martes, agosto 11, 2015

Arquillian Cube: Write Tests Once, Run Them Everywhere

Arquillian Cube is an Arquillian extension that can be used to manage Docker containers from Arquillian. Basically it starts all Docker containers required for your tests, deploys the application (or micro-application) which can be Java based or not, runs the tests and finally stops all of them.

Thanks of Arquillian Cube you can run your integration tests from your local IDE in similar situation as in production environment since in both cases everything is running inside Docker.

But you can go one step forward and you can instruct Arquillian Cube to not start Docker container instances locally (or inside your local boot2docker) but start them in external locations such as your preproduction infrastructure.

Thanks of Digital Ocean that has provided us a free account with some money, we can show you in next screencast how by simply changing one attribute (which could be automated with maven-resources-plugin or just using system properties), we are running the same test against local Docker instance or remotely to Digital Ocean infrastructure.

You can read more about Arquillian and Arquillian Cube in book Arquillian In Action (

We keep learning,
You’re a shooting star I see, A vision of ecstasy, When you hold me, I’m alive, We’re like diamonds in the sky (Diamonds - Rihanna)

lunes, agosto 03, 2015

Arquillian in Action goes MEAP

Currently  I am co-writing Arquillian in Action book with my colleague Jason Porter. Last week the book just entered into MEAP stage.

Arquillian in Action teaches you how to to build in-container tests using Arquillian. This practical hands-on guide begins with showing you how to find and squash your first bug. You'll move on to building persistence tests, and then discover how to write tests for front-end and RESTful services. Using carefully-designed examples, the book shows you how to write integration tests for Java EE, Spring, and Docker. Along the way, you'll also learn how to build functional, infrastructure, performance, and security tests.

You can visit, read the first chapter for free or you can buy it and start reading the first three chapters of the book.

It is time to start zapping all these bugs with Arquillian.

We keep learning,

Algo lo que me invade, todo viene de dentro, Nunca lo que me sacie, siempre quiero, lobo hambriento. (Por la boca vive el pez - Fito & Fitipaldis)


miércoles, abril 01, 2015

Apache Mesos + Marathon and Java EE

Apache Mesos is an open-source cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications or frameworks.

Apache Mesos abstracts CPU, memory, storage, and other compute resources away from machines (physical or virtual), enabling fault-tolerant and elastic distributed systems to easily be built and run effectively. It uses dynamic allocation of applications inside machines.

In summary Apache Mesos is composed by master and slaves. Masters are in charge of distributing work across several slaves and knowing the state of each slave. You may have more than one master for fault-tolerant.

And then we have the slaves which are the responsible of executing the applications. Slaves isolate executors and tasks (application) via containers (cgroups). 

So each slave offers its resources and Apache Mesos is in charge of schedule which slave will execute it. Note that each slave may execute more than one task if it has enough resources to execute it.

For example let's say that an Slave has 4 CPUs (to simplify I am not going to take into account other parameters), then it could execute 1 task of 4 CPU, 2 tasks of 2CPUs, ...

But Apache Mesos only manages resources, but for building a PaaS we need something more like service discovery or scaling features. And this is what Marathon does.

Marathon is a framework that runs atop of Apache Mesos and offers:

  • Running Linux binary
  • Cluster-wide process supervisor
  • Service Discovery and load balancing (HAProxy)
  • Automated software and hardware failure handling
  • Deployment and scaling
  • REST friendly

But one of the main advantages of using Marathon is that it simplifies and automates all those common tasks.

So main task of Marathon is deploy an application to different salves, so if one salve fails there are other slaves to serve incoming communications. But moreover Marathon will take care of reallocating the application to another slave so the amount of slaves per application is maintained constant. 

Installing Apache Mesos and Marathon in a developer machine is as easy as, having VirtualBox, Vagrant and git installed.

Cloning next repo:

And simply run vagrant-up command from the directory:

cd playa-mesos
vagrant up

First time it will take some time because it need to download several components.

After that you can check that it is correctly installed by connecting to Mesos and Marathon Web Console. and

Next step is installing HAProxy. Although it is not a requirement HAProxy is "required" if you want to do Service Discovery and Load Balancing.

Run vagrant ssh.

Install HAProxy

sudo apt-get install haproxy

Download haproxy-marathon-bridge script:

chmod 755 haproxy-marathon-bridge

./haproxy_marathon_bridge localhost:8080 > haproxy.cfg
haproxy -f haproxy.cfg -p -sf $(cat

And this configures HAproxy. To avoid having to run this command manually for every time topology change you can run:

./haproxy_marathon_bridge install_haproxy_system localhost:8080 

which installs the script itself, HAProxy and a cronjob that once a minute pings one of the Marathon servers specified and refreshes HAProxy if anything has changed.

And that's all, now we have our Apache Mesos with Mesosphere and HAProxy installed. Now it is time to deploy the Java EE application server. In this case we are going to use Apache TomEE.

The only thing we need to do is sending a JSON document as POST to 

  "id": "projectdemo",
  "cmd": "cd apache-tomee-plus* && sed \"s/8080/$PORT/g\" < ./conf/server.xml > ./conf/server-mesos.xml && ./bin/ run -config ./conf/server-mesos.xml",
  "mem": 256,
  "cpus": 0.5,
  "instances": 1,
  "constraints": [
    ["hostname", "UNIQUE"]
  "uris": [

This JSON document will make Marathon to deploy the application in one node. Let's explain each attributes:

id: is the id of the application, not much secret here.

cmd: the command that will execute when node is chosen an ready. In this case note that we are creating a server-mesos.xml file which is a modified version of server.xml file but replacing 8080 port to $PORT var. For now is enough. Finally it starts TomEE with server-mesos.xml configuration file.

mem: Memory that will require in the node.

cpus: Cpu resources that will require in the node.
instances: number of nodes that we want to replicate this application. In this case only one because we are running locally.

ports: which ports will group all application instances. Basically this port is used by HAProxy to route to the correct instance. We are going to explain deeply in next paragraph.

constraints: constraints control where apps run to allow optimizing for fault tolerance or locality. In this case we are setting that each application should be in a different slave. With this approach you can avoid port collision.

uris: Sets the URI to execute before executing the cmd part. In case of a known compressed algorithm, it is automatically uncompressed. For this reason you can do a cd command in cmd directly without having to uncompress it manually.

So let me explain what's happening here or what Mesosphere does:

First of all reads the JSON document and inspect which slave has a node that can process this service. In this case it only needs to find one. (instances = 1).

When it is found, then the uri element is downloaded, uncompressed and then executes the commands specified in cmd attribute in current directory.
And that's all.

But wait what is ports and $PORT thing?

$PORT is a random port that Mesosphere will assign to a node to communicate with. This port is used to ensure no two applications can be run using Marathon with overlapping port assignments.

But also it is used for Service Discovery and Load Balancing by running a TCP proxy on each host in the cluster, and transparently forward a static port on localhost to the hosts that are running the app. That way, clients simply connect to that port, and the implementation details of discovery are completely abstracted away.

So the first thing we need to do is modifying the configuration of the TomEE to start at random port assigned by Marathon, for this reason we have created a new server.xml file and setting listening port to $PORT.

So if port is random, how a client may connect if it doesn't know in which port is started? And this is the ports attribute purpose. In this attribute we are setting that when I connect to port 10000 I want to connect to the application defined and deployed to any slave and independently of the number of instances.

Yes it may be a bit complicated but let me explain with a simple example:

Let's say I have the same example as before but with two instances (instances = 2). Both TomEE instances will be started in two different slaves (so in different nodes) and in different ports. Let's say 31456 and 31457. So how we can connect to them?

Easy. You can use the IP of Marathon and the random port ( which you will access to that specific server, or you can use the global defined port ( which in this case HAProxy will route to one of instances (depending on load balancing rules).

Note this has a real big implication on how we can communicate between applications inside Marathon, because if we need internal communication between applications that are deployed in Marathon, we only need to know that global port, because the host can be set to localhost as HAProxy will resolve it. So from within Marathon application we can communicate to TomEE by simply using http://localhost:10000/ as HAProxy will then route the request to a host and port where an instance of the service is actually running. In next picture you can see the dashboard of Marathon and how the application is deployed. Note that you can see the IP and port of deployed application. You can access by clicking on it or by using Marathon IP (the same as provided in that link) but using the port 10000. Remember that HAProxy is updated every minute so if it works by using random port and not using port 10000 probably you need to wait some time until HAProxy database is refreshed.

And that's all, as you may see Apache Mesos and Marathon is not as hard as you may expect at first.

Also note that this is a "Hello World" post about Mesos and Java EE, but Mesos and Mesosphere is much more than this like healthy checks of the services, running Docker containers, Artifact Storage or defining dependencies, but I have found that running this simple example, helps me so much clarifying the concepts of Mesosphere and it was a good point of start for more complex scenarios.

We keep learning,
Dilegua, o notte!, Tramontate, stelle!, Tramontate, stelle!, All'alba vincerò!, Vincerò! Vincerò! (Nessun dorma - Giacomo Puccini)

miércoles, marzo 04, 2015

Restful Web Service Guide

Nowadays more and more projects are developed using the tuple AngularJs in frontend + Java EE (or Spring Framework) in backend. The communication between AngularJs and Java EE is done by using Restful Web Services

In my company this tuple is implemented in every project and we are several teams working on different projects. So it seems clear that it would have sense that all Restful Web Services should be done in similar way. For this reason we (the architecture team) decided to create a Restful Web Service guide where all teams could base their API design. In this document we mention basic concepts of Rest, but also how to internationalize a Rest API, Pagination, Security with Json Web Tokens or Http Error codes.

This guide has been released under CC license and is published in github. You can watch it without any problem, send a PR with any improvement or open an issue to discuss anything.

We keep learning,

It might seem crazy what I'm about to say, Sunshine she's here, you can take away, I’m a hot air balloon, I could go to space ,With the air, like I don't care baby by the way (Happy - Pharrell Williams)


jueves, enero 22, 2015

Self-Signed Certificate for Apache TomEE (and Tomcat)

Probably in most of your Java EE projects you will have part or whole system with SSL support (https) so browsers and servers can communicate over a secured connection. This means that the data being sent is encrypted, transmitted and finally decrypted before processing it.

The problem is that sometimes the official "keystore" is only available for production environment and cannot be used in development/testing machines. Then one possible step is creating a non-official "keystore" by one member of the team and share it to all members so everyone can locally test using https, and the same for testing/QA environments.

But using this approach you are running to one problem, and it is that when you are going to run the application you will receive a warning/error message that the certificate is untrusted. You can live with this but also we can do it better and avoid this situation by creating a self-signed SSL certificate.

In this post we are going to see how to create and enable SSL in Apache TomEE (and Tomcat) with a self-signed certificate.

The first thing to do is to install openssl. This step will depend on your OS. In my case I run with an Ubuntu 14.04.

Then we need to generate a 1024 bit RSA private key using Triple-DES algorithm and stored in PEM format. I am going to use {userhome}/certs directory to generate all required resources, but it can be changed without any problem.

Generate Private Key

openssl genrsa -des3 -out server.key 1024

Here we must introduce a password, for this example I am going to use apachetomee (please don't do that in production).

Generate CSR

Next step is to generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request). Ideally this file will be generated and sent to a Certificate Authority such as Thawte or Verisign, who will verify the identity. But in our case we are going to self-signed CSR with previous private key.

openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr

One of the prompts will be for "Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name)". It is important that this field be filled in with the fully qualified domain name of the server to be protected by SSL. In case of development machine you can set "localhost".

Now that we have the private key and the csr, we are ready to generate a X.509 self-signed certificate valid for one year by running next command:

Generate a Self-Signed Certificate

openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt

To install certificate inside Apache TomEE (and Tomcat) we need to use a keystore. This keystore is generated using keytool command. To use this tool, the certificate should be a PKCS12 certificate. For this reason we are going to use openssl to transform the certificate to a PKCS12 format by running:

Prepare for Apache TomEE

openssl pkcs12 -export -in server.crt -inkey server.key -out server.p12 -name test_server -caname root_ca

We are almost done, now we only need to create the keystore. I have used as the same password to protect the keystore as in all other resources, which is apachetomee.

keytool -importkeystore -destkeystore keystore.jks -srckeystore server.p12 -srcstoretype PKCS12 -srcalias test_server -destalias test_server

And now we have a keystore.jks file created at {userhome}/certs.

Installing Keystore into Apache TomEE

The process of installing a keystore into Apache TomEE (and Tomcat) is described in But in summary the only thing to do is open ${TOMEE_HOME}/config/server.xml and define the SSL connector.

<Service name="Catalina">
  <Connector port="8443" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
               maxThreads="150" SSLEnabled="true" scheme="https" secure="true"
               keystoreFile="${user.home}/certs/keystore.jks" keystorePass="apachetomee"
               clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS" />

Note that you need to set the keystore location in my case {userhome}/certs/keystore.jks and the password to be used to open the keystore which is apachetomee.

Preparing the Browser

Before starting the server we need to add the server.crt as valid Authorities in browser.

In Firefox: Firefox Preferences -> Advanced -> View Certificates -> Authorities (tab) and then import the server.crt file.

In Chrome: Settings -> HTTPS/SSL -> Manage Certificates ... -> Authorities (tab) and then import the server.crt file.

And now you are ready to start Apache TomEE (or Tomcat) and you can navigate to any deployed application but using https and port 8443.

And that's all, now we can run tests (with Selenium) without worrying about untrusted certificate warning.

We keep learning,

Dog goes woof, Cat goes meow, Bird goes tweet and mouse goes squeek (What Does the Fox Say - Ylvis)


lunes, enero 12, 2015

Apache TomEE + JMS. It has never been so easy.

I remember old days of J2EE (1.3 and 1.4) that it was incredibly hard to start a project using JMS. You needed to install a JMS broker, create topics or queues and finally start your own battle with server configuration files and JNDI.

Thanks of  JavaEE 6 and beyond using JMS is really easy and simple. But with Apache TomEE is even more simpler to get started. In this post we are going to see how to create and test a simple application which sends and receives message to/from a JMS queue with Apache TomEE

Apache TomEE uses Apache Active MQ as a JMS provider. In this examples you won't need to download or install anything because all elements will be provided as Maven dependency, but if you plan (and you should)  use Apache TomEE server you will need to download Apache TomEE plus or Apache TomEE plume. You can read more about Apache TomEE flavors in


The first thing to do is add javaee-api as provided dependency, and junit and openejb-core as test dependency. Note that openejb-core dependency is added to have a runtime to execute tests, we are going to see it deeply in test section.

Business Code

Next step is creating the business code responsible for sending messages and receiving messages from JMS queue. Also it contains a method to receive messages from queue. For this example we are going to use a stateless EJB.

The most important part of Messages class is to note how easy is to inject ConnectionFactory and Queue instances inside code. You only need to use @Resource annotation and container will do the rest for you. Finally note that because we have not used name or lookup attributes to set a name, the name of the field is used as resource name.


And finally we can write a test that asserts that messages are sent and received using JMS queue. We could use for example Arquilian to write a test but for this case and because of simplicity, we are going to use an embedded OpenEJB instance to deploy the JMS example and run the tests.

Note that that test is really simple and concise, you only need to start programmatically an EJB container and bind the current test inside it so we can use JavaEE annotations inside test. The rest is a simple JUnit test.

And if you run the test you will receive a green bullet. But wait, probably you are wondering where is the JMS broker and its configuration? Where is the definition of ConnectionFactory and JMS queue? And this is where OpenEJB (and Apache TomEE) comes into to play.

In this case OpenEJB (and Apache TomEE) will use Apache Active MQ in embedded mode, so you don’t need to install Apache Active MQ in your computer to run the tests.  Moreover Apache TomEE will create all required resources for you.  For example it will create a ConnectionFactory and a Queue for you with default parameters and expected names (org.superbiz.Messages/connectionFactory for ConnectionFactory and org.superbiz.Messages/chatQueue for the Queue), so you don’t need to worry to configure JMS during test phase. Apache TomEE is smart enough to create and configure them for you.

You can inspect console output the realize that resources are auto-created by reading next log message: INFO: Auto-creating a Resource

And that's all, really simple and easy to get started with JMS thanks of Java EE and TomEE. In next post we are going to see how to do the same but using a Message Driven Beans (MDB).

We keep learning,
No se lo qué hacer para que me hagas caso, lo he intentado todo menos bailar ballet, ya va siendo hora de mandarte a paseo, si consigo olvidarte tal vez pueda vivir. (Voy A Acabar Borracho - Platero y Tú)

miércoles, diciembre 10, 2014

AsciidoctorJ 1.5.2 released

This week AsciidoctorJ 1.5.2 has been released. It contains several big fixes and also one really important internal change, now the build is done using Gradle and relased using Bintray.

But there is two new features that people waits so much, and it is the integration with asciidoctor-pdf and asciidoctor-epub3. Now you can set backend as pdf in asciidoctorJ. Let's see an easy example:

First of all you need to set asciidoctorj-pdf artifact in your pom in front of asciidoctorJ.

And then you can use AsciidoctorJ as usually.

The execution of previous code will create a sample.pdf file in the same location as sample.adoc.

And for asciidoctorj-epub3 it is almost the same. But with one particularity, you need to create an index file which includes the document to be rendered.

Index file looks like:

And the content itself:

And finally the invocation:

And in this case an epub3 document is generated.

In both cases so easy, add a dependency and you are ready to use them as backends.

We keep learning,
Old, but I'm not that old. Young, but I'm not that bold. And I don't think the world is sold. I'm just doing what we're told. (Counring stars - OneRepublic)

Arquillian + Java 8

With Java 8, a lot of new language improvements have been implemented for making life of developer easier. In my opinion, one of the greatest things it has Java 8 is that in some situations developed code looks more beautiful that using prior approaches, and I am referring in Lambdas and Method references. This post is not about learning these Java 8 features but how to apply them in Arquillian framework.

I have detected four use cases where method references and lambdas can be used in Arquillian. Here you can see them, and of course if you found any other one, feel free to share with us.

Merge libs inside a JavaArchive

To write tests with Arquillian you need to create the deployment file programmatically (jar, war or ear). This is accomplished using Shrinkwrap. Your deployment file sometimes will require you add some external dependencies on it. Typical example is when you are creating a WebArchive and you need to add some dependencies to WEB-INF/lib. In this case it is easy because there WebArchive class has a method called addAsLibraries which basically adds the given jars in the libraries path.

But what's happening when your deployment file is a jar file? Then you need to merge each library inside JavaArchive object by using merge method.

This is a way to do it but with Java 8, you can use foreach function and method references.

Note that we are converting the Array into a stream so we can call foreach function. In version 2.2.0 of ShrinkWrap Resolver you will be able to get dependencies as List, so you will be able to get an stream without any conversion. Next important point is that we are using method reference feature to merge all dependencies. Now with a single line we can merge all dependencies.

 Creating custom Assets

Arquillian uses ShrinkWrap to create the deployment file and add resources inside. These resources are added by using any of the methods provided by the API like add, addClass, addAsManifestReource and so on. These methods can receive as first parameter an Asset. Asset is an interface which contains only one method called openStream which returns an InputStream. Assets are used for setting the content of file that will be be added inside the deployment file. 

For example:

ShrinkWrap comes with some already defined assets like Url, String, Byte, Class, ... but sometimes you may need to implement your own Asset.

In this case we are using an inner-class, but because Asset class can be considered a functional interface (only one abstract method), we can use Lambdas to avoid the inner class.

So much simple and more readable.

Parsing HTML tables

If you are using Arquillian Drone or Arquillian Graphene, you will be use some WebDriver Selenium classes for getting web page elements. Sometimes you need to validate columns of and HTML table, and in this cases you can end up by having a lot of boilerplate code iterating over columns and rows to validate that contains the correct values.

Your code prior to Java 8 will look something like:

But in Java 8, with the addition of streaming API, the code becomes much easier and readable:

As you can see code is pretty much compact. What we are doing here is first of all getting all web elements of column title, no news here. But then streaming API comes to play. First we create an stream from a list by calling stream method. Then what we are doing is calling the method getText from all WebElements present in the list. And finally the list of strings which in fact is a list of content of all rows of column title is returned. 

See that in this case the code is much readable than previous one, and more important is that you can even create a parallel stream to get all power of multi-core processors.

So as you can see Java 8 can be used not only in business code but also in tests.

We keep learning,
See yourself, You are the steps you take, You and you, and that's the only way (Owner Of A Lonely Heart - Yes)


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