.parse() variations load single files or resources To stack two layers, use override.withFallback(fallback); try to keep system props (defaultOverrides()) on top and reference.conf (defaultReference()) on the bottom. Do keep in mind, you can often just add another include statement in application.conf rather than writ- ing code. Includes at the top of application.conf will be overridden by the rest of application.conf, while those at the bottom will override the earlier stuff. 2.9.10 Actor Deployment Configuration Deployment settings for specific actors can be defined in the akka.actor.deployment section of the con- figuration. In the deployment section it is possible to define things like dispatcher, mailbox, router settings, and 2.9. Configuration 37 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT remote deployment. Configuration of these features are described in the chapters detailing corresponding topics. An example may look like this: akka.actor.deployment { # ’/user/actorA/actorB’ is a remote deployed actor /actorA/actorB { remote = "akka.tcp://sampleActorSystem@127.0.0.1:2553" } # all direct children of ’/user/actorC’ have a dedicated dispatcher "/actorC/*"{ dispatcher = my-dispatcher } # ’/user/actorD/actorE’ has a special priority mailbox /actorD/actorE { mailbox = prio-mailbox } # ’/user/actorF/actorG/actorH’ is a random pool /actorF/actorG/actorH { router = random-pool nr-of-instances = 5 } } my-dispatcher { fork-join-executor.parallelism-min = 10 fork-join-executor.parallelism-max = 10 } prio-mailbox { mailbox-type = "a.b.MyPrioMailbox" } The deployment section for a specific actor is identified by the path of the actor relative to /user. You can use asterisks as wildcard matches for the actor path sections, so you could specify: /*/sampleActor and that would match all sampleActor on that level in the hierarchy. You can also use wildcard in the last position to match all actors at a certain level: /someParent/*. Non-wildcard matches always have higher priority to match than wildcards, so: /foo/bar is considered more specific than /foo/* and only the highest priority match is used. Please note that it cannot be used to partially match section, like this: /foo*/bar, /f*o/bar etc. 2.9.11 Listing of the Reference Configuration Each Akka module has a reference configuration file with the default values. akka-actor #################################### # Akka Actor Reference Config File # #################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. akka { # Akka version, checked against the runtime version of Akka. version = "2.3-SNAPSHOT" 2.9. Configuration 38 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Home directory of Akka, modules in the deploy directory will be loaded home = "" # Loggers to register at boot time (akka.event.Logging$DefaultLogger logs # to STDOUT) loggers = ["akka.event.Logging$DefaultLogger"] # Loggers are created and registered synchronously during ActorSystem # start-up, and since they are actors, this timeout is used to bound the # waiting time logger-startup-timeout = 5s # Log level used by the configured loggers (see "loggers") as soon # as they have been started; before that, see "stdout-loglevel" # Options: OFF, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG loglevel = "INFO" # Log level for the very basic logger activated during ActorSystem startup. # This logger prints the log messages to stdout (System.out). # Options: OFF, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG stdout-loglevel = "WARNING" # Log the complete configuration at INFO level when the actor system is started. # This is useful when you are uncertain of what configuration is used. log-config-on-start = off # Log at info level when messages are sent to dead letters. # Possible values: # on: all dead letters are logged # off: no logging of dead letters # n: positive integer, number of dead letters that will be logged log-dead-letters = 10 # Possibility to turn off logging of dead letters while the actor system # is shutting down. Logging is only done when enabled by ’log-dead-letters’ # setting. log-dead-letters-during-shutdown = on # List FQCN of extensions which shall be loaded at actor system startup. # Should be on the format: ’extensions = ["foo", "bar"]’ etc. # See the Akka Documentation for more info about Extensions extensions = [] # Toggles whether threads created by this ActorSystem should be daemons or not daemonic = off # JVM shutdown, System.exit(-1), in case of a fatal error, # such as OutOfMemoryError jvm-exit-on-fatal-error = on actor { # FQCN of the ActorRefProvider to be used; the below is the built-in default, # another one is akka.remote.RemoteActorRefProvider in the akka-remote bundle. provider = "akka.actor.LocalActorRefProvider" # The guardian "/user" will use this class to obtain its supervisorStrategy. # It needs to be a subclass of akka.actor.SupervisorStrategyConfigurator. # In addition to the default there is akka.actor.StoppingSupervisorStrategy. guardian-supervisor-strategy = "akka.actor.DefaultSupervisorStrategy" # Timeout for ActorSystem.actorOf creation-timeout = 20s 2.9. Configuration 39 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Frequency with which stopping actors are prodded in case they had to be # removed from their parents reaper-interval = 5s # Serializes and deserializes (non-primitive) messages to ensure immutability, # this is only intended for testing. serialize-messages = off # Serializes and deserializes creators (in Props) to ensure that they can be # sent over the network, this is only intended for testing. Purely local deployments # as marked with deploy.scope == LocalScope are exempt from verification. serialize-creators = off # Timeout for send operations to top-level actors which are in the process # of being started. This is only relevant if using a bounded mailbox or the # CallingThreadDispatcher for a top-level actor. unstarted-push-timeout = 10s typed { # Default timeout for typed actor methods with non-void return type timeout = 5s } # Mapping between ´deployment.router’ short names to fully qualified class names router.type-mapping { from-code = "akka.routing.NoRouter" round-robin-pool = "akka.routing.RoundRobinPool" round-robin-group = "akka.routing.RoundRobinGroup" random-pool = "akka.routing.RandomPool" random-group = "akka.routing.RandomGroup" balancing-pool = "akka.routing.BalancingPool" smallest-mailbox-pool = "akka.routing.SmallestMailboxPool" broadcast-pool = "akka.routing.BroadcastPool" broadcast-group = "akka.routing.BroadcastGroup" scatter-gather-pool = "akka.routing.ScatterGatherFirstCompletedPool" scatter-gather-group = "akka.routing.ScatterGatherFirstCompletedGroup" consistent-hashing-pool = "akka.routing.ConsistentHashingPool" consistent-hashing-group = "akka.routing.ConsistentHashingGroup" } deployment { # deployment id pattern - on the format: /parent/child etc. default { # The id of the dispatcher to use for this actor. # If undefined or empty the dispatcher specified in code # (Props.withDispatcher) is used, or default-dispatcher if not # specified at all. dispatcher = "" # The id of the mailbox to use for this actor. # If undefined or empty the default mailbox of the configured dispatcher # is used or if there is no mailbox configuration the mailbox specified # in code (Props.withMailbox) is used. # If there is a mailbox defined in the configured dispatcher then that # overrides this setting. mailbox = "" # routing (load-balance) scheme to use # - available: "from-code", "round-robin", "random", "smallest-mailbox", # "scatter-gather", "broadcast" 2.9. Configuration 40 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # - or: Fully qualified class name of the router class. # The class must extend akka.routing.CustomRouterConfig and # have a public constructor with com.typesafe.config.Config # and optional akka.actor.DynamicAccess parameter. # - default is "from-code"; # Whether or not an actor is transformed to a Router is decided in code # only (Props.withRouter). The type of router can be overridden in the # configuration; specifying "from-code" means that the values specified # in the code shall be used. # In case of routing, the actors to be routed to can be specified # in several ways: # - nr-of-instances: will create that many children # - routees.paths: will route messages to these paths using ActorSelection, # i.e. will not create children # - resizer: dynamically resizable number of routees as specified in # resizer below router = "from-code" # number of children to create in case of a router; # this setting is ignored if routees.paths is given nr-of-instances = 1 # within is the timeout used for routers containing future calls within = 5 seconds # number of virtual nodes per node for consistent-hashing router virtual-nodes-factor = 10 routees { # Alternatively to giving nr-of-instances you can specify the full # paths of those actors which should be routed to. This setting takes # precedence over nr-of-instances paths = [] } # To use a dedicated dispatcher for the routees of the pool you can # define the dispatcher configuration inline with the property name # ’pool-dispatcher’ in the deployment section of the router. # For example: # pool-dispatcher { # fork-join-executor.parallelism-min = 5 # fork-join-executor.parallelism-max = 5 #} # Routers with dynamically resizable number of routees; this feature is # enabled by including (parts of) this section in the deployment resizer { enabled = off # The fewest number of routees the router should ever have. lower-bound = 1 # The most number of routees the router should ever have. # Must be greater than or equal to lower-bound. upper-bound = 10 # Threshold used to evaluate if a routee is considered to be busy # (under pressure). Implementation depends on this value (default is 1). # 0: number of routees currently processing a message. # 1: number of routees currently processing a message has # some messages in mailbox. # > 1: number of routees with at least the configured pressure-threshold 2.9. Configuration 41 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # messages in their mailbox. Note that estimating mailbox size of # default UnboundedMailbox is O(N) operation. pressure-threshold = 1 # Percentage to increase capacity whenever all routees are busy. # For example, 0.2 would increase 20% (rounded up), i.e. if current # capacity is 6 it will request an increase of 2 more routees. rampup-rate = 0.2 # Minimum fraction of busy routees before backing off. # For example, if this is 0.3, then we’ll remove some routees only when # less than 30% of routees are busy, i.e. if current capacity is 10 and # 3 are busy then the capacity is unchanged, but if 2 or less are busy # the capacity is decreased. # Use 0.0 or negative to avoid removal of routees. backoff-threshold = 0.3 # Fraction of routees to be removed when the resizer reaches the # backoffThreshold. # For example, 0.1 would decrease 10% (rounded up), i.e. if current # capacity is 9 it will request an decrease of 1 routee. backoff-rate = 0.1 # Number of messages between resize operation. # Use 1 to resize before each message. messages-per-resize = 10 } } } default-dispatcher { # Must be one of the following # Dispatcher, PinnedDispatcher, or a FQCN to a class inheriting # MessageDispatcherConfigurator with a public constructor with # both com.typesafe.config.Config parameter and # akka.dispatch.DispatcherPrerequisites parameters. # PinnedDispatcher must be used together with executor=thread-pool-executor. type = "Dispatcher" # Which kind of ExecutorService to use for this dispatcher # Valid options: # - "default-executor" requires a "default-executor" section # - "fork-join-executor" requires a "fork-join-executor" section # - "thread-pool-executor" requires a "thread-pool-executor" section # - A FQCN of a class extending ExecutorServiceConfigurator executor = "default-executor" # This will be used if you have set "executor = "default-executor"". # If an ActorSystem is created with a given ExecutionContext, this # ExecutionContext will be used as the default executor for all # dispatchers in the ActorSystem configured with # executor = "default-executor". Note that "default-executor" # is the default value for executor, and therefore used if not # specified otherwise. If no ExecutionContext is given, # the executor configured in "fallback" will be used. default-executor { fallback = "fork-join-executor" } # This will be used if you have set "executor = "fork-join-executor"" fork-join-executor { # Min number of threads to cap factor-based parallelism number to parallelism-min = 8 2.9. Configuration 42 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # The parallelism factor is used to determine thread pool size using the # following formula: ceil(available processors * factor). Resulting size # is then bounded by the parallelism-min and parallelism-max values. parallelism-factor = 3.0 # Max number of threads to cap factor-based parallelism number to parallelism-max = 64 } # This will be used if you have set "executor = "thread-pool-executor"" thread-pool-executor { # Keep alive time for threads keep-alive-time = 60s # Min number of threads to cap factor-based core number to core-pool-size-min = 8 # The core pool size factor is used to determine thread pool core size # using the following formula: ceil(available processors * factor). # Resulting size is then bounded by the core-pool-size-min and # core-pool-size-max values. core-pool-size-factor = 3.0 # Max number of threads to cap factor-based number to core-pool-size-max = 64 # Minimum number of threads to cap factor-based max number to # (if using a bounded task queue) max-pool-size-min = 8 # Max no of threads (if using a bounded task queue) is determined by # calculating: ceil(available processors * factor) max-pool-size-factor = 3.0 # Max number of threads to cap factor-based max number to # (if using a bounded task queue) max-pool-size-max = 64 # Specifies the bounded capacity of the task queue (< 1 == unbounded) task-queue-size = -1 # Specifies which type of task queue will be used, can be "array" or # "linked" (default) task-queue-type = "linked" # Allow core threads to time out allow-core-timeout = on } # How long time the dispatcher will wait for new actors until it shuts down shutdown-timeout = 1s # Throughput defines the number of messages that are processed in a batch # before the thread is returned to the pool. Set to 1 for as fair as possible. throughput = 5 # Throughput deadline for Dispatcher, set to 0 or negative for no deadline throughput-deadline-time = 0ms # For BalancingDispatcher: If the balancing dispatcher should attempt to # schedule idle actors using the same dispatcher when a message comes in, # and the dispatchers ExecutorService is not fully busy already. 2.9. Configuration 43 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT attempt-teamwork = on # If this dispatcher requires a specific type of mailbox, specify the # fully-qualified class name here; the actually created mailbox will # be a subtype of this type. The empty string signifies no requirement. mailbox-requirement = "" } default-mailbox { # FQCN of the MailboxType. The Class of the FQCN must have a public # constructor with # (akka.actor.ActorSystem.Settings, com.typesafe.config.Config) parameters. mailbox-type = "akka.dispatch.UnboundedMailbox" # If the mailbox is bounded then it uses this setting to determine its # capacity. The provided value must be positive. # NOTICE: # Up to version 2.1 the mailbox type was determined based on this setting; # this is no longer the case, the type must explicitly be a bounded mailbox. mailbox-capacity = 1000 # If the mailbox is bounded then this is the timeout for enqueueing # in case the mailbox is full. Negative values signify infinite # timeout, which should be avoided as it bears the risk of dead-lock. mailbox-push-timeout-time = 10s # For Actor with Stash: The default capacity of the stash. # If negative (or zero) then an unbounded stash is used (default) # If positive then a bounded stash is used and the capacity is set using # the property stash-capacity = -1 } mailbox { # Mapping between message queue semantics and mailbox configurations. # Used by akka.dispatch.RequiresMessageQueue[T] to enforce different # mailbox types on actors. # If your Actor implements RequiresMessageQueue[T], then when you create # an instance of that actor its mailbox type will be decided by looking # up a mailbox configuration via T in this mapping requirements { "akka.dispatch.UnboundedMessageQueueSemantics" = akka.actor.mailbox.unbounded-queue-based "akka.dispatch.BoundedMessageQueueSemantics" = akka.actor.mailbox.bounded-queue-based "akka.dispatch.DequeBasedMessageQueueSemantics" = akka.actor.mailbox.unbounded-deque-based "akka.dispatch.UnboundedDequeBasedMessageQueueSemantics" = akka.actor.mailbox.unbounded-deque-based "akka.dispatch.BoundedDequeBasedMessageQueueSemantics" = akka.actor.mailbox.bounded-deque-based "akka.dispatch.MultipleConsumerSemantics" = akka.actor.mailbox.unbounded-queue-based } unbounded-queue-based { # FQCN of the MailboxType, The Class of the FQCN must have a public # constructor with (akka.actor.ActorSystem.Settings, # com.typesafe.config.Config) parameters. mailbox-type = "akka.dispatch.UnboundedMailbox" } bounded-queue-based { 2.9. Configuration 44 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # FQCN of the MailboxType, The Class of the FQCN must have a public # constructor with (akka.actor.ActorSystem.Settings, # com.typesafe.config.Config) parameters. mailbox-type = "akka.dispatch.BoundedMailbox" } unbounded-deque-based { # FQCN of the MailboxType, The Class of the FQCN must have a public # constructor with (akka.actor.ActorSystem.Settings, # com.typesafe.config.Config) parameters. mailbox-type = "akka.dispatch.UnboundedDequeBasedMailbox" } bounded-deque-based { # FQCN of the MailboxType, The Class of the FQCN must have a public # constructor with (akka.actor.ActorSystem.Settings, # com.typesafe.config.Config) parameters. mailbox-type = "akka.dispatch.BoundedDequeBasedMailbox" } } debug { # enable function of Actor.loggable(), which is to log any received message # at DEBUG level, see the “Testing Actor Systems” section of the Akka # Documentation at http://akka.io/docs receive = off # enable DEBUG logging of all AutoReceiveMessages (Kill, PoisonPill et.c.) autoreceive = off # enable DEBUG logging of actor lifecycle changes lifecycle = off # enable DEBUG logging of all LoggingFSMs for events, transitions and timers fsm = off # enable DEBUG logging of subscription changes on the eventStream event-stream = off # enable DEBUG logging of unhandled messages unhandled = off # enable WARN logging of misconfigured routers router-misconfiguration = off } # Entries for pluggable serializers and their bindings. serializers { java = "akka.serialization.JavaSerializer" bytes = "akka.serialization.ByteArraySerializer" } # Class to Serializer binding. You only need to specify the name of an # interface or abstract base class of the messages. In case of ambiguity it # is using the most specific configured class, or giving a warning and # choosing the “first” one. # # To disable one of the default serializers, assign its class to "none", like # "java.io.Serializable" = none serialization-bindings { "[B" = bytes "java.io.Serializable" = java } 2.9. Configuration 45 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Configuration items which are used by the akka.actor.ActorDSL._ methods dsl { # Maximum queue size of the actor created by newInbox(); this protects # against faulty programs which use select() and consistently miss messages inbox-size = 1000 # Default timeout to assume for operations like Inbox.receive et al default-timeout = 5s } } # Used to set the behavior of the scheduler. # Changing the default values may change the system behavior drastically so make # sure you know what you’re doing! See the Scheduler section of the Akka # Documentation for more details. scheduler { # The LightArrayRevolverScheduler is used as the default scheduler in the # system. It does not execute the scheduled tasks on exact time, but on every # tick, it will run everything that is (over)due. You can increase or decrease # the accuracy of the execution timing by specifying smaller or larger tick # duration. If you are scheduling a lot of tasks you should consider increasing # the ticks per wheel. # Note that it might take up to 1 tick to stop the Timer, so setting the # tick-duration to a high value will make shutting down the actor system # take longer. tick-duration = 10ms # The timer uses a circular wheel of buckets to store the timer tasks. # This should be set such that the majority of scheduled timeouts (for high # scheduling frequency) will be shorter than one rotation of the wheel # (ticks-per-wheel * ticks-duration) # THIS MUST BE A POWER OF TWO! ticks-per-wheel = 512 # This setting selects the timer implementation which shall be loaded at # system start-up. # The class given here must implement the akka.actor.Scheduler interface # and offer a public constructor which takes three arguments: # 1) com.typesafe.config.Config # 2) akka.event.LoggingAdapter # 3) java.util.concurrent.ThreadFactory implementation = akka.actor.LightArrayRevolverScheduler # When shutting down the scheduler, there will typically be a thread which # needs to be stopped, and this timeout determines how long to wait for # that to happen. In case of timeout the shutdown of the actor system will # proceed without running possibly still enqueued tasks. shutdown-timeout = 5s } io { # By default the select loops run on dedicated threads, hence using a # PinnedDispatcher pinned-dispatcher { type = "PinnedDispatcher" executor = "thread-pool-executor" thread-pool-executor.allow-core-pool-timeout = off } tcp { 2.9. Configuration 46 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # The number of selectors to stripe the served channels over; each of # these will use one select loop on the selector-dispatcher. nr-of-selectors = 1 # Maximum number of open channels supported by this TCP module; there is # no intrinsic general limit, this setting is meant to enable DoS # protection by limiting the number of concurrently connected clients. # Also note that this is a "soft" limit; in certain cases the implementation # will accept a few connections more or a few less than the number configured # here. Must be an integer > 0 or "unlimited". max-channels = 256000 # When trying to assign a new connection to a selector and the chosen # selector is at full capacity, retry selector choosing and assignment # this many times before giving up selector-association-retries = 10 # The maximum number of connection that are accepted in one go, # higher numbers decrease latency, lower numbers increase fairness on # the worker-dispatcher batch-accept-limit = 10 # The number of bytes per direct buffer in the pool used to read or write # network data from the kernel. direct-buffer-size = 128 KiB # The maximal number of direct buffers kept in the direct buffer pool for # reuse. direct-buffer-pool-limit = 1000 # The duration a connection actor waits for a ‘Register‘ message from # its commander before aborting the connection. register-timeout = 5s # The maximum number of bytes delivered by a ‘Received‘ message. Before # more data is read from the network the connection actor will try to # do other work. max-received-message-size = unlimited # Enable fine grained logging of what goes on inside the implementation. # Be aware that this may log more than once per message sent to the actors # of the tcp implementation. trace-logging = off # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # to be used for running the select() calls in the selectors selector-dispatcher = "akka.io.pinned-dispatcher" # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # for the read/write worker actors worker-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # for the selector management actors management-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # on which file IO tasks are scheduled file-io-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" # The maximum number of bytes (or "unlimited") to transfer in one batch # when using ‘WriteFile‘ command which uses ‘FileChannel.transferTo‘ to # pipe files to a TCP socket. On some OS like Linux ‘FileChannel.transferTo‘ 2.9. Configuration 47 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # may block for a long time when network IO is faster than file IO. # Decreasing the value may improve fairness while increasing may improve # throughput. file-io-transferTo-limit = 512 KiB # The number of times to retry the ‘finishConnect‘ call after being notified about # OP_CONNECT. Retries are needed if the OP_CONNECT notification doesn’t imply that # ‘finishConnect‘ will succeed, which is the case on Android. finish-connect-retries = 5 } udp { # The number of selectors to stripe the served channels over; each of # these will use one select loop on the selector-dispatcher. nr-of-selectors = 1 # Maximum number of open channels supported by this UDP module Generally # UDP does not require a large number of channels, therefore it is # recommended to keep this setting low. max-channels = 4096 # The select loop can be used in two modes: # - setting "infinite" will select without a timeout, hogging a thread # - setting a positive timeout will do a bounded select call, # enabling sharing of a single thread between multiple selectors # (in this case you will have to use a different configuration for the # selector-dispatcher, e.g. using "type=Dispatcher" with size 1) # - setting it to zero means polling, i.e. calling selectNow() select-timeout = infinite # When trying to assign a new connection to a selector and the chosen # selector is at full capacity, retry selector choosing and assignment # this many times before giving up selector-association-retries = 10 # The maximum number of datagrams that are read in one go, # higher numbers decrease latency, lower numbers increase fairness on # the worker-dispatcher receive-throughput = 3 # The number of bytes per direct buffer in the pool used to read or write # network data from the kernel. direct-buffer-size = 128 KiB # The maximal number of direct buffers kept in the direct buffer pool for # reuse. direct-buffer-pool-limit = 1000 # The maximum number of bytes delivered by a ‘Received‘ message. Before # more data is read from the network the connection actor will try to # do other work. received-message-size-limit = unlimited # Enable fine grained logging of what goes on inside the implementation. # Be aware that this may log more than once per message sent to the actors # of the tcp implementation. trace-logging = off # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # to be used for running the select() calls in the selectors selector-dispatcher = "akka.io.pinned-dispatcher" 2.9. Configuration 48 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # for the read/write worker actors worker-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # for the selector management actors management-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" } udp-connected { # The number of selectors to stripe the served channels over; each of # these will use one select loop on the selector-dispatcher. nr-of-selectors = 1 # Maximum number of open channels supported by this UDP module Generally # UDP does not require a large number of channels, therefore it is # recommended to keep this setting low. max-channels = 4096 # The select loop can be used in two modes: # - setting "infinite" will select without a timeout, hogging a thread # - setting a positive timeout will do a bounded select call, # enabling sharing of a single thread between multiple selectors # (in this case you will have to use a different configuration for the # selector-dispatcher, e.g. using "type=Dispatcher" with size 1) # - setting it to zero means polling, i.e. calling selectNow() select-timeout = infinite # When trying to assign a new connection to a selector and the chosen # selector is at full capacity, retry selector choosing and assignment # this many times before giving up selector-association-retries = 10 # The maximum number of datagrams that are read in one go, # higher numbers decrease latency, lower numbers increase fairness on # the worker-dispatcher receive-throughput = 3 # The number of bytes per direct buffer in the pool used to read or write # network data from the kernel. direct-buffer-size = 128 KiB # The maximal number of direct buffers kept in the direct buffer pool for # reuse. direct-buffer-pool-limit = 1000 # The maximum number of bytes delivered by a ‘Received‘ message. Before # more data is read from the network the connection actor will try to # do other work. received-message-size-limit = unlimited # Enable fine grained logging of what goes on inside the implementation. # Be aware that this may log more than once per message sent to the actors # of the tcp implementation. trace-logging = off # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # to be used for running the select() calls in the selectors selector-dispatcher = "akka.io.pinned-dispatcher" # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # for the read/write worker actors 2.9. Configuration 49 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT worker-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" # Fully qualified config path which holds the dispatcher configuration # for the selector management actors management-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" } } } akka-remote ##################################### # Akka Remote Reference Config File # ##################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. # comments about akka.actor settings left out where they are already in akka- # actor.jar, because otherwise they would be repeated in config rendering. akka { actor { serializers { akka-containers = "akka.remote.serialization.MessageContainerSerializer" proto = "akka.remote.serialization.ProtobufSerializer" daemon-create = "akka.remote.serialization.DaemonMsgCreateSerializer" } serialization-bindings { # Since com.google.protobuf.Message does not extend Serializable but # GeneratedMessage does, need to use the more specific one here in order # to avoid ambiguity "akka.actor.ActorSelectionMessage" = akka-containers "com.google.protobuf.GeneratedMessage" = proto "akka.remote.DaemonMsgCreate" = daemon-create } deployment { default { # if this is set to a valid remote address, the named actor will be # deployed at that node e.g. "akka.tcp://sys@host:port" remote = "" target { # A list of hostnames and ports for instantiating the children of a # router # The format should be on "akka.tcp://sys@host:port", where: # - sys is the remote actor system name # - hostname can be either hostname or IP address the remote actor # should connect to # - port should be the port for the remote server on the other node 2.9. Configuration 50 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # The number of actor instances to be spawned is still taken from the # nr-of-instances setting as for local routers; the instances will be # distributed round-robin among the given nodes. nodes = [] } } } } remote { ### General settings # Timeout after which the startup of the remoting subsystem is considered # to be failed. Increase this value if your transport drivers (see the # enabled-transports section) need longer time to be loaded. startup-timeout = 10 s # Timout after which the graceful shutdown of the remoting subsystem is # considered to be failed. After the timeout the remoting system is # forcefully shut down. Increase this value if your transport drivers # (see the enabled-transports section) need longer time to stop properly. shutdown-timeout = 10 s # Before shutting down the drivers, the remoting subsystem attempts to flush # all pending writes. This setting controls the maximum time the remoting is # willing to wait before moving on to shut down the drivers. flush-wait-on-shutdown = 2 s # Reuse inbound connections for outbound messages use-passive-connections = on # Controls the backoff interval after a refused write is reattempted. # (Transports may refuse writes if their internal buffer is full) backoff-interval = 0.01 s # Acknowledgment timeout of management commands sent to the transport stack. command-ack-timeout = 30 s # If set to a nonempty string remoting will use the given dispatcher for # its internal actors otherwise the default dispatcher is used. Please note # that since remoting can load arbitrary 3rd party drivers (see # "enabled-transport" and "adapters" entries) it is not guaranteed that # every module will respect this setting. use-dispatcher = "akka.remote.default-remote-dispatcher" ### Security settings # Enable untrusted mode for full security of server managed actors, prevents # system messages to be send by clients, e.g. messages like ’Create’, # ’Suspend’, ’Resume’, ’Terminate’, ’Supervise’, ’Link’ etc. untrusted-mode = off # When ’untrusted-mode=on’ inbound actor selections are by default discarded. # Actors with paths defined in this white list are granted permission to receive actor # selections messages. # E.g. trusted-selection-paths = ["/user/receptionist", "/user/namingService"] trusted-selection-paths = [] # Should the remote server require that its peers share the same # secure-cookie (defined in the ’remote’ section)? Secure cookies are passed # between during the initial handshake. Connections are refused if the initial 2.9. Configuration 51 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # message contains a mismatching cookie or the cookie is missing. require-cookie = off # Generate your own with the script availbale in # ’$AKKA_HOME/scripts/generate_config_with_secure_cookie.sh’ or using # ’akka.util.Crypt.generateSecureCookie’ secure-cookie = "" ### Logging # If this is "on", Akka will log all inbound messages at DEBUG level, # if off then they are not logged log-received-messages = off # If this is "on", Akka will log all outbound messages at DEBUG level, # if off then they are not logged log-sent-messages = off # Sets the log granularity level at which Akka logs remoting events. This setting # can take the values OFF, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG, or ON. For compatibility # reasons the setting "on" will default to "debug" level. Please note that the effective # logging level is still determined by the global logging level of the actor system: # for example debug level remoting events will be only logged if the system # is running with debug level logging. # Failures to deserialize received messages also fall under this flag. log-remote-lifecycle-events = on # Logging of message types with payload size in bytes larger than # this value. Maximum detected size per message type is logged once, # with an increase threshold of 10%. # By default this feature is turned off. Activate it by setting the property to # a value in bytes, such as 1000b. Note that for all messages larger than this # limit there will be extra performance and scalability cost. log-frame-size-exceeding = off ### Failure detection and recovery # Settings for the Phi accrual failure detector (http://ddg.jaist.ac.jp/pub/HDY+04.pdf # [Hayashibara et al]) used by the remoting subsystem to detect failed # connections. transport-failure-detector { # FQCN of the failure detector implementation. # It must implement akka.remote.FailureDetector and have # a public constructor with a com.typesafe.config.Config and # akka.actor.EventStream parameter. implementation-class = "akka.remote.PhiAccrualFailureDetector" # How often keep-alive heartbeat messages should be sent to each connection. heartbeat-interval = 4 s # Defines the failure detector threshold. # A low threshold is prone to generate many wrong suspicions but ensures # a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high # threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect # actual crashes. threshold = 7.0 # Number of the samples of inter-heartbeat arrival times to adaptively # calculate the failure timeout for connections. max-sample-size = 100 # Minimum standard deviation to use for the normal distribution in 2.9. Configuration 52 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # AccrualFailureDetector. Too low standard deviation might result in # too much sensitivity for sudden, but normal, deviations in heartbeat # inter arrival times. min-std-deviation = 100 ms # Number of potentially lost/delayed heartbeats that will be # accepted before considering it to be an anomaly. # This margin is important to be able to survive sudden, occasional, # pauses in heartbeat arrivals, due to for example garbage collect or # network drop. acceptable-heartbeat-pause = 10 s } # Settings for the Phi accrual failure detector (http://ddg.jaist.ac.jp/pub/HDY+04.pdf # [Hayashibara et al]) used for remote death watch. watch-failure-detector { # FQCN of the failure detector implementation. # It must implement akka.remote.FailureDetector and have # a public constructor with a com.typesafe.config.Config and # akka.actor.EventStream parameter. implementation-class = "akka.remote.PhiAccrualFailureDetector" # How often keep-alive heartbeat messages should be sent to each connection. heartbeat-interval = 1 s # Defines the failure detector threshold. # A low threshold is prone to generate many wrong suspicions but ensures # a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high # threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect # actual crashes. threshold = 10.0 # Number of the samples of inter-heartbeat arrival times to adaptively # calculate the failure timeout for connections. max-sample-size = 200 # Minimum standard deviation to use for the normal distribution in # AccrualFailureDetector. Too low standard deviation might result in # too much sensitivity for sudden, but normal, deviations in heartbeat # inter arrival times. min-std-deviation = 100 ms # Number of potentially lost/delayed heartbeats that will be # accepted before considering it to be an anomaly. # This margin is important to be able to survive sudden, occasional, # pauses in heartbeat arrivals, due to for example garbage collect or # network drop. acceptable-heartbeat-pause = 10 s # How often to check for nodes marked as unreachable by the failure # detector unreachable-nodes-reaper-interval = 1s # After the heartbeat request has been sent the first failure detection # will start after this period, even though no heartbeat mesage has # been received. expected-response-after = 3 s } # After failed to establish an outbound connection, the remoting will mark the 2.9. Configuration 53 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # address as failed. This configuration option controls how much time should # be elapsed before reattempting a new connection. While the address is # gated, all messages sent to the address are delivered to dead-letters. # Since this setting limits the rate of reconnects setting it to a # very short interval (i.e. less than a second) may result in a storm of # reconnect attempts. retry-gate-closed-for = 5 s # After catastrophic communication failures that result in the loss of system # messages or after the remote DeathWatch triggers the remote system gets # quarantined to prevent inconsistent behavior. # This setting controls how long the Quarantine marker will be kept around # before being removed to avoid long-term memory leaks. # WARNING: DO NOT change this to a small value to re-enable communication with # quarantined nodes. Such feature is not supported and any behavior between # the affected systems after lifting the quarantine is undefined. prune-quarantine-marker-after = 5 d # This setting defines the maximum number of unacknowledged system messages # allowed for a remote system. If this limit is reached the remote system is # declared to be dead and its UID marked as tainted. system-message-buffer-size = 1000 # This setting defines the maximum idle time after an individual # acknowledgement for system messages is sent. System message delivery # is guaranteed by explicit acknowledgement messages. These acks are # piggybacked on ordinary traffic messages. If no traffic is detected # during the time period configured here, the remoting will send out # an individual ack. system-message-ack-piggyback-timeout = 0.3 s # This setting defines the time after internal management signals # between actors (used for DeathWatch and supervision) that have not been # explicitly acknowledged or negatively acknowledged are resent. # Messages that were negatively acknowledged are always immediately # resent. resend-interval = 2 s # WARNING: this setting should not be not changed unless all of its consequences # are properly understood which assumes experience with remoting internals # or expert advice. # This setting defines the time after redelivery attempts of internal management # signals are stopped to a remote system that has been not confirmed to be alive by # this system before. initial-system-message-delivery-timeout = 3 m ### Transports and adapters # List of the transport drivers that will be loaded by the remoting. # A list of fully qualified config paths must be provided where # the given configuration path contains a transport-class key # pointing to an implementation class of the Transport interface. # If multiple transports are provided, the address of the first # one will be used as a default address. enabled-transports = ["akka.remote.netty.tcp"] # Transport drivers can be augmented with adapters by adding their # name to the applied-adapters setting in the configuration of a # transport. The available adapters should be configured in this # section by providing a name, and the fully qualified name of # their corresponding implementation. The class given here # must implement akka.akka.remote.transport.TransportAdapterProvider # and have public constructor without parameters. 2.9. Configuration 54 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT adapters { gremlin = "akka.remote.transport.FailureInjectorProvider" trttl = "akka.remote.transport.ThrottlerProvider" } ### Default configuration for the Netty based transport drivers netty.tcp { # The class given here must implement the akka.remote.transport.Transport # interface and offer a public constructor which takes two arguments: # 1) akka.actor.ExtendedActorSystem # 2) com.typesafe.config.Config transport-class = "akka.remote.transport.netty.NettyTransport" # Transport drivers can be augmented with adapters by adding their # name to the applied-adapters list. The last adapter in the # list is the adapter immediately above the driver, while # the first one is the top of the stack below the standard # Akka protocol applied-adapters = [] transport-protocol = tcp # The default remote server port clients should connect to. # Default is 2552 (AKKA), use 0 if you want a random available port # This port needs to be unique for each actor system on the same machine. port = 2552 # The hostname or ip to bind the remoting to, # InetAddress.getLocalHost.getHostAddress is used if empty hostname = "" # Enables SSL support on this transport enable-ssl = false # Sets the connectTimeoutMillis of all outbound connections, # i.e. how long a connect may take until it is timed out connection-timeout = 15 s # If set to "" then the specified dispatcher # will be used to accept inbound connections, and perform IO. If "" then # dedicated threads will be used. # Please note that the Netty driver only uses this configuration and does # not read the "akka.remote.use-dispatcher" entry. Instead it has to be # configured manually to point to the same dispatcher if needed. use-dispatcher-for-io = "" # Sets the high water mark for the in and outbound sockets, # set to 0b for platform default write-buffer-high-water-mark = 0b # Sets the low water mark for the in and outbound sockets, # set to 0b for platform default write-buffer-low-water-mark = 0b # Sets the send buffer size of the Sockets, # set to 0b for platform default send-buffer-size = 256000b # Sets the receive buffer size of the Sockets, # set to 0b for platform default receive-buffer-size = 256000b 2.9. Configuration 55 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Maximum message size the transport will accept, but at least # 32000 bytes. # Please note that UDP does not support arbitrary large datagrams, # so this setting has to be chosen carefully when using UDP. # Both send-buffer-size and receive-buffer-size settings has to # be adjusted to be able to buffer messages of maximum size. maximum-frame-size = 128000b # Sets the size of the connection backlog backlog = 4096 # Enables the TCP_NODELAY flag, i.e. disables Nagle’s algorithm tcp-nodelay = on # Enables TCP Keepalive, subject to the O/S kernel’s configuration tcp-keepalive = on # Enables SO_REUSEADDR, which determines when an ActorSystem can open # the specified listen port (the meaning differs between *nix and Windows) # Valid values are "on", "off" and "off-for-windows" # due to the following Windows bug: http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4476378 # "off-for-windows" of course means that it’s "on" for all other platforms tcp-reuse-addr = off-for-windows # Used to configure the number of I/O worker threads on server sockets server-socket-worker-pool { # Min number of threads to cap factor-based number to pool-size-min = 2 # The pool size factor is used to determine thread pool size # using the following formula: ceil(available processors * factor). # Resulting size is then bounded by the pool-size-min and # pool-size-max values. pool-size-factor = 1.0 # Max number of threads to cap factor-based number to pool-size-max = 2 } # Used to configure the number of I/O worker threads on client sockets client-socket-worker-pool { # Min number of threads to cap factor-based number to pool-size-min = 2 # The pool size factor is used to determine thread pool size # using the following formula: ceil(available processors * factor). # Resulting size is then bounded by the pool-size-min and # pool-size-max values. pool-size-factor = 1.0 # Max number of threads to cap factor-based number to pool-size-max = 2 } } netty.udp = ${akka.remote.netty.tcp} netty.udp { transport-protocol = udp } netty.ssl = ${akka.remote.netty.tcp} 2.9. Configuration 56 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT netty.ssl = { # Enable SSL/TLS encryption. # This must be enabled on both the client and server to work. enable-ssl = true security { # This is the Java Key Store used by the server connection key-store = "keystore" # This password is used for decrypting the key store key-store-password = "changeme" # This password is used for decrypting the key key-password = "changeme" # This is the Java Key Store used by the client connection trust-store = "truststore" # This password is used for decrypting the trust store trust-store-password = "changeme" # Protocol to use for SSL encryption, choose from: # Java 6 & 7: # ’SSLv3’, ’TLSv1’ # Java 7: # ’TLSv1.1’, ’TLSv1.2’ protocol = "TLSv1" # Example: ["TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA", "TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA"] # You need to install the JCE Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction Policy # Files to use AES 256. # More info here: # http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/security/SunProviders.html#SunJCEProvider enabled-algorithms = ["TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA"] # There are three options, in increasing order of security: # "" or SecureRandom => (default) # "SHA1PRNG" => Can be slow because of blocking issues on Linux # "AES128CounterSecureRNG" => fastest startup and based on AES encryption # algorithm # "AES256CounterSecureRNG" # The following use one of 3 possible seed sources, depending on # availability: /dev/random, random.org and SecureRandom (provided by Java) # "AES128CounterInetRNG" # "AES256CounterInetRNG" (Install JCE Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction # Policy Files first) # Setting a value here may require you to supply the appropriate cipher # suite (see enabled-algorithms section above) random-number-generator = "" } } ### Default configuration for the failure injector transport adapter gremlin { # Enable debug logging of the failure injector transport adapter debug = off } ### Default dispatcher for the remoting subsystem default-remote-dispatcher { type = Dispatcher 2.9. Configuration 57 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT executor = "fork-join-executor" fork-join-executor { # Min number of threads to cap factor-based parallelism number to parallelism-min = 2 parallelism-max = 2 } } } } akka-testkit ###################################### # Akka Testkit Reference Config File # ###################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. akka { test { # factor by which to scale timeouts during tests, e.g. to account for shared # build system load timefactor = 1.0 # duration of EventFilter.intercept waits after the block is finished until # all required messages are received filter-leeway = 3s # duration to wait in expectMsg and friends outside of within() block # by default single-expect-default = 3s # The timeout that is added as an implicit by DefaultTimeout trait default-timeout = 5s calling-thread-dispatcher { type = akka.testkit.CallingThreadDispatcherConfigurator } } } akka-camel #################################### # Akka Camel Reference Config File # #################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. akka { camel { # FQCN of the ContextProvider to be used to create or locate a CamelContext # it must implement akka.camel.ContextProvider and have a no-arg constructor # the built-in default create a fresh DefaultCamelContext context-provider = akka.camel.DefaultContextProvider 2.9. Configuration 58 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Whether JMX should be enabled or disabled for the Camel Context jmx = off # enable/disable streaming cache on the Camel Context streamingCache = on consumer { # Configured setting which determines whether one-way communications # between an endpoint and this consumer actor # should be auto-acknowledged or application-acknowledged. # This flag has only effect when exchange is in-only. auto-ack = on # When endpoint is out-capable (can produce responses) reply-timeout is the # maximum time the endpoint can take to send the response before the message # exchange fails. This setting is used for out-capable, in-only, # manually acknowledged communication. reply-timeout = 1m # The duration of time to await activation of an endpoint. activation-timeout = 10s } #Scheme to FQCN mappings for CamelMessage body conversions conversions { "file" = "java.io.InputStream" } } } akka-cluster ###################################### # Akka Cluster Reference Config File # ###################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. akka { cluster { # Initial contact points of the cluster. # The nodes to join automatically at startup. # Comma separated full URIs defined by a string on the form of # "akka.tcp://system@hostname:port" # Leave as empty if the node is supposed to be joined manually. seed-nodes = [] # how long to wait for one of the seed nodes to reply to initial join request seed-node-timeout = 5s # If a join request fails it will be retried after this period. # Disable join retry by specifying "off". retry-unsuccessful-join-after = 10s # Should the ’leader’ in the cluster be allowed to automatically mark # unreachable nodes as DOWN after a configured time of unreachability? # Using auto-down implies that two separate clusters will automatically be # formed in case of network partition. # Disable with "off" or specify a duration to enable auto-down. auto-down-unreachable-after = off 2.9. Configuration 59 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # deprecated in 2.3, use ’auto-down-unreachable-after’ instead auto-down = off # The roles of this member. List of strings, e.g. roles = ["A", "B"]. # The roles are part of the membership information and can be used by # routers or other services to distribute work to certain member types, # e.g. front-end and back-end nodes. roles = [] role { # Minimum required number of members of a certain role before the leader # changes member status of ’Joining’ members to ’Up’. Typically used together # with ’Cluster.registerOnMemberUp’ to defer some action, such as starting # actors, until the cluster has reached a certain size. # E.g. to require 2 nodes with role ’frontend’ and 3 nodes with role ’backend’: # frontend.min-nr-of-members = 2 # backend.min-nr-of-members = 3 #.min-nr-of-members = 1 } # Minimum required number of members before the leader changes member status # of ’Joining’ members to ’Up’. Typically used together with # ’Cluster.registerOnMemberUp’ to defer some action, such as starting actors, # until the cluster has reached a certain size. min-nr-of-members = 1 # Enable/disable info level logging of cluster events log-info = on # Enable or disable JMX MBeans for management of the cluster jmx.enabled = on # how long should the node wait before starting the periodic tasks # maintenance tasks? periodic-tasks-initial-delay = 1s # how often should the node send out gossip information? gossip-interval = 1s # discard incoming gossip messages if not handled within this duration gossip-time-to-live = 2s # how often should the leader perform maintenance tasks? leader-actions-interval = 1s # how often should the node move nodes, marked as unreachable by the failure # detector, out of the membership ring? unreachable-nodes-reaper-interval = 1s # How often the current internal stats should be published. # A value of 0s can be used to always publish the stats, when it happens. # Disable with "off". publish-stats-interval = off # The id of the dispatcher to use for cluster actors. If not specified # default dispatcher is used. # If specified you need to define the settings of the actual dispatcher. use-dispatcher = "" # Gossip to random node with newer or older state information, if any with # this probability. Otherwise Gossip to any random live node. # Probability value is between 0.0 and 1.0. 0.0 means never, 1.0 means always. gossip-different-view-probability = 0.8 2.9. Configuration 60 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Reduced the above probability when the number of nodes in the cluster # greater than this value. reduce-gossip-different-view-probability = 400 # Settings for the Phi accrual failure detector (http://ddg.jaist.ac.jp/pub/HDY+04.pdf # [Hayashibara et al]) used by the cluster subsystem to detect unreachable # members. failure-detector { # FQCN of the failure detector implementation. # It must implement akka.remote.FailureDetector and have # a public constructor with a com.typesafe.config.Config and # akka.actor.EventStream parameter. implementation-class = "akka.remote.PhiAccrualFailureDetector" # How often keep-alive heartbeat messages should be sent to each connection. heartbeat-interval = 1 s # Defines the failure detector threshold. # A low threshold is prone to generate many wrong suspicions but ensures # a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high # threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect # actual crashes. threshold = 8.0 # Number of the samples of inter-heartbeat arrival times to adaptively # calculate the failure timeout for connections. max-sample-size = 1000 # Minimum standard deviation to use for the normal distribution in # AccrualFailureDetector. Too low standard deviation might result in # too much sensitivity for sudden, but normal, deviations in heartbeat # inter arrival times. min-std-deviation = 100 ms # Number of potentially lost/delayed heartbeats that will be # accepted before considering it to be an anomaly. # This margin is important to be able to survive sudden, occasional, # pauses in heartbeat arrivals, due to for example garbage collect or # network drop. acceptable-heartbeat-pause = 3 s # Number of member nodes that each member will send heartbeat messages to, # i.e. each node will be monitored by this number of other nodes. monitored-by-nr-of-members = 5 # After the heartbeat request has been sent the first failure detection # will start after this period, even though no heartbeat mesage has # been received. expected-response-after = 5 s } metrics { # Enable or disable metrics collector for load-balancing nodes. enabled = on # FQCN of the metrics collector implementation. # It must implement akka.cluster.MetricsCollector and # have public constructor with akka.actor.ActorSystem parameter. # The default SigarMetricsCollector uses JMX and Hyperic SIGAR, if SIGAR # is on the classpath, otherwise only JMX. 2.9. Configuration 61 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT collector-class = "akka.cluster.SigarMetricsCollector" # How often metrics are sampled on a node. # Shorter interval will collect the metrics more often. collect-interval = 3s # How often a node publishes metrics information. gossip-interval = 3s # How quickly the exponential weighting of past data is decayed compared to # new data. Set lower to increase the bias toward newer values. # The relevance of each data sample is halved for every passing half-life # duration, i.e. after 4 times the half-life, a data sample’s relevance is # reduced to 6% of its original relevance. The initial relevance of a data # sample is given by 1 - 0.5 ^ (collect-interval / half-life). # See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_average#Exponential_moving_average moving-average-half-life = 12s } # If the tick-duration of the default scheduler is longer than the # tick-duration configured here a dedicated scheduler will be used for # periodic tasks of the cluster, otherwise the default scheduler is used. # See akka.scheduler settings for more details. scheduler { tick-duration = 33ms ticks-per-wheel = 512 } } # Default configuration for routers actor.deployment.default { # MetricsSelector to use # - available: "mix", "heap", "cpu", "load" # - or: Fully qualified class name of the MetricsSelector class. # The class must extend akka.cluster.routing.MetricsSelector # and have a public constructor with com.typesafe.config.Config # parameter. # - default is "mix" metrics-selector = mix } actor.deployment.default.cluster { # enable cluster aware router that deploys to nodes in the cluster enabled = off # Maximum number of routees that will be deployed on each cluster # member node. # Note that nr-of-instances defines total number of routees, but # number of routees per node will not be exceeded, i.e. if you # define nr-of-instances = 50 and max-nr-of-instances-per-node = 2 # it will deploy 2 routees per new member in the cluster, up to # 25 members. max-nr-of-instances-per-node = 1 # Defines if routees are allowed to be located on the same node as # the head router actor, or only on remote nodes. # Useful for master-worker scenario where all routees are remote. allow-local-routees = on # Deprecated in 2.3, use routees.paths instead routees-path = "" # Use members with specified role, or all members if undefined or empty. 2.9. Configuration 62 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT use-role = "" } # Protobuf serializer for cluster messages actor { serializers { akka-cluster = "akka.cluster.protobuf.ClusterMessageSerializer" } serialization-bindings { "akka.cluster.ClusterMessage" = akka-cluster } router.type-mapping { adaptive-pool = "akka.cluster.routing.AdaptiveLoadBalancingPool" adaptive-group = "akka.cluster.routing.AdaptiveLoadBalancingGroup" } } } akka-agent #################################### # Akka Agent Reference Config File # #################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. akka { agent { # The dispatcher used for agent-send-off actor send-off-dispatcher { executor = thread-pool-executor type = PinnedDispatcher } # The dispatcher used for agent-alter-off actor alter-off-dispatcher { executor = thread-pool-executor type = PinnedDispatcher } } } akka-persistence ########################################## # Akka Persistence Reference Config File # ########################################## akka { # Protobuf serialization for persistent messages actor { 2.9. Configuration 63 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT serializers { akka-persistence-snapshot = "akka.persistence.serialization.SnapshotSerializer" akka-persistence-message = "akka.persistence.serialization.MessageSerializer" } serialization-bindings { "akka.persistence.serialization.Snapshot" = akka-persistence-snapshot "akka.persistence.serialization.Message" = akka-persistence-message } } persistence { journal { # Maximum size of a persistent message batch written to the journal. # Only applies to internally created batches by processors that receive # persistent messages individually. Application-defined batches, even if # larger than this setting, are always written as a single isolated batch. max-message-batch-size = 200 # Maximum size of a confirmation batch written to the journal. max-confirmation-batch-size = 10000 # Maximum size of a deletion batch written to the journal. max-deletion-batch-size = 10000 # Path to the journal plugin to be used plugin = "akka.persistence.journal.leveldb" # In-memory journal plugin. inmem { # Class name of the plugin. class = "akka.persistence.journal.inmem.InmemJournal" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" } # LevelDB journal plugin. leveldb { # Class name of the plugin. class = "akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.LeveldbJournal" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher = "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher" # Dispatcher for message replay. replay-dispatcher = "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-replay-dispatcher" # Storage location of LevelDB files. dir = "journal" # Use fsync on write fsync = on # Verify checksum on read. checksum = off 2.9. Configuration 64 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Native LevelDB (via JNI) or LevelDB Java port native = on } # Shared LevelDB journal plugin (for testing only). leveldb-shared { # Class name of the plugin. class = "akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.SharedLeveldbJournal" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher = "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" store { # Dispatcher for shared store actor. store-dispatcher = "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher" # Dispatcher for message replay. replay-dispatcher = "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher" # Storage location of LevelDB files. dir = "journal" # Use fsync on write fsync = on # Verify checksum on read. checksum = off # Native LevelDB (via JNI) or LevelDB Java port native = on } } } snapshot-store { # Path to the snapshot store plugin to be used plugin = "akka.persistence.snapshot-store.local" # Local filesystem snapshot store plugin. local { # Class name of the plugin. class = "akka.persistence.snapshot.local.LocalSnapshotStore" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher = "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher" # Dispatcher for streaming snapshot IO. stream-dispatcher = "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-stream-dispatcher" # Storage location of snapshot files. dir = "snapshots" } } view { # Automated incremental view update. auto-update = on 2.9. Configuration 65 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Interval between incremental updates auto-update-interval = 5s # Maximum number of messages to replay per incremental view update. Set to # -1 for no upper limit. auto-update-replay-max = -1 } dispatchers { default-plugin-dispatcher { type = PinnedDispatcher executor = "thread-pool-executor" } default-replay-dispatcher { type = Dispatcher executor = "fork-join-executor" fork-join-executor { parallelism-min = 2 parallelism-max = 8 } } default-stream-dispatcher { type = Dispatcher executor = "fork-join-executor" fork-join-executor { parallelism-min = 2 parallelism-max = 8 } } } } } akka-zeromq ##################################### # Akka ZeroMQ Reference Config File # ##################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. akka { zeromq { # The default timeout for a poll on the actual zeromq socket. poll-timeout = 100ms # Timeout for creating a new socket new-socket-timeout = 5s socket-dispatcher { # A zeromq socket needs to be pinned to the thread that created it. # Changing this value results in weird errors and race conditions within # zeromq executor = thread-pool-executor type = "PinnedDispatcher" thread-pool-executor.allow-core-timeout = off } } 2.9. Configuration 66 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } 2.9. Configuration 67 CHAPTER THREE ACTORS 3.1 Actors The Actor Model provides a higher level of abstraction for writing concurrent and distributed systems. It alleviates the developer from having to deal with explicit locking and thread management, making it easier to write correct concurrent and parallel systems. Actors were defined in the 1973 paper by Carl Hewitt but have been popularized by the Erlang language, and used for example at Ericsson with great success to build highly concurrent and reliable telecom systems. The API of Akka’s Actors is similar to Scala Actors which has borrowed some of its syntax from Erlang. 3.1.1 Creating Actors Note: Since Akka enforces parental supervision every actor is supervised and (potentially) the supervisor of its children, it is advisable that you familiarize yourself with Actor Systems and Supervision and Monitoring and it may also help to read Actor References, Paths and Addresses. Defining an Actor class Actors in Java are implemented by extending the UntypedActor class and implementing the onReceive method. This method takes the message as a parameter. Here is an example: import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; public class MyUntypedActor extends UntypedActor{ LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof String){ log.info("Received String message: {}", message); getSender().tell(message, getSelf()); } else unhandled(message); } } 68 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Props Props is a configuration class to specify options for the creation of actors, think of it as an immutable and thus freely shareable recipe for creating an actor including associated deployment information (e.g. which dispatcher to use, see more below). Here are some examples of how to create a Props instance. import akka.actor.Props; import akka.japi.Creator; static class MyActorC implements Creator{ @Override public MyActor create(){ return new MyActor("..."); } } Props props1= Props.create(MyUntypedActor.class); Props props2= Props.create(MyActor.class, "..."); Props props3= Props.create(new MyActorC()); The second line shows how to pass constructor arguments to the Actor being created. The presence of a matching constructor is verified during construction of the Props object, resulting in an IllegalArgumentEception if no or multiple matching constructors are found. The third line demonstrates the use of a Creator. The creator class must be static, which is verified during Props construction. The type parameter’s upper bound is used to determine the produced actor class, falling back to Actor if fully erased. An example of a parametric factory could be: static class ParametricCreator implements Creator{ @Override public T create(){ // ... fabricate actor here } } Note: In order for mailbox requirements—like using a deque-based mailbox for actors using the stash—to be picked up, the actor type needs to be known before creating it, which is what the Creator type argument allows. Therefore make sure to use the specific type for your actors wherever possible. Recommended Practices It is a good idea to provide static factory methods on the UntypedActor which help keeping the creation of suitable Props as close to the actor definition as possible. This also allows usage of the Creator-based methods which statically verify that the used constructor actually exists instead relying only on a runtime check. public class DemoActor extends UntypedActor{ /** * Create Props for an actor of this type. *@param magicNumber The magic number to be passed to this actor’s constructor. *@return a Props for creating this actor, which can then be further configured *(e.g. calling ‘.withDispatcher()‘ on it) */ public static Props props(final int magicNumber){ return Props.create(new Creator(){ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; @Override public DemoActor create() throws Exception{ return new DemoActor(magicNumber); } }); 3.1. Actors 69 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } final int magicNumber; public DemoActor(int magicNumber){ this.magicNumber= magicNumber; } @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ // some behavior here } } system.actorOf(DemoActor.props(42), "demo"); Creating Actors with Props Actors are created by passing a Props instance into the actorOf factory method which is available on ActorSystem and ActorContext. import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; // ActorSystem is a heavy object: create only one per application final ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("MySystem"); final ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyUntypedActor.class), "myactor"); Using the ActorSystem will create top-level actors, supervised by the actor system’s provided guardian actor, while using an actor’s context will create a child actor. classA extends UntypedActor{ final ActorRef child= getContext().actorOf(Props.create(MyUntypedActor.class), "myChild"); // plus some behavior ... } It is recommended to create a hierarchy of children, grand-children and so on such that it fits the logical failure- handling structure of the application, see Actor Systems. The call to actorOf returns an instance of ActorRef. This is a handle to the actor instance and the only way to interact with it. The ActorRef is immutable and has a one to one relationship with the Actor it represents. The ActorRef is also serializable and network-aware. This means that you can serialize it, send it over the wire and use it on a remote host and it will still be representing the same Actor on the original node, across the network. The name parameter is optional, but you should preferably name your actors, since that is used in log messages and for identifying actors. The name must not be empty or start with $, but it may contain URL encoded char- acters (eg. %20 for a blank space). If the given name is already in use by another child to the same parent an InvalidActorNameException is thrown. Actors are automatically started asynchronously when created. Dependency Injection If your UntypedActor has a constructor that takes parameters then those need to be part of the Props as well, as described above. But there are cases when a factory method must be used, for example when the actual constructor arguments are determined by a dependency injection framework. 3.1. Actors 70 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.actor.Actor; import akka.actor.IndirectActorProducer; class DependencyInjector implements IndirectActorProducer{ final Object applicationContext; final String beanName; public DependencyInjector(Object applicationContext, String beanName){ this.applicationContext= applicationContext; this.beanName= beanName; } @Override public Class actorClass(){ return MyActor.class; } @Override public MyActor produce(){ MyActor result; // obtain fresh Actor instance from DI framework ... return result; } } final ActorRef myActor= getContext().actorOf( Props.create(DependencyInjector.class, applicationContext, "MyActor"), "myactor3"); Warning: You might be tempted at times to offer an IndirectActorProducer which always returns the same instance, e.g. by using a static field. This is not supported, as it goes against the meaning of an actor restart, which is described here: What Restarting Means. When using a dependency injection framework, actor beans MUST NOT have singleton scope. Techniques for dependency injection and integration with dependency injection frameworks are described in more depth in the Using Akka with Dependency Injection guideline and the Akka Java Spring tutorial in Typesafe Activator. The Inbox When writing code outside of actors which shall communicate with actors, the ask pattern can be a solution (see below), but there are two thing it cannot do: receiving multiple replies (e.g. by subscribing an ActorRef to a notification service) and watching other actors’ lifecycle. For these purposes there is the Inbox class: final Inbox inbox= Inbox.create(system); inbox.send(target, "hello"); assert inbox.receive(Duration.create(1, TimeUnit.SECONDS)).equals("world"); The send method wraps a normal tell and supplies the internal actor’s reference as the sender. This allows the reply to be received on the last line. Watching an actor is quite simple as well: final Inbox inbox= Inbox.create(system); inbox.watch(target); target.tell(PoisonPill.getInstance(), ActorRef.noSender()); assert inbox.receive(Duration.create(1, TimeUnit.SECONDS)) instanceof Terminated; 3.1. Actors 71 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.1.2 UntypedActor API The UntypedActor class defines only one abstract method, the above mentioned onReceive(Object message), which implements the behavior of the actor. If the current actor behavior does not match a received message, it’s recommended that you call the unhandled method, which by default publishes a new akka.actor.UnhandledMessage(message, sender, recipient) on the actor system’s event stream (set configuration item akka.actor.debug.unhandled to on to have them converted into actual Debug messages). In addition, it offers: • getSelf reference to the ActorRef of the actor • getSender reference sender Actor of the last received message, typically used as described in Reply to messages • supervisorStrategy user overridable definition the strategy to use for supervising child actors This strategy is typically declared inside the actor in order to have access to the actor’s internal state within the decider function: since failure is communicated as a message sent to the supervisor and processed like other messages (albeit outside of the normal behavior), all values and variables within the actor are available, as is the getSender() reference (which will be the immediate child reporting the failure; if the original failure occurred within a distant descendant it is still reported one level up at a time). • getContext exposes contextual information for the actor and the current message, such as: – factory methods to create child actors (actorOf) – system that the actor belongs to – parent supervisor – supervised children – lifecycle monitoring – hotswap behavior stack as described in HotSwap The remaining visible methods are user-overridable life-cycle hooks which are described in the following: public void preStart(){ } public void preRestart(Throwable reason, scala.Option message){ for(ActorRef each: getContext().getChildren()){ getContext().unwatch(each); getContext().stop(each); } postStop(); } public void postRestart(Throwable reason){ preStart(); } public void postStop(){ } The implementations shown above are the defaults provided by the UntypedActor class. 3.1. Actors 72 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Actor Lifecycle A path in an actor system represents a “place” which might be occupied by a living actor. Initially (apart from system initialized actors) a path is empty. When actorOf() is called it assigns an incarnation of the actor described by the passed Props to the given path. An actor incarnation is identified by the path and a UID.A restart only swaps the Actor instance defined by the Props but the incarnation and hence the UID remains the same. The lifecycle of an incarnation ends when the actor is stopped. At that point the appropriate lifecycle events are called and watching actors are notified of the termination. After the incarnation is stopped, the path can be reused again by creating an actor with actorOf(). In this case the name of the new incarnation will be the same as the previous one but the UIDs will differ. An ActorRef always represents an incarnation (path and UID) not just a given path. Therefore if an actor is stopped and a new one with the same name is created an ActorRef of the old incarnation will not point to the new one. ActorSelection on the other hand points to the path (or multiple paths if wildcards are used) and is completely oblivious to which incarnation is currently occupying it. ActorSelection cannot be watched for this reason. It is possible to resolve the current incarnation’s ActorRef living under the path by sending an Identify message to the ActorSelection which will be replied to with an ActorIdentity containing the correct reference (see Identifying Actors via Actor Selection). This can also be done with the resolveOne method of the ActorSelection, which returns a Future of the matching ActorRef. Lifecycle Monitoring aka DeathWatch In order to be notified when another actor terminates (i.e. stops permanently, not temporary failure and restart), an actor may register itself for reception of the Terminated message dispatched by the other actor upon termination (see Stopping Actors). This service is provided by the DeathWatch component of the actor system. 3.1. Actors 73 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Registering a monitor is easy (see fourth line, the rest is for demonstrating the whole functionality): import akka.actor.Terminated; public class WatchActor extends UntypedActor{ final ActorRef child= this.getContext().actorOf(Props.empty(), "child"); { this.getContext().watch(child); // <-- the only call needed for registration } ActorRef lastSender= getContext().system().deadLetters(); @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message.equals("kill")){ getContext().stop(child); lastSender= getSender(); } else if(message instanceof Terminated){ final Terminatedt=(Terminated) message; if(t.getActor() == child){ lastSender.tell("finished", getSelf()); } } else{ unhandled(message); } } } It should be noted that the Terminated message is generated independent of the order in which registration and termination occur. In particular, the watching actor will receive a Terminated message even if the watched actor has already been terminated at the time of registration. Registering multiple times does not necessarily lead to multiple messages being generated, but there is no guaran- tee that only exactly one such message is received: if termination of the watched actor has generated and queued the message, and another registration is done before this message has been processed, then a second message will be queued, because registering for monitoring of an already terminated actor leads to the immediate generation of the Terminated message. It is also possible to deregister from watching another actor’s liveliness using getContext().unwatch(target). This works even if the Terminated message has already been enqueued in the mailbox; after calling unwatch no Terminated message for that actor will be processed anymore. Start Hook Right after starting the actor, its preStart method is invoked. @Override public void preStart(){ child= getContext().actorOf(Props.empty()); } This method is called when the actor is first created. During restarts it is called by the default implementation of postRestart, which means that by overriding that method you can choose whether the initialization code in this method is called only exactly once for this actor or for every restart. Initialization code which is part of the actor’s constructor will always be called when an instance of the actor class is created, which happens at every restart. Restart Hooks All actors are supervised, i.e. linked to another actor with a fault handling strategy. Actors may be restarted in case an exception is thrown while processing a message (see Supervision and Monitoring). This restart involves 3.1. Actors 74 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT the hooks mentioned above: 1. The old actor is informed by calling preRestart with the exception which caused the restart and the message which triggered that exception; the latter may be None if the restart was not caused by processing a message, e.g. when a supervisor does not trap the exception and is restarted in turn by its supervisor, or if an actor is restarted due to a sibling’s failure. If the message is available, then that message’s sender is also accessible in the usual way (i.e. by calling getSender()). This method is the best place for cleaning up, preparing hand-over to the fresh actor instance, etc. By default it stops all children and calls postStop. 2. The initial factory from the actorOf call is used to produce the fresh instance. 3. The new actor’s postRestart method is invoked with the exception which caused the restart. By default the preStart is called, just as in the normal start-up case. An actor restart replaces only the actual actor object; the contents of the mailbox is unaffected by the restart, so processing of messages will resume after the postRestart hook returns. The message that triggered the exception will not be received again. Any message sent to an actor while it is being restarted will be queued to its mailbox as usual. Warning: Be aware that the ordering of failure notifications relative to user messages is not deterministic. In particular, a parent might restart its child before it has processed the last messages sent by the child before the failure. See Discussion: Message Ordering for details. Stop Hook After stopping an actor, its postStop hook is called, which may be used e.g. for deregistering this actor from other services. This hook is guaranteed to run after message queuing has been disabled for this actor, i.e. messages sent to a stopped actor will be redirected to the deadLetters of the ActorSystem. 3.1.3 Identifying Actors via Actor Selection As described in Actor References, Paths and Addresses, each actor has a unique logical path, which is obtained by following the chain of actors from child to parent until reaching the root of the actor system, and it has a physical path, which may differ if the supervision chain includes any remote supervisors. These paths are used by the system to look up actors, e.g. when a remote message is received and the recipient is searched, but they are also useful more directly: actors may look up other actors by specifying absolute or relative paths—logical or physical—and receive back an ActorSelection with the result: // will look up this absolute path getContext().actorSelection("/user/serviceA/actor"); // will look up sibling beneath same supervisor getContext().actorSelection("../joe"); The supplied path is parsed as a java.net.URI, which basically means that it is split on / into path elements. If the path starts with /, it is absolute and the look-up starts at the root guardian (which is the parent of "/user"); otherwise it starts at the current actor. If a path element equals .., the look-up will take a step “up” towards the supervisor of the currently traversed actor, otherwise it will step “down” to the named child. It should be noted that the .. in actor paths here always means the logical structure, i.e. the supervisor. The path elements of an actor selection may contain wildcard patterns allowing for broadcasting of messages to that section: // will look all children to serviceB with names starting with worker getContext().actorSelection("/user/serviceB/worker*"); // will look up all siblings beneath same supervisor getContext().actorSelection("../*"); Messages can be sent via the ActorSelection and the path of the ActorSelection is looked up when delivering each message. If the selection does not match any actors the message will be dropped. 3.1. Actors 75 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT To acquire an ActorRef for an ActorSelection you need to send a message to the selection and use the getSender reference of the reply from the actor. There is a built-in Identify message that all Actors will understand and automatically reply to with a ActorIdentity message containing the ActorRef. This mes- sage is handled specially by the actors which are traversed in the sense that if a concrete name lookup fails (i.e. a non-wildcard path element does not correspond to a live actor) then a negative result is generated. Please note that this does not mean that delivery of that reply is guaranteed, it still is a normal message. import akka.actor.ActorIdentity; import akka.actor.ActorSelection; import akka.actor.Identify; public class Follower extends UntypedActor{ final String identifyId= "1"; { ActorSelection selection= getContext().actorSelection("/user/another"); selection.tell(new Identify(identifyId), getSelf()); } ActorRef another; final ActorRef probe; public Follower(ActorRef probe){ this.probe= probe; } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof ActorIdentity){ ActorIdentity identity=(ActorIdentity) message; if(identity.correlationId().equals(identifyId)){ ActorRef ref= identity.getRef(); if(ref == null) getContext().stop(getSelf()); else{ another= ref; getContext().watch(another); probe.tell(ref, getSelf()); } } } else if(message instanceof Terminated){ final Terminatedt=(Terminated) message; if(t.getActor().equals(another)){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } } else{ unhandled(message); } } } You can also acquire an ActorRef for an ActorSelection with the resolveOne method of the ActorSelection. It returns a Future of the matching ActorRef if such an actor exists. It is completed with failure [[akka.actor.ActorNotFound]] if no such actor exists or the identification didn’t complete within the supplied timeout. Remote actor addresses may also be looked up, if remoting is enabled: getContext().actorSelection("akka.tcp://app@otherhost:1234/user/serviceB"); An example demonstrating remote actor look-up is given in Remoting Sample. Note: actorFor is deprecated in favor of actorSelection because actor references acquired with actorFor behave differently for local and remote actors. In the case of a local actor reference, the named 3.1. Actors 76 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT actor needs to exist before the lookup, or else the acquired reference will be an EmptyLocalActorRef. This will be true even if an actor with that exact path is created after acquiring the actor reference. For remote actor references acquired with actorFor the behaviour is different and sending messages to such a reference will under the hood look up the actor by path on the remote system for every message send. 3.1.4 Messages and immutability IMPORTANT: Messages can be any kind of object but have to be immutable. Akka can’t enforce immutability (yet) so this has to be by convention. Here is an example of an immutable message: public class ImmutableMessage{ private final int sequenceNumber; private final List values; public ImmutableMessage(int sequenceNumber, List values){ this.sequenceNumber= sequenceNumber; this.values= Collections.unmodifiableList(new ArrayList(values)); } public int getSequenceNumber(){ return sequenceNumber; } public List getValues(){ return values; } } 3.1.5 Send messages Messages are sent to an Actor through one of the following methods. • tell means “fire-and-forget”, e.g. send a message asynchronously and return immediately. • ask sends a message asynchronously and returns a Future representing a possible reply. Message ordering is guaranteed on a per-sender basis. Note: There are performance implications of using ask since something needs to keep track of when it times out, there needs to be something that bridges a Promise into an ActorRef and it also needs to be reachable through remoting. So always prefer tell for performance, and only ask if you must. In all these methods you have the option of passing along your own ActorRef. Make it a practice of doing so because it will allow the receiver actors to be able to respond to your message, since the sender reference is sent along with the message. Tell: Fire-forget This is the preferred way of sending messages. No blocking waiting for a message. This gives the best concurrency and scalability characteristics. // don’t forget to think about who is the sender (2nd argument) target.tell(message, getSelf()); The sender reference is passed along with the message and available within the receiving actor via its getSender method while processing this message. Inside of an actor it is usually getSelf who shall be the sender, but there 3.1. Actors 77 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT can be cases where replies shall be routed to some other actor—e.g. the parent—in which the second argument to tell would be a different one. Outside of an actor and if no reply is needed the second argument can be null; if a reply is needed outside of an actor you can use the ask-pattern described next.. Ask: Send-And-Receive-Future The ask pattern involves actors as well as futures, hence it is offered as a use pattern rather than a method on ActorRef: import static akka.pattern.Patterns.ask; import static akka.pattern.Patterns.pipe; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.dispatch.Futures; import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import akka.util.Timeout; final Timeoutt= new Timeout(Duration.create(5, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); final ArrayList> futures= new ArrayList>(); futures.add(ask(actorA, "request", 1000)); // using 1000ms timeout futures.add(ask(actorB, "another request",t)); // using timeout from // above final Future> aggregate= Futures.sequence(futures, system.dispatcher()); final Future transformed= aggregate.map( new Mapper, Result>(){ public Result apply(Iterable coll){ final Iterator it= coll.iterator(); final Stringx=(String) it.next(); final Strings=(String) it.next(); return new Result(x,s); } }, system.dispatcher()); pipe(transformed, system.dispatcher()).to(actorC); This example demonstrates ask together with the pipe pattern on futures, because this is likely to be a common combination. Please note that all of the above is completely non-blocking and asynchronous: ask produces a Future, two of which are composed into a new future using the Futures.sequence and map methods and then pipe installs an onComplete-handler on the future to effect the submission of the aggregated Result to another actor. Using ask will send a message to the receiving Actor as with tell, and the receiving actor must reply with getSender().tell(reply, getSelf()) in order to complete the returned Future with a value. The ask operation involves creating an internal actor for handling this reply, which needs to have a timeout after which it is destroyed in order not to leak resources; see more below. Warning: To complete the future with an exception you need send a Failure message to the sender. This is not done automatically when an actor throws an exception while processing a message. try{ String result= operation(); getSender().tell(result, getSelf()); } catch(Exceptione){ getSender().tell(new akka.actor.Status.Failure(e), getSelf()); throwe; } 3.1. Actors 78 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT If the actor does not complete the future, it will expire after the timeout period, specified as parameter to the ask method; this will complete the Future with an AskTimeoutException. See Futures for more information on how to await or query a future. The onComplete, onSuccess, or onFailure methods of the Future can be used to register a callback to get a notification when the Future completes. Gives you a way to avoid blocking. Warning: When using future callbacks, inside actors you need to carefully avoid closing over the containing actor’s reference, i.e. do not call methods or access mutable state on the enclosing actor from within the call- back. This would break the actor encapsulation and may introduce synchronization bugs and race conditions because the callback will be scheduled concurrently to the enclosing actor. Unfortunately there is not yet a way to detect these illegal accesses at compile time. See also: Actors and shared mutable state Forward message You can forward a message from one actor to another. This means that the original sender address/reference is maintained even though the message is going through a ‘mediator’. This can be useful when writing actors that work as routers, load-balancers, replicators etc. You need to pass along your context variable as well. target.forward(result, getContext()); 3.1.6 Receive messages When an actor receives a message it is passed into the onReceive method, this is an abstract method on the UntypedActor base class that needs to be defined. Here is an example: import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; public class MyUntypedActor extends UntypedActor{ LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof String){ log.info("Received String message: {}", message); getSender().tell(message, getSelf()); } else unhandled(message); } } An alternative to using if-instanceof checks is to use Apache Commons MethodUtils to invoke a named method whose parameter type matches the message type. 3.1.7 Reply to messages If you want to have a handle for replying to a message, you can use getSender(), which gives you an ActorRef. You can reply by sending to that ActorRef with getSender().tell(replyMsg, getSelf()). You can also store the ActorRef for replying later, or passing on to other actors. If there is no sender (a message was sent without an actor or future context) then the sender defaults to a ‘dead-letter’ actor ref. @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ Object result= // calculate result ... 3.1. Actors 79 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT // do not forget the second argument! getSender().tell(result, getSelf()); } 3.1.8 Receive timeout The UntypedActorContext setReceiveTimeout defines the inactivity timeout after which the sending of a ReceiveTimeout message is triggered. When specified, the receive function should be able to handle an akka.actor.ReceiveTimeout message. 1 millisecond is the minimum supported timeout. Please note that the receive timeout might fire and enqueue the ReceiveTimeout message right after another mes- sage was enqueued; hence it is not guaranteed that upon reception of the receive timeout there must have been an idle period beforehand as configured via this method. Once set, the receive timeout stays in effect (i.e. continues firing repeatedly after inactivity periods). Pass in Duration.Undefined to switch off this feature. import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ReceiveTimeout; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; public class MyReceiveTimeoutUntypedActor extends UntypedActor{ public MyReceiveTimeoutUntypedActor(){ // To set an initial delay getContext().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create("30 seconds")); } public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message.equals("Hello")){ // To set in a response to a message getContext().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create("1 second")); } else if(message instanceof ReceiveTimeout){ // To turn it off getContext().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.Undefined()); } else{ unhandled(message); } } } 3.1.9 Stopping actors Actors are stopped by invoking the stop method of a ActorRefFactory, i.e. ActorContext or ActorSystem. Typically the context is used for stopping child actors and the system for stopping top level actors. The actual termination of the actor is performed asynchronously, i.e. stop may return before the actor is stopped. Processing of the current message, if any, will continue before the actor is stopped, but additional messages in the mailbox will not be processed. By default these messages are sent to the deadLetters of the ActorSystem, but that depends on the mailbox implementation. Termination of an actor proceeds in two steps: first the actor suspends its mailbox processing and sends a stop command to all its children, then it keeps processing the internal termination notifications from its children until the last one is gone, finally terminating itself (invoking postStop, dumping mailbox, publishing Terminated on the DeathWatch, telling its supervisor). This procedure ensures that actor system sub-trees terminate in an orderly fashion, propagating the stop command to the leaves and collecting their confirmation back to the stopped supervisor. If one of the actors does not respond (i.e. processing a message for extended periods of time and therefore not receiving the stop command), this whole process will be stuck. 3.1. Actors 80 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Upon ActorSystem.shutdown, the system guardian actors will be stopped, and the aforementioned process will ensure proper termination of the whole system. The postStop hook is invoked after an actor is fully stopped. This enables cleaning up of resources: @Override public void postStop(){ // clean up resources here ... } Note: Since stopping an actor is asynchronous, you cannot immediately reuse the name of the child you just stopped; this will result in an InvalidActorNameException. Instead, watch the terminating actor and create its replacement in response to the Terminated message which will eventually arrive. PoisonPill You can also send an actor the akka.actor.PoisonPill message, which will stop the actor when the mes- sage is processed. PoisonPill is enqueued as ordinary messages and will be handled after messages that were already queued in the mailbox. Use it like this: myActor.tell(akka.actor.PoisonPill.getInstance(), sender); Graceful Stop gracefulStop is useful if you need to wait for termination or compose ordered termination of several actors: import static akka.pattern.Patterns.gracefulStop; import scala.concurrent.Await; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.pattern.AskTimeoutException; try{ Future stopped= gracefulStop(actorRef, Duration.create(5, TimeUnit.SECONDS), Manager.SHUTDOWN); Await.result(stopped, Duration.create(6, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); // the actor has been stopped } catch(AskTimeoutExceptione){ // the actor wasn’t stopped within 5 seconds } public class Manager extends UntypedActor{ public static final String SHUTDOWN= "shutdown"; ActorRef worker= getContext().watch(getContext().actorOf( Props.create(Cruncher.class), "worker")); public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message.equals("job")){ worker.tell("crunch", getSelf()); } else if(message.equals(SHUTDOWN)){ worker.tell(PoisonPill.getInstance(), getSelf()); getContext().become(shuttingDown); } } Procedure shuttingDown= new Procedure(){ 3.1. Actors 81 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT @Override public void apply(Object message){ if(message.equals("job")){ getSender().tell("service unavailable, shutting down", getSelf()); } else if(message instanceof Terminated){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } } }; } When gracefulStop() returns successfully, the actor’s postStop() hook will have been executed: there exists a happens-before edge between the end of postStop() and the return of gracefulStop(). In the above example a custom Manager.SHUTDOWN message is sent to the target actor to initiate the process of stopping the actor. You can use PoisonPill for this, but then you have limited possibilities to perform interactions with other actors before stopping the target actor. Simple cleanup tasks can be handled in postStop. Warning: Keep in mind that an actor stopping and its name being deregistered are separate events which happen asynchronously from each other. Therefore it may be that you will find the name still in use after gracefulStop() returned. In order to guarantee proper deregistration, only reuse names from within a supervisor you control and only in response to a Terminated message, i.e. not for top-level actors. 3.1.10 HotSwap Upgrade Akka supports hotswapping the Actor’s message loop (e.g. its implementation) at runtime. Use the getContext().become method from within the Actor. The hotswapped code is kept in a Stack which can be pushed (replacing or adding at the top) and popped. Warning: Please note that the actor will revert to its original behavior when restarted by its Supervisor. To hotswap the Actor using getContext().become: import akka.japi.Procedure; public class HotSwapActor extends UntypedActor{ Procedure angry= new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object message){ if(message.equals("bar")){ getSender().tell("I am already angry?", getSelf()); } else if(message.equals("foo")){ getContext().become(happy); } } }; Procedure happy= new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object message){ if(message.equals("bar")){ getSender().tell("I am already happy :-)", getSelf()); } else if(message.equals("foo")){ getContext().become(angry); } } 3.1. Actors 82 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT }; public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message.equals("bar")){ getContext().become(angry); } else if(message.equals("foo")){ getContext().become(happy); } else{ unhandled(message); } } } This variant of the become method is useful for many different things, such as to implement a Finite State Machine (FSM). It will replace the current behavior (i.e. the top of the behavior stack), which means that you do not use unbecome, instead always the next behavior is explicitly installed. The other way of using become does not replace but add to the top of the behavior stack. In this case care must be taken to ensure that the number of “pop” operations (i.e. unbecome) matches the number of “push” ones in the long run, otherwise this amounts to a memory leak (which is why this behavior is not the default). public class UntypedActorSwapper{ public static class Swap{ public static Swap SWAP= new Swap(); private Swap(){ } } public static class Swapper extends UntypedActor{ LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message == SWAP){ log.info("Hi"); getContext().become(new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object message){ log.info("Ho"); getContext().unbecome(); // resets the latest ’become’ } }, false); // this signals stacking of the new behavior } else{ unhandled(message); } } } public static void main(String... args){ ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("MySystem"); ActorRef swap= system.actorOf(Props.create(Swapper.class)); swap.tell(SWAP, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swap.tell(SWAP, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho swap.tell(SWAP, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swap.tell(SWAP, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho swap.tell(SWAP, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swap.tell(SWAP, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho } } 3.1. Actors 83 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.1.11 Stash The UntypedActorWithStash class enables an actor to temporarily stash away messages that can not or should not be handled using the actor’s current behavior. Upon changing the actor’s message handler, i.e., right before invoking getContext().become() or getContext().unbecome(), all stashed messages can be “unstashed”, thereby prepending them to the actor’s mailbox. This way, the stashed messages can be processed in the same order as they have been received originally. An actor that extends UntypedActorWithStash will automatically get a deque-based mailbox. Note: The abstract class UntypedActorWithStash implements the marker interface RequiresMessageQueue which requests the system to automatically choose a deque based mailbox implementation for the actor. If you want more control over the mailbox, see the documentation on mailboxes: Mailboxes. Here is an example of the UntypedActorWithStash class in action: import akka.actor.UntypedActorWithStash; public class ActorWithProtocol extends UntypedActorWithStash{ public void onReceive(Object msg){ if(msg.equals("open")){ unstashAll(); getContext().become(new Procedure(){ public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg.equals("write")){ // do writing... } else if(msg.equals("close")){ unstashAll(); getContext().unbecome(); } else{ stash(); } } }, false); // add behavior on top instead of replacing } else{ stash(); } } } Invoking stash() adds the current message (the message that the actor received last) to the actor’s stash. It is typically invoked when handling the default case in the actor’s message handler to stash messages that aren’t handled by the other cases. It is illegal to stash the same message twice; to do so results in an IllegalStateException being thrown. The stash may also be bounded in which case invoking stash() may lead to a capacity violation, which results in a StashOverflowException. The capacity of the stash can be configured using the stash-capacity setting (an Int) of the mailbox’s configuration. Invoking unstashAll() enqueues messages from the stash to the actor’s mailbox until the capacity of the mail- box (if any) has been reached (note that messages from the stash are prepended to the mailbox). In case a bounded mailbox overflows, a MessageQueueAppendFailedException is thrown. The stash is guaranteed to be empty after calling unstashAll(). The stash is backed by a scala.collection.immutable.Vector. As a result, even a very large number of messages may be stashed without a major impact on performance. Note that the stash is part of the ephemeral actor state, unlike the mailbox. Therefore, it should be managed like other parts of the actor’s state which have the same property. The UntypedActorWithStash implementation of preRestart will call unstashAll(), which is usually the desired behavior. Note: If you want to enforce that your actor can only work with an unbounded stash, then you should use the UntypedActorWithUnboundedStash class instead. 3.1. Actors 84 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.1.12 Killing an Actor You can kill an actor by sending a Kill message. This will cause the actor to throw a ActorKilledException, triggering a failure. The actor will suspend operation and its supervisor will be asked how to handle the failure, which may mean resuming the actor, restarting it or terminating it completely. See What Supervision Means for more information. Use Kill like this: victim.tell(akka.actor.Kill.getInstance(), ActorRef.noSender()); 3.1.13 Actors and exceptions It can happen that while a message is being processed by an actor, that some kind of exception is thrown, e.g. a database exception. What happens to the Message If an exception is thrown while a message is being processed (i.e. taken out of its mailbox and handed over to the current behavior), then this message will be lost. It is important to understand that it is not put back on the mailbox. So if you want to retry processing of a message, you need to deal with it yourself by catching the exception and retry your flow. Make sure that you put a bound on the number of retries since you don’t want a system to livelock (so consuming a lot of cpu cycles without making progress). Another possibility would be to have a look at the PeekMailbox pattern. What happens to the mailbox If an exception is thrown while a message is being processed, nothing happens to the mailbox. If the actor is restarted, the same mailbox will be there. So all messages on that mailbox will be there as well. What happens to the actor If code within an actor throws an exception, that actor is suspended and the supervision process is started (see Su- pervision and Monitoring). Depending on the supervisor’s decision the actor is resumed (as if nothing happened), restarted (wiping out its internal state and starting from scratch) or terminated. 3.1.14 Initialization patterns The rich lifecycle hooks of Actors provide a useful toolkit to implement various initialization patterns. During the lifetime of an ActorRef, an actor can potentially go through several restarts, where the old instance is replaced by a fresh one, invisibly to the outside observer who only sees the ActorRef. One may think about the new instances as “incarnations”. Initialization might be necessary for every incarnation of an actor, but sometimes one needs initialization to happen only at the birth of the first instance when the ActorRef is created. The following sections provide patterns for different initialization needs. Initialization via constructor Using the constructor for initialization has various benefits. First of all, it makes it possible to use val fields to store any state that does not change during the life of the actor instance, making the implementation of the actor more robust. The constructor is invoked for every incarnation of the actor, therefore the internals of the actor can always assume that proper initialization happened. This is also the drawback of this approach, as there are cases 3.1. Actors 85 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT when one would like to avoid reinitializing internals on restart. For example, it is often useful to preserve child actors across restarts. The following section provides a pattern for this case. Initialization via preStart The method preStart() of an actor is only called once directly during the initialization of the first instance, that is, at creation of its ActorRef. In the case of restarts, preStart() is called from postRestart(), therefore if not overridden, preStart() is called on every incarnation. However, overriding postRestart() one can disable this behavior, and ensure that there is only one call to preStart(). One useful usage of this pattern is to disable creation of new ActorRefs for children during restarts. This can be achieved by overriding preRestart(): @Override public void preStart(){ // Initialize children here } // Overriding postRestart to disable the call to preStart() // after restarts @Override public void postRestart(Throwable reason){ } // The default implementation of preRestart() stops all the children // of the actor. To opt-out from stopping the children, we // have to override preRestart() @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message) throws Exception{ // Keep the call to postStop(), but no stopping of children postStop(); } Please note, that the child actors are still restarted, but no new ActorRef is created. One can recursively apply the same principles for the children, ensuring that their preStart() method is called only at the creation of their refs. For more information see What Restarting Means. Initialization via message passing There are cases when it is impossible to pass all the information needed for actor initialization in the constructor, for example in the presence of circular dependencies. In this case the actor should listen for an initialization message, and use become() or a finite state-machine state transition to encode the initialized and uninitialized states of the actor. private String initializeMe= null; @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message.equals("init")){ initializeMe= "Up and running"; getContext().become(new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message.equals("U OK?")) getSender().tell(initializeMe, getSelf()); } }); 3.1. Actors 86 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } If the actor may receive messages before it has been initialized, a useful tool can be the Stash to save messages until the initialization finishes, and replaying them after the actor became initialized. Warning: This pattern should be used with care, and applied only when none of the patterns above are applicable. One of the potential issues is that messages might be lost when sent to remote actors. Also, publishing an ActorRef in an uninitialized state might lead to the condition that it receives a user message before the initialization has been done. 3.2 Typed Actors Akka Typed Actors is an implementation of the Active Objects pattern. Essentially turning method invocations into asynchronous dispatch instead of synchronous that has been the default way since Smalltalk came out. Typed Actors consist of 2 “parts”, a public interface and an implementation, and if you’ve done any work in “enterprise” Java, this will be very familiar to you. As with normal Actors you have an external API (the public interface instance) that will delegate methodcalls asynchronously to a private instance of the implementation. The advantage of Typed Actors vs. Actors is that with TypedActors you have a static contract, and don’t need to define your own messages, the downside is that it places some limitations on what you can do and what you can’t, i.e. you can’t use become/unbecome. Typed Actors are implemented using JDK Proxies which provide a pretty easy-worked API to intercept method calls. Note: Just as with regular Akka Untyped Actors, Typed Actors process one call at a time. 3.2.1 When to use Typed Actors Typed actors are nice for bridging between actor systems (the “inside”) and non-actor code (the “outside”), because they allow you to write normal OO-looking code on the outside. Think of them like doors: their practicality lies in interfacing between private sphere and the public, but you don’t want that many doors inside your house, do you? For a longer discussion see this blog post. A bit more background: TypedActors can very easily be abused as RPC, and that is an abstraction which is well- known to be leaky. Hence TypedActors are not what we think of first when we talk about making highly scalable concurrent software easier to write correctly. They have their niche, use them sparingly. 3.2.2 The tools of the trade Before we create our first Typed Actor we should first go through the tools that we have at our disposal, it’s located in akka.actor.TypedActor. //Returns the Typed Actor Extension TypedActorExtension extension= TypedActor.get(system); //system is an instance of ActorSystem //Returns whether the reference is a Typed Actor Proxy or not TypedActor.get(system).isTypedActor(someReference); //Returns the backing Akka Actor behind an external Typed Actor Proxy TypedActor.get(system).getActorRefFor(someReference); //Returns the current ActorContext, 3.2. Typed Actors 87 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT // method only valid within methods of a TypedActor implementation ActorContext context= TypedActor.context(); //Returns the external proxy of the current Typed Actor, // method only valid within methods of a TypedActor implementation Squarer sq= TypedActor.self(); //Returns a contextual instance of the Typed Actor Extension //this means that if you create other Typed Actors with this, //they will become children to the current Typed Actor. TypedActor.get(TypedActor.context()); Warning: Same as not exposing this of an Akka Actor, it’s important not to expose this of a Typed Actor, instead you should pass the external proxy reference, which is obtained from within your Typed Actor as TypedActor.self(), this is your external identity, as the ActorRef is the external identity of an Akka Actor. 3.2.3 Creating Typed Actors To create a Typed Actor you need to have one or more interfaces, and one implementation. The following imports are assumed: import akka.actor.TypedActor; import akka.actor.*; import akka.japi.*; import akka.dispatch.Futures; import scala.concurrent.Await; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit; Our example interface: public interface Squarer{ // typed actor iface methods ... } Our example implementation of that interface: class SquarerImpl implements Squarer{ private String name; public SquarerImpl(){ this.name= "default"; } public SquarerImpl(String name){ this.name= name; } // typed actor impl methods ... } The most trivial way of creating a Typed Actor instance of our Squarer: Squarer mySquarer= TypedActor.get(system).typedActorOf( new TypedProps(Squarer.class, SquarerImpl.class)); First type is the type of the proxy, the second type is the type of the implementation. If you need to call a specific constructor you do it like this: 3.2. Typed Actors 88 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Squarer otherSquarer= TypedActor.get(system).typedActorOf( new TypedProps(Squarer.class, new Creator(){ public SquarerImpl create(){ return new SquarerImpl("foo");} }), "name"); Since you supply a Props, you can specify which dispatcher to use, what the default timeout should be used and more. Now, our Squarer doesn’t have any methods, so we’d better add those. public interface Squarer{ void squareDontCare(int i); //fire-forget Future square(int i); //non-blocking send-request-reply Option squareNowPlease(int i);//blocking send-request-reply int squareNow(int i); //blocking send-request-reply } Alright, now we’ve got some methods we can call, but we need to implement those in SquarerImpl. class SquarerImpl implements Squarer{ private String name; public SquarerImpl(){ this.name= "default"; } public SquarerImpl(String name){ this.name= name; } public void squareDontCare(int i){ int sq=i * i; //Nobody cares :( } public Future square(int i){ return Futures.successful(i * i); } public Option squareNowPlease(int i){ return Option.some(i * i); } public int squareNow(int i){ returni * i; } } Excellent, now we have an interface and an implementation of that interface, and we know how to create a Typed Actor from that, so let’s look at calling these methods. 3.2.4 Method dispatch semantics Methods returning: • void will be dispatched with fire-and-forget semantics, exactly like ActorRef.tell • scala.concurrent.Future will use send-request-reply semantics, exactly like ActorRef.ask 3.2. Typed Actors 89 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • akka.japi.Option will use send-request-reply semantics, but will block to wait for an answer, and return akka.japi.Option.None if no answer was produced within the timeout, or akka.japi.Option.Some containing the result otherwise. Any exception that was thrown dur- ing this call will be rethrown. • Any other type of value will use send-request-reply semantics, but will block to wait for an an- swer, throwing java.util.concurrent.TimeoutException if there was a timeout or rethrow any exception that was thrown during this call. 3.2.5 Messages and immutability While Akka cannot enforce that the parameters to the methods of your Typed Actors are immutable, we strongly recommend that parameters passed are immutable. One-way message send mySquarer.squareDontCare(10); As simple as that! The method will be executed on another thread; asynchronously. Request-reply message send Option oSquare= mySquarer.squareNowPlease(10); //Option[Int] This will block for as long as the timeout that was set in the Props of the Typed Actor, if needed. It will return None if a timeout occurs. int iSquare= mySquarer.squareNow(10); //Int This will block for as long as the timeout that was set in the Props of the Typed Actor, if needed. It will throw a java.util.concurrent.TimeoutException if a timeout occurs. Request-reply-with-future message send Future fSquare= mySquarer.square(10); //A Future[Int] This call is asynchronous, and the Future returned can be used for asynchronous composition. 3.2.6 Stopping Typed Actors Since Akka’s Typed Actors are backed by Akka Actors they must be stopped when they aren’t needed anymore. TypedActor.get(system).stop(mySquarer); This asynchronously stops the Typed Actor associated with the specified proxy ASAP. TypedActor.get(system).poisonPill(otherSquarer); This asynchronously stops the Typed Actor associated with the specified proxy after it’s done with all calls that were made prior to this call. 3.2.7 Typed Actor Hierarchies Since you can obtain a contextual Typed Actor Extension by passing in an ActorContext you can create child Typed Actors by invoking typedActorOf(..) on that. 3.2. Typed Actors 90 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Squarer childSquarer= TypedActor.get(TypedActor.context()). typedActorOf( new TypedProps(Squarer.class, SquarerImpl.class) ); //Use "childSquarer" as a Squarer You can also create a child Typed Actor in regular Akka Actors by giving the UntypedActorContext as an input parameter to TypedActor.get(. . . ). 3.2.8 Supervisor Strategy By having your Typed Actor implementation class implement TypedActor.Supervisor you can define the strategy to use for supervising child actors, as described in Supervision and Monitoring and Fault Tolerance. 3.2.9 Receive arbitrary messages If your implementation class of your TypedActor extends akka.actor.TypedActor.Receiver, all mes- sages that are not MethodCall‘‘s will be passed into the ‘‘onReceive-method. This allows you to react to DeathWatch Terminated-messages and other types of messages, e.g. when inter- facing with untyped actors. 3.2.10 Lifecycle callbacks By having your Typed Actor implementation class implement any and all of the following: • TypedActor.PreStart • TypedActor.PostStop • TypedActor.PreRestart • TypedActor.PostRestart You can hook into the lifecycle of your Typed Actor. 3.2.11 Proxying You can use the typedActorOf that takes a TypedProps and an ActorRef to proxy the given ActorRef as a TypedActor. This is usable if you want to communicate remotely with TypedActors on other machines, just pass the ActorRef to typedActorOf. 3.2.12 Lookup & Remoting Since TypedActors are backed by Akka Actors, you can use typedActorOf to proxy ActorRefs potentially residing on remote nodes. Squarer typedActor= TypedActor.get(system). typedActorOf( new TypedProps(Squarer.class), actorRefToRemoteActor ); //Use "typedActor" as a FooBar 3.2. Typed Actors 91 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.3 Fault Tolerance As explained in Actor Systems each actor is the supervisor of its children, and as such each actor defines fault handling supervisor strategy. This strategy cannot be changed afterwards as it is an integral part of the actor system’s structure. 3.3.1 Fault Handling in Practice First, let us look at a sample that illustrates one way to handle data store errors, which is a typical source of failure in real world applications. Of course it depends on the actual application what is possible to do when the data store is unavailable, but in this sample we use a best effort re-connect approach. Read the following source code. The inlined comments explain the different pieces of the fault handling and why they are added. It is also highly recommended to run this sample as it is easy to follow the log output to understand what is happening in runtime. Diagrams of the Fault Tolerance Sample 3.3. Fault Tolerance 92 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The above diagram illustrates the normal message flow. Normal flow: Step Description 1 The progress Listener starts the work. 2 The Worker schedules work by sending Do messages periodically to itself 3, 4, 5 When receiving Do the Worker tells the CounterService to increment the counter, three times. The Increment message is forwarded to the Counter, which updates its counter variable and sends current value to the Storage. 6, 7 The Worker asks the CounterService of current value of the counter and pipes the result back to the Listener. 3.3. Fault Tolerance 93 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The above diagram illustrates what happens in case of storage failure. Failure flow: Step Description 1 The Storage throws StorageException. 2 The CounterService is supervisor of the Storage and restarts the Storage when StorageException is thrown. 3, 4, 5, 6 The Storage continues to fail and is restarted. 7 After 3 failures and restarts within 5 seconds the Storage is stopped by its supervisor, i.e. the CounterService. 8 The CounterService is also watching the Storage for termination and receives the Terminated message when the Storage has been stopped ... 9, 10, 11 and tells the Counter that there is no Storage. 12 The CounterService schedules a Reconnect message to itself. 13, 14 When it receives the Reconnect message it creates a new Storage ... 15, 16 and tells the Counter to use the new Storage Full Source Code of the Fault Tolerance Sample import java.util.ArrayList; import java.util.HashMap; import java.util.List; import java.util.Map; import akka.actor.*; import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import akka.japi.Function; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.util.Timeout; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import com.typesafe.config.Config; import com.typesafe.config.ConfigFactory; import static akka.japi.Util.classTag; import static akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.resume; import static akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.restart; import static akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.stop; import static akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.escalate; import akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.Directive; import static akka.pattern.Patterns.ask; import static akka.pattern.Patterns.pipe; import static docs.actor.japi.FaultHandlingDocSample.WorkerApi.*; import static docs.actor.japi.FaultHandlingDocSample.CounterServiceApi.*; import static docs.actor.japi.FaultHandlingDocSample.CounterApi.*; import static docs.actor.japi.FaultHandlingDocSample.StorageApi.*; public class FaultHandlingDocSample{ /** * Runs the sample */ public static void main(String[] args){ 3.3. Fault Tolerance 94 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Config config= ConfigFactory.parseString("akka.loglevel = DEBUG \n"+ "akka.actor.debug.lifecycle = on"); ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("FaultToleranceSample", config); ActorRef worker= system.actorOf(Props.create(Worker.class), "worker"); ActorRef listener= system.actorOf(Props.create(Listener.class), "listener"); // start the work and listen on progress // note that the listener is used as sender of the tell, // i.e. it will receive replies from the worker worker.tell(Start, listener); } /** * Listens on progress from the worker and shuts down the system when enough * work has been done. */ public static class Listener extends UntypedActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); @Override public void preStart(){ // If we don’t get any progress within 15 seconds then the service // is unavailable getContext().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create("15 seconds")); } public void onReceive(Object msg){ log.debug("received message {}", msg); if(msg instanceof Progress){ Progress progress=(Progress) msg; log.info("Current progress: {} %", progress.percent); if(progress.percent >= 100.0){ log.info("That’s all, shutting down"); getContext().system().shutdown(); } } else if(msg == ReceiveTimeout.getInstance()){ // No progress within 15 seconds, ServiceUnavailable log.error("Shutting down due to unavailable service"); getContext().system().shutdown(); } else{ unhandled(msg); } } } public interface WorkerApi{ public static final Object Start= "Start"; public static final Object Do= "Do"; public static class Progress{ public final double percent; public Progress(double percent){ this.percent= percent; } public String toString(){ return String.format("%s(%s)", getClass().getSimpleName(), percent); } } } 3.3. Fault Tolerance 95 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT /** * Worker performs some work when it receives the Start message. It will * continuously notify the sender of the Start message of current Progress. * The Worker supervise the CounterService. */ public static class Worker extends UntypedActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); final Timeout askTimeout= new Timeout(Duration.create(5, "seconds")); // The sender of the initial Start message will continuously be notified // about progress ActorRef progressListener; final ActorRef counterService= getContext().actorOf( Props.create(CounterService.class), "counter"); final int totalCount= 51; // Stop the CounterService child if it throws ServiceUnavailable private static SupervisorStrategy strategy= new OneForOneStrategy(-1, Duration.Inf(), new Function(){ @Override public Directive apply(Throwablet){ if(t instanceof ServiceUnavailable){ return stop(); } else{ return escalate(); } } }); @Override public SupervisorStrategy supervisorStrategy(){ return strategy; } public void onReceive(Object msg){ log.debug("received message {}", msg); if(msg.equals(Start)&& progressListener == null){ progressListener= getSender(); getContext().system().scheduler().schedule( Duration.Zero(), Duration.create(1, "second"), getSelf(), Do, getContext().dispatcher(), null ); } else if(msg.equals(Do)){ counterService.tell(new Increment(1), getSelf()); counterService.tell(new Increment(1), getSelf()); counterService.tell(new Increment(1), getSelf()); // Send current progress to the initial sender pipe(ask(counterService, GetCurrentCount, askTimeout) .mapTo(classTag(CurrentCount.class)) .map(new Mapper(){ public Progress apply(CurrentCountc){ return new Progress(100.0 * c.count/ totalCount); } }, getContext().dispatcher()), getContext().dispatcher()) .to(progressListener); } else{ unhandled(msg); } } } public interface CounterServiceApi{ 3.3. Fault Tolerance 96 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public static final Object GetCurrentCount= "GetCurrentCount"; public static class CurrentCount{ public final String key; public final long count; public CurrentCount(String key, long count){ this.key= key; this.count= count; } public String toString(){ return String.format("%s(%s, %s)", getClass().getSimpleName(), key, count); } } public static class Increment{ public final long n; public Increment(long n){ this.n=n; } public String toString(){ return String.format("%s(%s)", getClass().getSimpleName(),n); } } public static class ServiceUnavailable extends RuntimeException{ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; public ServiceUnavailable(String msg){ super(msg); } } } /** * Adds the value received in Increment message to a persistent counter. * Replies with CurrentCount when it is asked for CurrentCount. CounterService * supervise Storage and Counter. */ public static class CounterService extends UntypedActor{ // Reconnect message static final Object Reconnect= "Reconnect"; private static class SenderMsgPair{ final ActorRef sender; final Object msg; SenderMsgPair(ActorRef sender, Object msg){ this.msg= msg; this.sender= sender; } } final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); final String key= getSelf().path().name(); ActorRef storage; ActorRef counter; 3.3. Fault Tolerance 97 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT final List backlog= new ArrayList(); final int MAX_BACKLOG= 10000; // Restart the storage child when StorageException is thrown. // After 3 restarts within 5 seconds it will be stopped. private static SupervisorStrategy strategy= new OneForOneStrategy(3, Duration.create("5 seconds"), new Function(){ @Override public Directive apply(Throwablet){ if(t instanceof StorageException){ return restart(); } else{ return escalate(); } } }); @Override public SupervisorStrategy supervisorStrategy(){ return strategy; } @Override public void preStart(){ initStorage(); } /** * The child storage is restarted in case of failure, but after 3 restarts, * and still failing it will be stopped. Better to back-off than * continuously failing. When it has been stopped we will schedule a * Reconnect after a delay. Watch the child so we receive Terminated message * when it has been terminated. */ void initStorage(){ storage= getContext().watch(getContext().actorOf( Props.create(Storage.class), "storage")); // Tell the counter, if any, to use the new storage if(counter != null) counter.tell(new UseStorage(storage), getSelf()); // We need the initial value to be able to operate storage.tell(new Get(key), getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ log.debug("received message {}", msg); if(msg instanceof Entry&&((Entry) msg).key.equals(key)&& counter == null){ // Reply from Storage of the initial value, now we can create the Counter final long value=((Entry) msg).value; counter= getContext().actorOf(Props.create(Counter.class, key, value)); // Tell the counter to use current storage counter.tell(new UseStorage(storage), getSelf()); // and send the buffered backlog to the counter for(SenderMsgPair each: backlog){ counter.tell(each.msg, each.sender); } backlog.clear(); } else if(msg instanceof Increment){ forwardOrPlaceInBacklog(msg); } else if(msg.equals(GetCurrentCount)){ forwardOrPlaceInBacklog(msg); 3.3. Fault Tolerance 98 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } else if(msg instanceof Terminated){ // After 3 restarts the storage child is stopped. // We receive Terminated because we watch the child, see initStorage. storage= null; // Tell the counter that there is no storage for the moment counter.tell(new UseStorage(null), getSelf()); // Try to re-establish storage after while getContext().system().scheduler().scheduleOnce( Duration.create(10, "seconds"), getSelf(), Reconnect, getContext().dispatcher(), null); } else if(msg.equals(Reconnect)){ // Re-establish storage after the scheduled delay initStorage(); } else{ unhandled(msg); } } void forwardOrPlaceInBacklog(Object msg){ // We need the initial value from storage before we can start delegate to // the counter. Before that we place the messages in a backlog, to be sent // to the counter when it is initialized. if(counter == null){ if(backlog.size() >= MAX_BACKLOG) throw new ServiceUnavailable("CounterService not available,"+ " lack of initial value"); backlog.add(new SenderMsgPair(getSender(), msg)); } else{ counter.forward(msg, getContext()); } } } public interface CounterApi{ public static class UseStorage{ public final ActorRef storage; public UseStorage(ActorRef storage){ this.storage= storage; } public String toString(){ return String.format("%s(%s)", getClass().getSimpleName(), storage); } } } /** * The in memory count variable that will send current value to the Storage, * if there is any storage available at the moment. */ public static class Counter extends UntypedActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); final String key; long count; ActorRef storage; public Counter(String key, long initialValue){ this.key= key; this.count= initialValue; } 3.3. Fault Tolerance 99 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ log.debug("received message {}", msg); if(msg instanceof UseStorage){ storage=((UseStorage) msg).storage; storeCount(); } else if(msg instanceof Increment){ count +=((Increment) msg).n; storeCount(); } else if(msg.equals(GetCurrentCount)){ getSender().tell(new CurrentCount(key, count), getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(msg); } } void storeCount(){ // Delegate dangerous work, to protect our valuable state. // We can continue without storage. if(storage != null){ storage.tell(new Store(new Entry(key, count)), getSelf()); } } } public interface StorageApi{ public static class Store{ public final Entry entry; public Store(Entry entry){ this.entry= entry; } public String toString(){ return String.format("%s(%s)", getClass().getSimpleName(), entry); } } public static class Entry{ public final String key; public final long value; public Entry(String key, long value){ this.key= key; this.value= value; } public String toString(){ return String.format("%s(%s, %s)", getClass().getSimpleName(), key, value); } } public static class Get{ public final String key; public Get(String key){ this.key= key; } public String toString(){ return String.format("%s(%s)", getClass().getSimpleName(), key); } 3.3. Fault Tolerance 100 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } public static class StorageException extends RuntimeException{ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; public StorageException(String msg){ super(msg); } } } /** * Saves key/value pairs to persistent storage when receiving Store message. * Replies with current value when receiving Get message. Will throw * StorageException if the underlying data store is out of order. */ public static class Storage extends UntypedActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); final DummyDB db= DummyDB.instance; @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ log.debug("received message {}", msg); if(msg instanceof Store){ Store store=(Store) msg; db.save(store.entry.key, store.entry.value); } else if(msg instanceof Get){ Get get=(Get) msg; Long value= db.load(get.key); getSender().tell(new Entry(get.key, value == null? Long.valueOf(0L): value), getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(msg); } } } public static class DummyDB{ public static final DummyDB instance= new DummyDB(); private final Map db= new HashMap(); private DummyDB(){ } public synchronized void save(String key, Long value) throws StorageException{ if(11 <= value&& value <= 14) throw new StorageException("Simulated store failure "+ value); db.put(key, value); } public synchronized Long load(String key) throws StorageException{ return db.get(key); } } } Note: If the strategy is declared inside the supervising actor (as opposed to as a static property or class) its decider has access to all internal state of the actor in a thread-safe fashion, including obtaining a reference to the currently failed child (available as the getSender() of the failure message). 3.3. Fault Tolerance 101 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.3.2 Creating a Supervisor Strategy The following sections explain the fault handling mechanism and alternatives in more depth. For the sake of demonstration let us consider the following strategy: private static SupervisorStrategy strategy= new OneForOneStrategy(10, Duration.create("1 minute"), new Function(){ @Override public Directive apply(Throwablet){ if(t instanceof ArithmeticException){ return resume(); } else if(t instanceof NullPointerException){ return restart(); } else if(t instanceof IllegalArgumentException){ return stop(); } else{ return escalate(); } } }); @Override public SupervisorStrategy supervisorStrategy(){ return strategy; } I have chosen a few well-known exception types in order to demonstrate the application of the fault handling directives described in Supervision and Monitoring. First off, it is a one-for-one strategy, meaning that each child is treated separately (an all-for-one strategy works very similarly, the only difference is that any decision is applied to all children of the supervisor, not only the failing one). There are limits set on the restart frequency, namely maximum 10 restarts per minute. -1 and Duration.Inf() means that the respective limit does not apply, leaving the possibility to specify an absolute upper limit on the restarts or to make the restarts work infinitely. The child actor is stopped if the limit is exceeded. Note: If the strategy is declared inside the supervising actor (as opposed to a separate class) its decider has access to all internal state of the actor in a thread-safe fashion, including obtaining a reference to the currently failed child (available as the getSender of the failure message). Default Supervisor Strategy Escalate is used if the defined strategy doesn’t cover the exception that was thrown. When the supervisor strategy is not defined for an actor the following exceptions are handled by default: • ActorInitializationException will stop the failing child actor • ActorKilledException will stop the failing child actor • Exception will restart the failing child actor • Other types of Throwable will be escalated to parent actor If the exception escalate all the way up to the root guardian it will handle it in the same way as the default strategy defined above. Stopping Supervisor Strategy Closer to the Erlang way is the strategy to just stop children when they fail and then take cor- rective action in the supervisor when DeathWatch signals the loss of the child. This strategy is 3.3. Fault Tolerance 102 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT also provided pre-packaged as SupervisorStrategy.stoppingStrategy with an accompanying StoppingSupervisorStrategy configurator to be used when you want the "/user" guardian to apply it. Logging of Actor Failures By default the SupervisorStrategy logs failures unless they are escalated. Escalated failures are supposed to be handled, and potentially logged, at a level higher in the hierarchy. You can mute the default logging of a SupervisorStrategy by setting loggingEnabled to false when instantiating it. Customized logging can be done inside the Decider. Note that the reference to the currently failed child is available as the getSender when the SupervisorStrategy is declared inside the supervising actor. You may also customize the logging in your own SupervisorStrategy implementation by overriding the logFailure method. 3.3.3 Supervision of Top-Level Actors Toplevel actors means those which are created using system.actorOf(), and they are children of the User Guardian. There are no special rules applied in this case, the guardian simply applies the configured strategy. 3.3.4 Test Application The following section shows the effects of the different directives in practice, wherefor a test setup is needed. First off, we need a suitable supervisor: public class Supervisor extends UntypedActor{ private static SupervisorStrategy strategy= new OneForOneStrategy(10, Duration.create("1 minute"), new Function(){ @Override public Directive apply(Throwablet){ if(t instanceof ArithmeticException){ return resume(); } else if(t instanceof NullPointerException){ return restart(); } else if(t instanceof IllegalArgumentException){ return stop(); } else{ return escalate(); } } }); @Override public SupervisorStrategy supervisorStrategy(){ return strategy; } public void onReceive(Objecto){ if(o instanceof Props){ getSender().tell(getContext().actorOf((Props)o), getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(o); } } } 3.3. Fault Tolerance 103 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT This supervisor will be used to create a child, with which we can experiment: public class Child extends UntypedActor{ int state=0; public void onReceive(Objecto) throws Exception{ if(o instanceof Exception){ throw(Exception)o; } else if(o instanceof Integer){ state=(Integer)o; } else if(o.equals("get")){ getSender().tell(state, getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(o); } } } The test is easier by using the utilities described in akka-testkit, where TestProbe provides an actor ref useful for receiving and inspecting replies. import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy; import static akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.resume; import static akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.restart; import static akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.stop; import static akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.escalate; import akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.Directive; import akka.actor.OneForOneStrategy; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.actor.Terminated; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import scala.concurrent.Await; import static akka.pattern.Patterns.ask; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.testkit.AkkaSpec; import akka.testkit.TestProbe; public class FaultHandlingTest{ static ActorSystem system; Duration timeout= Duration.create(5, SECONDS); @BeforeClass public static void start(){ system= ActorSystem.create("test", AkkaSpec.testConf()); } @AfterClass public static void cleanup(){ JavaTestKit.shutdownActorSystem(system); system= null; } @Test public void mustEmploySupervisorStrategy() throws Exception{ // code here } } Let us create actors: 3.3. Fault Tolerance 104 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Props superprops= Props.create(Supervisor.class); ActorRef supervisor= system.actorOf(superprops, "supervisor"); ActorRef child=(ActorRef) Await.result(ask(supervisor, Props.create(Child.class), 5000), timeout); The first test shall demonstrate the Resume directive, so we try it out by setting some non-initial state in the actor and have it fail: child.tell(42, ActorRef.noSender()); assert Await.result(ask(child, "get", 5000), timeout).equals(42); child.tell(new ArithmeticException(), ActorRef.noSender()); assert Await.result(ask(child, "get", 5000), timeout).equals(42); As you can see the value 42 survives the fault handling directive. Now, if we change the failure to a more serious NullPointerException, that will no longer be the case: child.tell(new NullPointerException(), ActorRef.noSender()); assert Await.result(ask(child, "get", 5000), timeout).equals(0); And finally in case of the fatal IllegalArgumentException the child will be terminated by the supervisor: final TestProbe probe= new TestProbe(system); probe.watch(child); child.tell(new IllegalArgumentException(), ActorRef.noSender()); probe.expectMsgClass(Terminated.class); Up to now the supervisor was completely unaffected by the child’s failure, because the directives set did handle it. In case of an Exception, this is not true anymore and the supervisor escalates the failure. child=(ActorRef) Await.result(ask(supervisor, Props.create(Child.class), 5000), timeout); probe.watch(child); assert Await.result(ask(child, "get", 5000), timeout).equals(0); child.tell(new Exception(), ActorRef.noSender()); probe.expectMsgClass(Terminated.class); The supervisor itself is supervised by the top-level actor provided by the ActorSystem, which has the default policy to restart in case of all Exception cases (with the notable exceptions of ActorInitializationException and ActorKilledException). Since the default directive in case of a restart is to kill all children, we expected our poor child not to survive this failure. In case this is not desired (which depends on the use case), we need to use a different supervisor which overrides this behavior. public class Supervisor2 extends UntypedActor{ private static SupervisorStrategy strategy= new OneForOneStrategy(10, Duration.create("1 minute"), new Function(){ @Override public Directive apply(Throwablet){ if(t instanceof ArithmeticException){ return resume(); } else if(t instanceof NullPointerException){ return restart(); } else if(t instanceof IllegalArgumentException){ return stop(); } else{ return escalate(); } } }); @Override 3.3. Fault Tolerance 105 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public SupervisorStrategy supervisorStrategy(){ return strategy; } public void onReceive(Objecto){ if(o instanceof Props){ getSender().tell(getContext().actorOf((Props)o), getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(o); } } @Override public void preRestart(Throwable cause, Option msg){ // do not kill all children, which is the default here } } With this parent, the child survives the escalated restart, as demonstrated in the last test: superprops= Props.create(Supervisor2.class); supervisor= system.actorOf(superprops); child=(ActorRef) Await.result(ask(supervisor, Props.create(Child.class), 5000), timeout); child.tell(23, ActorRef.noSender()); assert Await.result(ask(child, "get", 5000), timeout).equals(23); child.tell(new Exception(), ActorRef.noSender()); assert Await.result(ask(child, "get", 5000), timeout).equals(0); 3.4 Dispatchers An Akka MessageDispatcher is what makes Akka Actors “tick”, it is the engine of the machine so to speak. All MessageDispatcher implementations are also an ExecutionContext, which means that they can be used to execute arbitrary code, for instance Futures. 3.4.1 Default dispatcher Every ActorSystem will have a default dispatcher that will be used in case nothing else is config- ured for an Actor. The default dispatcher can be configured, and is by default a Dispatcher with the specified default-executor. If an ActorSystem is created with an ExecutionCon- text passed in, this ExecutionContext will be used as the default executor for all dispatchers in this ActorSystem. If no ExecutionContext is given, it will fallback to the executor specified in akka.actor.default-dispatcher.default-executor.fallback. By default this is a “fork- join-executor”, which gives excellent performance in most cases. 3.4.2 Looking up a Dispatcher Dispatchers implement the ExecutionContext interface and can thus be used to run Future invocations etc. // this is scala.concurrent.ExecutionContext // for use with Futures, Scheduler, etc. final ExecutionContext ex= system.dispatchers().lookup("my-dispatcher"); 3.4. Dispatchers 106 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.4.3 Setting the dispatcher for an Actor So in case you want to give your Actor a different dispatcher than the default, you need to do two things, of which the first is is to configure the dispatcher: my-dispatcher{ # Dispatcher is the name of the event-based dispatcher type= Dispatcher # What kind of ExecutionService to use executor= "fork-join-executor" # Configuration for the fork join pool fork-join-executor{ # Min number of threads to cap factor-based parallelism number to parallelism-min=2 # Parallelism(threads)... ceil(available processors * factor) parallelism-factor= 2.0 # Max number of threads to cap factor-based parallelism number to parallelism-max= 10 } # Throughput defines the maximum number of messages to be # processed per actor before the thread jumps to the next actor. # Set to1 for as fair as possible. throughput= 100 } And here’s another example that uses the “thread-pool-executor”: my-thread-pool-dispatcher{ # Dispatcher is the name of the event-based dispatcher type= Dispatcher # What kind of ExecutionService to use executor= "thread-pool-executor" # Configuration for the thread pool thread-pool-executor{ # minimum number of threads to cap factor-based core number to core-pool-size-min=2 # No of core threads... ceil(available processors * factor) core-pool-size-factor= 2.0 # maximum number of threads to cap factor-based number to core-pool-size-max= 10 } # Throughput defines the maximum number of messages to be # processed per actor before the thread jumps to the next actor. # Set to1 for as fair as possible. throughput= 100 } For more options, see the default-dispatcher section of the Configuration. Then you create the actor as usual and define the dispatcher in the deployment configuration. ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyUntypedActor.class), "myactor"); akka.actor.deployment{ /myactor{ dispatcher= my-dispatcher } } An alternative to the deployment configuration is to define the dispatcher in code. If you define the dispatcher in the deployment configuration then this value will be used instead of programmatically provided parameter. 3.4. Dispatchers 107 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyUntypedActor.class).withDispatcher("my-dispatcher"), "myactor3"); Note: The dispatcher you specify in withDispatcher and the dispatcher property in the deploy- ment configuration is in fact a path into your configuration. So in this example it’s a top-level section, but you could for instance put it as a sub-section, where you’d use periods to denote sub-sections, like this: "foo.bar.my-dispatcher" 3.4.4 Types of dispatchers There are 4 different types of message dispatchers: • Dispatcher – This is an event-based dispatcher that binds a set of Actors to a thread pool. It is the default dispatcher used if one is not specified. – Sharability: Unlimited – Mailboxes: Any, creates one per Actor – Use cases: Default dispatcher, Bulkheading – Driven by: java.util.concurrent.ExecutorService specify using “ex- ecutor” using “fork-join-executor”, “thread-pool-executor” or the FQCN of an akka.dispatcher.ExecutorServiceConfigurator • PinnedDispatcher – This dispatcher dedicates a unique thread for each actor using it; i.e. each actor will have its own thread pool with only one thread in the pool. – Sharability: None – Mailboxes: Any, creates one per Actor – Use cases: Bulkheading – Driven by: Any akka.dispatch.ThreadPoolExecutorConfigurator by default a “thread-pool-executor” • CallingThreadDispatcher – This dispatcher runs invocations on the current thread only. This dispatcher does not create any new threads, but it can be used from different threads concurrently for the same actor. See CallingThread- Dispatcher for details and restrictions. – Sharability: Unlimited – Mailboxes: Any, creates one per Actor per Thread (on demand) – Use cases: Testing – Driven by: The calling thread (duh) More dispatcher configuration examples Configuring a PinnedDispatcher: my-pinned-dispatcher{ executor= "thread-pool-executor" type= PinnedDispatcher } 3.4. Dispatchers 108 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT And then using it: ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyUntypedActor.class) .withDispatcher("my-pinned-dispatcher")); Note that thread-pool-executor configuration as per the above my-thread-pool-dispatcher example is NOT applicable. This is because every actor will have its own thread pool when using PinnedDispatcher, and that pool will have only one thread. Note that it’s not guaranteed that the same thread is used over time, since the core pool timeout is used for PinnedDispatcher to keep resource usage down in case of idle actors. To use the same thread all the time you need to add thread-pool-executor.allow-core-timeout=off to the configuration of the PinnedDispatcher. 3.5 Mailboxes An Akka Mailbox holds the messages that are destined for an Actor. Normally each Actor has its own mailbox, but with for example a BalancingPool all routees will share a single mailbox instance. 3.5.1 Mailbox Selection Requiring a Message Queue Type for an Actor It is possible to require a certain type of message queue for a certain type of actor by having that actor implement the parameterized interface RequiresMessageQueue. Here is an example: import akka.dispatch.BoundedMessageQueueSemantics; import akka.dispatch.RequiresMessageQueue; public class MyBoundedUntypedActor extends MyUntypedActor implements RequiresMessageQueue{ } The type parameter to the RequiresMessageQueue interface needs to be mapped to a mailbox in configura- tion like this: bounded-mailbox{ mailbox-type= "akka.dispatch.BoundedMailbox" mailbox-capacity= 1000 mailbox-push-timeout-time= 10s } akka.actor.mailbox.requirements{ "akka.dispatch.BoundedMessageQueueSemantics"= bounded-mailbox } Now every time you create an actor of type MyBoundedUntypedActor it will try to get a bounded mailbox. If the actor has a different mailbox configured in deployment, either directly or via a dispatcher with a specified mailbox type, then that will override this mapping. Note: The type of the queue in the mailbox created for an actor will be checked against the required type in the interface and if the queue doesn’t implement the required type then actor creation will fail. Requiring a Message Queue Type for a Dispatcher A dispatcher may also have a requirement for the mailbox type used by the actors running on it. An example is the BalancingDispatcher which requires a message queue that is thread-safe for multiple concurrent consumers. 3.5. Mailboxes 109 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Such a requirement is formulated within the dispatcher configuration section like this: my-dispatcher{ mailbox-requirement= org.example.MyInterface } The given requirement names a class or interface which will then be ensured to be a supertype of the message queue’s implementation. In case of a conflict—e.g. if the actor requires a mailbox type which does not satisfy this requirement—then actor creation will fail. How the Mailbox Type is Selected When an actor is created, the ActorRefProvider first determines the dispatcher which will execute it. Then the mailbox is determined as follows: 1. If the actor’s deployment configuration section contains a mailbox key then that names a configuration section describing the mailbox type to be used. 2. If the actor’s Props contains a mailbox selection—i.e. withMailbox was called on it—then that names a configuration section describing the mailbox type to be used. 3. If the dispatcher’s configuration section contains a mailbox-type key the same section will be used to configure the mailbox type. 4. If the actor requires a mailbox type as described above then the mapping for that requirement will be used to determine the mailbox type to be used; if that fails then the dispatcher’s requirement—if any—will be tried instead. 5. If the dispatcher requires a mailbox type as described above then the mapping for that requirement will be used to determine the mailbox type to be used. 6. The default mailbox akka.actor.default-mailbox will be used. Default Mailbox When the mailbox is not specified as described above the default mailbox is used. By default it is an unbounded mailbox, which is backed by a java.util.concurrent.ConcurrentLinkedQueue. SingleConsumerOnlyUnboundedMailbox is an even more efficient mailbox, and it can be used as the default mailbox, but it cannot be used with a BalancingDispatcher. Configuration of SingleConsumerOnlyUnboundedMailbox as default mailbox: akka.actor.default-mailbox{ mailbox-type= "akka.dispatch.SingleConsumerOnlyUnboundedMailbox" } Which Configuration is passed to the Mailbox Type Each mailbox type is implemented by a class which extends MailboxType and takes two constructor arguments: a ActorSystem.Settings object and a Config section. The latter is computed by obtaining the named configuration section from the actor system’s configuration, overriding its id key with the configuration path of the mailbox type and adding a fall-back to the default mailbox configuration section. 3.5.2 Builtin Mailbox Implementations Akka comes shipped with a number of mailbox implementations: • UnboundedMailbox - The default mailbox – Backed by a java.util.concurrent.ConcurrentLinkedQueue 3.5. Mailboxes 110 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT – Blocking: No – Bounded: No – Configuration name: “unbounded” or “akka.dispatch.UnboundedMailbox” • SingleConsumerOnlyUnboundedMailbox – Backed by a very efficient Multiple Producer Single Consumer queue, cannot be used with Balanc- ingDispatcher – Blocking: No – Bounded: No – Configuration name: “akka.dispatch.SingleConsumerOnlyUnboundedMailbox” • BoundedMailbox – Backed by a java.util.concurrent.LinkedBlockingQueue – Blocking: Yes – Bounded: Yes – Configuration name: “bounded” or “akka.dispatch.BoundedMailbox” • UnboundedPriorityMailbox – Backed by a java.util.concurrent.PriorityBlockingQueue – Blocking: Yes – Bounded: No – Configuration name: “akka.dispatch.UnboundedPriorityMailbox” • BoundedPriorityMailbox – Backed by a java.util.PriorityBlockingQueue wrapped in an akka.util.BoundedBlockingQueue – Blocking: Yes – Bounded: Yes – Configuration name: “akka.dispatch.BoundedPriorityMailbox” 3.5.3 Mailbox configuration examples How to create a PriorityMailbox: public class MyPrioMailbox extends UnboundedPriorityMailbox{ // needed for reflective instantiation public MyPrioMailbox(ActorSystem.Settings settings, Config config){ // Create a new PriorityGenerator, lower prio means more important super(new PriorityGenerator(){ @Override public int gen(Object message){ if(message.equals("highpriority")) return0; // ’highpriority messages should be treated first if possible else if(message.equals("lowpriority")) return2; // ’lowpriority messages should be treated last if possible else if(message.equals(PoisonPill.getInstance())) return3; // PoisonPill when no other left else return1; // By default they go between high and low prio } }); 3.5. Mailboxes 111 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } And then add it to the configuration: prio-dispatcher{ mailbox-type= "docs.dispatcher.DispatcherDocSpec$MyPrioMailbox" //Other dispatcher configuration goes here } And then an example on how you would use it: class Demo extends UntypedActor{ LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); { for(Object msg: new Object[]{ "lowpriority", "lowpriority", "highpriority", "pigdog", "pigdog2", "pigdog3", "highpriority", PoisonPill.getInstance()}){ getSelf().tell(msg, getSelf()); } } public void onReceive(Object message){ log.info(message.toString()); } } // We create a new Actor that just prints out what it processes ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(Demo.class, this) .withDispatcher("prio-dispatcher")); /* Logs: ’highpriority ’highpriority ’pigdog ’pigdog2 ’pigdog3 ’lowpriority ’lowpriority */ It is also possible to configure a mailbox type directly like this: prio-mailbox{ mailbox-type= "docs.dispatcher.DispatcherDocSpec$MyPrioMailbox" //Other mailbox configuration goes here } akka.actor.deployment{ /priomailboxactor{ mailbox= prio-mailbox } } And then use it either from deployment like this: ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyUntypedActor.class), "priomailboxactor"); Or code like this: 3.5. Mailboxes 112 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyUntypedActor.class) .withMailbox("prio-mailbox")); 3.5.4 Creating your own Mailbox type An example is worth a thousand quacks: import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.dispatch.Envelope; import akka.dispatch.MailboxType; import akka.dispatch.MessageQueue; import akka.dispatch.ProducesMessageQueue; import com.typesafe.config.Config; import java.util.concurrent.ConcurrentLinkedQueue; import java.util.Queue; import scala.Option; public class MyUnboundedJMailbox implements MailboxType, ProducesMessageQueue{ // This is the MessageQueue implementation public static class MyMessageQueue implements MessageQueue, MyUnboundedJMessageQueueSemantics{ private final Queue queue= new ConcurrentLinkedQueue(); // these must be implemented; queue used as example public void enqueue(ActorRef receiver, Envelope handle){ queue.offer(handle); } public Envelope dequeue(){ return queue.poll();} public int numberOfMessages(){ return queue.size();} public boolean hasMessages(){ return!queue.isEmpty();} public void cleanUp(ActorRef owner, MessageQueue deadLetters){ for(Envelope handle: queue){ deadLetters.enqueue(owner, handle); } } } // This constructor signature must exist, it will be called by Akka public MyUnboundedJMailbox(ActorSystem.Settings settings, Config config){ // put your initialization code here } // The create method is called to create the MessageQueue public MessageQueue create(Option owner, Option system){ return new MyMessageQueue(); } } // Marker interface used for mailbox requirements mapping public interface MyUnboundedJMessageQueueSemantics{ } And then you just specify the FQCN of your MailboxType as the value of the “mailbox-type” in the dispatcher configuration, or the mailbox configuration. Note: Make sure to include a constructor which takes akka.actor.ActorSystem.Settings and 3.5. Mailboxes 113 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT com.typesafe.config.Config arguments, as this constructor is invoked reflectively to construct your mailbox type. The config passed in as second argument is that section from the configuration which describes the dispatcher or mailbox setting using this mailbox type; the mailbox type will be instantiated once for each dispatcher or mailbox setting using it. You can also use the mailbox as a requirement on the dispatcher like this: custom-dispatcher{ mailbox-requirement= "docs.dispatcher.MyUnboundedJMessageQueueSemantics" } akka.actor.mailbox.requirements{ "docs.dispatcher.MyUnboundedJMessageQueueSemantics"= custom-dispatcher-mailbox } custom-dispatcher-mailbox{ mailbox-type= "docs.dispatcher.MyUnboundedJMailbox" } Or by defining the requirement on your actor class like this: public class MySpecialActor extends UntypedActor implements RequiresMessageQueue{ // ... } 3.5.5 Special Semantics of system.actorOf In order to make system.actorOf both synchronous and non-blocking while keeping the return type ActorRef (and the semantics that the returned ref is fully functional), special handling takes place for this case. Behind the scenes, a hollow kind of actor reference is constructed, which is sent to the system’s guardian actor who actually creates the actor and its context and puts those inside the reference. Until that has happened, messages sent to the ActorRef will be queued locally, and only upon swapping the real filling in will they be transferred into the real mailbox. Thus, final Props props=... // this actor uses MyCustomMailbox, which is assumed to be a singleton system.actorOf(props.withDispatcher("myCustomMailbox").tell("bang", sender); assert(MyCustomMailbox.getInstance().getLastEnqueued().equals("bang")); will probably fail; you will have to allow for some time to pass and retry the check à la TestKit.awaitCond. 3.6 Routing Messages can be sent via a router to efficiently route them to destination actors, known as its routees.A Router can be used inside or outside of an actor, and you can manage the routees yourselves or use a self contained router actor with configuration capabilities. Different routing strategies can be used, according to your application’s needs. Akka comes with several useful routing strategies right out of the box. But, as you will see in this chapter, it is also possible to create your own. 3.6.1 A Simple Router The following example illustrates how to use a Router and manage the routees from within an actor. 3.6. Routing 114 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public final class Work implements Serializable{ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; public final String payload; public Work(String payload){ this.payload= payload; } } public class Master extends UntypedActor{ Router router; { List routees= new ArrayList(); for(int i=0;i<5;i++){ ActorRefr= getContext().actorOf(Props.create(Worker.class)); getContext().watch(r); routees.add(new ActorRefRoutee(r)); } router= new Router(new RoundRobinRoutingLogic(), routees); } public void onReceive(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof Work){ router.route(msg, getSender()); } else if(msg instanceof Terminated){ router= router.removeRoutee(((Terminated) msg).actor()); ActorRefr= getContext().actorOf(Props.create(Worker.class)); getContext().watch(r); router= router.addRoutee(new ActorRefRoutee(r)); } } } We create a Router and specify that it should use RoundRobinRoutingLogic when routing the messages to the routees. The routing logic shipped with Akka are: • akka.routing.RoundRobinRoutingLogic • akka.routing.RandomRoutingLogic • akka.routing.SmallestMailboxRoutingLogic • akka.routing.BroadcastRoutingLogic • akka.routing.ScatterGatherFirstCompletedRoutingLogic • akka.routing.ConsistentHashingRoutingLogic We create the routees as ordinary child actors wrapped in ActorRefRoutee. We watch the routees to be able to replace them if they are terminated. Sending messages via the router is done with the route method, as is done for the Work messages in the example above. The Router is immutable and the RoutingLogic is thread safe; meaning that they can also be used outside of actors. Note: In general, any message sent to a router will be sent onwards to its routees, but there is one exception. The special Broadcast Messages will send to all of a router’s routees 3.6. Routing 115 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.6.2 A Router Actor A router can also be created as a self contained actor that manages the routees itself and loads routing logic and other settings from configuration. This type of router actor comes in two distinct flavors: • Pool - The router creates routees as child actors and removes them from the router if they terminate. • Group - The routee actors are created externally to the router and the router sends messages to the specified path using actor selection, without watching for termination. The settings for a router actor can be defined in configuration or programmatically. Although router actors can be defined in the configuration file, they must still be created programmatically, i.e. you cannot make a router through external configuration alone. If you define the router actor in the configuration file then these settings will be used instead of any programmatically provided parameters. You send messages to the routees via the router actor in the same way as for ordinary actors, i.e. via its ActorRef. The router actor forwards messages onto its routees without changing the original sender. When a routee replies to a routed message, the reply will be sent to the original sender, not to the router actor. Note: In general, any message sent to a router will be sent onwards to its routees, but there are a few exceptions. These are documented in the Specially Handled Messages section below. Pool The following code and configuration snippets show how to create a round-robin router that forwards messages to five Worker routees. The routees will be created as the router’s children. akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router1{ router= round-robin-pool nr-of-instances=5 } } ActorRef router1= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(Props.create(Worker.class)), "router1"); Here is the same example, but with the router configuration provided programmatically instead of from configu- ration. ActorRef router2= getContext().actorOf(new RoundRobinPool(5).props(Props.create(Worker.class)), "router2"); Remote Deployed Routees In addition to being able to create local actors as routees, you can instruct the router to deploy its created children on a set of remote hosts. Routees will be deployed in round-robin fashion. In order to deploy routees remotely, wrap the router configuration in a RemoteRouterConfig, attaching the remote addresses of the nodes to deploy to. Remote deployment requires the akka-remote module to be included in the classpath. Address[] addresses={ new Address("akka.tcp", "remotesys", "otherhost", 1234), AddressFromURIString.parse("akka.tcp://othersys@anotherhost:1234")}; ActorRef routerRemote= system.actorOf( new RemoteRouterConfig(new RoundRobinPool(5), addresses).props( Props.create(Echo.class))); 3.6. Routing 116 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Senders When a routee sends a message, it can set itself as the sender. getSender().tell("reply", getSelf()); However, it is often useful for routees to set the router as a sender. For example, you might want to set the router as the sender if you want to hide the details of the routees behind the router. The following code snippet shows how to set the parent router as sender. getSender().tell("reply", getContext().parent()); Supervision Routees that are created by a pool router will be created as the router’s children. The router is therefore also the children’s supervisor. The supervision strategy of the router actor can be configured with the supervisorStrategy property of the Pool. If no configuration is provided, routers default to a strategy of “always escalate”. This means that errors are passed up to the router’s supervisor for handling. The router’s supervisor will decide what to do about any errors. Note the router’s supervisor will treat the error as an error with the router itself. Therefore a directive to stop or restart will cause the router itself to stop or restart. The router, in turn, will cause its children to stop and restart. It should be mentioned that the router’s restart behavior has been overridden so that a restart, while still re-creating the children, will still preserve the same number of actors in the pool. This means that if you have not specified supervisorStrategy of the router or its parent a failure in a routee will escalate to the parent of the router, which will by default restart the router, which will restart all routees (it uses Escalate and does not stop routees during restart). The reason is to make the default behave such that adding withRouter to a child’s definition does not change the supervision strategy applied to the child. This might be an inefficiency that you can avoid by specifying the strategy when defining the router. Setting the strategy is easily done: final SupervisorStrategy strategy= new OneForOneStrategy(5, Duration.create(1, TimeUnit.MINUTES), Collections.>singletonList(Exception.class)); final ActorRef router= system.actorOf(new RoundRobinPool(5). withSupervisorStrategy(strategy).props(Props.create(Echo.class))); Note: If the child of a pool router terminates, the pool router will not automatically spawn a new child. In the event that all children of a pool router have terminated the router will terminate itself unless it is a dynamic router, e.g. using a resizer. Group Sometimes, rather than having the router actor create its routees, it is desirable to create routees separately and pro- vide them to the router for its use. You can do this by passing an paths of the routees to the router’s configuration. Messages will be sent with ActorSelection to these paths. The example below shows how to create a router by providing it with the path strings of three routee actors. akka.actor.deployment { /parent/router3 { router = round-robin-group routees.paths = ["/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"] } } 3.6. Routing 117 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorRef router3= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(), "router3"); Here is the same example, but with the router configuration provided programmatically instead of from configu- ration. ActorRef router4= getContext().actorOf(new RoundRobinGroup(paths).props(), "router4"); The routee actors are created externally from the router: system.actorOf(Props.create(Workers.class), "workers"); public class Workers extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void preStart(){ getContext().actorOf(Props.create(Worker.class), "w1"); getContext().actorOf(Props.create(Worker.class), "w2"); getContext().actorOf(Props.create(Worker.class), "w3"); } // ... The paths may contain protocol and address information for actors running on remote hosts. Remoting requires the akka-remote module to be included in the classpath. akka.actor.deployment { /parent/remoteGroup { router = round-robin-group routees.paths = [ "akka.tcp://app@10.0.0.1:2552/user/workers/w1", "akka.tcp://app@10.0.0.2:2552/user/workers/w1", "akka.tcp://app@10.0.0.3:2552/user/workers/w1"] } } 3.6.3 Router usage In this section we will describe how to create the different types of router actors. The router actors in this section are created from within a top level actor named parent. Note that deployment paths in the configuration starts with /parent/ followed by the name of the router actor. system.actorOf(Props.create(Parent.class), "parent"); RoundRobinPool and RoundRobinGroup Routes in a round-robin fashion to its routees. RoundRobinPool defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router1{ router= round-robin-pool nr-of-instances=5 } } ActorRef router1= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(Props.create(Worker.class)), "router1"); RoundRobinPool defined in code: 3.6. Routing 118 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorRef router2= getContext().actorOf(new RoundRobinPool(5).props(Props.create(Worker.class)), "router2"); RoundRobinGroup defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment { /parent/router3 { router = round-robin-group routees.paths = ["/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"] } } ActorRef router3= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(), "router3"); RoundRobinGroup defined in code: List paths= Arrays.asList("/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"); ActorRef router4= getContext().actorOf(new RoundRobinGroup(paths).props(), "router4"); RandomPool and RandomGroup This router type selects one of its routees randomly for each message. RandomPool defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router5{ router= random-pool nr-of-instances=5 } } ActorRef router5= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router5"); RandomPool defined in code: ActorRef router6= getContext().actorOf(new RandomPool(5).props(Props.create(Worker.class)), "router6"); RandomGroup defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment { /parent/router7 { router = random-group routees.paths = ["/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"] } } ActorRef router7= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(), "router7"); RandomGroup defined in code: List paths= Arrays.asList("/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"); ActorRef router8= getContext().actorOf(new RandomGroup(paths).props(), "router8"); 3.6. Routing 119 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT BalancingPool A Router that will try to redistribute work from busy routees to idle routees. All routees share the same mailbox. BalancingPool defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router9{ router= balancing-pool nr-of-instances=5 } } ActorRef router9= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router9"); BalancingPool defined in code: ActorRef router10= getContext().actorOf(new SmallestMailboxPool(5).props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router10"); Addition configuration for the balancing dispatcher, which is used by the pool, can be configured in the pool-dispatcher section of the router deployment configuration. akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router9b{ router= balancing-pool nr-of-instances=5 pool-dispatcher{ attempt-teamwork= off } } } There is no Group variant of the BalancingPool. SmallestMailboxPool A Router that tries to send to the non-suspended child routee with fewest messages in mailbox. The selection is done in this order: • pick any idle routee (not processing message) with empty mailbox • pick any routee with empty mailbox • pick routee with fewest pending messages in mailbox • pick any remote routee, remote actors are consider lowest priority, since their mailbox size is unknown SmallestMailboxPool defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router11{ router= smallest-mailbox-pool nr-of-instances=5 } } ActorRef router11= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router11"); SmallestMailboxPool defined in code: 3.6. Routing 120 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorRef router12= getContext().actorOf(new SmallestMailboxPool(5).props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router12"); There is no Group variant of the SmallestMailboxPool because the size of the mailbox and the internal dispatching state of the actor is not practically available from the paths of the routees. BroadcastPool and BroadcastGroup A broadcast router forwards the message it receives to all its routees. BroadcastPool defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router13{ router= broadcast-pool nr-of-instances=5 } } ActorRef router13= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router13"); BroadcastPool defined in code: ActorRef router14= getContext().actorOf(new BroadcastPool(5).props(Props.create(Worker.class)), "router14"); BroadcastGroup defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment { /parent/router15 { router = broadcast-group routees.paths = ["/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"] } } ActorRef router15= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(), "router15"); BroadcastGroup defined in code: List paths= Arrays.asList("/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"); ActorRef router16= getContext().actorOf(new BroadcastGroup(paths).props(), "router16"); Note: Broadcast routers always broadcast every message to their routees. If you do not want to broadcast every message, then you can use a non-broadcasting router and use Broadcast Messages as needed. ScatterGatherFirstCompletedPool and ScatterGatherFirstCompletedGroup The ScatterGatherFirstCompletedRouter will send the message on to all its routees. It then waits for first reply it gets back. This result will be sent back to original sender. Other replies are discarded. It is expecting at least one reply within a configured duration, otherwise it will reply with akka.pattern.AskTimeoutException in a akka.actor.Status.Failure. ScatterGatherFirstCompletedPool defined in configuration: 3.6. Routing 121 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router17{ router= scatter-gather-pool nr-of-instances=5 within= 10 seconds } } ActorRef router17= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router17"); ScatterGatherFirstCompletedPool defined in code: FiniteDuration within= FiniteDuration.create(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS); ActorRef router18= getContext().actorOf(new ScatterGatherFirstCompletedPool(5, within).props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router18"); ScatterGatherFirstCompletedGroup defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment { /parent/router19 { router = scatter-gather-group routees.paths = ["/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"] within = 10 seconds } } ActorRef router19= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(), "router19"); ScatterGatherFirstCompletedGroup defined in code: List paths= Arrays.asList("/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"); FiniteDuration within2= FiniteDuration.create(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS); ActorRef router20= getContext().actorOf(new ScatterGatherFirstCompletedGroup(paths, within2).props(), "router20"); ConsistentHashingPool and ConsistentHashingGroup The ConsistentHashingPool uses consistent hashing to select a routee based on the sent message. This article gives good insight into how consistent hashing is implemented. There is 3 ways to define what data to use for the consistent hash key. • You can define withHashMapper of the router to map incoming messages to their consistent hash key. This makes the decision transparent for the sender. • The messages may implement akka.routing.ConsistentHashingRouter.ConsistentHashable. The key is part of the message and it’s convenient to define it together with the message definition. • The messages can be be wrapped in a akka.routing.ConsistentHashingRouter.ConsistentHashableEnvelope to define what data to use for the consistent hash key. The sender knows the key to use. These ways to define the consistent hash key can be use together and at the same time for one router. The withHashMapper is tried first. Code example: 3.6. Routing 122 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public class Cache extends UntypedActor{ Map cache= new HashMap(); public void onReceive(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof Entry){ Entry entry=(Entry) msg; cache.put(entry.key, entry.value); } else if(msg instanceof Get){ Get get=(Get) msg; Object value= cache.get(get.key); getSender().tell(value == null? NOT_FOUND: value, getContext().self()); } else if(msg instanceof Evict){ Evict evict=(Evict) msg; cache.remove(evict.key); } else{ unhandled(msg); } } } public final class Evict implements Serializable{ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; public final String key; public Evict(String key){ this.key= key; } } public final class Get implements Serializable, ConsistentHashable{ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; public final String key; public Get(String key){ this.key= key; } public Object consistentHashKey(){ return key; } } public final class Entry implements Serializable{ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; public final String key; public final String value; public Entry(String key, String value){ this.key= key; this.value= value; } } public final String NOT_FOUND= "NOT_FOUND"; final ConsistentHashMapper hashMapper= new ConsistentHashMapper(){ @Override public Object hashKey(Object message){ if(message instanceof Evict){ return((Evict) message).key; } else{ return null; } } }; 3.6. Routing 123 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorRef cache= system.actorOf( new ConsistentHashingPool(10).withHashMapper(hashMapper).props( Props.create(Cache.class)), "cache"); cache.tell(new ConsistentHashableEnvelope( new Entry("hello", "HELLO"), "hello"), getRef()); cache.tell(new ConsistentHashableEnvelope( new Entry("hi", "HI"), "hi"), getRef()); cache.tell(new Get("hello"), getRef()); expectMsgEquals("HELLO"); cache.tell(new Get("hi"), getRef()); expectMsgEquals("HI"); cache.tell(new Evict("hi"), getRef()); cache.tell(new Get("hi"), getRef()); expectMsgEquals(NOT_FOUND); In the above example you see that the Get message implements ConsistentHashable itself, while the Entry message is wrapped in a ConsistentHashableEnvelope. The Evict message is handled by the hashMapping partial function. ConsistentHashingPool defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router21{ router= consistent-hashing-pool nr-of-instances=5 virtual-nodes-factor= 10 } } ActorRef router21= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(Props.create(Worker.class)), "router21"); ConsistentHashingPool defined in code: ActorRef router22= getContext().actorOf(new ConsistentHashingPool(5).props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router22"); ConsistentHashingGroup defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment { /parent/router23 { router = consistent-hashing-group routees.paths = ["/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"] virtual-nodes-factor = 10 } } ActorRef router23= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(), "router23"); ConsistentHashingGroup defined in code: List paths= Arrays.asList("/user/workers/w1", "/user/workers/w2", "/user/workers/w3"); ActorRef router24= getContext().actorOf(new ConsistentHashingGroup(paths).props(), "router24"); 3.6. Routing 124 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT virtual-nodes-factor is the number of virtual nodes per routee that is used in the consistent hash node ring to make the distribution more uniform. 3.6.4 Specially Handled Messages Most messages sent to router actors will be forwarded according to the routers’ routing logic. However there are a few types of messages that have special behavior. Note that these special messages, except for the Broadcast message, are only handled by self contained router actors and not by the akka.routing.Router component described in A Simple Router. Broadcast Messages A Broadcast message can be used to send a message to all of a router’s routees. When a router receives a Broadcast message, it will broadcast that message’s payload to all routees, no matter how that router would normally route its messages. The example below shows how you would use a Broadcast message to send a very important message to every routee of a router. router.tell(new Broadcast("Watch out for Davy Jones’ locker"), getTestActor()); In this example the router receives the Broadcast message, extracts its payload ("Watch out for Davy Jones’ locker"), and then sends the payload on to all of the router’s routees. It is up to each each routee actor to handle the received payload message. PoisonPill Messages A PoisonPill message has special handling for all actors, including for routers. When any actor receives a PoisonPill message, that actor will be stopped. See the PoisonPill documentation for details. router.tell(PoisonPill.getInstance(), getTestActor()); For a router, which normally passes on messages to routees, it is important to realise that PoisonPill messages are processed by the router only. PoisonPill messages sent to a router will not be sent on to routees. However, a PoisonPill message sent to a router may still affect its routees, because it will stop the router and when the router stops it also stops its children. Stopping children is normal actor behavior. The router will stop routees that it has created as children. Each child will process its current message and then stop. This may lead to some messages being unprocessed. See the documentation on Stopping actors for more information. If you wish to stop a router and its routees, but you would like the routees to first process all the messages currently in their mailboxes, then you should not send a PoisonPill message to the router. Instead you should wrap a PoisonPill message inside a Broadcast message so that each routee will receive the PoisonPill message. Note that this will stop all routees, even if the routees aren’t children of the router, i.e. even routees programmatically provided to the router. router.tell(new Broadcast(PoisonPill.getInstance()), getTestActor()); With the code shown above, each routee will receive a PoisonPill message. Each routee will continue to process its messages as normal, eventually processing the PoisonPill. This will cause the routee to stop. After all routees have stopped the router will itself be stopped automatically unless it is a dynamic router, e.g. using a resizer. Note: Brendan W McAdams’ excellent blog post Distributing Akka Workloads - And Shutting Down Afterwards discusses in more detail how PoisonPill messages can be used to shut down routers and routees. 3.6. Routing 125 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Kill Messages Kill messages are another type of message that has special handling. See Killing an Actor for general informa- tion about how actors handle Kill messages. When a Kill message is sent to a router the router processes the message internally, and does not send it on to its routees. The router will throw an ActorKilledException and fail. It will then be either resumed, restarted or terminated, depending how it is supervised. Routees that are children of the router will also be suspended, and will be affected by the supervision directive that is applied to the router. Routees that are not the routers children, i.e. those that were created externally to the router, will not be affected. router.tell(Kill.getInstance(), getTestActor()); As with the PoisonPill message, there is a distinction between killing a router, which indirectly kills its children (who happen to be routees), and killing routees directly (some of whom may not be children.) To kill routees directly the router should be sent a Kill message wrapped in a Broadcast message. router.tell(new Broadcast(Kill.getInstance()), getTestActor()); Managagement Messages • Sending akka.routing.GetRoutees to a router actor will make it send back its currently used routees in a akka.routing.Routees message. • Sending akka.routing.AddRoutee to a router actor will add that routee to its collection of routees. • Sending akka.routing.RemoveRoutee to a router actor will remove that routee to its collection of routees. • Sending akka.routing.AdjustPoolSize to a pool router actor will add or remove that number of routees to its collection of routees. These management messages may be handled after other messages, so if you send AddRoutee immediately followed an ordinary message you are not guaranteed that the routees have been changed when the ordinary message is routed. If you need to know when the change has been applied you can send AddRoutee followed by GetRoutees and when you receive the Routees reply you know that the preceeding change has been applied. 3.6.5 Dynamically Resizable Pool All pools can be used with a fixed number of routees or with a resize strategy to adjust the number of routees dynamically. Pool with resizer defined in configuration: akka.actor.deployment{ /parent/router25{ router= round-robin-pool resizer{ lower-bound=2 upper-bound= 15 messages-per-resize= 100 } } } ActorRef router25= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router25"); 3.6. Routing 126 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Several more configuration options are available and described in akka.actor.deployment.default.resizer section of the reference Configuration. Pool with resizer defined in code: DefaultResizer resizer= new DefaultResizer(2, 15); ActorRef router26= getContext().actorOf(new RoundRobinPool(5).withResizer(resizer).props( Props.create(Worker.class)), "router26"); It is also worth pointing out that if you define the ‘‘router‘‘ in the configuration file then this value will be used instead of any programmatically sent parameters. Note: Resizing is triggered by sending messages to the actor pool, but it is not completed synchronously; instead a message is sent to the “head” RouterActor to perform the size change. Thus you cannot rely on resizing to instantaneously create new workers when all others are busy, because the message just sent will be queued to the mailbox of a busy actor. To remedy this, configure the pool to use a balancing dispatcher, see Configuring Dispatchers for more information. 3.6.6 How Routing is Designed within Akka On the surface routers look like normal actors, but they are actually implemented differently. Routers are designed to be extremely efficient at receiving messages and passing them quickly on to routees. A normal actor can be used for routing messages, but an actor’s single-threaded processing can become a bottle- neck. Routers can achieve much higher throughput with an optimization to the usual message-processing pipeline that allows concurrent routing. This is achieved by embedding routers’ routing logic directly in their ActorRef rather than in the router actor. Messages sent to a router’s ActorRef can be immediately routed to the routee, bypassing the single-threaded router actor entirely. The cost to this is, of course, that the internals of routing code are more complicated than if routers were im- plemented with normal actors. Fortunately all of this complexity is invisible to consumers of the routing API. However, it is something to be aware of when implementing your own routers. 3.6.7 Custom Router You can create your own router should you not find any of the ones provided by Akka sufficient for your needs. In order to roll your own router you have to fulfill certain criteria which are explained in this section. Before creating your own router you should consider whether a normal actor with router-like behavior might do the job just as well as a full-blown router. As explained above, the primary benefit of routers over normal actors is their higher performance. But they are somewhat more complicated to write than normal actors. Therefore if lower maximum throughput is acceptable in your application you may wish to stick with traditional actors. This section, however, assumes that you wish to get maximum performance and so demonstrates how you can create your own router. The router created in this example is replicating each message to a few destinations. Start with the routing logic: public class RedundancyRoutingLogic implements RoutingLogic{ private final int nbrCopies; public RedundancyRoutingLogic(int nbrCopies){ this.nbrCopies= nbrCopies; } RoundRobinRoutingLogic roundRobin= new RoundRobinRoutingLogic(); @Override public Routee select(Object message, IndexedSeq routees){ 3.6. Routing 127 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT List targets= new ArrayList(); for(int i=0;i< nbrCopies;i++){ targets.add(roundRobin.select(message, routees)); } return new SeveralRoutees(targets); } } select will be called for each message and in this example pick a few destinations by round-robin, by reusing the existing RoundRobinRoutingLogic and wrap the result in a SeveralRoutees instance. SeveralRoutees will send the message to all of the supplied routues. The implementation of the routing logic must be thread safe, since it might be used outside of actors. A unit test of the routing logic: public final class TestRoutee implements Routee{ public final int n; public TestRoutee(int n){ this.n=n; } @Override public void send(Object message, ActorRef sender){ } @Override public int hashCode(){ returnn; } @Override public boolean equals(Object obj){ return(obj instanceof TestRoutee)&& n ==((TestRoutee) obj).n; } } RedundancyRoutingLogic logic= new RedundancyRoutingLogic(3); List routeeList= new ArrayList(); for(int n=1;n <=7;n++){ routeeList.add(new TestRoutee(n)); } IndexedSeq routees= immutableIndexedSeq(routeeList); SeveralRoutees r1=(SeveralRoutees) logic.select("msg", routees); assertEquals(r1.getRoutees().get(0), routeeList.get(0)); assertEquals(r1.getRoutees().get(1), routeeList.get(1)); assertEquals(r1.getRoutees().get(2), routeeList.get(2)); SeveralRoutees r2=(SeveralRoutees) logic.select("msg", routees); assertEquals(r2.getRoutees().get(0), routeeList.get(3)); assertEquals(r2.getRoutees().get(1), routeeList.get(4)); assertEquals(r2.getRoutees().get(2), routeeList.get(5)); SeveralRoutees r3=(SeveralRoutees) logic.select("msg", routees); assertEquals(r3.getRoutees().get(0), routeeList.get(6)); assertEquals(r3.getRoutees().get(1), routeeList.get(0)); assertEquals(r3.getRoutees().get(2), routeeList.get(1)); You could stop here and use the RedundancyRoutingLogic with a akka.routing.Router as described in A Simple Router. 3.6. Routing 128 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Let us continue and make this into a self contained, configurable, router actor. Create a class that extends PoolBase, GroupBase or CustomRouterConfig. That class is a factory for the routing logic and holds the configuration for the router. Here we make it a Group. import java.util.List; import scala.Option; import scala.collection.immutable.Iterable; import akka.actor.ActorContext; import akka.actor.ActorPath; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.dispatch.Dispatchers; import akka.routing.Group; import akka.routing.Routee; import akka.routing.Router; import akka.routing.RouterActor; import akka.routing.RouterConfig; import akka.routing.RoutingLogic; import com.typesafe.config.Config; import akka.routing.GroupBase; import static docs.jrouting.CustomRouterDocTest.RedundancyRoutingLogic; public class RedundancyGroup extends GroupBase{ private final List paths; private final int nbrCopies; public RedundancyGroup(List paths, int nbrCopies){ this.paths= paths; this.nbrCopies= nbrCopies; } public RedundancyGroup(Config config){ this(config.getStringList("routees.paths"), config.getInt("nbr-copies")); } @Override public java.lang.Iterable getPaths(){ return paths; } @Override public Router createRouter(ActorSystem system){ return new Router(new RedundancyRoutingLogic(nbrCopies)); } @Override public String routerDispatcher(){ return Dispatchers.DefaultDispatcherId(); } } This can be used exactly as the router actors provided by Akka. for(int n=1;n <= 10;n++){ system.actorOf(Props.create(Storage.class), "s"+n); } List paths= new ArrayList(); 3.6. Routing 129 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT for(int n=1;n <= 10;n++){ paths.add("/user/s"+n); } ActorRef redundancy1= system.actorOf(new RedundancyGroup(paths,3).props(), "redundancy1"); redundancy1.tell("important", getTestActor()); Note that we added a constructor in RedundancyGroup that takes a Config parameter. That makes it possible to define it in configuration. akka.actor.deployment { /redundancy2 { router = "docs.jrouting.RedundancyGroup" routees.paths = ["/user/s1", "/user/s2", "/user/s3"] nbr-copies = 5 } } Note the fully qualified class name in the router property. The router class must extend akka.routing.RouterConfig (Pool, Group or CustomRouterConfig) and have constructor with one com.typesafe.config.Config parameter. The deployment section of the configuration is passed to the constructor. ActorRef redundancy2= system.actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(), "redundancy2"); redundancy2.tell("very important", getTestActor()); 3.6.8 Configuring Dispatchers The dispatcher for created children of the pool will be taken from Props as described in dispatchers-scala. To make it easy to define the dispatcher of the routees of the pool you can define the dispatcher inline in the deployment section of the config. akka.actor.deployment{ /poolWithDispatcher{ router= random-pool nr-of-instances=5 pool-dispatcher{ fork-join-executor.parallelism-min=5 fork-join-executor.parallelism-max=5 } } } That is the only thing you need to do enable a dedicated dispatcher for a pool. Note: If you use a group of actors and route to their paths, then they will still use the same dispatcher that was configured for them in their Props, it is not possible to change an actors dispatcher after it has been created. The “head” router cannot always run on the same dispatcher, because it does not process the same type of messages, hence this special actor does not use the dispatcher configured in Props, but takes the routerDispatcher from the RouterConfig instead, which defaults to the actor system’s default dis- patcher. All standard routers allow setting this property in their constructor or factory method, custom routers have to implement the method in a suitable way. Props props= // “head” router actor will run on "router-dispatcher" dispatcher // Worker routees will run on "pool-dispatcher" dispatcher 3.6. Routing 130 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT new RandomPool(5).withDispatcher("router-dispatcher").props( Props.create(Worker.class)); ActorRef router= system.actorOf(props, "poolWithDispatcher"); Note: It is not allowed to configure the routerDispatcher to be a akka.dispatch.BalancingDispatcherConfigurator since the messages meant for the spe- cial router actor cannot be processed by any other actor. 3.7 Building Finite State Machine Actors 3.7.1 Overview The FSM (Finite State Machine) pattern is best described in the Erlang design principles. In short, it can be seen as a set of relations of the form: State(S) x Event(E) -> Actions (A), State(S’) These relations are interpreted as meaning: If we are in state S and the event E occurs, we should perform the actions A and make a transition to the state S’. While the Scala programming language enables the formulation of a nice internal DSL (domain specific lan- guage) for formulating finite state machines (see fsm-scala), Java’s verbosity does not lend itself well to the same approach. This chapter describes ways to effectively achieve the same separation of concerns through self- discipline. 3.7.2 How State should be Handled All mutable fields (or transitively mutable data structures) referenced by the FSM actor’s implementation should be collected in one place and only mutated using a small well-defined set of methods. One way to achieve this is to assemble all mutable state in a superclass which keeps it private and offers protected methods for mutating it. import java.util.ArrayList; import java.util.List; import akka.actor.ActorRef; public abstract class MyFSMBase extends UntypedActor{ /* * This is the mutable state of this state machine. */ protected enum State{ IDLE, ACTIVE; } private State state= State.IDLE; private ActorRef target; private List queue; /* * Then come all the mutator methods: */ protected void init(ActorRef target){ this.target= target; queue= new ArrayList(); } 3.7. Building Finite State Machine Actors 131 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT protected void setState(States){ if(state !=s){ transition(state,s); state=s; } } protected void enqueue(Objecto){ if(queue != null) queue.add(o); } protected List drainQueue(){ final Listq= queue; if(q == null) throw new IllegalStateException("drainQueue(): not yet initialized"); queue= new ArrayList(); returnq; } /* * Here are the interrogation methods: */ protected boolean isInitialized(){ return target != null; } protected State getState(){ return state; } protected ActorRef getTarget(){ if(target == null) throw new IllegalStateException("getTarget(): not yet initialized"); return target; } /* * And finally the callbacks (only one in this example: react to state change) */ abstract protected void transition(State old, State next); } The benefit of this approach is that state changes can be acted upon in one central place, which makes it impossible to forget inserting code for reacting to state transitions when adding to the FSM’s machinery. 3.7.3 Message Buncher Example The base class shown above is designed to support a similar example as for the Scala FSM documentation: an actor which receives and queues messages, to be delivered in batches to a configurable target actor. The messages involved are: public final class SetTarget{ final ActorRef ref; public SetTarget(ActorRef ref){ this.ref= ref; } } public final class Queue{ final Objecto; 3.7. Building Finite State Machine Actors 132 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public Queue(Objecto){ this.o=o; } } public final Object flush= new Object(); public final class Batch{ final List objects; public Batch(List objects){ this.objects= objects; } } This actor has only the two states IDLE and ACTIVE, making their handling quite straight-forward in the concrete actor derived from the base class: import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; public class MyFSM extends MyFSMBase{ private final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); @Override public void onReceive(Objecto){ if(getState() == State.IDLE){ if(o instanceof SetTarget) init(((SetTarget)o).ref); else whenUnhandled(o); } else if(getState() == State.ACTIVE){ if(o == flush) setState(State.IDLE); else whenUnhandled(o); } } @Override public void transition(State old, State next){ if(old == State.ACTIVE){ getTarget().tell(new Batch(drainQueue()), getSelf()); } } private void whenUnhandled(Objecto){ if(o instanceof Queue&& isInitialized()){ enqueue(((Queue)o).o); setState(State.ACTIVE); } else{ log.warning("received unknown message {} in state {}",o, getState()); 3.7. Building Finite State Machine Actors 133 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } } The trick here is to factor out common functionality like whenUnhandled and transition in order to obtain a few well-defined points for reacting to change or insert logging. 3.7.4 State-Centric vs. Event-Centric In the example above, the subjective complexity of state and events was roughly equal, making it a matter of taste whether to choose primary dispatch on either; in the example a state-based dispatch was chosen. Depending on how evenly the matrix of possible states and events is populated, it may be more practical to handle different events first and distinguish the states in the second tier. An example would be a state machine which has a multitude of internal states but handles only very few distinct events. 3.8 Persistence Java 8 lambda expressions are also supported now. (See section Persistence (Java with Lambda Support)) Akka persistence enables stateful actors to persist their internal state so that it can be recovered when an actor is started, restarted after a JVM crash or by a supervisor, or migrated in a cluster. The key concept behind Akka persistence is that only changes to an actor’s internal state are persisted but never its current state directly (except for optional snapshots). These changes are only ever appended to storage, nothing is ever mutated, which allows for very high transaction rates and efficient replication. Stateful actors are recovered by replaying stored changes to these actors from which they can rebuild internal state. This can be either the full history of changes or starting from a snapshot which can dramatically reduce recovery times. Akka persistence also provides point-to-point communication channels with at-least-once message delivery semantics. Warning: This module is marked as “experimental” as of its introduction in Akka 2.3.0. We will continue to improve this API based on our users’ feedback, which implies that while we try to keep incompatible changes to a minimum the binary compatibility guarantee for maintenance releases does not apply to the contents of the akka.persistence package. Akka persistence is inspired by and the official replacement of the eventsourced library. It follows the same concepts and architecture of eventsourced but significantly differs on API and implementation level. See also Migration Guide Eventsourced to Akka Persistence 2.3.x 3.8.1 Dependencies Akka persistence is a separate jar file. Make sure that you have the following dependency in your project: com.typesafe.akka akka-persistence-experimental_2.10 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.8.2 Architecture • Processor: A processor is a persistent, stateful actor. Messages sent to a processor are written to a journal before its onReceive method is called. When a processor is started or restarted, journaled messages are replayed to that processor, so that it can recover internal state from these messages. 3.8. Persistence 134 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • View: A view is a persistent, stateful actor that receives journaled messages that have been written by another processor. A view itself does not journal new messages, instead, it updates internal state only from a processor’s replicated message stream. • Channel: Channels are used by processors and views to communicate with other actors. They prevent that replayed messages are redundantly delivered to these actors and provide at-least-once message delivery semantics, also in case of sender and receiver JVM crashes. • Journal: A journal stores the sequence of messages sent to a processor. An application can control which messages are journaled and which are received by the processor without being journaled. The storage backend of a journal is pluggable. The default journal storage plugin writes to the local filesystem, replicated journals are available as Community plugins. • Snapshot store: A snapshot store persists snapshots of a processor’s or a view’s internal state. Snapshots are used for optimizing recovery times. The storage backend of a snapshot store is pluggable. The default snapshot storage plugin writes to the local filesystem. • Event sourcing. Based on the building blocks described above, Akka persistence provides abstractions for the development of event sourced applications (see section Event sourcing) 3.8.3 Processors A processor can be implemented by extending the abstract UntypedProcessor class and implementing the onReceive method. class MyProcessor extends UntypedProcessor{ public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof Persistent){ // message successfully written to journal Persistent persistent=(Persistent)message; Object payload= persistent.payload(); Long sequenceNr= persistent.sequenceNr(); // ... } else if(message instanceof PersistenceFailure){ // message failed to be written to journal PersistenceFailure failure=(PersistenceFailure)message; Object payload= failure.payload(); Long sequenceNr= failure.sequenceNr(); Throwable cause= failure.cause(); // ... } else{ // message not written to journal } } } Processors only write messages of type Persistent to the journal, others are received without being persisted. When a processor’s onReceive method is called with a Persistent message it can safely assume that this message has been successfully written to the journal. If a journal fails to write a Persistent message then the processor is stopped, by default. If a processor should continue running on persistence failures it must handle PersistenceFailure messages. In this case, a processor may want to inform the sender about the failure, so that the sender can re-send the message, if needed. An UntypedProcessor itself is an Actor and can therefore be instantiated with actorOf. processor= getContext().actorOf(Props.create(MyProcessor.class), "myProcessor"); processor.tell(Persistent.create("foo"), null); processor.tell("bar", null); 3.8. Persistence 135 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Recovery By default, a processor is automatically recovered on start and on restart by replaying journaled messages. New messages sent to a processor during recovery do not interfere with replayed messages. New messages will only be received by a processor after recovery completes. Recovery customization Automated recovery on start can be disabled by overriding preStart with an empty implementation. @Override public void preStart(){} In this case, a processor must be recovered explicitly by sending it a Recover message. processor.tell(Recover.create(), null); If not overridden, preStart sends a Recover message to getSelf(). Applications may also override preStart to define further Recover parameters such as an upper sequence number bound, for example. @Override public void preStart(){ getSelf().tell(Recover.create(457L), null); } Upper sequence number bounds can be used to recover a processor to past state instead of current state. Automated recovery on restart can be disabled by overriding preRestart with an empty implementation. @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message){} Recovery status A processor can query its own recovery status via the methods public boolean recoveryRunning(); public boolean recoveryFinished(); Failure handling A persistent message that caused an exception will be received again by a processor after restart. To prevent a replay of that message during recovery it can be deleted. @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message){ if(message.isDefined()&& message.get() instanceof Persistent){ deleteMessage(((Persistent) message.get()).sequenceNr()); } super.preRestart(reason, message); } Message deletion A processor can delete a single message by calling the deleteMessage method with the sequence number of that message as argument. An optional permanent parameter specifies whether the message shall be perma- nently deleted from the journal or only marked as deleted. In both cases, the message won’t be replayed. Later extensions to Akka persistence will allow to replay messages that have been marked as deleted which can be useful 3.8. Persistence 136 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT for debugging purposes, for example. To delete all messages (journaled by a single processor) up to a specified sequence number, processors should call the deleteMessages method. Identifiers A processor must have an identifier that doesn’t change across different actor incarnations. It defaults to the String representation of processor’s path without the address part and can be obtained via the processorId method. public String processorId(); Applications can customize a processor’s id by specifying an actor name during processor creation as shown in section Processors. This changes that processor’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the processor id. To fully customize a processor’s id, the processorId method must be overridden. @Override public String processorId(){ return "my-stable-processor-id"; } Overriding processorId is the recommended way to generate stable identifiers. 3.8.4 Views Views can be implemented by extending the UntypedView trait and implementing the onReceive and the processorId methods. class MyView extends UntypedView{ @Override public String processorId(){ return "some-processor-id"; } @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof Persistent){ // ... } } } The processorId identifies the processor from which the view receives journaled messages. It is not necessary the referenced processor is actually running. Views read messages from a processor’s journal directly. When a processor is started later and begins to write new messages, the corresponding view is updated automatically, by default. Updates The default update interval of all views of an actor system is configurable: akka.persistence.view.auto-update-interval=5s View implementation classes may also override the autoUpdateInterval method to return a custom update interval for a specific view class or view instance. Applications may also trigger additional updates at any time by sending a view an Update message. final ActorRef view= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyView.class)); view.tell(Update.create(true), null); 3.8. Persistence 137 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT If the await parameter is set to true, messages that follow the Update request are processed when the incre- mental message replay, triggered by that update request, completed. If set to false (default), messages following the update request may interleave with the replayed message stream. Automated updates always run with await = false. Automated updates of all views of an actor system can be turned off by configuration: akka.persistence.view.auto-update= off Implementation classes may override the configured default value by overriding the autoUpdate method. To limit the number of replayed messages per update request, applications can con- figure a custom akka.persistence.view.auto-update-replay-max value or override the autoUpdateReplayMax method. The number of replayed messages for manual updates can be limited with the replayMax parameter of the Update message. Recovery Initial recovery of views works in the very same way as for Processors (i.e. by sending a Recover message to self). The maximum number of replayed messages during initial recovery is determined by autoUpdateReplayMax. Further possibilities to customize initial recovery are explained in section Proces- sors. Identifiers A view must have an identifier that doesn’t change across different actor incarnations. It defaults to the String representation of the actor path without the address part and can be obtained via the viewId method. Applications can customize a view’s id by specifying an actor name during view creation. This changes that view’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the view id. To fully customize a view’s id, the viewId method must be overridden. Overriding viewId is the recommended way to generate stable identifiers. The viewId must differ from the referenced processorId, unless Snapshots of a view and its processor shall be shared (which is what applications usually do not want). 3.8.5 Channels Channels are special actors that are used by processors or views to communicate with other actors (channel desti- nations). The following discusses channels in context of processors but this is also applicable to views. Channels prevent redundant delivery of replayed messages to destinations during processor recovery. A replayed message is retained by a channel if its delivery has been confirmed by a destination. class MyProcessor extends UntypedProcessor{ private final ActorRef destination; private final ActorRef channel; public MyProcessor(){ this.destination= getContext().actorOf(Props.create(MyDestination.class)); this.channel= getContext().actorOf(Channel.props(), "myChannel"); } public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof Persistent){ Persistentp=(Persistent)message; Persistent out=p.withPayload("done "+p.payload()); channel.tell(Deliver.create(out, destination.path()), getSelf()); } } } 3.8. Persistence 138 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT class MyDestination extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof ConfirmablePersistent){ ConfirmablePersistentp=(ConfirmablePersistent)message; Object payload=p.payload(); Long sequenceNr=p.sequenceNr(); int redeliveries=p.redeliveries(); // ... p.confirm(); } } } A channel is ready to use once it has been created, no recovery or further activation is needed. A Deliver request instructs a channel to send a Persistent message to a destination. A destination is provided as ActorPath and messages are sent by the channel via that path’s ActorSelection. Sender references are preserved by a channel, therefore, a destination can reply to the sender of a Deliver request. Note: Sending via a channel has at-least-once delivery semantics—by virtue of either the sending actor or the channel being persistent—which means that the semantics do not match those of a normal ActorRef send operation: • it is not at-most-once delivery • message order for the same sender–receiver pair is not retained due to possible resends • after a crash and restart of the destination messages are still delivered—to the new actor incarnation These semantics match precisely what an ActorPath represents (see Actor Lifecycle), therefore you need to supply a path and not a reference when constructing Deliver messages. If a processor wants to reply to a Persistent message sender it should use the getSender() path as channel destination. channel.tell(Deliver.create(out, getSender().path()), getSelf()); Persistent messages delivered by a channel are of type ConfirmablePersistent. ConfirmablePersistent extends Persistent by adding the methods confirm and redeliveries (see also Message re-delivery). A channel destination confirms the delivery of a ConfirmablePersistent message by calling confirm() on that message. This asynchronously writes a confirmation entry to the journal. Replayed messages internally contain confirmation entries which allows a channel to decide if it should retain these messages or not. A Processor can also be used as channel destination i.e. it can persist ConfirmablePersistent messages too. Message re-delivery Channels re-deliver messages to destinations if they do not confirm delivery within a configurable timeout. This timeout can be specified as redeliverInterval when creating a channel, optionally together with the maxi- mum number of re-deliveries a channel should attempt for each unconfirmed message. The number of re-delivery attempts can be obtained via the redeliveries method on ConfirmablePersistent. getContext().actorOf(Channel.props( ChannelSettings.create() .withRedeliverInterval(Duration.create(30, TimeUnit.SECONDS)) .withRedeliverMax(15))); A channel keeps messages in memory until their successful delivery has been confirmed or the maximum number of re-deliveries is reached. To be notified about messages that have reached the maximum number of re-deliveries, applications can register a listener at channel creation. 3.8. Persistence 139 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT class MyListener extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof RedeliverFailure){ Iterable messages= ((RedeliverFailure)message).getMessages(); // ... } } } final ActorRef myListener= getContext().actorOf(Props.create(MyListener.class)); getContext().actorOf(Channel.props( ChannelSettings.create().withRedeliverFailureListener(null))); A listener receives RedeliverFailure notifications containing all messages that could not be delivered. On receiving a RedeliverFailure message, an application may decide to restart the sending processor to enforce a re-send of these messages to the channel or confirm these messages to prevent further re-sends. The sending processor can also be restarted any time later to re-send unconfirmed messages. This combination of • message persistence by sending processors • message replays by sending processors • message re-deliveries by channels and • application-level confirmations (acknowledgements) by destinations enables channels to provide at-least-once message delivery semantics. Possible duplicates can be detected by destinations by tracking message sequence numbers. Message sequence numbers are generated per sending pro- cessor. Depending on how a processor routes outbound messages to destinations, they may either see a contiguous message sequence or a sequence with gaps. Warning: If a processor emits more than one outbound message per inbound Persistent message it must use a separate channel for each outbound message to ensure that confirmations are uniquely identifiable, otherwise, at-least-once message delivery semantics do not apply. This rule has been introduced to avoid writing additional outbound message identifiers to the journal which would decrease the overall throughput. It is furthermore recommended to collapse multiple outbound messages to the same destination into a single outbound message, otherwise, if sent via multiple channels, their ordering is not defined. If an application wants to have more control how sequence numbers are assigned to messages it should use an application-specific sequence number generator and include the generated sequence numbers into the payload of Persistent messages. Persistent channels Channels created with Channel.props do not persist messages. These channels are usually used in combina- tion with a sending processor that takes care of persistence, hence, channel-specific persistence is not necessary in this case. They are referred to as transient channels in the following. Persistent channels are like transient channels but additionally persist messages before delivering them. Mes- sages that have been persisted by a persistent channel are deleted when destinations confirm their deliv- ery. A persistent channel can be created with PersistentChannel.props and configured with a PersistentChannelSettings object. final ActorRef channel= getContext().actorOf(PersistentChannel.props( PersistentChannelSettings.create() .withRedeliverInterval(Duration.create(30, TimeUnit.SECONDS)) .withRedeliverMax(15)), "myPersistentChannel"); 3.8. Persistence 140 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT channel.tell(Deliver.create(Persistent.create("example"), destination.path()), getSelf()); A persistent channel is useful for delivery of messages to slow destinations or destinations that are unavailable for a long time. It can constrain the number of pending confirmations based on the pendingConfirmationsMax and pendingConfirmationsMin parameters of PersistentChannelSettings. PersistentChannelSettings.create() .withPendingConfirmationsMax(10000) .withPendingConfirmationsMin(2000); It suspends delivery when the number of pending confirmations reaches pendingConfirmationsMax and re- sumes delivery again when this number falls below pendingConfirmationsMin. This prevents both, flood- ing destinations with more messages than they can process and unlimited memory consumption by the channel. A persistent channel continues to persist new messages even when message delivery is temporarily suspended. Standalone usage Applications may also use channels standalone. Transient channels can be used standalone if re-delivery attempts to destinations are required but message loss in case of a sender JVM crash is not an issue. If message loss in case of a sender JVM crash is an issue, persistent channels should be used. In this case, applications may want to receive replies from the channel whether messages have been successfully persisted or not. This can be enabled by creating the channel with the replyPersistent configuration parameter set to true: PersistentChannelSettings.create().withReplyPersistent(true); With this setting, either the successfully persisted message is replied to the sender or a PersistenceFailure message. In case the latter case, the sender should re-send the message. Identifiers In the same way as Processors and Views, channels also have an identifier that defaults to a channel’s path. A channel identifier can therefore be customized by using a custom actor name at channel creation. This changes that channel’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the channel identifier. To fully customize a channel identifier, it should be provided as argument Channel.props(String) or PersistentChannel.props(String) (recommended to generate stable identifiers). this.channel= getContext().actorOf(Channel.props("my-stable-channel-id")); 3.8.6 Persistent messages Payload The payload of a Persistent message can be obtained via its payload method. Inside processors, new mes- sages must be derived from the current persistent message before sending them via a channel, either by calling p.withPayload(...) or Persistent.create(..., getCurrentPersistentMessage()) where getCurrentPersistentMessage() is defined on UntypedProcessor. public Persistent getCurrentPersistentMessage(); This is necessary for delivery confirmations to work properly. Both ways are equivalent but we recommend using p.withPayload(...) for clarity. It is not allowed to send a message via a channel that has been created with Persistent.create(...). This would redeliver the message on every replay even though its delivery was confirmed by a destination. 3.8. Persistence 141 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Sequence number The sequence number of a Persistent message can be obtained via its sequenceNr method. Persistent messages are assigned sequence numbers on a per-processor basis (or per channel basis if used standalone). A sequence starts at 1L and doesn’t contain gaps unless a processor deletes messages. 3.8.7 Snapshots Snapshots can dramatically reduce recovery times of processors and views. The following discusses snapshots in context of processors but this is also applicable to views. Processors can save snapshots of internal state by calling the saveSnapshot method. If saving of a snapshot succeeds, the processor receives a SaveSnapshotSuccess message, otherwise a SaveSnapshotFailure message class MyProcessor extends UntypedProcessor{ private Object state; @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message.equals("snap")){ saveSnapshot(state); } else if(message instanceof SaveSnapshotSuccess){ SnapshotMetadata metadata=((SaveSnapshotSuccess)message).metadata(); // ... } else if(message instanceof SaveSnapshotFailure){ SnapshotMetadata metadata=((SaveSnapshotFailure)message).metadata(); // ... } } } During recovery, the processor is offered a previously saved snapshot via a SnapshotOffer message from which it can initialize internal state. class MyProcessor extends UntypedProcessor{ private Object state; @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof SnapshotOffer){ state=((SnapshotOffer)message).snapshot(); // ... } else if(message instanceof Persistent){ // ... } } } The replayed messages that follow the SnapshotOffer message, if any, are younger than the offered snapshot. They finally recover the processor to its current (i.e. latest) state. In general, a processor is only offered a snapshot if that processor has previously saved one or more snapshots and at least one of these snapshots matches the SnapshotSelectionCriteria that can be specified for recovery. processor.tell(Recover.create(SnapshotSelectionCriteria.create(457L, System.currentTimeMillis())), null); If not specified, they default to SnapshotSelectionCriteria.latest() which selects the latest (= youngest) snapshot. To disable snapshot-based recovery, applications should use SnapshotSelectionCriteria.none(). A recovery where no saved snapshot matches the speci- fied SnapshotSelectionCriteria will replay all journaled messages. 3.8. Persistence 142 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Snapshot deletion A processor can delete individual snapshots by calling the deleteSnapshot method with the se- quence number and the timestamp of a snapshot as argument. To bulk-delete snapshots matching SnapshotSelectionCriteria, processors should use the deleteSnapshots method. 3.8.8 Event sourcing In all the examples so far, messages that change a processor’s state have been sent as Persistent messages by an application, so that they can be replayed during recovery. From this point of view, the journal acts as a write- ahead-log for whatever Persistent messages a processor receives. This is also known as command sourcing. Commands, however, may fail and some applications cannot tolerate command failures during recovery. For these applications Event Sourcing is a better choice. Applied to Akka persistence, the basic idea behind event sourcing is quite simple. A processor receives a (non-persistent) command which is first validated if it can be applied to the current state. Here, validation can mean anything, from simple inspection of a command message’s fields up to a conversation with several external services, for example. If validation succeeds, events are generated from the command, representing the effect of the command. These events are then persisted and, after successful persistence, used to change a processor’s state. When the processor needs to be recovered, only the persisted events are replayed of which we know that they can be successfully applied. In other words, events cannot fail when being replayed to a processor, in contrast to commands. Eventsourced processors may of course also process commands that do not change application state, such as query commands, for example. Akka persistence supports event sourcing with the abstract UntypedEventsourcedProcessor class (which implements event sourcing as a pattern on top of command sourcing). A processor that extends this abstract class does not handle Persistent messages directly but uses the persist method to persist and handle events. The behavior of an UntypedEventsourcedProcessor is defined by implementing onReceiveRecover and onReceiveCommand. This is demonstrated in the following example. import java.io.Serializable; import java.util.ArrayList; import akka.actor.*; import akka.japi.Procedure; import akka.persistence.*; import static java.util.Arrays.asList; class Cmd implements Serializable{ private final String data; public Cmd(String data){ this.data= data; } public String getData(){ return data; } } class Evt implements Serializable{ private final String data; public Evt(String data){ this.data= data; } public String getData(){ return data; } } 3.8. Persistence 143 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT class ExampleState implements Serializable{ private final ArrayList events; public ExampleState(){ this(new ArrayList()); } public ExampleState(ArrayList events){ this.events= events; } public ExampleState copy(){ return new ExampleState(new ArrayList(events)); } public void update(Evt evt){ events.add(evt.getData()); } public int size(){ return events.size(); } @Override public String toString(){ return events.toString(); } } class ExampleProcessor extends UntypedEventsourcedProcessor{ private ExampleState state= new ExampleState(); public int getNumEvents(){ return state.size(); } public void onReceiveRecover(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof Evt){ state.update((Evt) msg); } else if(msg instanceof SnapshotOffer){ state=(ExampleState)((SnapshotOffer)msg).snapshot(); } } public void onReceiveCommand(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof Cmd){ final String data=((Cmd)msg).getData(); final Evt evt1= new Evt(data+ "-"+ getNumEvents()); final Evt evt2= new Evt(data+ "-"+(getNumEvents()+1)); persist(asList(evt1, evt2), new Procedure(){ public void apply(Evt evt) throws Exception{ state.update(evt); if(evt.equals(evt2)){ getContext().system().eventStream().publish(evt); if(data.equals("foo")) getContext().become(otherCommandHandler); } } }); } else if(msg.equals("snap")){ // IMPORTANT: create a copy of snapshot // because ExampleState is mutable !!! saveSnapshot(state.copy()); 3.8. Persistence 144 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } else if(msg.equals("print")){ System.out.println(state); } } private Procedure otherCommandHandler= new Procedure(){ public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof Cmd&&((Cmd)msg).getData().equals("bar")){ persist(new Evt("bar-"+ getNumEvents()), new Procedure(){ public void apply(Evt event) throws Exception{ state.update(event); getContext().unbecome(); } }); unstashAll(); } else{ stash(); } } }; } The example defines two data types, Cmd and Evt to represent commands and events, respectively. The state of the ExampleProcessor is a list of persisted event data contained in ExampleState. The processor’s onReceiveRecover method defines how state is updated during recovery by handling Evt and SnapshotOffer messages. The processor’s onReceiveCommand method is a command handler. In this example, a command is handled by generating two events which are then persisted and handled. Events are persisted by calling persist with an event (or a sequence of events) as first argument and an event handler as second argument. The persist method persists events asynchronously and the event handler is executed for successfully persisted events. Successfully persisted events are internally sent back to the processor as individual messages that trigger event handler executions. An event handler may close over processor state and mutate it. The sender of a persisted event is the sender of the corresponding command. This allows event handlers to reply to the sender of a command (not shown). The main responsibility of an event handler is changing processor state using event data and notifying others about successful state changes by publishing events. When persisting events with persist it is guaranteed that the processor will not receive further commands between the persist call and the execution(s) of the associated event handler. This also holds for multiple persist calls in context of a single command. The example also shows how to switch between command different command handlers with getContext().become() and getContext().unbecome(). The easiest way to run this example yourself is to download Typesafe Activator and open the tutorial named Akka Persistence Samples with Java. It contains instructions on how to run the EventsourcedExample. Reliable event delivery Sending events from an event handler to another actor has at-most-once delivery semantics. For at-least-once delivery, Channels must be used. In this case, also replayed events (received by receiveRecover) must be sent to a channel, as shown in the following example: class MyEventsourcedProcessor extends UntypedEventsourcedProcessor{ private ActorRef destination; private ActorRef channel; public MyEventsourcedProcessor(ActorRef destination){ this.destination= destination; this.channel= getContext().actorOf(Channel.props(), "channel"); } 3.8. Persistence 145 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT private void handleEvent(String event){ // update state // ... // reliably deliver events channel.tell(Deliver.create(Persistent.create( event, getCurrentPersistentMessage()), destination.path()), getSelf()); } public void onReceiveRecover(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof String){ handleEvent((String)msg); } } public void onReceiveCommand(Object msg){ if(msg.equals("cmd")){ persist("evt", new Procedure(){ public void apply(String event){ handleEvent(event); } }); } } } In larger integration scenarios, channel destinations may be actors that submit received events to an external message broker, for example. After having successfully submitted an event, they should call confirm() on the received ConfirmablePersistent message. 3.8.9 Batch writes To optimize throughput, an UntypedProcessor internally batches received Persistent messages under high load before writing them to the journal (as a single batch). The batch size dynamically grows from 1 under low and moderate loads to a configurable maximum size (default is 200) under high load. akka.persistence.journal.max-message-batch-size= 200 A new batch write is triggered by a processor as soon as a batch reaches the maximum size or if the journal completed writing the previous batch. Batch writes are never timer-based which keeps latencies at a minimum. Applications that want to have more explicit control over batch writes and batch sizes can send processors PersistentBatch messages. class MyProcessor extends UntypedProcessor{ public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof Persistent){ Persistentp=(Persistent)message; if(p.payload().equals("a")){/*... */} if(p.payload().equals("b")){/*... */} } } } class Example{ final ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("example"); final ActorRef processor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyProcessor.class)); public void batchWrite(){ processor.tell(PersistentBatch.create(asList( Persistent.create("a"), Persistent.create("b"))), null); 3.8. Persistence 146 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } // ... } Persistent messages contained in a PersistentBatch are always written atomically, even if the batch size is greater than max-message-batch-size. Also, a PersistentBatch is written isolated from other batches. Persistent messages contained in a PersistentBatch are received individually by a processor. PersistentBatch messages, for example, are used internally by an UntypedEventsourcedProcessor to ensure atomic writes of events. All events that are persisted in context of a single command are written as a single batch to the journal (even if persist is called multiple times per command). The recovery of an UntypedEventsourcedProcessor will therefore never be done partially (with only a subset of events persisted by a single command). Confirmation and deletion operations performed by Channels are also batched. The maximum confirmation and deletion batch sizes are configurable with akka.persistence.journal.max-confirmation-batch-size and akka.persistence.journal.max-deletion-batch-size, respectively. 3.8.10 Storage plugins Storage backends for journals and snapshot stores are pluggable in Akka persistence. The default journal plugin writes messages to LevelDB (see Local LevelDB journal). The default snapshot store plugin writes snapshots as individual files to the local filesystem (see Local snapshot store). Applications can provide their own plugins by implementing a plugin API and activate them by configuration. Plugin development requires the following imports: import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import scala.concurrent.Future; import akka.japi.Option; import akka.japi.Procedure; import akka.persistence.*; import akka.persistence.journal.japi.*; import akka.persistence.snapshot.japi.*; Journal plugin API A journal plugin either extends SyncWriteJournal or AsyncWriteJournal. SyncWriteJournal is an actor that should be extended when the storage backend API only supports synchronous, blocking writes. In this case, the methods to be implemented are: /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of persistent messages to the * journal. The batch write must be atomic i.e. either all persistent messages in the * batch are written or none. */ void doWriteMessages(Iterable messages); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of delivery confirmations to * the journal. */ void doWriteConfirmations(Iterable confirmations); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously deletes messages identified by ‘messageIds‘ * from the journal. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are * marked as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. */ 3.8. Persistence 147 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT void doDeleteMessages(Iterable messageIds, boolean permanent); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously deletes all persistent messages up to *‘toSequenceNr‘. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are * marked as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. * *@see AsyncRecoveryPlugin */ void doDeleteMessagesTo(String processorId, long toSequenceNr, boolean permanent); AsyncWriteJournal is an actor that should be extended if the storage backend API supports asynchronous, non-blocking writes. In this case, the methods to be implemented are: /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of persistent messages to the * journal. The batch write must be atomic i.e. either all persistent messages in the * batch are written or none. */ Future doAsyncWriteMessages(Iterable messages); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of delivery confirmations to * the journal. */ Future doAsyncWriteConfirmations(Iterable confirmations); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously deletes messages identified by ‘messageIds‘ * from the journal. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are * marked as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. */ Future doAsyncDeleteMessages(Iterable messageIds, boolean permanent); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously deletes all persistent messages up to *‘toSequenceNr‘. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are * marked as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. * *@see AsyncRecoveryPlugin */ Future doAsyncDeleteMessagesTo(String processorId, long toSequenceNr, boolean permanent); Message replays and sequence number recovery are always asynchronous, therefore, any journal plugin must implement: /** * Java API, Plugin API: asynchronously replays persistent messages. * Implementations replay a message by calling ‘replayCallback‘. The returned * future must be completed when all messages (matching the sequence number * bounds) have been replayed. The future must be completed with a failure if * any of the persistent messages could not be replayed. * * The ‘replayCallback‘ must also be called with messages that have been marked * as deleted. In this case a replayed message’s ‘deleted‘ method must return *‘true‘. * * The channel ids of delivery confirmations that are available for a replayed * message must be contained in that message’s ‘confirms‘ sequence. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param fromSequenceNr sequence number where replay should start (inclusive). *@param toSequenceNr sequence number where replay should end (inclusive). 3.8. Persistence 148 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT *@param max maximum number of messages to be replayed. *@param replayCallback called to replay a single message. Can be called from any * thread. */ Future doAsyncReplayMessages(String processorId, long fromSequenceNr, long toSequenceNr, long max, Procedure replayCallback); /** * Java API, Plugin API: asynchronously reads the highest stored sequence number * for the given ‘processorId‘. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param fromSequenceNr hint where to start searching for the highest sequence * number. */ Future doAsyncReadHighestSequenceNr(String processorId, long fromSequenceNr); A journal plugin can be activated with the following minimal configuration: # Path to the journal plugin to be used akka.persistence.journal.plugin= "my-journal" # My custom journal plugin my-journal{ # Class name of the plugin. class= "docs.persistence.MyJournal" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher= "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" } The specified plugin class must have a no-arg constructor. The plugin-dispatcher is the dispatcher used for the plugin actor. If not specified, it defaults to akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher for SyncWriteJournal plugins and akka.actor.default-dispatcher for AsyncWriteJournal plugins. Snapshot store plugin API A snapshot store plugin must extend the SnapshotStore actor and implement the following methods: /** * Java API, Plugin API: asynchronously loads a snapshot. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param criteria selection criteria for loading. */ Future> doLoadAsync(String processorId, SnapshotSelectionCriteria criteria); /** * Java API, Plugin API: asynchronously saves a snapshot. * *@param metadata snapshot metadata. *@param snapshot snapshot. */ Future doSaveAsync(SnapshotMetadata metadata, Object snapshot); /** * Java API, Plugin API: called after successful saving of a snapshot. * *@param metadata snapshot metadata. */ void onSaved(SnapshotMetadata metadata) throws Exception; /** 3.8. Persistence 149 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT * Java API, Plugin API: deletes the snapshot identified by ‘metadata‘. * *@param metadata snapshot metadata. */ void doDelete(SnapshotMetadata metadata) throws Exception; /** * Java API, Plugin API: deletes all snapshots matching ‘criteria‘. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param criteria selection criteria for deleting. */ void doDelete(String processorId, SnapshotSelectionCriteria criteria) throws Exception; A snapshot store plugin can be activated with the following minimal configuration: # Path to the snapshot store plugin to be used akka.persistence.snapshot-store.plugin= "my-snapshot-store" # My custom snapshot store plugin my-snapshot-store{ # Class name of the plugin. class= "docs.persistence.MySnapshotStore" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher= "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher" } The specified plugin class must have a no-arg constructor. The plugin-dispatcher is the dispatcher used for the plugin actor. If not specified, it defaults to akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher. 3.8.11 Pre-packaged plugins Local LevelDB journal The default journal plugin is akka.persistence.journal.leveldb which writes messages to a local LevelDB instance. The default location of the LevelDB files is a directory named journal in the current working directory. This location can be changed by configuration where the specified path can be relative or absolute: akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.dir= "target/journal" With this plugin, each actor system runs its own private LevelDB instance. Shared LevelDB journal A LevelDB instance can also be shared by multiple actor systems (on the same or on different nodes). This, for example, allows processors to failover to a backup node and continue using the shared journal instance from the backup node. Warning: A shared LevelDB instance is a single point of failure and should therefore only be used for testing purposes. Highly-available, replicated journal are available as Community plugins. A shared LevelDB instance is started by instantiating the SharedLeveldbStore actor. final ActorRef store= system.actorOf(Props.create(SharedLeveldbStore.class), "store"); By default, the shared instance writes journaled messages to a local directory named journal in the current working directory. The storage location can be changed by configuration: 3.8. Persistence 150 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared.store.dir= "target/shared" Actor systems that use a shared LevelDB store must activate the akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared plugin. akka.persistence.journal.plugin= "akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared" This plugin must be initialized by injecting the (remote) SharedLeveldbStore actor reference. Injection is done by calling the SharedLeveldbJournal.setStore method with the actor reference as argument. class SharedStorageUsage extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void preStart() throws Exception{ String path= "akka.tcp://example@127.0.0.1:2552/user/store"; ActorSelection selection= getContext().actorSelection(path); selection.tell(new Identify(1), getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof ActorIdentity){ ActorIdentity identity=(ActorIdentity) message; if(identity.correlationId().equals(1)){ ActorRef store= identity.getRef(); if(store != null){ SharedLeveldbJournal.setStore(store, getContext().system()); } } } } } Internal journal commands (sent by processors) are buffered until injection completes. Injection is idempotent i.e. only the first injection is used. Local snapshot store The default snapshot store plugin is akka.persistence.snapshot-store.local. It writes snapshot files to the local filesystem. The default storage location is a directory named snapshots in the current working directory. This can be changed by configuration where the specified path can be relative or absolute: akka.persistence.snapshot-store.local.dir= "target/snapshots" 3.8.12 Custom serialization Serialization of snapshots and payloads of Persistent messages is configurable with Akka’s Serialization infrastructure. For example, if an application wants to serialize • payloads of type MyPayload with a custom MyPayloadSerializer and • snapshots of type MySnapshot with a custom MySnapshotSerializer it must add akka.actor{ serializers{ my-payload= "docs.persistence.MyPayloadSerializer" my-snapshot= "docs.persistence.MySnapshotSerializer" } serialization-bindings{ "docs.persistence.MyPayload"= my-payload "docs.persistence.MySnapshot"= my-snapshot 3.8. Persistence 151 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } to the application configuration. If not specified, a default serializer is used. 3.8.13 Testing When running tests with LevelDB default settings in sbt, make sure to set fork := true in your sbt project otherwise, you’ll see an UnsatisfiedLinkError. Alternatively, you can switch to a LevelDB Java port by setting akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.native= off or akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared.store.native= off in your Akka configuration. The LevelDB Java port is for testing purposes only. 3.9 Testing Actor Systems As with any piece of software, automated tests are a very important part of the development cycle. The actor model presents a different view on how units of code are delimited and how they interact, which has an influence on how to perform tests. Note: Due to the conciseness of test DSLs available for Scala (ScalaTest, Specs2, ScalaCheck), it may be a good idea to write the test suite in that language even if the main project is written in Java. If that is not desirable, you can also use TestKit and friends from Java, albeit with more verbose syntax which is covered below. Munish Gupta has published a nice post showing several patterns you may find useful. Akka comes with a dedicated module akka-testkit for supporting tests at different levels, which fall into two clearly distinct categories: • Testing isolated pieces of code without involving the actor model, meaning without multiple threads; this implies completely deterministic behavior concerning the ordering of events and no concurrency concerns and will be called Unit Testing in the following. • Testing (multiple) encapsulated actors including multi-threaded scheduling; this implies non-deterministic order of events but shielding from concurrency concerns by the actor model and will be called Integration Testing in the following. There are of course variations on the granularity of tests in both categories, where unit testing reaches down to white-box tests and integration testing can encompass functional tests of complete actor networks. The important distinction lies in whether concurrency concerns are part of the test or not. The tools offered are described in detail in the following sections. Note: Be sure to add the module akka-testkit to your dependencies. 3.9.1 Synchronous Unit Testing with TestActorRef Testing the business logic inside Actor classes can be divided into two parts: first, each atomic operation must work in isolation, then sequences of incoming events must be processed correctly, even in the presence of some possible variability in the ordering of events. The former is the primary use case for single-threaded unit testing, while the latter can only be verified in integration tests. 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 152 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Normally, the ActorRef shields the underlying Actor instance from the outside, the only communications channel is the actor’s mailbox. This restriction is an impediment to unit testing, which led to the inception of the TestActorRef. This special type of reference is designed specifically for test purposes and allows access to the actor in two ways: either by obtaining a reference to the underlying actor instance, or by invoking or querying the actor’s behaviour (receive). Each one warrants its own section below. Obtaining a Reference to an Actor Having access to the actual Actor object allows application of all traditional unit testing techniques on the contained methods. Obtaining a reference is done like this: static class MyActor extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Objecto) throws Exception{ if(o.equals("say42")){ getSender().tell(42, getSelf()); } else if(o instanceof Exception){ throw(Exception)o; } } public boolean testMe(){ return true;} } @Test public void demonstrateTestActorRef(){ final Props props= Props.create(MyActor.class); final TestActorRef ref= TestActorRef.create(system, props, "testA"); final MyActor actor= ref.underlyingActor(); assertTrue(actor.testMe()); } Since TestActorRef is generic in the actor type it returns the underlying actor with its proper static type. From this point on you may bring any unit testing tool to bear on your actor as usual. Testing the Actor’s Behavior When the dispatcher invokes the processing behavior of an actor on a message, it actually calls apply on the current behavior registered for the actor. This starts out with the return value of the declared receive method, but it may also be changed using become and unbecome in response to external messages. All of this con- tributes to the overall actor behavior and it does not lend itself to easy testing on the Actor itself. Therefore the TestActorRef offers a different mode of operation to complement the Actor testing: it supports all operations also valid on normal ActorRef. Messages sent to the actor are processed synchronously on the current thread and answers may be sent back as usual. This trick is made possible by the CallingThreadDispatcher described below (see CallingThreadDispatcher); this dispatcher is set implicitly for any actor instantiated into a TestActorRef. final Props props= Props.create(MyActor.class); final TestActorRef ref= TestActorRef.create(system, props, "testB"); final Future future= akka.pattern.Patterns.ask(ref, "say42", 3000); assertTrue(future.isCompleted()); assertEquals(42, Await.result(future, Duration.Zero())); As the TestActorRef is a subclass of LocalActorRef with a few special extras, also aspects like super- vision and restarting work properly, but beware that execution is only strictly synchronous as long as all actors involved use the CallingThreadDispatcher. As soon as you add elements which include more sophisti- cated scheduling you leave the realm of unit testing as you then need to think about asynchronicity again (in most cases the problem will be to wait until the desired effect had a chance to happen). One more special aspect which is overridden for single-threaded tests is the receiveTimeout, as including that would entail asynchronous queuing of ReceiveTimeout messages, violating the synchronous contract. 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 153 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Note: To summarize: TestActorRef overwrites two fields: it sets the dispatcher to CallingThreadDispatcher.global and it sets the receiveTimeout to None. The Way In-Between: Expecting Exceptions If you want to test the actor behavior, including hotswapping, but without involving a dispatcher and without having the TestActorRef swallow any thrown exceptions, then there is another mode available for you: just use the receive method on TestActorRef, which will be forwarded to the underlying actor: final Props props= Props.create(MyActor.class); final TestActorRef ref= TestActorRef.create(system, props, "myActor"); try{ ref.receive(new Exception("expected")); fail("expected an exception to be thrown"); } catch(Exceptione){ assertEquals("expected",e.getMessage()); } Use Cases You may of course mix and match both modi operandi of TestActorRef as suits your test needs: • one common use case is setting up the actor into a specific internal state before sending the test message • another is to verify correct internal state transitions after having sent the test message Feel free to experiment with the possibilities, and if you find useful patterns, don’t hesitate to let the Akka forums know about them! Who knows, common operations might even be worked into nice DSLs. 3.9.2 Asynchronous Integration Testing with JavaTestKit When you are reasonably sure that your actor’s business logic is correct, the next step is verifying that it works correctly within its intended environment. The definition of the environment depends of course very much on the problem at hand and the level at which you intend to test, ranging for functional/integration tests to full system tests. The minimal setup consists of the test procedure, which provides the desired stimuli, the actor under test, and an actor receiving replies. Bigger systems replace the actor under test with a network of actors, apply stimuli at varying injection points and arrange results to be sent from different emission points, but the basic principle stays the same in that a single procedure drives the test. The JavaTestKit class contains a collection of tools which makes this common task easy. import org.junit.AfterClass; import org.junit.Assert; import org.junit.BeforeClass; import org.junit.Test; import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.testkit.JavaTestKit; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; public class TestKitSampleTest{ public static class SomeActor extends UntypedActor{ ActorRef target= null; public void onReceive(Object msg){ 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 154 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT if(msg.equals("hello")){ getSender().tell("world", getSelf()); if(target != null) target.forward(msg, getContext()); } else if(msg instanceof ActorRef){ target=(ActorRef) msg; getSender().tell("done", getSelf()); } } } static ActorSystem system; @BeforeClass public static void setup(){ system= ActorSystem.create(); } @AfterClass public static void teardown(){ JavaTestKit.shutdownActorSystem(system); system= null; } @Test public void testIt(){ /* * Wrap the whole test procedure within a testkit constructor * if you want to receive actor replies or use Within(), etc. */ new JavaTestKit(system){{ final Props props= Props.create(SomeActor.class); final ActorRef subject= system.actorOf(props); // can also use JavaTestKit “from the outside” final JavaTestKit probe= new JavaTestKit(system); // “inject” the probe by passing it to the test subject // like a real resource would be passed in production subject.tell(probe.getRef(), getRef()); // await the correct response expectMsgEquals(duration("1 second"), "done"); // the run() method needs to finish within 3 seconds new Within(duration("3 seconds")){ protected void run(){ subject.tell("hello", getRef()); // This is a demo: would normally use expectMsgEquals(). // Wait time is bounded by 3-second deadline above. new AwaitCond(){ protected boolean cond(){ return probe.msgAvailable(); } }; // response must have been enqueued to us before probe expectMsgEquals(Duration.Zero(), "world"); // check that the probe we injected earlier got the msg probe.expectMsgEquals(Duration.Zero(), "hello"); Assert.assertEquals(getRef(), probe.getLastSender()); 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 155 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT // Will wait for the rest of the 3 seconds expectNoMsg(); } }; }}; } } The JavaTestKit contains an actor named testActor which is the entry point for messages to be examined with the various expectMsg... assertions detailed below. The test actor’s reference is obtained using the getRef method as demonstrated above. The testActor may also be passed to other actors as usual, usually subscribing it as notification listener. There is a whole set of examination methods, e.g. receiving all consecutive messages matching certain criteria, receiving a whole sequence of fixed messages or classes, receiving nothing for some time, etc. The ActorSystem passed in to the constructor of JavaTestKit is accessible via the getSystem method. Note: Remember to shut down the actor system after the test is finished (also in case of failure) so that all actors—including the test actor—are stopped. Built-In Assertions The above mentioned expectMsgEquals is not the only method for formulating assertions concerning received messages, the full set is this: final String hello= expectMsgEquals("hello"); final Object any= expectMsgAnyOf("hello", "world"); final Object[] all= expectMsgAllOf("hello", "world"); final int i= expectMsgClass(Integer.class); final Numberj= expectMsgAnyClassOf(Integer.class, Long.class); expectNoMsg(); final Object[] two= receiveN(2); In these examples, the maximum durations you will find mentioned below are left out, in which case they use the default value from configuration item akka.test.single-expect-default which itself defaults to 3 seconds (or they obey the innermost enclosing Within as detailed below). The full signatures are: • public T expectMsgEquals(Duration max, T msg) The given message object must be received within the specified time; the object will be returned. • public Object expectMsgAnyOf(Duration max, Object... msg) An object must be received within the given time, and it must be equal (compared with equals()) to at least one of the passed reference objects; the received object will be returned. • public Object[] expectMsgAllOf(Duration max, Object... msg) A number of objects matching the size of the supplied object array must be received within the given time, and for each of the given objects there must exist at least one among the received ones which equals it (compared with equals()). The full sequence of received objects is returned in the order received. • public T expectMsgClass(Duration max, Class c) An object which is an instance of the given Class must be received within the allotted time frame; the object will be returned. Note that this does a conformance check, if you need the class to be equal you need to verify that afterwards. • public T expectMsgAnyClassOf(Duration max, Class... c) 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 156 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT An object must be received within the given time, and it must be an instance of at least one of the supplied Class objects; the received object will be returned. Note that this does a conformance check, if you need the class to be equal you need to verify that afterwards. Note: Because of a limitation in Java’s type system it may be necessary to add @SuppressWarnings("unchecked") when using this method. • public void expectNoMsg(Duration max) No message must be received within the given time. This also fails if a message has been received before calling this method which has not been removed from the queue using one of the other methods. • Object[] receiveN(int n, Duration max) n messages must be received within the given time; the received messages are returned. For cases which require more refined conditions there are constructs which take code blocks: • ExpectMsg new JavaTestKit(system){{ getRef().tell(42, ActorRef.noSender()); final String out= new ExpectMsg("match hint"){ // do not put code outside this method, will run afterwards protected String match(Object in){ if(in instanceof Integer){ return "match"; } else{ throw noMatch(); } } }.get(); // this extracts the received message assertEquals("match", out); }}; The match(Object in) method will be evaluated once a message has been received within the allotted time (which may be given as constructor argument). If it throws noMatch() (where it is sufficient to call that method; the throw keyword is only needed in cases where the compiler would otherwise complain about wrong return types—Java is lacking Scala’s notion of a type which signifies “will not ever return normally”), then the expectation fails with an AssertionError, otherwise the matched and possibly transformed object is stored for retrieval using the get method. • ReceiveWhile new JavaTestKit(system){{ getRef().tell(42, ActorRef.noSender()); getRef().tell(43, ActorRef.noSender()); getRef().tell("hello", ActorRef.noSender()); final String[] out= new ReceiveWhile(String.class, duration("1 second")){ // do not put code outside this method, will run afterwards protected String match(Object in){ if(in instanceof Integer){ return in.toString(); } else{ throw noMatch(); } } }.get(); // this extracts the received messages assertArrayEquals(new String[]{"42", "43"}, out); expectMsgEquals("hello"); }}; This construct works like ExpectMsg, but it continually collects messages as long as they match the criteria, 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 157 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT and it does not fail when a non-matching one is encountered. Collecting messages also ends when the time is up, when too much time passes between messages or when enough messages have been received. new ReceiveWhile( // type of array to be created must match ... String.class, // ... this class which is needed to that end duration("100 millis"), // maximum collect time duration("50 millis"), // maximum time between messages 12 // maximum number of messages to collect ){ // match elided ... }; The need to specify the String result type twice results from the need to create a correctly typed array and Java’s inability to infer the class’s type argument. • AwaitCond new JavaTestKit(system){{ getRef().tell(42, ActorRef.noSender()); new AwaitCond( duration("1 second"), // maximum wait time duration("100 millis") // interval at which to check the condition ){ // do not put code outside this method, will run afterwards protected boolean cond(){ // typically used to wait for something to start up return msgAvailable(); } }; }}; This general construct is not connected with the test kit’s message reception, the embedded condition can compute the boolean result from anything in scope. – AwaitAssert new JavaTestKit(system){{ getRef().tell(42, ActorRef.noSender()); new AwaitAssert( duration("1 second"), // maximum wait time duration("100 millis") // interval at which to check the condition ){ // do not put code outside this method, will run afterwards protected void check(){ assertEquals(msgAvailable(), true); } }; }}; This general construct is not connected with the test kit’s message reception, the embedded assert can check anything in scope. There are also cases where not all messages sent to the test kit are actually relevant to the test, but removing them would mean altering the actors under test. For this purpose it is possible to ignore certain messages: • IgnoreMsg new JavaTestKit(system){{ // ignore all Strings new IgnoreMsg(){ protected boolean ignore(Object msg){ return msg instanceof String; } }; getRef().tell("hello", ActorRef.noSender()); 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 158 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT getRef().tell(42, ActorRef.noSender()); expectMsgEquals(42); // remove message filter ignoreNoMsg(); getRef().tell("hello", ActorRef.noSender()); expectMsgEquals("hello"); }}; Expecting Log Messages Since an integration test does not allow to the internal processing of the participating actors, verifying expected exceptions cannot be done directly. Instead, use the logging system for this purpose: replacing the normal event handler with the TestEventListener and using an EventFilter allows assertions on log messages, in- cluding those which are generated by exceptions: new JavaTestKit(system){{ assertEquals("TestKitDocTest", system.name()); final ActorRef victim= system.actorOf(Props.empty(), "victim"); final int result= new EventFilter(ActorKilledException.class){ protected Integer run(){ victim.tell(Kill.getInstance(), ActorRef.noSender()); return 42; } }.from("akka://TestKitDocTest/user/victim").occurrences(1).exec(); assertEquals(42, result); }}; If a number of occurrences is specific—as demonstrated above—then exec() will block until that number of matching messages have been received or the timeout configured in akka.test.filter-leeway is used up (time starts counting after the run() method returns). In case of a timeout the test fails. Note: Be sure to exchange the default logger with the TestEventListener in your application.conf to enable this function: akka.loggers=[akka.testkit.TestEventListener] Timing Assertions Another important part of functional testing concerns timing: certain events must not happen immediately (like a timer), others need to happen before a deadline. Therefore, all examination methods accept an upper time limit within the positive or negative result must be obtained. Lower time limits need to be checked external to the examination, which is facilitated by a new construct for managing time constraints: new JavaTestKit(system){{ getRef().tell(42, ActorRef.noSender()); new Within(Duration.Zero(), Duration.create(1, "second")){ // do not put code outside this method, will run afterwards public void run(){ assertEquals((Integer) 42, expectMsgClass(Integer.class)); } }; }}; The block in Within.run must complete after a Duration which is between min and max, where the former defaults to zero. The deadline calculated by adding the max parameter to the block’s start time is implicitly available within the block to all examination methods, if you do not specify it, it is inherited from the innermost enclosing within block. 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 159 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT It should be noted that if the last message-receiving assertion of the block is expectNoMsg or receiveWhile, the final check of the within is skipped in order to avoid false positives due to wake-up latencies. This means that while individual contained assertions still use the maximum time bound, the overall block may take arbitrarily longer in this case. Note: All times are measured using System.nanoTime, meaning that they describe wall time, not CPU time or system time. Accounting for Slow Test Systems The tight timeouts you use during testing on your lightning-fast notebook will invariably lead to spurious test failures on the heavily loaded Jenkins server (or similar). To account for this situation, all maximum durations are internally scaled by a factor taken from the Configuration, akka.test.timefactor, which defaults to 1. You can scale other durations with the same factor by using dilated method in JavaTestKit. new JavaTestKit(system){{ final Duration original= duration("1 second"); final Duration stretched= dilated(original); assertTrue("dilated", stretched.gteq(original)); }}; Using Multiple Probe Actors When the actors under test are supposed to send various messages to different destinations, it may be difficult distinguishing the message streams arriving at the testActor when using the JavaTestKit as shown until now. Another approach is to use it for creation of simple probe actors to be inserted in the message flows. The functionality is best explained using a small example: new JavaTestKit(system){{ // simple actor which just forwards messages class Forwarder extends UntypedActor{ final ActorRef target; @SuppressWarnings("unused") public Forwarder(ActorRef target){ this.target= target; } public void onReceive(Object msg){ target.forward(msg, getContext()); } } // create a test probe final JavaTestKit probe= new JavaTestKit(system); // create a forwarder, injecting the probe’s testActor final Props props= Props.create(Forwarder.class, this, probe.getRef()); final ActorRef forwarder= system.actorOf(props, "forwarder"); // verify correct forwarding forwarder.tell(42, getRef()); probe.expectMsgEquals(42); assertEquals(getRef(), probe.getLastSender()); }}; This simple test verifies an equally simple Forwarder actor by injecting a probe as the forwarder’s target. Another example would be two actors A and B which collaborate by A sending messages to B. In order to verify this message flow, a TestProbe could be inserted as target of A, using the forwarding capabilities or auto-pilot described below to include a real B in the test setup. 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 160 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Probes may also be equipped with custom assertions to make your test code even more concise and clear: new JavaTestKit(system){{ class MyProbe extends JavaTestKit{ public MyProbe(){ super(system); } public void assertHello(){ expectMsgEquals("hello"); } } final MyProbe probe= new MyProbe(); probe.getRef().tell("hello", ActorRef.noSender()); probe.assertHello(); }}; You have complete flexibility here in mixing and matching the JavaTestKit facilities with your own checks and choosing an intuitive name for it. In real life your code will probably be a bit more complicated than the example given above; just use the power! Warning: Any message send from a TestProbe to another actor which runs on the CallingThreadDis- patcher runs the risk of dead-lock, if that other actor might also send to this probe. The implementation of TestProbe.watch and TestProbe.unwatch will also send a message to the watchee, which means that it is dangerous to try watching e.g. TestActorRef from a TestProbe. Watching Other Actors from Probes A JavaTestKit can register itself for DeathWatch of any other actor: new JavaTestKit(system){{ final JavaTestKit probe= new JavaTestKit(system); probe.watch(target); target.tell(PoisonPill.getInstance(), ActorRef.noSender()); final Terminated msg= probe.expectMsgClass(Terminated.class); assertEquals(msg.getActor(), target); }}; Replying to Messages Received by Probes The probe stores the sender of the last dequeued message (i.e. after its expectMsg* reception), which may be retrieved using the getLastSender method. This information can also implicitly be used for having the probe reply to the last received message: new JavaTestKit(system){{ final JavaTestKit probe= new JavaTestKit(system); probe.getRef().tell("hello", getRef()); probe.expectMsgEquals("hello"); probe.reply("world"); expectMsgEquals("world"); assertEquals(probe.getRef(), getLastSender()); }}; Forwarding Messages Received by Probes The probe can also forward a received message (i.e. after its expectMsg* reception), retaining the original sender: 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 161 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT new JavaTestKit(system){{ final JavaTestKit probe= new JavaTestKit(system); probe.getRef().tell("hello", getRef()); probe.expectMsgEquals("hello"); probe.forward(getRef()); expectMsgEquals("hello"); assertEquals(getRef(), getLastSender()); }}; Auto-Pilot Receiving messages in a queue for later inspection is nice, but in order to keep a test running and verify traces later you can also install an AutoPilot in the participating test probes (actually in any TestKit) which is invoked before enqueueing to the inspection queue. This code can be used to forward messages, e.g. in a chain A --> Probe --> B, as long as a certain protocol is obeyed. new JavaTestKit(system){{ final JavaTestKit probe= new JavaTestKit(system); // install auto-pilot probe.setAutoPilot(new TestActor.AutoPilot(){ public AutoPilot run(ActorRef sender, Object msg){ sender.tell(msg, ActorRef.noSender()); return noAutoPilot(); } }); // first one is replied to directly ... probe.getRef().tell("hello", getRef()); expectMsgEquals("hello"); // ... but then the auto-pilot switched itself off probe.getRef().tell("world", getRef()); expectNoMsg(); }}; The run method must return the auto-pilot for the next message, wrapped in an Option; setting it to None terminates the auto-pilot. Caution about Timing Assertions The behavior of within blocks when using test probes might be perceived as counter-intuitive: you need to remember that the nicely scoped deadline as described above is local to each probe. Hence, probes do not react to each other’s deadlines or to the deadline set in an enclosing JavaTestKit instance: new JavaTestKit(system){{ final JavaTestKit probe= new JavaTestKit(system); new Within(duration("1 second")){ public void run(){ probe.expectMsgEquals("hello"); } }; }}; Here, the expectMsgEquals call will use the default timeout. 3.9.3 CallingThreadDispatcher The CallingThreadDispatcher serves good purposes in unit testing, as described above, but originally it was conceived in order to allow contiguous stack traces to be generated in case of an error. As this special dispatcher runs everything which would normally be queued directly on the current thread, the full history of a message’s processing chain is recorded on the call stack, so long as all intervening actors run on this dispatcher. 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 162 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT How to use it Just set the dispatcher as you normally would: system.actorOf( Props.create(MyActor.class) .withDispatcher(CallingThreadDispatcher.Id())); How it works When receiving an invocation, the CallingThreadDispatcher checks whether the receiving actor is already active on the current thread. The simplest example for this situation is an actor which sends a message to itself. In this case, processing cannot continue immediately as that would violate the actor model, so the invocation is queued and will be processed when the active invocation on that actor finishes its processing; thus, it will be processed on the calling thread, but simply after the actor finishes its previous work. In the other case, the invocation is simply processed immediately on the current thread. Futures scheduled via this dispatcher are also executed immediately. This scheme makes the CallingThreadDispatcher work like a general purpose dispatcher for any actors which never block on external events. In the presence of multiple threads it may happen that two invocations of an actor running on this dispatcher happen on two different threads at the same time. In this case, both will be processed directly on their respective threads, where both compete for the actor’s lock and the loser has to wait. Thus, the actor model is left intact, but the price is loss of concurrency due to limited scheduling. In a sense this is equivalent to traditional mutex style concurrency. The other remaining difficulty is correct handling of suspend and resume: when an actor is suspended, subsequent invocations will be queued in thread-local queues (the same ones used for queuing in the normal case). The call to resume, however, is done by one specific thread, and all other threads in the system will probably not be executing this specific actor, which leads to the problem that the thread-local queues cannot be emptied by their native threads. Hence, the thread calling resume will collect all currently queued invocations from all threads into its own queue and process them. Limitations Warning: In case the CallingThreadDispatcher is used for top-level actors, but without going through TestAc- torRef, then there is a time window during which the actor is awaiting construction by the user guardian actor. Sending messages to the actor during this time period will result in them being enqueued and then executed on the guardian’s thread instead of the caller’s thread. To avoid this, use TestActorRef. If an actor’s behavior blocks on a something which would normally be affected by the calling actor after having sent the message, this will obviously dead-lock when using this dispatcher. This is a common scenario in actor tests based on CountDownLatch for synchronization: val latch= new CountDownLatch(1) actor! startWorkAfter(latch) // actor will call latch.await() before proceeding doSomeSetupStuff() latch.countDown() The example would hang indefinitely within the message processing initiated on the second line and never reach the fourth line, which would unblock it on a normal dispatcher. Thus, keep in mind that the CallingThreadDispatcher is not a general-purpose replacement for the normal dispatchers. On the other hand it may be quite useful to run your actor network on it for testing, because if it runs without dead-locking chances are very high that it will not dead-lock in production. 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 163 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Warning: The above sentence is unfortunately not a strong guarantee, because your code might directly or indirectly change its behavior when running on a different dispatcher. If you are looking for a tool to help you debug dead-locks, the CallingThreadDispatcher may help with certain error scenarios, but keep in mind that it has may give false negatives as well as false positives. Thread Interruptions If the CallingThreadDispatcher sees that the current thread has its isInterrupted() flag set when message processing returns, it will throw an InterruptedException after finishing all its processing (i.e. all mes- sages which need processing as described above are processed before this happens). As tell cannot throw exceptions due to its contract, this exception will then be caught and logged, and the thread’s interrupted status will be set again. If during message processing an InterruptedException is thrown then it will be caught inside the Call- ingThreadDispatcher’s message handling loop, the thread’s interrupted flag will be set and processing continues normally. Note: The summary of these two paragraphs is that if the current thread is interrupted while doing work under the CallingThreadDispatcher, then that will result in the isInterrupted flag to be true when the message send returns and no InterruptedException will be thrown. Benefits To summarize, these are the features with the CallingThreadDispatcher has to offer: • Deterministic execution of single-threaded tests while retaining nearly full actor semantics • Full message processing history leading up to the point of failure in exception stack traces • Exclusion of certain classes of dead-lock scenarios 3.9.4 Tracing Actor Invocations The testing facilities described up to this point were aiming at formulating assertions about a system’s behavior. If a test fails, it is usually your job to find the cause, fix it and verify the test again. This process is supported by debuggers as well as logging, where the Akka toolkit offers the following options: • Logging of exceptions thrown within Actor instances This is always on; in contrast to the other logging mechanisms, this logs at ERROR level. • Logging of special messages Actors handle certain special messages automatically, e.g. Kill, PoisonPill, etc. Tracing of these message invocations is enabled by the setting akka.actor.debug.autoreceive, which enables this on all actors. • Logging of the actor lifecycle Actor creation, start, restart, monitor start, monitor stop and stop may be traced by enabling the setting akka.actor.debug.lifecycle; this, too, is enabled uniformly on all actors. All these messages are logged at DEBUG level. To summarize, you can enable full logging of actor activities using this configuration fragment: akka{ loglevel= "DEBUG" actor{ debug{ autoreceive= on 3.9. Testing Actor Systems 164 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT lifecycle= on } } } 3.10 Actors (Java with Lambda Support) The Actor Model provides a higher level of abstraction for writing concurrent and distributed systems. It alleviates the developer from having to deal with explicit locking and thread management, making it easier to write correct concurrent and parallel systems. Actors were defined in the 1973 paper by Carl Hewitt but have been popularized by the Erlang language, and used for example at Ericsson with great success to build highly concurrent and reliable telecom systems. The API of Akka’s Actors is similar to Scala Actors which has borrowed some of its syntax from Erlang. Warning: The Java with lambda support part of Akka is marked as “experimental” as of its introduction in Akka 2.3.0. We will continue to improve this API based on our users’ feedback, which implies that while we try to keep incompatible changes to a minimum, but the binary compatibility guarantee for maintenance releases does not apply to the akka.actor.AbstractActor, related classes and the akka.japi.pf package. 3.10.1 Creating Actors Note: Since Akka enforces parental supervision every actor is supervised and (potentially) the supervisor of its children, it is advisable that you familiarize yourself with Actor Systems and Supervision and Monitoring and it may also help to read Actor References, Paths and Addresses. Defining an Actor class Actor classes are implemented by extending the AbstractActor class and implementing the receive method. The receive method should define a series of match statements (which has the type PartialFunction) that defines which messages your Actor can handle, along with the implementation of how the messages should be processed. Don’t let the type signature scare you. To allow you to easily build up a partial function there is a builder named ReceiveBuilder that you can use. Here is an example: import akka.actor.AbstractActor; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import akka.japi.pf.ReceiveBuilder; import scala.PartialFunction; import scala.runtime.BoxedUnit; public class MyActor extends AbstractActor{ private final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(context().system(), this); @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(String.class,s ->{ log.info("Received String message: {}",s); }). 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 165 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT matchAny(o -> log.info("received unknown message")).build(); } } Please note that the Akka Actor receive message loop is exhaustive, which is different compared to Erlang and the late Scala Actors. This means that you need to provide a pattern match for all messages that it can accept and if you want to be able to handle unknown messages then you need to have a default case as in the example above. Otherwise an akka.actor.UnhandledMessage(message, sender, recipient) will be published to the ActorSystem‘s EventStream. Note further that the return type of the behavior defined above is Unit; if the actor shall reply to the received message then this must be done explicitly as explained below. The result of the receive method is a partial function object, which is stored within the actor as its “initial be- havior”, see Become/Unbecome for further information on changing the behavior of an actor after its construction. Props Props is a configuration class to specify options for the creation of actors, think of it as an immutable and thus freely shareable recipe for creating an actor including associated deployment information (e.g. which dispatcher to use, see more below). Here are some examples of how to create a Props instance. import akka.actor.Props; Props props1= Props.create(MyActor.class); Props props2= Props.create(ActorWithArgs.class, () -> new ActorWithArgs("arg")); // careful, see below Props props3= Props.create(ActorWithArgs.class, "arg"); The second variant shows how to pass constructor arguments to the Actor being created, but it should only be used outside of actors as explained below. The last line shows a possibility to pass constructor arguments regardless of the context it is being used in. The presence of a matching constructor is verified during construction of the Props object, resulting in an IllegalArgumentEception if no or multiple matching constructors are found. Dangerous Variants // NOT RECOMMENDED within another actor: // encourages to close over enclosing class Props props7= Props.create(ActorWithArgs.class, () -> new ActorWithArgs("arg")); This method is not recommended to be used within another actor because it encourages to close over the enclos- ing scope, resulting in non-serializable Props and possibly race conditions (breaking the actor encapsulation). On the other hand using this variant in a Props factory in the actor’s companion object as documented under “Recommended Practices” below is completely fine. There were two use-cases for these methods: passing constructor arguments to the actor—which is solved by the newly introduced Props.create(clazz, args) method above or the recommended practice below—and creating actors “on the spot” as anonymous classes. The latter should be solved by making these actors named classes instead (if they are not declared within a top-level object then the enclosing instance’s this reference needs to be passed as the first argument). Warning: Declaring one actor within another is very dangerous and breaks actor encapsulation. Never pass an actor’s this reference into Props! 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 166 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Recommended Practices It is a good idea to provide factory methods on the companion object of each Actor which help keeping the creation of suitable Props as close to the actor definition as possible. This also avoids the pitfalls associated with using the Props.create(...) method which takes a by-name argument, since within a companion object the given code block will not retain a reference to its enclosing scope: public class DemoActor extends AbstractActor{ /** * Create Props for an actor of this type. *@param magicNumber The magic number to be passed to this actor’s constructor. *@return a Props for creating this actor, which can then be further configured *(e.g. calling ‘.withDispatcher()‘ on it) */ static Props props(Integer magicNumber){ // You need to specify the actual type of the returned actor // since Java 8 lambdas have some runtime type information erased return Props.create(DemoActor.class,() -> new DemoActor(magicNumber)); } private final Integer magicNumber; DemoActor(Integer magicNumber){ this.magicNumber= magicNumber; } @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Integer.class,i ->{ sender().tell(i+ magicNumber, self()); }).build(); } } public class SomeOtherActor extends AbstractActor{ // Props(new DemoActor(42)) would not be safe ActorRef demoActor= context().actorOf(DemoActor.props(42), "demo"); // ... } Creating Actors with Props Actors are created by passing a Props instance into the actorOf factory method which is available on ActorSystem and ActorContext. import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; // ActorSystem is a heavy object: create only one per application final ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("MySystem"); final ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyActor.class), "myactor"); Using the ActorSystem will create top-level actors, supervised by the actor system’s provided guardian actor, while using an actor’s context will create a child actor. public class FirstActor extends AbstractActor{ final ActorRef child= context().actorOf(Props.create(MyActor.class), "myChild"); // plus some behavior ... } 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 167 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT It is recommended to create a hierarchy of children, grand-children and so on such that it fits the logical failure- handling structure of the application, see Actor Systems. The call to actorOf returns an instance of ActorRef. This is a handle to the actor instance and the only way to interact with it. The ActorRef is immutable and has a one to one relationship with the Actor it represents. The ActorRef is also serializable and network-aware. This means that you can serialize it, send it over the wire and use it on a remote host and it will still be representing the same Actor on the original node, across the network. The name parameter is optional, but you should preferably name your actors, since that is used in log messages and for identifying actors. The name must not be empty or start with $, but it may contain URL encoded char- acters (eg. %20 for a blank space). If the given name is already in use by another child to the same parent an InvalidActorNameException is thrown. Actors are automatically started asynchronously when created. Dependency Injection If your UntypedActor has a constructor that takes parameters then those need to be part of the Props as well, as described above. But there are cases when a factory method must be used, for example when the actual constructor arguments are determined by a dependency injection framework. import akka.actor.Actor; import akka.actor.IndirectActorProducer; class DependencyInjector implements IndirectActorProducer{ final Object applicationContext; final String beanName; public DependencyInjector(Object applicationContext, String beanName){ this.applicationContext= applicationContext; this.beanName= beanName; } @Override public Class actorClass(){ return MyActor.class; } @Override public MyActor produce(){ MyActor result; // obtain fresh Actor instance from DI framework ... return result; } } final ActorRef myActor= getContext().actorOf( Props.create(DependencyInjector.class, applicationContext, "MyActor"), "myactor3"); Warning: You might be tempted at times to offer an IndirectActorProducer which always returns the same instance, e.g. by using a static field. This is not supported, as it goes against the meaning of an actor restart, which is described here: What Restarting Means. When using a dependency injection framework, actor beans MUST NOT have singleton scope. Techniques for dependency injection and integration with dependency injection frameworks are described in more depth in the Using Akka with Dependency Injection guideline and the Akka Java Spring tutorial in Typesafe Activator. 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 168 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The Inbox When writing code outside of actors which shall communicate with actors, the ask pattern can be a solution (see below), but there are two thing it cannot do: receiving multiple replies (e.g. by subscribing an ActorRef to a notification service) and watching other actors’ lifecycle. For these purposes there is the Inbox class: final Inbox inbox= Inbox.create(system); inbox.send(target, "hello"); assert inbox.receive(Duration.create(1, TimeUnit.SECONDS)).equals("world"); The send method wraps a normal tell and supplies the internal actor’s reference as the sender. This allows the reply to be received on the last line. Watching an actor is quite simple as well: final Inbox inbox= Inbox.create(system); inbox.watch(target); target.tell(PoisonPill.getInstance(), ActorRef.noSender()); assert inbox.receive(Duration.create(1, TimeUnit.SECONDS)) instanceof Terminated; 3.10.2 Actor API The AbstractActor class defines only one abstract method, the above mentioned receive, which imple- ments the behavior of the actor. If the current actor behavior does not match a received message, unhandled is called, which by default publishes an akka.actor.UnhandledMessage(message, sender, recipient) on the actor system’s event stream (set configuration item akka.actor.debug.unhandled to on to have them converted into actual Debug messages). In addition, it offers: • self reference to the ActorRef of the actor • sender reference sender Actor of the last received message, typically used as described in Reply to mes- sages • supervisorStrategy user overridable definition the strategy to use for supervising child actors This strategy is typically declared inside the actor in order to have access to the actor’s internal state within the decider function: since failure is communicated as a message sent to the supervisor and processed like other messages (albeit outside of the normal behavior), all values and variables within the actor are available, as is the sender reference (which will be the immediate child reporting the failure; if the original failure occurred within a distant descendant it is still reported one level up at a time). • context exposes contextual information for the actor and the current message, such as: – factory methods to create child actors (actorOf) – system that the actor belongs to – parent supervisor – supervised children – lifecycle monitoring – hotswap behavior stack as described in Become/Unbecome The remaining visible methods are user-overridable life-cycle hooks which are described in the following: public void preStart(){ } public void preRestart(Throwable reason, scala.Option message){ for(ActorRef each: getContext().getChildren()){ getContext().unwatch(each); getContext().stop(each); 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 169 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } postStop(); } public void postRestart(Throwable reason){ preStart(); } public void postStop(){ } The implementations shown above are the defaults provided by the AbstractActor class. Actor Lifecycle A path in an actor system represents a “place” which might be occupied by a living actor. Initially (apart from system initialized actors) a path is empty. When actorOf() is called it assigns an incarnation of the actor described by the passed Props to the given path. An actor incarnation is identified by the path and a UID.A restart only swaps the Actor instance defined by the Props but the incarnation and hence the UID remains the same. The lifecycle of an incarnation ends when the actor is stopped. At that point the appropriate lifecycle events are called and watching actors are notified of the termination. After the incarnation is stopped, the path can be reused again by creating an actor with actorOf(). In this case the name of the new incarnation will be the same as the previous one but the UIDs will differ. An ActorRef always represents an incarnation (path and UID) not just a given path. Therefore if an actor is stopped and a new one with the same name is created an ActorRef of the old incarnation will not point to the new one. 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 170 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorSelection on the other hand points to the path (or multiple paths if wildcards are used) and is completely oblivious to which incarnation is currently occupying it. ActorSelection cannot be watched for this reason. It is possible to resolve the current incarnation’s ActorRef living under the path by sending an Identify message to the ActorSelection which will be replied to with an ActorIdentity containing the correct reference (see Identifying Actors via Actor Selection). This can also be done with the resolveOne method of the ActorSelection, which returns a Future of the matching ActorRef. Lifecycle Monitoring aka DeathWatch In order to be notified when another actor terminates (i.e. stops permanently, not temporary failure and restart), an actor may register itself for reception of the Terminated message dispatched by the other actor upon termination (see Stopping Actors). This service is provided by the DeathWatch component of the actor system. Registering a monitor is easy: public class WatchActor extends AbstractActor{ private final ActorRef child= context().actorOf(Props.empty(), "target"); { context().watch(child); // <-- this is the only call needed for registration } private ActorRef lastSender= system.deadLetters(); public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("kill",s ->{ context().stop(child); lastSender= sender(); }). match(Terminated.class,t ->t.actor().equals(child),t ->{ lastSender.tell("finished", self()); }).build(); } } It should be noted that the Terminated message is generated independent of the order in which registration and termination occur. In particular, the watching actor will receive a Terminated message even if the watched actor has already been terminated at the time of registration. Registering multiple times does not necessarily lead to multiple messages being generated, but there is no guaran- tee that only exactly one such message is received: if termination of the watched actor has generated and queued the message, and another registration is done before this message has been processed, then a second message will be queued, because registering for monitoring of an already terminated actor leads to the immediate generation of the Terminated message. It is also possible to deregister from watching another actor’s liveliness using context.unwatch(target). This works even if the Terminated message has already been enqueued in the mailbox; after calling unwatch no Terminated message for that actor will be processed anymore. Start Hook Right after starting the actor, its preStart method is invoked. @Override public void preStart(){ target= context().actorOf(Props.create(MyActor.class, "target")); } This method is called when the actor is first created. During restarts it is called by the default implementation of postRestart, which means that by overriding that method you can choose whether the initialization code in this method is called only exactly once for this actor or for every restart. Initialization code which is part of the 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 171 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT actor’s constructor will always be called when an instance of the actor class is created, which happens at every restart. Restart Hooks All actors are supervised, i.e. linked to another actor with a fault handling strategy. Actors may be restarted in case an exception is thrown while processing a message (see Supervision and Monitoring). This restart involves the hooks mentioned above: 1. The old actor is informed by calling preRestart with the exception which caused the restart and the message which triggered that exception; the latter may be None if the restart was not caused by processing a message, e.g. when a supervisor does not trap the exception and is restarted in turn by its supervisor, or if an actor is restarted due to a sibling’s failure. If the message is available, then that message’s sender is also accessible in the usual way (i.e. by calling sender). This method is the best place for cleaning up, preparing hand-over to the fresh actor instance, etc. By default it stops all children and calls postStop. 2. The initial factory from the actorOf call is used to produce the fresh instance. 3. The new actor’s postRestart method is invoked with the exception which caused the restart. By default the preStart is called, just as in the normal start-up case. An actor restart replaces only the actual actor object; the contents of the mailbox is unaffected by the restart, so processing of messages will resume after the postRestart hook returns. The message that triggered the exception will not be received again. Any message sent to an actor while it is being restarted will be queued to its mailbox as usual. Warning: Be aware that the ordering of failure notifications relative to user messages is not deterministic. In particular, a parent might restart its child before it has processed the last messages sent by the child before the failure. See Discussion: Message Ordering for details. Stop Hook After stopping an actor, its postStop hook is called, which may be used e.g. for deregistering this actor from other services. This hook is guaranteed to run after message queuing has been disabled for this actor, i.e. messages sent to a stopped actor will be redirected to the deadLetters of the ActorSystem. 3.10.3 Identifying Actors via Actor Selection As described in Actor References, Paths and Addresses, each actor has a unique logical path, which is obtained by following the chain of actors from child to parent until reaching the root of the actor system, and it has a physical path, which may differ if the supervision chain includes any remote supervisors. These paths are used by the system to look up actors, e.g. when a remote message is received and the recipient is searched, but they are also useful more directly: actors may look up other actors by specifying absolute or relative paths—logical or physical—and receive back an ActorSelection with the result: // will look up this absolute path context().actorSelection("/user/serviceA/actor"); // will look up sibling beneath same supervisor context().actorSelection("../joe"); The supplied path is parsed as a java.net.URI, which basically means that it is split on / into path elements. If the path starts with /, it is absolute and the look-up starts at the root guardian (which is the parent of "/user"); otherwise it starts at the current actor. If a path element equals .., the look-up will take a step “up” towards the supervisor of the currently traversed actor, otherwise it will step “down” to the named child. It should be noted that the .. in actor paths here always means the logical structure, i.e. the supervisor. 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 172 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The path elements of an actor selection may contain wildcard patterns allowing for broadcasting of messages to that section: // will look all children to serviceB with names starting with worker context().actorSelection("/user/serviceB/worker*"); // will look up all siblings beneath same supervisor context().actorSelection("../*"); Messages can be sent via the ActorSelection and the path of the ActorSelection is looked up when delivering each message. If the selection does not match any actors the message will be dropped. To acquire an ActorRef for an ActorSelection you need to send a message to the selection and use the sender() reference of the reply from the actor. There is a built-in Identify message that all Actors will understand and automatically reply to with a ActorIdentity message containing the ActorRef. This mes- sage is handled specially by the actors which are traversed in the sense that if a concrete name lookup fails (i.e. a non-wildcard path element does not correspond to a live actor) then a negative result is generated. Please note that this does not mean that delivery of that reply is guaranteed, it still is a normal message. import akka.actor.ActorIdentity; import akka.actor.ActorSelection; import akka.actor.Identify; public class Follower extends AbstractActor{ final Integer identifyId=1; { ActorSelection selection= context().actorSelection("/user/another"); selection.tell(new Identify(identifyId), self()); } public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(ActorIdentity.class, id -> id.getRef() != null, id ->{ ActorRef ref= id.getRef(); context().watch(ref); context().become(active(ref)); }). match(ActorIdentity.class, id -> id.getRef() == null, id ->{ context().stop(self()); }).build(); } final PartialFunction active(final ActorRef another){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Terminated.class,t ->t.actor().equals(another),t ->{ context().stop(self()); }).build(); } } You can also acquire an ActorRef for an ActorSelection with the resolveOne method of the ActorSelection. It returns a Future of the matching ActorRef if such an actor exists. It is completed with failure [[akka.actor.ActorNotFound]] if no such actor exists or the identification didn’t complete within the supplied timeout. Remote actor addresses may also be looked up, if remoting is enabled: context().actorSelection("akka.tcp://app@otherhost:1234/user/serviceB"); An example demonstrating actor look-up is given in Remoting Sample. Note: actorFor is deprecated in favor of actorSelection because actor references acquired with actorFor behaves different for local and remote actors. In the case of a local actor reference, the named 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 173 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT actor needs to exist before the lookup, or else the acquired reference will be an EmptyLocalActorRef. This will be true even if an actor with that exact path is created after acquiring the actor reference. For remote actor references acquired with actorFor the behaviour is different and sending messages to such a reference will under the hood look up the actor by path on the remote system for every message send. 3.10.4 Messages and immutability IMPORTANT: Messages can be any kind of object but have to be immutable. Akka can’t enforce immutability (yet) so this has to be by convention. Here is an example of an immutable message: public class ImmutableMessage{ private final int sequenceNumber; private final List values; public ImmutableMessage(int sequenceNumber, List values){ this.sequenceNumber= sequenceNumber; this.values= Collections.unmodifiableList(new ArrayList(values)); } public int getSequenceNumber(){ return sequenceNumber; } public List getValues(){ return values; } } 3.10.5 Send messages Messages are sent to an Actor through one of the following methods. • tell means “fire-and-forget”, e.g. send a message asynchronously and return immediately. • ask sends a message asynchronously and returns a Future representing a possible reply. Message ordering is guaranteed on a per-sender basis. Note: There are performance implications of using ask since something needs to keep track of when it times out, there needs to be something that bridges a Promise into an ActorRef and it also needs to be reachable through remoting. So always prefer tell for performance, and only ask if you must. In all these methods you have the option of passing along your own ActorRef. Make it a practice of doing so because it will allow the receiver actors to be able to respond to your message, since the sender reference is sent along with the message. Tell: Fire-forget This is the preferred way of sending messages. No blocking waiting for a message. This gives the best concurrency and scalability characteristics. // don’t forget to think about who is the sender (2nd argument) target.tell(message, self()); The sender reference is passed along with the message and available within the receiving actor via its sender method while processing this message. Inside of an actor it is usually self who shall be the sender, but there 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 174 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT can be cases where replies shall be routed to some other actor—e.g. the parent—in which the second argument to tell would be a different one. Outside of an actor and if no reply is needed the second argument can be null; if a reply is needed outside of an actor you can use the ask-pattern described next.. Ask: Send-And-Receive-Future The ask pattern involves actors as well as futures, hence it is offered as a use pattern rather than a method on ActorRef: import static akka.pattern.Patterns.ask; import static akka.pattern.Patterns.pipe; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.dispatch.Futures; import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import akka.util.Timeout; final Timeoutt= new Timeout(Duration.create(5, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); final ArrayList> futures= new ArrayList>(); futures.add(ask(actorA, "request", 1000)); // using 1000ms timeout futures.add(ask(actorB, "another request",t)); // using timeout from // above final Future> aggregate= Futures.sequence(futures, system.dispatcher()); final Future transformed= aggregate.map( new Mapper, Result>(){ public Result apply(Iterable coll){ final Iterator it= coll.iterator(); final Stringx=(String) it.next(); final Strings=(String) it.next(); return new Result(x,s); } }, system.dispatcher()); pipe(transformed, system.dispatcher()).to(actorC); This example demonstrates ask together with the pipe pattern on futures, because this is likely to be a common combination. Please note that all of the above is completely non-blocking and asynchronous: ask produces a Future, two of which are composed into a new future using the Futures.sequence and map methods and then pipe installs an onComplete-handler on the future to effect the submission of the aggregated Result to another actor. Using ask will send a message to the receiving Actor as with tell, and the receiving actor must reply with sender().tell(reply, self()) in order to complete the returned Future with a value. The ask operation involves creating an internal actor for handling this reply, which needs to have a timeout after which it is destroyed in order not to leak resources; see more below. Warning: To complete the future with an exception you need send a Failure message to the sender. This is not done automatically when an actor throws an exception while processing a message. try{ String result= operation(); sender().tell(result, self()); } catch(Exceptione){ sender().tell(new akka.actor.Status.Failure(e), self()); throwe; } 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 175 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT If the actor does not complete the future, it will expire after the timeout period, specified as parameter to the ask method; this will complete the Future with an AskTimeoutException. See Futures for more information on how to await or query a future. The onComplete, onSuccess, or onFailure methods of the Future can be used to register a callback to get a notification when the Future completes. Gives you a way to avoid blocking. Warning: When using future callbacks, inside actors you need to carefully avoid closing over the containing actor’s reference, i.e. do not call methods or access mutable state on the enclosing actor from within the call- back. This would break the actor encapsulation and may introduce synchronization bugs and race conditions because the callback will be scheduled concurrently to the enclosing actor. Unfortunately there is not yet a way to detect these illegal accesses at compile time. See also: Actors and shared mutable state Forward message You can forward a message from one actor to another. This means that the original sender address/reference is maintained even though the message is going through a ‘mediator’. This can be useful when writing actors that work as routers, load-balancers, replicators etc. target.forward(result, context()); 3.10.6 Receive messages An Actor has to implement the receive method to receive messages: public abstract PartialFunction receive(); The receive method should define a series of match statements (which has the type PartialFunction) that defines which messages your Actor can handle, along with the implementation of how the messages should be processed. Don’t let the type signature scare you. To allow you to easily build up a partial function there is a builder named ReceiveBuilder that you can use. Here is an example: import akka.actor.AbstractActor; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import akka.japi.pf.ReceiveBuilder; import scala.PartialFunction; import scala.runtime.BoxedUnit; public class MyActor extends AbstractActor{ private final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(context().system(), this); @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(String.class,s ->{ log.info("Received String message: {}",s); }). matchAny(o -> log.info("received unknown message")).build(); } } 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 176 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.10.7 Reply to messages If you want to have a handle for replying to a message, you can use sender(), which gives you an ActorRef. You can reply by sending to that ActorRef with sender().tell(replyMsg, self()). You can also store the ActorRef for replying later, or passing on to other actors. If there is no sender (a message was sent without an actor or future context) then the sender defaults to a ‘dead-letter’ actor ref. sender().tell(s, self()); 3.10.8 Receive timeout The ActorContext setReceiveTimeout defines the inactivity timeout after which the sending of a Re- ceiveTimeout message is triggered. When specified, the receive function should be able to handle an akka.actor.ReceiveTimeout message. 1 millisecond is the minimum supported timeout. Please note that the receive timeout might fire and enqueue the ReceiveTimeout message right after another mes- sage was enqueued; hence it is not guaranteed that upon reception of the receive timeout there must have been an idle period beforehand as configured via this method. Once set, the receive timeout stays in effect (i.e. continues firing repeatedly after inactivity periods). Pass in Duration.Undefined to switch off this feature. public class ReceiveTimeoutActor extends AbstractActor{ public ReceiveTimeoutActor(){ // To set an initial delay context().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create("10 seconds")); } @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("Hello",s ->{ // To set in a response to a message context().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create("1 second")); }). match(ReceiveTimeout.class,r ->{ // To turn it off context().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.Undefined()); }).build(); } } 3.10.9 Stopping actors Actors are stopped by invoking the stop method of a ActorRefFactory, i.e. ActorContext or ActorSystem. Typically the context is used for stopping child actors and the system for stopping top level actors. The actual termination of the actor is performed asynchronously, i.e. stop may return before the actor is stopped. Processing of the current message, if any, will continue before the actor is stopped, but additional messages in the mailbox will not be processed. By default these messages are sent to the deadLetters of the ActorSystem, but that depends on the mailbox implementation. Termination of an actor proceeds in two steps: first the actor suspends its mailbox processing and sends a stop command to all its children, then it keeps processing the internal termination notifications from its children until the last one is gone, finally terminating itself (invoking postStop, dumping mailbox, publishing Terminated on the DeathWatch, telling its supervisor). This procedure ensures that actor system sub-trees terminate in an orderly fashion, propagating the stop command to the leaves and collecting their confirmation back to the stopped supervisor. If one of the actors does not respond (i.e. processing a message for extended periods of time and therefore not receiving the stop command), this whole process will be stuck. 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 177 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Upon ActorSystem.shutdown, the system guardian actors will be stopped, and the aforementioned process will ensure proper termination of the whole system. The postStop hook is invoked after an actor is fully stopped. This enables cleaning up of resources: @Override public void postStop(){ // clean up some resources ... } Note: Since stopping an actor is asynchronous, you cannot immediately reuse the name of the child you just stopped; this will result in an InvalidActorNameException. Instead, watch the terminating actor and create its replacement in response to the Terminated message which will eventually arrive. PoisonPill You can also send an actor the akka.actor.PoisonPill message, which will stop the actor when the mes- sage is processed. PoisonPill is enqueued as ordinary messages and will be handled after messages that were already queued in the mailbox. Graceful Stop gracefulStop is useful if you need to wait for termination or compose ordered termination of several actors: import static akka.pattern.Patterns.gracefulStop; import scala.concurrent.Await; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.pattern.AskTimeoutException; try{ Future stopped= gracefulStop(actorRef, Duration.create(5, TimeUnit.SECONDS), Manager.SHUTDOWN); Await.result(stopped, Duration.create(6, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); // the actor has been stopped } catch(AskTimeoutExceptione){ // the actor wasn’t stopped within 5 seconds } public class Manager extends AbstractActor{ private static enum Shutdown{ Shutdown } public static final Shutdown SHUTDOWN= Shutdown.Shutdown; private ActorRef worker= context().watch(context().actorOf(Props.create(Cruncher.class), "worker")); @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("job",s ->{ worker.tell("crunch", self()); }). matchEquals(SHUTDOWN,x ->{ worker.tell(PoisonPill.getInstance(), self()); context().become(shuttingDown); }).build(); } 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 178 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public PartialFunction shuttingDown= ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("job",s ->{ sender().tell("service unavailable, shutting down", self()); }). match(Terminated.class,t ->t.actor().equals(worker),t ->{ context().stop(self()); }).build(); } When gracefulStop() returns successfully, the actor’s postStop() hook will have been executed: there exists a happens-before edge between the end of postStop() and the return of gracefulStop(). In the above example a custom Manager.Shutdown message is sent to the target actor to initiate the process of stopping the actor. You can use PoisonPill for this, but then you have limited possibilities to perform interactions with other actors before stopping the target actor. Simple cleanup tasks can be handled in postStop. Warning: Keep in mind that an actor stopping and its name being deregistered are separate events which happen asynchronously from each other. Therefore it may be that you will find the name still in use after gracefulStop() returned. In order to guarantee proper deregistration, only reuse names from within a supervisor you control and only in response to a Terminated message, i.e. not for top-level actors. 3.10.10 Become/Unbecome Upgrade Akka supports hotswapping the Actor’s message loop (e.g. its implementation) at runtime: invoke the context.become method from within the Actor. become takes a PartialFunction that implements the new message handler. The hotswapped code is kept in a Stack which can be pushed and popped. Warning: Please note that the actor will revert to its original behavior when restarted by its Supervisor. To hotswap the Actor behavior using become: public class HotSwapActor extends AbstractActor{ private PartialFunction angry; private PartialFunction happy; { angry= ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("foo",s ->{ sender().tell("I am already angry?", self()); }). matchEquals("bar",s ->{ context().become(happy); }).build(); happy= ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("bar",s ->{ sender().tell("I am already happy :-)", self()); }). matchEquals("foo",s ->{ context().become(angry); }).build(); } public PartialFunction receive(){ 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 179 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("foo",s ->{ context().become(angry); }). matchEquals("bar",s ->{ context().become(happy); }).build(); } } This variant of the become method is useful for many different things, such as to implement a Finite State Machine (FSM, for an example see Dining Hakkers). It will replace the current behavior (i.e. the top of the behavior stack), which means that you do not use unbecome, instead always the next behavior is explicitly installed. The other way of using become does not replace but add to the top of the behavior stack. In this case care must be taken to ensure that the number of “pop” operations (i.e. unbecome) matches the number of “push” ones in the long run, otherwise this amounts to a memory leak (which is why this behavior is not the default). public class Swapper extends AbstractActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(context().system(), this); @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals(Swap,s ->{ log.info("Hi"); context().become(ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals(Swap,x ->{ log.info("Ho"); context().unbecome(); // resets the latest ’become’ (just for fun) }).build(), false); // push on top instead of replace }).build(); } } public class SwapperApp{ public static void main(String[] args){ ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("SwapperSystem"); ActorRef swapper= system.actorOf(Props.create(Swapper.class), "swapper"); swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho system.shutdown(); } } 3.10.11 Stash 3.10.12 Stash The AbstractActorWithStash class enables an actor to temporarily stash away messages that can not or should not be handled using the actor’s current behavior. Upon changing the actor’s message handler, i.e., right before invoking context().become() or context().unbecome(), all stashed messages can be “unstashed”, thereby prepending them to the actor’s mailbox. This way, the stashed messages can be processed in the same order as they have been received originally. An actor that extends AbstractActorWithStash will automatically get a deque-based mailbox. 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 180 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Note: The abstract class AbstractActorWithStash implements the marker interface RequiresMessageQueue which requests the system to automatically choose a deque based mailbox implementation for the actor. If you want more control over the mailbox, see the documentation on mailboxes: Mailboxes. Here is an example of the AbstractActorWithStash class in action: public class ActorWithProtocol extends AbstractActorWithStash{ public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("open",s ->{ context().become(ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("write", ws ->{/* do writing */}). matchEquals("close", cs ->{ unstashAll(); context().unbecome(); }). matchAny(msg -> stash()).build(), false); }). matchAny(msg -> stash()).build(); } } Invoking stash() adds the current message (the message that the actor received last) to the actor’s stash. It is typically invoked when handling the default case in the actor’s message handler to stash messages that aren’t handled by the other cases. It is illegal to stash the same message twice; to do so results in an IllegalStateException being thrown. The stash may also be bounded in which case invoking stash() may lead to a capacity violation, which results in a StashOverflowException. The capacity of the stash can be configured using the stash-capacity setting (an Int) of the mailbox’s configuration. Invoking unstashAll() enqueues messages from the stash to the actor’s mailbox until the capacity of the mail- box (if any) has been reached (note that messages from the stash are prepended to the mailbox). In case a bounded mailbox overflows, a MessageQueueAppendFailedException is thrown. The stash is guaranteed to be empty after calling unstashAll(). The stash is backed by a scala.collection.immutable.Vector. As a result, even a very large number of messages may be stashed without a major impact on performance. Note that the stash is part of the ephemeral actor state, unlike the mailbox. Therefore, it should be managed like other parts of the actor’s state which have the same property. The AbstractActorWithStash implementa- tion of preRestart will call unstashAll(), which is usually the desired behavior. Note: If you want to enforce that your actor can only work with an unbounded stash, then you should use the AbstractActorWithUnboundedStash class instead. 3.10.13 Killing an Actor You can kill an actor by sending a Kill message. This will cause the actor to throw a ActorKilledException, triggering a failure. The actor will suspend operation and its supervisor will be asked how to handle the failure, which may mean resuming the actor, restarting it or terminating it completely. See What Supervision Means for more information. Use Kill like this: victim.tell(akka.actor.Kill.getInstance(), ActorRef.noSender()); 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 181 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.10.14 Actors and exceptions It can happen that while a message is being processed by an actor, that some kind of exception is thrown, e.g. a database exception. What happens to the Message If an exception is thrown while a message is being processed (i.e. taken out of its mailbox and handed over to the current behavior), then this message will be lost. It is important to understand that it is not put back on the mailbox. So if you want to retry processing of a message, you need to deal with it yourself by catching the exception and retry your flow. Make sure that you put a bound on the number of retries since you don’t want a system to livelock (so consuming a lot of cpu cycles without making progress). Another possibility would be to have a look at the PeekMailbox pattern. What happens to the mailbox If an exception is thrown while a message is being processed, nothing happens to the mailbox. If the actor is restarted, the same mailbox will be there. So all messages on that mailbox will be there as well. What happens to the actor If code within an actor throws an exception, that actor is suspended and the supervision process is started (see Su- pervision and Monitoring). Depending on the supervisor’s decision the actor is resumed (as if nothing happened), restarted (wiping out its internal state and starting from scratch) or terminated. 3.10.15 Initialization patterns The rich lifecycle hooks of Actors provide a useful toolkit to implement various initialization patterns. During the lifetime of an ActorRef, an actor can potentially go through several restarts, where the old instance is replaced by a fresh one, invisibly to the outside observer who only sees the ActorRef. One may think about the new instances as “incarnations”. Initialization might be necessary for every incarnation of an actor, but sometimes one needs initialization to happen only at the birth of the first instance when the ActorRef is created. The following sections provide patterns for different initialization needs. Initialization via constructor Using the constructor for initialization has various benefits. First of all, it makes it possible to use val fields to store any state that does not change during the life of the actor instance, making the implementation of the actor more robust. The constructor is invoked for every incarnation of the actor, therefore the internals of the actor can always assume that proper initialization happened. This is also the drawback of this approach, as there are cases when one would like to avoid reinitializing internals on restart. For example, it is often useful to preserve child actors across restarts. The following section provides a pattern for this case. Initialization via preStart The method preStart() of an actor is only called once directly during the initialization of the first instance, that is, at creation of its ActorRef. In the case of restarts, preStart() is called from postRestart(), therefore if not overridden, preStart() is called on every incarnation. However, overriding postRestart() one can disable this behavior, and ensure that there is only one call to preStart(). One useful usage of this pattern is to disable creation of new ActorRefs for children during restarts. This can be achieved by overriding preRestart(): 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 182 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT @Override public void preStart(){ // Initialize children here } // Overriding postRestart to disable the call to preStart() // after restarts @Override public void postRestart(Throwable reason){ } // The default implementation of preRestart() stops all the children // of the actor. To opt-out from stopping the children, we // have to override preRestart() @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message) throws Exception{ // Keep the call to postStop(), but no stopping of children postStop(); } Please note, that the child actors are still restarted, but no new ActorRef is created. One can recursively apply the same principles for the children, ensuring that their preStart() method is called only at the creation of their refs. For more information see What Restarting Means. Initialization via message passing There are cases when it is impossible to pass all the information needed for actor initialization in the constructor, for example in the presence of circular dependencies. In this case the actor should listen for an initialization message, and use become() or a finite state-machine state transition to encode the initialized and uninitialized states of the actor. private String initializeMe= null; @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("init", m1 ->{ initializeMe= "Up and running"; context().become(ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("U OK?", m2 ->{ sender().tell(initializeMe, self()); }).build()); }).build(); } If the actor may receive messages before it has been initialized, a useful tool can be the Stash to save messages until the initialization finishes, and replaying them after the actor became initialized. Warning: This pattern should be used with care, and applied only when none of the patterns above are applicable. One of the potential issues is that messages might be lost when sent to remote actors. Also, publishing an ActorRef in an uninitialized state might lead to the condition that it receives a user message before the initialization has been done. 3.10.16 Lambdas and Performance There is one big difference between the optimized partial functions created by the Scala compiler and the ones created by the ReceiveBuilder. The partial functions created by the ReceiveBuilder consist of multiple 3.10. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 183 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT lambda expressions for every match statement, where each lambda is an object referencing the code to be run. This is something that the JVM can have problems optimizing and the resulting code might not be as performant as the Scala equivalent or the corresponding untyped actor version. 3.11 FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 3.11.1 Overview The FSM (Finite State Machine) is available as an abstract base class that implements an akka Actor and is best described in the Erlang design principles A FSM can be described as a set of relations of the form: State(S) x Event(E) -> Actions (A), State(S’) These relations are interpreted as meaning: If we are in state S and the event E occurs, we should perform the actions A and make a transition to the state S’. Warning: The Java with lambda support part of Akka is marked as “experimental” as of its introduction in Akka 2.3.0. We will continue to improve this API based on our users’ feedback, which implies that while we try to keep incompatible changes to a minimum, but the binary compatibility guarantee for maintenance releases does not apply to the akka.actor.AbstractFSM, related classes and the akka.japi.pf package. 3.11.2 A Simple Example To demonstrate most of the features of the AbstractFSM class, consider an actor which shall receive and queue messages while they arrive in a burst and send them on after the burst ended or a flush request is received. First, consider all of the below to use these import statements: import akka.actor.AbstractFSM; import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.japi.pf.UnitMatch; import java.util.Arrays; import java.util.LinkedList; import java.util.List; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; The contract of our “Buncher” actor is that it accepts or produces the following messages: public final class SetTarget{ private final ActorRef ref; public SetTarget(ActorRef ref){ this.ref= ref; } public ActorRef getRef(){ return ref; } // boilerplate ... } public final class Queue{ private final Object obj; public Queue(Object obj){ this.obj= obj; 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 184 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } public Object getObj(){ return obj; } // boilerplate ... } public final class Batch{ private final List list; public Batch(List list){ this.list= list; } public List getList(){ return list; } // boilerplate ... } public enum Flush{ Flush } SetTarget is needed for starting it up, setting the destination for the Batches to be passed on; Queue will add to the internal queue while Flush will mark the end of a burst. The actor can be in two states: no message queued (aka Idle) or some message queued (aka Active). The states and the state data is defined like this: // states enum State{ Idle, Active } // state data interface Data{ } enum Uninitialized implements Data{ Uninitialized } final class Todo implements Data{ private final ActorRef target; private final List queue; public Todo(ActorRef target, List queue){ this.target= target; this.queue= queue; } public ActorRef getTarget(){ return target; } public List getQueue(){ return queue; } // boilerplate ... } The actor starts out in the idle state. Once a message arrives it will go to the active state and stay there as long as 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 185 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT messages keep arriving and no flush is requested. The internal state data of the actor is made up of the target actor reference to send the batches to and the actual queue of messages. Now let’s take a look at the skeleton for our FSM actor: public class Buncher extends AbstractFSM{ { startWith(Idle, Uninitialized); when(Idle, matchEvent(SetTarget.class, Uninitialized.class, (setTarget, uninitialized) -> stay().using(new Todo(setTarget.getRef(), new LinkedList<>())))); // transition elided ... when(Active, Duration.create(1, "second"), matchEvent(Arrays.asList(Flush.class, StateTimeout()), Todo.class, (event, todo) -> goTo(Idle).using(todo.copy(new LinkedList<>())))); // unhandled elided ... initialize(); } } The basic strategy is to declare the actor, by inheriting the AbstractFSM class and specifying the possible states and data values as type parameters. Within the body of the actor a DSL is used for declaring the state machine: • startWith defines the initial state and initial data • then there is one when() { ... } declaration per state to be handled (could potentially be multiple ones, the passed PartialFunction will be concatenated using orElse) • finally starting it up using initialize, which performs the transition into the initial state and sets up timers (if required). In this case, we start out in the Idle and Uninitialized state, where only the SetTarget() message is handled; stay prepares to end this event’s processing for not leaving the current state, while the using modifier makes the FSM replace the internal state (which is Uninitialized at this point) with a fresh Todo() object containing the target actor reference. The Active state has a state timeout declared, which means that if no message is received for 1 second, a FSM.StateTimeout message will be generated. This has the same effect as receiving the Flush command in this case, namely to transition back into the Idle state and resetting the internal queue to the empty vector. But how do messages get queued? Since this shall work identically in both states, we make use of the fact that any event which is not handled by the when() block is passed to the whenUnhandled() block: whenUnhandled( matchEvent(Queue.class, Todo.class, (queue, todo) -> goTo(Active).using(todo.addElement(queue.getObj()))). anyEvent((event, state) ->{ log().warning("received unhandled request {} in state {}/{}", event, stateName(), state); return stay(); })); The first case handled here is adding Queue() requests to the internal queue and going to the Active state (this does the obvious thing of staying in the Active state if already there), but only if the FSM data are not Uninitialized when the Queue() event is received. Otherwise—and in all other non-handled cases—the second case just logs a warning and does not change the internal state. The only missing piece is where the Batches are actually sent to the target, for which we use the onTransition mechanism: you can declare multiple such blocks and all of them will be tried for matching behavior in case a state transition occurs (i.e. only when the state actually changes). 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 186 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT onTransition( matchState(Active, Idle,() ->{ // reuse this matcher final UnitMatchm= UnitMatch.create( matchData(Todo.class, todo -> todo.getTarget().tell(new Batch(todo.getQueue()), self()))); m.match(stateData()); }). state(Idle, Active,() ->{/* Do something here */})); The transition callback is a partial function which takes as input a pair of states—the current and the next state. During the state change, the old state data is available via stateData as shown, and the new state data would be available as nextStateData. To verify that this buncher actually works, it is quite easy to write a test using the akka-testkit, here using JUnit as an example: public class BuncherTest{ static ActorSystem system; @BeforeClass public static void setup(){ system= ActorSystem.create("BuncherTest"); } @AfterClass public static void tearDown(){ JavaTestKit.shutdownActorSystem(system); system= null; } @Test public void testBuncherActorBatchesCorrectly() { new JavaTestKit(system){{ final ActorRef buncher= system.actorOf(Props.create(Buncher.class)); final ActorRef probe= getRef(); buncher.tell(new SetTarget(probe), probe); buncher.tell(new Queue(42), probe); buncher.tell(new Queue(43), probe); LinkedList list1= new LinkedList<>(); list1.add(42); list1.add(43); expectMsgEquals(new Batch(list1)); buncher.tell(new Queue(44), probe); buncher.tell(Flush, probe); buncher.tell(new Queue(45), probe); LinkedList list2= new LinkedList<>(); list2.add(44); expectMsgEquals(new Batch(list2)); LinkedList list3= new LinkedList<>(); list3.add(45); expectMsgEquals(new Batch(list3)); system.stop(buncher); }}; } @Test public void testBuncherActorDoesntBatchUninitialized() { 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 187 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT new JavaTestKit(system){{ final ActorRef buncher= system.actorOf(Props.create(Buncher.class)); final ActorRef probe= getRef(); buncher.tell(new Queue(42), probe); expectNoMsg(); system.stop(buncher); }}; } } 3.11.3 Reference The AbstractFSM Class The AbstractFSM abstract class is the base class used to implement an FSM. It implements Actor since an Actor is created to drive the FSM. public class Buncher extends AbstractFSM{ { // fsm body ... } } Note: The AbstractFSM class defines a receive method which handles internal messages and passes everything else through to the FSM logic (according to the current state). When overriding the receive method, keep in mind that e.g. state timeout handling depends on actually passing the messages through the FSM logic. The AbstractFSM class takes two type parameters: 1. the supertype of all state names, usually an enum, 2. the type of the state data which are tracked by the AbstractFSM module itself. Note: The state data together with the state name describe the internal state of the state machine; if you stick to this scheme and do not add mutable fields to the FSM class you have the advantage of making all changes of the internal state explicit in a few well-known places. Defining States A state is defined by one or more invocations of the method when([, stateTimeout = ])(stateFunction). The given name must be an object which is type-compatible with the first type parameter given to the AbstractFSM class. This object is used as a hash key, so you must ensure that it properly implements equals and hashCode; in particular it must not be mutable. The easiest fit for these requirements are case objects. If the stateTimeout parameter is given, then all transitions into this state, including staying, receive this time- out by default. Initiating the transition with an explicit timeout may be used to override this default, see Initiating Transitions for more information. The state timeout of any state may be changed during action processing with setStateTimeout(state, duration). This enables runtime configuration e.g. via external message. The stateFunction argument is a PartialFunction[Event, State], which is conveniently given using the state function builder syntax as demonstrated below: 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 188 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT when(Idle, matchEvent(SetTarget.class, Uninitialized.class, (setTarget, uninitialized) -> stay().using(new Todo(setTarget.getRef(), new LinkedList<>())))); Warning: It is required that you define handlers for each of the possible FSM states, otherwise there will be failures when trying to switch to undeclared states. It is recommended practice to declare the states as an enum and then verify that there is a when clause for each of the states. If you want to leave the handling of a state “unhandled” (more below), it still needs to be declared like this: when(SomeState, AbstractFSM.NullFunction()); Defining the Initial State Each FSM needs a starting point, which is declared using startWith(state, data[, timeout]) The optionally given timeout argument overrides any specification given for the desired initial state. If you want to cancel a default timeout, use Duration.Inf. Unhandled Events If a state doesn’t handle a received event a warning is logged. If you want to do something else in this case you can specify that with whenUnhandled(stateFunction): whenUnhandled( matchEvent(X.class,(x, data) ->{ log().info("Received unhandled event: "+x); return stay(); }). anyEvent((event, data) ->{ log().warning("Received unknown event: "+ event); return goTo(Error); })); } Within this handler the state of the FSM may be queried using the stateName method. IMPORTANT: This handler is not stacked, meaning that each invocation of whenUnhandled replaces the previously installed handler. Initiating Transitions The result of any stateFunction must be a definition of the next state unless terminating the FSM, which is described in Termination from Inside. The state definition can either be the current state, as described by the stay directive, or it is a different state as given by goto(state). The resulting object allows further qualification by way of the modifiers described in the following: • forMax(duration) This modifier sets a state timeout on the next state. This means that a timer is started which upon expiry sends a StateTimeout message to the FSM. This timer is canceled upon reception of any other message in the meantime; you can rely on the fact that the StateTimeout message will not be processed after an intervening message. This modifier can also be used to override any default timeout which is specified for the target state. If you want to cancel the default timeout, use Duration.Inf. 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 189 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • using(data) This modifier replaces the old state data with the new data given. If you follow the advice above, this is the only place where internal state data are ever modified. • replying(msg) This modifier sends a reply to the currently processed message and otherwise does not modify the state transition. All modifiers can be chained to achieve a nice and concise description: when(SomeState, matchAnyEvent((msg, data) ->{ return goTo(Processing).using(newData). forMax(Duration.create(5, SECONDS)).replying(WillDo); })); The parentheses are not actually needed in all cases, but they visually distinguish between modifiers and their arguments and therefore make the code even more pleasant to read for foreigners. Note: Please note that the return statement may not be used in when blocks or similar; this is a Scala restriction. Either refactor your code using if () ... else ... or move it into a method definition. Monitoring Transitions Transitions occur “between states” conceptually, which means after any actions you have put into the event han- dling block; this is obvious since the next state is only defined by the value returned by the event handling logic. You do not need to worry about the exact order with respect to setting the internal state variable, as everything within the FSM actor is running single-threaded anyway. Internal Monitoring Up to this point, the FSM DSL has been centered on states and events. The dual view is to describe it as a series of transitions. This is enabled by the method onTransition(handler) which associates actions with a transition instead of with a state and event. The handler is a partial function which takes a pair of states as input; no resulting state is needed as it is not possible to modify the transition in progress. onTransition( matchState(Active, Idle,() -> setTimer("timeout", Tick, Duration.create(1, SECONDS), true)). state(Active, null,() -> cancelTimer("timeout")). state(null, Idle,(f,t) -> log().info("entering Idle from "+f))); It is also possible to pass a function object accepting two states to onTransition, in case your transition handling logic is implemented as a method: public void handler(StateType from, StateType to){ // handle transition here } onTransition(this::handler); The handlers registered with this method are stacked, so you can intersperse onTransition blocks with when blocks as suits your design. It should be noted, however, that all handlers will be invoked for each transition, not only the first matching one. This is designed specifically so you can put all transition handling for a certain aspect into one place without having to worry about earlier declarations shadowing later ones; the actions are still executed in declaration order, though. 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 190 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Note: This kind of internal monitoring may be used to structure your FSM according to transitions, so that for example the cancellation of a timer upon leaving a certain state cannot be forgot when adding new target states. External Monitoring External actors may be registered to be notified of state transitions by sending a mes- sage SubscribeTransitionCallBack(actorRef). The named actor will be sent a CurrentState(self, stateName) message immediately and will receive Transition(actorRef, oldState, newState) messages whenever a new state is reached. External monitors may be unregistered by sending UnsubscribeTransitionCallBack(actorRef) to the FSM actor. Stopping a listener without unregistering will not remove the listener from the subscription list; use UnsubscribeTransitionCallback before stopping the listener. Timers Besides state timeouts, FSM manages timers identified by String names. You may set a timer using setTimer(name, msg, interval, repeat) where msg is the message object which will be sent after the duration interval has elapsed. If repeat is true, then the timer is scheduled at fixed rate given by the interval parameter. Any existing timer with the same name will automatically be canceled before adding the new timer. Timers may be canceled using cancelTimer(name) which is guaranteed to work immediately, meaning that the scheduled message will not be processed after this call even if the timer already fired and queued it. The status of any timer may be inquired with isTimerActive(name) These named timers complement state timeouts because they are not affected by intervening reception of other messages. Termination from Inside The FSM is stopped by specifying the result state as stop([reason[, data]]) The reason must be one of Normal (which is the default), Shutdown or Failure(reason), and the second argument may be given to change the state data which is available during termination handling. Note: It should be noted that stop does not abort the actions and stop the FSM immediately. The stop action must be returned from the event handler in the same way as a state transition (but note that the return statement may not be used within a when block). when(Error, matchEventEquals("stop",(event, data) ->{ // do cleanup ... return stop(); })); You can use onTermination(handler) to specify custom code that is executed when the FSM is stopped. The handler is a partial function which takes a StopEvent(reason, stateName, stateData) as argu- ment: 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 191 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT onTermination( matchStop(Normal(), (state, data) ->{/* Do something here */}). stop(Shutdown(), (state, data) ->{/* Do something here */}). stop(Failure.class, (reason, state, data) ->{/* Do something here */})); As for the whenUnhandled case, this handler is not stacked, so each invocation of onTermination replaces the previously installed handler. Termination from Outside When an ActorRef associated to a FSM is stopped using the stop method, its postStop hook will be executed. The default implementation by the AbstractFSM class is to execute the onTermination handler if that is prepared to handle a StopEvent(Shutdown, ...). Warning: In case you override postStop and want to have your onTermination handler called, do not forget to call super.postStop. 3.11.4 Testing and Debugging Finite State Machines During development and for trouble shooting FSMs need care just as any other actor. There are specialized tools available as described in TestFSMRef and in the following. Event Tracing The setting akka.actor.debug.fsm in Configuration enables logging of an event trace by LoggingFSM instances: public class MyFSM extends AbstractLoggingFSM{ // body elided ... } This FSM will log at DEBUG level: • all processed events, including StateTimeout and scheduled timer messages • every setting and cancellation of named timers • all state transitions Life cycle changes and special messages can be logged as described for Actors. Rolling Event Log The AbstractLoggingFSM class adds one more feature to the FSM: a rolling event log which may be used during debugging (for tracing how the FSM entered a certain failure state) or for other creative uses: public class MyFSM extends AbstractLoggingFSM{ @Override public int logDepth(){ return 12;} { onTermination( matchStop(Failure.class,(reason, state, data) ->{ String lastEvents= getLog().mkString("\n\t"); log().warning("Failure in state "+ state+ " with data "+ data+ "\n"+ "Events leading up to this point:\n\t"+ lastEvents); 3.11. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 192 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT }) ); //... } } The logDepth defaults to zero, which turns off the event log. Warning: The log buffer is allocated during actor creation, which is why the configuration is done using a virtual method call. If you want to override with a val, make sure that its initialization happens before the initializer of LoggingFSM runs, and do not change the value returned by logDepth after the buffer has been allocated. The contents of the event log are available using method getLog, which returns an IndexedSeq[LogEntry] where the oldest entry is at index zero. 3.11.5 Examples A bigger FSM example contrasted with Actor’s become/unbecome can be found in the Typesafe Activator template named Akka FSM in Scala 3.12 Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) Akka persistence enables stateful actors to persist their internal state so that it can be recovered when an actor is started, restarted after a JVM crash or by a supervisor, or migrated in a cluster. The key concept behind Akka persistence is that only changes to an actor’s internal state are persisted but never its current state directly (except for optional snapshots). These changes are only ever appended to storage, nothing is ever mutated, which allows for very high transaction rates and efficient replication. Stateful actors are recovered by replaying stored changes to these actors from which they can rebuild internal state. This can be either the full history of changes or starting from a snapshot which can dramatically reduce recovery times. Akka persistence also provides point-to-point communication channels with at-least-once message delivery semantics. Warning: This module is marked as “experimental” as of its introduction in Akka 2.3.0. We will continue to improve this API based on our users’ feedback, which implies that while we try to keep incompatible changes to a minimum the binary compatibility guarantee for maintenance releases does not apply to the contents of the akka.persistence package. Akka persistence is inspired by the eventsourced library. It follows the same concepts and architecture of eventsourced but significantly differs on API and implementation level. 3.12.1 Dependencies Akka persistence is a separate jar file. Make sure that you have the following dependency in your project: com.typesafe.akka akka-persistence-experimental_2.10 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.12.2 Architecture • Processor: A processor is a persistent, stateful actor. Messages sent to a processor are written to a journal before its receive method is called. When a processor is started or restarted, journaled messages are 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 193 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT replayed to that processor, so that it can recover internal state from these messages. • View: A view is a persistent, stateful actor that receives journaled messages that have been written by another processor. A view itself does not journal new messages, instead, it updates internal state only from a processor’s replicated message stream. • Channel: Channels are used by processors and views to communicate with other actors. They prevent that replayed messages are redundantly delivered to these actors and provide at-least-once message delivery semantics, also in case of sender and receiver JVM crashes. • Journal: A journal stores the sequence of messages sent to a processor. An application can control which messages are journaled and which are received by the processor without being journaled. The storage backend of a journal is pluggable. The default journal storage plugin writes to the local filesystem, replicated journals are available as Community plugins. • Snapshot store: A snapshot store persists snapshots of a processor’s or a view’s internal state. Snapshots are used for optimizing recovery times. The storage backend of a snapshot store is pluggable. The default snapshot storage plugin writes to the local filesystem. • Event sourcing. Based on the building blocks described above, Akka persistence provides abstractions for the development of event sourced applications (see section Event sourcing) 3.12.3 Processors A processor can be implemented by extending AbstractProcessor class and implementing the receive method. class MyProcessor extends AbstractProcessor{ @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Persistent.class,p ->{ // message successfully written to journal Object payload=p.payload(); Long sequenceNr=p.sequenceNr(); // ... }). match(PersistenceFailure.class, failure ->{ // message failed to be written to journal Object payload= failure.payload(); Long sequenceNr= failure.sequenceNr(); Throwable cause= failure.cause(); // ... }). matchAny(otherwise ->{ // message not written to journal }).build(); } } Processors only write messages of type Persistent to the journal, others are received without being persisted. When a processor’s receive method is called with a Persistent message it can safely assume that this message has been successfully written to the journal. If a journal fails to write a Persistent message then the processor is stopped, by default. If a processor should continue running on persistence failures it must handle PersistenceFailure messages. In this case, a processor may want to inform the sender about the failure, so that the sender can re-send the message, if needed. An AbstractProcessor itself is an Actor and can therefore be instantiated with actorOf. processor= context().actorOf(Props.create(MyProcessor.class), "myProcessor"); processor.tell(Persistent.create("foo"), null); processor.tell("bar", null); 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 194 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Recovery By default, a processor is automatically recovered on start and on restart by replaying journaled messages. New messages sent to a processor during recovery do not interfere with replayed messages. New messages will only be received by a processor after recovery completes. Recovery customization Automated recovery on start can be disabled by overriding preStart with an empty implementation. @Override public void preStart(){} In this case, a processor must be recovered explicitly by sending it a Recover message. processor.tell(Recover.create(), null); If not overridden, preStart sends a Recover message to self(). Applications may also override preStart to define further Recover parameters such as an upper sequence number bound, for example. @Override public void preStart(){ self().tell(Recover.create(457L), null); } Upper sequence number bounds can be used to recover a processor to past state instead of current state. Automated recovery on restart can be disabled by overriding preRestart with an empty implementation. @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message){} Recovery status A processor can query its own recovery status via the methods public boolean recoveryRunning(); public boolean recoveryFinished(); Failure handling A persistent message that caused an exception will be received again by a processor after restart. To prevent a replay of that message during recovery it can be deleted. @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message){ if(message.isDefined()&& message.get() instanceof Persistent){ deleteMessage(((Persistent) message.get()).sequenceNr()); } super.preRestart(reason, message); } Message deletion A processor can delete a single message by calling the deleteMessage method with the sequence number of that message as argument. An optional permanent parameter specifies whether the message shall be perma- nently deleted from the journal or only marked as deleted. In both cases, the message won’t be replayed. Later extensions to Akka persistence will allow to replay messages that have been marked as deleted which can be useful 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 195 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT for debugging purposes, for example. To delete all messages (journaled by a single processor) up to a specified sequence number, processors should call the deleteMessages method. Identifiers A processor must have an identifier that doesn’t change across different actor incarnations. It defaults to the String representation of processor’s path without the address part and can be obtained via the processorId method. public String processorId(); Applications can customize a processor’s id by specifying an actor name during processor creation as shown in section Processors. This changes that processor’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the processor id. To fully customize a processor’s id, the processorId method must be overridden. @Override public String processorId(){ return "my-stable-processor-id"; } Overriding processorId is the recommended way to generate stable identifiers. 3.12.4 Views Views can be implemented by extending the AbstractView abstract class and implementing the receive and the processorId methods. class MyView extends AbstractView{ @Override public String processorId(){ return "some-processor-id"; } @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Persistent.class, peristent ->{ // ... }).build(); } } The processorId identifies the processor from which the view receives journaled messages. It is not necessary the referenced processor is actually running. Views read messages from a processor’s journal directly. When a processor is started later and begins to write new messages, the corresponding view is updated automatically, by default. Updates The default update interval of all views of an actor system is configurable: akka.persistence.view.auto-update-interval=5s View implementation classes may also override the autoUpdateInterval method to return a custom update interval for a specific view class or view instance. Applications may also trigger additional updates at any time by sending a view an Update message. final ActorRef view= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyView.class)); view.tell(Update.create(true), null); 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 196 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT If the await parameter is set to true, messages that follow the Update request are processed when the incre- mental message replay, triggered by that update request, completed. If set to false (default), messages following the update request may interleave with the replayed message stream. Automated updates always run with await = false. Automated updates of all views of an actor system can be turned off by configuration: akka.persistence.view.auto-update= off Implementation classes may override the configured default value by overriding the autoUpdate method. To limit the number of replayed messages per update request, applications can con- figure a custom akka.persistence.view.auto-update-replay-max value or override the autoUpdateReplayMax method. The number of replayed messages for manual updates can be limited with the replayMax parameter of the Update message. Recovery Initial recovery of views works in the very same way as for Processors (i.e. by sending a Recover message to self). The maximum number of replayed messages during initial recovery is determined by autoUpdateReplayMax. Further possibilities to customize initial recovery are explained in section Proces- sors. Identifiers A view must have an identifier that doesn’t change across different actor incarnations. It defaults to the String representation of the actor path without the address part and can be obtained via the viewId method. Applications can customize a view’s id by specifying an actor name during view creation. This changes that view’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the view id. To fully customize a view’s id, the viewId method must be overridden. Overriding viewId is the recommended way to generate stable identifiers. The viewId must differ from the referenced processorId, unless Snapshots of a view and its processor shall be shared (which is what applications usually do not want). 3.12.5 Channels Channels are special actors that are used by processors or views to communicate with other actors (channel desti- nations). The following discusses channels in context of processors but this is also applicable to views. Channels prevent redundant delivery of replayed messages to destinations during processor recovery. A replayed message is retained by a channel if its delivery has been confirmed by a destination. class MyProcessor extends AbstractProcessor{ private final ActorRef destination; private final ActorRef channel; public MyProcessor(){ this.destination= context().actorOf(Props.create(MyDestination.class)); this.channel= context().actorOf(Channel.props(), "myChannel"); } @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Persistent.class,p ->{ Persistent out=p.withPayload("done "+p.payload()); channel.tell(Deliver.create(out, destination.path()), self()); }).build(); } } 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 197 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT class MyDestination extends AbstractActor{ @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(ConfirmablePersistent.class,p ->{ Object payload=p.payload(); Long sequenceNr=p.sequenceNr(); int redeliveries=p.redeliveries(); // ... p.confirm(); }).build(); } } A channel is ready to use once it has been created, no recovery or further activation is needed. A Deliver request instructs a channel to send a Persistent message to a destination. A destination is provided as ActorPath and messages are sent by the channel via that path’s ActorSelection. Sender references are preserved by a channel, therefore, a destination can reply to the sender of a Deliver request. If a processor wants to reply to a Persistent message sender it should use the sender() path as channel destination. channel.tell(Deliver.create(out, sender().path()), self()); Persistent messages delivered by a channel are of type ConfirmablePersistent. ConfirmablePersistent extends Persistent by adding the methods confirm and redeliveries (see also Message re-delivery). A channel destination confirms the delivery of a ConfirmablePersistent message by calling confirm() on that message. This asynchronously writes a confirmation entry to the journal. Replayed messages internally contain confirmation entries which allows a channel to decide if it should retain these messages or not. A Processor can also be used as channel destination i.e. it can persist ConfirmablePersistent messages too. Message re-delivery Channels re-deliver messages to destinations if they do not confirm delivery within a configurable timeout. This timeout can be specified as redeliverInterval when creating a channel, optionally together with the maxi- mum number of re-deliveries a channel should attempt for each unconfirmed message. The number of re-delivery attempts can be obtained via the redeliveries method on ConfirmablePersistent. context().actorOf( Channel.props(ChannelSettings.create() .withRedeliverInterval(Duration.create(30, TimeUnit.SECONDS)) .withRedeliverMax(15))); A channel keeps messages in memory until their successful delivery has been confirmed or the maximum number of re-deliveries is reached. To be notified about messages that have reached the maximum number of re-deliveries, applications can register a listener at channel creation. class MyListener extends AbstractActor{ @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(RedeliverFailure.class,r ->{ Iterable messages=r.getMessages(); // ... }).build(); } } final ActorRef myListener= context().actorOf(Props.create(MyListener.class)); context().actorOf(Channel.props( ChannelSettings.create().withRedeliverFailureListener(null))); 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 198 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT A listener receives RedeliverFailure notifications containing all messages that could not be delivered. On receiving a RedeliverFailure message, an application may decide to restart the sending processor to enforce a re-send of these messages to the channel or confirm these messages to prevent further re-sends. The sending processor can also be restarted any time later to re-send unconfirmed messages. This combination of • message persistence by sending processors • message replays by sending processors • message re-deliveries by channels and • application-level confirmations (acknowledgements) by destinations enables channels to provide at-least-once message delivery semantics. Possible duplicates can be detected by destinations by tracking message sequence numbers. Message sequence numbers are generated per sending pro- cessor. Depending on how a processor routes outbound messages to destinations, they may either see a contiguous message sequence or a sequence with gaps. Warning: If a processor emits more than one outbound message per inbound Persistent message it must use a separate channel for each outbound message to ensure that confirmations are uniquely identifiable, otherwise, at-least-once message delivery semantics do not apply. This rule has been introduced to avoid writing additional outbound message identifiers to the journal which would decrease the overall throughput. It is furthermore recommended to collapse multiple outbound messages to the same destination into a single outbound message, otherwise, if sent via multiple channels, their ordering is not defined. If an application wants to have more control how sequence numbers are assigned to messages it should use an application-specific sequence number generator and include the generated sequence numbers into the payload of Persistent messages. Persistent channels Channels created with Channel.props do not persist messages. These channels are usually used in combina- tion with a sending processor that takes care of persistence, hence, channel-specific persistence is not necessary in this case. They are referred to as transient channels in the following. Persistent channels are like transient channels but additionally persist messages before delivering them. Mes- sages that have been persisted by a persistent channel are deleted when destinations confirm their deliv- ery. A persistent channel can be created with PersistentChannel.props and configured with a PersistentChannelSettings object. final ActorRef channel= context().actorOf( PersistentChannel.props( PersistentChannelSettings.create() .withRedeliverInterval(Duration.create(30, TimeUnit.SECONDS)) .withRedeliverMax(15)), "myPersistentChannel"); channel.tell(Deliver.create(Persistent.create("example"), destination.path()), self()); A persistent channel is useful for delivery of messages to slow destinations or destinations that are unavailable for a long time. It can constrain the number of pending confirmations based on the pendingConfirmationsMax and pendingConfirmationsMin parameters of PersistentChannelSettings. PersistentChannelSettings.create() .withPendingConfirmationsMax(10000) .withPendingConfirmationsMin(2000); 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 199 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT It suspends delivery when the number of pending confirmations reaches pendingConfirmationsMax and re- sumes delivery again when this number falls below pendingConfirmationsMin. This prevents both, flood- ing destinations with more messages than they can process and unlimited memory consumption by the channel. A persistent channel continues to persist new messages even when message delivery is temporarily suspended. Standalone usage Applications may also use channels standalone. Transient channels can be used standalone if re-delivery attempts to destinations are required but message loss in case of a sender JVM crash is not an issue. If message loss in case of a sender JVM crash is an issue, persistent channels should be used. In this case, applications may want to receive replies from the channel whether messages have been successfully persisted or not. This can be enabled by creating the channel with the replyPersistent configuration parameter set to true: PersistentChannelSettings.create().withReplyPersistent(true); With this setting, either the successfully persisted message is replied to the sender or a PersistenceFailure message. In case the latter case, the sender should re-send the message. Identifiers In the same way as Processors and Views, channels also have an identifier that defaults to a channel’s path. A channel identifier can therefore be customized by using a custom actor name at channel creation. This changes that channel’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the channel identifier. To fully customize a channel identifier, it should be provided as argument Channel.props(String) or PersistentChannel.props(String) (recommended to generate stable identifiers). this.channel= context().actorOf(Channel.props("my-stable-channel-id")); 3.12.6 Persistent messages Payload The payload of a Persistent message can be obtained via its payload method. Inside processors, new mes- sages must be derived from the current persistent message before sending them via a channel, either by calling p.withPayload(...) or Persistent.create(..., getCurrentPersistentMessage()) where getCurrentPersistentMessage() is defined on AbstractProcessor. public Persistent getCurrentPersistentMessage(); This is necessary for delivery confirmations to work properly. Both ways are equivalent but we recommend using p.withPayload(...) for clarity. It is not allowed to send a message via a channel that has been created with Persistent.create(...). This would redeliver the message on every replay even though its delivery was confirmed by a destination. Sequence number The sequence number of a Persistent message can be obtained via its sequenceNr method. Persistent messages are assigned sequence numbers on a per-processor basis (or per channel basis if used standalone). A sequence starts at 1L and doesn’t contain gaps unless a processor deletes messages. 3.12.7 Snapshots Snapshots can dramatically reduce recovery times of processors and views. The following discusses snapshots in context of processors but this is also applicable to views. 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 200 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Processors can save snapshots of internal state by calling the saveSnapshot method. If saving of a snapshot succeeds, the processor receives a SaveSnapshotSuccess message, otherwise a SaveSnapshotFailure message class MyProcessor extends AbstractProcessor{ private Object state; @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(String.class,s ->s.equals("snap"), s -> saveSnapshot(state)). match(SaveSnapshotSuccess.class, ss ->{ SnapshotMetadata metadata= ss.metadata(); // ... }). match(SaveSnapshotFailure.class, sf ->{ SnapshotMetadata metadata= sf.metadata(); // ... }).build(); } } During recovery, the processor is offered a previously saved snapshot via a SnapshotOffer message from which it can initialize internal state. class MyProcessor extends AbstractProcessor{ private Object state; @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(SnapshotOffer.class,s ->{ state=s.snapshot(); // ... }). match(Persistent.class,p ->{/*...*/}).build(); } } The replayed messages that follow the SnapshotOffer message, if any, are younger than the offered snapshot. They finally recover the processor to its current (i.e. latest) state. In general, a processor is only offered a snapshot if that processor has previously saved one or more snapshots and at least one of these snapshots matches the SnapshotSelectionCriteria that can be specified for recovery. processor.tell(Recover.create( SnapshotSelectionCriteria .create(457L, System.currentTimeMillis())), null); If not specified, they default to SnapshotSelectionCriteria.latest() which selects the latest (= youngest) snapshot. To disable snapshot-based recovery, applications should use SnapshotSelectionCriteria.none(). A recovery where no saved snapshot matches the speci- fied SnapshotSelectionCriteria will replay all journaled messages. Snapshot deletion A processor can delete individual snapshots by calling the deleteSnapshot method with the se- quence number and the timestamp of a snapshot as argument. To bulk-delete snapshots matching SnapshotSelectionCriteria, processors should use the deleteSnapshots method. 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 201 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.12.8 Event sourcing In all the examples so far, messages that change a processor’s state have been sent as Persistent messages by an application, so that they can be replayed during recovery. From this point of view, the journal acts as a write- ahead-log for whatever Persistent messages a processor receives. This is also known as command sourcing. Commands, however, may fail and some applications cannot tolerate command failures during recovery. For these applications Event Sourcing is a better choice. Applied to Akka persistence, the basic idea behind event sourcing is quite simple. A processor receives a (non-persistent) command which is first validated if it can be applied to the current state. Here, validation can mean anything, from simple inspection of a command message’s fields up to a conversation with several external services, for example. If validation succeeds, events are generated from the command, representing the effect of the command. These events are then persisted and, after successful persistence, used to change a processor’s state. When the processor needs to be recovered, only the persisted events are replayed of which we know that they can be successfully applied. In other words, events cannot fail when being replayed to a processor, in contrast to commands. Eventsourced processors may of course also process commands that do not change application state, such as query commands, for example. Akka persistence supports event sourcing with the AbstractEventsourcedProcessor abstract class (which implements event sourcing as a pattern on top of command sourcing). A processor that extends this abstract class does not handle Persistent messages directly but uses the persist method to persist and handle events. The behavior of an AbstractEventsourcedProcessor is defined by implementing receiveRecover and receiveCommand. This is demonstrated in the following example. import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.japi.pf.ReceiveBuilder; import akka.persistence.AbstractEventsourcedProcessor; import akka.persistence.SnapshotOffer; import scala.PartialFunction; import scala.runtime.BoxedUnit; import java.io.Serializable; import java.util.ArrayList; import static java.util.Arrays.asList; class Cmd implements Serializable{ private final String data; public Cmd(String data){ this.data= data; } public String getData(){ return data; } } class Evt implements Serializable{ private final String data; public Evt(String data){ this.data= data; } public String getData(){ return data; } } class ExampleState implements Serializable{ private final ArrayList events; 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 202 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public ExampleState(){ this(new ArrayList()); } public ExampleState(ArrayList events){ this.events= events; } public ExampleState copy(){ return new ExampleState(new ArrayList(events)); } public void update(Evt evt){ events.add(evt.getData()); } public int size(){ return events.size(); } @Override public String toString(){ return events.toString(); } } class ExampleProcessor extends AbstractEventsourcedProcessor{ private ExampleState state= new ExampleState(); public int getNumEvents(){ return state.size(); } @Override public PartialFunction receiveRecover(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Evt.class, state::update). match(SnapshotOffer.class, ss -> state=(ExampleState) ss.snapshot()).build(); } @Override public PartialFunction receiveCommand(){ return ReceiveBuilder.match(Cmd.class,c ->{ final String data=c.getData(); final Evt evt1= new Evt(data+ "-"+ getNumEvents()); final Evt evt2= new Evt(data+ "-"+(getNumEvents()+1)); persist(asList(evt1, evt2),(Evt evt) ->{ state.update(evt); if(evt.equals(evt2)){ context().system().eventStream().publish(evt); if(data.equals("foo")){ context().become(och, true);} } }); }). match(String.class,s ->s.equals("snap"),s -> saveSnapshot(state.copy())). match(String.class,s ->s.equals("print"),s -> System.out.println(state)).build(); } PartialFunction och= ReceiveBuilder. match(Cmd.class, cmd -> cmd.getData().equals("bar"), cmd ->{ persist(new Evt("bar-"+ getNumEvents()), event ->{ state.update(event); context().unbecome(); }); 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 203 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT unstashAll(); }). matchAny(o -> stash()).build(); } The example defines two data types, Cmd and Evt to represent commands and events, respectively. The state of the ExampleProcessor is a list of persisted event data contained in ExampleState. The processor’s receiveRecover method defines how state is updated during recovery by handling Evt and SnapshotOffer messages. The processor’s receiveCommand method is a command handler. In this example, a command is handled by generating two events which are then persisted and handled. Events are persisted by calling persist with an event (or a sequence of events) as first argument and an event handler as second argument. The persist method persists events asynchronously and the event handler is executed for successfully persisted events. Successfully persisted events are internally sent back to the processor as individual messages that trigger event handler executions. An event handler may close over processor state and mutate it. The sender of a persisted event is the sender of the corresponding command. This allows event handlers to reply to the sender of a command (not shown). The main responsibility of an event handler is changing processor state using event data and notifying others about successful state changes by publishing events. When persisting events with persist it is guaranteed that the processor will not receive further commands between the persist call and the execution(s) of the associated event handler. This also holds for multiple persist calls in context of a single command. The example also shows how to switch between command different command handlers with context().become() and context().unbecome(). The easiest way to run this example yourself is to download Typesafe Activator and open the tutorial named Akka Persistence Samples with Java. It contains instructions on how to run the EventsourcedExample. Reliable event delivery Sending events from an event handler to another actor has at-most-once delivery semantics. For at-least-once delivery, Channels must be used. In this case, also replayed events (received by receiveRecover) must be sent to a channel, as shown in the following example: class MyEventsourcedProcessor extends AbstractEventsourcedProcessor{ private ActorRef destination; private ActorRef channel; public MyEventsourcedProcessor(ActorRef destination){ this.destination= destination; this.channel= context().actorOf(Channel.props(), "channel"); } private void handleEvent(String event){ // update state // ... // reliably deliver events channel.tell(Deliver.create( Persistent.create(event, getCurrentPersistentMessage()), destination.path()), self()); } @Override public PartialFunction receiveRecover(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(String.class, this::handleEvent).build(); } @Override public PartialFunction receiveCommand(){ return ReceiveBuilder. 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 204 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT match(String.class,s ->s.equals("cmd"), s -> persist("evt", this::handleEvent)).build(); } } In larger integration scenarios, channel destinations may be actors that submit received events to an external message broker, for example. After having successfully submitted an event, they should call confirm() on the received ConfirmablePersistent message. 3.12.9 Batch writes To optimize throughput, an AbstractProcessor internally batches received Persistent messages under high load before writing them to the journal (as a single batch). The batch size dynamically grows from 1 under low and moderate loads to a configurable maximum size (default is 200) under high load. akka.persistence.journal.max-message-batch-size= 200 A new batch write is triggered by a processor as soon as a batch reaches the maximum size or if the journal completed writing the previous batch. Batch writes are never timer-based which keeps latencies at a minimum. Applications that want to have more explicit control over batch writes and batch sizes can send processors PersistentBatch messages. class MyProcessor extends AbstractProcessor{ @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Persistent.class,p ->p.payload().equals("a"), p ->{/*... */}). match(Persistent.class,p ->p.payload().equals("b"), p ->{/*... */}).build(); } } class Example{ final ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("example"); final ActorRef processor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyProcessor.class)); public void batchWrite(){ processor.tell(PersistentBatch .create(asList(Persistent.create("a"), Persistent.create("b"))), null); } // ... } Persistent messages contained in a PersistentBatch are always written atomically, even if the batch size is greater than max-message-batch-size. Also, a PersistentBatch is written isolated from other batches. Persistent messages contained in a PersistentBatch are received individually by a processor. PersistentBatch messages, for example, are used internally by an AbstractEventsourcedProcessor to ensure atomic writes of events. All events that are persisted in context of a single command are written as a single batch to the journal (even if persist is called multiple times per command). The recovery of an AbstractEventsourcedProcessor will therefore never be done partially (with only a subset of events persisted by a single command). Confirmation and deletion operations performed by Channels are also batched. The maximum confirmation and deletion batch sizes are configurable with akka.persistence.journal.max-confirmation-batch-size and akka.persistence.journal.max-deletion-batch-size, respectively. 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 205 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 3.12.10 Storage plugins Storage backends for journals and snapshot stores are pluggable in Akka persistence. The default journal plugin writes messages to LevelDB (see Local LevelDB journal). The default snapshot store plugin writes snapshots as individual files to the local filesystem (see Local snapshot store). Applications can provide their own plugins by implementing a plugin API and activate them by configuration. Plugin development requires the following imports: import akka.japi.pf.ReceiveBuilder; import scala.PartialFunction; import scala.concurrent.Future; import akka.japi.Option; import akka.japi.Procedure; import akka.persistence.*; import akka.persistence.journal.japi.*; import akka.persistence.snapshot.japi.*; Journal plugin API A journal plugin either extends SyncWriteJournal or AsyncWriteJournal. SyncWriteJournal is an actor that should be extended when the storage backend API only supports synchronous, blocking writes. In this case, the methods to be implemented are: /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of persistent messages to the * journal. The batch write must be atomic i.e. either all persistent messages in the * batch are written or none. */ void doWriteMessages(Iterable messages); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of delivery confirmations to * the journal. */ void doWriteConfirmations(Iterable confirmations); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously deletes messages identified by ‘messageIds‘ * from the journal. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are * marked as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. */ void doDeleteMessages(Iterable messageIds, boolean permanent); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously deletes all persistent messages up to *‘toSequenceNr‘. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are * marked as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. * *@see AsyncRecoveryPlugin */ void doDeleteMessagesTo(String processorId, long toSequenceNr, boolean permanent); AsyncWriteJournal is an actor that should be extended if the storage backend API supports asynchronous, non-blocking writes. In this case, the methods to be implemented are: /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of persistent messages to the * journal. The batch write must be atomic i.e. either all persistent messages in the * batch are written or none. */ Future doAsyncWriteMessages(Iterable messages); 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 206 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of delivery confirmations to * the journal. */ Future doAsyncWriteConfirmations(Iterable confirmations); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously deletes messages identified by ‘messageIds‘ * from the journal. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are * marked as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. */ Future doAsyncDeleteMessages(Iterable messageIds, boolean permanent); /** * Java API, Plugin API: synchronously deletes all persistent messages up to *‘toSequenceNr‘. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are * marked as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. * *@see AsyncRecoveryPlugin */ Future doAsyncDeleteMessagesTo(String processorId, long toSequenceNr, boolean permanent); Message replays and sequence number recovery are always asynchronous, therefore, any journal plugin must implement: /** * Java API, Plugin API: asynchronously replays persistent messages. * Implementations replay a message by calling ‘replayCallback‘. The returned * future must be completed when all messages (matching the sequence number * bounds) have been replayed. The future must be completed with a failure if * any of the persistent messages could not be replayed. * * The ‘replayCallback‘ must also be called with messages that have been marked * as deleted. In this case a replayed message’s ‘deleted‘ method must return *‘true‘. * * The channel ids of delivery confirmations that are available for a replayed * message must be contained in that message’s ‘confirms‘ sequence. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param fromSequenceNr sequence number where replay should start (inclusive). *@param toSequenceNr sequence number where replay should end (inclusive). *@param max maximum number of messages to be replayed. *@param replayCallback called to replay a single message. Can be called from any * thread. */ Future doAsyncReplayMessages(String processorId, long fromSequenceNr, long toSequenceNr, long max, Procedure replayCallback); /** * Java API, Plugin API: asynchronously reads the highest stored sequence number * for the given ‘processorId‘. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param fromSequenceNr hint where to start searching for the highest sequence * number. */ Future doAsyncReadHighestSequenceNr(String processorId, long fromSequenceNr); A journal plugin can be activated with the following minimal configuration: # Path to the journal plugin to be used akka.persistence.journal.plugin= "my-journal" 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 207 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # My custom journal plugin my-journal{ # Class name of the plugin. class= "docs.persistence.MyJournal" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher= "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" } The specified plugin class must have a no-arg constructor. The plugin-dispatcher is the dispatcher used for the plugin actor. If not specified, it defaults to akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher for SyncWriteJournal plugins and akka.actor.default-dispatcher for AsyncWriteJournal plugins. Snapshot store plugin API A snapshot store plugin must extend the SnapshotStore actor and implement the following methods: /** * Java API, Plugin API: asynchronously loads a snapshot. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param criteria selection criteria for loading. */ Future> doLoadAsync(String processorId, SnapshotSelectionCriteria criteria); /** * Java API, Plugin API: asynchronously saves a snapshot. * *@param metadata snapshot metadata. *@param snapshot snapshot. */ Future doSaveAsync(SnapshotMetadata metadata, Object snapshot); /** * Java API, Plugin API: called after successful saving of a snapshot. * *@param metadata snapshot metadata. */ void onSaved(SnapshotMetadata metadata) throws Exception; /** * Java API, Plugin API: deletes the snapshot identified by ‘metadata‘. * *@param metadata snapshot metadata. */ void doDelete(SnapshotMetadata metadata) throws Exception; /** * Java API, Plugin API: deletes all snapshots matching ‘criteria‘. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param criteria selection criteria for deleting. */ void doDelete(String processorId, SnapshotSelectionCriteria criteria) throws Exception; A snapshot store plugin can be activated with the following minimal configuration: # Path to the snapshot store plugin to be used akka.persistence.snapshot-store.plugin= "my-snapshot-store" # My custom snapshot store plugin my-snapshot-store{ 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 208 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Class name of the plugin. class= "docs.persistence.MySnapshotStore" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher= "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher" } The specified plugin class must have a no-arg constructor. The plugin-dispatcher is the dispatcher used for the plugin actor. If not specified, it defaults to akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher. 3.12.11 Pre-packaged plugins Local LevelDB journal The default journal plugin is akka.persistence.journal.leveldb which writes messages to a local LevelDB instance. The default location of the LevelDB files is a directory named journal in the current working directory. This location can be changed by configuration where the specified path can be relative or absolute: akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.dir= "target/journal" With this plugin, each actor system runs its own private LevelDB instance. Shared LevelDB journal A LevelDB instance can also be shared by multiple actor systems (on the same or on different nodes). This, for example, allows processors to failover to a backup node and continue using the shared journal instance from the backup node. Warning: A shared LevelDB instance is a single point of failure and should therefore only be used for testing purposes. Highly-available, replicated journal are available as Community plugins. A shared LevelDB instance is started by instantiating the SharedLeveldbStore actor. final ActorRef store= system.actorOf(Props.create(SharedLeveldbStore.class), "store"); By default, the shared instance writes journaled messages to a local directory named journal in the current working directory. The storage location can be changed by configuration: akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared.store.dir= "target/shared" Actor systems that use a shared LevelDB store must activate the akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared plugin. akka.persistence.journal.plugin= "akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared" This plugin must be initialized by injecting the (remote) SharedLeveldbStore actor reference. Injection is done by calling the SharedLeveldbJournal.setStore method with the actor reference as argument. class SharedStorageUsage extends AbstractActor{ @Override public void preStart() throws Exception{ String path= "akka.tcp://example@127.0.0.1:2552/user/store"; ActorSelection selection= context().actorSelection(path); selection.tell(new Identify(1), self()); } @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(ActorIdentity.class, ai ->{ if(ai.correlationId().equals(1)){ 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 209 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorRef store= ai.getRef(); if(store != null){ SharedLeveldbJournal.setStore(store, context().system()); } } }).build(); } } Internal journal commands (sent by processors) are buffered until injection completes. Injection is idempotent i.e. only the first injection is used. Local snapshot store The default snapshot store plugin is akka.persistence.snapshot-store.local. It writes snapshot files to the local filesystem. The default storage location is a directory named snapshots in the current working directory. This can be changed by configuration where the specified path can be relative or absolute: akka.persistence.snapshot-store.local.dir= "target/snapshots" 3.12.12 Custom serialization Serialization of snapshots and payloads of Persistent messages is configurable with Akka’s Serialization infrastructure. For example, if an application wants to serialize • payloads of type MyPayload with a custom MyPayloadSerializer and • snapshots of type MySnapshot with a custom MySnapshotSerializer it must add akka.actor{ serializers{ my-payload= "docs.persistence.MyPayloadSerializer" my-snapshot= "docs.persistence.MySnapshotSerializer" } serialization-bindings{ "docs.persistence.MyPayload"= my-payload "docs.persistence.MySnapshot"= my-snapshot } } to the application configuration. If not specified, a default serializer is used. 3.12.13 Testing When running tests with LevelDB default settings in sbt, make sure to set fork := true in your sbt project otherwise, you’ll see an UnsatisfiedLinkError. Alternatively, you can switch to a LevelDB Java port by setting akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.native= off or akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared.store.native= off in your Akka configuration. The LevelDB Java port is for testing purposes only. 3.12. Persistence (Java with Lambda Support) 210 CHAPTER FOUR FUTURES AND AGENTS 4.1 Futures 4.1.1 Introduction In the Scala Standard Library, a Future is a data structure used to retrieve the result of some concurrent operation. This result can be accessed synchronously (blocking) or asynchronously (non-blocking). To be able to use this from Java, Akka provides a java friendly interface in akka.dispatch.Futures. 4.1.2 Execution Contexts In order to execute callbacks and operations, Futures need something called an ExecutionContext, which is very similar to a java.util.concurrent.Executor. if you have an ActorSystem in scope, it will use its default dispatcher as the ExecutionContext, or you can use the factory methods provided by the ExecutionContexts class to wrap Executors and ExecutorServices, or even create your own. import akka.dispatch.*; import scala.concurrent.ExecutionContext; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.Await; import scala.concurrent.Promise; import akka.util.Timeout; import scala.concurrent.ExecutionContext; import scala.concurrent.ExecutionContext$; ExecutionContext ec= ExecutionContexts.fromExecutorService(yourExecutorServiceGoesHere); //Use ec with your Futures Future f1= Futures.successful("foo"); // Then you shut down the ExecutorService at the end of your application. yourExecutorServiceGoesHere.shutdown(); 4.1.3 Use with Actors There are generally two ways of getting a reply from an UntypedActor: the first is by a sent message (actorRef.tell(msg, sender)), which only works if the original sender was an UntypedActor) and the second is through a Future. Using the ActorRef‘s ask method to send a message will return a Future. To wait for and retrieve the actual result the simplest method is: 211 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.dispatch.*; import scala.concurrent.ExecutionContext; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.Await; import scala.concurrent.Promise; import akka.util.Timeout; Timeout timeout= new Timeout(Duration.create(5, "seconds")); Future future= Patterns.ask(actor, msg, timeout); String result=(String) Await.result(future, timeout.duration()); This will cause the current thread to block and wait for the UntypedActor to ‘complete’ the Future with it’s reply. Blocking is discouraged though as it can cause performance problem. The blocking operations are located in Await.result and Await.ready to make it easy to spot where blocking occurs. Alternatives to blocking are discussed further within this documentation. Also note that the Future returned by an UntypedActor is a Future since an UntypedActor is dynamic. That is why the cast to String is used in the above sample. Warning: Await.result and Await.ready are provided for exceptional situations where you must block, a good rule of thumb is to only use them if you know why you must block. For all other cases, use asynchronous composition as described below. To send the result of a Future to an Actor, you can use the pipe construct: akka.pattern.Patterns.pipe(future, system.dispatcher()).to(actor); 4.1.4 Use Directly A common use case within Akka is to have some computation performed concurrently without needing the extra utility of an UntypedActor. If you find yourself creating a pool of UntypedActors for the sole reason of performing a calculation in parallel, there is an easier (and faster) way: import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.japi.Function; import java.util.concurrent.Callable; import static akka.dispatch.Futures.future; import static java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit.SECONDS; Futuref= future(new Callable(){ public String call(){ return "Hello"+ "World"; } }, system.dispatcher()); f.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); In the above code the block passed to future will be executed by the default Dispatcher, with the return value of the block used to complete the Future (in this case, the result would be the string: “HelloWorld”). Unlike a Future that is returned from an UntypedActor, this Future is properly typed, and we also avoid the overhead of managing an UntypedActor. You can also create already completed Futures using the Futures class, which can be either successes: Future future= Futures.successful("Yay!"); Or failures: Future otherFuture= Futures.failed( new IllegalArgumentException("Bang!")); It is also possible to create an empty Promise, to be filled later, and obtain the corresponding Future: 4.1. Futures 212 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Promise promise= Futures.promise(); Future theFuture= promise.future(); promise.success("hello"); For these examples PrintResult is defined as follows: public final static class PrintResult extends OnSuccess{ @Override public final void onSuccess(T t){ System.out.println(t); } } 4.1.5 Functional Futures Scala’s Future has several monadic methods that are very similar to the ones used by Scala‘s collections. These allow you to create ‘pipelines’ or ‘streams’ that the result will travel through. Future is a Monad The first method for working with Future functionally is map. This method takes a Mapper which performs some operation on the result of the Future, and returning a new result. The return value of the map method is another Future that will contain the new result: import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.japi.Function; import java.util.concurrent.Callable; import static akka.dispatch.Futures.future; import static java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit.SECONDS; final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future f1= future(new Callable(){ public String call(){ return "Hello"+ "World"; } }, ec); Future f2= f1.map(new Mapper(){ public Integer apply(Strings){ returns.length(); } }, ec); f2.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); In this example we are joining two strings together within a Future. Instead of waiting for f1 to complete, we apply our function that calculates the length of the string using the map method. Now we have a second Future, f2, that will eventually contain an Integer. When our original Future, f1, completes, it will also apply our function and complete the second Future with its result. When we finally get the result, it will contain the number 10. Our original Future still contains the string “HelloWorld” and is unaffected by the map. Something to note when using these methods: if the Future is still being processed when one of these methods are called, it will be the completing thread that actually does the work. If the Future is already complete though, it will be run in our current thread. For example: final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future f1= future(new Callable(){ public String call() throws Exception{ Thread.sleep(100); 4.1. Futures 213 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT return "Hello"+ "World"; } }, ec); Future f2= f1.map(new Mapper(){ public Integer apply(Strings){ returns.length(); } }, ec); f2.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); The original Future will take at least 0.1 second to execute now, which means it is still being processed at the time we call map. The function we provide gets stored within the Future and later executed automatically by the dispatcher when the result is ready. If we do the opposite: final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future f1= future(new Callable(){ public String call(){ return "Hello"+ "World"; } }, ec); // Thread.sleep is only here to prove a point Thread.sleep(100); // Do not use this in your code Future f2= f1.map(new Mapper(){ public Integer apply(Strings){ returns.length(); } }, ec); f2.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); Our little string has been processed long before our 0.1 second sleep has finished. Because of this, the dispatcher has moved onto other messages that need processing and can no longer calculate the length of the string for us, instead it gets calculated in the current thread just as if we weren’t using a Future. Normally this works quite well as it means there is very little overhead to running a quick function. If there is a possibility of the function taking a non-trivial amount of time to process it might be better to have this done concurrently, and for that we use flatMap: final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future f1= future(new Callable(){ public String call(){ return "Hello"+ "World"; } }, ec); Future f2= f1.flatMap(new Mapper>(){ public Future apply(final Strings){ return future(new Callable(){ public Integer call(){ returns.length(); } }, ec); } }, ec); f2.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); 4.1. Futures 214 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Now our second Future is executed concurrently as well. This technique can also be used to combine the results of several Futures into a single calculation, which will be better explained in the following sections. If you need to do conditional propagation, you can use filter: final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future future1= Futures.successful(4); Future successfulFilter= future1.filter(Filter.filterOf( new Function(){ public Boolean apply(Integeri){ returni%2 ==0; } }), ec); Future failedFilter= future1.filter(Filter.filterOf( new Function(){ public Boolean apply(Integeri){ returni%2 !=0; } }), ec); //When filter fails, the returned Future will be failed with a scala.MatchError Composing Futures It is very often desirable to be able to combine different Futures with each other, below are some examples on how that can be done in a non-blocking fashion. import static akka.dispatch.Futures.sequence; final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); //Some source generating a sequence of Future:s Iterable> listOfFutureInts= source; // now we have a Future[Iterable[Integer]] Future> futureListOfInts= sequence(listOfFutureInts, ec); // Find the sum of the odd numbers Future futureSum= futureListOfInts.map( new Mapper, Long>(){ public Long apply(Iterable ints){ long sum=0; for(Integeri: ints) sum +=i; return sum; } }, ec); futureSum.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); To better explain what happened in the example, Future.sequence is taking the Iterable> and turning it into a Future>. We can then use map to work with the Iterable directly, and we aggregate the sum of the Iterable. The traverse method is similar to sequence, but it takes a sequence of A‘‘s and applies a function from ‘‘A to Future and returns a Future>, enabling parallel map over the sequence, if you use Futures.future to create the Future. import static akka.dispatch.Futures.traverse; 4.1. Futures 215 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); //Just a sequence of Strings Iterable listStrings= Arrays.asList("a", "b", "c"); Future> futureResult= traverse(listStrings, new Function>(){ public Future apply(final Stringr){ return future(new Callable(){ public String call(){ returnr.toUpperCase(); } }, ec); } }, ec); //Returns the sequence of strings as upper case futureResult.onSuccess(new PrintResult>(), system.dispatcher()); It’s as simple as that! Then there’s a method that’s called fold that takes a start-value, a sequence of Future:s and a function from the type of the start-value, a timeout, and the type of the futures and returns something with the same type as the start-value, and then applies the function to all elements in the sequence of futures, non-blockingly, the execution will be started when the last of the Futures is completed. import akka.japi.Function2; import static akka.dispatch.Futures.fold; final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); //A sequence of Futures, in this case Strings Iterable> futures= source; //Start value is the empty string Future resultFuture= fold("", futures, new Function2(){ public String apply(Stringr, Stringt){ returnr+t; //Just concatenate } }, ec); resultFuture.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); That’s all it takes! If the sequence passed to fold is empty, it will return the start-value, in the case above, that will be empty String. In some cases you don’t have a start-value and you’re able to use the value of the first completing Future in the sequence as the start-value, you can use reduce, it works like this: import static akka.dispatch.Futures.reduce; final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); //A sequence of Futures, in this case Strings Iterable> futures= source; Future resultFuture= reduce(futures, new Function2(){ public Object apply(Objectr, Stringt){ returnr+t; //Just concatenate } }, ec); resultFuture.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); 4.1. Futures 216 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Same as with fold, the execution will be started when the last of the Futures is completed, you can also parallelize it by chunking your futures into sub-sequences and reduce them, and then reduce the reduced results again. This is just a sample of what can be done. 4.1.6 Callbacks Sometimes you just want to listen to a Future being completed, and react to that not by creating a new Future, but by side-effecting. For this Scala supports onComplete, onSuccess and onFailure, of which the latter two are specializations of the first. final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); future.onSuccess(new OnSuccess(){ public void onSuccess(String result){ if("bar" == result){ //Do something if it resulted in "bar" } else{ //Do something if it was some other String } } }, ec); final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); future.onFailure(new OnFailure(){ public void onFailure(Throwable failure){ if(failure instanceof IllegalStateException){ //Do something if it was this particular failure } else{ //Do something if it was some other failure } } }, ec); final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); future.onComplete(new OnComplete(){ public void onComplete(Throwable failure, String result){ if(failure != null){ //We got a failure, handle it here } else{ // We got a result, do something with it } } }, ec); 4.1.7 Ordering Since callbacks are executed in any order and potentially in parallel, it can be tricky at the times when you need sequential ordering of operations. But there’s a solution! And it’s name is andThen, and it creates a new Future with the specified callback, a Future that will have the same result as the Future it’s called on, which allows for ordering like in the following sample: final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future future1= Futures.successful("value").andThen( new OnComplete(){ public void onComplete(Throwable failure, String result){ if(failure != null) sendToIssueTracker(failure); } 4.1. Futures 217 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT }, ec).andThen(new OnComplete(){ public void onComplete(Throwable failure, String result){ if(result != null) sendToTheInternetz(result); } }, ec); 4.1.8 Auxiliary methods Future fallbackTo combines 2 Futures into a new Future, and will hold the successful value of the second Future if the first Future fails. Future future1= Futures.failed(new IllegalStateException("OHNOES1")); Future future2= Futures.failed(new IllegalStateException("OHNOES2")); Future future3= Futures.successful("bar"); // Will have "bar" in this case Future future4= future1.fallbackTo(future2).fallbackTo(future3); future4.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); You can also combine two Futures into a new Future that will hold a tuple of the two Futures successful results, using the zip operation. final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future future1= Futures.successful("foo"); Future future2= Futures.successful("bar"); Future future3= future1.zip(future2).map( new Mapper, String>(){ public String apply(scala.Tuple2 zipped){ return zipped._1()+""+ zipped._2(); } }, ec); future3.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); 4.1.9 Exceptions Since the result of a Future is created concurrently to the rest of the program, exceptions must be handled dif- ferently. It doesn’t matter if an UntypedActor or the dispatcher is completing the Future, if an Exception is caught the Future will contain it instead of a valid result. If a Future does contain an Exception, calling Await.result will cause it to be thrown again so it can be handled properly. It is also possible to handle an Exception by returning a different result. This is done with the recover method. For example: final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future future= future(new Callable(){ public Integer call(){ return1/0; } }, ec).recover(new Recover(){ public Integer recover(Throwable problem) throws Throwable{ if(problem instanceof ArithmeticException) return0; else throw problem; } }, ec); future.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); 4.1. Futures 218 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT In this example, if the actor replied with a akka.actor.Status.Failure containing the ArithmeticException, our Future would have a result of 0. The recover method works very similarly to the standard try/catch blocks, so multiple Exceptions can be handled in this manner, and if an Exception is not handled this way it will behave as if we hadn’t used the recover method. You can also use the recoverWith method, which has the same relationship to recover as flatMap has to map, and is use like this: final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future future= future(new Callable(){ public Integer call(){ return1/0; } }, ec).recoverWith(new Recover>(){ public Future recover(Throwable problem) throws Throwable{ if(problem instanceof ArithmeticException){ return future(new Callable(){ public Integer call(){ return0; } }, ec); } else throw problem; } }, ec); future.onSuccess(new PrintResult(), system.dispatcher()); 4.1.10 After akka.pattern.Patterns.after makes it easy to complete a Future with a value or exception after a timeout. import static akka.pattern.Patterns.after; import java.util.Arrays; final ExecutionContext ec= system.dispatcher(); Future failExc= Futures.failed(new IllegalStateException("OHNOES1")); Future delayed= Patterns.after(Duration.create(200, "millis"), system.scheduler(), ec, failExc); Future future= future(new Callable(){ public String call() throws InterruptedException{ Thread.sleep(1000); return "foo"; } }, ec); Future result= Futures.firstCompletedOf( Arrays.>asList(future, delayed), ec); 4.2 Agents Agents in Akka are inspired by agents in Clojure. Agents provide asynchronous change of individual locations. Agents are bound to a single storage location for their lifetime, and only allow mutation of that location (to a new state) to occur as a result of an action. Update actions are functions that are asynchronously applied to the Agent’s state and whose return value becomes the Agent’s new state. The state of an Agent should be immutable. 4.2. Agents 219 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT While updates to Agents are asynchronous, the state of an Agent is always immediately available for reading by any thread (using get) without any messages. Agents are reactive. The update actions of all Agents get interleaved amongst threads in an ExecutionContext. At any point in time, at most one send action for each Agent is being executed. Actions dispatched to an agent from another thread will occur in the order they were sent, potentially interleaved with actions dispatched to the same agent from other threads. 4.2.1 Creating Agents Agents are created by invoking new Agent(value, executionContext) – passing in the Agent’s initial value and providing an ExecutionContext to be used for it: import scala.concurrent.ExecutionContext; import akka.agent.Agent; import akka.dispatch.ExecutionContexts; ExecutionContext ec= ExecutionContexts.global(); Agent agent= Agent.create(5, ec); 4.2.2 Reading an Agent’s value Agents can be dereferenced (you can get an Agent’s value) by invoking the Agent with get() like this: Integer result= agent.get(); Reading an Agent’s current value does not involve any message passing and happens immediately. So while updates to an Agent are asynchronous, reading the state of an Agent is synchronous. You can also get a Future to the Agents value, that will be completed after the currently queued updates have completed: import scala.concurrent.Future; Future future= agent.future(); See Futures for more information on Futures. 4.2.3 Updating Agents (send & alter) You update an Agent by sending a function (akka.dispatch.Mapper) that transforms the current value or by sending just a new value. The Agent will apply the new value or function atomically and asynchronously. The update is done in a fire-forget manner and you are only guaranteed that it will be applied. There is no guarantee of when the update will be applied but dispatches to an Agent from a single thread will occur in order. You apply a value or a function by invoking the send function. import akka.dispatch.Mapper; // send a value, enqueues this change // of the value of the Agent agent.send(7); // send a Mapper, enqueues this change // to the value of the Agent agent.send(new Mapper(){ public Integer apply(Integer i){ returni * 2; } }); You can also dispatch a function to update the internal state but on its own thread. This does not use the reactive thread pool and can be used for long-running or blocking operations. You do this with the sendOff method. Dispatches using either sendOff or send will still be executed in order. 4.2. Agents 220 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.dispatch.Mapper; // sendOff a function agent.sendOff(longRunningOrBlockingFunction, theExecutionContextToExecuteItIn); All send methods also have a corresponding alter method that returns a Future. See Futures for more information on Futures. import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import scala.concurrent.Future; // alter a value Future f1= agent.alter(7); // alter a function (Mapper) Future f2= agent.alter(new Mapper(){ public Integer apply(Integer i){ returni * 2; } }); import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import scala.concurrent.Future; // alterOff a function (Mapper) Future f3= agent.alterOff(longRunningOrBlockingFunction, theExecutionContextToExecuteItIn); 4.2.4 Deprecated Transactional Agents Agents participating in enclosing STM transaction is a deprecated feature in 2.3. If an Agent is used within an enclosing Scala STM transaction, then it will participate in that transaction. If you send to an Agent within a transaction then the dispatch to the Agent will be held until that transaction commits, and discarded if the transaction is aborted. 4.2. Agents 221 CHAPTER FIVE NETWORKING 5.1 Cluster Specification Note: This document describes the design concepts of the clustering. It is divided into two parts, where the first part describes what is currently implemented and the second part describes what is planned as future enhance- ments/additions. References to unimplemented parts have been marked with the footnote [*] 5.1.1 The Current Cluster Intro Akka Cluster provides a fault-tolerant decentralized peer-to-peer based cluster membership service with no single point of failure or single point of bottleneck. It does this using gossip protocols and an automatic failure detector. Terms node A logical member of a cluster. There could be multiple nodes on a physical machine. Defined by a host- name:port:uid tuple. cluster A set of nodes joined together through the membership service. leader A single node in the cluster that acts as the leader. Managing cluster convergence, partitions [*], fail-over [*], rebalancing [*] etc. Membership A cluster is made up of a set of member nodes. The identifier for each node is a hostname:port:uid tuple. An Akka application can be distributed over a cluster with each node hosting some part of the application. Cluster membership and partitioning [*] of the application are decoupled. A node could be a member of a cluster without hosting any actors. Joining a cluster is initiated by issuing a Join command to one of the nodes in the cluster to join. The node identifier internally also contains a UID that uniquely identifies this actor system instance at that hostname:port. Akka uses the UID to be able to reliably trigger remote death watch. This means that the same actor system can never join a cluster again once it’s been removed from that cluster. To re-join an actor system with the same hostname:port to a cluster you have to stop the actor system and start a new one with the same hotname:port which will then receive a different UID. The cluster membership state is a specialized CRDT, which means that it has a monotonic merge function. When concurrent changes occur on different nodes the updates can always be merged and converge to the same end result. 222 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Gossip The cluster membership used in Akka is based on Amazon’s Dynamo system and particularly the approach taken in Basho’s‘ Riak distributed database. Cluster membership is communicated using a Gossip Protocol, where the current state of the cluster is gossiped randomly through the cluster, with preference to members that have not seen the latest version. Vector Clocks Vector clocks are a type of data structure and algorithm for generating a partial ordering of events in a distributed system and detecting causality violations. We use vector clocks to reconcile and merge differences in cluster state during gossiping. A vector clock is a set of (node, counter) pairs. Each update to the cluster state has an accompanying update to the vector clock. Gossip Convergence Information about the cluster converges locally at a node at certain points in time. This is when a node can prove that the cluster state he is observing has been observed by all other nodes in the cluster. Convergence is implemented by passing a set of nodes that have seen current state version during gossip. This information is referred to as the seen set in the gossip overview. When all nodes are included in the seen set there is convergence. Gossip convergence cannot occur while any nodes are unreachable. The nodes need to become reachable again, or moved to the down and removed states (see the Membership Lifecycle section below). This only blocks the leader from performing its cluster membership management and does not influence the application running on top of the cluster. For example this means that during a network partition it is not possible to add more nodes to the cluster. The nodes can join, but they will not be moved to the up state until the partition has healed or the unreachable nodes have been downed. Failure Detector The failure detector is responsible for trying to detect if a node is unreachable from the rest of the cluster. For this we are using an implementation of The Phi Accrual Failure Detector by Hayashibara et al. An accrual failure detector decouple monitoring and interpretation. That makes them applicable to a wider area of scenarios and more adequate to build generic failure detection services. The idea is that it is keeping a history of failure statistics, calculated from heartbeats received from other nodes, and is trying to do educated guesses by taking multiple factors, and how they accumulate over time, into account in order to come up with a better guess if a specific node is up or down. Rather than just answering “yes” or “no” to the question “is the node down?” it returns a phi value representing the likelihood that the node is down. The threshold that is the basis for the calculation is configurable by the user. A low threshold is prone to generate many wrong suspicions but ensures a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect actual crashes. The default threshold is 8 and is appropriate for most situations. However in cloud environments, such as Amazon EC2, the value could be increased to 12 in order to account for network issues that sometimes occur on such platforms. In a cluster each node is monitored by a few (default maximum 5) other nodes, and when any of these detects the node as unreachable that information will spread to the rest of the cluster through the gossip. In other words, only one node needs to mark a node unreachable to have the rest of the cluster mark that node unreachable. The nodes to monitor are picked out of neighbors in a hashed ordered node ring. This is to increase the likelihood to monitor across racks and data centers, but the order is the same on all nodes, which ensures full coverage. Heartbeats are sent out every second and every heartbeat is performed in a request/reply handshake with the replies used as input to the failure detector. The failure detector will also detect if the node becomes reachable again. When all nodes that monitored the unreachable node detects it as reachable again the cluster, after gossip dissemination, will consider it as reachable. If system messages cannot be delivered to a node it will be quarantined and then it cannot come back from unreachable. This can happen if the there are too many unacknowledged system messages (e.g. watch, Terminated, remote actor deployment, failures of actors supervised by remote parent). Then the node needs to be 5.1. Cluster Specification 223 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT moved to the down or removed states (see the Membership Lifecycle section below) and the actor system must be restarted before it can join the cluster again. Leader After gossip convergence a leader for the cluster can be determined. There is no leader election process, the leader can always be recognised deterministically by any node whenever there is gossip conver- gence. The leader is just a role, any node can be the leader and it can change between convergence rounds. The leader is simply the first node in sorted order that is able to take the leadership role, where the preferred member states for a leader are up and leaving (see the Membership Lifecycle section below for more information about member states). The role of the leader is to shift members in and out of the cluster, changing joining members to the up state or exiting members to the removed state. Currently leader actions are only triggered by receiving a new cluster state with gossip convergence. The leader also has the power, if configured so, to “auto-down” a node that according to the Failure Detector is considered unreachable. This means setting the unreachable node status to down automatically after a configured time of unreachability. Seed Nodes The seed nodes are configured contact points for new nodes joining the cluster. When a new node is started it sends a message to all seed nodes and then sends a join command to the seed node that answers first. The seed nodes configuration value does not have any influence on the running cluster itself, it is only relevant for new nodes joining the cluster as it helps them to find contact points to send the join command to; a new member can send this command to any current member of the cluster, not only to the seed nodes. Gossip Protocol A variation of push-pull gossip is used to reduce the amount of gossip information sent around the cluster. In push-pull gossip a digest is sent representing current versions but not actual values; the recipient of the gossip can then send back any values for which it has newer versions and also request values for which it has outdated versions. Akka uses a single shared state with a vector clock for versioning, so the variant of push-pull gossip used in Akka makes use of this version to only push the actual state as needed. Periodically, the default is every 1 second, each node chooses another random node to initiate a round of gossip with. If less than ½ of the nodes resides in the seen set (have seen the new state) then the cluster gossips 3 times instead of once every second. This adjusted gossip interval is a way to speed up the convergence process in the early dissemination phase after a state change. The choice of node to gossip with is random but it is biased to towards nodes that might not have seen the current state version. During each round of gossip exchange when no convergence it uses a probability of 0.8 (configurable) to gossip to a node not part of the seen set, i.e. that probably has an older version of the state. Otherwise gossip to any random live node. This biased selection is a way to speed up the convergence process in the late dissemination phase after a state change. For clusters larger than 400 nodes (configurable, and suggested by empirical evidence) the 0.8 probability is gradually reduced to avoid overwhelming single stragglers with too many concurrent gossip requests. The gossip receiver also has a mechanism to protect itself from too many simultaneous gossip messages by dropping messages that have been enqueued in the mailbox for too long time. While the cluster is in a converged state the gossiper only sends a small gossip status message containing the gossip version to the chosen node. As soon as there is a change to the cluster (meaning non-convergence) then it goes back to biased gossip again. The recipient of the gossip state or the gossip status can use the gossip version (vector clock) to determine whether: 1. it has a newer version of the gossip state, in which case it sends that back to the gossiper 2. it has an outdated version of the state, in which case the recipient requests the current state from the gossiper by sending back its version of the gossip state 3. it has conflicting gossip versions, in which case the different versions are merged and sent back 5.1. Cluster Specification 224 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT If the recipient and the gossip have the same version then the gossip state is not sent or requested. The periodic nature of the gossip has a nice batching effect of state changes, e.g. joining several nodes quickly after each other to one node will result in only one state change to be spread to other members in the cluster. The gossip messages are serialized with protobuf and also gzipped to reduce payload size. Membership Lifecycle A node begins in the joining state. Once all nodes have seen that the new node is joining (through gossip convergence) the leader will set the member state to up. If a node is leaving the cluster in a safe, expected manner then it switches to the leaving state. Once the leader sees the convergence on the node in the leaving state, the leader will then move it to exiting. Once all nodes have seen the exiting state (convergence) the leader will remove the node from the cluster, marking it as removed. If a node is unreachable then gossip convergence is not possible and therefore any leader actions are also not possible (for instance, allowing a node to become a part of the cluster). To be able to move forward the state of the unreachable nodes must be changed. It must become reachable again or marked as down. If the node is to join the cluster again the actor system must be restarted and go through the joining process again. The cluster can, through the leader, also auto-down a node after a configured time of unreachability.. Note: If you have auto-down enabled and the failure detector triggers, you can over time end up with a lot of single node clusters if you don’t put measures in place to shut down nodes that have become unreachable. This follows from the fact that the unreachable node will likely see the rest of the cluster as unreachable, become its own leader and form its own cluster. State Diagram for the Member States Member States 5.1. Cluster Specification 225 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • joining transient state when joining a cluster • up normal operating state • leaving / exiting states during graceful removal • down marked as down (no longer part of cluster decisions) • removed tombstone state (no longer a member) User Actions • join join a single node to a cluster - can be explicit or automatic on startup if a node to join have been specified in the configuration • leave tell a node to leave the cluster gracefully • down mark a node as down Leader Actions The leader has the following duties: • shifting members in and out of the cluster – joining -> up – exiting -> removed Failure Detection and Unreachability • fd* the failure detector of one of the monitoring nodes has triggered causing the monitored node to be marked as unreachable • unreachable* unreachable is not a real member states but more of a flag in addition to the state signaling that the cluster is unable to talk to this node, after beeing unreachable the failure detector may detect it as reachable again and thereby remove the flag 5.1.2 Future Cluster Enhancements and Additions Goal In addition to membership also provide automatic partitioning [*], handoff [*], and cluster rebalancing [*] of actors. Additional Terms These additional terms are used in this section. partition [*] An actor or subtree of actors in the Akka application that is distributed within the cluster. partition point [*] The actor at the head of a partition. The point around which a partition is formed. partition path [*] Also referred to as the actor address. Has the format actor1/actor2/actor3 instance count [*] The number of instances of a partition in the cluster. Also referred to as the N-value of the partition. instance node [*] A node that an actor instance is assigned to. partition table [*] A mapping from partition path to a set of instance nodes (where the nodes are referred to by the ordinal position given the nodes in sorted order). 5.1. Cluster Specification 226 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Partitioning [*] Note: Actor partitioning is not implemented yet. Each partition (an actor or actor subtree) in the actor system is assigned to a set of nodes in the cluster. The actor at the head of the partition is referred to as the partition point. The mapping from partition path (actor address of the format “a/b/c”) to instance nodes is stored in the partition table and is maintained as part of the cluster state through the gossip protocol. The partition table is only updated by the leader node. Currently the only possible partition points are routed actors. Routed actors can have an instance count greater than one. The instance count is also referred to as the N-value. If the N-value is greater than one then a set of instance nodes will be given in the partition table. Note that in the first implementation there may be a restriction such that only top-level partitions are possible (the highest possible partition points are used and sub-partitioning is not allowed). Still to be explored in more detail. The cluster leader determines the current instance count for a partition based on two axes: fault-tolerance and scaling. Fault-tolerance determines a minimum number of instances for a routed actor (allowing N-1 nodes to crash while still maintaining at least one running actor instance). The user can specify a function from current number of nodes to the number of acceptable node failures: n: Int => f: Int where f < n. Scaling reflects the number of instances needed to maintain good throughput and is influenced by metrics from the system, particularly a history of mailbox size, CPU load, and GC percentages. It may also be possible to accept scaling hints from the user that indicate expected load. The balancing of partitions can be determined in a very simple way in the first implementation, where the overlap of partitions is minimized. Partitions are spread over the cluster ring in a circular fashion, with each instance node in the first available space. For example, given a cluster with ten nodes and three partitions, A, B, and C, having N-values of 4, 3, and 5; partition A would have instances on nodes 1-4; partition B would have instances on nodes 5-7; partition C would have instances on nodes 8-10 and 1-2. The only overlap is on nodes 1 and 2. The distribution of partitions is not limited, however, to having instances on adjacent nodes in the sorted ring order. Each instance can be assigned to any node and the more advanced load balancing algorithms will make use of this. The partition table contains a mapping from path to instance nodes. The partitioning for the above example would be: A ->{1,2,3,4} B ->{5,6,7} C ->{8,9, 10,1,2} If 5 new nodes join the cluster and in sorted order these nodes appear after the current nodes 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8, then the partition table could be updated to the following, with all instances on the same physical nodes as before: A ->{1,2,4,5} B ->{7,9, 10} C ->{ 12, 14, 15,1,2} When rebalancing is required the leader will schedule handoffs, gossiping a set of pending changes, and when each change is complete the leader will update the partition table. Additional Leader Responsibilities After moving a member from joining to up, the leader can start assigning partitions [*] to the new node, and when a node is leaving the leader will reassign partitions [*] across the cluster (it is possible for a leaving node to itself be the leader). When all partition handoff [*] has completed then the node will change to the exiting state. On convergence the leader can schedule rebalancing across the cluster, but it may also be possible for the user to explicitly rebalance the cluster by specifying migrations [*], or to rebalance [*] the cluster automatically based on metrics from member nodes. Metrics may be spread using the gossip protocol or possibly more efficiently 5.1. Cluster Specification 227 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT using a random chord method, where the leader contacts several random nodes around the cluster ring and each contacted node gathers information from their immediate neighbours, giving a random sampling of load information. Handoff Handoff for an actor-based system is different than for a data-based system. The most important point is that message ordering (from a given node to a given actor instance) may need to be maintained. If an actor is a singleton actor (only one instance possible throughout the cluster) then the cluster may also need to assure that there is only one such actor active at any one time. Both of these situations can be handled by forwarding and buffering messages during transitions. A graceful handoff (one where the previous host node is up and running during the handoff), given a previous host node N1, a new host node N2, and an actor partition A to be migrated from N1 to N2, has this general structure: 1. the leader sets a pending change for N1 to handoff A to N2 2. N1 notices the pending change and sends an initialization message to N2 3. in response N2 creates A and sends back a ready message 4. after receiving the ready message N1 marks the change as complete and shuts down A 5. the leader sees the migration is complete and updates the partition table 6. all nodes eventually see the new partitioning and use N2 Transitions There are transition times in the handoff process where different approaches can be used to give different guarantees. Migration Transition The first transition starts when N1 initiates the moving of A and ends when N1 receives the ready message, and is referred to as the migration transition. The first question is; during the migration transition, should: • N1 continue to process messages for A? • Or is it important that no messages for A are processed on N1 once migration begins? If it is okay for the previous host node N1 to process messages during migration then there is nothing that needs to be done at this point. If no messages are to be processed on the previous host node during migration then there are two possibilities: the messages are forwarded to the new host and buffered until the actor is ready, or the messages are simply dropped by terminating the actor and allowing the normal dead letter process to be used. Update Transition The second transition begins when the migration is marked as complete and ends when all nodes have the updated partition table (when all nodes will use N2 as the host for A, i.e. we have convergence) and is referred to as the update transition. Once the update transition begins N1 can forward any messages it receives for A to the new host N2. The question is whether or not message ordering needs to be preserved. If messages sent to the previous host node N1 are being forwarded, then it is possible that a message sent to N1 could be forwarded after a direct message to the new host N2, breaking message ordering from a client to actor A. In this situation N2 can keep a buffer for messages per sending node. Each buffer is flushed and removed when an acknowledgement (ack) message has been received. When each node in the cluster sees the partition update it first sends an ack message to the previous host node N1 before beginning to use N2 as the new host for A. Any messages sent from the client node directly to N2 will be buffered. N1 can count down the number of acks to determine when no more forwarding is needed. The ack message from any node will always follow any other messages sent to N1. When N1 receives the ack message it also forwards it to N2 and again this ack message will follow any other messages already forwarded for A. When N2 receives an ack message, the buffer for the sending 5.1. Cluster Specification 228 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT node can be flushed and removed. Any subsequent messages from this sending node can be queued normally. Once all nodes in the cluster have acknowledged the partition change and N2 has cleared all buffers, the handoff is complete and message ordering has been preserved. In practice the buffers should remain small as it is only those messages sent directly to N2 before the acknowledgement has been forwarded that will be buffered. Graceful Handoff A more complete process for graceful handoff would be: 1. the leader sets a pending change for N1 to handoff A to N2 2. N1 notices the pending change and sends an initialization message to N2. Options: (a) keep A on N1 active and continuing processing messages as normal (b) N1 forwards all messages for A to N2 (c) N1 drops all messages for A(terminate A with messages becoming dead letters) 3. in response N2 creates A and sends back a ready message. Options: (a) N2 simply processes messages for A as normal (b) N2 creates a buffer per sending node for A. Each buffer is opened (flushed and removed) when an acknowledgement for the sending node has been received (via N1) 4. after receiving the ready message N1 marks the change as complete. Options: (a) N1 forwards all messages for A to N2 during the update transition (b) N1 drops all messages for A(terminate A with messages becoming dead letters) 5. the leader sees the migration is complete and updates the partition table 6. all nodes eventually see the new partitioning and use N2 (a) each node sends an acknowledgement message to N1 (b) when N1 receives the acknowledgement it can count down the pending acknowledgements and remove forwarding when complete (c) when N2 receives the acknowledgement it can open the buffer for the sending node (if buffers are used) The default approach is to take options 2a, 3a, and 4a - allowing A on N1 to continue processing messages during migration and then forwarding any messages during the update transition. This assumes stateless actors that do not have a dependency on message ordering from any given source. • If an actor has persistent (durable) state then nothing needs to be done, other than migrating the actor. • If message ordering needs to be maintained during the update transition then option 3b can be used, creating buffers per sending node. • If the actors are robust to message send failures then the dropping messages approach can be used (with no forwarding or buffering needed). • If an actor is a singleton (only one instance possible throughout the cluster) and state is transferred during the migration initialization, then options 2b and 3b would be required. Stateful Actor Replication [*] Note: Stateful actor replication is not implemented yet. 5.1. Cluster Specification 229 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT [*] Not Implemented Yet • Actor partitioning • Actor handoff • Actor rebalancing • Stateful actor replication 5.2 Cluster Usage For introduction to the Akka Cluster concepts please see Cluster Specification. 5.2.1 Preparing Your Project for Clustering The Akka cluster is a separate jar file. Make sure that you have the following dependency in your project: com.typesafe.akka akka-cluster_2.10 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.2.2 A Simple Cluster Example The following configuration enables the Cluster extension to be used. It joins the cluster and an actor subscribes to cluster membership events and logs them. The application.conf configuration looks like this: akka { actor { provider = "akka.cluster.ClusterActorRefProvider" } remote { log-remote-lifecycle-events = off netty.tcp { hostname = "127.0.0.1" port = 0 } } cluster { seed-nodes = [ "akka.tcp://ClusterSystem@127.0.0.1:2551", "akka.tcp://ClusterSystem@127.0.0.1:2552"] auto-down-unreachable-after = 10s } } To enable cluster capabilities in your Akka project you should, at a minimum, add the Remoting settings, but with akka.cluster.ClusterActorRefProvider. The akka.cluster.seed-nodes should normally also be added to your application.conf file. The seed nodes are configured contact points for initial, automatic, join of the cluster. Note that if you are going to start the nodes on different machines you need to specify the ip-addresses or host names of the machines in application.conf instead of 127.0.0.1 5.2. Cluster Usage 230 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT An actor that uses the cluster extension may look like this: package sample.cluster.simple; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.cluster.Cluster; import akka.cluster.ClusterEvent; import akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.MemberEvent; import akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.MemberUp; import akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.MemberRemoved; import akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.UnreachableMember; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; public class SimpleClusterListener extends UntypedActor{ LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); Cluster cluster= Cluster.get(getContext().system()); //subscribe to cluster changes @Override public void preStart(){ //#subscribe cluster.subscribe(getSelf(), ClusterEvent.initialStateAsEvents(), MemberEvent.class, UnreachableMember.class); //#subscribe } //re-subscribe when restart @Override public void postStop(){ cluster.unsubscribe(getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof MemberUp){ MemberUp mUp=(MemberUp) message; log.info("Member is Up: {}", mUp.member()); } else if(message instanceof UnreachableMember){ UnreachableMember mUnreachable=(UnreachableMember) message; log.info("Member detected as unreachable: {}", mUnreachable.member()); } else if(message instanceof MemberRemoved){ MemberRemoved mRemoved=(MemberRemoved) message; log.info("Member is Removed: {}", mRemoved.member()); } else if(message instanceof MemberEvent){ // ignore } else{ unhandled(message); } } } The actor registers itself as subscriber of certain cluster events. It receives events corresponding to the current state of the cluster when the subscription starts and then it receives events for changes that happen in the cluster. The easiest way to run this example yourself is to download Typesafe Activator and open the tutorial named Akka Cluster Samples with Java. It contains instructions of how to run the SimpleClusterApp. 5.2. Cluster Usage 231 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.2.3 Joining to Seed Nodes You may decide if joining to the cluster should be done manually or automatically to configured initial contact points, so-called seed nodes. When a new node is started it sends a message to all seed nodes and then sends join command to the one that answers first. If no one of the seed nodes replied (might not be started yet) it retries this procedure until successful or shutdown. You define the seed nodes in the Configuration file (application.conf): akka.cluster.seed-nodes = [ "akka.tcp://ClusterSystem@host1:2552", "akka.tcp://ClusterSystem@host2:2552"] This can also be defined as Java system properties when starting the JVM using the following syntax: -Dakka.cluster.seed-nodes.0=akka.tcp://ClusterSystem@host1:2552 -Dakka.cluster.seed-nodes.1=akka.tcp://ClusterSystem@host2:2552 The seed nodes can be started in any order and it is not necessary to have all seed nodes running, but the node configured as the first element in the seed-nodes configuration list must be started when initially starting a cluster, otherwise the other seed-nodes will not become initialized and no other node can join the cluster. The reason for the special first seed node is to avoid forming separated islands when starting from an empty cluster. It is quickest to start all configured seed nodes at the same time (order doesn’t matter), otherwise it can take up to the configured seed-node-timeout until the nodes can join. Once more than two seed nodes have been started it is no problem to shut down the first seed node. If the first seed node is restarted it will first try join the other seed nodes in the existing cluster. If you don’t configure the seed nodes you need to join manually, using JMX or Command Line Management. You can join to any node in the cluster. It doesn’t have to be configured as a seed node. Joining can also be performed programatically with Cluster.get(system).join. Note that you can only join to an existing cluster member, which means that for bootstrapping some node must join itself. You may also use Cluster.get(system).joinSeedNodes, which is attractive when dynamically discov- ering other nodes at startup by using some external tool or API. When using joinSeedNodes you should not include the node itself except for the node that is supposed to be the first seed node, and that should be placed first in parameter to joinSeedNodes. Unsuccessful join attempts are automatically retried after the time period defined in configuration property retry-unsuccessful-join-after. When using seed-nodes this means that a new seed node is picked. When joining manually or programatically this means that the last join request is retried. Retries can be disabled by setting the property to off. An actor system can only join a cluster once. Additional attempts will be ignored. When it has successfully joined it must be restarted to be able to join another cluster or to join the same cluster again. It can use the same host name and port after the restart, but it must have been removed from the cluster before the join request is accepted. 5.2.4 Automatic vs. Manual Downing When a member is considered by the failure detector to be unreachable the leader is not allowed to perform its duties, such as changing status of new joining members to ‘Up’. The node must first become reachable again, or the status of the unreachable member must be changed to ‘Down’. Changing status to ‘Down’ can be performed automatically or manually. By default it must be done manually, using JMX or Command Line Management. It can also be performed programatically with Cluster.get(system).down(address). You can enable automatic downing with configuration: akka.cluster.auto-down-unreachable-after= 120s This means that the cluster leader member will change the unreachable node status to down automatically after the configured time of unreachability. 5.2. Cluster Usage 232 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Be aware of that using auto-down implies that two separate clusters will automatically be formed in case of network partition. That might be desired by some applications but not by others. Note: If you have auto-down enabled and the failure detector triggers, you can over time end up with a lot of single node clusters if you don’t put measures in place to shut down nodes that have become unreachable. This follows from the fact that the unreachable node will likely see the rest of the cluster as unreachable, become its own leader and form its own cluster. 5.2.5 Leaving There are two ways to remove a member from the cluster. You can just stop the actor system (or the JVM process). It will be detected as unreachable and removed after the automatic or manual downing as described above. A more graceful exit can be performed if you tell the cluster that a node shall leave. This can be performed using JMX or Command Line Management. It can also be performed programatically with Cluster.get(system).leave(address). Note that this command can be issued to any member in the cluster, not necessarily the one that is leaving. The cluster extension, but not the actor system or JVM, of the leaving member will be shutdown after the leader has changed status of the member to Exiting. Thereafter the member will be removed from the cluster. Normally this is handled automatically, but in case of network failures during this process it might still be necessary to set the node’s status to Down in order to complete the removal. 5.2.6 Subscribe to Cluster Events You can subscribe to change notifications of the cluster membership by using Cluster.get(system).subscribe. cluster.subscribe(getSelf(), MemberEvent.class, UnreachableMember.class); A snapshot of the full state, akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.CurrentClusterState, is sent to the subscriber as the first message, followed by events for incremental updates. Note that you may receive an empty CurrentClusterState, containing no members, if you start the sub- scription before the initial join procedure has completed. This is expected behavior. When the node has been accepted in the cluster you will receive MemberUp for that node, and other nodes. If you find it inconvenient to handle the CurrentClusterState you can use ClusterEvent.initialStateAsEvents() as parameter to subscribe. That means that in- stead of receiving CurrentClusterState as the first message you will receive the events corresponding to the current state to mimic what you would have seen if you were listening to the events when they occurred in the past. Note that those initial events only correspond to the current state and it is not the full history of all changes that actually has occurred in the cluster. cluster.subscribe(getSelf(), ClusterEvent.initialStateAsEvents(), MemberEvent.class, UnreachableMember.class); The events to track the life-cycle of members are: • ClusterEvent.MemberUp - A new member has joined the cluster and its status has been changed to Up. • ClusterEvent.MemberExited - A member is leaving the cluster and its status has been changed to Exiting Note that the node might already have been shutdown when this event is published on another node. • ClusterEvent.MemberRemoved - Member completely removed from the cluster. 5.2. Cluster Usage 233 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • ClusterEvent.UnreachableMember - A member is considered as unreachable, detected by the failure detector of at least one other node. • ClusterEvent.ReachableMember - A member is considered as reachable again, after having been unreachable. All nodes that previously detected it as unreachable has detected it as reachable again. There are more types of change events, consult the API documentation of classes that extends akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.ClusterDomainEvent for details about the events. Instead of subscribing to cluster events it can sometimes be convenient to only get the full membership state with Cluster.get(system).state(). Note that this state is not necessarily in sync with the events published to a cluster subscription. Worker Dial-in Example Let’s take a look at an example that illustrates how workers, here named backend, can detect and register to new master nodes, here named frontend. The example application provides a service to transform text. When some text is sent to one of the frontend services, it will be delegated to one of the backend workers, which performs the transformation job, and sends the result back to the original client. New backend nodes, as well as new frontend nodes, can be added or removed to the cluster dynamically. Messages: public interface TransformationMessages{ public static class TransformationJob implements Serializable{ private final String text; public TransformationJob(String text){ this.text= text; } public String getText(){ return text; } } public static class TransformationResult implements Serializable{ private final String text; public TransformationResult(String text){ this.text= text; } public String getText(){ return text; } @Override public String toString(){ return "TransformationResult("+ text+ ")"; } } public static class JobFailed implements Serializable{ private final String reason; private final TransformationJob job; public JobFailed(String reason, TransformationJob job){ this.reason= reason; this.job= job; 5.2. Cluster Usage 234 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } public String getReason(){ return reason; } public TransformationJob getJob(){ return job; } @Override public String toString(){ return "JobFailed("+ reason+ ")"; } } public static final String BACKEND_REGISTRATION= "BackendRegistration"; } The backend worker that performs the transformation job: public class TransformationBackend extends UntypedActor{ Cluster cluster= Cluster.get(getContext().system()); //subscribe to cluster changes, MemberUp @Override public void preStart(){ cluster.subscribe(getSelf(), MemberUp.class); } //re-subscribe when restart @Override public void postStop(){ cluster.unsubscribe(getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof TransformationJob){ TransformationJob job=(TransformationJob) message; getSender().tell(new TransformationResult(job.getText().toUpperCase()), getSelf()); } else if(message instanceof CurrentClusterState){ CurrentClusterState state=(CurrentClusterState) message; for(Member member: state.getMembers()){ if(member.status().equals(MemberStatus.up())){ register(member); } } } else if(message instanceof MemberUp){ MemberUp mUp=(MemberUp) message; register(mUp.member()); } else{ unhandled(message); } } void register(Member member){ 5.2. Cluster Usage 235 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT if(member.hasRole("frontend")) getContext().actorSelection(member.address()+ "/user/frontend").tell( BACKEND_REGISTRATION, getSelf()); } } Note that the TransformationBackend actor subscribes to cluster events to detect new, potential, frontend nodes, and send them a registration message so that they know that they can use the backend worker. The frontend that receives user jobs and delegates to one of the registered backend workers: public class TransformationFrontend extends UntypedActor{ List backends= new ArrayList(); int jobCounter=0; @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if((message instanceof TransformationJob)&& backends.isEmpty()){ TransformationJob job=(TransformationJob) message; getSender().tell( new JobFailed("Service unavailable, try again later", job), getSender()); } else if(message instanceof TransformationJob){ TransformationJob job=(TransformationJob) message; jobCounter++; backends.get(jobCounter% backends.size()) .forward(job, getContext()); } else if(message.equals(BACKEND_REGISTRATION)){ getContext().watch(getSender()); backends.add(getSender()); } else if(message instanceof Terminated){ Terminated terminated=(Terminated) message; backends.remove(terminated.getActor()); } else{ unhandled(message); } } } Note that the TransformationFrontend actor watch the registered backend to be able to remove it from its list of available backend workers. Death watch uses the cluster failure detector for nodes in the cluster, i.e. it detects network failures and JVM crashes, in addition to graceful termination of watched actor. Death watch generates the Terminated message to the watching actor when the unreachable cluster node has been downed and removed. The Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Cluster Samples with Java. contains the full source code and instruc- tions of how to run the Worker Dial-in Example. 5.2.7 Node Roles Not all nodes of a cluster need to perform the same function: there might be one sub-set which runs the web front-end, one which runs the data access layer and one for the number-crunching. Deployment of actors—for example by cluster-aware routers—can take node roles into account to achieve this distribution of responsibilities. The roles of a node is defined in the configuration property named akka.cluster.roles and it is typically defined in the start script as a system property or environment variable. 5.2. Cluster Usage 236 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The roles of the nodes is part of the membership information in MemberEvent that you can subscribe to. 5.2.8 How To Startup when Cluster Size Reached A common use case is to start actors after the cluster has been initialized, members have joined, and the cluster has reached a certain size. With a configuration option you can define required number of members before the leader changes member status of ‘Joining’ members to ‘Up’. akka.cluster.min-nr-of-members=3 In a similar way you can define required number of members of a certain role before the leader changes member status of ‘Joining’ members to ‘Up’. akka.cluster.role{ frontend.min-nr-of-members=1 backend.min-nr-of-members=2 } You can start the actors in a registerOnMemberUp callback, which will be invoked when the current member status is changed tp ‘Up’, i.e. the cluster has at least the defined number of members. Cluster.get(system).registerOnMemberUp(new Runnable(){ @Override public void run(){ system.actorOf(Props.create(FactorialFrontend.class, upToN, true), "factorialFrontend"); } }); This callback can be used for other things than starting actors. 5.2.9 Cluster Singleton For some use cases it is convenient and sometimes also mandatory to ensure that you have exactly one actor of a certain type running somewhere in the cluster. This can be implemented by subscribing to member events, but there are several corner cases to consider. There- fore, this specific use case is made easily accessible by the Cluster Singleton in the contrib module. 5.2.10 Cluster Sharding Distributes actors across several nodes in the cluster and supports interaction with the actors using their logical identifier, but without having to care about their physical location in the cluster. See Cluster Sharding in the contrib module. 5.2.11 Distributed Publish Subscribe Publish-subscribe messaging between actors in the cluster, and point-to-point messaging using the logical path of the actors, i.e. the sender does not have to know on which node the destination actor is running. See Distributed Publish Subscribe in Cluster in the contrib module. 5.2. Cluster Usage 237 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.2.12 Cluster Client Communication from an actor system that is not part of the cluster to actors running somewhere in the cluster. The client does not have to know on which node the destination actor is running. See Cluster Client in the contrib module. 5.2.13 Failure Detector In a cluster each node is monitored by a few (default maximum 5) other nodes, and when any of these detects the node as unreachable that information will spread to the rest of the cluster through the gossip. In other words, only one node needs to mark a node unreachable to have the rest of the cluster mark that node unreachable. The failure detector will also detect if the node becomes reachable again. When all nodes that monitored the unreachable node detects it as reachable again the cluster, after gossip dissemination, will consider it as reachable. If system messages cannot be delivered to a node it will be quarantined and then it cannot come back from unreachable. This can happen if the there are too many unacknowledged system messages (e.g. watch, Terminated, remote actor deployment, failures of actors supervised by remote parent). Then the node needs to be moved to the down or removed states and the actor system must be restarted before it can join the cluster again. The nodes in the cluster monitor each other by sending heartbeats to detect if a node is unreachable from the rest of the cluster. The heartbeat arrival times is interpreted by an implementation of The Phi Accrual Failure Detector. The suspicion level of failure is given by a value called phi. The basic idea of the phi failure detector is to express the value of phi on a scale that is dynamically adjusted to reflect current network conditions. The value of phi is calculated as: phi=-log10(1-F(timeSinceLastHeartbeat)) where F is the cumulative distribution function of a normal distribution with mean and standard deviation estimated from historical heartbeat inter-arrival times. In the Configuration you can adjust the akka.cluster.failure-detector.threshold to define when a phi value is considered to be a failure. A low threshold is prone to generate many false positives but ensures a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect actual crashes. The default threshold is 8 and is appropriate for most situations. However in cloud environments, such as Amazon EC2, the value could be increased to 12 in order to account for network issues that sometimes occur on such platforms. The following chart illustrates how phi increase with increasing time since the previous heartbeat. 5.2. Cluster Usage 238 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Phi is calculated from the mean and standard deviation of historical inter arrival times. The previous chart is an example for standard deviation of 200 ms. If the heartbeats arrive with less deviation the curve becomes steeper, i.e. it is possible to determine failure more quickly. The curve looks like this for a standard deviation of 100 ms. To be able to survive sudden abnormalities, such as garbage collection pauses and transient network failures the failure detector is configured with a margin, akka.cluster.failure-detector.acceptable-heartbeat-pause. You may want to adjust the Configuration of this depending on you environment. This is how the curve looks like for acceptable-heartbeat-pause configured to 3 seconds. 5.2. Cluster Usage 239 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Death watch uses the cluster failure detector for nodes in the cluster, i.e. it detects network failures and JVM crashes, in addition to graceful termination of watched actor. Death watch generates the Terminated message to the watching actor when the unreachable cluster node has been downed and removed. If you encounter suspicious false positives when the system is under load you should define a separate dispatcher for the cluster actors as described in Cluster Dispatcher. 5.2.14 Cluster Aware Routers All routers can be made aware of member nodes in the cluster, i.e. deploying new routees or looking up routees on nodes in the cluster. When a node becomes unreachable or leaves the cluster the routees of that node are automatically unregistered from the router. When new nodes join the cluster additional routees are added to the router, according to the configuration. Routees are also added when a node becomes reachable again, after having been unreachable. There are two distinct types of routers. • Group - router that sends messages to the specified path using actor selection The routees can be shared between routers running on different nodes in the cluster. One example of a use case for this type of router is a service running on some backend nodes in the cluster and used by routers running on front-end nodes in the cluster. • Pool - router that creates routees as child actors and deploys them on remote nodes. Each router will have its own routee instances. For example, if you start a router on 3 nodes in a 10 nodes cluster you will have 30 routee actors in total if the router is configured to use one inctance per node. The routees created by the different routers will not be shared between the routers. One example of a use case for this type of router is a single master that coordinate jobs and delegates the actual work to routees running on other nodes in the cluster. Router with Group of Routees When using a Group you must start the routee actors on the cluster member nodes. That is not done by the router. The configuration for a group looks like this: 5.2. Cluster Usage 240 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka.actor.deployment { /statsService/workerRouter { router = consistent-hashing-group nr-of-instances = 100 routees.paths = ["/user/statsWorker"] cluster { enabled = on allow-local-routees = on use-role = compute } } } Note: The routee actors should be started as early as possible when starting the actor system, because the router will try to use them as soon as the member status is changed to ‘Up’. If it is not available at that point it will be removed from the router and it will only re-try when the cluster members are changed. It is the relative actor paths defined in routees.paths that identify what actor to lookup. It is possible to limit the lookup of routees to member nodes tagged with a certain role by specifying use-role. nr-of-instances defines total number of routees in the cluster. Setting nr-of-instances to a high value will result in new routees added to the router when nodes join the cluster. The same type of router could also have been defined in code: int totalInstances= 100; Iterable routeesPaths= Collections .singletonList("/user/statsWorker"); boolean allowLocalRoutees= true; String useRole= "compute"; ActorRef workerRouter= getContext().actorOf( new ClusterRouterGroup(new ConsistentHashingGroup(routeesPaths), new ClusterRouterGroupSettings(totalInstances, routeesPaths, allowLocalRoutees, useRole)).props(), "workerRouter2"); See Configuration section for further descriptions of the settings. Router Example with Group of Routees Let’s take a look at how to use a cluster aware router with a group of routees, i.e. router sending to the paths of the routees. The example application provides a service to calculate statistics for a text. When some text is sent to the service it splits it into words, and delegates the task to count number of characters in each word to a separate worker, a routee of a router. The character count for each word is sent back to an aggregator that calculates the average number of characters per word when all results have been collected. Messages: public interface StatsMessages{ public static class StatsJob implements Serializable{ private final String text; public StatsJob(String text){ this.text= text; } public String getText(){ return text; } } 5.2. Cluster Usage 241 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public static class StatsResult implements Serializable{ private final double meanWordLength; public StatsResult(double meanWordLength){ this.meanWordLength= meanWordLength; } public double getMeanWordLength(){ return meanWordLength; } @Override public String toString(){ return "meanWordLength: "+ meanWordLength; } } public static class JobFailed implements Serializable{ private final String reason; public JobFailed(String reason){ this.reason= reason; } public String getReason(){ return reason; } @Override public String toString(){ return "JobFailed("+ reason+ ")"; } } } The worker that counts number of characters in each word: public class StatsWorker extends UntypedActor{ Map cache= new HashMap(); @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof String){ String word=(String) message; Integer length= cache.get(word); if(length == null){ length= word.length(); cache.put(word, length); } getSender().tell(length, getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(message); } } } The service that receives text from users and splits it up into words, delegates to workers and aggregates: 5.2. Cluster Usage 242 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public class StatsService extends UntypedActor{ // This router is used both with lookup and deploy of routees. If you // have a router with only lookup of routees you can use Props.empty() // instead of Props.create(StatsWorker.class). ActorRef workerRouter= getContext().actorOf( FromConfig.getInstance().props(Props.create(StatsWorker.class)), "workerRouter"); @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof StatsJob){ StatsJob job=(StatsJob) message; if(job.getText().equals("")){ unhandled(message); } else{ final String[] words= job.getText().split(""); final ActorRef replyTo= getSender(); // create actor that collects replies from workers ActorRef aggregator= getContext().actorOf( Props.create(StatsAggregator.class, words.length, replyTo)); // send each word to a worker for(String word: words){ workerRouter.tell(new ConsistentHashableEnvelope(word, word), aggregator); } } } else{ unhandled(message); } } } public class StatsAggregator extends UntypedActor{ final int expectedResults; final ActorRef replyTo; final List results= new ArrayList(); public StatsAggregator(int expectedResults, ActorRef replyTo){ this.expectedResults= expectedResults; this.replyTo= replyTo; } @Override public void preStart(){ getContext().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create(3, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof Integer){ Integer wordCount=(Integer) message; results.add(wordCount); if(results.size() == expectedResults){ int sum=0; for(int c: results) sum +=c; double meanWordLength=((double) sum)/ results.size(); replyTo.tell(new StatsResult(meanWordLength), getSelf()); 5.2. Cluster Usage 243 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT getContext().stop(getSelf()); } } else if(message == ReceiveTimeout.getInstance()){ replyTo.tell(new JobFailed("Service unavailable, try again later"), getSelf()); getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(message); } } } Note, nothing cluster specific so far, just plain actors. All nodes start StatsService and StatsWorker actors. Remember, routees are the workers in this case. The router is configured with routees.paths: akka.actor.deployment { /statsService/workerRouter { router = consistent-hashing-group nr-of-instances = 100 routees.paths = ["/user/statsWorker"] cluster { enabled = on allow-local-routees = on use-role = compute } } } This means that user requests can be sent to StatsService on any node and it will use StatsWorker on all nodes. The Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Cluster Samples with Java. contains the full source code and instruc- tions of how to run the Router Example with Group of Routees. Router with Pool of Remote Deployed Routees When using a Pool with routees created and deployed on the cluster member nodes the configuration for a router looks like this: akka.actor.deployment{ /singleton/statsService/workerRouter{ router= consistent-hashing-pool nr-of-instances= 100 cluster{ enabled= on max-nr-of-instances-per-node=3 allow-local-routees= on use-role= compute } } } It is possible to limit the deployment of routees to member nodes tagged with a certain role by specifying use-role. nr-of-instances defines total number of routees in the cluster, but the number of routees per node, max-nr-of-instances-per-node, will not be exceeded. Setting nr-of-instances to a high value will result in creating and deploying additional routees when new nodes join the cluster. 5.2. Cluster Usage 244 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The same type of router could also have been defined in code: int totalInstances= 100; int maxInstancesPerNode=3; boolean allowLocalRoutees= false; String useRole= "compute"; ActorRef workerRouter= getContext().actorOf( new ClusterRouterPool(new ConsistentHashingPool(0), new ClusterRouterPoolSettings(totalInstances, maxInstancesPerNode, allowLocalRoutees, useRole)).props(Props .create(StatsWorker.class)), "workerRouter3"); See Configuration section for further descriptions of the settings. Router Example with Pool of Remote Deployed Routees Let’s take a look at how to use a cluster aware router on single master node that creates and deploys workers. To keep track of a single master we use the Cluster Singleton in the contrib module. The ClusterSingletonManager is started on each node. system.actorOf(ClusterSingletonManager.defaultProps( Props.create(StatsService.class), "statsService", PoisonPill.getInstance(), "compute"), "singleton"); We also need an actor on each node that keeps track of where current single master exists and delegates jobs to the StatsService. public class StatsFacade extends UntypedActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); final Cluster cluster= Cluster.get(getContext().system()); final Comparator ageComparator= new Comparator(){ public int compare(Membera, Memberb){ if(a.isOlderThan(b)) return-1; else if(b.isOlderThan(a)) return1; else return0; } }; final SortedSet membersByAge= new TreeSet(ageComparator); //subscribe to cluster changes @Override public void preStart(){ cluster.subscribe(getSelf(), MemberEvent.class); } //re-subscribe when restart @Override public void postStop(){ cluster.unsubscribe(getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof StatsJob&& membersByAge.isEmpty()){ getSender().tell(new JobFailed("Service unavailable, try again later"), getSelf()); } else if(message instanceof StatsJob){ 5.2. Cluster Usage 245 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT currentMaster().tell(message, getSender()); } else if(message instanceof CurrentClusterState){ CurrentClusterState state=(CurrentClusterState) message; List members= new ArrayList(); for(Memberm: state.getMembers()){ if(m.hasRole("compute")) members.add(m); } membersByAge.clear(); membersByAge.addAll(members); } else if(message instanceof MemberUp){ Memberm=((MemberUp) message).member(); if(m.hasRole("compute")) membersByAge.add(m); } else if(message instanceof MemberRemoved){ Memberm=((MemberRemoved) message).member(); if(m.hasRole("compute")) membersByAge.remove(m); } else if(message instanceof MemberEvent){ // not interesting } else{ unhandled(message); } } ActorSelection currentMaster(){ return getContext().actorSelection( membersByAge.first().address()+ "/user/singleton/statsService"); } } The StatsFacade receives text from users and delegates to the current StatsService, the single master. It listens to cluster events to lookup the StatsService on the oldest node. All nodes start StatsFacade and the ClusterSingletonManager. The router is now configured like this: akka.actor.deployment{ /singleton/statsService/workerRouter{ router= consistent-hashing-pool nr-of-instances= 100 cluster{ enabled= on max-nr-of-instances-per-node=3 allow-local-routees= on use-role= compute } } } The Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Cluster Samples with Java. contains the full source code and instruc- tions of how to run the Router Example with Pool of Remote Deployed Routees. 5.2.15 Cluster Metrics The member nodes of the cluster collects system health metrics and publishes that to other nodes and to registered subscribers. This information is primarily used for load-balancing routers. 5.2. Cluster Usage 246 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Hyperic Sigar The built-in metrics is gathered from JMX MBeans, and optionally you can use Hyperic Sigar for a wider and more accurate range of metrics compared to what can be retrieved from ordinary MBeans. Sigar is us- ing a native OS library. To enable usage of Sigar you need to add the directory of the native library to -Djava.libarary.path= add the following dependency: org.fusesource sigar 1.6.4 Download the native Sigar libraries from Maven Central Adaptive Load Balancing The AdaptiveLoadBalancingPool / AdaptiveLoadBalancingGroup performs load balancing of messages to cluster nodes based on the cluster metrics data. It uses random selection of routees with proba- bilities derived from the remaining capacity of the corresponding node. It can be configured to use a specific MetricsSelector to produce the probabilities, a.k.a. weights: • heap / HeapMetricsSelector - Used and max JVM heap memory. Weights based on remaining heap capacity; (max - used) / max • load / SystemLoadAverageMetricsSelector - System load average for the past 1 minute, corre- sponding value can be found in top of Linux systems. The system is possibly nearing a bottleneck if the system load average is nearing number of cpus/cores. Weights based on remaining load capacity; 1 - (load / processors) • cpu / CpuMetricsSelector - CPU utilization in percentage, sum of User + Sys + Nice + Wait. Weights based on remaining cpu capacity; 1 - utilization • mix / MixMetricsSelector - Combines heap, cpu and load. Weights based on mean of remaining capacity of the combined selectors. • Any custom implementation of akka.cluster.routing.MetricsSelector The collected metrics values are smoothed with exponential weighted moving average. In the Configuration you can adjust how quickly past data is decayed compared to new data. Let’s take a look at this router in action. What can be more demanding than calculating factorials? The backend worker that performs the factorial calculation: public class FactorialBackend extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof Integer){ final Integern=(Integer) message; Futuref= future(new Callable(){ public BigInteger call(){ return factorial(n); } }, getContext().dispatcher()); Future result=f.map( new Mapper(){ public FactorialResult apply(BigInteger factorial){ return new FactorialResult(n, factorial); } }, getContext().dispatcher()); 5.2. Cluster Usage 247 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT pipe(result, getContext().dispatcher()).to(getSender()); } else{ unhandled(message); } } BigInteger factorial(int n){ BigInteger acc= BigInteger.ONE; for(int i=1;i <=n; ++i){ acc= acc.multiply(BigInteger.valueOf(i)); } return acc; } } The frontend that receives user jobs and delegates to the backends via the router: public class FactorialFrontend extends UntypedActor{ final int upToN; final boolean repeat; LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); ActorRef backend= getContext().actorOf(FromConfig.getInstance().props(), "factorialBackendRouter"); public FactorialFrontend(int upToN, boolean repeat){ this.upToN= upToN; this.repeat= repeat; } @Override public void preStart(){ sendJobs(); getContext().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof FactorialResult){ FactorialResult result=(FactorialResult) message; if(result.n == upToN){ log.debug("{}! = {}", result.n, result.factorial); if(repeat) sendJobs(); else getContext().stop(getSelf()); } } else if(message instanceof ReceiveTimeout){ log.info("Timeout"); sendJobs(); } else{ unhandled(message); } } void sendJobs(){ log.info("Starting batch of factorials up to [{}]", upToN); for(int n=1;n <= upToN;n++){ backend.tell(n, getSelf()); 5.2. Cluster Usage 248 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } } As you can see, the router is defined in the same way as other routers, and in this case it is configured as follows: akka.actor.deployment { /factorialFrontend/factorialBackendRouter = { router = adaptive-group # metrics-selector = heap # metrics-selector = load # metrics-selector = cpu metrics-selector = mix nr-of-instances = 100 routees.paths = ["/user/factorialBackend"] cluster { enabled = on use-role = backend allow-local-routees = off } } } It is only router type adaptive and the metrics-selector that is specific to this router, other things work in the same way as other routers. The same type of router could also have been defined in code: int totalInstances= 100; Iterable routeesPaths= Arrays.asList("/user/factorialBackend",""); boolean allowLocalRoutees= true; String useRole= "backend"; ActorRef backend= getContext().actorOf( new ClusterRouterGroup(new AdaptiveLoadBalancingGroup( HeapMetricsSelector.getInstance(), Collections. emptyList()), new ClusterRouterGroupSettings(totalInstances, routeesPaths, allowLocalRoutees, useRole)).props(), "factorialBackendRouter2"); int totalInstances= 100; int maxInstancesPerNode=3; boolean allowLocalRoutees= false; String useRole= "backend"; ActorRef backend= getContext().actorOf( new ClusterRouterPool(new AdaptiveLoadBalancingPool( SystemLoadAverageMetricsSelector.getInstance(),0), new ClusterRouterPoolSettings(totalInstances, maxInstancesPerNode, allowLocalRoutees, useRole)).props(Props .create(FactorialBackend.class)), "factorialBackendRouter3"); The Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Cluster Samples with Java. contains the full source code and instruc- tions of how to run the Adaptive Load Balancing sample. Subscribe to Metrics Events It is possible to subscribe to the metrics events directly to implement other functionality. import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.cluster.Cluster; import akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.ClusterMetricsChanged; import akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.CurrentClusterState; import akka.cluster.NodeMetrics; import akka.cluster.StandardMetrics; 5.2. Cluster Usage 249 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.cluster.StandardMetrics.HeapMemory; import akka.cluster.StandardMetrics.Cpu; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; public class MetricsListener extends UntypedActor{ LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); Cluster cluster= Cluster.get(getContext().system()); //subscribe to ClusterMetricsChanged @Override public void preStart(){ cluster.subscribe(getSelf(), ClusterMetricsChanged.class); } //re-subscribe when restart @Override public void postStop(){ cluster.unsubscribe(getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof ClusterMetricsChanged){ ClusterMetricsChanged clusterMetrics=(ClusterMetricsChanged) message; for(NodeMetrics nodeMetrics: clusterMetrics.getNodeMetrics()){ if(nodeMetrics.address().equals(cluster.selfAddress())){ logHeap(nodeMetrics); logCpu(nodeMetrics); } } } else if(message instanceof CurrentClusterState){ // ignore } else{ unhandled(message); } } void logHeap(NodeMetrics nodeMetrics){ HeapMemory heap= StandardMetrics.extractHeapMemory(nodeMetrics); if(heap != null){ log.info("Used heap: {} MB",((double) heap.used())/ 1024/ 1024); } } void logCpu(NodeMetrics nodeMetrics){ Cpu cpu= StandardMetrics.extractCpu(nodeMetrics); if(cpu != null&& cpu.systemLoadAverage().isDefined()){ log.info("Load: {} ({} processors)", cpu.systemLoadAverage().get(), cpu.processors()); } } } 5.2. Cluster Usage 250 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Custom Metrics Collector You can plug-in your own metrics collector instead of akka.cluster.SigarMetricsCollector or akka.cluster.JmxMetricsCollector. Look at those two implementations for inspiration. The im- plementation class can be defined in the Configuration. 5.2.16 JMX Information and management of the cluster is available as JMX MBeans with the root name akka.Cluster. The JMX information can be displayed with an ordinary JMX console such as JConsole or JVisualVM. From JMX you can: • see what members that are part of the cluster • see status of this node • join this node to another node in cluster • mark any node in the cluster as down • tell any node in the cluster to leave Member nodes are identified by their address, in format akka.://@:. 5.2.17 Command Line Management The cluster can be managed with the script bin/akka-cluster provided in the Akka distribution. Run it without parameters to see instructions about how to use the script: Usage: bin/akka-cluster ... Supported commands are: join - Sends request a JOIN node with the specified URL leave - Sends a request for node with URL to LEAVE the cluster down - Sends a request for marking node with URL as DOWN member-status - Asks the member node for its current status members - Asks the cluster for addresses of current members unreachable - Asks the cluster for addresses of unreachable members cluster-status - Asks the cluster for its current status (member ring, unavailable nodes, meta data etc.) leader - Asks the cluster who the current leader is is-singleton - Checks if the cluster is a singleton cluster (single node cluster) is-available - Checks if the member node is available Where the should be on the format of ’akka.://@:’ Examples: bin/akka-cluster localhost 9999 is-available bin/akka-cluster localhost 9999 join akka.tcp://MySystem@darkstar:2552 bin/akka-cluster localhost 9999 cluster-status To be able to use the script you must enable remote monitoring and management when starting the JVMs of the cluster nodes, as described in Monitoring and Management Using JMX Technology Example of system properties to enable remote monitoring and management: java-Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.port=9999\ -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.authenticate=false\ -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.ssl=false 5.2. Cluster Usage 251 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.2.18 Configuration There are several configuration properties for the cluster. We refer to the following reference file for more infor- mation: ###################################### # Akka Cluster Reference Config File # ###################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. akka { cluster { # Initial contact points of the cluster. # The nodes to join automatically at startup. # Comma separated full URIs defined by a string on the form of # "akka.tcp://system@hostname:port" # Leave as empty if the node is supposed to be joined manually. seed-nodes = [] # how long to wait for one of the seed nodes to reply to initial join request seed-node-timeout = 5s # If a join request fails it will be retried after this period. # Disable join retry by specifying "off". retry-unsuccessful-join-after = 10s # Should the ’leader’ in the cluster be allowed to automatically mark # unreachable nodes as DOWN after a configured time of unreachability? # Using auto-down implies that two separate clusters will automatically be # formed in case of network partition. # Disable with "off" or specify a duration to enable auto-down. auto-down-unreachable-after = off # deprecated in 2.3, use ’auto-down-unreachable-after’ instead auto-down = off # The roles of this member. List of strings, e.g. roles = ["A", "B"]. # The roles are part of the membership information and can be used by # routers or other services to distribute work to certain member types, # e.g. front-end and back-end nodes. roles = [] role { # Minimum required number of members of a certain role before the leader # changes member status of ’Joining’ members to ’Up’. Typically used together # with ’Cluster.registerOnMemberUp’ to defer some action, such as starting # actors, until the cluster has reached a certain size. # E.g. to require 2 nodes with role ’frontend’ and 3 nodes with role ’backend’: # frontend.min-nr-of-members = 2 # backend.min-nr-of-members = 3 #.min-nr-of-members = 1 } # Minimum required number of members before the leader changes member status # of ’Joining’ members to ’Up’. Typically used together with # ’Cluster.registerOnMemberUp’ to defer some action, such as starting actors, # until the cluster has reached a certain size. min-nr-of-members = 1 # Enable/disable info level logging of cluster events 5.2. Cluster Usage 252 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT log-info = on # Enable or disable JMX MBeans for management of the cluster jmx.enabled = on # how long should the node wait before starting the periodic tasks # maintenance tasks? periodic-tasks-initial-delay = 1s # how often should the node send out gossip information? gossip-interval = 1s # discard incoming gossip messages if not handled within this duration gossip-time-to-live = 2s # how often should the leader perform maintenance tasks? leader-actions-interval = 1s # how often should the node move nodes, marked as unreachable by the failure # detector, out of the membership ring? unreachable-nodes-reaper-interval = 1s # How often the current internal stats should be published. # A value of 0s can be used to always publish the stats, when it happens. # Disable with "off". publish-stats-interval = off # The id of the dispatcher to use for cluster actors. If not specified # default dispatcher is used. # If specified you need to define the settings of the actual dispatcher. use-dispatcher = "" # Gossip to random node with newer or older state information, if any with # this probability. Otherwise Gossip to any random live node. # Probability value is between 0.0 and 1.0. 0.0 means never, 1.0 means always. gossip-different-view-probability = 0.8 # Reduced the above probability when the number of nodes in the cluster # greater than this value. reduce-gossip-different-view-probability = 400 # Settings for the Phi accrual failure detector (http://ddg.jaist.ac.jp/pub/HDY+04.pdf # [Hayashibara et al]) used by the cluster subsystem to detect unreachable # members. failure-detector { # FQCN of the failure detector implementation. # It must implement akka.remote.FailureDetector and have # a public constructor with a com.typesafe.config.Config and # akka.actor.EventStream parameter. implementation-class = "akka.remote.PhiAccrualFailureDetector" # How often keep-alive heartbeat messages should be sent to each connection. heartbeat-interval = 1 s # Defines the failure detector threshold. # A low threshold is prone to generate many wrong suspicions but ensures # a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high # threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect # actual crashes. threshold = 8.0 # Number of the samples of inter-heartbeat arrival times to adaptively 5.2. Cluster Usage 253 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # calculate the failure timeout for connections. max-sample-size = 1000 # Minimum standard deviation to use for the normal distribution in # AccrualFailureDetector. Too low standard deviation might result in # too much sensitivity for sudden, but normal, deviations in heartbeat # inter arrival times. min-std-deviation = 100 ms # Number of potentially lost/delayed heartbeats that will be # accepted before considering it to be an anomaly. # This margin is important to be able to survive sudden, occasional, # pauses in heartbeat arrivals, due to for example garbage collect or # network drop. acceptable-heartbeat-pause = 3 s # Number of member nodes that each member will send heartbeat messages to, # i.e. each node will be monitored by this number of other nodes. monitored-by-nr-of-members = 5 # After the heartbeat request has been sent the first failure detection # will start after this period, even though no heartbeat mesage has # been received. expected-response-after = 5 s } metrics { # Enable or disable metrics collector for load-balancing nodes. enabled = on # FQCN of the metrics collector implementation. # It must implement akka.cluster.MetricsCollector and # have public constructor with akka.actor.ActorSystem parameter. # The default SigarMetricsCollector uses JMX and Hyperic SIGAR, if SIGAR # is on the classpath, otherwise only JMX. collector-class = "akka.cluster.SigarMetricsCollector" # How often metrics are sampled on a node. # Shorter interval will collect the metrics more often. collect-interval = 3s # How often a node publishes metrics information. gossip-interval = 3s # How quickly the exponential weighting of past data is decayed compared to # new data. Set lower to increase the bias toward newer values. # The relevance of each data sample is halved for every passing half-life # duration, i.e. after 4 times the half-life, a data sample’s relevance is # reduced to 6% of its original relevance. The initial relevance of a data # sample is given by 1 - 0.5 ^ (collect-interval / half-life). # See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_average#Exponential_moving_average moving-average-half-life = 12s } # If the tick-duration of the default scheduler is longer than the # tick-duration configured here a dedicated scheduler will be used for # periodic tasks of the cluster, otherwise the default scheduler is used. # See akka.scheduler settings for more details. scheduler { tick-duration = 33ms ticks-per-wheel = 512 } 5.2. Cluster Usage 254 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } # Default configuration for routers actor.deployment.default { # MetricsSelector to use # - available: "mix", "heap", "cpu", "load" # - or: Fully qualified class name of the MetricsSelector class. # The class must extend akka.cluster.routing.MetricsSelector # and have a public constructor with com.typesafe.config.Config # parameter. # - default is "mix" metrics-selector = mix } actor.deployment.default.cluster { # enable cluster aware router that deploys to nodes in the cluster enabled = off # Maximum number of routees that will be deployed on each cluster # member node. # Note that nr-of-instances defines total number of routees, but # number of routees per node will not be exceeded, i.e. if you # define nr-of-instances = 50 and max-nr-of-instances-per-node = 2 # it will deploy 2 routees per new member in the cluster, up to # 25 members. max-nr-of-instances-per-node = 1 # Defines if routees are allowed to be located on the same node as # the head router actor, or only on remote nodes. # Useful for master-worker scenario where all routees are remote. allow-local-routees = on # Deprecated in 2.3, use routees.paths instead routees-path = "" # Use members with specified role, or all members if undefined or empty. use-role = "" } # Protobuf serializer for cluster messages actor { serializers { akka-cluster = "akka.cluster.protobuf.ClusterMessageSerializer" } serialization-bindings { "akka.cluster.ClusterMessage" = akka-cluster } router.type-mapping { adaptive-pool = "akka.cluster.routing.AdaptiveLoadBalancingPool" adaptive-group = "akka.cluster.routing.AdaptiveLoadBalancingGroup" } } } Cluster Info Logging You can silence the logging of cluster events at info level with configuration property: 5.2. Cluster Usage 255 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka.cluster.log-info= off Cluster Dispatcher Under the hood the cluster extension is implemented with actors and it can be necessary to create a bulkhead for those actors to avoid disturbance from other actors. Especially the heartbeating actors that is used for failure detection can generate false positives if they are not given a chance to run at regular intervals. For this purpose you can define a separate dispatcher to be used for the cluster actors: akka.cluster.use-dispatcher= cluster-dispatcher cluster-dispatcher{ type= "Dispatcher" executor= "fork-join-executor" fork-join-executor{ parallelism-min=2 parallelism-max=4 } } 5.3 Remoting For an introduction of remoting capabilities of Akka please see Location Transparency. Note: As explained in that chapter Akka remoting is designed for communication in a peer-to-peer fashion and it has limitations for client-server setups. In particular Akka Remoting does not work with Network Address Translation and Load Balancers, among others. 5.3.1 Preparing your ActorSystem for Remoting The Akka remoting is a separate jar file. Make sure that you have the following dependency in your project: com.typesafe.akka akka-remote_2.10 2.3-SNAPSHOT To enable remote capabilities in your Akka project you should, at a minimum, add the following changes to your application.conf file: akka { actor { provider = "akka.remote.RemoteActorRefProvider" } remote { enabled-transports = ["akka.remote.netty.tcp"] netty.tcp { hostname = "127.0.0.1" port = 2552 } } } As you can see in the example above there are four things you need to add to get started: 5.3. Remoting 256 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • Change provider from akka.actor.LocalActorRefProvider to akka.remote.RemoteActorRefProvider • Add host name - the machine you want to run the actor system on; this host name is exactly what is passed to remote systems in order to identify this system and consequently used for connecting back to this system if need be, hence set it to a reachable IP address or resolvable name in case you want to communicate across the network. • Add port number - the port the actor system should listen on, set to 0 to have it chosen automatically Note: The port number needs to be unique for each actor system on the same machine even if the actor systems have different names. This is because each actor system has its own network subsystem listening for connections and handling messages as not to interfere with other actor systems. The example above only illustrates the bare minimum of properties you have to add to enable remoting. All settings are described in Remote Configuration. 5.3.2 Looking up Remote Actors actorSelection(path) will obtain an ActorSelection to an Actor on a remote node: ActorSelection selection= context.actorSelection("akka.tcp://app@10.0.0.1:2552/user/serviceA/worker"); As you can see from the example above the following pattern is used to find an actor on a remote node: akka.://@:/ Once you obtained a selection to the actor you can interact with it they same way you would with a local actor, e.g.: selection.tell("Pretty awesome feature", getSelf()); To acquire an ActorRef for an ActorSelection you need to send a message to the selection and use the getSender reference of the reply from the actor. There is a built-in Identify message that all Actors will un- derstand and automatically reply to with a ActorIdentity message containing the ActorRef. This can also be done with the resolveOne method of the ActorSelection, which returns a Future of the matching ActorRef. Note: For more details on how actor addresses and paths are formed and used, please refer to Actor References, Paths and Addresses. 5.3.3 Creating Actors Remotely If you want to use the creation functionality in Akka remoting you have to further amend the application.conf file in the following way (only showing deployment section): akka{ actor{ deployment{ /sampleActor{ remote= "akka.tcp://sampleActorSystem@127.0.0.1:2553" } } } } The configuration above instructs Akka to react when an actor with path /sampleActor is created, i.e. us- ing system.actorOf(new Props(...), "sampleActor"). This specific actor will not be directly 5.3. Remoting 257 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT instantiated, but instead the remote daemon of the remote system will be asked to create the actor, which in this sample corresponds to sampleActorSystem@127.0.0.1:2553. Once you have configured the properties above you would do the following in code: ActorRef actor= system.actorOf(Props.create(SampleActor.class), "sampleActor"); actor.tell("Pretty slick", ActorRef.noSender()); The actor class SampleActor has to be available to the runtimes using it, i.e. the classloader of the actor systems has to have a JAR containing the class. Note: In order to ensure serializability of Props when passing constructor arguments to the actor being created, do not make the factory a non-static inner class: this will inherently capture a reference to its enclosing object, which in most cases is not serializable. It is best to make a static inner class which implements Creator. Serializability of all Props can be tested by setting the configuration item akka.actor.serialize-creators=on. Only Props whose deploy has LocalScope are exempt from this check. Note: You can use asterisks as wildcard matches for the actor path sections, so you could specify: /*/sampleActor and that would match all sampleActor on that level in the hierarchy. You can also use wildcard in the last position to match all actors at a certain level: /someParent/*. Non-wildcard matches always have higher priority to match than wildcards, so: /foo/bar is considered more specific than /foo/* and only the highest priority match is used. Please note that it cannot be used to partially match section, like this: /foo*/bar,/f*o/bar etc. Programmatic Remote Deployment To allow dynamically deployed systems, it is also possible to include deployment configuration in the Props which are used to create an actor: this information is the equivalent of a deployment section from the configuration file, and if both are given, the external configuration takes precedence. With these imports: import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.Address; import akka.actor.AddressFromURIString; import akka.actor.Deploy; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.remote.RemoteScope; and a remote address like this: Address addr= new Address("akka.tcp", "sys", "host", 1234); addr= AddressFromURIString.parse("akka.tcp://sys@host:1234"); // the same you can advise the system to create a child on that remote node like so: ActorRef ref= system.actorOf(Props.create(SampleActor.class).withDeploy( new Deploy(new RemoteScope(addr)))); 5.3. Remoting 258 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.3.4 Lifecycle and Failure Recovery Model Each link with a remote system can be in one of the four states as illustrated above. Before any communication happens with a remote system at a given Address the state of the association is Idle. The first time a message is attempted to be sent to the remote system or an inbound connection is accepted the state of the link transitions to Active denoting that the two systems has messages to send or receive and no failures were encountered so far. When a communication failure happens and the connection is lost between the two systems the link becomes Gated. In this state the system will not attempt to connect to the remote host and all outbound mes- sages will be dropped. The time while the link is in the Gated state is controlled by the setting akka.remote.retry-gate-closed-for: after this time elapses the link state transitions to Idle again. Gate is one-sided in the sense that whenever a successful inbound connection is accepted from a remote system during Gate it automatically transitions to Active and communication resumes immediately. In the face of communication failures that are unrecoverable because the state of the participating systems are inconsistent, the remote system becomes Quarantined. Unlike Gate, quarantining is permanent and lasts until one of the systems is restarted. After a restart communication can be resumed again and the link can become Active again. 5.3. Remoting 259 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.3.5 Watching Remote Actors Watching a remote actor is not different than watching a local actor, as described in Lifecycle Monitoring aka DeathWatch. Warning: Caveat: Watching an ActorRef acquired with actorFor does not trigger Terminated for lost connections. actorFor is deprecated in favor of actorSelection. Acquire the ActorRef to watch with Identify and ActorIdentity as described in Identifying Actors via Actor Selection. Failure Detector Under the hood remote death watch uses heartbeat messages and a failure detector to generate Terminated message from network failures and JVM crashes, in addition to graceful termination of watched actor. The heartbeat arrival times is interpreted by an implementation of The Phi Accrual Failure Detector. The suspicion level of failure is given by a value called phi. The basic idea of the phi failure detector is to express the value of phi on a scale that is dynamically adjusted to reflect current network conditions. The value of phi is calculated as: phi=-log10(1-F(timeSinceLastHeartbeat)) where F is the cumulative distribution function of a normal distribution with mean and standard deviation estimated from historical heartbeat inter-arrival times. In the Remote Configuration you can adjust the akka.remote.watch-failure-detector.threshold to define when a phi value is considered to be a failure. A low threshold is prone to generate many false positives but ensures a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect actual crashes. The default threshold is 10 and is appropriate for most situations. However in cloud environments, such as Amazon EC2, the value could be increased to 12 in order to account for network issues that sometimes occur on such platforms. The following chart illustrates how phi increase with increasing time since the previous heartbeat. 5.3. Remoting 260 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Phi is calculated from the mean and standard deviation of historical inter arrival times. The previous chart is an example for standard deviation of 200 ms. If the heartbeats arrive with less deviation the curve becomes steeper, i.e. it is possible to determine failure more quickly. The curve looks like this for a standard deviation of 100 ms. To be able to survive sudden abnormalities, such as garbage collection pauses and transient network failures the failure detector is configured with a margin, akka.remote.watch-failure-detector.acceptable-heartbeat-pause. You may want to adjust the Remote Configuration of this depending on you environment. This is how the curve looks like for acceptable-heartbeat-pause configured to 3 seconds. 5.3. Remoting 261 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.3.6 Serialization When using remoting for actors you must ensure that the props and messages used for those actors are serial- izable. Failing to do so will cause the system to behave in an unintended way. For more information please see Serialization 5.3.7 Routers with Remote Destinations It is absolutely feasible to combine remoting with Routing. A pool of remote deployed routees can be configured as: akka.actor.deployment { /parent/remotePool { router = round-robin-pool nr-of-instances = 10 target.nodes = ["akka.tcp://app@10.0.0.2:2552", "akka://app@10.0.0.3:2552"] } } This configuration setting will clone the actor defined in the Props of the remotePool 10 times and deploy it evenly distributed across the two given target nodes. A group of remote actors can be configured as: akka.actor.deployment { /parent/remoteGroup { router = round-robin-group routees.paths = [ "akka.tcp://app@10.0.0.1:2552/user/workers/w1", "akka.tcp://app@10.0.0.2:2552/user/workers/w1", "akka.tcp://app@10.0.0.3:2552/user/workers/w1"] } } This configuration setting will send messages to the defined remote actor paths. It requires that you create the destination actors on the remote nodes with matching paths. That is not done by the router. 5.3.8 Remoting Sample There is a more extensive remote example that comes with Typesafe Activator. The tutorial named Akka Remote Samples with Java demonstrates both remote deployment and look-up of remote actors. Pluggable transport support Akka can be configured to use various transports to communicate with remote systems. The core component of this feature is the akka.remote.Transport SPI. Transport implementations must extend this trait. Transports can be loaded by setting the akka.remote.enabled-transports configuration key to point to one or more configuration sections containing driver descriptions. An example of setting up the default Netty based SSL driver as default: akka{ remote{ enabled-transports=[akka.remote.netty.ssl] netty.ssl.security{ key-store= "mykeystore" trust-store= "mytruststore" key-store-password= "changeme" 5.3. Remoting 262 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT key-password= "changeme" trust-store-password= "changeme" protocol= "TLSv1" random-number-generator= "AES128CounterSecureRNG" enabled-algorithms=[TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA] } } } An example of setting up a custom transport implementation: akka { remote { applied-transports = ["akka.remote.mytransport"] mytransport { # The transport-class configuration entry is required, and # it must contain the fully qualified name of the transport # implementation transport-class = "my.package.MyTransport" # It is possible to decorate Transports with additional services. # Adapters should be registered in the "adapters" sections to # be able to apply them to transports applied-adapters = [] # Driver specific configuration options has to be in the same # section: some-config = foo another-config = bar } Remote Events It is possible to listen to events that occur in Akka Remote, and to subscribe/unsubscribe to these events you simply register as listener to the below described types in on the ActorSystem.eventStream. Note: To subscribe to any remote event, subscribe to RemotingLifecycleEvent. To subscribe to events related only to the lifecycle of associations, subscribe to akka.remote.AssociationEvent. Note: The use of term “Association” instead of “Connection” reflects that the remoting subsystem may use con- nectionless transports, but an association similar to transport layer connections is maintained between endpoints by the Akka protocol. By default an event listener is registered which logs all of the events described below. This default was chosen to help setting up a system, but it is quite common to switch this logging off once that phase of the project is finished. Note: In order to switch off the logging, set akka.remote.log-remote-lifecycle-events = off in your application.conf. To be notified when an association is over (“disconnected”) listen to DisassociatedEvent which holds the direction of the association (inbound or outbound) and the addresses of the involved parties. To be notified when an association is successfully established (“connected”) listen to AssociatedEvent which holds the direction of the association (inbound or outbound) and the addresses of the involved parties. To intercept errors directly related to associations, listen to AssociationErrorEvent which holds the direc- tion of the association (inbound or outbound), the addresses of the involved parties and the Throwable cause. 5.3. Remoting 263 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT To be notified when the remoting subsystem is ready to accept associations, listen to RemotingListenEvent which contains the addresses the remoting listens on. To be notified when the remoting subsystem has been shut down, listen to RemotingShutdownEvent. To intercept generic remoting related errors, listen to RemotingErrorEvent which holds the Throwable cause. 5.3.9 Remote Security Akka provides a couple of ways to enhance security between remote nodes (client/server): • Untrusted Mode • Security Cookie Handshake Untrusted Mode As soon as an actor system can connect to another remotely, it may in principle send any possible message to any actor contained within that remote system. One example may be sending a PoisonPill to the system guardian, shutting that system down. This is not always desired, and it can be disabled with the following setting: akka.remote.untrusted-mode= on This disallows sending of system messages (actor life-cycle commands, DeathWatch, etc.) and any message extending PossiblyHarmful to the system on which this flag is set. Should a client send them nonetheless they are dropped and logged (at DEBUG level in order to reduce the possibilities for a denial of service attack). PossiblyHarmful covers the predefined messages like PoisonPill and Kill, but it can also be added as a marker trait to user-defined messages. Messages sent with actor selection are by default discarded in untrusted mode, but permission to receive actor selection messages can be granted to specific actors defined in configuration: akka.remote.trusted-selection-paths = ["/user/receptionist", "/user/namingService"] The actual message must still not be of type PossiblyHarmful. In summary, the following operations are ignored by a system configured in untrusted mode when incoming via the remoting layer: • remote deployment (which also means no remote supervision) • remote DeathWatch • system.stop(), PoisonPill, Kill • sending any message which extends from the PossiblyHarmful marker interface, which includes Terminated • messages sent with actor selection, unless destination defined in trusted-selection-paths. Note: Enabling the untrusted mode does not remove the capability of the client to freely choose the target of its message sends, which means that messages not prohibited by the above rules can be sent to any actor in the remote system. It is good practice for a client-facing system to only contain a well-defined set of entry point actors, which then forward requests (possibly after performing validation) to another actor system containing the actual worker actors. If messaging between these two server-side systems is done using local ActorRef (they can be exchanged safely between actor systems within the same JVM), you can restrict the messages on this interface by marking them PossiblyHarmful so that a client cannot forge them. 5.3. Remoting 264 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Secure Cookie Handshake Akka remoting also allows you to specify a secure cookie that will be exchanged and ensured to be identical in the connection handshake between the client and the server. If they are not identical then the client will be refused to connect to the server. The secure cookie can be any kind of string. But the recommended approach is to generate a cryptographically se- cure cookie using this script $AKKA_HOME/scripts/generate_config_with_secure_cookie.sh or from code using the akka.util.Crypt.generateSecureCookie() utility method. You have to ensure that both the connecting client and the server have the same secure cookie as well as the require-cookie option turned on. Here is an example config: akka.remote{ secure-cookie= "090A030E0F0A05010900000A0C0E0C0B03050D05" require-cookie= on } SSL SSL can be used as the remote transport by adding akka.remote.netty.ssl to the enabled-transport configuration section. See a description of the settings in the Remote Configuration section. The SSL support is implemented with Java Secure Socket Extension, please consult the offical Java Secure Socket Extension documentation and related resources for troubleshooting. Note: When using SHA1PRNG on Linux it’s recommended specify -Djava.security.egd=file:/dev/./urandom as argument to the JVM to prevent blocking. It is NOT as secure because it reuses the seed. Use ‘/dev/./urandom’, not ‘/dev/urandom’ as that doesn’t work according to Bug ID: 6202721. 5.3.10 Remote Configuration There are lots of configuration properties that are related to remoting in Akka. We refer to the following reference file for more information: ##################################### # Akka Remote Reference Config File # ##################################### # This is the reference config file that contains all the default settings. # Make your edits/overrides in your application.conf. # comments about akka.actor settings left out where they are already in akka- # actor.jar, because otherwise they would be repeated in config rendering. akka { actor { serializers { akka-containers = "akka.remote.serialization.MessageContainerSerializer" proto = "akka.remote.serialization.ProtobufSerializer" daemon-create = "akka.remote.serialization.DaemonMsgCreateSerializer" } serialization-bindings { 5.3. Remoting 265 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Since com.google.protobuf.Message does not extend Serializable but # GeneratedMessage does, need to use the more specific one here in order # to avoid ambiguity "akka.actor.ActorSelectionMessage" = akka-containers "com.google.protobuf.GeneratedMessage" = proto "akka.remote.DaemonMsgCreate" = daemon-create } deployment { default { # if this is set to a valid remote address, the named actor will be # deployed at that node e.g. "akka.tcp://sys@host:port" remote = "" target { # A list of hostnames and ports for instantiating the children of a # router # The format should be on "akka.tcp://sys@host:port", where: # - sys is the remote actor system name # - hostname can be either hostname or IP address the remote actor # should connect to # - port should be the port for the remote server on the other node # The number of actor instances to be spawned is still taken from the # nr-of-instances setting as for local routers; the instances will be # distributed round-robin among the given nodes. nodes = [] } } } } remote { ### General settings # Timeout after which the startup of the remoting subsystem is considered # to be failed. Increase this value if your transport drivers (see the # enabled-transports section) need longer time to be loaded. startup-timeout = 10 s # Timout after which the graceful shutdown of the remoting subsystem is # considered to be failed. After the timeout the remoting system is # forcefully shut down. Increase this value if your transport drivers # (see the enabled-transports section) need longer time to stop properly. shutdown-timeout = 10 s # Before shutting down the drivers, the remoting subsystem attempts to flush # all pending writes. This setting controls the maximum time the remoting is # willing to wait before moving on to shut down the drivers. flush-wait-on-shutdown = 2 s # Reuse inbound connections for outbound messages use-passive-connections = on # Controls the backoff interval after a refused write is reattempted. # (Transports may refuse writes if their internal buffer is full) backoff-interval = 0.01 s # Acknowledgment timeout of management commands sent to the transport stack. 5.3. Remoting 266 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT command-ack-timeout = 30 s # If set to a nonempty string remoting will use the given dispatcher for # its internal actors otherwise the default dispatcher is used. Please note # that since remoting can load arbitrary 3rd party drivers (see # "enabled-transport" and "adapters" entries) it is not guaranteed that # every module will respect this setting. use-dispatcher = "akka.remote.default-remote-dispatcher" ### Security settings # Enable untrusted mode for full security of server managed actors, prevents # system messages to be send by clients, e.g. messages like ’Create’, # ’Suspend’, ’Resume’, ’Terminate’, ’Supervise’, ’Link’ etc. untrusted-mode = off # When ’untrusted-mode=on’ inbound actor selections are by default discarded. # Actors with paths defined in this white list are granted permission to receive actor # selections messages. # E.g. trusted-selection-paths = ["/user/receptionist", "/user/namingService"] trusted-selection-paths = [] # Should the remote server require that its peers share the same # secure-cookie (defined in the ’remote’ section)? Secure cookies are passed # between during the initial handshake. Connections are refused if the initial # message contains a mismatching cookie or the cookie is missing. require-cookie = off # Generate your own with the script availbale in # ’$AKKA_HOME/scripts/generate_config_with_secure_cookie.sh’ or using # ’akka.util.Crypt.generateSecureCookie’ secure-cookie = "" ### Logging # If this is "on", Akka will log all inbound messages at DEBUG level, # if off then they are not logged log-received-messages = off # If this is "on", Akka will log all outbound messages at DEBUG level, # if off then they are not logged log-sent-messages = off # Sets the log granularity level at which Akka logs remoting events. This setting # can take the values OFF, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG, or ON. For compatibility # reasons the setting "on" will default to "debug" level. Please note that the effective # logging level is still determined by the global logging level of the actor system: # for example debug level remoting events will be only logged if the system # is running with debug level logging. # Failures to deserialize received messages also fall under this flag. log-remote-lifecycle-events = on # Logging of message types with payload size in bytes larger than # this value. Maximum detected size per message type is logged once, # with an increase threshold of 10%. # By default this feature is turned off. Activate it by setting the property to # a value in bytes, such as 1000b. Note that for all messages larger than this # limit there will be extra performance and scalability cost. log-frame-size-exceeding = off ### Failure detection and recovery # Settings for the Phi accrual failure detector (http://ddg.jaist.ac.jp/pub/HDY+04.pdf 5.3. Remoting 267 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # [Hayashibara et al]) used by the remoting subsystem to detect failed # connections. transport-failure-detector { # FQCN of the failure detector implementation. # It must implement akka.remote.FailureDetector and have # a public constructor with a com.typesafe.config.Config and # akka.actor.EventStream parameter. implementation-class = "akka.remote.PhiAccrualFailureDetector" # How often keep-alive heartbeat messages should be sent to each connection. heartbeat-interval = 4 s # Defines the failure detector threshold. # A low threshold is prone to generate many wrong suspicions but ensures # a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high # threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect # actual crashes. threshold = 7.0 # Number of the samples of inter-heartbeat arrival times to adaptively # calculate the failure timeout for connections. max-sample-size = 100 # Minimum standard deviation to use for the normal distribution in # AccrualFailureDetector. Too low standard deviation might result in # too much sensitivity for sudden, but normal, deviations in heartbeat # inter arrival times. min-std-deviation = 100 ms # Number of potentially lost/delayed heartbeats that will be # accepted before considering it to be an anomaly. # This margin is important to be able to survive sudden, occasional, # pauses in heartbeat arrivals, due to for example garbage collect or # network drop. acceptable-heartbeat-pause = 10 s } # Settings for the Phi accrual failure detector (http://ddg.jaist.ac.jp/pub/HDY+04.pdf # [Hayashibara et al]) used for remote death watch. watch-failure-detector { # FQCN of the failure detector implementation. # It must implement akka.remote.FailureDetector and have # a public constructor with a com.typesafe.config.Config and # akka.actor.EventStream parameter. implementation-class = "akka.remote.PhiAccrualFailureDetector" # How often keep-alive heartbeat messages should be sent to each connection. heartbeat-interval = 1 s # Defines the failure detector threshold. # A low threshold is prone to generate many wrong suspicions but ensures # a quick detection in the event of a real crash. Conversely, a high # threshold generates fewer mistakes but needs more time to detect # actual crashes. threshold = 10.0 # Number of the samples of inter-heartbeat arrival times to adaptively # calculate the failure timeout for connections. max-sample-size = 200 # Minimum standard deviation to use for the normal distribution in 5.3. Remoting 268 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # AccrualFailureDetector. Too low standard deviation might result in # too much sensitivity for sudden, but normal, deviations in heartbeat # inter arrival times. min-std-deviation = 100 ms # Number of potentially lost/delayed heartbeats that will be # accepted before considering it to be an anomaly. # This margin is important to be able to survive sudden, occasional, # pauses in heartbeat arrivals, due to for example garbage collect or # network drop. acceptable-heartbeat-pause = 10 s # How often to check for nodes marked as unreachable by the failure # detector unreachable-nodes-reaper-interval = 1s # After the heartbeat request has been sent the first failure detection # will start after this period, even though no heartbeat mesage has # been received. expected-response-after = 3 s } # After failed to establish an outbound connection, the remoting will mark the # address as failed. This configuration option controls how much time should # be elapsed before reattempting a new connection. While the address is # gated, all messages sent to the address are delivered to dead-letters. # Since this setting limits the rate of reconnects setting it to a # very short interval (i.e. less than a second) may result in a storm of # reconnect attempts. retry-gate-closed-for = 5 s # After catastrophic communication failures that result in the loss of system # messages or after the remote DeathWatch triggers the remote system gets # quarantined to prevent inconsistent behavior. # This setting controls how long the Quarantine marker will be kept around # before being removed to avoid long-term memory leaks. # WARNING: DO NOT change this to a small value to re-enable communication with # quarantined nodes. Such feature is not supported and any behavior between # the affected systems after lifting the quarantine is undefined. prune-quarantine-marker-after = 5 d # This setting defines the maximum number of unacknowledged system messages # allowed for a remote system. If this limit is reached the remote system is # declared to be dead and its UID marked as tainted. system-message-buffer-size = 1000 # This setting defines the maximum idle time after an individual # acknowledgement for system messages is sent. System message delivery # is guaranteed by explicit acknowledgement messages. These acks are # piggybacked on ordinary traffic messages. If no traffic is detected # during the time period configured here, the remoting will send out # an individual ack. system-message-ack-piggyback-timeout = 0.3 s # This setting defines the time after internal management signals # between actors (used for DeathWatch and supervision) that have not been # explicitly acknowledged or negatively acknowledged are resent. # Messages that were negatively acknowledged are always immediately # resent. resend-interval = 2 s 5.3. Remoting 269 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # WARNING: this setting should not be not changed unless all of its consequences # are properly understood which assumes experience with remoting internals # or expert advice. # This setting defines the time after redelivery attempts of internal management # signals are stopped to a remote system that has been not confirmed to be alive by # this system before. initial-system-message-delivery-timeout = 3 m ### Transports and adapters # List of the transport drivers that will be loaded by the remoting. # A list of fully qualified config paths must be provided where # the given configuration path contains a transport-class key # pointing to an implementation class of the Transport interface. # If multiple transports are provided, the address of the first # one will be used as a default address. enabled-transports = ["akka.remote.netty.tcp"] # Transport drivers can be augmented with adapters by adding their # name to the applied-adapters setting in the configuration of a # transport. The available adapters should be configured in this # section by providing a name, and the fully qualified name of # their corresponding implementation. The class given here # must implement akka.akka.remote.transport.TransportAdapterProvider # and have public constructor without parameters. adapters { gremlin = "akka.remote.transport.FailureInjectorProvider" trttl = "akka.remote.transport.ThrottlerProvider" } ### Default configuration for the Netty based transport drivers netty.tcp { # The class given here must implement the akka.remote.transport.Transport # interface and offer a public constructor which takes two arguments: # 1) akka.actor.ExtendedActorSystem # 2) com.typesafe.config.Config transport-class = "akka.remote.transport.netty.NettyTransport" # Transport drivers can be augmented with adapters by adding their # name to the applied-adapters list. The last adapter in the # list is the adapter immediately above the driver, while # the first one is the top of the stack below the standard # Akka protocol applied-adapters = [] transport-protocol = tcp # The default remote server port clients should connect to. # Default is 2552 (AKKA), use 0 if you want a random available port # This port needs to be unique for each actor system on the same machine. port = 2552 # The hostname or ip to bind the remoting to, # InetAddress.getLocalHost.getHostAddress is used if empty hostname = "" # Enables SSL support on this transport enable-ssl = false # Sets the connectTimeoutMillis of all outbound connections, # i.e. how long a connect may take until it is timed out connection-timeout = 15 s 5.3. Remoting 270 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # If set to "" then the specified dispatcher # will be used to accept inbound connections, and perform IO. If "" then # dedicated threads will be used. # Please note that the Netty driver only uses this configuration and does # not read the "akka.remote.use-dispatcher" entry. Instead it has to be # configured manually to point to the same dispatcher if needed. use-dispatcher-for-io = "" # Sets the high water mark for the in and outbound sockets, # set to 0b for platform default write-buffer-high-water-mark = 0b # Sets the low water mark for the in and outbound sockets, # set to 0b for platform default write-buffer-low-water-mark = 0b # Sets the send buffer size of the Sockets, # set to 0b for platform default send-buffer-size = 256000b # Sets the receive buffer size of the Sockets, # set to 0b for platform default receive-buffer-size = 256000b # Maximum message size the transport will accept, but at least # 32000 bytes. # Please note that UDP does not support arbitrary large datagrams, # so this setting has to be chosen carefully when using UDP. # Both send-buffer-size and receive-buffer-size settings has to # be adjusted to be able to buffer messages of maximum size. maximum-frame-size = 128000b # Sets the size of the connection backlog backlog = 4096 # Enables the TCP_NODELAY flag, i.e. disables Nagle’s algorithm tcp-nodelay = on # Enables TCP Keepalive, subject to the O/S kernel’s configuration tcp-keepalive = on # Enables SO_REUSEADDR, which determines when an ActorSystem can open # the specified listen port (the meaning differs between *nix and Windows) # Valid values are "on", "off" and "off-for-windows" # due to the following Windows bug: http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4476378 # "off-for-windows" of course means that it’s "on" for all other platforms tcp-reuse-addr = off-for-windows # Used to configure the number of I/O worker threads on server sockets server-socket-worker-pool { # Min number of threads to cap factor-based number to pool-size-min = 2 # The pool size factor is used to determine thread pool size # using the following formula: ceil(available processors * factor). # Resulting size is then bounded by the pool-size-min and # pool-size-max values. pool-size-factor = 1.0 # Max number of threads to cap factor-based number to pool-size-max = 2 } 5.3. Remoting 271 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Used to configure the number of I/O worker threads on client sockets client-socket-worker-pool { # Min number of threads to cap factor-based number to pool-size-min = 2 # The pool size factor is used to determine thread pool size # using the following formula: ceil(available processors * factor). # Resulting size is then bounded by the pool-size-min and # pool-size-max values. pool-size-factor = 1.0 # Max number of threads to cap factor-based number to pool-size-max = 2 } } netty.udp = ${akka.remote.netty.tcp} netty.udp { transport-protocol = udp } netty.ssl = ${akka.remote.netty.tcp} netty.ssl = { # Enable SSL/TLS encryption. # This must be enabled on both the client and server to work. enable-ssl = true security { # This is the Java Key Store used by the server connection key-store = "keystore" # This password is used for decrypting the key store key-store-password = "changeme" # This password is used for decrypting the key key-password = "changeme" # This is the Java Key Store used by the client connection trust-store = "truststore" # This password is used for decrypting the trust store trust-store-password = "changeme" # Protocol to use for SSL encryption, choose from: # Java 6 & 7: # ’SSLv3’, ’TLSv1’ # Java 7: # ’TLSv1.1’, ’TLSv1.2’ protocol = "TLSv1" # Example: ["TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA", "TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA"] # You need to install the JCE Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction Policy # Files to use AES 256. # More info here: # http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/security/SunProviders.html#SunJCEProvider enabled-algorithms = ["TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA"] # There are three options, in increasing order of security: # "" or SecureRandom => (default) # "SHA1PRNG" => Can be slow because of blocking issues on Linux 5.3. Remoting 272 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # "AES128CounterSecureRNG" => fastest startup and based on AES encryption # algorithm # "AES256CounterSecureRNG" # The following use one of 3 possible seed sources, depending on # availability: /dev/random, random.org and SecureRandom (provided by Java) # "AES128CounterInetRNG" # "AES256CounterInetRNG" (Install JCE Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction # Policy Files first) # Setting a value here may require you to supply the appropriate cipher # suite (see enabled-algorithms section above) random-number-generator = "" } } ### Default configuration for the failure injector transport adapter gremlin { # Enable debug logging of the failure injector transport adapter debug = off } ### Default dispatcher for the remoting subsystem default-remote-dispatcher { type = Dispatcher executor = "fork-join-executor" fork-join-executor { # Min number of threads to cap factor-based parallelism number to parallelism-min = 2 parallelism-max = 2 } } } } Note: Setting properties like the listening IP and port number programmatically is best done by using something like the following: ConfigFactory.parseString("akka.remote.netty.tcp.hostname=\"1.2.3.4\"") .withFallback(ConfigFactory.load()); 5.4 Serialization Akka has a built-in Extension for serialization, and it is both possible to use the built-in serializers and to write your own. The serialization mechanism is both used by Akka internally to serialize messages, and available for ad-hoc serialization of whatever you might need it for. 5.4. Serialization 273 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.4.1 Usage Configuration For Akka to know which Serializer to use for what, you need edit your Config- uration, in the “akka.actor.serializers”-section you bind names to implementations of the akka.serialization.Serializer you wish to use, like this: akka{ actor{ serializers{ java= "akka.serialization.JavaSerializer" proto= "akka.remote.serialization.ProtobufSerializer" myown= "docs.serialization.MyOwnSerializer" } } } After you’ve bound names to different implementations of Serializer you need to wire which classes should be serialized using which Serializer, this is done in the “akka.actor.serialization-bindings”-section: akka{ actor{ serializers{ java= "akka.serialization.JavaSerializer" proto= "akka.remote.serialization.ProtobufSerializer" myown= "docs.serialization.MyOwnSerializer" } serialization-bindings{ "java.lang.String"= java "docs.serialization.Customer"= java "com.google.protobuf.Message"= proto "docs.serialization.MyOwnSerializable"= myown "java.lang.Boolean"= myown } } } You only need to specify the name of an interface or abstract base class of the messages. In case of ambigu- ity, i.e. the message implements several of the configured classes, the most specific configured class will be used, i.e. the one of which all other candidates are superclasses. If this condition cannot be met, because e.g. java.io.Serializable and MyOwnSerializable both apply and neither is a subtype of the other, a warning will be issued. Akka provides serializers for java.io.Serializable and protobuf com.google.protobuf.GeneratedMessage by default (the latter only if depending on the akka-remote module), so normally you don’t need to add configuration for that; since com.google.protobuf.GeneratedMessage implements java.io.Serializable, protobuf messages will always by serialized using the protobuf protocol unless specifically overridden. In order to disable a default serializer, map its marker type to “none”: akka.actor.serialization-bindings{ "java.io.Serializable"= none } Verification If you want to verify that your messages are serializable you can enable the following config option: 5.4. Serialization 274 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka{ actor{ serialize-messages= on } } Warning: We only recommend using the config option turned on when you’re running tests. It is completely pointless to have it turned on in other scenarios. If you want to verify that your Props are serializable you can enable the following config option: akka{ actor{ serialize-creators= on } } Warning: We only recommend using the config option turned on when you’re running tests. It is completely pointless to have it turned on in other scenarios. Programmatic If you want to programmatically serialize/deserialize using Akka Serialization, here’s some examples: import akka.actor.*; import akka.serialization.*; ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("example"); // Get the Serialization Extension Serialization serialization= SerializationExtension.get(system); // Have something to serialize String original= "woohoo"; // Find the Serializer for it Serializer serializer= serialization.findSerializerFor(original); // Turn it into bytes byte[] bytes= serializer.toBinary(original); // Turn it back into an object, // the nulls are for the class manifest and for the classloader String back=(String) serializer.fromBinary(bytes); // Voilá! assertEquals(original, back); For more information, have a look at the ScalaDoc for akka.serialization._ 5.4.2 Customization So, lets say that you want to create your own Serializer, you saw the docs.serialization.MyOwnSerializer in the config example above? 5.4. Serialization 275 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Creating new Serializers First you need to create a class definition of your Serializer, which is done by extending akka.serialization.JSerializer, like this: import akka.actor.*; import akka.serialization.*; public class MyOwnSerializer extends JSerializer{ // This is whether "fromBinary" requires a "clazz" or not @Override public boolean includeManifest(){ return false; } // Pick a unique identifier for your Serializer, // you’ve got a couple of billions to choose from, // 0 - 16 is reserved by Akka itself @Override public int identifier(){ return 1234567; } // "toBinary" serializes the given object to an Array of Bytes @Override public byte[] toBinary(Object obj){ // Put the code that serializes the object here // ... ... } // "fromBinary" deserializes the given array, // using the type hint (if any, see "includeManifest" above) @Override public Object fromBinaryJava(byte[] bytes, Class clazz){ // Put your code that deserializes here // ... ... } } Then you only need to fill in the blanks, bind it to a name in your Configuration and then list which classes that should be serialized using it. Serializing ActorRefs All ActorRefs are serializable using JavaSerializer, but in case you are writing your own serializer, you might want to know how to serialize and deserialize them properly. In the general case, the local address to be used depends on the type of remote address which shall be the recipient of the serialized information. Use Serialization.serializedActorPath(actorRef) like this: import akka.actor.*; import akka.serialization.*; // Serialize // (beneath toBinary) String identifier= Serialization.serializedActorPath(theActorRef); // Then just serialize the identifier however you like // Deserialize // (beneath fromBinary) final ActorRef deserializedActorRef= extendedSystem.provider().resolveActorRef( identifier); // Then just use the ActorRef 5.4. Serialization 276 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT This assumes that serialization happens in the context of sending a message through the remote transport. There are other uses of serialization, though, e.g. storing actor references outside of an actor application (database, etc.). In this case, it is important to keep in mind that the address part of an actor’s path determines how that actor is communicated with. Storing a local actor path might be the right choice if the retrieval happens in the same logical context, but it is not enough when deserializing it on a different network host: for that it would need to include the system’s remote transport address. An actor system is not limited to having just one remote transport per se, which makes this question a bit more interesting. To find out the appropriate address to use when sending to remoteAddr you can use ActorRefProvider.getExternalAddressFor(remoteAddr) like this: public class ExternalAddressExt implements Extension{ private final ExtendedActorSystem system; public ExternalAddressExt(ExtendedActorSystem system){ this.system= system; } public Address getAddressFor(Address remoteAddress){ final scala.Option
optAddr= system.provider() .getExternalAddressFor(remoteAddress); if(optAddr.isDefined()){ return optAddr.get(); } else{ throw new UnsupportedOperationException( "cannot send to remote address "+ remoteAddress); } } } public class ExternalAddress extends AbstractExtensionId implements ExtensionIdProvider{ public static final ExternalAddressID= new ExternalAddress(); public ExternalAddress lookup(){ returnID; } public ExternalAddressExt createExtension(ExtendedActorSystem system){ return new ExternalAddressExt(system); } } public class ExternalAddressExample{ public String serializeTo(ActorRef ref, Address remote){ return ref.path().toSerializationFormatWithAddress( ExternalAddress.ID.get(system).getAddressFor(remote)); } } Note: ActorPath.toSerializationFormatWithAddress differs from toString if the address does not already have host and port components, i.e. it only inserts address information for local addresses. toSerializationFormatWithAddress also adds the unique id of the actor, which will change when the actor is stopped and then created again with the same name. Sending messages to a reference pointing the old actor will not be delivered to the new actor. If you do not want this behavior, e.g. in case of long term storage of the reference, you can use toStringWithAddress, which does not include the unique id. This requires that you know at least which type of address will be supported by the system which will deserialize the resulting actor reference; if you have no concrete address handy you can create a dummy one for the right pro- tocol using new Address(protocol, "", "", 0) (assuming that the actual transport used is as lenient as Akka’s RemoteActorRefProvider). There is also a default remote address which is the one used by cluster support (and typical systems have just this 5.4. Serialization 277 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT one); you can get it like this: public class DefaultAddressExt implements Extension{ private final ExtendedActorSystem system; public DefaultAddressExt(ExtendedActorSystem system){ this.system= system; } public Address getAddress(){ return system.provider().getDefaultAddress(); } } public class DefaultAddress extends AbstractExtensionId implements ExtensionIdProvider{ public static final DefaultAddressID= new DefaultAddress(); public DefaultAddress lookup(){ returnID; } public DefaultAddressExt createExtension(ExtendedActorSystem system){ return new DefaultAddressExt(system); } } Deep serialization of Actors The recommended approach to do deep serialization of internal actor state is to use Akka Persistence. 5.4.3 A Word About Java Serialization When using Java serialization without employing the JavaSerializer for the task, you must make sure to supply a valid ExtendedActorSystem in the dynamic variable JavaSerializer.currentSystem. This is used when reading in the representation of an ActorRef for turning the string representation into a real reference. DynamicVariable is a thread-local variable, so be sure to have it set while deserializing anything which might contain actor references. 5.4.4 External Akka Serializers Akka-protostuff by Roman Levenstein Akka-quickser by Roman Levenstein Akka-kryo by Roman Levenstein 5.5 I/O 5.5.1 Introduction The akka.io package has been developed in collaboration between the Akka and spray.io teams. Its design combines experiences from the spray-io module with improvements that were jointly developed for more general consumption as an actor-based service. 5.5. I/O 278 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The guiding design goal for this I/O implementation was to reach extreme scalability, make no compromises in providing an API correctly matching the underlying transport mechanism and to be fully event-driven, non- blocking and asynchronous. The API is meant to be a solid foundation for the implementation of network protocols and building higher abstractions; it is not meant to be a full-service high-level NIO wrapper for end users. 5.5.2 Terminology, Concepts The I/O API is completely actor based, meaning that all operations are implemented with message passing instead of direct method calls. Every I/O driver (TCP, UDP) has a special actor, called a manager that serves as an entry point for the API. I/O is broken into several drivers. The manager for a particular driver is accessible by querying an ActorSystem. For example the following code looks up the TCP manager and returns its ActorRef: final ActorRef tcpManager= Tcp.get(getContext().system()).manager(); The manager receives I/O command messages and instantiates worker actors in response. The worker actors present themselves to the API user in the reply to the command that was sent. For example after a Connect command sent to the TCP manager the manager creates an actor representing the TCP connection. All operations related to the given TCP connections can be invoked by sending messages to the connection actor which announces itself by sending a Connected message. DeathWatch and Resource Management I/O worker actors receive commands and also send out events. They usually need a user-side counterpart actor listening for these events (such events could be inbound connections, incoming bytes or acknowledgements for writes). These worker actors watch their listener counterparts. If the listener stops then the worker will automati- cally release any resources that it holds. This design makes the API more robust against resource leaks. Thanks to the completely actor based approach of the I/O API the opposite direction works as well: a user actor responsible for handling a connection can watch the connection actor to be notified if it unexpectedly terminates. Write models (Ack, Nack) I/O devices have a maximum throughput which limits the frequency and size of writes. When an application tries to push more data than a device can handle, the driver has to buffer bytes until the device is able to write them. With buffering it is possible to handle short bursts of intensive writes — but no buffer is infinite. “Flow control” is needed to avoid overwhelming device buffers. Akka supports two types of flow control: • Ack-based, where the driver notifies the writer when writes have succeeded. • Nack-based, where the driver notifies the writer when writes have failed. Each of these models is available in both the TCP and the UDP implementations of Akka I/O. Individual writes can be acknowledged by providing an ack object in the write message (Write in the case of TCP and Send for UDP). When the write is complete the worker will send the ack object to the writing actor. This can be used to implement ack-based flow control; sending new data only when old data has been acknowledged. If a write (or any other command) fails, the driver notifies the actor that sent the command with a special message (CommandFailed in the case of UDP and TCP). This message will also notify the writer of a failed write, serving as a nack for that write. Please note, that in a nack-based flow-control setting the writer has to be prepared for the fact that the failed write might not be the most recent write it sent. For example, the failure notification for a write W1 might arrive after additional write commands W2 and W3 have been sent. If the writer wants to resend any nacked messages it may need to keep a buffer of pending messages. 5.5. I/O 279 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Warning: An acknowledged write does not mean acknowledged delivery or storage; receiving an ack for a write simply signals that the I/O driver has successfully processed the write. The Ack/Nack protocol described here is a means of flow control not error handling. In other words, data may still be lost, even if every write is acknowledged. ByteString To maintain isolation, actors should communicate with immutable objects only. ByteString is an immutable container for bytes. It is used by Akka’s I/O system as an efficient, immutable alternative the traditional byte containers used for I/O on the JVM, such as byte[] and ByteBuffer. ByteString is a rope-like data structure that is immutable and provides fast concatenation and slicing op- erations (perfect for I/O). When two ByteStrings are concatenated together they are both stored within the resulting ByteString instead of copying both to a new array. Operations such as drop and take return ByteStrings that still reference the original array, but just change the offset and length that is visible. Great care has also been taken to make sure that the internal array cannot be modified. Whenever a potentially unsafe array is used to create a new ByteString a defensive copy is created. If you require a ByteString that only blocks a much memory as necessary for it’s content, use the compact method to get a CompactByteString instance. If the ByteString represented only a slice of the original array, this will result in copying all bytes in that slice. ByteString inherits all methods from IndexedSeq, and it also has some new ones. For more information, look up the akka.util.ByteString class and it’s companion object in the ScalaDoc. ByteString also comes with its own optimized builder and iterator classes ByteStringBuilder and ByteIterator which provide extra features in addition to those of normal builders and iterators. Compatibility with java.io A ByteStringBuilder can be wrapped in a java.io.OutputStream via the asOutputStream method. Likewise, ByteIterator can we wrapped in a java.io.InputStream via asInputStream. Using these, akka.io applications can integrate legacy code based on java.io streams. 5.5.3 Architecture in-depth For further details on the design and internal architecture see I/O Layer Design. 5.6 Using TCP The code snippets through-out this section assume the following imports: import java.net.InetSocketAddress; import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.io.Tcp; import akka.io.Tcp.Bound; import akka.io.Tcp.CommandFailed; import akka.io.Tcp.Connected; import akka.io.Tcp.ConnectionClosed; import akka.io.Tcp.Received; import akka.io.TcpMessage; import akka.japi.Procedure; import akka.util.ByteString; 5.6. Using TCP 280 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT All of the Akka I/O APIs are accessed through manager objects. When using an I/O API, the first step is to acquire a reference to the appropriate manager. The code below shows how to acquire a reference to the Tcp manager. final ActorRef tcpManager= Tcp.get(getContext().system()).manager(); The manager is an actor that handles the underlying low level I/O resources (selectors, channels) and instantiates workers for specific tasks, such as listening to incoming connections. 5.6.1 Connecting public class Client extends UntypedActor{ final InetSocketAddress remote; final ActorRef listener; public Client(InetSocketAddress remote, ActorRef listener){ this.remote= remote; this.listener= listener; final ActorRef tcp= Tcp.get(getContext().system()).manager(); tcp.tell(TcpMessage.connect(remote), getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof CommandFailed){ listener.tell("failed", getSelf()); getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof Connected){ listener.tell(msg, getSelf()); getSender().tell(TcpMessage.register(getSelf()), getSelf()); getContext().become(connected(getSender())); } } private Procedure connected(final ActorRef connection){ return new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof ByteString){ connection.tell(TcpMessage.write((ByteString) msg), getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof CommandFailed){ // OS kernel socket buffer was full } else if(msg instanceof Received){ listener.tell(((Received) msg).data(), getSelf()); } else if(msg.equals("close")){ connection.tell(TcpMessage.close(), getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof ConnectionClosed){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } } }; } } 5.6. Using TCP 281 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The first step of connecting to a remote address is sending a Connect message to the TCP manager; in addition to the simplest form shown above there is also the possibility to specify a local InetSocketAddress to bind to and a list of socket options to apply. Note: The SO_NODELAY (TCP_NODELAY on Windows) socket option defaults to true in Akka, indepen- dently of the OS default settings. This setting disables Nagle’s algorithm, considerably improving latency for most applications. This setting could be overridden by passing SO.TcpNoDelay(false) in the list of socket options of the Connect message. The TCP manager will then reply either with a CommandFailed or it will spawn an internal actor representing the new connection. This new actor will then send a Connected message to the original sender of the Connect message. In order to activate the new connection a Register message must be sent to the connection actor, informing that one about who shall receive data from the socket. Before this step is done the connection cannot be used, and there is an internal timeout after which the connection actor will shut itself down if no Register message is received. The connection actor watches the registered handler and closes the connection when that one terminates, thereby cleaning up all internal resources associated with that connection. The actor in the example above uses become to switch from unconnected to connected operation, demonstrating the commands and events which are observed in that state. For a discussion on CommandFailed see Throttling Reads and Writes below. ConnectionClosed is a trait, which marks the different connection close events. The last line handles all connection close events in the same way. It is possible to listen for more fine-grained connection close events, see Closing Connections below. 5.6.2 Accepting connections public class Server extends UntypedActor{ final ActorRef manager; public Server(ActorRef manager){ this.manager= manager; } @Override public void preStart() throws Exception{ final ActorRef tcp= Tcp.get(getContext().system()).manager(); tcp.tell(TcpMessage.bind(getSelf(), new InetSocketAddress("localhost",0), 100), getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof Bound){ manager.tell(msg, getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof CommandFailed){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof Connected){ final Connected conn=(Connected) msg; manager.tell(conn, getSelf()); final ActorRef handler= getContext().actorOf( Props.create(SimplisticHandler.class)); getSender().tell(TcpMessage.register(handler), getSelf()); } } 5.6. Using TCP 282 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } To create a TCP server and listen for inbound connections, a Bind command has to be sent to the TCP manager. This will instruct the TCP manager to listen for TCP connections on a particular InetSocketAddress; the port may be specified as 0 in order to bind to a random port. The actor sending the Bind message will receive a Bound message signalling that the server is ready to accept incoming connections; this message also contains the InetSocketAddress to which the socket was actually bound (i.e. resolved IP address and correct port number). From this point forward the process of handling connections is the same as for outgoing connections. The example demonstrates that handling the reads from a certain connection can be delegated to another actor by naming it as the handler when sending the Register message. Writes can be sent from any actor in the system to the connection actor (i.e. the actor which sent the Connected message). The simplistic handler is defined as: public class SimplisticHandler extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void onReceive(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof Received){ final ByteString data=((Received) msg).data(); System.out.println(data); getSender().tell(TcpMessage.write(data), getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof ConnectionClosed){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } } } For a more complete sample which also takes into account the possibility of failures when sending please see Throttling Reads and Writes below. The only difference to outgoing connections is that the internal actor managing the listen port—the sender of the Bound message—watches the actor which was named as the recipient for Connected messages in the Bind message. When that actor terminates the listen port will be closed and all resources associated with it will be released; existing connections will not be terminated at this point. 5.6.3 Closing connections A connection can be closed by sending one of the commands Close, ConfirmedClose or Abort to the connection actor. Close will close the connection by sending a FIN message, but without waiting for confirmation from the remote endpoint. Pending writes will be flushed. If the close is successful, the listener will be notified with Closed. ConfirmedClose will close the sending direction of the connection by sending a FIN message, but data will continue to be received until the remote endpoint closes the connection, too. Pending writes will be flushed. If the close is successful, the listener will be notified with ConfirmedClosed. Abort will immediately terminate the connection by sending a RST message to the remote endpoint. Pending writes will be not flushed. If the close is successful, the listener will be notified with Aborted. PeerClosed will be sent to the listener if the connection has been closed by the remote endpoint. Per default, the connection will then automatically be closed from this endpoint as well. To support half-closed connections set the keepOpenOnPeerClosed member of the Register message to true in which case the connection stays open until it receives one of the above close commands. ErrorClosed will be sent to the listener whenever an error happened that forced the connection to be closed. All close notifications are sub-types of ConnectionClosed so listeners who do not need fine-grained close events may handle all close events in the same way. 5.6. Using TCP 283 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.6.4 Writing to a connection Once a connection has been established data can be sent to it from any actor in the form of a Tcp.WriteCommand. Tcp.WriteCommand is an abstract class with three concrete implementations: Tcp.Write The simplest WriteCommand implementation which wraps a ByteString instance and an “ack” event. A ByteString (as explained in this section) models one or more chunks of immutable in-memory data with a maximum (total) size of 2 GB (2^31 bytes). Tcp.WriteFile If you want to send “raw” data from a file you can do so efficiently with the Tcp.WriteFile command. This allows you do designate a (contiguous) chunk of on-disk bytes for sending across the connection without the need to first load them into the JVM memory. As such Tcp.WriteFile can “hold” more than 2GB of data and an “ack” event if required. Tcp.CompoundWrite Sometimes you might want to group (or interleave) several Tcp.Write and/or Tcp.WriteFile commands into one atomic write command which gets written to the connection in one go. The Tcp.CompoundWrite allows you to do just that and offers three benefits: 1. As explained in the following section the TCP connection actor can only handle one single write command at a time. By combining several writes into one CompoundWrite you can have them be sent across the connection with minimum overhead and without the need to spoon feed them to the connection actor via an ACK-based message protocol. 2. Because a WriteCommand is atomic you can be sure that no other actor can “inject” other writes into your series of writes if you combine them into one single CompoundWrite. In scenarios where several actors write to the same connection this can be an important feature which can be somewhat hard to achieve otherwise. 3. The “sub writes” of a CompoundWrite are regular Write or WriteFile commands that them- selves can request “ack” events. These ACKs are sent out as soon as the respective “sub write” has been completed. This allows you to attach more than one ACK to a Write or WriteFile (by com- bining it with an empty write that itself requests an ACK) or to have the connection actor acknowledge the progress of transmitting the CompoundWrite by sending out intermediate ACKs at arbitrary points. 5.6.5 Throttling Reads and Writes The basic model of the TCP connection actor is that it has no internal buffering (i.e. it can only process one write at a time, meaning it can buffer one write until it has been passed on to the O/S kernel in full). Congestion needs to be handled at the user level, for both writes and reads. For back-pressuring writes there are three modes of operation • ACK-based: every Write command carries an arbitrary object, and if this object is not Tcp.NoAck then it will be returned to the sender of the Write upon successfully writing all contained data to the socket. If no other write is initiated before having received this acknowledgement then no failures can happen due to buffer overrun. • NACK-based: every write which arrives while a previous write is not yet completed will be replied to with a CommandFailed message containing the failed write. Just relying on this mechanism requires the implemented protocol to tolerate skipping writes (e.g. if each write is a valid message on its own and it is not required that all are delivered). This mode is enabled by setting the useResumeWriting flag to false within the Register message during connection activation. • NACK-based with write suspending: this mode is very similar to the NACK-based one, but once a single write has failed no further writes will succeed until a ResumeWriting message is received. This message will be answered with a WritingResumed message once the last accepted write has completed. If the actor driving the connection implements buffering and resends the NACK’ed messages after having awaited the WritingResumed signal then every message is delivered exactly once to the network socket. These write models (with the exception of the second which is rather specialised) are demonstrated in complete examples below. The full and contiguous source is available on github. 5.6. Using TCP 284 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT For back-pressuring reads there are two modes of operation • Push-reading: in this mode the connection actor sends the registered reader actor incoming data as soon as available as Received events. Whenever the reader actor wants to signal back-pressure to the remote TCP endpoint it can send a SuspendReading message to the connection actor to indicate that it wants to sus- pend the reception of new data. No Received events will arrive until a corresponding ResumeReading is sent indicating that the receiver actor is ready again. • Pull-reading: after sending a Received event the connection actor automatically suspends accepting data from the socket until the reader actor signals with a ResumeReading message that it is ready to process more input data. Hence new data is “pulled” from the connection by sending ResumeReading messages. Note: It should be obvious that all these flow control schemes only work between one writer/reader and one connection actor; as soon as multiple actors send write commands to a single connection no consistent result can be achieved. 5.6.6 ACK-Based Write Back-Pressure For proper function of the following example it is important to configure the connection to remain half-open when the remote side closed its writing end: this allows the example EchoHandler to write all outstanding data back to the client before fully closing the connection. This is enabled using a flag upon connection activation (observe the Register message): connection.tell(TcpMessage.register(handler, true, // <-- keepOpenOnPeerClosed flag true), getSelf()); With this preparation let us dive into the handler itself: public class SimpleEchoHandler extends UntypedActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging .getLogger(getContext().system(), getSelf()); final ActorRef connection; final InetSocketAddress remote; public static final long maxStored= 100000000; public static final long highWatermark= maxStored * 5/ 10; public static final long lowWatermark= maxStored * 2/ 10; public SimpleEchoHandler(ActorRef connection, InetSocketAddress remote){ this.connection= connection; this.remote= remote; // sign death pact: this actor stops when the connection is closed getContext().watch(connection); } @Override public void onReceive(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof Received){ final ByteString data=((Received) msg).data(); buffer(data); connection.tell(TcpMessage.write(data, ACK), getSelf()); // now switch behavior to “waiting for acknowledgement” getContext().become(buffering, false); } else if(msg instanceof ConnectionClosed){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } 5.6. Using TCP 285 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } private final Procedure buffering= new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof Received){ buffer(((Received) msg).data()); } else if(msg == ACK){ acknowledge(); } else if(msg instanceof ConnectionClosed){ if(((ConnectionClosed) msg).isPeerClosed()){ closing= true; } else{ // could also be ErrorClosed, in which case we just give up getContext().stop(getSelf()); } } } }; // storage omitted ... } The principle is simple: when having written a chunk always wait for the Ack to come back before sending the next chunk. While waiting we switch behavior such that new incoming data are buffered. The helper functions used are a bit lengthy but not complicated: protected void buffer(ByteString data){ storage.add(data); stored += data.size(); if(stored> maxStored){ log.warning("drop connection to [{}] (buffer overrun)", remote); getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else if(stored> highWatermark){ log.debug("suspending reading"); connection.tell(TcpMessage.suspendReading(), getSelf()); suspended= true; } } protected void acknowledge(){ final ByteString acked= storage.remove(); stored -= acked.size(); transferred += acked.size(); if(suspended&& stored< lowWatermark){ log.debug("resuming reading"); connection.tell(TcpMessage.resumeReading(), getSelf()); suspended= false; } if(storage.isEmpty()){ if(closing){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else{ getContext().unbecome(); } } else{ connection.tell(TcpMessage.write(storage.peek(), ACK), getSelf()); 5.6. Using TCP 286 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } The most interesting part is probably the last: an Ack removes the oldest data chunk from the buffer, and if that was the last chunk then we either close the connection (if the peer closed its half already) or return to the idle behavior; otherwise we just send the next buffered chunk and stay waiting for the next Ack. Back-pressure can be propagated also across the reading side back to the writer on the other end of the connection by sending the SuspendReading command to the connection actor. This will lead to no data being read from the socket anymore (although this does happen after a delay because it takes some time until the connection actor processes this command, hence appropriate head-room in the buffer should be present), which in turn will lead to the O/S kernel buffer filling up on our end, then the TCP window mechanism will stop the remote side from writing, filling up its write buffer, until finally the writer on the other side cannot push any data into the socket anymore. This is how end-to-end back-pressure is realized across a TCP connection. 5.6.7 NACK-Based Write Back-Pressure with Suspending public class EchoHandler extends UntypedActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging .getLogger(getContext().system(), getSelf()); final ActorRef connection; final InetSocketAddress remote; public static final long MAX_STORED= 100000000; public static final long HIGH_WATERMARK= MAX_STORED * 5/ 10; public static final long LOW_WATERMARK= MAX_STORED * 2/ 10; private static class Ack implements Event{ public final int ack; public Ack(int ack){ this.ack= ack; } } public EchoHandler(ActorRef connection, InetSocketAddress remote){ this.connection= connection; this.remote= remote; // sign death pact: this actor stops when the connection is closed getContext().watch(connection); // start out in optimistic write-through mode getContext().become(writing); } private final Procedure writing= new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof Received){ final ByteString data=((Received) msg).data(); connection.tell(TcpMessage.write(data, new Ack(currentOffset())), getSelf()); buffer(data); } else if(msg instanceof Integer){ acknowledge((Integer) msg); } else if(msg instanceof CommandFailed){ final Writew=(Write)((CommandFailed) msg).cmd(); connection.tell(TcpMessage.resumeWriting(), getSelf()); 5.6. Using TCP 287 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT getContext().become(buffering((Ack)w.ack())); } else if(msg instanceof ConnectionClosed){ final ConnectionClosed cl=(ConnectionClosed) msg; if(cl.isPeerClosed()){ if(storage.isEmpty()){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else{ getContext().become(closing); } } } } }; // buffering ... // closing ... // storage omitted ... } The principle here is to keep writing until a CommandFailed is received, using acknowledgements only to prune the resend buffer. When a such a failure was received, transition into a different state for handling and handle resending of all queued data: protected Procedure buffering(final Ack nack){ return new Procedure(){ private int toAck= 10; private boolean peerClosed= false; @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof Received){ buffer(((Received) msg).data()); } else if(msg instanceof WritingResumed){ writeFirst(); } else if(msg instanceof ConnectionClosed){ if(((ConnectionClosed) msg).isPeerClosed()) peerClosed= true; else getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof Integer){ final int ack=(Integer) msg; acknowledge(ack); if(ack >= nack.ack){ // otherwise it was the ack of the last successful write if(storage.isEmpty()){ if(peerClosed) getContext().stop(getSelf()); else getContext().become(writing); } else{ if(toAck>0){ // stay in ACK-based mode for a short while writeFirst(); 5.6. Using TCP 288 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT --toAck; } else{ // then return to NACK-based again writeAll(); if(peerClosed) getContext().become(closing); else getContext().become(writing); } } } } } }; } It should be noted that all writes which are currently buffered have also been sent to the connection actor upon entering this state, which means that the ResumeWriting message is enqueued after those writes, leading to the reception of all outstanding CommandFailed messages (which are ignored in this state) before receiving the WritingResumed signal. That latter message is sent by the connection actor only once the internally queued write has been fully completed, meaning that a subsequent write will not fail. This is exploited by the EchoHandler to switch to an ACK-based approach for the first ten writes after a failure before resuming the optimistic write-through behavior. protected Procedure closing= new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof CommandFailed){ // the command can only have been a Write connection.tell(TcpMessage.resumeWriting(), getSelf()); getContext().become(closeResend, false); } else if(msg instanceof Integer){ acknowledge((Integer) msg); if(storage.isEmpty()) getContext().stop(getSelf()); } } }; protected Procedure closeResend= new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof WritingResumed){ writeAll(); getContext().unbecome(); } else if(msg instanceof Integer){ acknowledge((Integer) msg); } } }; Closing the connection while still sending all data is a bit more involved than in the ACK-based approach: the idea is to always send all outstanding messages and acknowledge all successful writes, and if a failure happens then switch behavior to await the WritingResumed event and start over. The helper functions are very similar to the ACK-based case: protected void buffer(ByteString data){ storage.add(data); stored += data.size(); if(stored> MAX_STORED){ log.warning("drop connection to [{}] (buffer overrun)", remote); 5.6. Using TCP 289 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else if(stored> HIGH_WATERMARK){ log.debug("suspending reading at {}", currentOffset()); connection.tell(TcpMessage.suspendReading(), getSelf()); suspended= true; } } protected void acknowledge(int ack){ assert ack == storageOffset; assert!storage.isEmpty(); final ByteString acked= storage.remove(); stored -= acked.size(); transferred += acked.size(); storageOffset +=1; if(suspended&& stored< LOW_WATERMARK){ log.debug("resuming reading"); connection.tell(TcpMessage.resumeReading(), getSelf()); suspended= false; } } 5.6.8 Read Back-Pressure with Pull Mode When using push based reading, data coming from the socket is sent to the actor as soon as it is available. In the case of the previous Echo server example this meant that we needed to maintain a buffer of incoming data to keep it around since the rate of writing might be slower than the rate of the arrival of new data. With the Pull mode this buffer can be completely eliminated as the following snippet demonstrates: @Override public void preStart() throws Exception{ connection.tell(TcpMessage.resumeReading(), getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof Tcp.Received){ ByteString data=((Tcp.Received) message).data(); connection.tell(TcpMessage.write(data, new Ack()), getSelf()); } else if(message instanceof Ack){ connection.tell(TcpMessage.resumeReading(), getSelf()); } } The idea here is that reading is not resumed until the previous write has been completely acknowledged by the connection actor. Every pull mode connection actor starts from suspended state. To start the flow of data we send a ResumeReading in the preStart method to tell the connection actor that we are ready to receive the first chunk of data. Since we only resume reading when the previous data chunk has been completely written there is no need for maintaining a buffer. To enable pull reading on an outbound connection the pullMode parameter of the Connect should be set to true: final List options= new ArrayList(); tcp.tell( TcpMessage.connect(new InetSocketAddress("localhost", 3000), null, options, null, true), getSelf() ); 5.6. Using TCP 290 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Pull Mode Reading for Inbound Connections The previous section demonstrated how to enable pull reading mode for outbound connections but it is possible to create a listener actor with this mode of reading by setting the pullMode parameter of the Bind command to true: tcp= Tcp.get(getContext().system()).manager(); final List options= new ArrayList(); tcp.tell( TcpMessage.bind(getSelf(), new InetSocketAddress("localhost",0), 100, options, true), getSelf() ); One of the effects of this setting is that all connections accepted by this listener actor will use pull mode reading. Another effect of this setting is that in addition of setting all inbound connections to pull mode, accepting connec- tions becomes pull based, too. This means that after handling one (or more) Connected events the listener actor has to be resumed by sending it a ResumeAccepting message. Listener actors with pull mode start suspended so to start accepting connections a ResumeAccepting command has to be sent to the listener actor after binding was successful: public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof Tcp.Bound){ listener= getSender(); // Accept connections one by one listener.tell(TcpMessage.resumeAccepting(1), getSelf()); } else if(message instanceof Tcp.Connected){ ActorRef handler= getContext().actorOf(Props.create(PullEcho.class, getSender())); getSender().tell(TcpMessage.register(handler), getSelf()); // Resume accepting connections listener.tell(TcpMessage.resumeAccepting(1), getSelf()); } } As shown in the example after handling an incoming connection we need to resume accepting again. The ResumeAccepting message accepts a batchSize parameter that specifies how many new connections are accepted before a next ResumeAccepting message is needed to resume handling of new connections. 5.7 Using UDP UDP is a connectionless datagram protocol which offers two different ways of communication on the JDK level: • sockets which are free to send datagrams to any destination and receive datagrams from any origin • sockets which are restricted to communication with one specific remote socket address In the low-level API the distinction is made—confusingly—by whether or not connect has been called on the socket (even when connect has been called the protocol is still connectionless). These two forms of UDP usage are offered using distinct IO extensions described below. 5.7.1 Unconnected UDP Simple Send public static class SimpleSender extends UntypedActor{ final InetSocketAddress remote; public SimpleSender(InetSocketAddress remote){ this.remote= remote; 5.7. Using UDP 291 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT // request creation of a SimpleSender final ActorRef mgr= Udp.get(getContext().system()).getManager(); mgr.tell(UdpMessage.simpleSender(), getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof Udp.SimpleSenderReady){ getContext().become(ready(getSender())); } else unhandled(msg); } private Procedure ready(final ActorRef send){ return new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof String){ final String str=(String) msg; send.tell(UdpMessage.send(ByteString.fromString(str), remote), getSelf()); } else unhandled(msg); } }; } } The simplest form of UDP usage is to just send datagrams without the need of getting a reply. To this end a “simple sender” facility is provided as demonstrated above. The UDP extension is queried using the simpleSender message, which is answered by a SimpleSenderReady notification. The sender of this message is the newly created sender actor which from this point onward can be used to send datagrams to arbitrary destinations; in this example it will just send any UTF-8 encoded String it receives to a predefined remote address. Note: The simple sender will not shut itself down because it cannot know when you are done with it. You will need to send it a PoisonPill when you want to close the ephemeral port the sender is bound to. Bind (and Send) public static class Listener extends UntypedActor{ final ActorRef nextActor; public Listener(ActorRef nextActor){ this.nextActor= nextActor; // request creation of a bound listen socket final ActorRef mgr= Udp.get(getContext().system()).getManager(); mgr.tell( UdpMessage.bind(getSelf(), new InetSocketAddress("localhost",0)), getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof Udp.Bound){ final Udp.Boundb=(Udp.Bound) msg; getContext().become(ready(getSender())); } else unhandled(msg); } private Procedure ready(final ActorRef socket){ return new Procedure(){ 5.7. Using UDP 292 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ if(msg instanceof Udp.Received){ final Udp.Receivedr=(Udp.Received) msg; // echo server example: send back the data socket.tell(UdpMessage.send(r.data(),r.sender()), getSelf()); // or do some processing and forward it on final Object processed= // parse data etc., e.g. using PipelineStage nextActor.tell(processed, getSelf()); } else if(msg.equals(UdpMessage.unbind())){ socket.tell(msg, getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof Udp.Unbound){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else unhandled(msg); } }; } } If you want to implement a UDP server which listens on a socket for incoming datagrams then you need to use the bind command as shown above. The local address specified may have a zero port in which case the operating system will automatically choose a free port and assign it to the new socket. Which port was actually bound can be found out by inspecting the Bound message. The sender of the Bound message is the actor which manages the new socket. Sending datagrams is achieved by using the send message type and the socket can be closed by sending a unbind command, in which case the socket actor will reply with a Unbound notification. Received datagrams are sent to the actor designated in the bind message, whereas the Bound message will be sent to the sender of the bind. 5.7.2 Connected UDP The service provided by the connection based UDP API is similar to the bind-and-send service we saw earlier, but the main difference is that a connection is only able to send to the remoteAddress it was connected to, and will receive datagrams only from that address. public static class Connected extends UntypedActor{ final InetSocketAddress remote; public Connected(InetSocketAddress remote){ this.remote= remote; // create a restricted a.k.a. “connected” socket final ActorRef mgr= UdpConnected.get(getContext().system()).getManager(); mgr.tell(UdpConnectedMessage.connect(getSelf(), remote), getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof UdpConnected.Connected){ getContext().become(ready(getSender())); } else unhandled(msg); } private Procedure ready(final ActorRef connection){ return new Procedure(){ @Override public void apply(Object msg) throws Exception{ 5.7. Using UDP 293 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT if(msg instanceof UdpConnected.Received){ final UdpConnected.Receivedr=(UdpConnected.Received) msg; // process data, send it on, etc. // #connected if(r.data().utf8String().equals("hello")){ connection.tell( UdpConnectedMessage.send(ByteString.fromString("world")), getSelf()); } // #connected } else if(msg instanceof String){ final String str=(String) msg; connection .tell(UdpConnectedMessage.send(ByteString.fromString(str)), getSelf()); } else if(msg.equals(UdpConnectedMessage.disconnect())){ connection.tell(msg, getSelf()); } else if(msg instanceof UdpConnected.Disconnected){ getContext().stop(getSelf()); } else unhandled(msg); } }; } } Consequently the example shown here looks quite similar to the previous one, the biggest difference is the absence of remote address information in send and Received messages. Note: There is a small performance benefit in using connection based UDP API over the connectionless one. If there is a SecurityManager enabled on the system, every connectionless message send has to go through a security check, while in the case of connection-based UDP the security check is cached after connect, thus writes do not suffer an additional performance penalty. 5.8 ZeroMQ Akka provides a ZeroMQ module which abstracts a ZeroMQ connection and therefore allows interaction between Akka actors to take place over ZeroMQ connections. The messages can be of a proprietary format or they can be defined using Protobuf. The socket actor is fault-tolerant by default and when you use the newSocket method to create new sockets it will properly reinitialize the socket. ZeroMQ is very opinionated when it comes to multi-threading so configuration option akka.zeromq.socket- dispatcher always needs to be configured to a PinnedDispatcher, because the actual ZeroMQ socket can only be accessed by the thread that created it. The ZeroMQ module for Akka is written against an API introduced in JZMQ, which uses JNI to interact with the native ZeroMQ library. Instead of using JZMQ, the module uses ZeroMQ binding for Scala that uses the native ZeroMQ library through JNA. In other words, the only native library that this module requires is the native ZeroMQ library. The benefit of the scala library is that you don’t need to compile and manage native dependencies at the cost of some runtime performance. The scala-bindings are compatible with the JNI bindings so they are a drop-in replacement, in case you really need to get that extra bit of performance out. Note: The currently used version of zeromq-scala-bindings is only compatible with zeromq 2; zeromq 3 is not supported. 5.8. ZeroMQ 294 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.8.1 Connection ZeroMQ supports multiple connectivity patterns, each aimed to meet a different set of requirements. Cur- rently, this module supports publisher-subscriber connections and connections based on dealers and routers. For connecting or accepting connections, a socket must be created. Sockets are always created using the akka.zeromq.ZeroMQExtension, for example: import akka.zeromq.Bind; import akka.zeromq.ZeroMQExtension; ActorRef pubSocket= ZeroMQExtension.get(system).newPubSocket( new Bind("tcp://127.0.0.1:1233")); Above examples will create a ZeroMQ Publisher socket that is Bound to the port 21231 on localhost. Similarly you can create a subscription socket, with a listener, that subscribes to all messages from the publisher using: import akka.zeromq.Connect; import akka.zeromq.Listener; import akka.zeromq.Subscribe; ActorRef listener= system.actorOf(Props.create(ListenerActor.class)); ActorRef subSocket= ZeroMQExtension.get(system).newSubSocket( new Connect("tcp://127.0.0.1:1233"), new Listener(listener), Subscribe.all()); public class ListenerActor extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ //... } } The following sub-sections describe the supported connection patterns and how they can be used in an Akka environment. However, for a comprehensive discussion of connection patterns, please refer to ZeroMQ – The Guide. Publisher-Subscriber Connection In a publisher-subscriber (pub-sub) connection, the publisher accepts one or more subscribers. Each subscriber shall subscribe to one or more topics, whereas the publisher publishes messages to a set of topics. Also, a sub- scriber can subscribe to all available topics. In an Akka environment, pub-sub connections shall be used when an actor sends messages to one or more actors that do not interact with the actor that sent the message. When you’re using zeromq pub/sub you should be aware that it needs multicast - check your cloud - to work properly and that the filtering of events for topics happens client side, so all events are always broadcasted to every subscriber. An actor is subscribed to a topic as follows: ActorRef subTopicSocket= ZeroMQExtension.get(system).newSubSocket( new Connect("tcp://127.0.0.1:1233"), new Listener(listener), new Subscribe("foo.bar")); It is a prefix match so it is subscribed to all topics starting with foo.bar. Note that if the given string is empty or Subscribe.all() is used, the actor is subscribed to all topics. To unsubscribe from a topic you do the following: import akka.zeromq.Unsubscribe; subTopicSocket.tell(new Unsubscribe("foo.bar"), ActorRef.noSender()); 5.8. ZeroMQ 295 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT To publish messages to a topic you must use two Frames with the topic in the first frame. import akka.util.ByteString; import akka.zeromq.ZMQMessage; pubSocket.tell(ZMQMessage.withFrames(ByteString.fromString("foo.bar"), ByteString.fromArray(payload)), ActorRef.noSender()); Pub-Sub in Action The following example illustrates one publisher with two subscribers. The publisher monitors current heap usage and system load and periodically publishes Heap events on the "health.heap" topic and Load events on the "health.load" topic. import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import org.junit.*; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.serialization.SerializationExtension; import akka.serialization.Serialization; import java.io.Serializable; import java.lang.management.ManagementFactory; public final Object TICK= "TICK"; public class Heap implements Serializable{ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; public final long timestamp; public final long used; public final long max; public Heap(long timestamp, long used, long max){ this.timestamp= timestamp; this.used= used; this.max= max; } } public class Load implements Serializable{ private static final long serialVersionUID= 1L; public final long timestamp; public final double loadAverage; public Load(long timestamp, double loadAverage){ this.timestamp= timestamp; this.loadAverage= loadAverage; } } public class HealthProbe extends UntypedActor{ ActorRef pubSocket= ZeroMQExtension.get(getContext().system()).newPubSocket( new Bind("tcp://127.0.0.1:1237")); MemoryMXBean memory= ManagementFactory.getMemoryMXBean(); OperatingSystemMXBean os= ManagementFactory.getOperatingSystemMXBean(); Serialization ser= SerializationExtension.get(getContext().system()); @Override 5.8. ZeroMQ 296 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public void preStart(){ getContext().system().scheduler() .schedule(Duration.create(1, "second"), Duration.create(1, "second"), getSelf(), TICK, getContext().dispatcher(), ActorRef.noSender()); } @Override public void postRestart(Throwable reason){ // don’t call preStart, only schedule once } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message.equals(TICK)){ MemoryUsage currentHeap= memory.getHeapMemoryUsage(); long timestamp= System.currentTimeMillis(); // use akka SerializationExtension to convert to bytes ByteString heapTopic= ByteString.fromString("health.heap", "UTF-8"); ByteString heapPayload= ByteString.fromArray( ser.serialize( new Heap(timestamp, currentHeap.getUsed(), currentHeap.getMax()) ).get()); // the first frame is the topic, second is the message pubSocket.tell(ZMQMessage.withFrames(heapTopic, heapPayload), getSelf()); // use akka SerializationExtension to convert to bytes ByteString loadTopic= ByteString.fromString("health.load", "UTF-8"); ByteString loadPayload= ByteString.fromArray( ser.serialize(new Load(timestamp, os.getSystemLoadAverage())).get() ); // the first frame is the topic, second is the message pubSocket.tell(ZMQMessage.withFrames(loadTopic, loadPayload), getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(message); } } } system.actorOf(Props.create(HealthProbe.class), "health"); Let’s add one subscriber that logs the information. It subscribes to all topics starting with "health", i.e. both Heap and Load events. public class Logger extends UntypedActor{ ActorRef subSocket= ZeroMQExtension.get(getContext().system()).newSubSocket( new Connect("tcp://127.0.0.1:1237"), new Listener(getSelf()), new Subscribe("health")); Serialization ser= SerializationExtension.get(getContext().system()); SimpleDateFormat timestampFormat= new SimpleDateFormat("HH:mm:ss.SSS"); LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof ZMQMessage){ ZMQMessagem=(ZMQMessage) message; String topic=m.frame(0).utf8String(); // the first frame is the topic, second is the message if("health.heap".equals(topic)){ 5.8. ZeroMQ 297 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Heap heap= ser.deserialize(m.frame(1).toArray(), Heap.class).get(); log.info("Used heap {} bytes, at {}", heap.used, timestampFormat.format(new Date(heap.timestamp))); } else if("health.load".equals(topic)){ Load load= ser.deserialize(m.frame(1).toArray(), Load.class).get(); log.info("Load average {}, at {}", load.loadAverage, timestampFormat.format(new Date(load.timestamp))); } } else{ unhandled(message); } } } system.actorOf(Props.create(Logger.class), "logger"); Another subscriber keep track of used heap and warns if too much heap is used. It only subscribes to Heap events. public class HeapAlerter extends UntypedActor{ ActorRef subSocket= ZeroMQExtension.get(getContext().system()).newSubSocket( new Connect("tcp://127.0.0.1:1237"), new Listener(getSelf()), new Subscribe("health.heap")); Serialization ser= SerializationExtension.get(getContext().system()); LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); int count=0; @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof ZMQMessage){ ZMQMessagem=(ZMQMessage) message; String topic=m.frame(0).utf8String(); // the first frame is the topic, second is the message if("health.heap".equals(topic)){ Heap heap= ser.deserialize(m.frame(1).toArray(), Heap.class).get(); if(((double) heap.used/ heap.max)> 0.9){ count +=1; } else{ count=0; } if(count> 10){ log.warning("Need more memory, using {} %", (100.0 * heap.used/ heap.max)); } } } else{ unhandled(message); } } } system.actorOf(Props.create(HeapAlerter.class), "alerter"); Router-Dealer Connection While Pub/Sub is nice the real advantage of zeromq is that it is a “lego-box” for reliable messaging. And because there are so many integrations the multi-language support is fantastic. When you’re using ZeroMQ to integrate many systems you’ll probably need to build your own ZeroMQ devices. This is where the router and dealer socket types come in handy. With those socket types you can build your own reliable pub sub broker that uses TCP/IP and does publisher side filtering of events. 5.8. ZeroMQ 298 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT To create a Router socket that has a high watermark configured, you would do: ActorRef highWatermarkSocket= ZeroMQExtension.get(system).newRouterSocket( new SocketOption[]{ new Listener(listener), new Bind("tcp://127.0.0.1:1233"), new HighWatermark(50000)}); The akka-zeromq module accepts most if not all the available configuration options for a zeromq socket. Push-Pull Connection Akka ZeroMQ module supports Push-Pull connections. You can create a Push connection through the: ActorRef newPushSocket(SocketOption[] socketParameters); You can create a Pull connection through the: ActorRef newPullSocket(SocketOption[] socketParameters); More documentation and examples will follow soon. Rep-Req Connection Akka ZeroMQ module supports Rep-Req connections. You can create a Rep connection through the: ActorRef newRepSocket(SocketOption[] socketParameters); You can create a Req connection through the: ActorRef newReqSocket(SocketOption[] socketParameters); More documentation and examples will follow soon. 5.9 Camel 5.9.1 Introduction The akka-camel module allows Untyped Actors to receive and send messages over a great variety of protocols and APIs. In addition to the native Scala and Java actor API, actors can now exchange messages with other systems over large number of protocols and APIs such as HTTP, SOAP, TCP, FTP, SMTP or JMS, to mention a few. At the moment, approximately 80 protocols and APIs are supported. Apache Camel The akka-camel module is based on Apache Camel, a powerful and light-weight integration framework for the JVM. For an introduction to Apache Camel you may want to read this Apache Camel article. Camel comes with a large number of components that provide bindings to different protocols and APIs. The camel-extra project provides further components. Consumer Here’s an example of using Camel’s integration components in Akka. 5.9. Camel 299 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.camel.CamelMessage; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedConsumerActor; public class MyEndpoint extends UntypedConsumerActor{ private String uri; public String getEndpointUri(){ return uri; } public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ /*... */ } else unhandled(message); } // Extra constructor to change the default uri, // for instance to "jetty:http://localhost:8877/example" public MyEndpoint(String uri){ this.uri= uri; } public MyEndpoint(){ this.uri= "mina2:tcp://localhost:6200?textline=true"; } } The above example exposes an actor over a TCP endpoint via Apache Camel’s Mina component. The actor implements the getEndpointUri method to define an endpoint from which it can receive messages. After starting the actor, TCP clients can immediately send messages to and receive responses from that actor. If the message exchange should go over HTTP (via Camel’s Jetty component), the actor’s getEndpointUri method should return a different URI, for instance “jetty:http://localhost:8877/example”. In the above case an extra constructor is added that can set the endpoint URI, which would result in the getEndpointUri returning the URI that was set using this constructor. Producer Actors can also trigger message exchanges with external systems i.e. produce to Camel endpoints. import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedProducerActor; public class Orders extends UntypedProducerActor{ public String getEndpointUri(){ return "jms:queue:Orders"; } } In the above example, any message sent to this actor will be sent to the JMS queue Orders. Producer actors may choose from the same set of Camel components as Consumer actors do. Below an example of how to send a message to the Orders producer. ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("some-system"); Props props= Props.create(Orders.class); ActorRef producer= system.actorOf(props, "jmsproducer"); producer.tell("", ActorRef.noSender()); 5.9. Camel 300 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT CamelMessage The number of Camel components is constantly increasing. The akka-camel module can support these in a plug- and-play manner. Just add them to your application’s classpath, define a component-specific endpoint URI and use it to exchange messages over the component-specific protocols or APIs. This is possible because Camel com- ponents bind protocol-specific message formats to a Camel-specific normalized message format. The normalized message format hides protocol-specific details from Akka and makes it therefore very easy to support a large number of protocols through a uniform Camel component interface. The akka-camel module further converts mutable Camel messages into immutable representations which are used by Consumer and Producer actors for pattern matching, transformation, serialization or storage. In the above example of the Orders Producer, the XML message is put in the body of a newly created Camel Message with an empty set of headers. You can also create a CamelMessage yourself with the appropriate body and headers as you see fit. CamelExtension The akka-camel module is implemented as an Akka Extension, the CamelExtension object. Extensions will only be loaded once per ActorSystem, which will be managed by Akka. The CamelExtension object provides access to the Camel interface. The Camel interface in turn provides access to two important Apache Camel objects, the CamelContext and the ProducerTemplate. Below you can see how you can get access to these Apache Camel objects. ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("some-system"); Camel camel= CamelExtension.get(system); CamelContext camelContext= camel.context(); ProducerTemplate producerTemplate= camel.template(); One CamelExtension is only loaded once for every one ActorSystem, which makes it safe to call the CamelExtension at any point in your code to get to the Apache Camel objects associated with it. There is one CamelContext and one ProducerTemplate for every one ActorSystem that uses a CamelExtension. By Default, a new CamelContext is created when the CamelExtension starts. If you want to inject your own context instead, you can implement the ContextProvider interface and add the FQCN of your implementation in the config, as the value of the “akka.camel.context-provider”. This interface define a single method getContext() used to load the CamelContext. Below an example on how to add the ActiveMQ component to the CamelContext, which is required when you would like to use the ActiveMQ component. ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("some-system"); Camel camel= CamelExtension.get(system); CamelContext camelContext= camel.context(); // camelContext.addComponent("activemq", ActiveMQComponent.activeMQComponent( // "vm://localhost?broker.persistent=false")); The CamelContext joins the lifecycle of the ActorSystem and CamelExtension it is associated with; the CamelContext is started when the CamelExtension is created, and it is shut down when the associated ActorSystem is shut down. The same is true for the ProducerTemplate. The CamelExtension is used by both Producer and Consumer actors to interact with Apache Camel inter- nally. You can access the CamelExtension inside a Producer or a Consumer using the camel method, or get straight at the CamelContext using the getCamelContext method or to the ProducerTemplate using the getProducerTemplate method. Actors are created and started asynchronously. When a Consumer actor is created, the Consumer is published at its Camel endpoint (more precisely, the route is added to the CamelContext from the Endpoint to the actor). When a Producer actor is created, a SendProcessor and Endpoint are created so that the Producer can send messages to it. Publication is done asynchronously; setting up an endpoint may still be in progress after you have requested the actor to be created. Some Camel components can take a while to startup, and in some cases you might want to know when the endpoints are activated and ready to be used. The Camel interface allows you to find out when the endpoint is activated or deactivated. import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.Props; 5.9. Camel 301 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.camel.Camel; import akka.camel.CamelExtension; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedConsumerActor; import akka.testkit.JavaTestKit; import akka.testkit.TestKit; import akka.util.Timeout; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import static java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit.SECONDS; // .. ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("some-system"); Props props= Props.create(MyConsumer.class); ActorRef producer= system.actorOf(props,"myproducer"); Camel camel= CamelExtension.get(system); // get a future reference to the activation of the endpoint of the Consumer Actor Timeout timeout= new Timeout(Duration.create(10, SECONDS)); Future activationFuture= camel.activationFutureFor(producer, timeout, system.dispatcher()); The above code shows that you can get a Future to the activation of the route from the endpoint to the actor, or you can wait in a blocking fashion on the activation of the route. An ActivationTimeoutException is thrown if the endpoint could not be activated within the specified timeout. Deactivation works in a similar fashion: // .. system.stop(producer); // get a future reference to the deactivation of the endpoint of the Consumer Actor Future deactivationFuture= camel.deactivationFutureFor(producer, timeout, system.dispatcher()); Deactivation of a Consumer or a Producer actor happens when the actor is terminated. For a Consumer, the route to the actor is stopped. For a Producer, the SendProcessor is stopped. A DeActivationTimeoutException is thrown if the associated camel objects could not be deactivated within the specified timeout. 5.9.2 Consumer Actors For objects to receive messages, they must inherit from the UntypedConsumerActor class. For example, the following actor class (Consumer1) implements the getEndpointUri method, which is declared in the Untyped- ConsumerActor class, in order to receive messages from the file:data/input/actor Camel endpoint. import akka.camel.CamelMessage; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedConsumerActor; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; public class Consumer1 extends UntypedConsumerActor{ LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); public String getEndpointUri(){ return "file:data/input/actor"; } public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ CamelMessage camelMessage=(CamelMessage) message; String body= camelMessage.getBodyAs(String.class, getCamelContext()); log.info("Received message: {}", body); } else unhandled(message); } } 5.9. Camel 302 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Whenever a file is put into the data/input/actor directory, its content is picked up by the Camel file component and sent as message to the actor. Messages consumed by actors from Camel endpoints are of type CamelMessage. These are immutable representations of Camel messages. Here’s another example that sets the endpointUri to jetty:http://localhost:8877/camel/default. It causes Camel’s Jetty component to start an embedded Jetty server, accepting HTTP connections from localhost on port 8877. import akka.camel.CamelMessage; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedConsumerActor; public class Consumer2 extends UntypedConsumerActor{ public String getEndpointUri(){ return "jetty:http://localhost:8877/camel/default"; } public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ CamelMessage camelMessage=(CamelMessage) message; String body= camelMessage.getBodyAs(String.class, getCamelContext()); getSender().tell(String.format("Received message: %s",body), getSelf()); } else unhandled(message); } } After starting the actor, clients can send messages to that actor by POSTing to http://localhost:8877/camel/default. The actor sends a response by using the getSender().tell method. For returning a message body and headers to the HTTP client the response type should be CamelMes- sage. For any other response type, a new CamelMessage object is created by akka-camel with the actor response as message body. Delivery acknowledgements With in-out message exchanges, clients usually know that a message exchange is done when they receive a re- ply from a consumer actor. The reply message can be a CamelMessage (or any object which is then internally converted to a CamelMessage) on success, and a Failure message on failure. With in-only message exchanges, by default, an exchange is done when a message is added to the consumer actor’s mailbox. Any failure or exception that occurs during processing of that message by the consumer actor cannot be reported back to the endpoint in this case. To allow consumer actors to positively or negatively acknowledge the receipt of a message from an in-only message exchange, they need to override the autoAck method to return false. In this case, consumer actors must reply either with a special akka.camel.Ack message (positive acknowledgement) or a akka.actor.Status.Failure (negative acknowledgement). import akka.actor.Status; import akka.camel.Ack; import akka.camel.CamelMessage; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedConsumerActor; public class Consumer3 extends UntypedConsumerActor{ @Override public boolean autoAck(){ return false; } public String getEndpointUri(){ return "jms:queue:test"; } public void onReceive(Object message){ 5.9. Camel 303 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ getSender().tell(Ack.getInstance(), getSelf()); // on success // .. Exception someException= new Exception("e1"); // on failure getSender().tell(new Status.Failure(someException), getSelf()); } else unhandled(message); } } Consumer timeout Camel Exchanges (and their corresponding endpoints) that support two-way communications need to wait for a response from an actor before returning it to the initiating client. For some endpoint types, timeout values can be defined in an endpoint-specific way which is described in the documentation of the individual Camel components. Another option is to configure timeouts on the level of consumer actors. Two-way communications between a Camel endpoint and an actor are initiated by sending the request message to the actor with the ask pattern and the actor replies to the endpoint when the response is ready. The ask request to the actor can timeout, which will result in the Exchange failing with a TimeoutException set on the failure of the Exchange. The timeout on the consumer actor can be overridden with the replyTimeout, as shown below. import akka.camel.CamelMessage; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedConsumerActor; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import scala.concurrent.duration.FiniteDuration; import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit; public class Consumer4 extends UntypedConsumerActor{ private final static FiniteDuration timeout= Duration.create(500, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS); @Override public FiniteDuration replyTimeout(){ return timeout; } public String getEndpointUri(){ return "jetty:http://localhost:8877/camel/default"; } public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ CamelMessage camelMessage=(CamelMessage) message; String body= camelMessage.getBodyAs(String.class, getCamelContext()); getSender().tell(String.format("Hello %s",body), getSelf()); } else unhandled(message); } } 5.9.3 Producer Actors For sending messages to Camel endpoints, actors need to inherit from the UntypedProducerActor class and im- plement the getEndpointUri method. 5.9. Camel 304 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedProducerActor; public class Producer1 extends UntypedProducerActor{ public String getEndpointUri(){ return "http://localhost:8080/news"; } } Producer1 inherits a default implementation of the onReceive method from the UntypedProducerActor class. To customize a producer actor’s default behavior you must override the UntypedProducerAc- tor.onTransformResponse and UntypedProducerActor.onTransformOutgoingMessage methods. This is explained later in more detail. Producer Actors cannot override the UntypedProducerActor.onReceive method. Any message sent to a Producer actor will be sent to the associated Camel endpoint, in the above example to http://localhost:8080/news. The UntypedProducerActor always sends messages asynchronously. Re- sponse messages (if supported by the configured endpoint) will, by default, be returned to the original sender. The following example uses the ask pattern to send a message to a Producer actor and waits for a response. ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("some-system"); Props props= Props.create(FirstProducer.class); ActorRef producer= system.actorOf(props,"myproducer"); Future future= Patterns.ask(producer, "some request", 1000); The future contains the response CamelMessage, or an AkkaCamelException when an error occurred, which contains the headers of the response. Custom Processing Instead of replying to the initial sender, producer actors can implement custom response processing by overriding the onRouteResponse method. In the following example, the response message is forwarded to a target actor instead of being replied to the original sender. import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.camel.CamelMessage; public class ResponseReceiver extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ // do something with the forwarded response } } } import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedProducerActor; public class Forwarder extends UntypedProducerActor{ private String uri; private ActorRef target; public Forwarder(String uri, ActorRef target){ this.uri= uri; this.target= target; } public String getEndpointUri(){ return uri; } @Override public void onRouteResponse(Object message){ target.forward(message, getContext()); 5.9. Camel 305 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("some-system"); Props receiverProps= Props.create(ResponseReceiver.class); final ActorRef receiver= system.actorOf(receiverProps,"responseReceiver"); ActorRef forwardResponse= system.actorOf(Props.create( Forwarder.class, "http://localhost:8080/news/akka", receiver)); // the Forwarder sends out a request to the web page and forwards the response to // the ResponseReceiver forwardResponse.tell("some request", ActorRef.noSender()); Before producing messages to endpoints, producer actors can pre-process them by overriding the UntypedProduc- erActor.onTransformOutgoingMessage method. import akka.camel.CamelMessage; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedProducerActor; import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import akka.japi.Function; public class Transformer extends UntypedProducerActor{ private String uri; public Transformer(String uri){ this.uri= uri; } public String getEndpointUri(){ return uri; } private CamelMessage upperCase(CamelMessage msg){ return msg.mapBody(new Mapper(){ @Override public String apply(String body){ return body.toUpperCase(); } }); } @Override public Object onTransformOutgoingMessage(Object message){ if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ CamelMessage camelMessage=(CamelMessage) message; return upperCase(camelMessage); } else{ return message; } } } Producer configuration options The interaction of producer actors with Camel endpoints can be configured to be one-way or two-way (by initiating in-only or in-out message exchanges, respectively). By default, the producer initiates an in-out message exchange with the endpoint. For initiating an in-only exchange, producer actors have to override the isOneway method to return true. import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedProducerActor; public class OnewaySender extends UntypedProducerActor{ private String uri; 5.9. Camel 306 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public OnewaySender(String uri){ this.uri= uri; } public String getEndpointUri(){ return uri; } @Override public boolean isOneway(){ return true; } } Message correlation To correlate request with response messages, applications can set the Message.MessageExchangeId message header. ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("some-system"); Props props= Props.create(Orders.class); ActorRef producer= system.actorOf(props,"jmsproducer"); Map headers= new HashMap(); headers.put(CamelMessage.MessageExchangeId(),"123"); producer.tell(new CamelMessage("",headers), ActorRef.noSender()); ProducerTemplate The UntypedProducerActor class is a very convenient way for actors to produce messages to Camel endpoints. Actors may also use a Camel ProducerTemplate for producing messages to endpoints. import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.camel.Camel; import akka.camel.CamelExtension; import org.apache.camel.ProducerTemplate; public class MyActor extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message){ Camel camel= CamelExtension.get(getContext().system()); ProducerTemplate template= camel.template(); template.sendBody("direct:news", message); } } For initiating a a two-way message exchange, one of the ProducerTemplate.request* methods must be used. import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.camel.Camel; import akka.camel.CamelExtension; import org.apache.camel.ProducerTemplate; public class RequestBodyActor extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message){ Camel camel= CamelExtension.get(getContext().system()); ProducerTemplate template= camel.template(); getSender().tell(template.requestBody("direct:news", message), getSelf()); } } 5.9. Camel 307 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 5.9.4 Asynchronous routing In-out message exchanges between endpoints and actors are designed to be asynchronous. This is the case for both, consumer and producer actors. • A consumer endpoint sends request messages to its consumer actor using the tell method and the actor returns responses with getSender().tell once they are ready. • A producer actor sends request messages to its endpoint using Camel’s asynchronous routing engine. Asyn- chronous responses are wrapped and added to the producer actor’s mailbox for later processing. By default, response messages are returned to the initial sender but this can be overridden by Producer implementations (see also description of the onRouteResponse method in Custom Processing). However, asynchronous two-way message exchanges, without allocating a thread for the full duration of exchange, cannot be generically supported by Camel’s asynchronous routing engine alone. This must be supported by the individual Camel components (from which endpoints are created) as well. They must be able to suspend any work started for request processing (thereby freeing threads to do other work) and resume processing when the response is ready. This is currently the case for a subset of components such as the Jetty component. All other Camel components can still be used, of course, but they will cause allocation of a thread for the duration of an in-out message exchange. There’s also Examples that implements both, an asynchronous consumer and an asynchronous producer, with the jetty component. If the used Camel component is blocking it might be necessary to use a separate dispatcher for the producer. The Camel processor is invoked by a child actor of the producer and the dispatcher can be defined in the deployment section of the configuration. For example, if your producer actor has path /user/integration/output the dispatcher of the child actor can be defined with: akka.actor.deployment{ /integration/output/*{ dispatcher = my-dispatcher } } 5.9.5 Custom Camel routes In all the examples so far, routes to consumer actors have been automatically constructed by akka-camel, when the actor was started. Although the default route construction templates, used by akka-camel internally, are sufficient for most use cases, some applications may require more specialized routes to actors. The akka-camel module provides two mechanisms for customizing routes to actors, which will be explained in this section. These are: • Usage of Akka Camel components to access actors. Any Camel route can use these components to access Akka actors. • Intercepting route construction to actors. This option gives you the ability to change routes that have already been added to Camel. Consumer actors have a hook into the route definition process which can be used to change the route. Akka Camel components Akka actors can be accessed from Camel routes using the actor Camel component. This component can be used to access any Akka actor (not only consumer actors) from Camel routes, as described in the following sections. Access to actors To access actors from custom Camel routes, the actor Camel component should be used. It fully supports Camel’s asynchronous routing engine. This component accepts the following endpoint URI format: •[]? 5.9. Camel 308 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT where is the ActorPath to the actor. The are name-value pairs separated by & (i.e. name1=value1&name2=value2&...). URI options The following URI options are supported: Name Type Default Description replyTimeout Duration false The reply timeout, specified in the same way that you use the duration in akka, for instance 10 seconds except that in the url it is handy to use a + between the amount and the unit, like for example 200+millis See also Consumer timeout. autoAck Boolean true If set to true, in-only message exchanges are auto-acknowledged when the message is added to the actor’s mailbox. If set to false, actors must acknowledge the receipt of the message. See also Delivery acknowledgements. Here’s an actor endpoint URI example containing an actor path: akka://some-system/user/myconsumer?autoAck=false&replyTimeout=100+millis In the following example, a custom route to an actor is created, using the actor’s path. import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.camel.CamelMessage; import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import akka.japi.Function; public class Responder extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ CamelMessage camelMessage=(CamelMessage) message; getSender().tell(createResponse(camelMessage), getSelf()); } else unhandled(message); } private CamelMessage createResponse(CamelMessage msg){ return msg.mapBody(new Mapper(){ @Override public String apply(String body){ return String.format("received %s", body); } }); } } import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.camel.internal.component.CamelPath; import org.apache.camel.builder.RouteBuilder; public class CustomRouteBuilder extends RouteBuilder{ private String uri; public CustomRouteBuilder(ActorRef responder){ uri= CamelPath.toUri(responder); } public void configure() throws Exception{ from("jetty:http://localhost:8877/camel/custom").to(uri); 5.9. Camel 309 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("some-system"); Camel camel= CamelExtension.get(system); ActorRef responder= system.actorOf(Props.create(Responder.class), "TestResponder"); camel.context().addRoutes(new CustomRouteBuilder(responder)); The CamelPath.toCamelUri converts the ActorRef to the Camel actor component URI format which points to the actor endpoint as described above. When a message is received on the jetty endpoint, it is routed to the Responder actor, which in return replies back to the client of the HTTP request. Intercepting route construction The previous section, Akka Camel components, explained how to setup a route to an actor manually. It was the application’s responsibility to define the route and add it to the current CamelContext. This section explains a more convenient way to define custom routes: akka-camel is still setting up the routes to consumer actors (and adds these routes to the current CamelContext) but applications can define extensions to these routes. Extensions can be defined with Camel’s Java DSL or Scala DSL. For example, an extension could be a custom error handler that redelivers messages from an endpoint to an actor’s bounded mailbox when the mailbox was full. The following examples demonstrate how to extend a route to a consumer actor for handling exceptions thrown by that actor. import akka.actor.Status; import akka.camel.CamelMessage; import akka.camel.javaapi.UntypedConsumerActor; import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import org.apache.camel.builder.Builder; import org.apache.camel.model.ProcessorDefinition; import org.apache.camel.model.RouteDefinition; import scala.Option; public class ErrorThrowingConsumer extends UntypedConsumerActor{ private String uri; private static Mapper> mapper= new Mapper>(){ public ProcessorDefinition apply(RouteDefinition rd){ // Catch any exception and handle it by returning the exception message // as response return rd.onException(Exception.class).handled(true). transform(Builder.exceptionMessage()).end(); } }; public ErrorThrowingConsumer(String uri){ this.uri= uri; } public String getEndpointUri(){ return uri; } public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof CamelMessage){ CamelMessage camelMessage=(CamelMessage) message; String body= camelMessage.getBodyAs(String.class, getCamelContext()); throw new Exception(String.format("error: %s",body)); } else unhandled(message); } 5.9. Camel 310 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT @Override public Mapper> getRouteDefinitionHandler(){ return mapper; } @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message){ getSender().tell(new Status.Failure(reason), getSelf()); } } The above ErrorThrowingConsumer sends the Failure back to the sender in preRestart because the Exception that is thrown in the actor would otherwise just crash the actor, by default the actor would be restarted, and the response would never reach the client of the Consumer. The akka-camel module creates a RouteDefinition instance by calling from(endpointUri) on a Camel RouteBuilder (where endpointUri is the endpoint URI of the consumer actor) and passes that instance as argument to the route definition handler *). The route definition handler then extends the route and returns a ProcessorDefinition (in the above example, the ProcessorDefinition returned by the end method. See the org.apache.camel.model package for details). After executing the route definition handler, akka-camel finally calls a to(targetActorUri) on the returned ProcessorDefinition to complete the route to the consumer actor (where targetActorUri is the actor component URI as described in Access to actors). If the actor cannot be found, a ActorNotRegisteredException is thrown. *) Before passing the RouteDefinition instance to the route definition handler, akka-camel may make some further modifications to it. 5.9.6 Examples The Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Camel Samples with Java contains 3 samples: • Asynchronous routing and transformation - This example demonstrates how to implement consumer and producer actors that support Asynchronous routing with their Camel endpoints. • Custom Camel route - Demonstrates the combined usage of a Producer and a Consumer actor as well as the inclusion of a custom Camel route. • Quartz Scheduler Example - Showing how simple is to implement a cron-style scheduler by using the Camel Quartz component 5.9.7 Additional Resources For an introduction to akka-camel 2, see also the Peter Gabryanczyk’s talk Migrating akka-camel module to Akka 2.x. For an introduction to akka-camel 1, see also the Appendix E - Akka and Camel (pdf) of the book Camel in Action. Other, more advanced external articles (for version 1) are: • Akka Consumer Actors: New Features and Best Practices • Akka Producer Actors: New Features and Best Practices 5.9. Camel 311 CHAPTER SIX UTILITIES 6.1 Event Bus Originally conceived as a way to send messages to groups of actors, the EventBus has been generalized into a set of abstract base classes implementing a simple interface: /** * Attempts to register the subscriber to the specified Classifier *@return true if successful and false if not (because it was already * subscribed to that Classifier, or otherwise) */ public boolean subscribe(Subscriber subscriber, Classifier to); /** * Attempts to deregister the subscriber from the specified Classifier *@return true if successful and false if not (because it wasn’t subscribed * to that Classifier, or otherwise) */ public boolean unsubscribe(Subscriber subscriber, Classifier from); /** * Attempts to deregister the subscriber from all Classifiers it may be subscribed to */ public void unsubscribe(Subscriber subscriber); /** * Publishes the specified Event to this bus */ public void publish(Event event); Note: Please note that the EventBus does not preserve the sender of the published messages. If you need a reference to the original sender you have to provide it inside the message. This mechanism is used in different places within Akka, e.g. the Event Stream. Implementations can make use of the specific building blocks presented below. An event bus must define the following three type parameters: • Event (E) is the type of all events published on that bus • Subscriber (S) is the type of subscribers allowed to register on that event bus • Classifier (C) defines the classifier to be used in selecting subscribers for dispatching events The traits below are still generic in these types, but they need to be defined for any concrete implementation. 312 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 6.1.1 Classifiers The classifiers presented here are part of the Akka distribution, but rolling your own in case you do not find a perfect match is not difficult, check the implementation of the existing ones on github Lookup Classification The simplest classification is just to extract an arbitrary classifier from each event and maintaining a set of subscribers for each possible classifier. This can be compared to tuning in on a radio station. The trait LookupClassification is still generic in that it abstracts over how to compare subscribers and how ex- actly to classify. The necessary methods to be implemented are illustrated with the following example: import akka.event.japi.LookupEventBus; public class MsgEnvelope{ public final String topic; public final Object payload; public MsgEnvelope(String topic, Object payload){ this.topic= topic; this.payload= payload; } } /** * Publishes the payload of the MsgEnvelope when the topic of the * MsgEnvelope equals the String specified when subscribing. */ public class LookupBusImpl extends LookupEventBus{ // is used for extracting the classifier from the incoming events @Override public String classify(MsgEnvelope event){ return event.topic; } // will be invoked for each event for all subscribers which registered themselves // for the event’s classifier @Override public void publish(MsgEnvelope event, ActorRef subscriber){ subscriber.tell(event.payload, ActorRef.noSender()); } // must define a full order over the subscribers, expressed as expected from // ‘java.lang.Comparable.compare‘ @Override public int compareSubscribers(ActorRefa, ActorRefb){ returna.compareTo(b); } // determines the initial size of the index data structure // used internally (i.e. the expected number of different classifiers) @Override public int mapSize(){ return 128; } } A test for this implementation may look like this: LookupBusImpl lookupBus= new LookupBusImpl(); lookupBus.subscribe(getTestActor(), "greetings"); lookupBus.publish(new MsgEnvelope("time", System.currentTimeMillis())); 6.1. Event Bus 313 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT lookupBus.publish(new MsgEnvelope("greetings", "hello")); expectMsgEquals("hello"); This classifier is efficient in case no subscribers exist for a particular event. Subchannel Classification If classifiers form a hierarchy and it is desired that subscription be possible not only at the leaf nodes, this clas- sification may be just the right one. It can be compared to tuning in on (possibly multiple) radio channels by genre. This classification has been developed for the case where the classifier is just the JVM class of the event and subscribers may be interested in subscribing to all subclasses of a certain class, but it may be used with any classifier hierarchy. The necessary methods to be implemented are illustrated with the following example: import akka.event.japi.SubchannelEventBus; import akka.util.Subclassification; public class StartsWithSubclassification implements Subclassification{ @Override public boolean isEqual(Stringx, Stringy){ returnx.equals(y); } @Override public boolean isSubclass(Stringx, Stringy){ returnx.startsWith(y); } } /** * Publishes the payload of the MsgEnvelope when the topic of the * MsgEnvelope starts with the String specified when subscribing. */ public class SubchannelBusImpl extends SubchannelEventBus{ // Subclassification is an object providing ‘isEqual‘ and ‘isSubclass‘ // to be consumed by the other methods of this classifier @Override public Subclassification subclassification(){ return new StartsWithSubclassification(); } // is used for extracting the classifier from the incoming events @Override public String classify(MsgEnvelope event){ return event.topic; } // will be invoked for each event for all subscribers which registered themselves // for the event’s classifier @Override public void publish(MsgEnvelope event, ActorRef subscriber){ subscriber.tell(event.payload, ActorRef.noSender()); } } A test for this implementation may look like this: SubchannelBusImpl subchannelBus= new SubchannelBusImpl(); subchannelBus.subscribe(getTestActor(), "abc"); subchannelBus.publish(new MsgEnvelope("xyzabc", "x")); subchannelBus.publish(new MsgEnvelope("bcdef", "b")); subchannelBus.publish(new MsgEnvelope("abc", "c")); expectMsgEquals("c"); 6.1. Event Bus 314 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT subchannelBus.publish(new MsgEnvelope("abcdef", "d")); expectMsgEquals("d"); This classifier is also efficient in case no subscribers are found for an event, but it uses conventional locking to synchronize an internal classifier cache, hence it is not well-suited to use cases in which subscriptions change with very high frequency (keep in mind that “opening” a classifier by sending the first message will also have to re-check all previous subscriptions). Scanning Classification The previous classifier was built for multi-classifier subscriptions which are strictly hierarchical, this classifier is useful if there are overlapping classifiers which cover various parts of the event space without forming a hierarchy. It can be compared to tuning in on (possibly multiple) radio stations by geographical reachability (for old-school radio-wave transmission). The necessary methods to be implemented are illustrated with the following example: import akka.event.japi.ScanningEventBus; /** * Publishes String messages with length less than or equal to the length * specified when subscribing. */ public class ScanningBusImpl extends ScanningEventBus{ // is needed for determining matching classifiers and storing them in an // ordered collection @Override public int compareClassifiers(Integera, Integerb){ returna.compareTo(b); } // is needed for storing subscribers in an ordered collection @Override public int compareSubscribers(ActorRefa, ActorRefb){ returna.compareTo(b); } // determines whether a given classifier shall match a given event; it is invoked // for each subscription for all received events, hence the name of the classifier @Override public boolean matches(Integer classifier, String event){ return event.length() <= classifier; } // will be invoked for each event for all subscribers which registered themselves // for the event’s classifier @Override public void publish(String event, ActorRef subscriber){ subscriber.tell(event, ActorRef.noSender()); } } A test for this implementation may look like this: ScanningBusImpl scanningBus= new ScanningBusImpl(); scanningBus.subscribe(getTestActor(),3); scanningBus.publish("xyzabc"); scanningBus.publish("ab"); expectMsgEquals("ab"); scanningBus.publish("abc"); expectMsgEquals("abc"); This classifier takes always a time which is proportional to the number of subscriptions, independent of how many actually match. 6.1. Event Bus 315 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Actor Classification This classification was originally developed specifically for implementing DeathWatch: subscribers as well as classifiers are of type ActorRef. The necessary methods to be implemented are illustrated with the following example: import akka.event.japi.ActorEventBus; public class Notification{ public final ActorRef ref; public final int id; public Notification(ActorRef ref, int id){ this.ref= ref; this.id= id; } } public class ActorBusImpl extends ActorEventBus{ // is used for extracting the classifier from the incoming events @Override public ActorRef classify(Notification event){ return event.ref; } // determines the initial size of the index data structure // used internally (i.e. the expected number of different classifiers) @Override public int mapSize(){ return 128; } } A test for this implementation may look like this: ActorRef observer1= new JavaTestKit(system).getRef(); ActorRef observer2= new JavaTestKit(system).getRef(); JavaTestKit probe1= new JavaTestKit(system); JavaTestKit probe2= new JavaTestKit(system); ActorRef subscriber1= probe1.getRef(); ActorRef subscriber2= probe2.getRef(); ActorBusImpl actorBus= new ActorBusImpl(); actorBus.subscribe(subscriber1, observer1); actorBus.subscribe(subscriber2, observer1); actorBus.subscribe(subscriber2, observer2); Notification n1= new Notification(observer1, 100); actorBus.publish(n1); probe1.expectMsgEquals(n1); probe2.expectMsgEquals(n1); Notification n2= new Notification(observer2, 101); actorBus.publish(n2); probe2.expectMsgEquals(n2); probe1.expectNoMsg(FiniteDuration.create(500, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS)); This classifier is still is generic in the event type, and it is efficient for all use cases. 6.1.2 Event Stream The event stream is the main event bus of each actor system: it is used for carrying log messages and Dead Letters and may be used by the user code for other purposes as well. It uses Subchannel Classification which enables registering to related sets of channels (as is used for RemotingLifecycleEvent). The following example demonstrates how a simple subscription works. Given a simple actor: 6.1. Event Bus 316 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.actor.Props; import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.actor.DeadLetter; public class DeadLetterActor extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof DeadLetter){ System.out.println(message); } } } it can be subscribed like this: final ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("DeadLetters"); final ActorRef actor= system.actorOf(Props.create(DeadLetterActor.class)); system.eventStream().subscribe(actor, DeadLetter.class); Default Handlers Upon start-up the actor system creates and subscribes actors to the event stream for logging: these are the handlers which are configured for example in application.conf: akka { loggers = ["akka.event.Logging$DefaultLogger"] } The handlers listed here by fully-qualified class name will be subscribed to all log event classes with priority higher than or equal to the configured log-level and their subscriptions are kept in sync when changing the log-level at runtime: system.eventStream.setLogLevel(Logging.DebugLevel()); This means that log events for a level which will not be logged are typically not dispatched at all (unless manual subscriptions to the respective event class have been done) Dead Letters As described at Stopping actors, messages queued when an actor terminates or sent after its death are re-routed to the dead letter mailbox, which by default will publish the messages wrapped in DeadLetter. This wrapper holds the original sender, receiver and message of the envelope which was redirected. Other Uses The event stream is always there and ready to be used, just publish your own events (it accepts Object) and subscribe listeners to the corresponding JVM classes. 6.2 Logging Logging in Akka is not tied to a specific logging backend. By default log messages are printed to STDOUT, but you can plug-in a SLF4J logger or your own logger. Logging is performed asynchronously to ensure that logging has minimal performance impact. Logging generally means IO and locks, which can slow down the operations of your code if it was performed synchronously. 6.2. Logging 317 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 6.2.1 How to Log Create a LoggingAdapter and use the error, warning, info, or debug methods, as illustrated in this example: import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; class MyActor extends UntypedActor { LoggingAdapter log = Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); @Override public void preStart() { log.debug("Starting"); } @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message) { log.error(reason, "Restarting due to [{}] when processing [{}]", reason.getMessage(), message.isDefined() ? message.get() : ""); } public void onReceive(Object message) { if (message.equals("test")) { log.info("Received test"); } else { log.warning("Received unknown message: {}", message); } } } The first parameter to Logging.getLogger could also be any LoggingBus, specifically system.eventStream(); in the demonstrated case, the actor system’s address is included in the akkaSource representation of the log source (see Logging Thread and Akka Source in MDC) while in the second case this is not automatically done. The second parameter to Logging.getLogger is the source of this logging channel. The source object is translated to a String according to the following rules: • if it is an Actor or ActorRef, its path is used • in case of a String it is used as is • in case of a class an approximation of its simpleName • and in all other cases the simpleName of its class The log message may contain argument placeholders {}, which will be substituted if the log level is enabled. Giving more arguments as there are placeholders results in a warning being appended to the log statement (i.e. on the same line with the same severity). You may pass a Java array as the only substitution argument to have its elements be treated individually: final Object[] args= new Object[]{ "The", "brown", "fox", "jumps", 42}; system.log().debug("five parameters: {}, {}, {}, {}, {}", args); The Java Class of the log source is also included in the generated LogEvent. In case of a simple string this is replaced with a “marker” class akka.event.DummyClassForStringSources in order to allow special treatment of this case, e.g. in the SLF4J event listener which will then use the string instead of the class’ name for looking up the logger instance to use. Logging of Dead Letters By default messages sent to dead letters are logged at info level. Existence of dead letters does not necessarily indicate a problem, but it might be, and therefore they are logged by default. After a few messages this logging is turned off, to avoid flooding the logs. You can disable this logging completely or adjust how many dead letters 6.2. Logging 318 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT that are logged. During system shutdown it is likely that you see dead letters, since pending messages in the actor mailboxes are sent to dead letters. You can also disable logging of dead letters during shutdown. akka { log-dead-letters= 10 log-dead-letters-during-shutdown= on } To customize the logging further or take other actions for dead letters you can subscribe to the Event Stream. Auxiliary logging options Akka has a couple of configuration options for very low level debugging, that makes most sense in for developers and not for operations. You almost definitely need to have logging set to DEBUG to use any of the options below: akka { loglevel="DEBUG" } This config option is very good if you want to know what config settings are loaded by Akka: akka { # Log the complete configuration at INFO level when the actor system is started. # This is useful when you are uncertain of what configuration is used. log-config-on-start= on } If you want very detailed logging of all automatically received messages that are processed by Actors: akka { actor { debug { # enable DEBUG logging of all AutoReceiveMessages (Kill, PoisonPill et.c.) autoreceive= on } } } If you want very detailed logging of all lifecycle changes of Actors (restarts, deaths etc): akka { actor { debug { # enable DEBUG logging of actor lifecycle changes lifecycle= on } } } If you want very detailed logging of all events, transitions and timers of FSM Actors that extend LoggingFSM: akka { actor { debug { # enable DEBUG logging of all LoggingFSMs for events, transitions and timers fsm= on } } } If you want to monitor subscriptions (subscribe/unsubscribe) on the ActorSystem.eventStream: 6.2. Logging 319 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka { actor { debug { # enable DEBUG logging of subscription changes on the eventStream event-stream= on } } } Auxiliary remote logging options If you want to see all messages that are sent through remoting at DEBUG log level: (This is logged as they are sent by the transport layer, not by the Actor) akka { remote { # If this is "on", Akka will log all outbound messages at DEBUG level, # if off then they are not logged log-sent-messages= on } } If you want to see all messages that are received through remoting at DEBUG log level: (This is logged as they are received by the transport layer, not by any Actor) akka { remote { # If this is "on", Akka will log all inbound messages at DEBUG level, # if off then they are not logged log-received-messages= on } } If you want to see message types with payload size in bytes larger than a specified limit at INFO log level: akka { remote { # Logging of message types with payload size in bytes larger than # this value. Maximum detected size per message type is logged once, # with an increase threshold of 10%. # By default this feature is turned off. Activate it by setting the property to # a value in bytes, such as 1000b. Note that for all messages larger than this # limit there will be extra performance and scalability cost. log-frame-size-exceeding= 1000b } } Also see the logging options for TestKit: Tracing Actor Invocations. Turn Off Logging To turn off logging you can configure the log levels to be OFF like this. akka { stdout-loglevel="OFF" loglevel="OFF" } The stdout-loglevel is only in effect during system startup and shutdown, and setting it to OFF as well, ensures that nothing gets logged during system startup or shutdown. 6.2. Logging 320 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 6.2.2 Loggers Logging is performed asynchronously through an event bus. Log events are processed by an event handler actor and it will receive the log events in the same order as they were emitted. You can configure which event handlers are created at system start-up and listen to logging events. That is done using the loggers element in the Configuration. Here you can also define the log level. akka { # Loggers to register at boot time (akka.event.Logging$DefaultLogger logs # to STDOUT) loggers=["akka.event.Logging$DefaultLogger"] # Options: OFF, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG loglevel="DEBUG" } The default one logs to STDOUT and is registered by default. It is not intended to be used for production. There is also an Logging to stdout during startup and shutdown logger available in the ‘akka-slf4j’ module. Example of creating a listener: import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import akka.event.Logging.InitializeLogger; import akka.event.Logging.Error; import akka.event.Logging.Warning; import akka.event.Logging.Info; import akka.event.Logging.Debug; class MyEventListener extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof InitializeLogger){ getSender().tell(Logging.loggerInitialized(), getSelf()); } else if(message instanceof Error){ // ... } else if(message instanceof Warning){ // ... } else if(message instanceof Info){ // ... } else if(message instanceof Debug){ // ... } } } 6.2.3 Logging to stdout during startup and shutdown While the actor system is starting up and shutting down the configured loggers are not used. Instead log messages are printed to stdout (System.out). The default log level for this stdout logger is WARNING and it can be silenced completely by setting akka.stdout-loglevel=OFF. 6.2.4 SLF4J Akka provides a logger for SL4FJ. This module is available in the ‘akka-slf4j.jar’. It has one single dependency; the slf4j-api jar. In runtime you also need a SLF4J backend, we recommend Logback: ch.qos.logback logback-classic 6.2. Logging 321 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 1.0.13 You need to enable the Slf4jLogger in the ‘loggers’ element in the Configuration. Here you can also define the log level of the event bus. More fine grained log levels can be defined in the configuration of the SLF4J backend (e.g. logback.xml). akka { loggers=["akka.event.slf4j.Slf4jLogger"] loglevel="DEBUG" } One gotcha is that the timestamp is attributed in the event handler, not when actually doing the logging. The SLF4J logger selected for each log event is chosen based on the Class of the log source spec- ified when creating the LoggingAdapter, unless that was given directly as a string in which case that string is used (i.e. LoggerFactory.getLogger(Class c) is used in the first case and LoggerFactory.getLogger(String s) in the second). Note: Beware that the actor system’s name is appended to a String log source if the LoggingAdapter was created giving an ActorSystem to the factory. If this is not intended, give a LoggingBus instead as shown below: final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(system.eventStream(), "my.string"); Logging Thread and Akka Source in MDC Since the logging is done asynchronously the thread in which the logging was performed is captured in Mapped Diagnostic Context (MDC) with attribute name sourceThread. With Logback the thread name is available with %X{sourceThread} specifier within the pattern layout configuration: %date{ISO8601}%-5level%logger{36}%X{sourceThread}-%msg%n Note: It will probably be a good idea to use the sourceThread MDC value also in non-Akka parts of the application in order to have this property consistently available in the logs. Another helpful facility is that Akka captures the actor’s address when instantiating a logger within it, meaning that the full instance identification is available for associating log messages e.g. with members of a router. This information is available in the MDC with attribute name akkaSource: %date{ISO8601}%-5level%logger{36}%X{akkaSource}-%msg%n For more details on what this attribute contains—also for non-actors—please see How to Log. More accurate timestamps for log output in MDC Akka’s logging is asynchronous which means that the timestamp of a log entry is taken from when the underlying logger implementation is called, which can be surprising at first. If you want to more accurately output the timestamp, use the MDC attribute akkaTimestamp: 6.2. Logging 322 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT %X{akkaTimestamp}%-5level%logger{36}%X{akkaSource}-%msg%n MDC values defined by the application One useful feature available in Slf4j is MDC, Akka has a way for let the application specify custom values, you just need to get a specialized LoggingAdapter, the DiagnosticLoggingAdapter. In order to get it you will use the factory receiving an UntypedActor as logSource: // Within your UntypedActor final DiagnosticLoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(this); Once you have the logger, you just need to add the custom values before you log something. This way, the values will be put in the SLF4J MDC right before appending the log and removed after. Note: The cleanup (removal) should be done in the actor at the end, otherwise, next message will log with same mdc values, if it is not set to a new map. Use log.clearMDC(). import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.DiagnosticLoggingAdapter; import java.util.HashMap; import java.util.Map; class MdcActor extends UntypedActor{ final DiagnosticLoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(this); public void onReceive(Object message){ Map mdc; mdc= new HashMap(); mdc.put("requestId", 1234); mdc.put("visitorId", 5678); log.setMDC(mdc); log.info("Starting new request"); log.clearMDC(); } } Now, the values will be available in the MDC, so you can use them in the layout pattern: %-5level%logger{36}[req:%X{requestId}, visitor:%X{visitorId}]-%msg%n 6.3 Scheduler Sometimes the need for making things happen in the future arises, and where do you go look then? Look no further than ActorSystem! There you find the scheduler method that returns an instance of 6.3. Scheduler 323 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka.actor.Scheduler, this instance is unique per ActorSystem and is used internally for scheduling things to happen at specific points in time. You can schedule sending of messages to actors and execution of tasks (functions or Runnable). You will get a Cancellable back that you can call cancel on to cancel the execution of the scheduled operation. Warning: The default implementation of Scheduler used by Akka is based on job buckets which are emptied according to a fixed schedule. It does not execute tasks at the exact time, but on every tick, it will run everything that is (over)due. The accuracy of the default Scheduler can be modified by the akka.scheduler.tick-duration configuration property. 6.3.1 Some examples Schedule to send the “foo”-message to the testActor after 50ms: import akka.actor.Props; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit; system.scheduler().scheduleOnce(Duration.create(50, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS), testActor, "foo", system.dispatcher(), null); Schedule a Runnable, that sends the current time to the testActor, to be executed after 50ms: system.scheduler().scheduleOnce(Duration.create(50, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS), new Runnable(){ @Override public void run(){ testActor.tell(System.currentTimeMillis(), ActorRef.noSender()); } }, system.dispatcher()); Warning: If you schedule Runnable instances you should be extra careful to not pass or close over unstable references. In practice this means that you should not call methods on the enclosing Actor from within the Runnable. If you need to schedule an invocation it is better to use the schedule() variant accepting a message and an ActorRef to schedule a message to self (containing the necessary parameters) and then call the method when the message is received. Schedule to send the “Tick”-message to the tickActor after 0ms repeating every 50ms: import akka.actor.Props; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.actor.Cancellable; class Ticker extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message.equals("Tick")){ // Do someting } else{ unhandled(message); } } } ActorRef tickActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(Ticker.class, this)); //This will schedule to send the Tick-message 6.3. Scheduler 324 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT //to the tickActor after 0ms repeating every 50ms Cancellable cancellable= system.scheduler().schedule(Duration.Zero(), Duration.create(50, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS), tickActor, "Tick", system.dispatcher(), null); //This cancels further Ticks to be sent cancellable.cancel(); 6.3.2 From akka.actor.ActorSystem /** * Light-weight scheduler for running asynchronous tasks after some deadline * in the future. Not terribly precise but cheap. */ def scheduler: Scheduler 6.3.3 The Scheduler Interface for Implementors The actual scheduler implementation is loaded reflectively upon ActorSystem start-up, which means that it is possible to provide a different one using the akka.scheduler.implementation configuration property. The referenced class must implement the following interface: /** * An Akka scheduler service. This one needs one special behavior: if * Closeable, it MUST execute all outstanding tasks upon .close() in order * to properly shutdown all dispatchers. * * Furthermore, this timer service MUST throw IllegalStateException if it * cannot schedule a task. Once scheduled, the task MUST be executed. If * executed upon close(), the task may execute before its timeout. * * Scheduler implementation are loaded reflectively at ActorSystem start-up * with the following constructor arguments: * 1) the system’s com.typesafe.config.Config (from system.settings.config) * 2) a akka.event.LoggingAdapter * 3) a java.util.concurrent.ThreadFactory */ public abstract class AbstractScheduler extends AbstractSchedulerBase{ /** * Schedules a function to be run repeatedly with an initial delay and * a frequency. E.g. if you would like the function to be run after 2 * seconds and thereafter every 100ms you would set delay = Duration(2, * TimeUnit.SECONDS) and interval = Duration(100, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS) */ @Override public abstract Cancellable schedule(FiniteDuration initialDelay, FiniteDuration interval, Runnable runnable, ExecutionContext executor); /** * Schedules a Runnable to be run once with a delay, i.e. a time period that * has to pass before the runnable is executed. */ @Override public abstract Cancellable scheduleOnce(FiniteDuration delay, Runnable runnable, ExecutionContext executor); /** * The maximum supported task frequency of this scheduler, i.e. the inverse * of the minimum time interval between executions of a recurring task, in Hz. 6.3. Scheduler 325 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT */ @Override public abstract double maxFrequency(); } 6.3.4 The Cancellable interface Scheduling a task will result in a Cancellable (or throw an IllegalStateException if attempted after the scheduler’s shutdown). This allows you to cancel something that has been scheduled for execution. Warning: This does not abort the execution of the task, if it had already been started. Check the return value of cancel to detect whether the scheduled task was canceled or will (eventually) have run. /** * Signifies something that can be cancelled * There is no strict guarantee that the implementation is thread-safe, * but it should be good practice to make it so. */ trait Cancellable{ /** * Cancels this Cancellable and returns true if that was successful. * If this cancellable was (concurrently) cancelled already, then this method * will return false although isCancelled will return true. * * Java & Scala API */ def cancel(): Boolean /** * Returns true if and only if this Cancellable has been successfully cancelled * * Java & Scala API */ def isCancelled: Boolean } 6.4 Duration Durations are used throughout the Akka library, wherefore this concept is represented by a special data type, scala.concurrent.duration.Duration. Values of this type may represent infinite (Duration.Inf, Duration.MinusInf) or finite durations, or be Duration.Undefined. 6.4.1 Finite vs. Infinite Since trying to convert an infinite duration into a concrete time unit like seconds will throw an exception, there are different types available for distinguishing the two kinds at compile time: • FiniteDuration is guaranteed to be finite, calling toNanos and friends is safe • Duration can be finite or infinite, so this type should only be used when finite-ness does not matter; this is a supertype of FiniteDuration 6.4.2 Scala In Scala durations are constructable using a mini-DSL and support all expected arithmetic operations: 6.4. Duration 326 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import scala.concurrent.duration._ val fivesec= 5.seconds val threemillis= 3.millis val diff= fivesec- threemillis assert(diff< fivesec) val fourmillis= threemillis * 4/3 // you cannot write it the other way around valn= threemillis/(1 millisecond) Note: You may leave out the dot if the expression is clearly delimited (e.g. within parentheses or in an argument list), but it is recommended to use it if the time unit is the last token on a line, otherwise semi-colon inference might go wrong, depending on what starts the next line. 6.4.3 Java Java provides less syntactic sugar, so you have to spell out the operations as method calls instead: import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import scala.concurrent.duration.Deadline; final Duration fivesec= Duration.create(5, "seconds"); final Duration threemillis= Duration.create("3 millis"); final Duration diff= fivesec.minus(threemillis); assert diff.lt(fivesec); assert Duration.Zero().lt(Duration.Inf()); 6.4.4 Deadline Durations have a brother named Deadline, which is a class holding a representation of an absolute point in time, and support deriving a duration from this by calculating the difference between now and the deadline. This is useful when you want to keep one overall deadline without having to take care of the book-keeping wrt. the passing of time yourself: val deadline= 10.seconds.fromNow // do something val rest= deadline.timeLeft In Java you create these from durations: final Deadline deadline= Duration.create(10, "seconds").fromNow(); final Duration rest= deadline.timeLeft(); 6.5 Circuit Breaker 6.5.1 Why are they used? A circuit breaker is used to provide stability and prevent cascading failures in distributed systems. These should be used in conjunction with judicious timeouts at the interfaces between remote systems to prevent the failure of a single component from bringing down all components. As an example, we have a web application interacting with a remote third party web service. Let’s say the third party has oversold their capacity and their database melts down under load. Assume that the database fails in such a way that it takes a very long time to hand back an error to the third party web service. This in turn makes calls fail after a long period of time. Back to our web application, the users have noticed that their form submissions take much longer seeming to hang. Well the users do what they know to do which is use the refresh button, adding more requests to their already running requests. This eventually causes the failure of the web application due to 6.5. Circuit Breaker 327 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT resource exhaustion. This will affect all users, even those who are not using functionality dependent on this third party web service. Introducing circuit breakers on the web service call would cause the requests to begin to fail-fast, letting the user know that something is wrong and that they need not refresh their request. This also confines the failure behavior to only those users that are using functionality dependent on the third party, other users are no longer affected as there is no resource exhaustion. Circuit breakers can also allow savvy developers to mark portions of the site that use the functionality unavailable, or perhaps show some cached content as appropriate while the breaker is open. The Akka library provides an implementation of a circuit breaker called akka.pattern.CircuitBreaker which has the behavior described below. 6.5.2 What do they do? • During normal operation, a circuit breaker is in the Closed state: – Exceptions or calls exceeding the configured callTimeout increment a failure counter – Successes reset the failure count to zero – When the failure counter reaches a maxFailures count, the breaker is tripped into Open state • While in Open state: – All calls fail-fast with a CircuitBreakerOpenException – After the configured resetTimeout, the circuit breaker enters a Half-Open state • In Half-Open state: – The first call attempted is allowed through without failing fast – All other calls fail-fast with an exception just as in Open state – If the first call succeeds, the breaker is reset back to Closed state – If the first call fails, the breaker is tripped again into the Open state for another full resetTimeout • State transition listeners: – Callbacks can be provided for every state entry via onOpen, onClose, and onHalfOpen – These are executed in the ExecutionContext provided. 6.5.3 Examples Initialization Here’s how a CircuitBreaker would be configured for: • 5 maximum failures • a call timeout of 10 seconds 6.5. Circuit Breaker 328 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • a reset timeout of 1 minute Scala import scala.concurrent.duration._ import akka.pattern.CircuitBreaker import akka.pattern.pipe import akka.actor.Actor import akka.actor.ActorLogging import scala.concurrent.Future import akka.event.Logging class DangerousActor extends Actor with ActorLogging{ import context.dispatcher val breaker= new CircuitBreaker(context.system.scheduler, maxFailures=5, callTimeout= 10.seconds, resetTimeout= 1.minute).onOpen(notifyMeOnOpen()) def notifyMeOnOpen(): Unit= log.warning("My CircuitBreaker is now open, and will not close for one minute") Java import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import scala.concurrent.Future; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.pattern.CircuitBreaker; import akka.event.Logging; import static akka.pattern.Patterns.pipe; import static akka.dispatch.Futures.future; import java.util.concurrent.Callable; public class DangerousJavaActor extends UntypedActor{ private final CircuitBreaker breaker; private final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); public DangerousJavaActor(){ this.breaker= new CircuitBreaker( getContext().dispatcher(), getContext().system().scheduler(), 5, Duration.create(10, "s"), Duration.create(1, "m")) .onOpen(new Runnable(){ public void run(){ notifyMeOnOpen(); } }); } public void notifyMeOnOpen(){ log.warning("My CircuitBreaker is now open, and will not close for one minute"); } 6.5. Circuit Breaker 329 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Call Protection Here’s how the CircuitBreaker would be used to protect an asynchronous call as well as a synchronous one: Scala def dangerousCall: String= "This really isn’t that dangerous of a call after all" def receive={ case "is my middle name" => breaker.withCircuitBreaker(Future(dangerousCall)) pipeTo sender() case "block for me" => sender()! breaker.withSyncCircuitBreaker(dangerousCall) } Java public String dangerousCall(){ return "This really isn’t that dangerous of a call after all"; } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof String){ Stringm=(String) message; if("is my middle name".equals(m)){ final Futuref= future( new Callable(){ public String call(){ return dangerousCall(); } }, getContext().dispatcher()); pipe(breaker.callWithCircuitBreaker( new Callable>(){ public Future call() throws Exception{ returnf; } }), getContext().dispatcher()).to(getSender()); } if("block for me".equals(m)){ getSender().tell(breaker .callWithSyncCircuitBreaker( new Callable(){ @Override public String call() throws Exception{ return dangerousCall(); } }), getSelf()); } } } Note: Using the CircuitBreaker companion object’s apply or create methods will return a CircuitBreaker where callbacks are executed in the caller’s thread. This can be useful if the asynchronous Future behavior is unnecessary, for example invoking a synchronous-only API. 6.5. Circuit Breaker 330 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 6.6 Akka Extensions If you want to add features to Akka, there is a very elegant, but powerful mechanism for doing so. It’s called Akka Extensions and is comprised of 2 basic components: an Extension and an ExtensionId. Extensions will only be loaded once per ActorSystem, which will be managed by Akka. You can choose to have your Extension loaded on-demand or at ActorSystem creation time through the Akka configuration. Details on how to make that happens are below, in the “Loading from Configuration” section. Warning: Since an extension is a way to hook into Akka itself, the implementor of the extension needs to ensure the thread safety of his/her extension. 6.6.1 Building an Extension So let’s create a sample extension that just lets us count the number of times something has happened. First, we define what our Extension should do: import akka.actor.*; import java.util.concurrent.atomic.AtomicLong; public class CountExtensionImpl implements Extension{ //Since this Extension is a shared instance // per ActorSystem we need to be threadsafe private final AtomicLong counter= new AtomicLong(0); //This is the operation this Extension provides public long increment(){ return counter.incrementAndGet(); } } Then we need to create an ExtensionId for our extension so we can grab ahold of it. import akka.actor.*; import java.util.concurrent.atomic.AtomicLong; public class CountExtension extends AbstractExtensionId implements ExtensionIdProvider{ //This will be the identifier of our CountExtension public final static CountExtension CountExtensionProvider= new CountExtension(); private CountExtension(){} //The lookup method is required by ExtensionIdProvider, // so we return ourselves here, this allows us // to configure our extension to be loaded when // the ActorSystem starts up public CountExtension lookup(){ return CountExtension.CountExtensionProvider; //The public static final } //This method will be called by Akka // to instantiate our Extension public CountExtensionImpl createExtension(ExtendedActorSystem system){ return new CountExtensionImpl(); } } Wicked! Now all we need to do is to actually use it: 6.6. Akka Extensions 331 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT // typically you would use static import of the // CountExtension.CountExtensionProvider field CountExtension.CountExtensionProvider.get(system).increment(); Or from inside of an Akka Actor: public class MyActor extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object msg){ // typically you would use static import of the // CountExtension.CountExtensionProvider field CountExtension.CountExtensionProvider.get(getContext().system()).increment(); } } That’s all there is to it! 6.6.2 Loading from Configuration To be able to load extensions from your Akka configuration you must add FQCNs of implementations of either ExtensionId or ExtensionIdProvider in the “akka.extensions” section of the config you provide to your ActorSystem. akka { extensions = ["docs.extension.ExtensionDocTest.CountExtension"] } 6.6.3 Applicability The sky is the limit! By the way, did you know that Akka’s Typed Actors, Serialization and other features are implemented as Akka Extensions? Application specific settings The Configuration can be used for application specific settings. A good practice is to place those settings in an Extension. Sample configuration: myapp{ db{ uri= "mongodb://example1.com:27017,example2.com:27017" } circuit-breaker{ timeout= 30 seconds } } The Extension: import akka.actor.Extension; import akka.actor.AbstractExtensionId; import akka.actor.ExtensionIdProvider; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.ExtendedActorSystem; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import com.typesafe.config.Config; import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit; 6.6. Akka Extensions 332 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public class SettingsImpl implements Extension{ public final String DB_URI; public final Duration CIRCUIT_BREAKER_TIMEOUT; public SettingsImpl(Config config){ DB_URI= config.getString("myapp.db.uri"); CIRCUIT_BREAKER_TIMEOUT= Duration.create(config.getMilliseconds("myapp.circuit-breaker.timeout"), TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS); } } public class Settings extends AbstractExtensionId implements ExtensionIdProvider{ public final static Settings SettingsProvider= new Settings(); private Settings(){} public Settings lookup(){ return Settings.SettingsProvider; } public SettingsImpl createExtension(ExtendedActorSystem system){ return new SettingsImpl(system.settings().config()); } } Use it: public class MyActor extends UntypedActor{ // typically you would use static import of the Settings.SettingsProvider field final SettingsImpl settings= Settings.SettingsProvider.get(getContext().system()); Connection connection= connect(settings.DB_URI, settings.CIRCUIT_BREAKER_TIMEOUT); } 6.7 Microkernel The purpose of the Akka Microkernel is to offer a bundling mechanism so that you can distribute an Akka appli- cation as a single payload, without the need to run in a Java Application Server or manually having to create a launcher script. The Akka Microkernel is included in the Akka download found at downloads. To run an application with the microkernel you need to create a Bootable class that handles the startup and shut- down the application. An example is included below. Put your application jar in the deploy directory and additional dependencies in the lib directory to have them automatically loaded and placed on the classpath. To start the kernel use the scripts in the bin directory, passing the boot classes for your application. The start script adds config directory first in the classpath, followed by lib/*. It runs java with main class akka.kernel.Main and the supplied Bootable class as argument. Example command (on a unix-based system): 6.7. Microkernel 333 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT bin/akka sample.kernel.hello.HelloKernel Use Ctrl-C to interrupt and exit the microkernel. On a Windows machine you can also use the bin/akka.bat script. The code for the Hello Kernel example (see the HelloKernel class for an example of creating a Bootable): package sample.kernel.hello.java; import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.kernel.Bootable; public class HelloKernel implements Bootable{ final ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("hellokernel"); public static class HelloActor extends UntypedActor{ final ActorRef worldActor= getContext().actorOf( Props.create(WorldActor.class)); public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message == "start") worldActor.tell("Hello", getSelf()); else if(message instanceof String) System.out.println(String.format("Received message ’%s’", message)); else unhandled(message); } } public static class WorldActor extends UntypedActor{ public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof String) getSender().tell(((String) message).toUpperCase()+ " world!", getSelf()); else unhandled(message); } } public void startup(){ system.actorOf(Props.create(HelloActor.class)).tell("start", null); } public void shutdown(){ system.shutdown(); } } 6.7. Microkernel 334 CHAPTER SEVEN HOWTO: COMMON PATTERNS This section lists common actor patterns which have been found to be useful, elegant or instructive. Anything is welcome, example topics being message routing strategies, supervision patterns, restart handling, etc. As a special bonus, additions to this section are marked with the contributor’s name, and it would be nice if every Akka user who finds a recurring pattern in his or her code could share it for the profit of all. Where applicable it might also make sense to add to the akka.pattern package for creating an OTP-like library. You might find some of the patterns described in the Scala chapter of howto-scala useful even though the example code is written in Scala. 7.1 Scheduling Periodic Messages This pattern describes how to schedule periodic messages to yourself in two different ways. The first way is to set up periodic message scheduling in the constructor of the actor, and cancel that scheduled sending in postStop or else we might have multiple registered message sends to the same actor. Note: With this approach the scheduled periodic message send will be restarted with the actor on restarts. This also means that the time period that elapses between two tick messages during a restart may drift off based on when you restart the scheduled message sends relative to the time that the last message was sent, and how long the initial delay is. Worst case scenario is interval plus initialDelay. public class ScheduleInConstructor extends UntypedActor{ private final Cancellable tick= getContext().system().scheduler().schedule( Duration.create(500, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS), Duration.create(1000, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS), getSelf(), "tick", getContext().dispatcher(), null); @Override public void postStop(){ tick.cancel(); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message.equals("tick")){ // do something useful here } else{ unhandled(message); } } } 335 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The second variant sets up an initial one shot message send in the preStart method of the actor, and the then the actor when it receives this message sets up a new one shot message send. You also have to override postRestart so we don’t call preStart and schedule the initial message send again. Note: With this approach we won’t fill up the mailbox with tick messages if the actor is under pressure, but only schedule a new tick message when we have seen the previous one. public class ScheduleInReceive extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void preStart(){ getContext().system().scheduler().scheduleOnce( Duration.create(500, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS), getSelf(), "tick", getContext().dispatcher(), null); } // override postRestart so we don’t call preStart and schedule a new message @Override public void postRestart(Throwable reason){ } @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message.equals("tick")){ // send another periodic tick after the specified delay getContext().system().scheduler().scheduleOnce( Duration.create(1000, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS), getSelf(), "tick", getContext().dispatcher(), null); // do something useful here } else{ unhandled(message); } } } 7.2 Single-Use Actor Trees with High-Level Error Reporting Contributed by: Rick Latrine A nice way to enter the actor world from java is the use of Patterns.ask(). This method starts a temporary actor to forward the message and collect the result from the actor to be “asked”. In case of errors within the asked actor the default supervision handling will take over. The caller of Patterns.ask() will not be notified. If that caller is interested in such an exception, he must make sure that the asked actor replies with Sta- tus.Failure(Throwable). Behind the asked actor a complex actor hierarchy might be spawned to accomplish asyn- chronous work. Then supervision is the established way to control error handling. Unfortunately the asked actor must know about supervision and must catch the exceptions. Such an actor is unlikely to be reused in a different actor hierarchy and contains crippled try/catch blocks. This pattern provides a way to encapsulate supervision and error propagation to the temporary actor. Finally the promise returned by Patterns.ask() is fulfilled as a failure, including the exception. Let’s have a look at the example code: package docs.pattern; import java.util.concurrent.TimeoutException; import scala.concurrent.Future; 7.2. Single-Use Actor Trees with High-Level Error Reporting 336 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.actor.Actor; import akka.actor.ActorKilledException; import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorRefFactory; import akka.actor.Cancellable; import akka.actor.OneForOneStrategy; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.actor.Scheduler; import akka.actor.Status; import akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy; import akka.actor.SupervisorStrategy.Directive; import akka.actor.Terminated; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.japi.Function; import akka.pattern.Patterns; import akka.util.Timeout; public class SupervisedAsk{ private static class AskParam{ Props props; Object message; Timeout timeout; AskParam(Props props, Object message, Timeout timeout){ this.props= props; this.message= message; this.timeout= timeout; } } private static class AskTimeout{ } public static class AskSupervisorCreator extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof AskParam){ ActorRef supervisor= getContext().actorOf( Props.create(AskSupervisor.class)); supervisor.forward(message, getContext()); } else{ unhandled(message); } } } public static class AskSupervisor extends UntypedActor{ private ActorRef targetActor; private ActorRef caller; private AskParam askParam; private Cancellable timeoutMessage; @Override public SupervisorStrategy supervisorStrategy(){ return new OneForOneStrategy(0, Duration.Zero(), new Function(){ public Directive apply(Throwable cause){ caller.tell(new Status.Failure(cause), self()); return SupervisorStrategy.stop(); 7.2. Single-Use Actor Trees with High-Level Error Reporting 337 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } }); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message) throws Exception{ if(message instanceof AskParam){ askParam=(AskParam) message; caller= getSender(); targetActor= getContext().actorOf(askParam.props); getContext().watch(targetActor); targetActor.forward(askParam.message, getContext()); Scheduler scheduler= getContext().system().scheduler(); timeoutMessage= scheduler.scheduleOnce(askParam.timeout.duration(), self(), new AskTimeout(), context().dispatcher(), null); } else if(message instanceof Terminated){ Throwable ex= new ActorKilledException("Target actor terminated."); caller.tell(new Status.Failure(ex), self()); timeoutMessage.cancel(); getContext().stop(self()); } else if(message instanceof AskTimeout){ Throwable ex= new TimeoutException("Target actor timed out after " + askParam.timeout.toString()); caller.tell(new Status.Failure(ex), self()); getContext().stop(self()); } else unhandled(message); } } public static Future askOf(ActorRef supervisorCreator, Props props, Object message, Timeout timeout){ AskParam param= new AskParam(props, message, timeout); return Patterns.ask(supervisorCreator, param, timeout); } synchronized public static ActorRef createSupervisorCreator( ActorRefFactory factory){ return factory.actorOf(Props.create(AskSupervisorCreator.class)); } } In the askOf method the SupervisorCreator is sent the user message. The SupervisorCreator creates a Super- visorActor and forwards the message. This prevents the actor system from overloading due to actor creations. The SupervisorActor is responsible to create the user actor, forwards the message, handles actor termination and supervision. Additionally the SupervisorActor stops the user actor if execution time expired. In case of an exception the supervisor tells the temporary actor which exception was thrown. Afterwards the actor hierarchy is stopped. Finally we are able to execute an actor and receive the results or exceptions. package docs.pattern; import scala.concurrent.Await; import scala.concurrent.Future; import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorRefFactory; import akka.actor.Props; import akka.actor.UntypedActor; import akka.util.Timeout; public class SupervisedAskSpec{ 7.2. Single-Use Actor Trees with High-Level Error Reporting 338 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public Object execute(Class someActor, Object message, Timeout timeout, ActorRefFactory actorSystem) throws Exception{ // example usage try{ ActorRef supervisorCreator= SupervisedAsk .createSupervisorCreator(actorSystem); Future finished= SupervisedAsk.askOf(supervisorCreator, Props.create(someActor), message, timeout); return Await.result(finished, timeout.duration()); } catch(Exceptione){ // exception propagated by supervision throwe; } } } 7.3 Template Pattern Contributed by: N. N. This is an especially nice pattern, since it does even come with some empty example code: class JavaTemplate{ public JavaTemplate(){ System.out.println("Hello, Template!"); } // uninteresting stuff ... } Note: Spread the word: this is the easiest way to get famous! Please keep this pattern at the end of this file. 7.3. Template Pattern 339 CHAPTER EIGHT EXPERIMENTAL MODULES The following modules of Akka are marked as experimental, which means that they are in early access mode, which also means that they are not covered by commercial support. The purpose of releasing them early, as experimental, is to make them easily available and improve based on feedback, or even discover that the module wasn’t useful. An experimental module doesn’t have to obey the rule of staying binary compatible between micro releases. Breaking API changes may be introduced in minor releases without notice as we refine and simplify based on your feedback. An experimental module may be dropped in minor releases without prior deprecation. 8.1 Persistence Akka persistence enables stateful actors to persist their internal state so that it can be recovered when an actor is started, restarted after a JVM crash or by a supervisor, or migrated in a cluster. The key concept behind Akka persistence is that only changes to an actor’s internal state are persisted but never its current state directly (except for optional snapshots). These changes are only ever appended to storage, nothing is ever mutated, which allows for very high transaction rates and efficient replication. Stateful actors are recovered by replaying stored changes to these actors from which they can rebuild internal state. This can be either the full history of changes or starting from a snapshot which can dramatically reduce recovery times. Akka persistence also provides point-to-point communication channels with at-least-once message delivery semantics. Warning: This module is marked as “experimental” as of its introduction in Akka 2.3.0. We will continue to improve this API based on our users’ feedback, which implies that while we try to keep incompatible changes to a minimum the binary compatibility guarantee for maintenance releases does not apply to the contents of the akka.persistence package. Akka persistence is inspired by and the official replacement of the eventsourced library. It follows the same concepts and architecture of eventsourced but significantly differs on API and implementation level. See also Migration Guide Eventsourced to Akka Persistence 2.3.x 8.1.1 Dependencies Akka persistence is a separate jar file. Make sure that you have the following dependency in your project: "com.typesafe.akka"%% "akka-persistence-experimental"% "2.3-SNAPSHOT" 8.1.2 Architecture • Processor: A processor is a persistent, stateful actor. Messages sent to a processor are written to a journal before its receive method is called. When a processor is started or restarted, journaled messages are replayed to that processor, so that it can recover internal state from these messages. 340 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • View: A view is a persistent, stateful actor that receives journaled messages that have been written by another processor. A view itself does not journal new messages, instead, it updates internal state only from a processor’s replicated message stream. • Channel: Channels are used by processors and views to communicate with other actors. They prevent that replayed messages are redundantly delivered to these actors and provide at-least-once message delivery semantics, also in case of sender and receiver JVM crashes. • Journal: A journal stores the sequence of messages sent to a processor. An application can control which messages are journaled and which are received by the processor without being journaled. The storage backend of a journal is pluggable. The default journal storage plugin writes to the local filesystem, replicated journals are available as Community plugins. • Snapshot store: A snapshot store persists snapshots of a processor’s or a view’s internal state. Snapshots are used for optimizing recovery times. The storage backend of a snapshot store is pluggable. The default snapshot storage plugin writes to the local filesystem. • Event sourcing. Based on the building blocks described above, Akka persistence provides abstractions for the development of event sourced applications (see section Event sourcing) 8.1.3 Processors A processor can be implemented by extending the Processor trait and implementing the receive method. import akka.persistence.{ Persistent, PersistenceFailure, Processor} class MyProcessor extends Processor{ def receive={ case Persistent(payload, sequenceNr) => // message successfully written to journal case PersistenceFailure(payload, sequenceNr, cause) => // message failed to be written to journal case other => // message not written to journal } } Processors only write messages of type Persistent to the journal, others are received without being persisted. When a processor’s receive method is called with a Persistent message it can safely assume that this message has been successfully written to the journal. If a journal fails to write a Persistent message then the processor is stopped, by default. If a processor should continue running on persistence failures it must handle PersistenceFailure messages. In this case, a processor may want to inform the sender about the failure, so that the sender can re-send the message, if needed. A Processor itself is an Actor and can therefore be instantiated with actorOf. import akka.actor.Props val processor= actorOf(Props[MyProcessor], name= "myProcessor") processor! Persistent("foo") // will be journaled processor! "bar" // will not be journaled Recovery By default, a processor is automatically recovered on start and on restart by replaying journaled messages. New messages sent to a processor during recovery do not interfere with replayed messages. New messages will only be received by a processor after recovery completes. 8.1. Persistence 341 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Recovery customization Automated recovery on start can be disabled by overriding preStart with an empty implementation. override def preStart()=() In this case, a processor must be recovered explicitly by sending it a Recover() message. processor! Recover() If not overridden, preStart sends a Recover() message to self. Applications may also override preStart to define further Recover() parameters such as an upper sequence number bound, for example. override def preStart(){ self! Recover(toSequenceNr= 457L) } Upper sequence number bounds can be used to recover a processor to past state instead of current state. Automated recovery on restart can be disabled by overriding preRestart with an empty implementation. override def preRestart(reason: Throwable, message: Option[Any])=() Recovery status A processor can query its own recovery status via the methods def recoveryRunning: Boolean def recoveryFinished: Boolean Failure handling A persistent message that caused an exception will be received again by a processor after restart. To prevent a replay of that message during recovery it can be deleted. override def preRestart(reason: Throwable, message: Option[Any]){ message match{ case Some(p: Persistent) => deleteMessage(p.sequenceNr) case_ => } super.preRestart(reason, message) } Message deletion A processor can delete a single message by calling the deleteMessage method with the sequence number of that message as argument. An optional permanent parameter specifies whether the message shall be perma- nently deleted from the journal or only marked as deleted. In both cases, the message won’t be replayed. Later extensions to Akka persistence will allow to replay messages that have been marked as deleted which can be useful for debugging purposes, for example. To delete all messages (journaled by a single processor) up to a specified sequence number, processors should call the deleteMessages method. Identifiers A processor must have an identifier that doesn’t change across different actor incarnations. It defaults to the String representation of processor’s path without the address part and can be obtained via the processorId method. 8.1. Persistence 342 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT def processorId: String Applications can customize a processor’s id by specifying an actor name during processor creation as shown in section Processors. This changes that processor’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the processor id. To fully customize a processor’s id, the processorId method must be overridden. override def processorId= "my-stable-processor-id" Overriding processorId is the recommended way to generate stable identifiers. 8.1.4 Views Views can be implemented by extending the View trait and implementing the receive and the processorId methods. class MyView extends View{ def processorId: String= "some-processor-id" def receive: Actor.Receive={ case Persistent(payload, sequenceNr) => // ... } } The processorId identifies the processor from which the view receives journaled messages. It is not necessary the referenced processor is actually running. Views read messages from a processor’s journal directly. When a processor is started later and begins to write new messages, the corresponding view is updated automatically, by default. Updates The default update interval of all views of an actor system is configurable: akka.persistence.view.auto-update-interval=5s View implementation classes may also override the autoUpdateInterval method to return a custom update interval for a specific view class or view instance. Applications may also trigger additional updates at any time by sending a view an Update message. val view= system.actorOf(Props[MyView]) view! Update(await= true) If the await parameter is set to true, messages that follow the Update request are processed when the incre- mental message replay, triggered by that update request, completed. If set to false (default), messages following the update request may interleave with the replayed message stream. Automated updates always run with await = false. Automated updates of all views of an actor system can be turned off by configuration: akka.persistence.view.auto-update= off Implementation classes may override the configured default value by overriding the autoUpdate method. To limit the number of replayed messages per update request, applications can con- figure a custom akka.persistence.view.auto-update-replay-max value or override the autoUpdateReplayMax method. The number of replayed messages for manual updates can be limited with the replayMax parameter of the Update message. Recovery Initial recovery of views works in the very same way as for Processors (i.e. by sending a Recover message to self). The maximum number of replayed messages during initial recovery is determined by 8.1. Persistence 343 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT autoUpdateReplayMax. Further possibilities to customize initial recovery are explained in section Proces- sors. Identifiers A view must have an identifier that doesn’t change across different actor incarnations. It defaults to the String representation of the actor path without the address part and can be obtained via the viewId method. Applications can customize a view’s id by specifying an actor name during view creation. This changes that view’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the view id. To fully customize a view’s id, the viewId method must be overridden. Overriding viewId is the recommended way to generate stable identifiers. The viewId must differ from the referenced processorId, unless Snapshots of a view and its processor shall be shared (which is what applications usually do not want). 8.1.5 Channels Channels are special actors that are used by processors or views to communicate with other actors (channel desti- nations). The following discusses channels in context of processors but this is also applicable to views. Channels prevent redundant delivery of replayed messages to destinations during processor recovery. A replayed message is retained by a channel if its delivery has been confirmed by a destination. import akka.actor.{ Actor, Props} import akka.persistence.{ Channel, Deliver, Persistent, Processor} class MyProcessor extends Processor{ val destination= context.actorOf(Props[MyDestination]) val channel= context.actorOf(Channel.props(), name= "myChannel") def receive={ casep@ Persistent(payload,_) => channel! Deliver(p.withPayload(s"processed ${payload}"), destination.path) } } class MyDestination extends Actor{ def receive={ casep@ ConfirmablePersistent(payload, sequenceNr, redeliveries) => // ... p.confirm() } } A channel is ready to use once it has been created, no recovery or further activation is needed. A Deliver request instructs a channel to send a Persistent message to a destination. A destination is provided as ActorPath and messages are sent by the channel via that path’s ActorSelection. Sender references are preserved by a channel, therefore, a destination can reply to the sender of a Deliver request. Note: Sending via a channel has at-least-once delivery semantics—by virtue of either the sending actor or the channel being persistent—which means that the semantics do not match those of a normal ActorRef send operation: • it is not at-most-once delivery • message order for the same sender–receiver pair is not retained due to possible resends • after a crash and restart of the destination messages are still delivered—to the new actor incarnation These semantics match precisely what an ActorPath represents (see actor-lifecycle-scala), therefore you need to supply a path and not a reference when constructing Deliver messages. 8.1. Persistence 344 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT If a processor wants to reply to a Persistent message sender it should use the sender path as channel destination. channel! Deliver(p.withPayload(s"processed ${payload}"), sender.path) Persistent messages delivered by a channel are of type ConfirmablePersistent. ConfirmablePersistent extends Persistent by adding the methods confirm and redeliveries (see also Message re-delivery). A channel destination confirms the delivery of a ConfirmablePersistent message by calling confirm() on that message. This asynchronously writes a confirmation entry to the journal. Replayed messages internally contain confirmation entries which allows a channel to decide if it should retain these messages or not. A Processor can also be used as channel destination i.e. it can persist ConfirmablePersistent messages too. Message re-delivery Channels re-deliver messages to destinations if they do not confirm delivery within a configurable timeout. This timeout can be specified as redeliverInterval when creating a channel, optionally together with the maxi- mum number of re-deliveries a channel should attempt for each unconfirmed message. The number of re-delivery attempts can be obtained via the redeliveries method on ConfirmablePersistent or by pattern match- ing. context.actorOf(Channel.props( ChannelSettings(redeliverInterval= 30 seconds, redeliverMax= 15)), name= "myChannel") A channel keeps messages in memory until their successful delivery has been confirmed or the maximum number of re-deliveries is reached. To be notified about messages that have reached the maximum number of re-deliveries, applications can register a listener at channel creation. class MyListener extends Actor{ def receive={ case RedeliverFailure(messages) => // ... } } val myListener= context.actorOf(Props[MyListener]) val myChannel= context.actorOf(Channel.props( ChannelSettings(redeliverFailureListener= Some(myListener)))) A listener receives RedeliverFailure notifications containing all messages that could not be delivered. On receiving a RedeliverFailure message, an application may decide to restart the sending processor to enforce a re-send of these messages to the channel or confirm these messages to prevent further re-sends. The sending processor can also be restarted any time later to re-send unconfirmed messages. This combination of • message persistence by sending processors • message replays by sending processors • message re-deliveries by channels and • application-level confirmations (acknowledgements) by destinations enables channels to provide at-least-once message delivery semantics. Possible duplicates can be detected by destinations by tracking message sequence numbers. Message sequence numbers are generated per sending pro- cessor. Depending on how a processor routes outbound messages to destinations, they may either see a contiguous message sequence or a sequence with gaps. 8.1. Persistence 345 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Warning: If a processor emits more than one outbound message per inbound Persistent message it must use a separate channel for each outbound message to ensure that confirmations are uniquely identifiable, otherwise, at-least-once message delivery semantics do not apply. This rule has been introduced to avoid writing additional outbound message identifiers to the journal which would decrease the overall throughput. It is furthermore recommended to collapse multiple outbound messages to the same destination into a single outbound message, otherwise, if sent via multiple channels, their ordering is not defined. If an application wants to have more control how sequence numbers are assigned to messages it should use an application-specific sequence number generator and include the generated sequence numbers into the payload of Persistent messages. Persistent channels Channels created with Channel.props do not persist messages. These channels are usually used in combina- tion with a sending processor that takes care of persistence, hence, channel-specific persistence is not necessary in this case. They are referred to as transient channels in the following. Persistent channels are like transient channels but additionally persist messages before delivering them. Mes- sages that have been persisted by a persistent channel are deleted when destinations confirm their deliv- ery. A persistent channel can be created with PersistentChannel.props and configured with a PersistentChannelSettings object. val channel= context.actorOf(PersistentChannel.props( PersistentChannelSettings(redeliverInterval= 30 seconds, redeliverMax= 15)), name= "myPersistentChannel") channel! Deliver(Persistent("example"), destination.path) A persistent channel is useful for delivery of messages to slow destinations or destinations that are unavailable for a long time. It can constrain the number of pending confirmations based on the pendingConfirmationsMax and pendingConfirmationsMin parameters of PersistentChannelSettings. PersistentChannelSettings( pendingConfirmationsMax= 10000, pendingConfirmationsMin= 2000) It suspends delivery when the number of pending confirmations reaches pendingConfirmationsMax and re- sumes delivery again when this number falls below pendingConfirmationsMin. This prevents both, flood- ing destinations with more messages than they can process and unlimited memory consumption by the channel. A persistent channel continues to persist new messages even when message delivery is temporarily suspended. Standalone usage Applications may also use channels standalone. Transient channels can be used standalone if re-delivery attempts to destinations are required but message loss in case of a sender JVM crash is not an issue. If message loss in case of a sender JVM crash is an issue, persistent channels should be used. In this case, applications may want to receive replies from the channel whether messages have been successfully persisted or not. This can be enabled by creating the channel with the replyPersistent configuration parameter set to true: PersistentChannelSettings(replyPersistent= true) With this setting, either the successfully persisted message is replied to the sender or a PersistenceFailure message. In case the latter case, the sender should re-send the message. Identifiers In the same way as Processors and Views, channels also have an identifier that defaults to a channel’s path. A channel identifier can therefore be customized by using a custom actor name at channel creation. This 8.1. Persistence 346 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT changes that channel’s name in its actor hierarchy and hence influences only part of the channel identifier. To fully customize a channel identifier, it should be provided as argument Channel.props(String) or PersistentChannel.props(String) (recommended to generate stable identifiers). context.actorOf(Channel.props("my-stable-channel-id")) 8.1.6 Persistent messages Payload The payload of a Persistent message can be obtained via its def payload: Any method or by pattern matching case Persistent(payload,_) => Inside processors, new persistent messages are derived from the current persistent message before sending them via a channel, either by calling p.withPayload(...) or Persistent(...) where the latter uses the implicit currentPersistentMessage made available by Processor. implicit def currentPersistentMessage: Option[Persistent] This is necessary for delivery confirmations to work properly. Both ways are equivalent but we recommend using p.withPayload(...) for clarity. Sequence number The sequence number of a Persistent message can be obtained via its def sequenceNr: Long method or by pattern matching case Persistent(_, sequenceNr) => Persistent messages are assigned sequence numbers on a per-processor basis (or per channel basis if used stan- dalone). A sequence starts at 1L and doesn’t contain gaps unless a processor deletes messages. 8.1.7 Snapshots Snapshots can dramatically reduce recovery times of processors and views. The following discusses snapshots in context of processors but this is also applicable to views. Processors can save snapshots of internal state by calling the saveSnapshot method. If saving of a snapshot succeeds, the processor receives a SaveSnapshotSuccess message, otherwise a SaveSnapshotFailure message class MyProcessor extends Processor{ var state: Any=_ def receive={ case "snap" => saveSnapshot(state) case SaveSnapshotSuccess(metadata) => // ... case SaveSnapshotFailure(metadata, reason) => // ... } } where metadata is of type SnapshotMetadata: 8.1. Persistence 347 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT case class SnapshotMetadata(processorId: String, sequenceNr: Long, timestamp: Long= 0L) During recovery, the processor is offered a previously saved snapshot via a SnapshotOffer message from which it can initialize internal state. class MyProcessor extends Processor{ var state: Any=_ def receive={ case SnapshotOffer(metadata, offeredSnapshot) => state= offeredSnapshot case Persistent(payload, sequenceNr) => // ... } } The replayed messages that follow the SnapshotOffer message, if any, are younger than the offered snapshot. They finally recover the processor to its current (i.e. latest) state. In general, a processor is only offered a snapshot if that processor has previously saved one or more snapshots and at least one of these snapshots matches the SnapshotSelectionCriteria that can be specified for recovery. processor! Recover(fromSnapshot= SnapshotSelectionCriteria( maxSequenceNr= 457L, maxTimestamp= System.currentTimeMillis)) If not specified, they default to SnapshotSelectionCriteria.Latest which selects the latest (= youngest) snapshot. To disable snapshot-based recovery, applications should use SnapshotSelectionCriteria.None. A recovery where no saved snapshot matches the specified SnapshotSelectionCriteria will replay all journaled messages. Snapshot deletion A processor can delete individual snapshots by calling the deleteSnapshot method with the se- quence number and the timestamp of a snapshot as argument. To bulk-delete snapshots matching SnapshotSelectionCriteria, processors should use the deleteSnapshots method. 8.1.8 Event sourcing In all the examples so far, messages that change a processor’s state have been sent as Persistent messages by an application, so that they can be replayed during recovery. From this point of view, the journal acts as a write- ahead-log for whatever Persistent messages a processor receives. This is also known as command sourcing. Commands, however, may fail and some applications cannot tolerate command failures during recovery. For these applications Event Sourcing is a better choice. Applied to Akka persistence, the basic idea behind event sourcing is quite simple. A processor receives a (non-persistent) command which is first validated if it can be applied to the current state. Here, validation can mean anything, from simple inspection of a command message’s fields up to a conversation with several external services, for example. If validation succeeds, events are generated from the command, representing the effect of the command. These events are then persisted and, after successful persistence, used to change a processor’s state. When the processor needs to be recovered, only the persisted events are replayed of which we know that they can be successfully applied. In other words, events cannot fail when being replayed to a processor, in contrast to commands. Eventsourced processors may of course also process commands that do not change application state, such as query commands, for example. Akka persistence supports event sourcing with the EventsourcedProcessor trait (which implements event sourcing as a pattern on top of command sourcing). A processor that extends this trait does not handle Persistent messages directly but uses the persist method to persist and handle events. The behavior of an EventsourcedProcessor is defined by implementing receiveRecover and receiveCommand. This is demonstrated in the following example. 8.1. Persistence 348 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT import akka.actor._ import akka.persistence._ case class Cmd(data: String) case class Evt(data: String) case class ExampleState(events: List[String]= Nil){ def update(evt: Evt)= copy(evt.data:: events) def size= events.length override def toString: String= events.reverse.toString } class ExampleProcessor extends EventsourcedProcessor{ var state= ExampleState() def updateState(event: Evt): Unit= state= state.update(event) def numEvents= state.size val receiveRecover: Receive={ case evt: Evt => updateState(evt) case SnapshotOffer(_, snapshot: ExampleState) => state= snapshot } val receiveCommand: Receive={ case Cmd(data) => persist(Evt(s"${data}-${numEvents}"))(updateState) persist(Evt(s"${data}-${numEvents + 1}")){ event => updateState(event) context.system.eventStream.publish(event) if(data == "foo") context.become(otherCommandHandler) } case "snap" => saveSnapshot(state) case "print" => println(state) } val otherCommandHandler: Receive={ case Cmd("bar") => persist(Evt(s"bar-${numEvents}")){ event => updateState(event) context.unbecome() } unstashAll() case other => stash() } } The example defines two data types, Cmd and Evt to represent commands and events, respectively. The state of the ExampleProcessor is a list of persisted event data contained in ExampleState. The processor’s receiveRecover method defines how state is updated during recovery by handling Evt and SnapshotOffer messages. The processor’s receiveCommand method is a command handler. In this example, a command is handled by generating two events which are then persisted and handled. Events are persisted by calling persist with an event (or a sequence of events) as first argument and an event handler as second argument. The persist method persists events asynchronously and the event handler is executed for successfully persisted events. Successfully persisted events are internally sent back to the processor as individual messages that trigger event handler executions. An event handler may close over processor state and mutate it. The sender of a persisted event is the sender of the corresponding command. This allows event handlers to reply to the sender of a command (not shown). 8.1. Persistence 349 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The main responsibility of an event handler is changing processor state using event data and notifying others about successful state changes by publishing events. When persisting events with persist it is guaranteed that the processor will not receive further commands between the persist call and the execution(s) of the associated event handler. This also holds for multiple persist calls in context of a single command. The example also shows how to switch between command different command handlers with context.become() and context.unbecome(). The easiest way to run this example yourself is to download Typesafe Activator and open the tutorial named Akka Persistence Samples with Scala. It contains instructions on how to run the EventsourcedExample. Reliable event delivery Sending events from an event handler to another actor has at-most-once delivery semantics. For at-least-once delivery, Channels must be used. In this case, also replayed events (received by receiveRecover) must be sent to a channel, as shown in the following example: class MyEventsourcedProcessor(destination: ActorRef) extends EventsourcedProcessor{ val channel= context.actorOf(Channel.props("channel")) def handleEvent(event: String)={ // update state // ... // reliably deliver events channel! Deliver(Persistent(event), destination.path) } def receiveRecover: Receive={ case event: String => handleEvent(event) } def receiveCommand: Receive={ case "cmd" =>{ // ... persist("evt")(handleEvent) } } } In larger integration scenarios, channel destinations may be actors that submit received events to an external message broker, for example. After having successfully submitted an event, they should call confirm() on the received ConfirmablePersistent message. 8.1.9 Batch writes To optimize throughput, a Processor internally batches received Persistent messages under high load before writing them to the journal (as a single batch). The batch size dynamically grows from 1 under low and moderate loads to a configurable maximum size (default is 200) under high load. akka.persistence.journal.max-message-batch-size= 200 A new batch write is triggered by a processor as soon as a batch reaches the maximum size or if the journal completed writing the previous batch. Batch writes are never timer-based which keeps latencies at a minimum. Applications that want to have more explicit control over batch writes and batch sizes can send processors PersistentBatch messages. class MyProcessor extends Processor{ def receive={ case Persistent("a",_) => // ... case Persistent("b",_) => // ... 8.1. Persistence 350 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } } val system= ActorSystem("example") val processor= system.actorOf(Props[MyProcessor]) processor! PersistentBatch(List(Persistent("a"), Persistent("b"))) Persistent messages contained in a PersistentBatch are always written atomically, even if the batch size is greater than max-message-batch-size. Also, a PersistentBatch is written isolated from other batches. Persistent messages contained in a PersistentBatch are received individually by a processor. PersistentBatch messages, for example, are used internally by an EventsourcedProcessor to en- sure atomic writes of events. All events that are persisted in context of a single command are written as a single batch to the journal (even if persist is called multiple times per command). The recovery of an EventsourcedProcessor will therefore never be done partially (with only a subset of events persisted by a single command). Confirmation and deletion operations performed by Channels are also batched. The maximum confirmation and deletion batch sizes are configurable with akka.persistence.journal.max-confirmation-batch-size and akka.persistence.journal.max-deletion-batch-size, respectively. 8.1.10 Storage plugins Storage backends for journals and snapshot stores are pluggable in Akka persistence. The default journal plugin writes messages to LevelDB (see Local LevelDB journal). The default snapshot store plugin writes snapshots as individual files to the local filesystem (see Local snapshot store). Applications can provide their own plugins by implementing a plugin API and activate them by configuration. Plugin development requires the following imports: import scala.concurrent.Future import scala.collection.immutable.Seq import akka.persistence._ import akka.persistence.journal._ import akka.persistence.snapshot._ Journal plugin API A journal plugin either extends SyncWriteJournal or AsyncWriteJournal. SyncWriteJournal is an actor that should be extended when the storage backend API only supports synchronous, blocking writes. In this case, the methods to be implemented are: /** * Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of persistent messages to the journal. * The batch write must be atomic i.e. either all persistent messages in the batch * are written or none. */ def writeMessages(messages: immutable.Seq[PersistentRepr]): Unit /** * Plugin API: synchronously writes a batch of delivery confirmations to the journal. */ def writeConfirmations(confirmations: immutable.Seq[PersistentConfirmation]): Unit /** * Plugin API: synchronously deletes messages identified by ‘messageIds‘ from the * journal. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are marked as * deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. */ 8.1. Persistence 351 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT def deleteMessages(messageIds: immutable.Seq[PersistentId], permanent: Boolean): Unit /** * Plugin API: synchronously deletes all persistent messages up to ‘toSequenceNr‘ *(inclusive). If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are marked * as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. */ def deleteMessagesTo(processorId: String, toSequenceNr: Long, permanent: Boolean): Unit AsyncWriteJournal is an actor that should be extended if the storage backend API supports asynchronous, non-blocking writes. In this case, the methods to be implemented are: /** * Plugin API: asynchronously writes a batch of persistent messages to the journal. * The batch write must be atomic i.e. either all persistent messages in the batch * are written or none. */ def asyncWriteMessages(messages: immutable.Seq[PersistentRepr]): Future[Unit] /** * Plugin API: asynchronously writes a batch of delivery confirmations to the journal. */ def asyncWriteConfirmations(confirmations: immutable.Seq[PersistentConfirmation]): Future[Unit] /** * Plugin API: asynchronously deletes messages identified by ‘messageIds‘ from the * journal. If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are marked as * deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. */ def asyncDeleteMessages(messageIds: immutable.Seq[PersistentId], permanent: Boolean): Future[Unit] /** * Plugin API: asynchronously deletes all persistent messages up to ‘toSequenceNr‘ *(inclusive). If ‘permanent‘ is set to ‘false‘, the persistent messages are marked * as deleted, otherwise they are permanently deleted. */ def asyncDeleteMessagesTo(processorId: String, toSequenceNr: Long, permanent: Boolean): Future[Unit] Message replays and sequence number recovery are always asynchronous, therefore, any journal plugin must implement: /** * Plugin API: asynchronously replays persistent messages. Implementations replay * a message by calling ‘replayCallback‘. The returned future must be completed * when all messages (matching the sequence number bounds) have been replayed. * The future must be completed with a failure if any of the persistent messages * could not be replayed. * * The ‘replayCallback‘ must also be called with messages that have been marked * as deleted. In this case a replayed message’s ‘deleted‘ method must return *‘true‘. * * The channel ids of delivery confirmations that are available for a replayed * message must be contained in that message’s ‘confirms‘ sequence. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param fromSequenceNr sequence number where replay should start (inclusive). *@param toSequenceNr sequence number where replay should end (inclusive). *@param max maximum number of messages to be replayed. *@param replayCallback called to replay a single message. Can be called from any * thread. * *@see [[AsyncWriteJournal]] 8.1. Persistence 352 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT *@see [[SyncWriteJournal]] */ def asyncReplayMessages(processorId: String, fromSequenceNr: Long, toSequenceNr: Long, max: Long)(replayCallback: PersistentRepr ⇒ Unit): Future[Unit] /** * Plugin API: asynchronously reads the highest stored sequence number for the * given ‘processorId‘. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param fromSequenceNr hint where to start searching for the highest sequence * number. */ def asyncReadHighestSequenceNr(processorId: String, fromSequenceNr: Long): Future[Long] A journal plugin can be activated with the following minimal configuration: # Path to the journal plugin to be used akka.persistence.journal.plugin= "my-journal" # My custom journal plugin my-journal{ # Class name of the plugin. class= "docs.persistence.MyJournal" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher= "akka.actor.default-dispatcher" } The specified plugin class must have a no-arg constructor. The plugin-dispatcher is the dispatcher used for the plugin actor. If not specified, it defaults to akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher for SyncWriteJournal plugins and akka.actor.default-dispatcher for AsyncWriteJournal plugins. Snapshot store plugin API A snapshot store plugin must extend the SnapshotStore actor and implement the following methods: /** * Plugin API: asynchronously loads a snapshot. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param criteria selection criteria for loading. */ def loadAsync(processorId: String, criteria: SnapshotSelectionCriteria): Future[Option[SelectedSnapshot]] /** * Plugin API: asynchronously saves a snapshot. * *@param metadata snapshot metadata. *@param snapshot snapshot. */ def saveAsync(metadata: SnapshotMetadata, snapshot: Any): Future[Unit] /** * Plugin API: called after successful saving of a snapshot. * *@param metadata snapshot metadata. */ def saved(metadata: SnapshotMetadata) /** * Plugin API: deletes the snapshot identified by ‘metadata‘. * 8.1. Persistence 353 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT *@param metadata snapshot metadata. */ def delete(metadata: SnapshotMetadata) /** * Plugin API: deletes all snapshots matching ‘criteria‘. * *@param processorId processor id. *@param criteria selection criteria for deleting. */ def delete(processorId: String, criteria: SnapshotSelectionCriteria) A snapshot store plugin can be activated with the following minimal configuration: # Path to the snapshot store plugin to be used akka.persistence.snapshot-store.plugin= "my-snapshot-store" # My custom snapshot store plugin my-snapshot-store{ # Class name of the plugin. class= "docs.persistence.MySnapshotStore" # Dispatcher for the plugin actor. plugin-dispatcher= "akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher" } The specified plugin class must have a no-arg constructor. The plugin-dispatcher is the dispatcher used for the plugin actor. If not specified, it defaults to akka.persistence.dispatchers.default-plugin-dispatcher. 8.1.11 Pre-packaged plugins Local LevelDB journal The default journal plugin is akka.persistence.journal.leveldb which writes messages to a local LevelDB instance. The default location of the LevelDB files is a directory named journal in the current working directory. This location can be changed by configuration where the specified path can be relative or absolute: akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.dir= "target/journal" With this plugin, each actor system runs its own private LevelDB instance. Shared LevelDB journal A LevelDB instance can also be shared by multiple actor systems (on the same or on different nodes). This, for example, allows processors to failover to a backup node and continue using the shared journal instance from the backup node. Warning: A shared LevelDB instance is a single point of failure and should therefore only be used for testing purposes. Highly-available, replicated journal are available as Community plugins. A shared LevelDB instance is started by instantiating the SharedLeveldbStore actor. import akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.SharedLeveldbStore val store= system.actorOf(Props[SharedLeveldbStore], "store") By default, the shared instance writes journaled messages to a local directory named journal in the current working directory. The storage location can be changed by configuration: 8.1. Persistence 354 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared.store.dir= "target/shared" Actor systems that use a shared LevelDB store must activate the akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared plugin. akka.persistence.journal.plugin= "akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared" This plugin must be initialized by injecting the (remote) SharedLeveldbStore actor reference. Injection is done by calling the SharedLeveldbJournal.setStore method with the actor reference as argument. trait SharedStoreUsage extends Actor{ override def preStart(): Unit={ context.actorSelection("akka.tcp://example@127.0.0.1:2552/user/store")! Identify(1) } def receive={ case ActorIdentity(1, Some(store)) => SharedLeveldbJournal.setStore(store, context.system) } } Internal journal commands (sent by processors) are buffered until injection completes. Injection is idempotent i.e. only the first injection is used. Local snapshot store The default snapshot store plugin is akka.persistence.snapshot-store.local. It writes snapshot files to the local filesystem. The default storage location is a directory named snapshots in the current working directory. This can be changed by configuration where the specified path can be relative or absolute: akka.persistence.snapshot-store.local.dir= "target/snapshots" 8.1.12 Custom serialization Serialization of snapshots and payloads of Persistent messages is configurable with Akka’s serialization- scala infrastructure. For example, if an application wants to serialize • payloads of type MyPayload with a custom MyPayloadSerializer and • snapshots of type MySnapshot with a custom MySnapshotSerializer it must add akka.actor{ serializers{ my-payload= "docs.persistence.MyPayloadSerializer" my-snapshot= "docs.persistence.MySnapshotSerializer" } serialization-bindings{ "docs.persistence.MyPayload"= my-payload "docs.persistence.MySnapshot"= my-snapshot } } to the application configuration. If not specified, a default serializer is used. 8.1.13 Testing When running tests with LevelDB default settings in sbt, make sure to set fork := true in your sbt project otherwise, you’ll see an UnsatisfiedLinkError. Alternatively, you can switch to a LevelDB Java port by setting 8.1. Persistence 355 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT akka.persistence.journal.leveldb.native= off or akka.persistence.journal.leveldb-shared.store.native= off in your Akka configuration. The LevelDB Java port is for testing purposes only. 8.1.14 Miscellaneous State machines State machines can be persisted by mixing in the FSM trait into processors. import akka.actor.FSM import akka.persistence.{ Processor, Persistent} class PersistentDoor extends Processor with FSM[String, Int]{ startWith("closed",0) when("closed"){ case Event(Persistent("open",_), counter) => goto("open") using(counter+1) replying(counter) } when("open"){ case Event(Persistent("close",_), counter) => goto("closed") using(counter+1) replying(counter) } } 8.2 Multi Node Testing Note: This module is experimental. This document describes how to use the features implemented so far. More features are coming in Akka Coltrane. Track progress of the Coltrane milestone in Assembla. 8.2.1 Multi Node Testing Concepts When we talk about multi node testing in Akka we mean the process of running coordinated tests on multiple actor systems in different JVMs. The multi node testing kit consist of three main parts. • The Test Conductor. that coordinates and controls the nodes under test. • The Multi Node Spec. that is a convenience wrapper for starting the TestConductor and letting all nodes connect to it. • The SbtMultiJvm Plugin. that starts tests in multiple JVMs possibly on multiple machines. 8.2.2 The Test Conductor The basis for the multi node testing is the TestConductor. It is an Akka Extension that plugs in to the network stack and it is used to coordinate the nodes participating in the test and provides several features including: • Node Address Lookup: Finding out the full path to another test node (No need to share configuration between test nodes) • Node Barrier Coordination: Waiting for other nodes at named barriers. 8.2. Multi Node Testing 356 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • Network Failure Injection: Throttling traffic, dropping packets, unplugging and plugging nodes back in. This is a schematic overview of the test conductor. The test conductor server is responsible for coordinating barriers and sending commands to the test conductor clients that act upon them, e.g. throttling network traffic to/from another client. More information on the possible operations is availible in the akka.remote.testconductor.Conductor API documentation. 8.2.3 The Multi Node Spec The Multi Node Spec consists of two parts. The MultiNodeConfig that is responsible for common con- figuration and enumerating and naming the nodes under test. The MultiNodeSpec that contains a number of convenience functions for making the test nodes interact with each other. More information on the possible operations is available in the akka.remote.testkit.MultiNodeSpec API documentation. The setup of the MultiNodeSpec is configured through java system properties that you set on all JVMs that’s going to run a node under test. These can easily be set on the JVM command line with -Dproperty=value. These are the available properties: • multinode.max-nodes The maximum number of nodes that a test can have. • multinode.host The host name or IP for this node. Must be resolvable using InetAddress.getByName. • multinode.port The port number for this node. Defaults to 0 which will use a random port. • multinode.server-host The host name or IP for the server node. Must be resolvable using InetAddress.getByName. • multinode.server-port The port number for the server node. Defaults to 4711. • multinode.index 8.2. Multi Node Testing 357 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The index of this node in the sequence of roles defined for the test. The index 0 is special and that machine will be the server. All failure injection and throttling must be done from this node. 8.2.4 The SbtMultiJvm Plugin The SbtMultiJvm Plugin has been updated to be able to run multi node tests, by automatically generating the relevant multinode.* properties. This means that you can easily run multi node tests on a single machine without any special configuration by just running them as normal multi-jvm tests. These tests can then be run distributed over multiple machines without any changes simply by using the multi-node additions to the plugin. Multi Node Specific Additions The plugin also has a number of new multi-node-* sbt tasks and settings to support run- ning tests on multiple machines. The necessary test classes and dependencies are packaged for distribution to other machines with SbtAssembly into a jar file with a name on the format _--multi-jvm-assembly.jar Note: To be able to distribute and kick off the tests on multiple machines, it is assumed that both host and target systems are POSIX like systems with ssh and rsync available. These are the available sbt multi-node settings: • multiNodeHosts A sequence of hosts to use for running the test, on the form user@host:java where host is the only required part. Will override settings from file. • multiNodeHostsFileName A file to use for reading in the hosts to use for running the test. One per line on the same format as above. Defaults to multi-node-test.hosts in the base project directory. • multiNodeTargetDirName A name for the directory on the target machine, where to copy the jar file. Defaults to multi-node-test in the base directory of the ssh user used to rsync the jar file. • multiNodeJavaName The name of the default Java executable on the target machines. Defaults to java. Here are some examples of how you define hosts: • localhost The current user on localhost using the default java. • user1@host1 User user1 on host host1 with the default java. • user2@host2:/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64/bin/java User user2 on host host2 using java 7. • host3:/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/java The current user on host host3 using java 6. Running the Multi Node Tests To run all the multi node test in multi-node mode (i.e. distributing the jar files and kicking off the tests remotely) from inside sbt, use the multi-node-test task: 8.2. Multi Node Testing 358 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT multi-node-test To run all of them in multi-jvm mode (i.e. all JVMs on the local machine) do: multi-jvm:test To run individual tests use the multi-node-test-only task: multi-node-test-only your.MultiNodeTest To run individual tests in the multi-jvm mode do: multi-jvm:test-only your.MultiNodeTest More than one test name can be listed to run multiple specific tests. Tab completion in sbt makes it easy to complete the test names. 8.2.5 Preparing Your Project for Multi Node Testing The multi node testing kit is a separate jar file. Make sure that you have the following dependency in your project: "com.typesafe.akka"%% "akka-multi-node-testkit"% "2.3-SNAPSHOT" If you are using the latest nightly build you should pick a timestamped Akka version from http://repo.typesafe.com/typesafe/snapshots/com/typesafe/akka/akka-multi-node-testkit_2.10/. We recommend against using SNAPSHOT in order to obtain stable builds. 8.2.6 A Multi Node Testing Example First we need some scaffolding to hook up the MultiNodeSpec with your favorite test framework. Lets define a trait STMultiNodeSpec that uses ScalaTest to start and stop MultiNodeSpec. package sample.multinode import org.scalatest.{ BeforeAndAfterAll, WordSpecLike} import org.scalatest.Matchers import akka.remote.testkit.MultiNodeSpecCallbacks /** * Hooks up MultiNodeSpec with ScalaTest */ trait STMultiNodeSpec extends MultiNodeSpecCallbacks with WordSpecLike with Matchers with BeforeAndAfterAll{ override def beforeAll()= multiNodeSpecBeforeAll() override def afterAll()= multiNodeSpecAfterAll() } Then we need to define a configuration. Lets use two nodes "node1 and "node2" and call it MultiNodeSampleConfig. package sample.multinode import akka.remote.testkit.MultiNodeConfig object MultiNodeSampleConfig extends MultiNodeConfig{ val node1= role("node1") val node2= role("node2") } And then finally to the node test code. That starts the two nodes, and demonstrates a barrier, and a remote actor message send/receive. 8.2. Multi Node Testing 359 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT package sample.multinode import akka.remote.testkit.MultiNodeSpec import akka.testkit.ImplicitSender import akka.actor.{ Props, Actor} class MultiNodeSampleSpecMultiJvmNode1 extends MultiNodeSample class MultiNodeSampleSpecMultiJvmNode2 extends MultiNodeSample object MultiNodeSample{ class Ponger extends Actor{ def receive={ case "ping" => sender()! "pong" } } } class MultiNodeSample extends MultiNodeSpec(MultiNodeSampleConfig) with STMultiNodeSpec with ImplicitSender{ import MultiNodeSampleConfig._ import MultiNodeSample._ def initialParticipants= roles.size "A MultiNodeSample" must{ "wait for all nodes to enter a barrier" in{ enterBarrier("startup") } "send to and receive from a remote node" in{ runOn(node1){ enterBarrier("deployed") val ponger= system.actorSelection(node(node2)/ "user"/ "ponger") ponger! "ping" expectMsg("pong") } runOn(node2){ system.actorOf(Props[Ponger], "ponger") enterBarrier("deployed") } enterBarrier("finished") } } } The easiest way to run this example yourself is to download Typesafe Activator and open the tutorial named Akka Multi-Node Testing Sample with Scala. 8.2.7 Things to Keep in Mind There are a couple of things to keep in mind when writing multi node tests or else your tests might behave in surprising ways. • Don’t issue a shutdown of the first node. The first node is the controller and if it shuts down your test will break. • To be able to use blackhole, passThrough, and throttle you must activate the failure injector and throttler transport adapters by specifying testTransport(on = true) in your MultiNodeConfig. 8.2. Multi Node Testing 360 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • Throttling, shutdown and other failure injections can only be done from the first node, which again is the controller. • Don’t ask for the address of a node using node(address) after the node has been shut down. Grab the address before shutting down the node. • Don’t use MultiNodeSpec methods like address lookup, barrier entry et.c. from other threads than the main test thread. This also means that you shouldn’t use them from inside an actor, a future, or a scheduled task. 8.3 Actors (Java with Lambda Support) The Actor Model provides a higher level of abstraction for writing concurrent and distributed systems. It alleviates the developer from having to deal with explicit locking and thread management, making it easier to write correct concurrent and parallel systems. Actors were defined in the 1973 paper by Carl Hewitt but have been popularized by the Erlang language, and used for example at Ericsson with great success to build highly concurrent and reliable telecom systems. The API of Akka’s Actors is similar to Scala Actors which has borrowed some of its syntax from Erlang. Warning: The Java with lambda support part of Akka is marked as “experimental” as of its introduction in Akka 2.3.0. We will continue to improve this API based on our users’ feedback, which implies that while we try to keep incompatible changes to a minimum, but the binary compatibility guarantee for maintenance releases does not apply to the akka.actor.AbstractActor, related classes and the akka.japi.pf package. 8.3.1 Creating Actors Note: Since Akka enforces parental supervision every actor is supervised and (potentially) the supervisor of its children, it is advisable that you familiarize yourself with Actor Systems and Supervision and Monitoring and it may also help to read Actor References, Paths and Addresses. Defining an Actor class Actor classes are implemented by extending the AbstractActor class and implementing the receive method. The receive method should define a series of match statements (which has the type PartialFunction) that defines which messages your Actor can handle, along with the implementation of how the messages should be processed. Don’t let the type signature scare you. To allow you to easily build up a partial function there is a builder named ReceiveBuilder that you can use. Here is an example: import akka.actor.AbstractActor; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import akka.japi.pf.ReceiveBuilder; import scala.PartialFunction; import scala.runtime.BoxedUnit; public class MyActor extends AbstractActor{ private final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(context().system(), this); @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 361 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT match(String.class,s ->{ log.info("Received String message: {}",s); }). matchAny(o -> log.info("received unknown message")).build(); } } Please note that the Akka Actor receive message loop is exhaustive, which is different compared to Erlang and the late Scala Actors. This means that you need to provide a pattern match for all messages that it can accept and if you want to be able to handle unknown messages then you need to have a default case as in the example above. Otherwise an akka.actor.UnhandledMessage(message, sender, recipient) will be published to the ActorSystem‘s EventStream. Note further that the return type of the behavior defined above is Unit; if the actor shall reply to the received message then this must be done explicitly as explained below. The result of the receive method is a partial function object, which is stored within the actor as its “initial be- havior”, see Become/Unbecome for further information on changing the behavior of an actor after its construction. Props Props is a configuration class to specify options for the creation of actors, think of it as an immutable and thus freely shareable recipe for creating an actor including associated deployment information (e.g. which dispatcher to use, see more below). Here are some examples of how to create a Props instance. import akka.actor.Props; Props props1= Props.create(MyActor.class); Props props2= Props.create(ActorWithArgs.class, () -> new ActorWithArgs("arg")); // careful, see below Props props3= Props.create(ActorWithArgs.class, "arg"); The second variant shows how to pass constructor arguments to the Actor being created, but it should only be used outside of actors as explained below. The last line shows a possibility to pass constructor arguments regardless of the context it is being used in. The presence of a matching constructor is verified during construction of the Props object, resulting in an IllegalArgumentEception if no or multiple matching constructors are found. Dangerous Variants // NOT RECOMMENDED within another actor: // encourages to close over enclosing class Props props7= Props.create(ActorWithArgs.class, () -> new ActorWithArgs("arg")); This method is not recommended to be used within another actor because it encourages to close over the enclos- ing scope, resulting in non-serializable Props and possibly race conditions (breaking the actor encapsulation). On the other hand using this variant in a Props factory in the actor’s companion object as documented under “Recommended Practices” below is completely fine. There were two use-cases for these methods: passing constructor arguments to the actor—which is solved by the newly introduced Props.create(clazz, args) method above or the recommended practice below—and creating actors “on the spot” as anonymous classes. The latter should be solved by making these actors named classes instead (if they are not declared within a top-level object then the enclosing instance’s this reference needs to be passed as the first argument). Warning: Declaring one actor within another is very dangerous and breaks actor encapsulation. Never pass an actor’s this reference into Props! 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 362 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Recommended Practices It is a good idea to provide factory methods on the companion object of each Actor which help keeping the creation of suitable Props as close to the actor definition as possible. This also avoids the pitfalls associated with using the Props.create(...) method which takes a by-name argument, since within a companion object the given code block will not retain a reference to its enclosing scope: public class DemoActor extends AbstractActor{ /** * Create Props for an actor of this type. *@param magicNumber The magic number to be passed to this actor’s constructor. *@return a Props for creating this actor, which can then be further configured *(e.g. calling ‘.withDispatcher()‘ on it) */ static Props props(Integer magicNumber){ // You need to specify the actual type of the returned actor // since Java 8 lambdas have some runtime type information erased return Props.create(DemoActor.class,() -> new DemoActor(magicNumber)); } private final Integer magicNumber; DemoActor(Integer magicNumber){ this.magicNumber= magicNumber; } @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Integer.class,i ->{ sender().tell(i+ magicNumber, self()); }).build(); } } public class SomeOtherActor extends AbstractActor{ // Props(new DemoActor(42)) would not be safe ActorRef demoActor= context().actorOf(DemoActor.props(42), "demo"); // ... } Creating Actors with Props Actors are created by passing a Props instance into the actorOf factory method which is available on ActorSystem and ActorContext. import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.actor.ActorSystem; // ActorSystem is a heavy object: create only one per application final ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("MySystem"); final ActorRef myActor= system.actorOf(Props.create(MyActor.class), "myactor"); Using the ActorSystem will create top-level actors, supervised by the actor system’s provided guardian actor, while using an actor’s context will create a child actor. public class FirstActor extends AbstractActor{ final ActorRef child= context().actorOf(Props.create(MyActor.class), "myChild"); // plus some behavior ... } 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 363 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT It is recommended to create a hierarchy of children, grand-children and so on such that it fits the logical failure- handling structure of the application, see Actor Systems. The call to actorOf returns an instance of ActorRef. This is a handle to the actor instance and the only way to interact with it. The ActorRef is immutable and has a one to one relationship with the Actor it represents. The ActorRef is also serializable and network-aware. This means that you can serialize it, send it over the wire and use it on a remote host and it will still be representing the same Actor on the original node, across the network. The name parameter is optional, but you should preferably name your actors, since that is used in log messages and for identifying actors. The name must not be empty or start with $, but it may contain URL encoded char- acters (eg. %20 for a blank space). If the given name is already in use by another child to the same parent an InvalidActorNameException is thrown. Actors are automatically started asynchronously when created. Dependency Injection If your UntypedActor has a constructor that takes parameters then those need to be part of the Props as well, as described above. But there are cases when a factory method must be used, for example when the actual constructor arguments are determined by a dependency injection framework. import akka.actor.Actor; import akka.actor.IndirectActorProducer; class DependencyInjector implements IndirectActorProducer{ final Object applicationContext; final String beanName; public DependencyInjector(Object applicationContext, String beanName){ this.applicationContext= applicationContext; this.beanName= beanName; } @Override public Class actorClass(){ return MyActor.class; } @Override public MyActor produce(){ MyActor result; // obtain fresh Actor instance from DI framework ... return result; } } final ActorRef myActor= getContext().actorOf( Props.create(DependencyInjector.class, applicationContext, "MyActor"), "myactor3"); Warning: You might be tempted at times to offer an IndirectActorProducer which always returns the same instance, e.g. by using a static field. This is not supported, as it goes against the meaning of an actor restart, which is described here: What Restarting Means. When using a dependency injection framework, actor beans MUST NOT have singleton scope. Techniques for dependency injection and integration with dependency injection frameworks are described in more depth in the Using Akka with Dependency Injection guideline and the Akka Java Spring tutorial in Typesafe Activator. 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 364 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The Inbox When writing code outside of actors which shall communicate with actors, the ask pattern can be a solution (see below), but there are two thing it cannot do: receiving multiple replies (e.g. by subscribing an ActorRef to a notification service) and watching other actors’ lifecycle. For these purposes there is the Inbox class: final Inbox inbox= Inbox.create(system); inbox.send(target, "hello"); assert inbox.receive(Duration.create(1, TimeUnit.SECONDS)).equals("world"); The send method wraps a normal tell and supplies the internal actor’s reference as the sender. This allows the reply to be received on the last line. Watching an actor is quite simple as well: final Inbox inbox= Inbox.create(system); inbox.watch(target); target.tell(PoisonPill.getInstance(), ActorRef.noSender()); assert inbox.receive(Duration.create(1, TimeUnit.SECONDS)) instanceof Terminated; 8.3.2 Actor API The AbstractActor class defines only one abstract method, the above mentioned receive, which imple- ments the behavior of the actor. If the current actor behavior does not match a received message, unhandled is called, which by default publishes an akka.actor.UnhandledMessage(message, sender, recipient) on the actor system’s event stream (set configuration item akka.actor.debug.unhandled to on to have them converted into actual Debug messages). In addition, it offers: • self reference to the ActorRef of the actor • sender reference sender Actor of the last received message, typically used as described in Reply to mes- sages • supervisorStrategy user overridable definition the strategy to use for supervising child actors This strategy is typically declared inside the actor in order to have access to the actor’s internal state within the decider function: since failure is communicated as a message sent to the supervisor and processed like other messages (albeit outside of the normal behavior), all values and variables within the actor are available, as is the sender reference (which will be the immediate child reporting the failure; if the original failure occurred within a distant descendant it is still reported one level up at a time). • context exposes contextual information for the actor and the current message, such as: – factory methods to create child actors (actorOf) – system that the actor belongs to – parent supervisor – supervised children – lifecycle monitoring – hotswap behavior stack as described in Become/Unbecome The remaining visible methods are user-overridable life-cycle hooks which are described in the following: public void preStart(){ } public void preRestart(Throwable reason, scala.Option message){ for(ActorRef each: getContext().getChildren()){ getContext().unwatch(each); getContext().stop(each); 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 365 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } postStop(); } public void postRestart(Throwable reason){ preStart(); } public void postStop(){ } The implementations shown above are the defaults provided by the AbstractActor class. Actor Lifecycle A path in an actor system represents a “place” which might be occupied by a living actor. Initially (apart from system initialized actors) a path is empty. When actorOf() is called it assigns an incarnation of the actor described by the passed Props to the given path. An actor incarnation is identified by the path and a UID.A restart only swaps the Actor instance defined by the Props but the incarnation and hence the UID remains the same. The lifecycle of an incarnation ends when the actor is stopped. At that point the appropriate lifecycle events are called and watching actors are notified of the termination. After the incarnation is stopped, the path can be reused again by creating an actor with actorOf(). In this case the name of the new incarnation will be the same as the previous one but the UIDs will differ. An ActorRef always represents an incarnation (path and UID) not just a given path. Therefore if an actor is stopped and a new one with the same name is created an ActorRef of the old incarnation will not point to the new one. 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 366 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT ActorSelection on the other hand points to the path (or multiple paths if wildcards are used) and is completely oblivious to which incarnation is currently occupying it. ActorSelection cannot be watched for this reason. It is possible to resolve the current incarnation’s ActorRef living under the path by sending an Identify message to the ActorSelection which will be replied to with an ActorIdentity containing the correct reference (see Identifying Actors via Actor Selection). This can also be done with the resolveOne method of the ActorSelection, which returns a Future of the matching ActorRef. Lifecycle Monitoring aka DeathWatch In order to be notified when another actor terminates (i.e. stops permanently, not temporary failure and restart), an actor may register itself for reception of the Terminated message dispatched by the other actor upon termination (see Stopping Actors). This service is provided by the DeathWatch component of the actor system. Registering a monitor is easy: public class WatchActor extends AbstractActor{ private final ActorRef child= context().actorOf(Props.empty(), "target"); { context().watch(child); // <-- this is the only call needed for registration } private ActorRef lastSender= system.deadLetters(); public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("kill",s ->{ context().stop(child); lastSender= sender(); }). match(Terminated.class,t ->t.actor().equals(child),t ->{ lastSender.tell("finished", self()); }).build(); } } It should be noted that the Terminated message is generated independent of the order in which registration and termination occur. In particular, the watching actor will receive a Terminated message even if the watched actor has already been terminated at the time of registration. Registering multiple times does not necessarily lead to multiple messages being generated, but there is no guaran- tee that only exactly one such message is received: if termination of the watched actor has generated and queued the message, and another registration is done before this message has been processed, then a second message will be queued, because registering for monitoring of an already terminated actor leads to the immediate generation of the Terminated message. It is also possible to deregister from watching another actor’s liveliness using context.unwatch(target). This works even if the Terminated message has already been enqueued in the mailbox; after calling unwatch no Terminated message for that actor will be processed anymore. Start Hook Right after starting the actor, its preStart method is invoked. @Override public void preStart(){ target= context().actorOf(Props.create(MyActor.class, "target")); } This method is called when the actor is first created. During restarts it is called by the default implementation of postRestart, which means that by overriding that method you can choose whether the initialization code in this method is called only exactly once for this actor or for every restart. Initialization code which is part of the 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 367 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT actor’s constructor will always be called when an instance of the actor class is created, which happens at every restart. Restart Hooks All actors are supervised, i.e. linked to another actor with a fault handling strategy. Actors may be restarted in case an exception is thrown while processing a message (see Supervision and Monitoring). This restart involves the hooks mentioned above: 1. The old actor is informed by calling preRestart with the exception which caused the restart and the message which triggered that exception; the latter may be None if the restart was not caused by processing a message, e.g. when a supervisor does not trap the exception and is restarted in turn by its supervisor, or if an actor is restarted due to a sibling’s failure. If the message is available, then that message’s sender is also accessible in the usual way (i.e. by calling sender). This method is the best place for cleaning up, preparing hand-over to the fresh actor instance, etc. By default it stops all children and calls postStop. 2. The initial factory from the actorOf call is used to produce the fresh instance. 3. The new actor’s postRestart method is invoked with the exception which caused the restart. By default the preStart is called, just as in the normal start-up case. An actor restart replaces only the actual actor object; the contents of the mailbox is unaffected by the restart, so processing of messages will resume after the postRestart hook returns. The message that triggered the exception will not be received again. Any message sent to an actor while it is being restarted will be queued to its mailbox as usual. Warning: Be aware that the ordering of failure notifications relative to user messages is not deterministic. In particular, a parent might restart its child before it has processed the last messages sent by the child before the failure. See Discussion: Message Ordering for details. Stop Hook After stopping an actor, its postStop hook is called, which may be used e.g. for deregistering this actor from other services. This hook is guaranteed to run after message queuing has been disabled for this actor, i.e. messages sent to a stopped actor will be redirected to the deadLetters of the ActorSystem. 8.3.3 Identifying Actors via Actor Selection As described in Actor References, Paths and Addresses, each actor has a unique logical path, which is obtained by following the chain of actors from child to parent until reaching the root of the actor system, and it has a physical path, which may differ if the supervision chain includes any remote supervisors. These paths are used by the system to look up actors, e.g. when a remote message is received and the recipient is searched, but they are also useful more directly: actors may look up other actors by specifying absolute or relative paths—logical or physical—and receive back an ActorSelection with the result: // will look up this absolute path context().actorSelection("/user/serviceA/actor"); // will look up sibling beneath same supervisor context().actorSelection("../joe"); The supplied path is parsed as a java.net.URI, which basically means that it is split on / into path elements. If the path starts with /, it is absolute and the look-up starts at the root guardian (which is the parent of "/user"); otherwise it starts at the current actor. If a path element equals .., the look-up will take a step “up” towards the supervisor of the currently traversed actor, otherwise it will step “down” to the named child. It should be noted that the .. in actor paths here always means the logical structure, i.e. the supervisor. 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 368 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The path elements of an actor selection may contain wildcard patterns allowing for broadcasting of messages to that section: // will look all children to serviceB with names starting with worker context().actorSelection("/user/serviceB/worker*"); // will look up all siblings beneath same supervisor context().actorSelection("../*"); Messages can be sent via the ActorSelection and the path of the ActorSelection is looked up when delivering each message. If the selection does not match any actors the message will be dropped. To acquire an ActorRef for an ActorSelection you need to send a message to the selection and use the sender() reference of the reply from the actor. There is a built-in Identify message that all Actors will understand and automatically reply to with a ActorIdentity message containing the ActorRef. This mes- sage is handled specially by the actors which are traversed in the sense that if a concrete name lookup fails (i.e. a non-wildcard path element does not correspond to a live actor) then a negative result is generated. Please note that this does not mean that delivery of that reply is guaranteed, it still is a normal message. import akka.actor.ActorIdentity; import akka.actor.ActorSelection; import akka.actor.Identify; public class Follower extends AbstractActor{ final Integer identifyId=1; { ActorSelection selection= context().actorSelection("/user/another"); selection.tell(new Identify(identifyId), self()); } public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(ActorIdentity.class, id -> id.getRef() != null, id ->{ ActorRef ref= id.getRef(); context().watch(ref); context().become(active(ref)); }). match(ActorIdentity.class, id -> id.getRef() == null, id ->{ context().stop(self()); }).build(); } final PartialFunction active(final ActorRef another){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(Terminated.class,t ->t.actor().equals(another),t ->{ context().stop(self()); }).build(); } } You can also acquire an ActorRef for an ActorSelection with the resolveOne method of the ActorSelection. It returns a Future of the matching ActorRef if such an actor exists. It is completed with failure [[akka.actor.ActorNotFound]] if no such actor exists or the identification didn’t complete within the supplied timeout. Remote actor addresses may also be looked up, if remoting is enabled: context().actorSelection("akka.tcp://app@otherhost:1234/user/serviceB"); An example demonstrating actor look-up is given in Remoting Sample. Note: actorFor is deprecated in favor of actorSelection because actor references acquired with actorFor behaves different for local and remote actors. In the case of a local actor reference, the named 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 369 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT actor needs to exist before the lookup, or else the acquired reference will be an EmptyLocalActorRef. This will be true even if an actor with that exact path is created after acquiring the actor reference. For remote actor references acquired with actorFor the behaviour is different and sending messages to such a reference will under the hood look up the actor by path on the remote system for every message send. 8.3.4 Messages and immutability IMPORTANT: Messages can be any kind of object but have to be immutable. Akka can’t enforce immutability (yet) so this has to be by convention. Here is an example of an immutable message: public class ImmutableMessage{ private final int sequenceNumber; private final List values; public ImmutableMessage(int sequenceNumber, List values){ this.sequenceNumber= sequenceNumber; this.values= Collections.unmodifiableList(new ArrayList(values)); } public int getSequenceNumber(){ return sequenceNumber; } public List getValues(){ return values; } } 8.3.5 Send messages Messages are sent to an Actor through one of the following methods. • tell means “fire-and-forget”, e.g. send a message asynchronously and return immediately. • ask sends a message asynchronously and returns a Future representing a possible reply. Message ordering is guaranteed on a per-sender basis. Note: There are performance implications of using ask since something needs to keep track of when it times out, there needs to be something that bridges a Promise into an ActorRef and it also needs to be reachable through remoting. So always prefer tell for performance, and only ask if you must. In all these methods you have the option of passing along your own ActorRef. Make it a practice of doing so because it will allow the receiver actors to be able to respond to your message, since the sender reference is sent along with the message. Tell: Fire-forget This is the preferred way of sending messages. No blocking waiting for a message. This gives the best concurrency and scalability characteristics. // don’t forget to think about who is the sender (2nd argument) target.tell(message, self()); The sender reference is passed along with the message and available within the receiving actor via its sender method while processing this message. Inside of an actor it is usually self who shall be the sender, but there 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 370 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT can be cases where replies shall be routed to some other actor—e.g. the parent—in which the second argument to tell would be a different one. Outside of an actor and if no reply is needed the second argument can be null; if a reply is needed outside of an actor you can use the ask-pattern described next.. Ask: Send-And-Receive-Future The ask pattern involves actors as well as futures, hence it is offered as a use pattern rather than a method on ActorRef: import static akka.pattern.Patterns.ask; import static akka.pattern.Patterns.pipe; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.dispatch.Futures; import akka.dispatch.Mapper; import akka.util.Timeout; final Timeoutt= new Timeout(Duration.create(5, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); final ArrayList> futures= new ArrayList>(); futures.add(ask(actorA, "request", 1000)); // using 1000ms timeout futures.add(ask(actorB, "another request",t)); // using timeout from // above final Future> aggregate= Futures.sequence(futures, system.dispatcher()); final Future transformed= aggregate.map( new Mapper, Result>(){ public Result apply(Iterable coll){ final Iterator it= coll.iterator(); final Stringx=(String) it.next(); final Strings=(String) it.next(); return new Result(x,s); } }, system.dispatcher()); pipe(transformed, system.dispatcher()).to(actorC); This example demonstrates ask together with the pipe pattern on futures, because this is likely to be a common combination. Please note that all of the above is completely non-blocking and asynchronous: ask produces a Future, two of which are composed into a new future using the Futures.sequence and map methods and then pipe installs an onComplete-handler on the future to effect the submission of the aggregated Result to another actor. Using ask will send a message to the receiving Actor as with tell, and the receiving actor must reply with sender().tell(reply, self()) in order to complete the returned Future with a value. The ask operation involves creating an internal actor for handling this reply, which needs to have a timeout after which it is destroyed in order not to leak resources; see more below. Warning: To complete the future with an exception you need send a Failure message to the sender. This is not done automatically when an actor throws an exception while processing a message. try{ String result= operation(); sender().tell(result, self()); } catch(Exceptione){ sender().tell(new akka.actor.Status.Failure(e), self()); throwe; } 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 371 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT If the actor does not complete the future, it will expire after the timeout period, specified as parameter to the ask method; this will complete the Future with an AskTimeoutException. See Futures for more information on how to await or query a future. The onComplete, onSuccess, or onFailure methods of the Future can be used to register a callback to get a notification when the Future completes. Gives you a way to avoid blocking. Warning: When using future callbacks, inside actors you need to carefully avoid closing over the containing actor’s reference, i.e. do not call methods or access mutable state on the enclosing actor from within the call- back. This would break the actor encapsulation and may introduce synchronization bugs and race conditions because the callback will be scheduled concurrently to the enclosing actor. Unfortunately there is not yet a way to detect these illegal accesses at compile time. See also: Actors and shared mutable state Forward message You can forward a message from one actor to another. This means that the original sender address/reference is maintained even though the message is going through a ‘mediator’. This can be useful when writing actors that work as routers, load-balancers, replicators etc. target.forward(result, context()); 8.3.6 Receive messages An Actor has to implement the receive method to receive messages: public abstract PartialFunction receive(); The receive method should define a series of match statements (which has the type PartialFunction) that defines which messages your Actor can handle, along with the implementation of how the messages should be processed. Don’t let the type signature scare you. To allow you to easily build up a partial function there is a builder named ReceiveBuilder that you can use. Here is an example: import akka.actor.AbstractActor; import akka.event.Logging; import akka.event.LoggingAdapter; import akka.japi.pf.ReceiveBuilder; import scala.PartialFunction; import scala.runtime.BoxedUnit; public class MyActor extends AbstractActor{ private final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(context().system(), this); @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. match(String.class,s ->{ log.info("Received String message: {}",s); }). matchAny(o -> log.info("received unknown message")).build(); } } 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 372 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 8.3.7 Reply to messages If you want to have a handle for replying to a message, you can use sender(), which gives you an ActorRef. You can reply by sending to that ActorRef with sender().tell(replyMsg, self()). You can also store the ActorRef for replying later, or passing on to other actors. If there is no sender (a message was sent without an actor or future context) then the sender defaults to a ‘dead-letter’ actor ref. sender().tell(s, self()); 8.3.8 Receive timeout The ActorContext setReceiveTimeout defines the inactivity timeout after which the sending of a Re- ceiveTimeout message is triggered. When specified, the receive function should be able to handle an akka.actor.ReceiveTimeout message. 1 millisecond is the minimum supported timeout. Please note that the receive timeout might fire and enqueue the ReceiveTimeout message right after another mes- sage was enqueued; hence it is not guaranteed that upon reception of the receive timeout there must have been an idle period beforehand as configured via this method. Once set, the receive timeout stays in effect (i.e. continues firing repeatedly after inactivity periods). Pass in Duration.Undefined to switch off this feature. public class ReceiveTimeoutActor extends AbstractActor{ public ReceiveTimeoutActor(){ // To set an initial delay context().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create("10 seconds")); } @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("Hello",s ->{ // To set in a response to a message context().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create("1 second")); }). match(ReceiveTimeout.class,r ->{ // To turn it off context().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.Undefined()); }).build(); } } 8.3.9 Stopping actors Actors are stopped by invoking the stop method of a ActorRefFactory, i.e. ActorContext or ActorSystem. Typically the context is used for stopping child actors and the system for stopping top level actors. The actual termination of the actor is performed asynchronously, i.e. stop may return before the actor is stopped. Processing of the current message, if any, will continue before the actor is stopped, but additional messages in the mailbox will not be processed. By default these messages are sent to the deadLetters of the ActorSystem, but that depends on the mailbox implementation. Termination of an actor proceeds in two steps: first the actor suspends its mailbox processing and sends a stop command to all its children, then it keeps processing the internal termination notifications from its children until the last one is gone, finally terminating itself (invoking postStop, dumping mailbox, publishing Terminated on the DeathWatch, telling its supervisor). This procedure ensures that actor system sub-trees terminate in an orderly fashion, propagating the stop command to the leaves and collecting their confirmation back to the stopped supervisor. If one of the actors does not respond (i.e. processing a message for extended periods of time and therefore not receiving the stop command), this whole process will be stuck. 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 373 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Upon ActorSystem.shutdown, the system guardian actors will be stopped, and the aforementioned process will ensure proper termination of the whole system. The postStop hook is invoked after an actor is fully stopped. This enables cleaning up of resources: @Override public void postStop(){ // clean up some resources ... } Note: Since stopping an actor is asynchronous, you cannot immediately reuse the name of the child you just stopped; this will result in an InvalidActorNameException. Instead, watch the terminating actor and create its replacement in response to the Terminated message which will eventually arrive. PoisonPill You can also send an actor the akka.actor.PoisonPill message, which will stop the actor when the mes- sage is processed. PoisonPill is enqueued as ordinary messages and will be handled after messages that were already queued in the mailbox. Graceful Stop gracefulStop is useful if you need to wait for termination or compose ordered termination of several actors: import static akka.pattern.Patterns.gracefulStop; import scala.concurrent.Await; import scala.concurrent.Future; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; import akka.pattern.AskTimeoutException; try{ Future stopped= gracefulStop(actorRef, Duration.create(5, TimeUnit.SECONDS), Manager.SHUTDOWN); Await.result(stopped, Duration.create(6, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); // the actor has been stopped } catch(AskTimeoutExceptione){ // the actor wasn’t stopped within 5 seconds } public class Manager extends AbstractActor{ private static enum Shutdown{ Shutdown } public static final Shutdown SHUTDOWN= Shutdown.Shutdown; private ActorRef worker= context().watch(context().actorOf(Props.create(Cruncher.class), "worker")); @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("job",s ->{ worker.tell("crunch", self()); }). matchEquals(SHUTDOWN,x ->{ worker.tell(PoisonPill.getInstance(), self()); context().become(shuttingDown); }).build(); } 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 374 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public PartialFunction shuttingDown= ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("job",s ->{ sender().tell("service unavailable, shutting down", self()); }). match(Terminated.class,t ->t.actor().equals(worker),t ->{ context().stop(self()); }).build(); } When gracefulStop() returns successfully, the actor’s postStop() hook will have been executed: there exists a happens-before edge between the end of postStop() and the return of gracefulStop(). In the above example a custom Manager.Shutdown message is sent to the target actor to initiate the process of stopping the actor. You can use PoisonPill for this, but then you have limited possibilities to perform interactions with other actors before stopping the target actor. Simple cleanup tasks can be handled in postStop. Warning: Keep in mind that an actor stopping and its name being deregistered are separate events which happen asynchronously from each other. Therefore it may be that you will find the name still in use after gracefulStop() returned. In order to guarantee proper deregistration, only reuse names from within a supervisor you control and only in response to a Terminated message, i.e. not for top-level actors. 8.3.10 Become/Unbecome Upgrade Akka supports hotswapping the Actor’s message loop (e.g. its implementation) at runtime: invoke the context.become method from within the Actor. become takes a PartialFunction that implements the new message handler. The hotswapped code is kept in a Stack which can be pushed and popped. Warning: Please note that the actor will revert to its original behavior when restarted by its Supervisor. To hotswap the Actor behavior using become: public class HotSwapActor extends AbstractActor{ private PartialFunction angry; private PartialFunction happy; { angry= ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("foo",s ->{ sender().tell("I am already angry?", self()); }). matchEquals("bar",s ->{ context().become(happy); }).build(); happy= ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("bar",s ->{ sender().tell("I am already happy :-)", self()); }). matchEquals("foo",s ->{ context().become(angry); }).build(); } public PartialFunction receive(){ 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 375 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("foo",s ->{ context().become(angry); }). matchEquals("bar",s ->{ context().become(happy); }).build(); } } This variant of the become method is useful for many different things, such as to implement a Finite State Machine (FSM, for an example see Dining Hakkers). It will replace the current behavior (i.e. the top of the behavior stack), which means that you do not use unbecome, instead always the next behavior is explicitly installed. The other way of using become does not replace but add to the top of the behavior stack. In this case care must be taken to ensure that the number of “pop” operations (i.e. unbecome) matches the number of “push” ones in the long run, otherwise this amounts to a memory leak (which is why this behavior is not the default). public class Swapper extends AbstractActor{ final LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(context().system(), this); @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals(Swap,s ->{ log.info("Hi"); context().become(ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals(Swap,x ->{ log.info("Ho"); context().unbecome(); // resets the latest ’become’ (just for fun) }).build(), false); // push on top instead of replace }).build(); } } public class SwapperApp{ public static void main(String[] args){ ActorSystem system= ActorSystem.create("SwapperSystem"); ActorRef swapper= system.actorOf(Props.create(Swapper.class), "swapper"); swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Hi swapper.tell(Swap, ActorRef.noSender()); // logs Ho system.shutdown(); } } 8.3.11 Stash 8.3.12 Stash The AbstractActorWithStash class enables an actor to temporarily stash away messages that can not or should not be handled using the actor’s current behavior. Upon changing the actor’s message handler, i.e., right before invoking context().become() or context().unbecome(), all stashed messages can be “unstashed”, thereby prepending them to the actor’s mailbox. This way, the stashed messages can be processed in the same order as they have been received originally. An actor that extends AbstractActorWithStash will automatically get a deque-based mailbox. 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 376 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Note: The abstract class AbstractActorWithStash implements the marker interface RequiresMessageQueue which requests the system to automatically choose a deque based mailbox implementation for the actor. If you want more control over the mailbox, see the documentation on mailboxes: Mailboxes. Here is an example of the AbstractActorWithStash class in action: public class ActorWithProtocol extends AbstractActorWithStash{ public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("open",s ->{ context().become(ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("write", ws ->{/* do writing */}). matchEquals("close", cs ->{ unstashAll(); context().unbecome(); }). matchAny(msg -> stash()).build(), false); }). matchAny(msg -> stash()).build(); } } Invoking stash() adds the current message (the message that the actor received last) to the actor’s stash. It is typically invoked when handling the default case in the actor’s message handler to stash messages that aren’t handled by the other cases. It is illegal to stash the same message twice; to do so results in an IllegalStateException being thrown. The stash may also be bounded in which case invoking stash() may lead to a capacity violation, which results in a StashOverflowException. The capacity of the stash can be configured using the stash-capacity setting (an Int) of the mailbox’s configuration. Invoking unstashAll() enqueues messages from the stash to the actor’s mailbox until the capacity of the mail- box (if any) has been reached (note that messages from the stash are prepended to the mailbox). In case a bounded mailbox overflows, a MessageQueueAppendFailedException is thrown. The stash is guaranteed to be empty after calling unstashAll(). The stash is backed by a scala.collection.immutable.Vector. As a result, even a very large number of messages may be stashed without a major impact on performance. Note that the stash is part of the ephemeral actor state, unlike the mailbox. Therefore, it should be managed like other parts of the actor’s state which have the same property. The AbstractActorWithStash implementa- tion of preRestart will call unstashAll(), which is usually the desired behavior. Note: If you want to enforce that your actor can only work with an unbounded stash, then you should use the AbstractActorWithUnboundedStash class instead. 8.3.13 Killing an Actor You can kill an actor by sending a Kill message. This will cause the actor to throw a ActorKilledException, triggering a failure. The actor will suspend operation and its supervisor will be asked how to handle the failure, which may mean resuming the actor, restarting it or terminating it completely. See What Supervision Means for more information. Use Kill like this: victim.tell(akka.actor.Kill.getInstance(), ActorRef.noSender()); 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 377 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT 8.3.14 Actors and exceptions It can happen that while a message is being processed by an actor, that some kind of exception is thrown, e.g. a database exception. What happens to the Message If an exception is thrown while a message is being processed (i.e. taken out of its mailbox and handed over to the current behavior), then this message will be lost. It is important to understand that it is not put back on the mailbox. So if you want to retry processing of a message, you need to deal with it yourself by catching the exception and retry your flow. Make sure that you put a bound on the number of retries since you don’t want a system to livelock (so consuming a lot of cpu cycles without making progress). Another possibility would be to have a look at the PeekMailbox pattern. What happens to the mailbox If an exception is thrown while a message is being processed, nothing happens to the mailbox. If the actor is restarted, the same mailbox will be there. So all messages on that mailbox will be there as well. What happens to the actor If code within an actor throws an exception, that actor is suspended and the supervision process is started (see Su- pervision and Monitoring). Depending on the supervisor’s decision the actor is resumed (as if nothing happened), restarted (wiping out its internal state and starting from scratch) or terminated. 8.3.15 Initialization patterns The rich lifecycle hooks of Actors provide a useful toolkit to implement various initialization patterns. During the lifetime of an ActorRef, an actor can potentially go through several restarts, where the old instance is replaced by a fresh one, invisibly to the outside observer who only sees the ActorRef. One may think about the new instances as “incarnations”. Initialization might be necessary for every incarnation of an actor, but sometimes one needs initialization to happen only at the birth of the first instance when the ActorRef is created. The following sections provide patterns for different initialization needs. Initialization via constructor Using the constructor for initialization has various benefits. First of all, it makes it possible to use val fields to store any state that does not change during the life of the actor instance, making the implementation of the actor more robust. The constructor is invoked for every incarnation of the actor, therefore the internals of the actor can always assume that proper initialization happened. This is also the drawback of this approach, as there are cases when one would like to avoid reinitializing internals on restart. For example, it is often useful to preserve child actors across restarts. The following section provides a pattern for this case. Initialization via preStart The method preStart() of an actor is only called once directly during the initialization of the first instance, that is, at creation of its ActorRef. In the case of restarts, preStart() is called from postRestart(), therefore if not overridden, preStart() is called on every incarnation. However, overriding postRestart() one can disable this behavior, and ensure that there is only one call to preStart(). One useful usage of this pattern is to disable creation of new ActorRefs for children during restarts. This can be achieved by overriding preRestart(): 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 378 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT @Override public void preStart(){ // Initialize children here } // Overriding postRestart to disable the call to preStart() // after restarts @Override public void postRestart(Throwable reason){ } // The default implementation of preRestart() stops all the children // of the actor. To opt-out from stopping the children, we // have to override preRestart() @Override public void preRestart(Throwable reason, Option message) throws Exception{ // Keep the call to postStop(), but no stopping of children postStop(); } Please note, that the child actors are still restarted, but no new ActorRef is created. One can recursively apply the same principles for the children, ensuring that their preStart() method is called only at the creation of their refs. For more information see What Restarting Means. Initialization via message passing There are cases when it is impossible to pass all the information needed for actor initialization in the constructor, for example in the presence of circular dependencies. In this case the actor should listen for an initialization message, and use become() or a finite state-machine state transition to encode the initialized and uninitialized states of the actor. private String initializeMe= null; @Override public PartialFunction receive(){ return ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("init", m1 ->{ initializeMe= "Up and running"; context().become(ReceiveBuilder. matchEquals("U OK?", m2 ->{ sender().tell(initializeMe, self()); }).build()); }).build(); } If the actor may receive messages before it has been initialized, a useful tool can be the Stash to save messages until the initialization finishes, and replaying them after the actor became initialized. Warning: This pattern should be used with care, and applied only when none of the patterns above are applicable. One of the potential issues is that messages might be lost when sent to remote actors. Also, publishing an ActorRef in an uninitialized state might lead to the condition that it receives a user message before the initialization has been done. 8.3.16 Lambdas and Performance There is one big difference between the optimized partial functions created by the Scala compiler and the ones created by the ReceiveBuilder. The partial functions created by the ReceiveBuilder consist of multiple 8.3. Actors (Java with Lambda Support) 379 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT lambda expressions for every match statement, where each lambda is an object referencing the code to be run. This is something that the JVM can have problems optimizing and the resulting code might not be as performant as the Scala equivalent or the corresponding untyped actor version. 8.4 FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 8.4.1 Overview The FSM (Finite State Machine) is available as an abstract base class that implements an akka Actor and is best described in the Erlang design principles A FSM can be described as a set of relations of the form: State(S) x Event(E) -> Actions (A), State(S’) These relations are interpreted as meaning: If we are in state S and the event E occurs, we should perform the actions A and make a transition to the state S’. Warning: The Java with lambda support part of Akka is marked as “experimental” as of its introduction in Akka 2.3.0. We will continue to improve this API based on our users’ feedback, which implies that while we try to keep incompatible changes to a minimum, but the binary compatibility guarantee for maintenance releases does not apply to the akka.actor.AbstractFSM, related classes and the akka.japi.pf package. 8.4.2 A Simple Example To demonstrate most of the features of the AbstractFSM class, consider an actor which shall receive and queue messages while they arrive in a burst and send them on after the burst ended or a flush request is received. First, consider all of the below to use these import statements: import akka.actor.AbstractFSM; import akka.actor.ActorRef; import akka.japi.pf.UnitMatch; import java.util.Arrays; import java.util.LinkedList; import java.util.List; import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration; The contract of our “Buncher” actor is that it accepts or produces the following messages: public final class SetTarget{ private final ActorRef ref; public SetTarget(ActorRef ref){ this.ref= ref; } public ActorRef getRef(){ return ref; } // boilerplate ... } public final class Queue{ private final Object obj; public Queue(Object obj){ this.obj= obj; 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 380 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } public Object getObj(){ return obj; } // boilerplate ... } public final class Batch{ private final List list; public Batch(List list){ this.list= list; } public List getList(){ return list; } // boilerplate ... } public enum Flush{ Flush } SetTarget is needed for starting it up, setting the destination for the Batches to be passed on; Queue will add to the internal queue while Flush will mark the end of a burst. The actor can be in two states: no message queued (aka Idle) or some message queued (aka Active). The states and the state data is defined like this: // states enum State{ Idle, Active } // state data interface Data{ } enum Uninitialized implements Data{ Uninitialized } final class Todo implements Data{ private final ActorRef target; private final List queue; public Todo(ActorRef target, List queue){ this.target= target; this.queue= queue; } public ActorRef getTarget(){ return target; } public List getQueue(){ return queue; } // boilerplate ... } The actor starts out in the idle state. Once a message arrives it will go to the active state and stay there as long as 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 381 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT messages keep arriving and no flush is requested. The internal state data of the actor is made up of the target actor reference to send the batches to and the actual queue of messages. Now let’s take a look at the skeleton for our FSM actor: public class Buncher extends AbstractFSM{ { startWith(Idle, Uninitialized); when(Idle, matchEvent(SetTarget.class, Uninitialized.class, (setTarget, uninitialized) -> stay().using(new Todo(setTarget.getRef(), new LinkedList<>())))); // transition elided ... when(Active, Duration.create(1, "second"), matchEvent(Arrays.asList(Flush.class, StateTimeout()), Todo.class, (event, todo) -> goTo(Idle).using(todo.copy(new LinkedList<>())))); // unhandled elided ... initialize(); } } The basic strategy is to declare the actor, by inheriting the AbstractFSM class and specifying the possible states and data values as type parameters. Within the body of the actor a DSL is used for declaring the state machine: • startWith defines the initial state and initial data • then there is one when() { ... } declaration per state to be handled (could potentially be multiple ones, the passed PartialFunction will be concatenated using orElse) • finally starting it up using initialize, which performs the transition into the initial state and sets up timers (if required). In this case, we start out in the Idle and Uninitialized state, where only the SetTarget() message is handled; stay prepares to end this event’s processing for not leaving the current state, while the using modifier makes the FSM replace the internal state (which is Uninitialized at this point) with a fresh Todo() object containing the target actor reference. The Active state has a state timeout declared, which means that if no message is received for 1 second, a FSM.StateTimeout message will be generated. This has the same effect as receiving the Flush command in this case, namely to transition back into the Idle state and resetting the internal queue to the empty vector. But how do messages get queued? Since this shall work identically in both states, we make use of the fact that any event which is not handled by the when() block is passed to the whenUnhandled() block: whenUnhandled( matchEvent(Queue.class, Todo.class, (queue, todo) -> goTo(Active).using(todo.addElement(queue.getObj()))). anyEvent((event, state) ->{ log().warning("received unhandled request {} in state {}/{}", event, stateName(), state); return stay(); })); The first case handled here is adding Queue() requests to the internal queue and going to the Active state (this does the obvious thing of staying in the Active state if already there), but only if the FSM data are not Uninitialized when the Queue() event is received. Otherwise—and in all other non-handled cases—the second case just logs a warning and does not change the internal state. The only missing piece is where the Batches are actually sent to the target, for which we use the onTransition mechanism: you can declare multiple such blocks and all of them will be tried for matching behavior in case a state transition occurs (i.e. only when the state actually changes). 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 382 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT onTransition( matchState(Active, Idle,() ->{ // reuse this matcher final UnitMatchm= UnitMatch.create( matchData(Todo.class, todo -> todo.getTarget().tell(new Batch(todo.getQueue()), self()))); m.match(stateData()); }). state(Idle, Active,() ->{/* Do something here */})); The transition callback is a partial function which takes as input a pair of states—the current and the next state. During the state change, the old state data is available via stateData as shown, and the new state data would be available as nextStateData. To verify that this buncher actually works, it is quite easy to write a test using the akka-testkit, here using JUnit as an example: public class BuncherTest{ static ActorSystem system; @BeforeClass public static void setup(){ system= ActorSystem.create("BuncherTest"); } @AfterClass public static void tearDown(){ JavaTestKit.shutdownActorSystem(system); system= null; } @Test public void testBuncherActorBatchesCorrectly() { new JavaTestKit(system){{ final ActorRef buncher= system.actorOf(Props.create(Buncher.class)); final ActorRef probe= getRef(); buncher.tell(new SetTarget(probe), probe); buncher.tell(new Queue(42), probe); buncher.tell(new Queue(43), probe); LinkedList list1= new LinkedList<>(); list1.add(42); list1.add(43); expectMsgEquals(new Batch(list1)); buncher.tell(new Queue(44), probe); buncher.tell(Flush, probe); buncher.tell(new Queue(45), probe); LinkedList list2= new LinkedList<>(); list2.add(44); expectMsgEquals(new Batch(list2)); LinkedList list3= new LinkedList<>(); list3.add(45); expectMsgEquals(new Batch(list3)); system.stop(buncher); }}; } @Test public void testBuncherActorDoesntBatchUninitialized() { 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 383 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT new JavaTestKit(system){{ final ActorRef buncher= system.actorOf(Props.create(Buncher.class)); final ActorRef probe= getRef(); buncher.tell(new Queue(42), probe); expectNoMsg(); system.stop(buncher); }}; } } 8.4.3 Reference The AbstractFSM Class The AbstractFSM abstract class is the base class used to implement an FSM. It implements Actor since an Actor is created to drive the FSM. public class Buncher extends AbstractFSM{ { // fsm body ... } } Note: The AbstractFSM class defines a receive method which handles internal messages and passes everything else through to the FSM logic (according to the current state). When overriding the receive method, keep in mind that e.g. state timeout handling depends on actually passing the messages through the FSM logic. The AbstractFSM class takes two type parameters: 1. the supertype of all state names, usually an enum, 2. the type of the state data which are tracked by the AbstractFSM module itself. Note: The state data together with the state name describe the internal state of the state machine; if you stick to this scheme and do not add mutable fields to the FSM class you have the advantage of making all changes of the internal state explicit in a few well-known places. Defining States A state is defined by one or more invocations of the method when([, stateTimeout = ])(stateFunction). The given name must be an object which is type-compatible with the first type parameter given to the AbstractFSM class. This object is used as a hash key, so you must ensure that it properly implements equals and hashCode; in particular it must not be mutable. The easiest fit for these requirements are case objects. If the stateTimeout parameter is given, then all transitions into this state, including staying, receive this time- out by default. Initiating the transition with an explicit timeout may be used to override this default, see Initiating Transitions for more information. The state timeout of any state may be changed during action processing with setStateTimeout(state, duration). This enables runtime configuration e.g. via external message. The stateFunction argument is a PartialFunction[Event, State], which is conveniently given using the state function builder syntax as demonstrated below: 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 384 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT when(Idle, matchEvent(SetTarget.class, Uninitialized.class, (setTarget, uninitialized) -> stay().using(new Todo(setTarget.getRef(), new LinkedList<>())))); Warning: It is required that you define handlers for each of the possible FSM states, otherwise there will be failures when trying to switch to undeclared states. It is recommended practice to declare the states as an enum and then verify that there is a when clause for each of the states. If you want to leave the handling of a state “unhandled” (more below), it still needs to be declared like this: when(SomeState, AbstractFSM.NullFunction()); Defining the Initial State Each FSM needs a starting point, which is declared using startWith(state, data[, timeout]) The optionally given timeout argument overrides any specification given for the desired initial state. If you want to cancel a default timeout, use Duration.Inf. Unhandled Events If a state doesn’t handle a received event a warning is logged. If you want to do something else in this case you can specify that with whenUnhandled(stateFunction): whenUnhandled( matchEvent(X.class,(x, data) ->{ log().info("Received unhandled event: "+x); return stay(); }). anyEvent((event, data) ->{ log().warning("Received unknown event: "+ event); return goTo(Error); })); } Within this handler the state of the FSM may be queried using the stateName method. IMPORTANT: This handler is not stacked, meaning that each invocation of whenUnhandled replaces the previously installed handler. Initiating Transitions The result of any stateFunction must be a definition of the next state unless terminating the FSM, which is described in Termination from Inside. The state definition can either be the current state, as described by the stay directive, or it is a different state as given by goto(state). The resulting object allows further qualification by way of the modifiers described in the following: • forMax(duration) This modifier sets a state timeout on the next state. This means that a timer is started which upon expiry sends a StateTimeout message to the FSM. This timer is canceled upon reception of any other message in the meantime; you can rely on the fact that the StateTimeout message will not be processed after an intervening message. This modifier can also be used to override any default timeout which is specified for the target state. If you want to cancel the default timeout, use Duration.Inf. 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 385 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • using(data) This modifier replaces the old state data with the new data given. If you follow the advice above, this is the only place where internal state data are ever modified. • replying(msg) This modifier sends a reply to the currently processed message and otherwise does not modify the state transition. All modifiers can be chained to achieve a nice and concise description: when(SomeState, matchAnyEvent((msg, data) ->{ return goTo(Processing).using(newData). forMax(Duration.create(5, SECONDS)).replying(WillDo); })); The parentheses are not actually needed in all cases, but they visually distinguish between modifiers and their arguments and therefore make the code even more pleasant to read for foreigners. Note: Please note that the return statement may not be used in when blocks or similar; this is a Scala restriction. Either refactor your code using if () ... else ... or move it into a method definition. Monitoring Transitions Transitions occur “between states” conceptually, which means after any actions you have put into the event han- dling block; this is obvious since the next state is only defined by the value returned by the event handling logic. You do not need to worry about the exact order with respect to setting the internal state variable, as everything within the FSM actor is running single-threaded anyway. Internal Monitoring Up to this point, the FSM DSL has been centered on states and events. The dual view is to describe it as a series of transitions. This is enabled by the method onTransition(handler) which associates actions with a transition instead of with a state and event. The handler is a partial function which takes a pair of states as input; no resulting state is needed as it is not possible to modify the transition in progress. onTransition( matchState(Active, Idle,() -> setTimer("timeout", Tick, Duration.create(1, SECONDS), true)). state(Active, null,() -> cancelTimer("timeout")). state(null, Idle,(f,t) -> log().info("entering Idle from "+f))); It is also possible to pass a function object accepting two states to onTransition, in case your transition handling logic is implemented as a method: public void handler(StateType from, StateType to){ // handle transition here } onTransition(this::handler); The handlers registered with this method are stacked, so you can intersperse onTransition blocks with when blocks as suits your design. It should be noted, however, that all handlers will be invoked for each transition, not only the first matching one. This is designed specifically so you can put all transition handling for a certain aspect into one place without having to worry about earlier declarations shadowing later ones; the actions are still executed in declaration order, though. 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 386 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Note: This kind of internal monitoring may be used to structure your FSM according to transitions, so that for example the cancellation of a timer upon leaving a certain state cannot be forgot when adding new target states. External Monitoring External actors may be registered to be notified of state transitions by sending a mes- sage SubscribeTransitionCallBack(actorRef). The named actor will be sent a CurrentState(self, stateName) message immediately and will receive Transition(actorRef, oldState, newState) messages whenever a new state is reached. External monitors may be unregistered by sending UnsubscribeTransitionCallBack(actorRef) to the FSM actor. Stopping a listener without unregistering will not remove the listener from the subscription list; use UnsubscribeTransitionCallback before stopping the listener. Timers Besides state timeouts, FSM manages timers identified by String names. You may set a timer using setTimer(name, msg, interval, repeat) where msg is the message object which will be sent after the duration interval has elapsed. If repeat is true, then the timer is scheduled at fixed rate given by the interval parameter. Any existing timer with the same name will automatically be canceled before adding the new timer. Timers may be canceled using cancelTimer(name) which is guaranteed to work immediately, meaning that the scheduled message will not be processed after this call even if the timer already fired and queued it. The status of any timer may be inquired with isTimerActive(name) These named timers complement state timeouts because they are not affected by intervening reception of other messages. Termination from Inside The FSM is stopped by specifying the result state as stop([reason[, data]]) The reason must be one of Normal (which is the default), Shutdown or Failure(reason), and the second argument may be given to change the state data which is available during termination handling. Note: It should be noted that stop does not abort the actions and stop the FSM immediately. The stop action must be returned from the event handler in the same way as a state transition (but note that the return statement may not be used within a when block). when(Error, matchEventEquals("stop",(event, data) ->{ // do cleanup ... return stop(); })); You can use onTermination(handler) to specify custom code that is executed when the FSM is stopped. The handler is a partial function which takes a StopEvent(reason, stateName, stateData) as argu- ment: 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 387 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT onTermination( matchStop(Normal(), (state, data) ->{/* Do something here */}). stop(Shutdown(), (state, data) ->{/* Do something here */}). stop(Failure.class, (reason, state, data) ->{/* Do something here */})); As for the whenUnhandled case, this handler is not stacked, so each invocation of onTermination replaces the previously installed handler. Termination from Outside When an ActorRef associated to a FSM is stopped using the stop method, its postStop hook will be executed. The default implementation by the AbstractFSM class is to execute the onTermination handler if that is prepared to handle a StopEvent(Shutdown, ...). Warning: In case you override postStop and want to have your onTermination handler called, do not forget to call super.postStop. 8.4.4 Testing and Debugging Finite State Machines During development and for trouble shooting FSMs need care just as any other actor. There are specialized tools available as described in TestFSMRef and in the following. Event Tracing The setting akka.actor.debug.fsm in Configuration enables logging of an event trace by LoggingFSM instances: public class MyFSM extends AbstractLoggingFSM{ // body elided ... } This FSM will log at DEBUG level: • all processed events, including StateTimeout and scheduled timer messages • every setting and cancellation of named timers • all state transitions Life cycle changes and special messages can be logged as described for Actors. Rolling Event Log The AbstractLoggingFSM class adds one more feature to the FSM: a rolling event log which may be used during debugging (for tracing how the FSM entered a certain failure state) or for other creative uses: public class MyFSM extends AbstractLoggingFSM{ @Override public int logDepth(){ return 12;} { onTermination( matchStop(Failure.class,(reason, state, data) ->{ String lastEvents= getLog().mkString("\n\t"); log().warning("Failure in state "+ state+ " with data "+ data+ "\n"+ "Events leading up to this point:\n\t"+ lastEvents); 8.4. FSM (Java with Lambda Support) 388 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT }) ); //... } } The logDepth defaults to zero, which turns off the event log. Warning: The log buffer is allocated during actor creation, which is why the configuration is done using a virtual method call. If you want to override with a val, make sure that its initialization happens before the initializer of LoggingFSM runs, and do not change the value returned by logDepth after the buffer has been allocated. The contents of the event log are available using method getLog, which returns an IndexedSeq[LogEntry] where the oldest entry is at index zero. 8.4.5 Examples A bigger FSM example contrasted with Actor’s become/unbecome can be found in the Typesafe Activator template named Akka FSM in Scala Another reason for marking a module as experimental is that it’s too early to tell if the module has a maintainer that can take the responsibility of the module over time. These modules live in the akka-contrib subproject: 8.5 External Contributions This subproject provides a home to modules contributed by external developers which may or may not move into the officially supported code base over time. The conditions under which this transition can occur include: • there must be enough interest in the module to warrant inclusion in the standard distribution, • the module must be actively maintained and • code quality must be good enough to allow efficient maintenance by the Akka core development team If a contributions turns out to not “take off” it may be removed again at a later time. 8.5.1 Caveat Emptor A module in this subproject doesn’t have to obey the rule of staying binary compatible between minor releases. Breaking API changes may be introduced in minor releases without notice as we refine and simplify based on your feedback. A module may be dropped in any release without prior deprecation. The Typesafe subscription does not cover support for these modules. 8.5.2 The Current List of Modules Reliable Proxy Pattern Looking at Message Delivery Reliability one might come to the conclusion that Akka actors are made for blue-sky scenarios: sending messages is the only way for actors to communicate, and then that is not even guaranteed to work. Is the whole paradigm built on sand? Of course the answer is an emphatic “No!”. A local message send—within the same JVM instance—is not likely to fail, and if it does the reason was one of • it was meant to fail (due to consciously choosing a bounded mailbox, which upon overflow will have to drop messages) 8.5. External Contributions 389 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • or it failed due to a catastrophic VM error, e.g. an OutOfMemoryError, a memory access violation (“segmentation fault”, GPF, etc.), JVM bug—or someone calling System.exit(). In all of these cases, the actor was very likely not in a position to process the message anyway, so this part of the non-guarantee is not problematic. It is a lot more likely for an unintended message delivery failure to occur when a message send crosses JVM boundaries, i.e. an intermediate unreliable network is involved. If someone unplugs an ethernet cable, or a power failure shuts down a router, messages will be lost while the actors would be able to process them just fine. Note: This does not mean that message send semantics are different between local and remote operations, it just means that in practice there is a difference between how good the “best effort” is. Introducing the Reliable Proxy To bridge the disparity between “local” and “remote” sends is the goal of this pattern. When sending from A to B must be as reliable as in-JVM, regardless of the deployment, then you can interject a reliable tunnel and send through that instead. The tunnel consists of two end-points, where the ingress point P (the “proxy”) is a child of A and the egress point E is a child of P, deployed onto the same network node where B lives. Messages sent to P will be wrapped in an envelope, tagged with a sequence number and sent to E, who verifies that the received envelope has the right sequence number (the next expected one) and forwards the contained message to B. When B receives this message, the sender() will be a reference to the sender() of the original message to P. Reliability is added by E replying to orderly received messages with an ACK, so that P can tick those messages off its resend list. If ACKs do not come in a timely fashion, P will try to resend until successful. Exactly what does it guarantee? Sending via a ReliableProxy makes the message send exactly as reliable as if the represented target were to live within the same JVM, provided that the remote actor system does not terminate. In effect, both ends (i.e. JVM and actor system) must be considered as one when evaluating the reliability of this communication channel. The benefit is that the network in-between is taken out of that equation. Connecting to the target The proxy tries to connect to the target using the mechanism outlined in actorSelection-scala. Once connected, if the tunnel terminates the proxy will optionally try to reconnect to the target using using the same process. Note that during the reconnection process there is a possibility that a message could be delivered to the target more than once. Consider the case where a message is delivered to the target and the target system crashes 8.5. External Contributions 390 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT before the ACK is sent to the sender. After the proxy reconnects to the target it will start resending all of the messages that it has not received an ACK for, and the message that it never got an ACK for will be redelivered. Either this possibility should be considered in the design of the target or reconnection should be disabled. How to use it Since this implementation does not offer much in the way of configuration, simply instantiate a proxy wrapping a target ActorPath. From Java it looks like this: import akka.contrib.pattern.ReliableProxy; public class ProxyParent extends UntypedActor{ private final ActorRef proxy; public ProxyParent(ActorPath targetPath){ proxy= getContext().actorOf( ReliableProxy.props(targetPath, Duration.create(100, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS))); } public void onReceive(Object msg){ if("hello".equals(msg)){ proxy.tell("world!", getSelf()); } } } And from Scala like this: import akka.contrib.pattern.ReliableProxy class ProxyParent(targetPath: ActorPath) extends Actor{ val proxy= context.actorOf(ReliableProxy.props(targetPath, 100.millis)) def receive={ case "hello" ⇒ proxy! "world!" } } Since the ReliableProxy actor is an fsm-scala, it also offers the capability to subscribe to state transitions. If you need to know when all enqueued messages have been received by the remote end-point (and consequently been forwarded to the target), you can subscribe to the FSM notifications and observe a transition from state ReliableProxy.Active to state ReliableProxy.Idle. public class ProxyTransitionParent extends UntypedActor{ private final ActorRef proxy; private ActorRef client= null; public ProxyTransitionParent(ActorPath targetPath){ proxy= getContext().actorOf( ReliableProxy.props(targetPath, Duration.create(100, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS))); proxy.tell(new FSM.SubscribeTransitionCallBack(getSelf()), getSelf()); } public void onReceive(Object msg){ if("hello".equals(msg)){ proxy.tell("world!", getSelf()); client= getSender(); } else if(msg instanceof FSM.CurrentState){ // get initial state 8.5. External Contributions 391 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } else if(msg instanceof FSM.Transition){ @SuppressWarnings("unchecked") final FSM.Transition transition= (FSM.Transition) msg; assert transition.fsmRef().equals(proxy); if(transition.from().equals(ReliableProxy.active())&& transition.to().equals(ReliableProxy.idle())){ client.tell("done", getSelf()); } } } } From Scala it would look like so: class ProxyTransitionParent(targetPath: ActorPath) extends Actor{ val proxy= context.actorOf(ReliableProxy.props(targetPath, 100.millis)) proxy! FSM.SubscribeTransitionCallBack(self) var client: ActorRef=_ def receive={ case "go" ⇒ proxy! 42 client= sender() case FSM.CurrentState(‘proxy‘, initial) ⇒ case FSM.Transition(‘proxy‘, from, to) ⇒ if(to == ReliableProxy.Idle) client! "done" } } Configuration • Set akka.reliable-proxy.debug to on to turn on extra debug logging for your ReliableProxy actors. • akka.reliable-proxy.default-connect-interval is used only if you create a ReliableProxy with no reconnections (that is, reconnectAfter == None). The default value is the value of the configuration property akka.remote.retry-gate-closed-for. For example, if akka.remote.retry-gate-closed-for is 5 s case the ReliableProxy will send an Identify message to the target every 5 seconds to try to resolve the ActorPath to an ActorRef so that messages can be sent to the target. The Actor Contract Message it Processes • FSM.SubscribeTransitionCallBack and FSM.UnsubscribeTransitionCallBack, see fsm-scala • ReliableProxy.Unsent, see the API documentation for details. • any other message is transferred through the reliable tunnel and forwarded to the designated target actor Messages it Sends • FSM.CurrentState and FSM.Transition, see fsm-scala • ReliableProxy.TargetChanged is sent to the FSM transition subscribers if the proxy reconnects to a new target. 8.5. External Contributions 392 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT • ReliableProxy.ProxyTerminated is sent to the FSM transition subscribers if the proxy is stopped. Exceptions it Escalates • no specific exception types • any exception encountered by either the local or remote end-point are escalated (only fatal VM errors) Arguments it Takes • target is the ActorPath to the actor to which the tunnel shall reliably deliver messages, B in the above illustration. • retryAfter is the timeout for receiving ACK messages from the remote end-point; once it fires, all outstanding message sends will be retried. • reconnectAfter is an optional interval between connection attempts. It is also used as the interval between receiving a Terminated for the tunnel and attempting to reconnect to the target actor. • maxConnectAttempts is an optional maximum number of attempts to connect to the target while in the Connecting state. Throttling Actor Messages Introduction Suppose you are writing an application that makes HTTP requests to an external web service and that this web service has a restriction in place: you may not make more than 10 requests in 1 minute. You will get blocked or need to pay if you don’t stay under this limit. In such a scenario you will want to employ a message throttler. This extension module provides a simple implementation of a throttling actor, the TimerBasedThrottler. How to use it You can use a TimerBasedThrottler as follows. From Java it looks like this: // A simple actor that prints whatever it receives ActorRef printer= system.actorOf(Props.create(Printer.class)); // The throttler for this example, setting the rate ActorRef throttler= system.actorOf(Props.create(TimerBasedThrottler.class, new Throttler.Rate(3, Duration.create(1, TimeUnit.SECONDS)))); // Set the target throttler.tell(new Throttler.SetTarget(printer), null); // These three messages will be sent to the target immediately throttler.tell("1", null); throttler.tell("2", null); throttler.tell("3", null); // These two will wait until a second has passed throttler.tell("4", null); throttler.tell("5", null); //A simple actor that prints whatever it receives public class Printer extends UntypedActor{ @Override public void onReceive(Object msg){ System.out.println(msg); } } And from Scala like this: 8.5. External Contributions 393 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT // A simple actor that prints whatever it receives class PrintActor extends Actor{ def receive={ casex ⇒ println(x) } } val printer= system.actorOf(Props[PrintActor]) // The throttler for this example, setting the rate val throttler= system.actorOf(Props(classOf[TimerBasedThrottler], 3 msgsPer 1.second)) // Set the target throttler! SetTarget(Some(printer)) // These three messages will be sent to the target immediately throttler! "1" throttler! "2" throttler! "3" // These two will wait until a second has passed throttler! "4" throttler! "5" Please refer to the JavaDoc/ScalaDoc documentation for the details. The guarantees TimerBasedThrottler uses a timer internally. When the throttler’s rate is 3 msg/s, for example, the throttler will start a timer that triggers every second and each time will give the throttler exactly three “vouchers”; each voucher gives the throttler a right to deliver a message. In this way, at most 3 messages will be sent out by the throttler in each interval. It should be noted that such timer-based throttlers provide relatively weak guarantees: • Only start times are taken into account. This may be a problem if, for example, the throttler is used to throttle requests to an external web service. If a web request takes very long on the server then the rate observed on the server may be higher. • A timer-based throttler only makes guarantees for the intervals of its own timer. In our example, no more than 3 messages are delivered within such intervals. Other intervals on the timeline, however, may contain more calls. The two cases are illustrated in the two figures below, each showing a timeline and three intervals of the timer. The message delivery times chosen by the throttler are indicated by dots, and as you can see, each interval contains at most 3 point, so the throttler works correctly. Still, there is in each example an interval (the red one) that is problematic. In the first scenario, this is because the delivery times are merely the start times of longer requests (indicated by the four bars above the timeline that start at the dots), so that the server observes four requests during the red interval. In the second scenario, the messages are centered around one of the points in time where the timer triggers, causing the red interval to contain too many messages. 8.5. External Contributions 394 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT For some application scenarios, the guarantees provided by a timer-based throttler might be too weak. Charles Cordingley’s blog post discusses a throttler with stronger guarantees (it solves problem 2 from above). Future versions of this module may feature throttlers with better guarantees. Java Logging (JUL) This extension module provides a logging backend which uses the java.util.logging (j.u.l) API to do the endpoint logging for akka.event.Logging. Provided with this module is an implementation of akka.event.LoggingAdapter which is independent of any Ac- torSystem being in place. This means that j.u.l can be used as the backend, via the Akka Logging API, for both Actor and non-Actor codebases. To enable j.u.l as the akka.event.Logging backend, use the following Akka config: loggers = [”akka.contrib.jul.JavaLogger”] To access the akka.event.Logging API from non-Actor code, mix in akka.contrib.jul.JavaLogging. This module is preferred over SLF4J with its JDK14 backend, due to integration issues resulting in the incorrect handling of threadId, className and methodName. This extension module was contributed by Sam Halliday. Mailbox with Explicit Acknowledgement When an Akka actor is processing a message and an exception occurs, the normal behavior is for the actor to drop that message, and then continue with the next message after it has been restarted. This is in some cases not the desired solution, e.g. when using failure and supervision to manage a connection to an unreliable resource; the actor could after the restart go into a buffering mode (i.e. change its behavior) and retry the real processing later, when the unreliable resource is back online. One way to do this is by sending all messages through the supervisor and buffering them there, acknowledging successful processing in the child; another way is to build an explicit acknowledgement mechanism into the mailbox. The idea with the latter is that a message is reprocessed in case of failure until the mailbox is told that processing was successful. The pattern is implemented here. A demonstration of how to use it (although for brevity not a perfect example) is the following: class MyActor extends Actor{ def receive={ case msg ⇒ println(msg) doStuff(msg) // may fail PeekMailboxExtension.ack() } // business logic elided ... } object MyApp extends App{ val system= ActorSystem("MySystem", ConfigFactory.parseString(""" peek-dispatcher { mailbox-type = "akka.contrib.mailbox.PeekMailboxType" max-tries = 2 } """)) val myActor= system.actorOf(Props[MyActor].withDispatcher("peek-dispatcher"), name= "myActor") myActor! "Hello" 8.5. External Contributions 395 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT myActor! "World" myActor! PoisonPill } Running this application (try it in the Akka sources by saying sbt akka-contrib/test:run) may produce the following output (note the processing of “World” on lines 2 and 16): Hello World [ERROR] [12/17/2012 16:28:36.581] [MySystem-peek-dispatcher-5] [akka://MySystem/user/myActor] DONTWANNA java.lang.Exception: DONTWANNA at akka.contrib.mailbox.MyActor.doStuff(PeekMailbox.scala:105) at akka.contrib.mailbox.MyActor$$anonfun$receive$1.applyOrElse(PeekMailbox.scala:98) at akka.actor.ActorCell.receiveMessage(ActorCell.scala:425) at akka.actor.ActorCell.invoke(ActorCell.scala:386) at akka.dispatch.Mailbox.processMailbox(Mailbox.scala:230) at akka.dispatch.Mailbox.run(Mailbox.scala:212) at akka.dispatch.ForkJoinExecutorConfigurator$MailboxExecutionTask.exec(AbstractDispatcher.scala:502) at scala.concurrent.forkjoin.ForkJoinTask.doExec(ForkJoinTask.java:262) at scala.concurrent.forkjoin.ForkJoinPool$WorkQueue.runTask(ForkJoinPool.java:975) at scala.concurrent.forkjoin.ForkJoinPool.runWorker(ForkJoinPool.java:1478) at scala.concurrent.forkjoin.ForkJoinWorkerThread.run(ForkJoinWorkerThread.java:104) World Normally one would want to make processing idempotent (i.e. it does not matter if a message is processed twice) or context.become a different behavior upon restart; the above example included the println(msg) call just to demonstrate the re-processing. Cluster Singleton For some use cases it is convenient and sometimes also mandatory to ensure that you have exactly one actor of a certain type running somewhere in the cluster. Some examples: • single point of responsibility for certain cluster-wide consistent decisions, or coordination of actions across the cluster system • single entry point to an external system • single master, many workers • centralized naming service, or routing logic Using a singleton should not be the first design choice. It has several drawbacks, such as single-point of bottleneck. Single-point of failure is also a relevant concern, but for some cases this feature takes care of that by making sure that another singleton instance will eventually be started. The cluster singleton is implemented by akka.contrib.pattern.ClusterSingletonManager. It manages singleton actor instance among all cluster nodes or a group of nodes tagged with a specific role. ClusterSingletonManager is an actor that is supposed to be started on all nodes, or all nodes with specified role, in the cluster. The actual singleton actor is started by the ClusterSingletonManager on the oldest node by creating a child actor from supplied Props. ClusterSingletonManager makes sure that at most one singleton instance is running at any point in time. The singleton actor is always running on the oldest member, which can be determined by Member#isOlderThan. This can change when removing that member from the cluster. Be aware that there is a short time period when there is no active singleton during the hand-over process. The cluster failure detector will notice when oldest node becomes unreachable due to things like JVM crash, hard shut down, or network failure. Then a new oldest node will take over and a new singleton actor is created. For these failure scenarios there will not be a graceful hand-over, but more than one active singletons is prevented by all reasonable means. Some corner cases are eventually resolved by configurable timeouts. 8.5. External Contributions 396 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT You access the singleton actor with actorSelection using the names you have specified when creating the ClusterSingletonManager. You can subscribe to akka.cluster.ClusterEvent.MemberEvent and sort the members by age (Member#isOlderThan) to keep track of oldest member. Alternatively the singleton actor may broadcast its existence when it is started. An Example Assume that we need one single entry point to an external system. An actor that receives messages from a JMS queue with the strict requirement that only one JMS consumer must exist to be make sure that the messages are processed in order. That is perhaps not how one would like to design things, but a typical real-world scenario when integrating with external systems. On each node in the cluster you need to start the ClusterSingletonManager and supply the Props of the singleton actor, in this case the JMS queue consumer. In Scala: system.actorOf(ClusterSingletonManager.props( singletonProps= Props(classOf[Consumer], queue, testActor), singletonName= "consumer", terminationMessage= End, role= Some("worker")), name= "singleton") Here we limit the singleton to nodes tagged with the "worker" role, but all nodes, independent of role, can be used by specifying None as role parameter. The corresponding Java API for the singeltonProps function is akka.contrib.pattern.ClusterSingletonPropsFactory. The Java API takes a plain String for the role parameter and null means that all nodes, independent of role, are used. In Java: system.actorOf(ClusterSingletonManager.defaultProps(Props.create(Consumer.class, queue, testActor), "consumer", new End(), "worker"), "singleton"); Note: The singletonProps/singletonPropsFactory is invoked when creating the singleton actor and it must not use members that are not thread safe, e.g. mutable state in enclosing actor. Here we use an application specific terminationMessage to be able to close the resources before actually stopping the singleton actor. Note that PoisonPill is a perfectly fine terminationMessage if you only need to stop the actor. Here is how the singleton actor handles the terminationMessage in this example. case End ⇒ queue! UnregisterConsumer case UnregistrationOk ⇒ context stop self With the names given above the path of singleton actor can be constructed by subscribing to MemberEvent cluster event and sort the members by age to keep track of oldest member. In Scala: class ConsumerProxy extends Actor{ // subscribe to MemberEvent, re-subscribe when restart override def preStart(): Unit= Cluster(context.system).subscribe(self, classOf[MemberEvent]) override def postStop(): Unit= Cluster(context.system).unsubscribe(self) 8.5. External Contributions 397 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT val role= "worker" // sort by age, oldest first val ageOrdering= Ordering.fromLessThan[Member]{(a,b) ⇒ a.isOlderThan(b)} var membersByAge: immutable.SortedSet[Member]= immutable.SortedSet.empty(ageOrdering) def receive={ case state: CurrentClusterState ⇒ membersByAge= immutable.SortedSet.empty(ageOrdering) ++ state.members.filter(m ⇒ m.status == MemberStatus.Up&&m.hasRole(role)) case MemberUp(m) ⇒ if(m.hasRole(role)) membersByAge +=m case MemberRemoved(m,_) ⇒ if(m.hasRole(role)) membersByAge -=m case other ⇒ consumer foreach{_.tell(other, sender())} } def consumer: Option[ActorSelection]= membersByAge.headOption map(m ⇒ context.actorSelection( RootActorPath(m.address)/ "user"/ "singleton"/ "consumer")) } In Java: public class ConsumerProxy extends UntypedActor{ final Cluster cluster= Cluster.get(getContext().system()); final Comparator ageComparator= new Comparator(){ public int compare(Membera, Memberb){ if(a.isOlderThan(b)) return-1; else if(b.isOlderThan(a)) return1; else return0; } }; final SortedSet membersByAge= new TreeSet(ageComparator); final String role= "worker"; //subscribe to cluster changes @Override public void preStart(){ cluster.subscribe(getSelf(), MemberEvent.class); } //re-subscribe when restart @Override public void postStop(){ cluster.unsubscribe(getSelf()); } @Override public void onReceive(Object message){ if(message instanceof CurrentClusterState){ CurrentClusterState state=(CurrentClusterState) message; List members= new ArrayList(); for(Memberm: state.getMembers()){ if(m.status().equals(MemberStatus.up())&&m.hasRole(role)) members.add(m); } membersByAge.clear(); membersByAge.addAll(members); 8.5. External Contributions 398 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT } else if(message instanceof MemberUp){ Memberm=((MemberUp) message).member(); if(m.hasRole(role)) membersByAge.add(m); } else if(message instanceof MemberRemoved){ Memberm=((MemberUp) message).member(); if(m.hasRole(role)) membersByAge.remove(m); } else if(message instanceof MemberEvent){ // not interesting } else if(!membersByAge.isEmpty()){ currentMaster().tell(message, getSender()); } } ActorSelection currentMaster(){ return getContext().actorSelection(membersByAge.first().address()+ "/user/singleton/statsService"); } } The checks of role can be omitted if you don’t limit the singleton to the group of members tagged with a specific role. Note that the hand-over might still be in progress and the singleton actor might not be started yet when you receive the member event. A nice alternative to the above proxy is to use Distributed Publish Subscribe in Cluster. Let the singleton actor register itself to the mediator with DistributedPubSubMediator.Put message when it is started. Send messages to the singleton actor via the mediator with DistributedPubSubMediator.SendToAll. A more comprehensive sample is available in the Typesafe Activator tutorial named Distributed workers with Akka and Scala! and Distributed workers with Akka and Java!. Cluster Sharding Cluster sharding is useful when you need to distribute actors across several nodes in the cluster and want to be able to interact with them using their logical identifier, but without having to care about their physical location in the cluster, which might also change over time. It could for example be actors representing Aggregate Roots in Domain-Driven Design terminology. Here we call these actors “entries”. These actors typically have persistent (durable) state, but this feature is not limited to actors with persistent state. Cluster sharding is typically used when you have many stateful actors that together consume more resources (e.g. memory) than fit on one machine. If you only have a few stateful actors it might be easier to run them on a Cluster Singleton node. In this context sharding means that actors with an identifier, so called entries, can be automatically distributed across multiple nodes in the cluster. Each entry actor runs only at one place, and messages can be sent to the entry without requiring the sender() to know the location of the destination actor. This is achieved by sending the messages via a ShardRegion actor provided by this extension, which knows how to route the message with the entry id to the final destination. An Example in Java This is how an entry actor may look like: 8.5. External Contributions 399 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT public class Counter extends UntypedEventsourcedProcessor{ public static enum CounterOp{ INCREMENT, DECREMENT } public static class Get{ final public long counterId; public Get(long counterId){ this.counterId= counterId; } } public static class EntryEnvelope{ final public long id; final public Object payload; public EntryEnvelope(long id, Object payload){ this.id= id; this.payload= payload; } } public static class CounterChanged{ final public int delta; public CounterChanged(int delta){ this.delta= delta; } } int count=0; @Override public void preStart() throws Exception{ super.preStart(); context().setReceiveTimeout(Duration.create(120, TimeUnit.SECONDS)); } void updateState(CounterChanged event){ count += event.delta; } @Override public void onReceiveRecover(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof CounterChanged) updateState((CounterChanged) msg); else unhandled(msg); } @Override public void onReceiveCommand(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof Get) getSender().tell(count, getSelf()); else if(msg == CounterOp.INCREMENT) persist(new CounterChanged(+1), new Procedure(){ public void apply(CounterChanged evt){ updateState(evt); } }); 8.5. External Contributions 400 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT else if(msg == CounterOp.DECREMENT) persist(new CounterChanged(-1), new Procedure(){ public void apply(CounterChanged evt){ updateState(evt); } }); else if(msg.equals(ReceiveTimeout.getInstance())) getContext().parent().tell( new ShardRegion.Passivate(PoisonPill.getInstance()), getSelf()); else unhandled(msg); } } The above actor uses event sourcing and the support provided in UntypedEventsourcedProcessor to store its state. It does not have to be a processor, but in case of failure or migration of entries between nodes it must be able to recover its state if it is valuable. When using the sharding extension you are first, typically at system startup on each node in the cluster, supposed to register the supported entry types with the ClusterSharding.start method. ClusterSharding.get(system).start("Counter", Props.create(Counter.class), messageExtractor); The messageExtractor defines application specific methods to extract the entry identifier and the shard iden- tifier from incoming messages. ShardRegion.MessageExtractor messageExtractor= new ShardRegion.MessageExtractor(){ @Override public String entryId(Object message){ if(message instanceof Counter.EntryEnvelope) return String.valueOf(((Counter.EntryEnvelope) message).id); else if(message instanceof Counter.Get) return String.valueOf(((Counter.Get) message).counterId); else return null; } @Override public Object entryMessage(Object message){ if(message instanceof Counter.EntryEnvelope) return((Counter.EntryEnvelope) message).payload; else return message; } @Override public String shardId(Object message){ if(message instanceof Counter.EntryEnvelope){ long id=((Counter.EntryEnvelope) message).id; return String.valueOf(id% 10); } else if(message instanceof Counter.Get){ long id=((Counter.Get) message).counterId; return String.valueOf(id% 10); } else{ return null; } } }; 8.5. External Contributions 401 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT This example illustrates two different ways to define the entry identifier in the messages: • The Get message includes the identifier itself. • The EntryEnvelope holds the identifier, and the actual message that is sent to the entry actor is wrapped in the envelope. Note how these two messages types are handled in the entryId and entryMessage methods shown above. A shard is a group of entries that will be managed together. The grouping is defined by the shardResolver function shown above. Creating a good sharding algorithm is an interesting challenge in itself. Try to produce a uniform distribution, i.e. same amount of entries in each shard. As a rule of thumb, the number of shards should be a factor ten greater than the planned maximum number of cluster nodes. Messages to the entries are always sent via the local ShardRegion. The ShardRegion actor for a named entry type can be retrieved with ClusterSharding.shardRegion. The ShardRegion will lookup the location of the shard for the entry if it does not already know its location. It will delegate the message to the right node and it will create the entry actor on demand, i.e. when the first message for a specific entry is delivered. ActorRef counterRegion= ClusterSharding.get(system).shardRegion("Counter"); counterRegion.tell(new Counter.Get(100), getSelf()); counterRegion.tell(new Counter.EntryEnvelope(100, Counter.CounterOp.INCREMENT), getSelf()); counterRegion.tell(new Counter.Get(100), getSelf()); An Example in Scala This is how an entry actor may look like: case object Increment case object Decrement case class Get(counterId: Long) case class EntryEnvelope(id: Long, payload: Any) case object Stop case class CounterChanged(delta: Int) class Counter extends EventsourcedProcessor{ import ShardRegion.Passivate context.setReceiveTimeout(120.seconds) var count=0 def updateState(event: CounterChanged): Unit= count += event.delta override def receiveRecover: Receive={ case evt: CounterChanged ⇒ updateState(evt) } override def receiveCommand: Receive={ case Increment ⇒ persist(CounterChanged(+1))(updateState) case Decrement ⇒ persist(CounterChanged(-1))(updateState) case Get(_) ⇒ sender()! count case ReceiveTimeout ⇒ context.parent! Passivate(stopMessage= Stop) case Stop ⇒ context.stop(self) } } The above actor uses event sourcing and the support provided in EventsourcedProcessor to store its state. It does not have to be a processor, but in case of failure or migration of entries between nodes it must be able to 8.5. External Contributions 402 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT recover its state if it is valuable. When using the sharding extension you are first, typically at system startup on each node in the cluster, supposed to register the supported entry types with the ClusterSharding.start method. ClusterSharding(system).start( typeName= "Counter", entryProps= Some(Props[Counter]), idExtractor= idExtractor, shardResolver= shardResolver) The idExtractor and shardResolver are two application specific functions to extract the entry identifier and the shard identifier from incoming messages. val idExtractor: ShardRegion.IdExtractor={ case EntryEnvelope(id, payload) ⇒ (id.toString, payload) case msg@ Get(id) ⇒ (id.toString, msg) } val shardResolver: ShardRegion.ShardResolver= msg ⇒ msg match{ case EntryEnvelope(id,_) ⇒ (id% 12).toString case Get(id) ⇒ (id% 12).toString } This example illustrates two different ways to define the entry identifier in the messages: • The Get message includes the identifier itself. • The EntryEnvelope holds the identifier, and the actual message that is sent to the entry actor is wrapped in the envelope. Note how these two messages types are handled in the idExtractor function shown above. A shard is a group of entries that will be managed together. The grouping is defined by the shardResolver function shown above. Creating a good sharding algorithm is an interesting challenge in itself. Try to produce a uniform distribution, i.e. same amount of entries in each shard. As a rule of thumb, the number of shards should be a factor ten greater than the planned maximum number of cluster nodes. Messages to the entries are always sent via the local ShardRegion. The ShardRegion actor for a named entry type can be retrieved with ClusterSharding.shardRegion. The ShardRegion will lookup the location of the shard for the entry if it does not already know its location. It will delegate the message to the right node and it will create the entry actor on demand, i.e. when the first message for a specific entry is delivered. val counterRegion: ActorRef= ClusterSharding(system).shardRegion("Counter") counterRegion! Get(100) expectMsg(0) counterRegion! EntryEnvelope(100, Increment) counterRegion! Get(100) expectMsg(1) A more comprehensive sample is available in the Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Cluster Sharding with Scala!. How it works The ShardRegion actor is started on each node in the cluster, or group of nodes tagged with a specific role. The ShardRegion is created with two application specific functions to extract the entry identifier and the shard identifier from incoming messages. A shard is a group of entries that will be managed together. For the first message in a specific shard the ShardRegion request the location of the shard from a central coordinator, the ShardCoordinator. The ShardCoordinator decides which ShardRegion that owns the shard. The ShardRegion receives the decided home of the shard and if that is the ShardRegion instance itself it will create a local child actor 8.5. External Contributions 403 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT representing the entry and direct all messages for that entry to it. If the shard home is another ShardRegion instance messages will be forwarded to that ShardRegion instance instead. While resolving the location of a shard incoming messages for that shard are buffered and later delivered when the shard home is known. Subse- quent messages to the resolved shard can be delivered to the target destination immediately without involving the ShardCoordinator. Scenario 1: 1. Incoming message M1 to ShardRegion instance R1. 2. M1 is mapped to shard S1. R1 doesn’t know about S1, so it asks the coordinator C for the location of S1. 3. C answers that the home of S1 is R1. 4. R1 creates child actor for the entry E1 and sends buffered messages for S1 to E1 child 5. All incoming messages for S1 which arrive at R1 can be handled by R1 without C. It creates entry children as needed, and forwards messages to them. Scenario 2: 1. Incoming message M2 to R1. 2. M2 is mapped to S2. R1 doesn’t know about S2, so it asks C for the location of S2. 3. C answers that the home of S2 is R2. 4. R1 sends buffered messages for S2 to R2 5. All incoming messages for S2 which arrive at R1 can be handled by R1 without C. It forwards messages to R2. 6. R2 receives message for S2, ask C, which answers that the home of S2 is R2, and we are in Scenario 1 (but for R2). To make sure that at most one instance of a specific entry actor is running somewhere in the cluster it is important that all nodes have the same view of where the shards are located. Therefore the shard allocation decisions are taken by the central ShardCoordinator, which is running as a cluster singleton, i.e. one instance on the oldest member among all cluster nodes or a group of nodes tagged with a specific role. The logic that decides where a shard is to be located is defined in a pluggable shard allocation strategy. The default implementation ShardCoordinator.LeastShardAllocationStrategy allocates new shards to the ShardRegion with least number of previously allocated shards. This strategy can be replaced by an application specific implementation. To be able to use newly added members in the cluster the coordinator facilitates rebalancing of shards, i.e. migrate entries from one node to another. In the rebalance process the coordinator first notifies all ShardRegion actors that a handoff for a shard has started. That means they will start buffering incoming messages for that shard, in the same way as if the shard location is unknown. During the rebalance process the coordinator will not answer any requests for the location of shards that are being rebalanced, i.e. local buffering will continue until the handoff is completed. The ShardRegion responsible for the rebalanced shard will stop all entries in that shard by sending PoisonPill to them. When all entries have been terminated the ShardRegion owning the entries will acknowledge the handoff as completed to the coordinator. Thereafter the coordinator will reply to requests for the location of the shard and thereby allocate a new home for the shard and then buffered messages in the ShardRegion actors are delivered to the new location. This means that the state of the entries are not transferred or migrated. If the state of the entries are of importance it should be persistent (durable), e.g. with akka-persistence, so that it can be recovered at the new location. The logic that decides which shards to rebalance is defined in a pluggable shard allocation strategy. The de- fault implementation ShardCoordinator.LeastShardAllocationStrategy picks shards for hand- off from the ShardRegion with most number of previously allocated shards. They will then be allocated to the ShardRegion with least number of previously allocated shards, i.e. new members in the cluster. There is a configurable threshold of how large the difference must be to begin the rebalancing. This strategy can be replaced by an application specific implementation. The state of shard locations in the ShardCoordinator is persistent (durable) with akka-persistence to survive failures. Since it is running in a cluster akka-persistence must be configured with a distributed 8.5. External Contributions 404 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT journal. When a crashed or unreachable coordinator node has been removed (via down) from the cluster a new ShardCoordinator singleton actor will take over and the state is recovered. During such a failure period shards with known location are still available, while messages for new (unknown) shards are buffered until the new ShardCoordinator becomes available. As long as a sender() uses the same ShardRegion actor to deliver messages to an entry actor the order of the messages is preserved. As long as the buffer limit is not reached messages are delivered on a best effort basis, with at-most once delivery semantics, in the same way as ordinary message sending. Reliable end-to-end messaging, with at-least-once semantics can be added by using channels in akka-persistence. Some additional latency is introduced for messages targeted to new or previously unused shards due to the round- trip to the coordinator. Rebalancing of shards may also add latency. This should be considered when designing the application specific shard resolution, e.g. to avoid too fine grained shards. Proxy Only Mode The ShardRegion actor can also be started in proxy only mode, i.e. it will not host any entries itself, but knows how to delegate messages to the right location. A ShardRegion starts in proxy only mode if the roles of the node does not include the node role specified in akka.contrib.cluster.sharding.role config property or if the specified entryProps is None / null. Passivation If the state of the entries are persistent you may stop entries that are not used to reduce memory consumption. This is done by the application specific implementation of the entry actors for example by defining receive timeout (context.setReceiveTimeout). If a message is already enqueued to the entry when it stops itself the enqueued message in the mailbox will be dropped. To support graceful passivation without loosing such messages the entry actor can send ShardRegion.Passivate to its parent ShardRegion. The specified wrapped message in Passivate will be sent back to the entry, which is then supposed to stop itself. Incoming messages will be buffered by the ShardRegion between reception of Passivate and termination of the entry. Such buffered messages are thereafter delivered to a new incarnation of the entry. Configuration The ClusterSharding extension can be configured with the following properties: # Settings for the ClusterShardingExtension akka.contrib.cluster.sharding { # The extension creates a top level actor with this name in top level user scope, # e.g. ’/user/sharding’ guardian-name = sharding # Start the coordinator singleton manager on members tagged with this role. # All members are used if undefined or empty. # ShardRegion actor is started in proxy only mode on nodes that are not tagged # with this role. role = "" # The ShardRegion retries registration and shard location requests to the # ShardCoordinator with this interval if it does not reply. retry-interval = 2 s # Maximum number of messages that are buffered by a ShardRegion actor. buffer-size = 100000 # Timeout of the shard rebalancing process. handoff-timeout = 60 s # Rebalance check is performed periodically with this interval. rebalance-interval = 10 s # How often the coordinator saves persistent snapshots, which are # used to reduce recovery times snapshot-interval = 3600 s 8.5. External Contributions 405 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT # Setting for the default shard allocation strategy least-shard-allocation-strategy { # Threshold of how large the difference between most and least number of # allocated shards must be to begin the rebalancing. rebalance-threshold = 10 # The number of ongoing rebalancing processes is limited to this number. max-simultaneous-rebalance = 3 } } Custom shard allocation strategy can be defined in an optional parameter to ClusterSharding.start. See the API documentation of ShardAllocationStrategy (Scala) or AbstractShardAllocationStrategy (Java) for details of how to implement a custom shard allocation strategy. Distributed Publish Subscribe in Cluster How do I send a message to an actor without knowing which node it is running on? How do I send messages to all actors in the cluster that have registered interest in a named topic? This pattern provides a mediator actor, akka.contrib.pattern.DistributedPubSubMediator, that manages a registry of actor references and replicates the entries to peer actors among all cluster nodes or a group of nodes tagged with a specific role. The DistributedPubSubMediator is supposed to be started on all nodes, or all nodes with specified role, in the cluster. The mediator can be started with the DistributedPubSubExtension or as an ordinary actor. Changes are only performed in the own part of the registry and those changes are versioned. Deltas are dissemi- nated in a scalable way to other nodes with a gossip protocol. The registry is eventually consistent, i.e. changes are not immediately visible at other nodes, but typically they will be fully replicated to all other nodes after a few seconds. You can send messages via the mediator on any node to registered actors on any other node. There is three modes of message delivery. 1. DistributedPubSubMediator.Send The message will be delivered to one recipient with a matching path, if any such exists in the registry. If several entries match the path the message will be sent via the supplied RoutingLogic (default random) to one desti- nation. The sender() of the message can specify that local affinity is preferred, i.e. the message is sent to an actor in the same local actor system as the used mediator actor, if any such exists, otherwise route to any other matching entry. A typical usage of this mode is private chat to one other user in an instant messaging application. It can also be used for distributing tasks to registered workers, like a cluster aware router where the routees dynamically can register themselves. 2. DistributedPubSubMediator.SendToAll The message will be delivered to all recipients with a matching path. Actors with the same path, without address information, can be registered on different nodes. On each node there can only be one such actor, since the path is unique within one local actor system. Typical usage of this mode is to broadcast messages to all replicas with the same path, e.g. 3 actors on different nodes that all perform the same actions, for redundancy. You can also optionally specify a property (allButSelf) deciding if the message should be sent to a matching path on the self node or not. 3. DistributedPubSubMediator.Publish Actors may be registered to a named topic instead of path. This enables many subscribers on each node. The message will be delivered to all subscribers of the topic. For efficiency the message is sent over the wire only once per node (that has a matching topic), and then delivered to all subscribers of the local topic representation. This is the true pub/sub mode. A typical usage of this mode is a chat room in an instant messaging application. You register actors to the local mediator with DistributedPubSubMediator.Put or DistributedPubSubMediator.Subscribe. Put is used together with Send and SendToAll 8.5. External Contributions 406 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT message delivery modes. The ActorRef in Put must belong to the same local actor system as the mediator. Subscribe is used together with Publish. Actors are automatically removed from the registry when they are terminated, or you can explicitly remove entries with DistributedPubSubMediator.Remove or DistributedPubSubMediator.Unsubscribe. Successful Subscribe and Unsubscribe is acknowledged with DistributedPubSubMediator.SubscribeAck and DistributedPubSubMediator.UnsubscribeAck replies. A Small Example in Java A subscriber actor: public class Subscriber extends UntypedActor{ LoggingAdapter log= Logging.getLogger(getContext().system(), this); public Subscriber(){ ActorRef mediator= DistributedPubSubExtension.get(getContext().system()).mediator(); // subscribe to the topic named "content" mediator.tell(new DistributedPubSubMediator.Subscribe("content", getSelf()), getSelf()); } public void onReceive(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof String) log.info("Got: {}", msg); else if(msg instanceof DistributedPubSubMediator.SubscribeAck) log.info("subscribing"); else unhandled(msg); } } Subscriber actors can be started on several nodes in the cluster, and all will receive messages published to the “content” topic. system.actorOf(Props.create(Subscriber.class), "subscriber1"); //another node system.actorOf(Props.create(Subscriber.class), "subscriber2"); system.actorOf(Props.create(Subscriber.class), "subscriber3"); A simple actor that publishes to this “content” topic: public class Publisher extends UntypedActor{ // activate the extension ActorRef mediator= DistributedPubSubExtension.get(getContext().system()).mediator(); public void onReceive(Object msg){ if(msg instanceof String){ String in=(String) msg; String out= in.toUpperCase(); mediator.tell(new DistributedPubSubMediator.Publish("content", out), getSelf()); } else{ unhandled(msg); } } } It can publish messages to the topic from anywhere in the cluster: 8.5. External Contributions 407 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT //somewhere else ActorRef publisher= system.actorOf(Props.create(Publisher.class), "publisher"); // after a while the subscriptions are replicated publisher.tell("hello", null); A Small Example in Scala A subscriber actor: class Subscriber extends Actor with ActorLogging { import DistributedPubSubMediator.{ Subscribe, SubscribeAck } val mediator = DistributedPubSubExtension(context.system).mediator // subscribe to the topic named "content" mediator ! Subscribe("content", self) def receive = { case SubscribeAck(Subscribe("content", ‘self‘)) ⇒ context become ready } def ready: Actor.Receive = { case s: String ⇒ log.info("Got {}", s) } } Subscriber actors can be started on several nodes in the cluster, and all will receive messages published to the “content” topic. runOn(first){ system.actorOf(Props[Subscriber], "subscriber1") } runOn(second){ system.actorOf(Props[Subscriber], "subscriber2") system.actorOf(Props[Subscriber], "subscriber3") } A simple actor that publishes to this “content” topic: class Publisher extends Actor{ import DistributedPubSubMediator.Publish // activate the extension val mediator= DistributedPubSubExtension(context.system).mediator def receive={ case in: String ⇒ val out= in.toUpperCase mediator! Publish("content", out) } } It can publish messages to the topic from anywhere in the cluster: runOn(third){ val publisher= system.actorOf(Props[Publisher], "publisher") later() // after a while the subscriptions are replicated publisher! "hello" } A more comprehensive sample is available in the Typesafe Activator tutorial named Akka Clustered PubSub with Scala!. 8.5. External Contributions 408 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT DistributedPubSubExtension In the example above the mediator is started and accessed with the akka.contrib.pattern.DistributedPubSubExtension. That is convenient and perfectly fine in most cases, but it can be good to know that it is possible to start the mediator actor as an ordinary actor and you can have several different mediators at the same time to be able to divide a large number of actors/topics to different mediators. For example you might want to use different cluster roles for different mediators. The DistributedPubSubExtension can be configured with the following properties: # Settings for the DistributedPubSubExtension akka.contrib.cluster.pub-sub { # Actor name of the mediator actor, /user/distributedPubSubMediator name = distributedPubSubMediator # Start the mediator on members tagged with this role. # All members are used if undefined or empty. role = "" # The routing logic to use for ’Send’ # Possible values: random, round-robin, consistent-hashing, broadcast routing-logic = random # How often the DistributedPubSubMediator should send out gossip information gossip-interval = 1s # Removed entries are pruned after this duration removed-time-to-live = 120s # Maximum number of elements to transfer in one message when synchronizing the registries. # Next chunk will be transferred in next round of gossip. max-delta-elements = 3000 } It is recommended to load the extension when the actor system is started by defining it in akka.extensions configuration property. Otherwise it will be activated when first used and then it takes a while for it to be populated. akka.extensions = ["akka.contrib.pattern.DistributedPubSubExtension"] Cluster Client An actor system that is not part of the cluster can communicate with actors somewhere in the cluster via this ClusterClient. The client can of course be part of another cluster. It only needs to know the location of one (or more) nodes to use as initial contact points. It will establish a connection to a ClusterReceptionist somewhere in the cluster. It will monitor the connection to the receptionist and establish a new connection if the link goes down. When looking for a new receptionist it uses fresh contact points retrieved from pre- vious establishment, or periodically refreshed contacts, i.e. not necessarily the initial contact points. Also, note it’s necessary to change akka.actor.provider from akka.actor.LocalActorRefProvider to akka.remote.RemoteActorRefProvider or akka.cluster.ClusterActorRefProvider when using the cluster client. The receptionist is supposed to be started on all nodes, or all nodes with specified role, in the cluster. The receptionist can be started with the ClusterReceptionistExtension or as an ordinary actor. You can send messages via the ClusterClient to any actor in the cluster that is regis- tered in the DistributedPubSubMediator used by the ClusterReceptionist. The ClusterReceptionistExtension provides methods for registration of actors that should be reach- able from the client. Messages are wrapped in ClusterClient.Send, ClusterClient.SendToAll or ClusterClient.Publish. 1. ClusterClient.Send 8.5. External Contributions 409 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT The message will be delivered to one recipient with a matching path, if any such exists. If several entries match the path the message will be delivered to one random destination. The sender() of the message can specify that local affinity is preferred, i.e. the message is sent to an actor in the same local actor system as the used receptionist actor, if any such exists, otherwise random to any other matching entry. 2. ClusterClient.SendToAll The message will be delivered to all recipients with a matching path. 3. ClusterClient.Publish The message will be delivered to all recipients Actors that have been registered as subscribers to the named topic. Response messages from the destination actor are tunneled via the receptionist to avoid inbound connections from other cluster nodes to the client, i.e. the sender(), as seen by the destination actor, is not the client itself. The sender() of the response messages, as seen by the client, is preserved as the original sender(), so the client can choose to send subsequent messages directly to the actor in the cluster. While establishing a connection to a receptionist the ClusterClient will buffer messages and send them when the connection is established. If the buffer is full the ClusterClient will throw akka.actor.StashOverflowException, which can be handled in by the supervision strategy of the par- ent actor. The size of the buffer can be configured by the following stash-capacity setting of the mailbox that is used by the ClusterClient actor. akka.contrib.cluster.client{ mailbox{ mailbox-type= "akka.dispatch.UnboundedDequeBasedMailbox" stash-capacity= 1000 } } An Example On the cluster nodes first start the receptionist. Note, it is recommended to load the extension when the actor system is started by defining it in the akka.extensions configuration property: akka.extensions = ["akka.contrib.pattern.ClusterReceptionistExtension"] Next, register the actors that should be available for the client. runOn(host1){ val serviceA= system.actorOf(Props[Service], "serviceA") ClusterReceptionistExtension(system).registerService(serviceA) } runOn(host2, host3){ val serviceB= system.actorOf(Props[Service], "serviceB") ClusterReceptionistExtension(system).registerService(serviceB) } On the client you create the ClusterClient actor and use it as a gateway for sending messages to the actors identified by their path (without address information) somewhere in the cluster. runOn(client){ valc= system.actorOf(ClusterClient.props(initialContacts)) c! ClusterClient.Send("/user/serviceA", "hello", localAffinity= true) c! ClusterClient.SendToAll("/user/serviceB", "hi") } The initialContacts parameter is a Set[ActorSelection], which can be created like this: val initialContacts= Set( system.actorSelection("akka.tcp://OtherSys@host1:2552/user/receptionist"), system.actorSelection("akka.tcp://OtherSys@host2:2552/user/receptionist")) 8.5. External Contributions 410 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT You will probably define the address information of the initial contact points in configuration or system property. A more comprehensive sample is available in the Typesafe Activator tutorial named Distributed workers with Akka and Scala! and Distributed workers with Akka and Java!. ClusterReceptionistExtension In the example above the receptionist is started and accessed with the akka.contrib.pattern.ClusterReceptionistExtension. That is convenient and perfectly fine in most cases, but it can be good to know that it is possible to start the akka.contrib.pattern.ClusterReceptionist actor as an ordinary actor and you can have several different receptionists at the same time, serving different types of clients. The ClusterReceptionistExtension can be configured with the following properties: # Settings for the ClusterReceptionistExtension akka.contrib.cluster.receptionist{ # Actor name of the ClusterReceptionist actor,/user/receptionist name= receptionist # Start the receptionist on members tagged with this role. # All members are used if undefined or empty. role="" # The receptionist will send this number of contact points to the client number-of-contacts=3 # The actor that tunnel response messages to the client will be stopped # after this time of inactivity. response-tunnel-receive-timeout= 30s } Note that the ClusterReceptionistExtension uses the DistributedPubSubExtension, which is described in Distributed Publish Subscribe in Cluster. It is recommended to load the extension when the actor system is started by defining it in the akka.extensions configuration property: akka.extensions = ["akka.contrib.pattern.ClusterReceptionistExtension"] Aggregator Pattern The aggregator pattern supports writing actors that aggregate data from multiple other actors and updates its state based on those responses. It is even harder to optionally aggregate more data based on the runtime state of the actor or take certain actions (sending another message and get another response) based on two or more previous responses. A common thought is to use the ask pattern to request information from other actors. However, ask creates another actor specifically for the ask. We cannot use a callback from the future to update the state as the thread executing the callback is not defined. This will likely close-over the current actor. The aggregator pattern solves such scenarios. It makes sure we’re acting from the same actor in the scope of the actor receive. Introduction The aggregator pattern allows match patterns to be dynamically added to and removed from an actor from inside the message handling logic. All match patterns are called from the receive loop and run in the thread handling the incoming message. These dynamically added patterns and logic can safely read and/or modify this actor’s mutable state without risking integrity or concurrency issues. 8.5. External Contributions 411 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Usage To use the aggregator pattern, you need to extend the Aggregator trait. The trait takes care of receive and actors extending this trait should not override receive. The trait provides the expect, expectOnce, and unexpect calls. The expect and expectOnce calls return a handle that can be used for later de-registration by passing the handle to unexpect. expect is often used for standing matches such as catching error messages or timeouts. expect{ case TimedOut ⇒ collectBalances(force= true) } expectOnce is used for matching the initial message as well as other requested messages expectOnce{ case GetCustomerAccountBalances(id, types) ⇒ new AccountAggregator(sender(), id, types) case_ ⇒ sender()! CantUnderstand context.stop(self) } def fetchCheckingAccountsBalance(){ context.actorOf(Props[CheckingAccountProxy])! GetAccountBalances(id) expectOnce{ case CheckingAccountBalances(balances) ⇒ results +=(Checking -> balances) collectBalances() } } unexpect can be used for expecting multiple responses until a timeout or when the logic dictates such an expect no longer applies. val handle= expect{ case Response(name, value) ⇒ values += value if(values.size>3) processList() case TimedOut ⇒ processList() } def processList(){ unexpect(handle) if(values.size>0){ context.actorSelection("/user/evaluator")! values.toList expectOnce{ case EvaluationResults(name, eval) ⇒ processFinal(eval) } } else processFinal(List.empty[Int]) } As the name eludes, expect keeps the partial function matching any received messages until unexpect is called or the actor terminates, whichever comes first. On the other hand, expectOnce removes the partial function once a match has been established. It is a common pattern to register the initial expectOnce from the construction of the actor to accept the initial message. Once that message is received, the actor starts doing all aggregations and sends the response back to the original requester. The aggregator should terminate after the response is sent (or timed out). A different original request should use a different actor instance. As you can see, aggregator actors are generally stateful, short lived actors. 8.5. External Contributions 412 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT Sample Use Case - AccountBalanceRetriever This example below shows a typical and intended use of the aggregator pattern. import scala.collection._ import scala.concurrent.duration._ import scala.math.BigDecimal.int2bigDecimal import akka.actor._ /** * Sample and test code for the aggregator patter. * This is based on Jamie Allen’s tutorial at * http://jaxenter.com/tutorial-asynchronous-programming-with-akka-actors-46220.html */ sealed trait AccountType case object Checking extends AccountType case object Savings extends AccountType case object MoneyMarket extends AccountType case class GetCustomerAccountBalances(id: Long, accountTypes: Set[AccountType]) case class GetAccountBalances(id: Long) case class AccountBalances(accountType: AccountType, balance: Option[List[(Long, BigDecimal)]]) case class CheckingAccountBalances(balances: Option[List[(Long, BigDecimal)]]) case class SavingsAccountBalances(balances: Option[List[(Long, BigDecimal)]]) case class MoneyMarketAccountBalances(balances: Option[List[(Long, BigDecimal)]]) case object TimedOut case object CantUnderstand class SavingsAccountProxy extends Actor{ def receive={ case GetAccountBalances(id: Long) ⇒ sender()! SavingsAccountBalances(Some(List((1, 150000),(2, 29000)))) } } class CheckingAccountProxy extends Actor{ def receive={ case GetAccountBalances(id: Long) ⇒ sender()! CheckingAccountBalances(Some(List((3, 15000)))) } } class MoneyMarketAccountProxy extends Actor{ def receive={ case GetAccountBalances(id: Long) ⇒ sender()! MoneyMarketAccountBalances(None) } } class AccountBalanceRetriever extends Actor with Aggregator{ import context._ expectOnce{ case GetCustomerAccountBalances(id, types) ⇒ new AccountAggregator(sender(), id, types) case_ ⇒ sender()! CantUnderstand context.stop(self) } 8.5. External Contributions 413 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT class AccountAggregator(originalSender: ActorRef, id: Long, types: Set[AccountType]){ val results= mutable.ArrayBuffer.empty[(AccountType, Option[List[(Long, BigDecimal)]])] if(types.size>0) types foreach{ case Checking ⇒ fetchCheckingAccountsBalance() case Savings ⇒ fetchSavingsAccountsBalance() case MoneyMarket ⇒ fetchMoneyMarketAccountsBalance() } else collectBalances() // Empty type list yields empty response context.system.scheduler.scheduleOnce(1.second, self, TimedOut) expect{ case TimedOut ⇒ collectBalances(force= true) } def fetchCheckingAccountsBalance(){ context.actorOf(Props[CheckingAccountProxy])! GetAccountBalances(id) expectOnce{ case CheckingAccountBalances(balances) ⇒ results +=(Checking -> balances) collectBalances() } } def fetchSavingsAccountsBalance(){ context.actorOf(Props[SavingsAccountProxy])! GetAccountBalances(id) expectOnce{ case SavingsAccountBalances(balances) ⇒ results +=(Savings -> balances) collectBalances() } } def fetchMoneyMarketAccountsBalance(){ context.actorOf(Props[MoneyMarketAccountProxy])! GetAccountBalances(id) expectOnce{ case MoneyMarketAccountBalances(balances) ⇒ results +=(MoneyMarket -> balances) collectBalances() } } def collectBalances(force: Boolean= false){ if(results.size == types.size || force){ originalSender! results.toList // Make sure it becomes immutable context.stop(self) } } } } Sample Use Case - Multiple Response Aggregation and Chaining A shorter example showing aggregating responses and chaining further requests. case class InitialRequest(name: String) case class Request(name: String) 8.5. External Contributions 414 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT case class Response(name: String, value: String) case class EvaluationResults(name: String, eval: List[Int]) case class FinalResponse(qualifiedValues: List[String]) /** * An actor sample demonstrating use of unexpect and chaining. * This is just an example and not a complete test case. */ class ChainingSample extends Actor with Aggregator{ expectOnce{ case InitialRequest(name) ⇒ new MultipleResponseHandler(sender(), name) } class MultipleResponseHandler(originalSender: ActorRef, propName: String){ import context.dispatcher import collection.mutable.ArrayBuffer val values= ArrayBuffer.empty[String] context.actorSelection("/user/request_proxies")! Request(propName) context.system.scheduler.scheduleOnce(50.milliseconds, self, TimedOut) val handle= expect{ case Response(name, value) ⇒ values += value if(values.size>3) processList() case TimedOut ⇒ processList() } def processList(){ unexpect(handle) if(values.size>0){ context.actorSelection("/user/evaluator")! values.toList expectOnce{ case EvaluationResults(name, eval) ⇒ processFinal(eval) } } else processFinal(List.empty[Int]) } def processFinal(eval: List[Int]){ // Select only the entries coming back from eval originalSender! FinalResponse(eval map values) context.stop(self) } } } Pitfalls • The current implementation does not match the sender of the message. This is designed to work with ActorSelection as well as ActorRef. Without the sender(), there is a chance a received message can be matched by more than one partial function. The partial function that was registered via expect or expectOnce first (chronologically) and is not yet de-registered by unexpect takes precedence in this case. Developers should make sure the messages can be uniquely matched or the wrong logic can be executed for a certain message. • The sender referenced in any expect or expectOnce logic refers to the sender() of that particular message and not the sender() of the original message. The original sender() still needs to be saved so a final 8.5. External Contributions 415 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT response can be sent back. • context.become is not supported when extending the Aggregator trait. • We strongly recommend against overriding receive. If your use case really dictates, you may do so with extreme caution. Always provide a pattern match handling aggregator messages among your receive pattern matches, as follows: case msg if handleMessage(msg) ⇒ // noop // side effects of handleMessage does the actual match Sorry, there is not yet a Java implementation of the aggregator pattern available. 8.5.3 Suggested Way of Using these Contributions Since the Akka team does not restrict updates to this subproject even during otherwise binary compatible releases, and modules may be removed without deprecation, it is suggested to copy the source files into your own code base, changing the package name. This way you can choose when to update or which fixes to include (to keep binary compatibility if needed) and later releases of Akka do not potentially break your application. 8.5.4 Suggested Format of Contributions Each contribution should be a self-contained unit, consisting of one source file or one exclusively used package, without dependencies to other modules in this subproject; it may depend on everything else in the Akka distri- bution, though. This ensures that contributions may be moved into the standard distribution individually. The module shall be within a subpackage of akka.contrib. Each module must be accompanied by a test suite which verifies that the provided features work, possibly complemented by integration and unit tests. The tests should follow the Developer Guidelines and go into the src/test/scala or src/test/java directories (with package name matching the module which is being tested). As an example, if the module were called akka.contrib.pattern.ReliableProxy, then the test suite should be called akka.contrib.pattern.ReliableProxySpec. Each module must also have proper documentation in reStructured Text format. The documentation should be a single .rst file in the akka-contrib/docs directory, including a link from index.rst (this file). 8.5. External Contributions 416 CHAPTER NINE INFORMATION FOR AKKA DEVELOPERS 9.1 Building Akka This page describes how to build and run Akka from the latest source code. 9.1.1 Get the Source Code Akka uses Git and is hosted at Github. You first need Git installed on your machine. You can then clone the source repository from http://github.com/akka/akka. For example: git clone git://github.com/akka/akka.git If you have already cloned the repository previously then you can update the code with git pull: git pull origin master 9.1.2 sbt - Simple Build Tool Akka is using the excellent sbt build system. So the first thing you have to do is to download and install sbt. You can read more about how to do that in the sbt setup documentation. The sbt commands that you’ll need to build Akka are all included below. If you want to find out more about sbt and using it for your own projects do read the sbt documentation. The Akka sbt build file is project/AkkaBuild.scala. 9.1.3 Building Akka First make sure that you are in the akka code directory: cd akka Building To compile all the Akka core modules use the compile command: sbt compile 417 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT You can run all tests with the test command: sbt test If compiling and testing are successful then you have everything working for the latest Akka development version. Parallel Execution By default the tests are executed sequentially. They can be executed in parallel to reduce build times, if hardware can handle the increased memory and cpu usage. Add the following system property to sbt launch script to activate parallel execution: -Dakka.parallelExecution=true Long Running and Time Sensitive Tests By default are the long running tests (mainly cluster tests) and time sensitive tests (dependent on the performance of the machine it is running on) disabled. You can enable them by adding one of the flags: -Dakka.test.tags.include=long-running -Dakka.test.tags.include=timing Or if you need to enable them both: -Dakka.test.tags.include=long-running,timing Publish to Local Ivy Repository If you want to deploy the artifacts to your local Ivy repository (for example, to use from an sbt project) use the publish-local command: sbt publish-local Note: Akka generates class diagrams for the API documentation using ScalaDoc. This needs the dot command from the Graphviz software package to be installed to avoid errors. You can disable the diagram generation by adding the flag -Dakka.scaladoc.diagrams=false sbt Interactive Mode Note that in the examples above we are calling sbt compile and sbt test and so on, but sbt also has an interactive mode. If you just run sbt you enter the interactive sbt prompt and can enter the commands directly. This saves starting up a new JVM instance for each command and can be much faster and more convenient. For example, building Akka as above is more commonly done like this: % sbt [info] Set current project to default (in build file:/.../akka/project/plugins/) [info] Set current project to akka (in build file:/.../akka/) > compile ... > test ... 9.1. Building Akka 418 Akka Java Documentation, Release 2.3-SNAPSHOT sbt Batch Mode It’s also possible to combine commands in a single call. For example, testing, and publishing Akka to the local Ivy repository can be done with: sbt test publish-local 9.1.4 Dependencies You can look at the Ivy dependency resolution information that is cre- ated on sbt update and found in ~/.ivy2/cache. For example, the ~/.ivy2/cache/com.typesafe.akka-akka-remote-compile.xml file contains the resolu- tion information for the akka-remote module compile dependencies. If you open this file in a web browser you will get an easy to navigate view of dependencies. 9.2 Multi JVM Testing Supports running applications (objects with main methods) and ScalaTest tests in multiple JVMs at the same time. Useful for integration testing where multiple systems communicate with each other. 9.2.1 Setup The multi-JVM testing is an sbt plugin that you can find at http://github.com/typesafehub/sbt-multi-jvm. You can add it as a plugin by adding the following to your project/plugins.sbt: addSbtPlugin("com.typesafe.sbt"% "sbt-multi-jvm"% "0.3.8") You can then add multi-JVM testing to build.sbt or project/Build.scala by including the MultiJvm settings and config. Please note that MultiJvm test sources are located in src/multi-jvm/..., and not in src/test/.... Here is an example build.sbt file for sbt 0.13 that uses the MultiJvm plugin: import com.typesafe.sbt.SbtMultiJvm import com.typesafe.sbt.SbtMultiJvm.MultiJvmKeys.MultiJvm val akkaVersion= "2.3-SNAPSHOT" val project= Project( id= "akka-sample-multi-node-scala", base= file("."), settings= Project.defaultSettings ++ SbtMultiJvm.multiJvmSettings ++ Seq( name := "akka-sample-multi-node-scala", version := "1.0", scalaVersion := "2.10.3", libraryDependencies ++= Seq( "com.typesafe.akka"%% "akka-remote"% akk