Defining Thrift Controllers

A Thrift Controller is an implementation of your thrift service. To create the Controller, extend the c.t.finatra.thrift.Controller with the generated thrift service as its argument. Scrooge generates a GeneratedThriftService which is a class containing information about the various ThriftMethods and types that this service defines. Each ThriftMethod defines an Args type and SuccessType type. When creating a Controller, you must provide exactly one implementation for each method defined in your Thrift service using the handle(ThriftMethod) DSL.

Implementing methods with handle(ThriftMethod)

The Finatra c.t.finatra.thrift.Controller provides a DSL with which you can implement your thrift service methods via the handle(ThriftMethod) function. Using this DSL, you can apply TypeAgnostic Filters to handling of methods as well as provide an implementation in the form of a function from ThriftMethod.Args => Future[ThriftMethod.SuccessType], Request[ThriftMethod.Args] => Future[Response[ThriftMethod.SuccessType]] or Service[Request[ThriftMethod.Args], Response[ThriftMethod.Args]].

For example, given the following thrift IDL: example_service.thrift

namespace java com.twitter.example.thriftjava
#@namespace scala com.twitter.example.thriftscala
namespace rb ExampleService

include "finatra-thrift/finatra_thrift_exceptions.thrift"

service ExampleService {
  i32 add1(
    1: i32 num
  ) throws (
    1: finatra_thrift_exceptions.ServerError serverError,
    2: finatra_thrift_exceptions.UnknownClientIdError unknownClientIdError
    3: finatra_thrift_exceptions.NoClientIdError kClientError

We can implement the following Thrift Controller:

import com.twitter.example.thriftscala.ExampleService
import com.twitter.finatra.thrift.Controller
import com.twitter.util.Future

class ExampleThriftController
  extends Controller(ExampleService) {

  val addFilter: Filter.TypeAgnostic = { ... }

  handle(Add1).filtered(addFilter) { args: Add1.Args =>
    Future(args.num + 1)

The handle(ThriftMethod) function may seem magical but it serves an important purpose. By implementing your service method via this function, it allows the framework to apply the configured global filter chain defined in your server definition to your method implementation (passed as the callback to handle(ThriftMethod)).

That is to say, the handle(ThriftMethod) function captures filters that you apply to that particular method plus your method implementation and then exposes it for the ThriftRouter to combine with the configured global filter chain to build the Finagle Service that represents your server.

See the Filters section for more information on adding filters to your server definition.

When creating a Controller to handle a ThriftSerice, all methods defined in the thrift service must have one and only one implementation - that is, there should be exactly one call to handle(ThriftMethod) for each thrift method defined. Anything else will result in the Finatra service failing at runtime.

Scrooge Request and Response Wrappers

By providing an implementation that is aware of the Scrooge-generated Request and Response wrappers, header data is available. Using the earlier ExampleThrift, we can construct a Controller that examines header information like this:

import com.twitter.example.thriftscala.ExampleService
import com.twitter.finatra.thrift.Controller
import com.twitter.util.Future
import com.twitter.scrooge.{Request, Response}

class ExampleThriftController extends Controller(ExampleService) {

  handle(Add1).withFn { request: Request[Add1.Args] =>
    val num = request.args.num
    val headers = request.headers

    log(s"Add1 called with $num and headers: $headers")
    Future(Response(num + 1))

Add the Controller to the Server

As previously shown, the server can then be defined with this Thrift Controller:

class ExampleServer extends ThriftServer {
  override def configureThrift(router: ThriftRouter): Unit = {

Please note that Finatra only currently supports adding a single Thrift Controller to the ThriftRouter. The expectation is that you are implementing a single Thrift service and thus a single ThriftService.

But I don’t want to write all of my code inside of one Controller class

Don’t worry. You don’t have to.

The only requirement is a single class which implements the service’s defined thrift methods. Nothing specifies that this class needs to contain all of your service implementation or logic.

If you want to modularize or componentize to have a better separation of concerns in your code, your Controller implementation can be easily written to inject other services or handlers such that complicated logic can be handled in other classes as is generally good practice. E.g.,

class ExampleThriftController @Inject() (
  add1Service: Add1Service,
  add2Service: Add2Service,
) extends Controller(ExampleService) {

  // add1Service must be of a unique type for injection but also extends:
  // Service[Request[Add1.Args], Response[Add1.SuccessType]]
  // which is what the withService method is looking for.


In the above example the Controller implementation forwards handling of the various methods to the injected services directly.

How you structure and call other classes from the Controller implementation is completely up to you to implement in whatever way makes sense for your service or team.

Deprecated/Legacy Controller Information

Prior to constructing a Controller by extending Controller(GeneratedThriftSerivce), a Controller was constructed by creating a class that extended Controller with GeneratedThriftSerivce.BaseServiceIface. Constructing a Controller this way is still possible but deprecated.

Since a legacy-style Controller extends the BaseServiceIface directly, it must provide implementations for each of the thrift methods, but it also must still use the handle(ThriftMethod) method to make Finatra aware of which methods are being served for reporting and filtering reasons. If this is not done, none of the configured global filters will be applied (including things like per-method stats).

It is important that when constructing the overrides for the BaseServiceIface, they must be implemented as a val instead of a def. If they’re defs, the service/filters will be re-created for each incoming request, incurring very serious overhead.

Legacy style Controllers cannot use per-method filtering or have access to headers via Scrooge’s Request and Response types.

A properly configured legacy-style Controller looks like this:

import com.twitter.example.thriftscala.ExampleService
import com.twitter.finatra.thrift.Controller
import com.twitter.util.Future

class ExampleThriftController
  extends Controller with ExampleService.BaseServiceIface {

  // Note that this is a val instead of a def
  override val add1 = handle(Add1) { args: Add1.Args =>
    Future(args.num + 1)

More information

For more information, see the Finagle Integration section of the Scrooge documentation.