Static Microservice Discovery

As we saw in our previous post, Akka Cluster gives you some predefined topologies from the box. And it’s very easy to perform it’s discovery. For example, for Direct Topology all you need to discover service is to have actor path, including the address of the node. And to discovery microservice with Cluster Singleton Topology is even simpler. You just need to know is cluster role name and singleton manager name (with it’s path).

The simplest way to make service discovery is just to make class in service-api module, which incapsulates all necessary data. Let’s call this method as static service discovery and have a look some examples.

Cluster Singleton Static Discovery

As we agreed in the post about decomposition into the modules, we are going to split service into service implementation (stored in service-core module) and service gateway (interface in service-api module).

Singleton Service API Module

object FooDescriptor {
  val SingletonManagerName = "fooManager"
  val SingletonManagerPath = s"user/$SingletonManagerName"
  val ClusterRole = "foo"

object FooProxyFactory {
  val ProxyActorName = "fooProxy"
  def proxyProps(settings: ClusterSingletonProxySettings): Props = ClusterSingletonProxy.props(
    singletonManagerPath = FooDescriptor.SingletonManagerPathg,
    settings = settings.withRole(FooDescriptor.ClusterRole)

  def proxyProps(actorSystem: ActorSystem): Props = proxyProps(ClusterSingletonProxySettings(actorSystem))

  def createProxy(actorRefFactory: ActorRefFactory, actorSystem: ActorSystem, name: String): ActorRef = actorRefFactory.actorOf(
    name = name

  def createProxy(actorSystem: ActorSystem, name: String = ProxyActorName): ActorRef = createProxy(actorSystem, actorSystem, name)

As we can see from the code above, FooDescriptor contains full information, required by creating proxy actor for access to the Foo Singleton.

Singleton Service Core Module

As soon as core module has api module as a dependency, we can use information from FooDescriptor to assemble our own singleton.

object FooManagerFactory {
  def managerProps(settings: ClusterSingletonManagerSettings): Props = ClusterSingletonManager.props(
    singletonProps = Props(injected[FooActor]),
    terminationMessage = PoisonPill,
    settings = settings.withRole(FooDescriptor.ClusterRole)
  def managerProps(actorSystem: ActorSystem): Props = managerProps(ClusterSingletonManagerSettings(actorSystem))
  def createManager(actorRefFactory: ActorRefFactory, actorSystem: ActorSystem): ActorRef = actorRefFactory.actorOf(
    name = FooDescriptor.SingletonManagerName

  def createProxy(actorSystem: ActorSystem): ActorRef = createProxy(actorSystem, actorSystem)


Let’s have a look on pros and cons of a static discovery method.

Pros: Simplicity

This method of dicscovery is very simple. We don’t need to have complicated systems to deliver the topology to the end-client.

Cons: No dynamic update on topology change

When we need to update service topology (for example, we rewrote service from Cluster Singleton topology to a Cluster Sharding topology), we need to change and recompile service-api module. That mean, that we need to recompile and redeploy all the client services. This might be an issue, when there are a lot of clients of this concrete service and can easily lead to the redeployment of the whole cluster. Thus, using this method we can neutralize the benefits of using microservices.

Cons: No way to track all running services

Unless we use service registry (we discuss this topic later), there is no way to control and track all running services.