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Vert.x-Web is a set of building blocks for building web applications with Vert.x.

Think of it as a Swiss Army Knife for building modern, scalable, web apps.

Vert.x core provides a fairly low level set of functionality for handling HTTP, and for some applications that will be sufficient.

VVert.x-Web builds on Vert.x core to provide a richer set of functionality for building real web applications, more easily.

It’s the successor to Yoke in Vert.x 2.x, and takes inspiration from projects such as Express in the Node.js world and Sinatra in the Ruby world.

Vert.x-Web is designed to be powerful, un-opionated and fully embeddable. You just use the parts you want and nothing more. Vert.x-Web is not a container.

You can use Vert.x-Web to create classic server-side web applications, RESTful web applications, 'real-time' (server push) web applications, or any other kind of web application you can think of. Vert.x-Web doesn’t care. It’s up to you to chose the type of app you prefer, not Vert.x-Web.

Vert.x-Web is a great fit for writing RESTful HTTP micro-services, but we don’t force you to write apps like that.

Some of the key features of Vert.x-Web include:

  • Routing (based on method, path, etc)

  • Regular expression pattern matching for paths

  • Extraction of parameters from paths

  • Content negotiation

  • Request body handling

  • Body size limits

  • Cookie parsing and handling

  • Multipart forms

  • Multipart file uploads

  • Sub routers

  • Session support - both local (for sticky sessions) and clustered (for non sticky)

  • CORS (Cross Origin Resource Sharing) support

  • Error page handler

  • Basic Authentication

  • Redirect based authentication

  • Authorisation handlers

  • JWT based authorization

  • User/role/permission authorisation

  • Favicon handling

  • Template support for server side rendering, including support for the following template engines out of the box:

    • Handlebars

    • Jade,

    • MVEL

    • Thymeleaf

  • Response time handler

  • Static file serving, including caching logic and directory listing.

  • Request timeout support

  • SockJS support

  • Event-bus bridge

  • CSRF Cross Site Request Forgery

  • VirtualHost

Most features in Vert.x-Web are implemented as handlers so you can always write your own. We envisage many more being written over time.

We’ll discuss all these features in this manual.

Using Vert.x Web

To use vert.x web, add the following dependency to the dependencies section of your build descriptor:

  • Maven (in your pom.xml):

<dependency>
  <groupId>io.vertx</groupId>
  <artifactId>vertx-web</artifactId>
  <version>3.2.1</version>
</dependency>
  • Gradle (in your build.gradle file):

dependencies {
  compile 'io.vertx:vertx-web:3.2.1'
}

Re-cap on Vert.x core HTTP servers

Vert.x-Web uses and exposes the API from Vert.x core, so it’s well worth getting familiar with the basic concepts of writing HTTP servers using Vert.x core, if you’re not already.

The Vert.x core HTTP documentation goes into a lot of detail on this.

Here’s a hello world web server written using Vert.x core. At this point there is no Vert.x-Web involved:

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer();

server.requestHandler(request -> {

  // This handler gets called for each request that arrives on the server
  HttpServerResponse response = request.response();
  response.putHeader("content-type", "text/plain");

  // Write to the response and end it
  response.end("Hello World!");
});

server.listen(8080);

We create an HTTP server instance, and we set a request handler on it. The request handler will be called whenever a request arrives on the server.

When that happens we are just going to set the content type to text/plain, and write Hello World! and end the response.

We then tell the server to listen at port 8080 (default host is localhost).

You can run this, and point your browser at http://localhost:8080 to verify that it works as expected.

Basic Vert.x-Web concepts

Here’s the 10000 foot view:

A Router is one of the core concepts of Vert.x-Web. It’s an object which maintains zero or more Routes .

A router takes an HTTP request and finds the first matching route for that request, and passes the request to that route.

The route can have a handler associated with it, which then receives the request. You then do something with the request, and then, either end it or pass it to the next matching handler.

Here’s a simple router example:

HttpServer server = vertx.createHttpServer();

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

router.route().handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for every request
  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  response.putHeader("content-type", "text/plain");

  // Write to the response and end it
  response.end("Hello World from Vert.x-Web!");
});

server.requestHandler(router::accept).listen(8080);

It basically does the same thing as the Vert.x Core HTTP server hello world example from the previous section, but this time using Vert.x-Web.

We create an HTTP server as before, then we create a router. Once we’ve done that we create a simple route with no matching criteria so it will match all requests that arrive on the server.

We then specify a handler for that route. That handler will be called for all requests that arrive on the server.

The object that gets passed into the handler is a RoutingContext - this contains the standard Vert.x HttpServerRequest and HttpServerResponse but also various other useful stuff that makes working with Vert.x-Web simpler.

For every request that is routed there is a unique routing context instance, and the same instance is passed to all handlers for that request.

Once we’ve set up the handler, we set the request handler of the HTTP server to pass all incoming requests to accept.

So, that’s the basics. Now we’ll look at things in more detail:

Handling requests and calling the next handler

When Vert.x-Web decides to route a request to a matching route, it calls the handler of the route passing in an instance of RoutingContext.

If you don’t end the response in your handler, you should call next so another matching route can handle the request (if any).

You don’t have to call next before the handler has finished executing. You can do this some time later, if you want:

Route route1 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  // enable chunked responses because we will be adding data as
  // we execute over other handlers. This is only required once and
  // only if several handlers do output.
  response.setChunked(true);

  response.write("route1\n");

  // Call the next matching route after a 5 second delay
  routingContext.vertx().setTimer(5000, tid -> routingContext.next());
});

Route route2 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  response.write("route2\n");

  // Call the next matching route after a 5 second delay
  routingContext.vertx().setTimer(5000, tid ->  routingContext.next());
});

Route route3 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  response.write("route3");

  // Now end the response
  routingContext.response().end();
});

In the above example route1 is written to the response, then 5 seconds later route2 is written to the response, then 5 seconds later route3 is written to the response and the response is ended.

Note, all this happens without any thread blocking.

Using blocking handlers

Sometimes, you might have to do something in a handler that might block the event loop for some time, e.g. call a legacy blocking API or do some intensive calculation.

You can’t do that in a normal handler, so we provide the ability to set blocking handlers on a route.

A blocking handler looks just like a normal handler but it’s called by Vert.x using a thread from the worker pool not using an event loop.

You set a blocking handler on a route with blockingHandler. Here’s an example:

router.route().blockingHandler(routingContext -> {

  // Do something that might take some time synchronously
  service.doSomethingThatBlocks();

  // Now call the next handler
  routingContext.next();

});

By default, any blocking handlers executed on the same context (e.g. the same verticle instance) are ordered - this means the next one won’t be executed until the previous one has completed. If you don’t care about orderering and don’t mind your blocking handlers executing in parallel you can set the blocking handler specifying ordered as false using blockingHandler.

Routing by exact path

A route can be set-up to match the path from the request URI. In this case it will match any request which has a path that’s the same as the specified path.

In the following example the handler will be called for a request /some/path/. We also ignore trailing slashes so it will be called for paths /some/path and /some/path// too:

Route route = router.route().path("/some/path/");

route.handler(routingContext -> {
  // This handler will be called for the following request paths:

  // `/some/path`
  // `/some/path/`
  // `/some/path//`
  //
  // but not:
  // `/some/path/subdir`
});

Routing by paths that begin with something

Often you want to route all requests that begin with a certain path. You could use a regex to do this, but a simply way is to use an asterisk * at the end of the path when declaring the route path.

In the following example the handler will be called for any request with a URI path that starts with /some/path/.

For example /some/path/foo.html and /some/path/otherdir/blah.css would both match.

Route route = router.route().path("/some/path/*");

route.handler(routingContext -> {
  // This handler will be called for any path that starts with
  // `/some/path/`, e.g.

  // `/some/path`
  // `/some/path/`
  // `/some/path/subdir`
  // `/some/path/subdir/blah.html`
  //
  // but not:
  // `/some/bath`
});

With any path it can also be specified when creating the route:

Route route = router.route("/some/path/*");

route.handler(routingContext -> {
  // This handler will be called same as previous example
});

Capturing path parameters

It’s possible to match paths using placeholders for parameters which are then available in the request params.

Here’s an example

Route route = router.route(HttpMethod.POST, "/catalogue/products/:productype/:productid/");

route.handler(routingContext -> {

  String productType = routingContext.request().getParam("producttype");
  String productID = routingContext.request().getParam("productid");

  // Do something with them...
});

The placeholders consist of : followed by the parameter name. Parameter names consist of any alphabetic character, numeric character or underscore.

In the above example, if a POST request is made to path: /catalogue/products/tools/drill123/ then the route will match and productType will receive the value tools and productID will receive the value drill123.

Routing with regular expressions

Regular expressions can also be used to match URI paths in routes.

Route route = router.route().pathRegex(".*foo");

route.handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for:

  // /some/path/foo
  // /foo
  // /foo/bar/wibble/foo
  // /foo/bar

  // But not:
  // /bar/wibble
});

Alternatively the regex can be specified when creating the route:

Route route = router.routeWithRegex(".*foo");

route.handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called same as previous example

});

Capturing path parameters with regular expressions

You can also capture path parameters when using regular expressions, here’s an example:

Route route = router.routeWithRegex(".*foo");

// This regular expression matches paths that start with something like:
// "/foo/bar" - where the "foo" is captured into param0 and the "bar" is captured into
// param1
route.pathRegex("\\/([^\\/]+)\\/([^\\/]+)").handler(routingContext -> {

  String productType = routingContext.request().getParam("param0");
  String productID = routingContext.request().getParam("param1");

  // Do something with them...
});

In the above example, if a request is made to path: /tools/drill123/ then the route will match and productType will receive the value tools and productID will receive the value drill123.

Captures are denoted in regular expressions with capture groups (i.e. surrounding the capture with round brackets)

Routing by HTTP method

By default a route will match all HTTP methods.

If you want a route to only match for a specific HTTP method you can use method

Route route = router.route().method(HttpMethod.POST);

route.handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for any POST request

});

Or you can specify this with a path when creating the route:

Route route = router.route(HttpMethod.POST, "/some/path/");

route.handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for any POST request to a URI path starting with /some/path/

});

If you want to route for a specific HTTP method you can also use the methods such as get, post and put named after the HTTP method name. For example:

router.get().handler(routingContext -> {

  // Will be called for any GET request

});

router.get("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  // Will be called for any GET request to a path
  // starting with /some/path

});

router.getWithRegex(".*foo").handler(routingContext -> {

  // Will be called for any GET request to a path
  // ending with `foo`

});

If you want to specify a route will match for more than HTTP method you can call method multiple times:

Route route = router.route().method(HttpMethod.POST).method(HttpMethod.PUT);

route.handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for any POST or PUT request

});

Route order

By default routes are matched in the order they are added to the router.

When a request arrives the router will step through each route and check if it matches, if it matches then the handler for that route will be called.

If the handler subsequently calls next the handler for the next matching route (if any) will be called. And so on.

Here’s an example to illustrate this:

Route route1 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  // enable chunked responses because we will be adding data as
  // we execute over other handlers. This is only required once and
  // only if several handlers do output.
  response.setChunked(true);

  response.write("route1\n");

  // Now call the next matching route
  routingContext.next();
});

Route route2 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  response.write("route2\n");

  // Now call the next matching route
  routingContext.next();
});

Route route3 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  response.write("route3");

  // Now end the response
  routingContext.response().end();
});

In the above example the response will contain:

route1
route2
route3

As the routes have been called in that order for any request that starts with /some/path.

If you want to override the default ordering for routes, you can do so using order, specifying an integer value.

Routes are assigned an order at creation time corresponding to the order in which they were added to the router, with the first route numbered 0, the second route numbered 1, and so on.

By specifying an order for the route you can override the default ordering. Order can also be negative, e.g. if you want to ensure a route is evaluated before route number 0.

Let’s change the ordering of route2 so it runs before route1:

Route route1 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  response.write("route1\n");

  // Now call the next matching route
  routingContext.next();
});

Route route2 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  // enable chunked responses because we will be adding data as
  // we execute over other handlers. This is only required once and
  // only if several handlers do output.
  response.setChunked(true);

  response.write("route2\n");

  // Now call the next matching route
  routingContext.next();
});

Route route3 = router.route("/some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  response.write("route3");

  // Now end the response
  routingContext.response().end();
});

// Change the order of route2 so it runs before route1
route2.order(-1);

then the response will now contain:

route2
route1
route3

If two matching routes have the same value of order, then they will be called in the order they were added.

You can also specify that a route is handled last, with last

Routing based on MIME type of request

You can specify that a route will match against matching request MIME types using consumes.

In this case, the request will contain a content-type header specifying the MIME type of the request body. This will be matched against the value specified in consumes.

Basically, consumes is describing which MIME types the handler can consume.

Matching can be done on exact MIME type matches:

router.route().consumes("text/html").handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for any request with
  // content-type header set to `text/html`

});

Multiple exact matches can also be specified:

router.route().consumes("text/html").consumes("text/plain").handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for any request with
  // content-type header set to `text/html` or `text/plain`.

});

Matching on wildcards for the sub-type is supported:

router.route().consumes("text/*").handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for any request with top level type `text`
  // e.g. content-type header set to `text/html` or `text/plain` will both match

});

And you can also match on the top level type

router.route().consumes("*/json").handler(routingContext -> {

  // This handler will be called for any request with sub-type json
  // e.g. content-type header set to `text/json` or `application/json` will both match

});

If you don’t specify a / in the consumers, it will assume you meant the sub-type.

Routing based on MIME types acceptable by the client

The HTTP accept header is used to signify which MIME types of the response are acceptable to the client.

An accept header can have multiple MIME types separated by ‘,’.

MIME types can also have a q value appended to them* which signifies a weighting to apply if more than one response MIME type is available matching the accept header. The q value is a number between 0 and 1.0. If omitted it defaults to 1.0.

For example, the following accept header signifies the client will accept a MIME type of only text/plain:

Accept: text/plain

With the following the client will accept text/plain or text/html with no preference.

Accept: text/plain, text/html

With the following the client will accept text/plain or text/html but prefers text/html as it has a higher q value (the default value is q=1.0)

Accept: text/plain; q=0.9, text/html

If the server can provide both text/plain and text/html it should provide the text/html in this case.

By using produces you define which MIME type(s) the route produces, e.g. the following handler produces a response with MIME type application/json.

router.route().produces("application/json").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();
  response.putHeader("content-type", "application/json");
  response.write(someJSON).end();

});

In this case the route will match with any request with an accept header that matches application/json.

Here are some examples of accept headers that will match:

Accept: application/json
Accept: application/*
Accept: application/json, text/html
Accept: application/json;q=0.7, text/html;q=0.8, text/plain

You can also mark your route as producing more than one MIME type. If this is the case, then you use getAcceptableContentType to find out the actual MIME type that was accepted.

router.route().produces("application/json").produces("text/html").handler(routingContext -> {

  HttpServerResponse response = routingContext.response();

  // Get the actual MIME type acceptable
  String acceptableContentType = routingContext.getAcceptableContentType();

  response.putHeader("content-type", acceptableContentType);
  response.write(whatever).end();
});

In the above example, if you sent a request with the following accept header:

Accept: application/json; q=0.7, text/html

Then the route would match and acceptableContentType would contain text/html as both are acceptable but that has a higher q value.

Combining routing criteria

You can combine all the above routing criteria in many different ways, for example:

Route route = router.route(HttpMethod.PUT, "myapi/orders")
                    .consumes("application/json")
                    .produces("application/json");

route.handler(routingContext -> {

  // This would be match for any PUT method to paths starting with "myapi/orders" with a
  // content-type of "application/json"
  // and an accept header matching "application/json"

});

Enabling and disabling routes

You can disable a route with disable. A disabled route will be ignored when matching.

You can re-enable a disabled route with enable

Context data

You can use the context data in the RoutingContext to maintain any data that you want to share between handlers for the lifetime of the request.

Here’s an example where one handler sets some data in the context data and a subsequent handler retrieves it:

You can use the put to put any object, and get to retrieve any object from the context data.

A request sent to path /some/path/other will match both routes.

router.get("/some/path").handler(routingContext -> {

  routingContext.put("foo", "bar");
  routingContext.next();

});

router.get("/some/path/other").handler(routingContext -> {

  String bar = routingContext.get("foo");
  // Do something with bar
  routingContext.response().end();

});

Alternatively you can access the entire context data map with data.

Reroute

Until now all routing mechanism allow you to handle your requests in a sequential way, however there might be times where you will want to go back. Since the context does not expose any information about the previous or next handler, mostly because this information is dynamic there is a way to restart the whole routing from the start of the current Router.

router.get("/some/path").handler(routingContext -> {

  routingContext.put("foo", "bar");
  routingContext.next();

});

router.get("/some/path/B").handler(routingContext -> {
  routingContext.response().end();
});

router.get("/some/path").handler(routingContext -> {
  routingContext.reroute("/some/path/B");
});

So from the code you can see that if a request arrives at /some/path if first add a value to the context, then moves to the next handler that re routes the request to /some/path/B which terminates the request.

You can reroute based on a new path or based on a new path and method. Note however that rerouting based on method might introduce security issues since for example a usually safe GET request can become a DELETE.

Sub-routers

Sometimes if you have a lot of handlers it can make sense to split them up into multiple routers. This is also useful if you want to reuse a set of handlers in a different application, rooted at a different path root.

To do this you can mount a router at a mount point in another router. The router that is mounted is called a sub-router. Sub routers can mount other sub routers so you can have several levels of sub-routers if you like.

Let’s look at a simple example of a sub-router mounted with another router.

This sub-router will maintain the set of handlers that corresponds to a simple fictional REST API. We will mount that on another router. The full implementation of the REST API is not shown.

Here’s the sub-router:

Router restAPI = Router.router(vertx);

restAPI.get("/products/:productID").handler(rc -> {

  // TODO Handle the lookup of the product....
  rc.response().write(productJSON);

});

restAPI.put("/products/:productID").handler(rc -> {

  // TODO Add a new product...
  rc.response().end();

});

restAPI.delete("/products/:productID").handler(rc -> {

  // TODO delete the product...
  rc.response().end();

});

If this router was used as a top level router, then GET/PUT/DELETE requests to urls like /products/product1234 would invoke the API.

However, let’s say we already have a web-site as described by another router:

Router mainRouter = Router.router(vertx);

// Handle static resources
mainRouter.route("/static/*").handler(myStaticHandler);

mainRouter.route(".*\\.templ").handler(myTemplateHandler);

We can now mount the sub router on the main router, against a mount point, in this case /productsAPI

mainRouter.mountSubRouter("/productsAPI", restAPI);

This means the REST API is now accessible via paths like: /productsAPI/products/product1234

Localization

Vert.x Web parses the Accept-Language header and provides some helper methods to identify which is the preferred locale for a client or the sorted list of preferred locales by quality.

Route route = router.get("/localized").handler( rc -> {
  // although it might seem strange by running a loop with a switch we
  // make sure that the locale order of preference is preserved when
  // replying in the users language.
  for (Locale locale : rc.acceptableLocales()) {
    switch (locale.language()) {
      case "en":
        rc.response().end("Hello!");
        return;
      case "fr":
        rc.response().end("Bonjour!");
        return;
      case "pt":
        rc.response().end("Olá!");
        return;
      case "es":
        rc.response().end("Hola!");
        return;
    }
  }
  // we do not know the user language so lets just inform that back:
  rc.response().end("Sorry we don't speak: " + rc.preferredLocale());
});

The main method acceptableLocales will return the ordered list of locales the user understands, if you’re only interested in the user prefered locale then the helper: preferredLocale will return the 1st element of the list or null if no locale was provided by the user.

Default 404 Handling

If no routes match for any particular request, Vert.x-Web will signal a 404 error.

This can then be handled by your own error handler, or perhaps the augmented error handler that we supply to use, or if no error handler is provided Vert.x-Web will send back a basic 404 (Not Found) response.

Error handling

As well as setting handlers to handle requests you can also set handlers to handle failures in routing.

Failure handlers are used with the exact same route matching criteria that you use with normal handlers.

For example you can provide a failure handler that will only handle failures on certain paths, or for certain HTTP methods.

This allows you to set different failure handlers for different parts of your application.

Here’s an example failure handler that will only be called for failure that occur when routing to GET requests to paths that start with /somepath/:

Route route = router.get("/somepath/*");

route.failureHandler(frc -> {

  // This will be called for failures that occur
  // when routing requests to paths starting with
  // '/somepath/'

});

Failure routing will occur if a handler throws an exception, or if a handler calls fail specifying an HTTP status code to deliberately signal a failure.

If an exception is caught from a handler this will result in a failure with status code 500 being signalled.

When handling the failure, the failure handler is passed the routing context which also allows the failure or failure code to be retrieved so the failure handler can use that to generate a failure response.

Route route1 = router.get("/somepath/path1/");

route1.handler(routingContext -> {

  // Let's say this throws a RuntimeException
  throw new RuntimeException("something happened!");

});

Route route2 = router.get("/somepath/path2");

route2.handler(routingContext -> {

  // This one deliberately fails the request passing in the status code
  // E.g. 403 - Forbidden
  routingContext.fail(403);

});

// Define a failure handler
// This will get called for any failures in the above handlers
Route route3 = router.get("/somepath/*");

route3.failureHandler(failureRoutingContext -> {

  int statusCode = failureRoutingContext.statusCode();

  // Status code will be 500 for the RuntimeException or 403 for the other failure
  HttpServerResponse response = failureRoutingContext.response();
  response.setStatusCode(statusCode).end("Sorry! Not today");

});

For the eventuality that an error occurs when running the error handler related usage of not allowed characters in status message header, then the original status message will be changed to the default message from the error code. This is a tradeoff to keep the semantics of the HTTP protocol working instead of abruptly creash and close the socket without properly completing the protocol.

Request body handling

The BodyHandler allows you to retrieve request bodies, limit body sizes and handle file uploads.

You should make sure a body handler is on a matching route for any requests that require this functionality.

The usage of this handler requires that it is installed as soon as possible in the router since it needs to install handlers to consume the HTTP request body and this must be done before executing any async call.

router.route().handler(BodyHandler.create());

Getting the request body

If you know the request body is JSON, then you can use getBodyAsJson, if you know it’s a string you can use getBodyAsString, or to retrieve it as a buffer use getBody.

Limiting body size

To limit the size of a request body, create the body handler then use setBodyLimit to specifying the maximum body size, in bytes. This is useful to avoid running out of memory with very large bodies.

If an attempt to send a body greater than the maximum size is made, an HTTP status code of 413 - Request Entity Too Large, will be sent.

There is no body limit by default.

Merging form attributes

By default, the body handler will merge any form attributes into the request parameters. If you don’t want this behaviour you can use disable it with setMergeFormAttributes.

Handling file uploads

Body handler is also used to handle multi-part file uploads.

If a body handler is on a matching route for the request, any file uploads will be automatically streamed to the uploads directory, which is file-uploads by default.

Each file will be given an automatically generated file name, and the file uploads will be available on the routing context with fileUploads.

Here’s an example:

router.route().handler(BodyHandler.create());

router.post("/some/path/uploads").handler(routingContext -> {

  Set<FileUpload> uploads = routingContext.fileUploads();
  // Do something with uploads....

});

Each file upload is described by a FileUpload instance, which allows various properties such as the name, file-name and size to be accessed.

Handling cookies

Vert.x-Web has cookies support using the CookieHandler.

You should make sure a cookie handler is on a matching route for any requests that require this functionality.

router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());

Manipulating cookies

You use getCookie to retrieve a cookie by name, or use cookies to retrieve the entire set.

To remove a cookie, use removeCookie.

To add a cookie use addCookie.

The set of cookies will be written back in the response automatically when the response headers are written so the browser can store them.

Cookies are described by instances of Cookie. This allows you to retrieve the name, value, domain, path and other normal cookie properties.

Here’s an example of querying and adding cookies:

router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());

router.route("some/path/").handler(routingContext -> {

  Cookie someCookie = routingContext.getCookie("mycookie");
  String cookieValue = someCookie.getValue();

  // Do something with cookie...

  // Add a cookie - this will get written back in the response automatically
  routingContext.addCookie(Cookie.cookie("othercookie", "somevalue"));
});

Handling sessions

Vert.x-Web provides out of the box support for sessions.

Sessions last between HTTP requests for the length of a browser session and give you a place where you can add session-scope information, such as a shopping basket.

Vert.x-Web uses session cookies to identify a session. The session cookie is temporary and will be deleted by your browser when it’s closed.

We don’t put the actual data of your session in the session cookie - the cookie simply uses an identifier to look-up the actual session on the server. The identifier is a random UUID generated using a secure random, so it should be effectively unguessable.

Cookies are passed across the wire in HTTP requests and responses so it’s always wise to make sure you are using HTTPS when sessions are being used. Vert.x will warn you if you attempt to use sessions over straight HTTP.

To enable sessions in your application you must have a SessionHandler on a matching route before your application logic.

The session handler handles the creation of session cookies and the lookup of the session so you don’t have to do that yourself.

Session stores

To create a session handler you need to have a session store instance. The session store is the object that holds the actual sessions for your application.

Vert.x-Web comes with two session store implementations out of the box, and you can also write your own if you prefer.

Local session store

With this store, sessions are stored locally in memory and only available in this instance.

This store is appropriate if you have just a single Vert.x instance of you are using sticky sessions in your application and have configured your load balancer to always route HTTP requests to the same Vert.x instance.

If you can’t ensure your requests will all terminate on the same server then don’t use this store as your requests might end up on a server which doesn’t know about your session.

Local session stores are implemented by using a shared local map, and have a reaper which clears out expired sessions.

The reaper interval can be configured with LocalSessionStore.create.

Here are some examples of creating a LocalSessionStore

SessionStore store1 = LocalSessionStore.create(vertx);

// Create a local session store specifying the local shared map name to use
// This might be useful if you have more than one application in the same
// Vert.x instance and want to use different maps for different applications
SessionStore store2 = LocalSessionStore.create(vertx, "myapp3.sessionmap");

// Create a local session store specifying the local shared map name to use and
// setting the reaper interval for expired sessions to 10 seconds
SessionStore store3 = LocalSessionStore.create(vertx, "myapp3.sessionmap", 10000);

Clustered session store

With this store, sessions are stored in a distributed map which is accessible across the Vert.x cluster.

This store is appropriate if you’re not using sticky sessions, i.e. your load balancer is distributing different requests from the same browser to different servers.

Your session is accessible from any node in the cluster using this store.

To you use a clustered session store you should make sure your Vert.x instance is clustered.

Here are some examples of creating a ClusteredSessionStore

Vertx.clusteredVertx(new VertxOptions().setClustered(true), res -> {

  Vertx vertx = res.result();

  // Create a clustered session store using defaults
  SessionStore store1 = ClusteredSessionStore.create(vertx);

  // Create a clustered session store specifying the distributed map name to use
  // This might be useful if you have more than one application in the cluster
  // and want to use different maps for different applications
  SessionStore store2 = ClusteredSessionStore.create(vertx, "myclusteredapp3.sessionmap");
});

Creating the session handler

Once you’ve created a session store you can create a session handler, and add it to a route. You should make sure your session handler is routed to before your application handlers.

You’ll also need to include a CookieHandler as the session handler uses cookies to lookup the session. The cookie handler should be before the session handler when routing.

Here’s an example:

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

// We need a cookie handler first
router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());

// Create a clustered session store using defaults
SessionStore store = ClusteredSessionStore.create(vertx);

SessionHandler sessionHandler = SessionHandler.create(store);

// Make sure all requests are routed through the session handler too
router.route().handler(sessionHandler);

// Now your application handlers
router.route("/somepath/blah/").handler(routingContext -> {

  Session session = routingContext.session();
  session.put("foo", "bar");
  // etc

});

The session handler will ensure that your session is automatically looked up (or created if no session exists) from the session store and set on the routing context before it gets to your application handlers.

Using the session

In your handlers you can access the session instance with session.

You put data into the session with put, you get data from the session with get, and you remove data from the session with remove.

The keys for items in the session are always strings. The values can be any type for a local session store, and for a clustered session store they can be any basic type, or Buffer, JsonObject, JsonArray or a serializable object, as the values have to serialized across the cluster.

Here’s an example of manipulating session data:

router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());
router.route().handler(sessionHandler);

// Now your application handlers
router.route("/somepath/blah").handler(routingContext -> {

  Session session = routingContext.session();

  // Put some data from the session
  session.put("foo", "bar");

  // Retrieve some data from a session
  int age = session.get("age");

  // Remove some data from a session
  JsonObject obj = session.remove("myobj");

});

Sessions are automatically written back to the store after after responses are complete.

You can manually destroy a session using destroy. This will remove the session from the context and the session store. Note that if there is no session a new one will be automatically created for the next request from the browser that’s routed through the session handler.

Session timeout

Sessions will be automatically timed out if they are not accessed for a time greater than the timeout period. When a session is timed out, it is removed from the store.

Sessions are automatically marked as accessed when a request arrives and the session is looked up and and when the response is complete and the session is stored back in the store.

You can also use setAccessed to manually mark a session as accessed.

The session timeout can be configured when creating the session handler. Default timeout is 30 minutes.

Authentication / authorisation

Vert.x comes with some out-of-the-box handlers for handling both authentication and authorisation.

Creating an auth handler

To create an auth handler you need an instance of AuthProvider. Auth provider is used for authentication and authorisation of users. Vert.x provides several auth provider instances out of the box in the vertx-auth project. For full information on auth providers and how to use and configure them please consult the auth documentation.

Here’s a simple example of creating a basic auth handler given an auth provider.

router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());
router.route().handler(SessionHandler.create(LocalSessionStore.create(vertx)));

AuthHandler basicAuthHandler = BasicAuthHandler.create(authProvider);

Handling auth in your application

Let’s say you want all requests to paths that start with /private/ to be subject to auth. To do that you make sure your auth handler is before your application handlers on those paths:

router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());
router.route().handler(SessionHandler.create(LocalSessionStore.create(vertx)));
router.route().handler(UserSessionHandler.create(authProvider));

AuthHandler basicAuthHandler = BasicAuthHandler.create(authProvider);

// All requests to paths starting with '/private/' will be protected
router.route("/private/*").handler(basicAuthHandler);

router.route("/someotherpath").handler(routingContext -> {

  // This will be public access - no login required

});

router.route("/private/somepath").handler(routingContext -> {

  // This will require a login

  // This will have the value true
  boolean isAuthenticated = routingContext.user() != null;

});

If the auth handler has successfully authenticated and authorised the user it will inject a User object into the RoutingContext so it’s available in your handlers with: user.

If you want your User object to be stored in the session so it’s available between requests so you don’t have to authenticate on each request, then you should make sure you have a session handler and a user session handler on matching routes before the auth handler.

Once you have your user object you can also programmatically use the methods on it to authorise the user.

If you want to cause the user to be logged out you can call clearUser on the routing context.

HTTP Basic Authentication

HTTP Basic Authentication is a simple means of authentication that can be appropriate for simple applications.

With basic auth, credentials are sent unencrypted across the wire in HTTP headers so it’s essential that you serve your application using HTTPS not HTTP.

With basic auth, if a user requests a resource that requires authorisation, the basic auth handler will send back a 401 response with the header WWW-Authenticate set. This prompts the browser to show a log-in dialogue and prompt the user to enter their username and password.

The request is made to the resource again, this time with the Authorization header set, containing the username and password encoded in Base64.

When the basic auth handler receives this information, it calls the configured AuthProvider with the username and password to authenticate the user. If the authentication is successful the handler attempts to authorise the user. If that is successful then the routing of the request is allowed to continue to the application handlers, otherwise a 403 response is returned to signify that access is denied.

The auth handler can be set-up with a set of authorities that are required for access to the resources to be granted.

Redirect auth handler

With redirect auth handling the user is redirected to towards a login page in the case they are trying to access a protected resource and they are not logged in.

The user then fills in the login form and submits it. This is handled by the server which authenticates the user and, if authenticated redirects the user back to the original resource.

To use redirect auth you configure an instance of RedirectAuthHandler instead of a basic auth handler.

You will also need to setup handlers to serve your actual login page, and a handler to handle the actual login itself. To handle the login we provide a prebuilt handler FormLoginHandler for the purpose.

Here’s an example of a simple app, using a redirect auth handler on the default redirect url /loginpage.

router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());
router.route().handler(SessionHandler.create(LocalSessionStore.create(vertx)));
router.route().handler(UserSessionHandler.create(authProvider));

AuthHandler redirectAuthHandler = RedirectAuthHandler.create(authProvider);

// All requests to paths starting with '/private/' will be protected
router.route("/private/*").handler(redirectAuthHandler);

// Handle the actual login
router.route("/login").handler(FormLoginHandler.create(authProvider));

// Set a static server to serve static resources, e.g. the login page
router.route().handler(StaticHandler.create());

router.route("/someotherpath").handler(routingContext -> {
  // This will be public access - no login required
});

router.route("/private/somepath").handler(routingContext -> {

  // This will require a login

  // This will have the value true
  boolean isAuthenticated = routingContext.user() != null;

});

JWT authorisation

With JWT authorisation resources can be protected by means of permissions and users without enough rights are denied access.

To use this handler there are 2 steps involved:

  • Setup an handler to issue tokens (or rely on a 3rd party)

  • Setup the handler to filter the requests

Please note that these 2 handlers should be only available on HTTPS, not doing so allows sniffing the tokens in transit which leads to session hijacking attacks.

Here’s an example on how to issue tokens:

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

JsonObject authConfig = new JsonObject().put("keyStore", new JsonObject()
    .put("type", "jceks")
    .put("path", "keystore.jceks")
    .put("password", "secret"));

JWTAuth authProvider = JWTAuth.create(vertx, authConfig);

router.route("/login").handler(ctx -> {
  // this is an example, authentication should be done with another provider...
  if ("paulo".equals(ctx.request().getParam("username")) && "secret".equals(ctx.request().getParam("password"))) {
    ctx.response().end(authProvider.generateToken(new JsonObject().put("sub", "paulo"), new JWTOptions()));
  } else {
    ctx.fail(401);
  }
});

Now that your client has a token all it is required is that for all consequent request the HTTP header Authorization is filled with: Bearer <token> e.g.:

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

JsonObject authConfig = new JsonObject().put("keyStore", new JsonObject()
    .put("type", "jceks")
    .put("path", "keystore.jceks")
    .put("password", "secret"));

JWTAuth authProvider = JWTAuth.create(vertx, authConfig);

router.route("/protected/*").handler(JWTAuthHandler.create(authProvider));

router.route("/protected/somepage").handler(ctx -> {
  // some handle code...
});

JWT allows you to add any information you like to the token itself. By doing this there is no state in the server which allows you to scale your applications without need for clustered session data. In order to add data to the token, during the creation of the token just add data to the JsonObject parameter:

JsonObject authConfig = new JsonObject().put("keyStore", new JsonObject()
    .put("type", "jceks")
    .put("path", "keystore.jceks")
    .put("password", "secret"));

JWTAuth authProvider = JWTAuth.create(vertx, authConfig);

authProvider.generateToken(new JsonObject().put("sub", "paulo").put("someKey", "some value"), new JWTOptions());

And the same when consuming:

Handler<RoutingContext> handler = rc -> {
  String theSubject = rc.user().principal().getString("sub");
  String someKey = rc.user().principal().getString("someKey");
};

Configuring required authorities

With any auth handler you can also configure required authorities to access the resource.

By default, if no authorities are configured then it is sufficient to be logged in to access the resource, otherwise the user must be both logged in (authenticated) and have the required authorities.

Here’s an example of configuring an app so that different authorities are required for different parts of the app. Note that the meaning of the authorities is determined by the underlying auth provider that you use. E.g. some may support a role/permission based model but others might use another model.

AuthHandler listProductsAuthHandler = RedirectAuthHandler.create(authProvider);
listProductsAuthHandler.addAuthority("list_products");

// Need "list_products" authority to list products
router.route("/listproducts/*").handler(listProductsAuthHandler);

AuthHandler settingsAuthHandler = RedirectAuthHandler.create(authProvider);
settingsAuthHandler.addAuthority("role:admin");

// Only "admin" has access to /private/settings
router.route("/private/settings/*").handler(settingsAuthHandler);

Serving static resources

Vert.x-Web comes with an out of the box handler for serving static web resources so you can write static web servers very easily.

To serve static resources such as .html, .css, .js or any other static resource, you use an instance of StaticHandler.

Any requests to paths handled by the static handler will result in files being served from a directory on the file system or from the classpath. The default static file directory is webroot but this can be configured.

In the following example all requests to paths starting with /static/ will get served from the directory webroot:

router.route("/static/*").handler(StaticHandler.create());

For example, if there was a request with path /static/css/mystyles.css the static serve will look for a file in the directory webroot/static/css/mystyle.css.

It will also look for a file on the classpath called webroot/static/css/mystyle.css. This means you can package up all your static resources into a jar file (or fatjar) and distribute them like that.

When Vert.x finds a resource on the classpath for the first time it extracts it and caches it in a temporary directory on disk so it doesn’t have to do this each time.

The handler will handle range aware requests. When a client makes a request to a static resource, the handler will notify that it can handle range aware request by stating the unit on the Accept-Ranges header. Further requests that contain the Range header with the correct unit and start and end indexes will then receive partial responses with the correct Content-Range header.

Configuring caching

By default the static handler will set cache headers to enable browsers to effectively cache files.

Vert.x-Web sets the headers cache-control,last-modified, and date.

cache-control is set to max-age=86400 by default. This corresponds to one day. This can be configured with setMaxAgeSeconds if required.

If a browser sends a GET or a HEAD request with an if-modified-since header and the resource has not been modified since that date, a 304 status is returned which tells the browser to use its locally cached resource.

If handling of cache headers is not required, it can be disabled with setCachingEnabled.

When cache handling is enabled Vert.x-Web will cache the last modified date of resources in memory, this avoids a disk hit to check the actual last modified date every time.

Entries in the cache have an expiry time, and after that time, the file on disk will be checked again and the cache entry updated.

If you know that your files never change on disk, then the cache entry will effectively never expire. This is the default.

If you know that your files might change on disk when the server is running then you can set files read only to false with setFilesReadOnly.

To enable the maximum number of entries that can be cached in memory at any one time you can use setMaxCacheSize.

To configure the expiry time of cache entries you can use setCacheEntryTimeout.

Configuring the index page

Any requests to the root path / will cause the index page to be served. By default the index page is index.html. This can be configured with setIndexPage.

Changing the web root

By default static resources will be served from the directory webroot. To configure this use setWebRoot.

Serving hidden files

By default the serve will serve hidden files (files starting with .).

If you do not want hidden files to be served you can configure it with setIncludeHidden.

Directory listing

The server can also perform directory listing. By default directory listing is disabled. To enabled it use setDirectoryListing.

When directory listing is enabled the content returned depends on the content type in the accept header.

For text/html directory listing, the template used to render the directory listing page can be configured with setDirectoryTemplate.

Disabling file caching on disk

By default, Vert.x will cache files that are served from the classpath into a file on disk in a sub-directory of a directory called .vertx in the current working directory. This is mainly useful when deploying services as fatjars in production where serving a file from the classpath every time can be slow.

In development this can cause a problem, as if you update your static content while the server is running, the cached file will be served not the updated file.

To disable file caching you can provide the system property vertx.disableFileCaching with the value true. E.g. you could set up a run configuration in your IDE to set this when runnning your main class.

CORS handling

Cross Origin Resource Sharing is a safe mechanism for allowing resources to be requested from one domain and served from another.

Vert.x-Web includes a handler CorsHandler that handles the CORS protocol for you.

Here’s an example:

router.route().handler(CorsHandler.create("vertx\\.io").allowedMethod(HttpMethod.GET));

router.route().handler(routingContext -> {

  // Your app handlers

});

Templates

Vert.x-Web includes dynamic page generation capabilities by including out of the box support for several popular template engines. You can also easily add your own.

Template engines are described by TemplateEngine. In order to render a template render is used.

The simplest way to use templates is not to call the template engine directly but to use the TemplateHandler. This handler calls the template engine for you based on the path in the HTTP request.

By default the template handler will look for templates in a directory called templates. This can be configured.

The handler will return the results of rendering with a content type of text/html by default. This can also be configured.

When you create the template handler you pass in an instance of the template engine you want. Template engines are not embedded in vertx-web so, you need to configure your project to access them. Configuration is provided for each template engine.

Here are some examples:

TemplateEngine engine = HandlebarsTemplateEngine.create();
TemplateHandler handler = TemplateHandler.create(engine);

// This will route all GET requests starting with /dynamic/ to the template handler
// E.g. /dynamic/graph.hbs will look for a template in /templates/dynamic/graph.hbs
router.get("/dynamic/").handler(handler);

// Route all GET requests for resource ending in .hbs to the template handler
router.getWithRegex(".+\\.hbs").handler(handler);

MVEL template engine

To use MVEL, you need to add the following dependency to your project: io.vertx:vertx-web-templ-mvel:3.2.1. Create an instance of the MVEL template engine using: io.vertx.ext.web.templ.MVELTemplateEngine#create()

When using the MVEL template engine, it will by default look for templates with the .templ extension if no extension is specified in the file name.

The routing context RoutingContext is available in the MVEL template as the context variable, this means you can render the template based on anything in the context including the request, response, session or context data.

Here are some examples:

The request path is @{context.request().path()}

The variable 'foo' from the session is @{context.session().get('foo')}

The value 'bar' from the context data is @{context.get('bar')}

Please consult the MVEL templates documentation for how to write MVEL templates.

Jade template engine

To use the Jade template engine, you need to add the following dependency to your project: io.vertx:vertx-web-templ-jade:3.2.1. Create an instance of the Jade template engine using: io.vertx.ext.web.templ.JadeTemplateEngine#create().

When using the Jade template engine, it will by default look for templates with the .jade extension if no extension is specified in the file name.

The routing context RoutingContext is available in the Jade template as the context variable, this means you can render the template based on anything in the context including the request, response, session or context data.

Here are some examples:

!!! 5
html
  head
    title= context.get('foo') + context.request().path()
  body

Please consult the Jade4j documentation for how to write Jade templates.

Handlebars template engine

To use Handlebars, you need to add the following dependency to your project: io.vertx:vertx-web-templ-handlebars:3.2.1. Create an instance of the Handlebars template engine using: io.vertx.ext.web.templ.HandlebarsTemplateEngine#create().

When using the Handlebars template engine, it will by default look for templates with the .hbs extension if no extension is specified in the file name.

Handlebars templates are not able to call arbitrary methods in objects so we can’t just pass the routing context into the template and let the template introspect it like we can with other template engines.

Instead, the context data is available in the template.

If you want to have access to other data like the request path, request params or session data you should add it the context data in a handler before the template handler. For example:

TemplateHandler handler = TemplateHandler.create(engine);

router.get("/dynamic").handler(routingContext -> {

  routingContext.put("request_path", routingContext.request().path());
  routingContext.put("session_data", routingContext.session().data());

  routingContext.next();
});

router.get("/dynamic/").handler(handler);

Please consult the Handlebars Java port documentation for how to write handlebars templates.

Thymeleaf template engine

To use Thymeleaf, you need to add the following dependency to your project: io.vertx:vertx-web-templ-thymeleaf:3.2.1. Create an instance of the Thymeleaf template engine using: io.vertx.ext.web.templ.ThymeleafTemplateEngine#create().

When using the Thymeleaf template engine, it will by default look for templates with the .html extension if no extension is specified in the file name.

The routing context RoutingContext is available in the Thymeleaf template as the context variable, this means you can render the template based on anything in the context including the request, response, session or context data.

Here are some examples:

[snip]
<p th:text="${context.get('foo')}"></p>
<p th:text="${context.get('bar')}"></p>
<p th:text="${context.normalisedPath()}"></p>
<p th:text="${context.request().params().get('param1')}"></p>
<p th:text="${context.request().params().get('param2')}"></p>
[snip]

Please consult the Thymeleaf documentation for how to write Thymeleaf templates.

Error handler

You can render your own errors using a template handler or otherwise but Vert.x-Web also includes an out of the boxy "pretty" error handler that can render error pages for you.

The handler is ErrorHandler. To use the error handler just set it as a failure handler for any paths that you want covered.

Request logger

Vert.x-Web includes a handler LoggerHandler that you can use to log HTTP requests.

By default requests are logged to the Vert.x logger which can be configured to use JUL logging, log4j or SLF4J.

Serving favicons

Vert.x-Web includes the handler FaviconHandler especially for serving favicons.

Favicons can be specified using a path to the filesystem, or by default Vert.x-Web will look for a file on the classpath with the name favicon.ico. This means you bundle the favicon in the jar of your application.

Timeout handler

Vert.x-Web includes a timeout handler that you can use to timeout requests if they take too long to process.

This is configured using an instance of TimeoutHandler.

If a request times out before the response is written a 408 response will be returned to the client.

Here’s an example of using a timeout handler which will timeout all requests to paths starting with /foo after 5 seconds:

router.route("/foo/").handler(TimeoutHandler.create(5000));

Response time handler

This handler sets the header x-response-time response header containing the time from when the request was received to when the response headers were written, in ms., e.g.:

x-response-time: 1456ms

SockJS

SockJS is a client side JavaScript library and protocol which provides a simple WebSocket-like interface allowing you to make connections to SockJS servers irrespective of whether the actual browser or network will allow real WebSockets.

It does this by supporting various different transports between browser and server, and choosing one at run-time according to browser and network capabilities.

All this is transparent to you - you are simply presented with the WebSocket-like interface which just works.

Please see the SockJS website for more information on SockJS.

SockJS handler

Vert.x provides an out of the box handler called SockJSHandler for using SockJS in your Vert.x-Web applications.

You should create one handler per SockJS application using SockJSHandler.create. You can also specify configuration options when creating the instance. The configuration options are described with an instance of SockJSHandlerOptions.

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

SockJSHandlerOptions options = new SockJSHandlerOptions().setHeartbeatInterval(2000);

SockJSHandler sockJSHandler = SockJSHandler.create(vertx, options);

router.route("/myapp/*").handler(sockJSHandler);

Handling SockJS sockets

On the server-side you set a handler on the SockJS handler, and this will be called every time a SockJS connection is made from a client:

The object passed into the handler is a SockJSSocket. This has a familiar socket-like interface which you can read and write to similarly to a NetSocket or a WebSocket. It also implements ReadStream and WriteStream so you can pump it to and from other read and write streams.

Here’s an example of a simple SockJS handler that simply echoes back any back any data that it reads:

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

SockJSHandlerOptions options = new SockJSHandlerOptions().setHeartbeatInterval(2000);

SockJSHandler sockJSHandler = SockJSHandler.create(vertx, options);

sockJSHandler.socketHandler(sockJSSocket -> {

  // Just echo the data back
  sockJSSocket.handler(sockJSSocket::write);
});

router.route("/myapp/*").handler(sockJSHandler);

The client side

In client side JavaScript you use the SockJS client side library to make connections.

You can find that here. The minified version is here.

Full details for using the SockJS JavaScript client are on the SockJS website, but in summary you use it something like this:

var sock = new SockJS('http://mydomain.com/myapp');

sock.onopen = function() {
  console.log('open');
};

sock.onmessage = function(e) {
  console.log('message', e.data);
};

sock.onclose = function() {
  console.log('close');
};

sock.send('test');

sock.close();

Configuring the SockJS handler

The handler can be configured with various options using SockJSHandlerOptions.

insertJSESSIONID

Insert a JSESSIONID cookie so load-balancers ensure requests for a specific SockJS session are always routed to the correct server. Default is true.

sessionTimeout

The server sends a close event when a client receiving connection have not been seen for a while. This delay is configured by this setting. By default the close event will be emitted when a receiving connection wasn’t seen for 5 seconds.

heartbeatInterval

In order to keep proxies and load balancers from closing long running http requests we need to pretend that the connection is active and send a heartbeat packet once in a while. This setting controls how often this is done. By default a heartbeat packet is sent every 25 seconds.

maxBytesStreaming

Most streaming transports save responses on the client side and don’t free memory used by delivered messages. Such transports need to be garbage-collected once in a while. max_bytes_streaming sets a minimum number of bytes that can be send over a single http streaming request before it will be closed. After that client needs to open new request. Setting this value to one effectively disables streaming and will make streaming transports to behave like polling transports. The default value is 128K.

libraryURL

Transports which don’t support cross-domain communication natively ('eventsource' to name one) use an iframe trick. A simple page is served from the SockJS server (using its foreign domain) and is placed in an invisible iframe. Code run from this iframe doesn’t need to worry about cross-domain issues, as it’s being run from domain local to the SockJS server. This iframe also does need to load SockJS javascript client library, and this option lets you specify its url (if you’re unsure, point it to the latest minified SockJS client release, this is the default). The default value is http://cdn.sockjs.org/sockjs-0.3.4.min.js

disabledTransports

This is a list of transports that you want to disable. Possible values are WEBSOCKET, EVENT_SOURCE, HTML_FILE, JSON_P, XHR.

SockJS event bus bridge

Vert.x-Web comes with a built-in SockJS socket handler called the event bus bridge which effectively extends the server-side Vert.x event bus into client side JavaScript.

This creates a distributed event bus which not only spans multiple Vert.x instances on the server side, but includes client side JavaScript running in browsers.

We can therefore create a huge distributed bus encompassing many browsers and servers. The browsers don’t have to be connected to the same server as long as the servers are connected.

This is done by providing a simple client side JavaScript library called vertx-eventbus.js which provides an API very similar to the server-side Vert.x event-bus API, which allows you to send and publish messages to the event bus and register handlers to receive messages.

This JavaScript library uses the JavaScript SockJS client to tunnel the event bus traffic over SockJS connections terminating at at a SockJSHandler on the server-side.

A special SockJS socket handler is then installed on the SockJSHandler which handles the SockJS data and bridges it to and from the server side event bus.

To activate the bridge you simply call bridge on the SockJS handler.

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

SockJSHandler sockJSHandler = SockJSHandler.create(vertx);
BridgeOptions options = new BridgeOptions();
sockJSHandler.bridge(options);

router.route("/eventbus/*").handler(sockJSHandler);

In client side JavaScript you use the 'vertx-eventbus.js` library to create connections to the event bus and to send and receive messages:

<script src="http://cdn.sockjs.org/sockjs-0.3.4.min.js"></script>
<script src='vertx-eventbus.js'></script>

<script>

var eb = new EventBus('http://localhost:8080/eventbus');

eb.onopen = function() {

  // set a handler to receive a message
  eb.registerHandler('some-address', function(error, message) {
    console.log('received a message: ' + JSON.stringify(message));
  });

  // send a message
  eb.send('some-address', {name: 'tim', age: 587});

}

</script>

The first thing the example does is to create a instance of the event bus

var eb = new EventBus('http://localhost:8080/eventbus');

The parameter to the constructor is the URI where to connect to the event bus. Since we create our bridge with the prefix eventbus we will connect there.

You can’t actually do anything with the connection until it is opened. When it is open the onopen handler will be called.

You can retrieve the client library using a dependency manager:

  • Maven (in your pom.xml):

<dependency>
  <groupId>io.vertx</groupId>
  <artifactId>vertx-web</artifactId>
  <version>3.2.1</version>
  <classifier>client</classifier>
</dependency>
  • Gradle (in your build.gradle file):

compile 'io.vertx:vertx-web:3.2.1:client'

The library is also available on NPM and on Bower

Notice that the API has changed between the 3.0.0 and 3.1.0 version. Please check the changelog. The previous client is still compatible and can still be used, but the new client offers more feature and is closer to the vert.x event bus API.

Securing the Bridge

If you started a bridge like in the above example without securing it, and attempted to send messages through it you’d find that the messages mysteriously disappeared. What happened to them?

For most applications you probably don’t want client side JavaScript being able to send just any message to any handlers on the server side or to all other browsers.

For example, you may have a service on the event bus which allows data to be accessed or deleted. We don’t want badly behaved or malicious clients being able to delete all the data in your database!

Also, we don’t necessarily want any client to be able to listen in on any event bus address.

To deal with this, a SockJS bridge will by default refuse to let through any messages. It’s up to you to tell the bridge what messages are ok for it to pass through. (There is an exception for reply messages which are always allowed through).

In other words the bridge acts like a kind of firewall which has a default deny-all policy.

Configuring the bridge to tell it what messages it should pass through is easy.

You can specify which matches you want to allow for inbound and outbound traffic using the BridgeOptions that you pass in when calling bridge.

Each match is a PermittedOptions object:

setAddress

This represents the exact address the message is being sent to. If you want to allow messages based on an exact address you use this field.

setAddressRegex

This is a regular expression that will be matched against the address. If you want to allow messages based on a regular expression you use this field. If the address field is specified this field will be ignored.

setMatch

This allows you to allow messages based on their structure. Any fields in the match must exist in the message with the same values for them to be allowed. This currently only works with JSON messages.

If a message is in-bound (i.e. being sent from client side JavaScript to the server) when it is received Vert.x-Web will look through any inbound permitted matches. If any match, it will be allowed through.

If a message is out-bound (i.e. being sent from the server to client side JavaScript) before it is sent to the client Vert.x-Web will look through any inbound permitted matches. If any match, it will be allowed through.

The actual matching works as follows:

If an address field has been specified then the address must match exactly with the address of the message for it to be considered matched.

If an address field has not been specified and an addressRegex field has been specified then the regular expression in address_re must match with the address of the message for it to be considered matched.

If a match field has been specified, then also the structure of the message must match. Structuring matching works by looking at all the fields and values in the match object and checking they all exist in the actual message body.

Here’s an example:

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

SockJSHandler sockJSHandler = SockJSHandler.create(vertx);


// Let through any messages sent to 'demo.orderMgr' from the client
PermittedOptions inboundPermitted1 = new PermittedOptions().setAddress("demo.orderMgr");

// Allow calls to the address 'demo.persistor' from the client as long as the messages
// have an action field with value 'find' and a collection field with value
// 'albums'
PermittedOptions inboundPermitted2 = new PermittedOptions().setAddress("demo.persistor")
    .setMatch(new JsonObject().put("action", "find")
        .put("collection", "albums"));

// Allow through any message with a field `wibble` with value `foo`.
PermittedOptions inboundPermitted3 = new PermittedOptions().setMatch(new JsonObject().put("wibble", "foo"));

// First let's define what we're going to allow from server -> client

// Let through any messages coming from address 'ticker.mystock'
PermittedOptions outboundPermitted1 = new PermittedOptions().setAddress("ticker.mystock");

// Let through any messages from addresses starting with "news." (e.g. news.europe, news.usa, etc)
PermittedOptions outboundPermitted2 = new PermittedOptions().setAddressRegex("news\\..+");

// Let's define what we're going to allow from client -> server
BridgeOptions options = new BridgeOptions().
    addInboundPermitted(inboundPermitted1).
    addInboundPermitted(inboundPermitted1).
    addInboundPermitted(inboundPermitted3).
    addOutboundPermitted(outboundPermitted1).
    addOutboundPermitted(outboundPermitted2);

sockJSHandler.bridge(options);

router.route("/eventbus/*").handler(sockJSHandler);

Requiring authorisation for messages

The event bus bridge can also be configured to use the Vert.x-Web authorisation functionality to require authorisation for messages, either in-bound or out-bound on the bridge.

To do this, you can add extra fields to the match described in the previous section that determine what authority is required for the match.

To declare that a specific authority for the logged-in user is required in order to access allow the messages you use the setRequiredAuthority field.

Here’s an example:

PermittedOptions inboundPermitted = new PermittedOptions().setAddress("demo.orderService");

// But only if the user is logged in and has the authority "place_orders"
inboundPermitted.setRequiredAuthority("place_orders");

BridgeOptions options = new BridgeOptions().addInboundPermitted(inboundPermitted);

For the user to be authorised they must be first logged in and secondly have the required authority.

To handle the login and actually auth you can configure the normal Vert.x auth handlers. For example:

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

// Let through any messages sent to 'demo.orderService' from the client
PermittedOptions inboundPermitted = new PermittedOptions().setAddress("demo.orderService");

// But only if the user is logged in and has the authority "place_orders"
inboundPermitted.setRequiredAuthority("place_orders");

SockJSHandler sockJSHandler = SockJSHandler.create(vertx);
sockJSHandler.bridge(new BridgeOptions().
        addInboundPermitted(inboundPermitted));

// Now set up some basic auth handling:

router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());
router.route().handler(SessionHandler.create(LocalSessionStore.create(vertx)));

AuthHandler basicAuthHandler = BasicAuthHandler.create(authProvider);

router.route("/eventbus/*").handler(basicAuthHandler);


router.route("/eventbus/*").handler(sockJSHandler);

Handling event bus bridge events

If you want to be notified when an event occurs on the bridge you can provide a handler when calling bridge.

Whenever an event occurs on the bridge it will be passed to the handler. The event is described by an instance of BridgeEvent.

The event can be one of the following types:

SOCKET_CREATED

This event will occur when a new SockJS socket is created.

SOCKET_CLOSED

This event will occur when a SockJS socket is closed.

SEND

This event will occur when a message is attempted to be sent from the client to the server.

PUBLISH

This event will occur when a message is attempted to be published from the client to the server.

RECEIVE

This event will occur when a message is attempted to be delivered from the server to the client. REGISTER. This event will occur when a client attempts to register a handler. UNREGISTER. This event will occur when a client attempts to unregister a handler.

The event enables you to retrieve the type using type and inspect the raw message of the event using getRawMessage.

The raw message is a JSON object with the following structure:

{
  "type": "send"|"publish"|"receive"|"register"|"unregister",
  "address": the event bus address being sent/published/registered/unregistered
  "body": the body of the message
}

The event is also an instance of Future. When you are finished handling the event you can complete the future with true to enable further processing.

If you don’t want the event to be processed you can complete the future with false. This is a useful feature that enables you to do your own filtering on messages passing through the bridge, or perhaps apply some fine grained authorisation or metrics.

Here’s an example where we reject all messages flowing through the bridge if they contain the word "Armadillos".

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

// Let through any messages sent to 'demo.orderMgr' from the client
PermittedOptions inboundPermitted = new PermittedOptions().setAddress("demo.someService");

SockJSHandler sockJSHandler = SockJSHandler.create(vertx);
BridgeOptions options = new BridgeOptions().addInboundPermitted(inboundPermitted);

sockJSHandler.bridge(options, be -> {
  if (be.type() == BridgeEventType.PUBLISH || be.type() == BridgeEventType.RECEIVE) {
    if (be.getRawMessage().getString("body").equals("armadillos")) {
      // Reject it
      be.complete(false);
      return;
    }
  }
  be.complete(true);
});

router.route("/eventbus").handler(sockJSHandler);

You can also amend the raw message, e.g. change the body. For messages that are flowing in from the client you can also add headers to the message, here’s an example:

Router router = Router.router(vertx);

// Let through any messages sent to 'demo.orderService' from the client
PermittedOptions inboundPermitted = new PermittedOptions().setAddress("demo.orderService");

SockJSHandler sockJSHandler = SockJSHandler.create(vertx);
BridgeOptions options = new BridgeOptions().addInboundPermitted(inboundPermitted);

sockJSHandler.bridge(options, be -> {
  if (be.type() == BridgeEventType.PUBLISH || be.type() == BridgeEventType.SEND) {
    // Add some headers
    JsonObject headers = new JsonObject().put("header1", "val").put("header2", "val2");
    JsonObject rawMessage = be.getRawMessage();
    rawMessage.put("headers", headers);
    be.setRawMessage(rawMessage);
  }
  be.complete(true);
});

router.route("/eventbus").handler(sockJSHandler);

CSRF Cross Site Request Forgery

CSRF or sometimes also known as XSRF is a technique by which an unauthorized site can gain your user’s private data. Vert.x-Web includes a handler CSRFHandler that you can use to prevent cross site request forgery requests.

On each get request under this handler a cookie is added to the response with a unique token. Clients are then expected to return this token back in a header. Since cookies are sent it is required that the cookie handler is also present on the router.

When developing non single page applications that rely on the User-Agent to perform the POST action, Headers cannot be specified on HTML Forms. In order to solve this problem the header value will also be checked if and only if no header was present in the Form attributes under the same name as the header, e.g.:

---
<form action="/submit" method="POST">
<input type="hidden" name="X-XSRF-TOKEN" value="abracadabra">
</form>
---

It is the responsibility of the user to fill in the right value for the form field. Users who prefer to use an HTML only solution can fill this value by fetching the the token value from the routing context under the key X-XSRF-TOKEN or the header name they have chosen during the instantiation of the CSRFHandler object.

router.route().handler(CookieHandler.create());
router.route().handler(CSRFHandler.create("abracadabra"));
router.route().handler(rc -> {

});

VirtualHost Handler

The Virtual Host Handler will verify the request hostname and if it matches it will send the request to the registered handler, otherwise will continue inside the normal handlers chain.

Request are checked against the Host header to a match and patterns allow the usage of wildcards, as for example .vertx.io or fully domain names as www.vertx.io.

router.route().handler(VirtualHostHandler.create("*.vertx.io", routingContext -> {
  // do something if the request is for *.vertx.io
}));

OAuth2AuthHandler Handler

The OAuth2AuthHandler allows quick setup of secure routes using the OAuth2 protocol. This handler simplifies the authCode flow. An example of using it to protect some resouce and authenticate with GitHub can be implemented as:

OAuth2Auth authProvider = OAuth2Auth.create(vertx, OAuth2FlowType.AUTH_CODE, new JsonObject()
    .put("clientID", "CLIENT_ID")
    .put("clientSecret", "CLIENT_SECRET")
    .put("site", "https://github.com/login")
    .put("tokenPath", "/oauth/access_token")
    .put("authorizationPath", "/oauth/authorize"));

// create a oauth2 handler on our domain: "http://localhost:8080"
OAuth2AuthHandler oauth2 = OAuth2AuthHandler.create(authProvider, "http://localhost:8080");

// setup the callback handler for receiving the GitHub callback
oauth2.setupCallback(router.get("/callback"));

// protect everything under /protected
router.route("/protected/*").handler(oauth2);
// mount some handler under the protected zone
router.route("/protected/somepage").handler(rc -> {
  rc.response().end("Welcome to the protected resource!");
});

// welcome page
router.get("/").handler(ctx -> {
  ctx.response().putHeader("content-type", "text/html").end("Hello<br><a href=\"/protected/somepage\">Protected by Github</a>");
});

Due to the nature of OAuth2 spec there are slight changes required in order to use other OAuth2 providers, for example, if you are planning to use Google Auth you implement it as:

OAuth2Auth authProvider = OAuth2Auth.create(vertx, OAuth2FlowType.AUTH_CODE, new JsonObject()
    .put("clientID", "CLIENT_ID")
    .put("clientSecret", "CLIENT_SECRET")
    .put("site", "https://accounts.google.com")
    .put("tokenPath", "https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v3/token")
    .put("authorizationPath", "/o/oauth2/auth"));

// create a oauth2 handler on our domain: "http://localhost:8080"
OAuth2AuthHandler oauth2 = OAuth2AuthHandler.create(authProvider, "http://localhost:8080");

// these are the scopes
oauth2.addAuthority("profile");

// setup the callback handler for receiving the Google callback
oauth2.setupCallback(router.get("/callback"));

// protect everything under /protected
router.route("/protected/*").handler(oauth2);
// mount some handler under the protected zone
router.route("/protected/somepage").handler(rc -> {
  rc.response().end("Welcome to the protected resource!");
});

// welcome page
router.get("/").handler(ctx -> {
  ctx.response().putHeader("content-type", "text/html").end("Hello<br><a href=\"/protected/somepage\">Protected by Google</a>");
});

The changes are only on the configuration, note that the token uri must now be a full URL since it is generated from a different server than the authorization one.

Important to note that for google OAuth you must register all your callback URLs in the developer console, so for the current example you would need to register http://localhost:8080/callback?redirect_uri=/protected/somepage.

If you’re looking to integrate with LinkedIn then your config should be:

OAuth2Auth authProvider = OAuth2Auth.create(vertx, OAuth2FlowType.AUTH_CODE, new JsonObject()
    .put("clientID", "CLIENT_ID")
    .put("clientSecret", "CLIENT_SECRET")
    .put("site", "https://www.linkedin.com")
    .put("authorizationPath", "/uas/oauth2/authorization")
    .put("tokenPath", "/uas/oauth2/accessToken"));

// create a oauth2 handler on our domain: "http://localhost:8080"
OAuth2AuthHandler oauth2 = OAuth2AuthHandler.create(authProvider, "http://localhost:8080");

// these are the scopes
oauth2.addAuthority("r_basicprofile");

// setup the callback handler for receiving the LinkedIn callback
oauth2.setupCallback(router.get("/callback"));

// protect everything under /protected
router.route("/protected/*").handler(oauth2);
// mount some handler under the protected zone
router.route("/protected/somepage").handler(rc -> {
  rc.response().end("Welcome to the protected resource!");
});

// welcome page
router.get("/").handler(ctx -> {
  ctx.response().putHeader("content-type", "text/html").end("Hello<br><a href=\"/protected/somepage\">Protected by LinkedIn</a>");
});

As it can be seen from the examples all you need to know is 2 urls, the authorization path and the token path. You will find all these configurations on your provider documentation we have also listed on the auth project examples for:

  • google

  • twitter

  • github

  • linkedin

  • facebook

  • keycloak