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Vert.x API for RxJava2

RxJava is a popular library for composing asynchronous and event based programs using observable sequences for the Java VM.

Vert.x integrates naturally with RxJava, allowing to use observable wherever you can use streams or asynchronous results.

There are two ways for using the RxJava API with Vert.x:

Read stream support

RxJava Flowable is a perfect match for Vert.x ReadStream class : both provide a flow of items.

The FlowableHelper.toFlowable static methods convert a Vert.x read stream to a Flowable:

FileSystem fileSystem = vertx.fileSystem();
fileSystem.open("/data.txt", new OpenOptions(), result -> {
  AsyncFile file = result.result();
  Flowable<Buffer> observable = FlowableHelper.toFlowable(file);
  observable.forEach(data -> System.out.println("Read data: " + data.toString("UTF-8")));
});

The Rxified Vert.x API provides a toFlowable method on ReadStream:

FileSystem fs = vertx.fileSystem();
fs.open("/data.txt", new OpenOptions(), result -> {
  AsyncFile file = result.result();
  Flowable<Buffer> observable = file.toFlowable();
  observable.forEach(data -> System.out.println("Read data: " + data.toString("UTF-8")));
});

Such flowables are hot flowables, i.e. they will produce notifications regardless of subscriptions because a ReadStream can potentially emit items spontaneously or not, depending on the implementation:

At subscription time, the adapter calls handler to set its own handler.

Some ReadStream implementations can start to emit events after this call, others will emit events wether an handler is set:

  • AsyncFile produces buffer events after the handler is set

  • HttpServerRequest produces events independantly of the handler (i.e buffer may be lost if no handler is set)

In both cases, subscribing to the Flowable in the same call is safe because the event loop or the worker verticles cannot be called concurrently, so the subscription will always happens before the handler starts emitting data.

When you need to delay the subscription, you need to pause the ReadStream and then resume it, which is what you would do with a ReadStream.

server.requestHandler(request -> {
  if (request.method() == HttpMethod.POST) {

    // Stop receiving buffers
    request.pause();

    checkAuth(res -> {

      // Now we can receive buffers again
      request.resume();

      if (res.succeeded()) {
        Flowable<Buffer> flowable = request.toFlowable();
        flowable.subscribe(buff -> {
          // Get buffers
        });
      }
    });
  }
});

Likewise it is possible to turn an existing Flowable into a Vert.x ReadStream.

The FlowableHelper.toReadStream static methods convert a Flowable to a Vert.x read stream:

Flowable<Buffer> observable = getFlowable();
ReadStream<Buffer> readStream = FlowableHelper.toReadStream(observable);
Pump pump = Pump.pump(readStream, response);
pump.start();

Async result support

You can create an RxJava Observer from an existing Vert.x Handler<AsyncResult<T>> and subscribe it:

Handler<AsyncResult<String>> handler = getHandler();

// Subscribe to a Single
Single.just("hello").subscribe(SingleHelper.toObserver(handler));
Handler<AsyncResult<String>> handler = getHandler();

// Subscribe to a Single
Maybe.just("hello").subscribe(MaybeHelper.toObserver(handler));
Handler<AsyncResult<Void>> handler = getHandler();

// Subscribe to a Single
Completable.complete().subscribe(CompletableHelper.toObserver(handler));

The Rxified Vert.x API duplicates each such method with the rx prefix that returns an RxJava Single, Maybe or Completable:

Single<HttpServer> single = vertx
  .createHttpServer()
  .rxListen(1234, "localhost");

// Subscribe to bind the server
single.
    subscribe(
        server -> {
          // Server is listening
        },
        failure -> {
          // Server could not start
        }
    );

Such single are cold singles, and the corresponding API method is called on subscribe.

Maybe can produce a result or no result:

DnsClient client = vertx.createDnsClient(dnsPort, dnsHost);

// Obtain a maybe that performs the actual reverse lookup on subscribe
Maybe<String> maybe = client.rxReverseLookup(ipAddress);

// Subscribe to perform the lookup
maybe.
  subscribe(
    name -> {
      // Lookup produced a result
    },
    failure -> {
      // Lookup failed
    },
    () -> {
      // Lookup produced no result
    }
  );

Completable is usually mapped to Handler<AsyncResult<Void>>

Completable single = server.rxClose();

// Subscribe to bind the server
single.
  subscribe(
    () -> {
      // Server is closed
    },
    failure -> {
      // Server closed but encoutered issue
    }
  );

Scheduler support

The reactive extension sometimes needs to schedule actions, for instance Flowable#timer creates and returns a timer that emit periodic events. By default, scheduled actions are managed by RxJava, it means that the timer threads are not Vert.x threads and therefore not executing in a Vert.x event loop nor on a Vert.x worker thread.

When an RxJava method deals with a scheduler, it accepts an overloaded method accepting an extra io.reactivex.Scheduler, the RxHelper.scheduler method will return a scheduler that can be used in such places.

Scheduler scheduler = RxHelper.scheduler(vertx);
Observable<Long> timer = Observable.interval(100, 100, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS, scheduler);

For blocking scheduled actions, a scheduler can be created with the RxHelper.blockingScheduler method:

Scheduler scheduler = RxHelper.blockingScheduler(vertx);
Observable<Long> timer = Observable.interval(100, 100, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS, scheduler);

RxJava can also be reconfigured to use the Vert.x scheduler:

RxJavaPlugins.setComputationSchedulerHandler(s -> RxHelper.scheduler(vertx));
RxJavaPlugins.setIoSchedulerHandler(s -> RxHelper.blockingScheduler(vertx));
RxJavaPlugins.setNewThreadSchedulerHandler(s -> RxHelper.scheduler(vertx));
Caution
RxJava uses the words computation for non-blocking tasks and io for blocking tasks which is the opposite of the Vert.x terminology

The Rxified Vert.x API provides also similar method on the RxHelper class:

Scheduler scheduler = RxHelper.scheduler(vertx);
Observable<Long> timer = Observable.interval(100, 100, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS, scheduler);
RxJavaPlugins.setComputationSchedulerHandler(s -> RxHelper.scheduler(vertx));
RxJavaPlugins.setIoSchedulerHandler(s -> RxHelper.blockingScheduler(vertx));
RxJavaPlugins.setNewThreadSchedulerHandler(s -> RxHelper.scheduler(vertx));

It is also possible to create a scheduler backed by a named worker pool. This can be useful if you want to re-use the specific thread pool for scheduling blocking actions:

Scheduler scheduler = RxHelper.blockingScheduler(workerExecutor);
Observable<Long> timer = Observable.interval(100, 100, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS, scheduler);

Json unmarshalling

The FlowableHelper.unmarshaller creates an io.reactivex.rxjava2.FlowableOperator that transforms an Flowable<Buffer> in json format into an object flowable:

fileSystem.open("/data.txt", new OpenOptions(), result -> {
  AsyncFile file = result.result();
  Flowable<Buffer> observable = FlowableHelper.toFlowable(file);
  observable.compose(FlowableHelper.unmarshaller(MyPojo.class)).subscribe(
      mypojo -> {
        // Process the object
      }
  );
});

The same can be done with the Rxified helper:

fileSystem.open("/data.txt", new OpenOptions(), result -> {
  AsyncFile file = result.result();
  Observable<Buffer> observable = file.toObservable();
  observable.compose(ObservableHelper.unmarshaller((MyPojo.class))).subscribe(
    mypojo -> {
      // Process the object
    }
  );
});

Deploying a Verticle

To deploy existing Verticle instances, you can use RxHelper.deployVerticle , it deploys a Verticle and returns an Single<String> of the deployment ID.

Single<String> deployment = RxHelper.deployVerticle(vertx, verticle);

deployment.subscribe(id -> {
  // Deployed
}, err -> {
  // Could not deploy
});

Rxified API

The Rxified API is a code generated version of the Vert.x API, just like the JavaScript or Groovy language. The API uses the io.vertx.rxjava prefix, for instance the io.vertx.core.Vertx class is translated to the Vertx class.

Embedding Rxfified Vert.x

Just use the Vertx.vertx methods:

Vertx vertx = io.vertx.reactivex.core.Vertx.vertx();

As a Verticle

Extend the AbstractVerticle class, it will wrap it for you:

class MyVerticle extends io.vertx.reactivex.core.AbstractVerticle {
  public void start() {
    // Use Rxified Vertx here
  }
}

Deploying an RxJava verticle is still performed by the Java deployer and does not need a specified deployer.

Api examples

Let’s study now a few examples of using Vert.x with RxJava.

EventBus message stream

The event bus MessageConsumer provides naturally an Observable<Message<T>>:

EventBus eb = vertx.eventBus();
MessageConsumer<String> consumer = eb.<String>consumer("the-address");
Observable<Message<String>> observable = consumer.toObservable();
Disposable sub = observable.subscribe(msg -> {
  // Got message
});

// Unregisters the stream after 10 seconds
vertx.setTimer(10000, id -> {
  sub.dispose();
});

The MessageConsumer provides a stream of Message. The body gives access to a new stream of message bodies if needed:

EventBus eb = vertx.eventBus();
MessageConsumer<String> consumer = eb.<String>consumer("the-address");
Observable<String> observable = consumer.bodyStream().toObservable();

RxJava map/reduce composition style can then be used:

Observable<Double> observable = vertx.eventBus().
    <Double>consumer("heat-sensor").
    bodyStream().
    toObservable();

observable.
    buffer(1, TimeUnit.SECONDS).
    map(samples -> samples.
        stream().
        collect(Collectors.averagingDouble(d -> d))).
    subscribe(heat -> {
      vertx.eventBus().send("news-feed", "Current heat is " + heat);
    });

Timers

Timer task can be created with timerStream:

vertx.timerStream(1000).
    toObservable().
    subscribe(
        id -> {
          System.out.println("Callback after 1 second");
        }
    );

Periodic task can be created with periodicStream:

vertx.periodicStream(1000).
    toObservable().
    subscribe(
        id -> {
          System.out.println("Callback every second");
        }
    );

The observable can be cancelled with an unsubscription:

vertx.periodicStream(1000).
    toObservable().
    subscribe(new Observer<Long>() {
      private Disposable sub;
      public void onSubscribe(@NonNull Disposable d) {
        sub = d;
      }
      public void onNext(Long aLong) {
        // Callback
        sub.dispose();
      }
      public void onError(Throwable e) {}
      public void onComplete() {}
    });

Http client requests

We recommend to use the Vert.x Web Client with RxJava.

Http server requests

The requestStream provides a callback for each incoming request:

Observable<HttpServerRequest> requestObservable = server.requestStream().toObservable();
requestObservable.subscribe(request -> {
  // Process request
});

The HttpServerRequest can then be adapted to an Observable<Buffer>:

Observable<HttpServerRequest> requestObservable = server.requestStream().toObservable();
requestObservable.subscribe(request -> {
  Observable<Buffer> observable = request.toObservable();
});

The ObservableHelper.unmarshaller can be used to parse and map a json request to an object:

Observable<HttpServerRequest> requestObservable = server.requestStream().toObservable();
requestObservable.subscribe(request -> {
  Observable<MyPojo> observable = request.
    toObservable().
    compose(io.vertx.reactivex.core.ObservableHelper.unmarshaller(MyPojo.class));
});

Websocket client

The websocketStream provides a single callback when the websocket connects, otherwise a failure:

HttpClient client = vertx.createHttpClient(new HttpClientOptions());
client.websocketStream(8080, "localhost", "/the_uri").toObservable().subscribe(
    ws -> {
      // Use the websocket
    },
    error -> {
      // Could not connect
    }
);

The WebSocket can then be turned into an Observable<Buffer> easily:

socketObservable.subscribe(
    socket -> {
      Flowable<Buffer> dataObs = socket.toFlowable();
      dataObs.subscribe(buffer -> {
        System.out.println("Got message " + buffer.toString("UTF-8"));
      });
    }
);

Websocket server

The websocketStream provides a callback for each incoming connection:

Observable<ServerWebSocket> socketObservable = server.websocketStream().toObservable();
socketObservable.subscribe(
    socket -> System.out.println("Web socket connect"),
    failure -> System.out.println("Should never be called"),
    () -> {
      System.out.println("Subscription ended or server closed");
    }
);

The ServerWebSocket can be turned into an Observable<Buffer> easily:

socketObservable.subscribe(
    socket -> {
      Observable<Buffer> dataObs = socket.toObservable();
      dataObs.subscribe(buffer -> {
        System.out.println("Got message " + buffer.toString("UTF-8"));
      });
    }
);