Spring Cloud

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Spring cloud

How would you setup a microservices-cloud? This is one way to setup a cloud. It’s agnostic to any solution on clustering your services and mainly shows the usage of [spring-cloud].

We will build something that looks like this:

What’s interesting here is that we almost do not write any code to build a system like this.

The config server

The config server is the central place for any configuration. As most spring-cloud artifacts it has it’s own documentation.

Spring-cloud-config takes a git repository as central configuration-source. Like this you can always see what happend with the configuration, and you can always revert changes, if they break things.
You can store yaml- and properties-files, they will be merged, but it’s better if you only use one format.

Starting a config-server is pretty easy. You create a minimal spring-boot-application, add the dependency for spring-cloud-starter-config and add the annotation @EnableConfigServer. This will startup a config-server, if you run it, but it needs to know where to find it’s configuration. The configuration-file /src/main/resources/ or ../application.yml needs to define the key

Here’s my working example.

My example woks slightly different than usually, as I use git-branches to separate the different parts of this screencast. So I have put the configuration in it’s own branch. I have also set the port that the application is using to 8081 in the

If you start this now, you can access the data from the configuration-repository via this service. The next service I will describe will be called hello, there’s already a configuration available. If the service is started you can access it via http://localhost:8081/hello/test/configuration.

As you can see, there’s not only one available in the configuration-repository, there’s also a (don’t yet care about the eureka configurations). If you change the URL to http://localhost:8081/configuration/hello/, the values from hello-test are added to the already available properties. All properties from the according profile do overwrite any properties from the default properties.

The first service

Now it’s time to use the configuration-service. I’ve already introduced the configuration for the service named hello.

It’s a pretty simple spring-boot-service (see javacasts episode 1 on spring boot), it will only return a simple string.

public class HelloApplication {

    private String message;

    public static void main(String[] args) {, args);

    public String hello() {
        return message;

You see, the application uses a property hello.text to be able to have the text be changed easily. But where is it configured, there’s no Well, there’s a It defines the URL of the config-server where it will get all it’s configuration, like the variable for hello.text and the port the application should use, when the application is started, all this configuration is loaded before the service starts.

Spring-cloud has different possibillities to reload the configuration while the service is running. See Refresh Scope in the documentation.

Service Discovery

If we want services to communicate, they need to find each other. To achieve this, there’s the service-discovery. spring-cloud uses eureka from netflix. It’s a service that runs on it’s own, and it’s as simple as the config-server. You need to add the dependency spring-cloud-starter-eureka-server, annotate the service with @EnableEurekaServer and add the configuration.

In this configuration I start the discovery standalone. I could have the discovery get it’s configuration via the config-service. It also could work the other way around and have the config-server be found by the discovery by each service.

Now we need the hello-service to register itself with the service. It needs a new dependency of spring-cloud-starter-eureka and the annotation @EnableEurekaClient (see the changeset). At last it needs to be configured, but you’ve already seen this in the configuration for the hello service in the configuration, see

If you have all servers running, the hello service will register itself at the discovery-service. if you open http://localhost:8085/, you will find the dashboard of eureka with a hello-service registered:


The hello-service will start on a random port, you can start multiple instances of the hello-service, but usually you want to provide a single URL to a user of your system. So spring-cloud gives you a reverse proxy that takes a look at the discovery and redirects the requests to the running services. Spring-cloud uses the zuul proxy from netflix.
The build of the proxy server is again pretty easy. You need the dependencies of spring-cloud-starter-zuul and we configure again the use of the config-server, so we need some further dependencies. The service itself is annotated with @EnableZuulProxy. Zuul will itself decide to get the service from the discovery. If you start up the proxy-service it will load it’s configuration from the config-service, get’s the port from there and the location of the discovery. It will (as it’s not further configured) route the /hello-path to the hello-service. So you can call http://localhost:8080/hello and receive the result of one of the running services.


There’s one thing left to do. We want to connect the services. One needs to be able to call another and use it’s data. The good thing is, this is again pretty easy. You can use a RestTemplate provided by spring. Instead of requesting a host and port, you just use the name of the service and get directly a result.
So the service can look like this:

public class InterceptApplication {

    private RestTemplate restTemplate;

    private static final DateFormat dateFormat = new SimpleDateFormat(

    @RequestMapping(value = "/", method = RequestMethod.GET)
    public String getMessage() {
        return dateFormat.format(new Date()) + ": "
                + restTemplate.getForObject("http://hello/", String.class);

If you start this service and have it properly configured, it will call the hello-service, append the current time and will return the new result. As the service itself will register to the discovery the proxy will be able to directly serve the intercept-service at http://localhost:8080/intercept.

Hints & further information

It’s not complicated to setup cloud services, but there are many things that can go wrong. If you have problems take a look at the annotations, the configuration of perhaps the dependencies. It’s easy not to notice what’s missing.

Perhaps I could show you that the setup of a cloud is not a complicated issue. It can be complex, but it’s not complicated. You handle a complex application you need a good reporting. You also should take a look at hystrix.

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