This guide walks you through the process of applying circuit breakers to potentially-failing method calls using Spring Cloud Circuit Breaker.

What you’ll build

You’ll build a microservice application that uses the Circuit Breaker pattern to gracefully degrade functionality when a method call fails. Use of the Circuit Breaker pattern can allow a microservice to continue operating when a related service fails, preventing the failure from cascading and giving the failing service time to recover.

What you’ll need

How to complete this guide

Like most Spring Getting Started guides, you can start from scratch and complete each step or you can bypass basic setup steps that are already familiar to you. Either way, you end up with working code.

To start from scratch, move on to Build with Gradle.

To skip the basics, do the following:

When you finish, you can check your results against the code in gs-cloud-circuit-breaker/complete.

Build with Gradle

Build with Gradle

First you set up a basic build script. You can use any build system you like when building apps with Spring, but the code you need to work with Gradle and Maven is included here. If you’re not familiar with either, refer to Building Java Projects with Gradle or Building Java Projects with Maven.

Create the directory structure

In a project directory of your choosing, create the following subdirectory structure; for example, with mkdir -p src/main/java/hello on *nix systems:

└── src
    └── main
        └── java
            └── hello

Create a Gradle build file

bookstore/build.gradle

buildscript {
	ext {
		springBootVersion = '2.3.2.RELEASE'
	}
	repositories {
		mavenCentral()
		maven { url 'https://repo.spring.io/milestone' }
		maven { url 'https://repo.spring.io/snapshot' }
	}
	dependencies {
		classpath("org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-gradle-plugin:${springBootVersion}")
	}
}

apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'eclipse'
apply plugin: 'idea'
apply plugin: 'org.springframework.boot'
apply plugin: 'io.spring.dependency-management'

bootJar {
	baseName = 'bookstore'
	version = '0.0.1-SNAPSHOT'
}
sourceCompatibility = 1.8
targetCompatibility = 1.8

repositories {
	mavenCentral()
}


dependencies {
	compile('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-webflux')
	testCompile('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test')
}


eclipse {
	classpath {
		 containers.remove('org.eclipse.jdt.launching.JRE_CONTAINER')
		 containers 'org.eclipse.jdt.launching.JRE_CONTAINER/org.eclipse.jdt.internal.debug.ui.launcher.StandardVMType/JavaSE-1.8'
	}
}

reading/build.gradle

buildscript {
	ext {
		springBootVersion = '2.3.2.RELEASE'
	}
	repositories {
		mavenCentral()
		maven { url 'https://repo.spring.io/milestone' }
		maven { url 'https://repo.spring.io/snapshot' }
	}
	dependencies {
		classpath("org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-gradle-plugin:${springBootVersion}")
	}
}

apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'eclipse'
apply plugin: 'idea'
apply plugin: 'org.springframework.boot'
apply plugin: 'io.spring.dependency-management'

bootJar {
	baseName = 'reading'
	version = '0.0.1-SNAPSHOT'
}
sourceCompatibility = 1.8
targetCompatibility = 1.8

repositories {
	mavenCentral()
}


dependencies {
	compile('spring-cloud-starter-circuitbreaker-reactor-resilience4j')
	compile('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-webflux')
	testCompile('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test')
}

dependencyManagement {
	imports {
		mavenBom "org.springframework.cloud:spring-cloud-dependencies:Hoxton.SR1"
	}
}

eclipse {
	classpath {
		 containers.remove('org.eclipse.jdt.launching.JRE_CONTAINER')
		 containers 'org.eclipse.jdt.launching.JRE_CONTAINER/org.eclipse.jdt.internal.debug.ui.launcher.StandardVMType/JavaSE-1.8'
	}
}

The Spring Boot gradle plugin provides many convenient features:

  • It collects all the jars on the classpath and builds a single, runnable "über-jar", which makes it more convenient to execute and transport your service.

  • It searches for the public static void main() method to flag as a runnable class.

  • It provides a built-in dependency resolver that sets the version number to match Spring Boot dependencies. You can override any version you wish, but it will default to Boot’s chosen set of versions.

Build with Maven

Build with Maven

First you set up a basic build script. You can use any build system you like when building apps with Spring, but the code you need to work with Maven is included here. If you’re not familiar with Maven, refer to Building Java Projects with Maven.

Create the directory structure

In a project directory of your choosing, create the following subdirectory structure; for example, with mkdir -p src/main/java/hello on *nix systems:

└── src
    └── main
        └── java
            └── hello

bookstore/pom.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>

	<groupId>hello</groupId>
	<artifactId>bookstore</artifactId>
	<version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<packaging>jar</packaging>

	<parent>
		<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
		<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
		<version>2.3.2.RELEASE</version>
		<relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->
	</parent>

	<properties>
		<project.build.sourceEncoding>UTF-8</project.build.sourceEncoding>
		<java.version>1.8</java.version>
	</properties>

	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-webflux</artifactId>
		</dependency>

		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId>
			<scope>test</scope>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>

	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-boot-maven-plugin</artifactId>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>

	<repositories>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-snapshots</id>
			<name>Spring Snapshots</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/libs-snapshot-local</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>true</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-milestones</id>
			<name>Spring Milestones</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/libs-milestone-local</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>false</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-releases</id>
			<name>Spring Releases</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/release</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>false</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
	</repositories>

</project>

reading/pom.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>

	<groupId>hello</groupId>
	<artifactId>reading</artifactId>
	<version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<packaging>jar</packaging>

	<parent>
		<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
		<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
		<version>2.3.2.RELEASE</version>
		<relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->
	</parent>

	<properties>
		<project.build.sourceEncoding>UTF-8</project.build.sourceEncoding>
		<java.version>1.8</java.version>
	</properties>

	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.cloud</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-cloud-starter-circuitbreaker-reactor-resilience4j</artifactId>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-webflux</artifactId>
		</dependency>

		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId>
			<scope>test</scope>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>

	<dependencyManagement>
		<dependencies>
			<dependency>
				<groupId>org.springframework.cloud</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-cloud-dependencies</artifactId>
				<version>Hoxton.SR1</version>
				<type>pom</type>
				<scope>import</scope>
			</dependency>
		</dependencies>
	</dependencyManagement>

	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-boot-maven-plugin</artifactId>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>

	<repositories>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-snapshots</id>
			<name>Spring Snapshots</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/libs-snapshot-local</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>true</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-milestones</id>
			<name>Spring Milestones</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/libs-milestone-local</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>false</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-releases</id>
			<name>Spring Releases</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/release</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>false</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
	</repositories>

</project>

The Spring Boot Maven plugin provides many convenient features:

  • It collects all the jars on the classpath and builds a single, runnable "über-jar", which makes it more convenient to execute and transport your service.

  • It searches for the public static void main() method to flag as a runnable class.

  • It provides a built-in dependency resolver that sets the version number to match Spring Boot dependencies. You can override any version you wish, but it will default to Boot’s chosen set of versions.

Build with your IDE

Build with your IDE

Set up a server microservice application

The Bookstore service will have a single endpoint. It will be accessible at /recommended, and will (for simplicity) return a Mono of String recommended reading list.

Edit our main class, in BookstoreApplication.java. It should look like this:

bookstore/src/main/java/hello/BookstoreApplication.java

package hello;

import reactor.core.publisher.Mono;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;

@RestController
@SpringBootApplication
public class BookstoreApplication {

  @RequestMapping(value = "/recommended")
  public Mono<String> readingList(){
    return Mono.just("Spring in Action (Manning), Cloud Native Java (O'Reilly), Learning Spring Boot (Packt)");
  }

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    SpringApplication.run(BookstoreApplication.class, args);
  }
}

The @RestController annotation marks BookstoreApplication as a controller class, like @Controller does, and also ensures that @RequestMapping methods in this class will behave as though annotated with @ResponseBody. That is, the return values of @RequestMapping methods in this class will be automatically converted appropriately from their original types and will be written directly to the response body.

We’re going to run this application locally alongside a client service application, so in src/main/resources/application.properties, set server.port so that the Bookstore service won’t conflict with the client when we get that running.

bookstore/src/main/resources/application.properties

server.port=8090

Set up a client microservice application

The Reading application will be our front-end (as it were) to the Bookstore application. We’ll be able to view our reading list there at /to-read, and that reading list will be retrieved from the Bookstore service application.

reading/src/main/java/hello/ReadingApplication.java

package hello;

import reactor.core.publisher.Mono;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.reactive.function.client.WebClient;

@RestController
@SpringBootApplication
public class ReadingApplication {

  @RequestMapping("/to-read")
    public Mono<String> toRead() {
      return WebClient.builder().build()
      .get().uri("http://localhost:8090/recommended").retrieve()
      .bodyToMono(String.class);
  }

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    SpringApplication.run(ReadingApplication.class, args);
  }
}

To get the list from Bookstore, we’re using Spring’s WebClient class. WebClient makes an HTTP GET request to the Bookstore service’s URL as we provide it and then returns the result as a Mono of String. (For more information on using Spring to consume a RESTful service using WebClient, see the Building a Reactive RESTful Web Service guide.)

Add the server.port property to src/main/resources/application.properties:

reading/src/main/resources/application.properties

server.port=8080

We now can access, in a browser, the /to-read endpoint on our Reading application, and see our reading list. Yet since we rely on the Bookstore application, if anything happens to it, or if Reading is simply unable to access Bookstore, we’ll have no list and our users will get a nasty HTTP 500 error message.

Apply The Circuit Breaker Pattern

Spring Cloud’s Circuit Breaker library provides an implementation of the Circuit Breaker pattern: when we wrap a method call in a circuit breaker, Spring Cloud Circuit Breaker watches for failing calls to that method, and if failures build up to a threshold, Spring Cloud Circuit Breaker opens the circuit so that subsequent calls automatically fail. While the circuit is open, Spring Cloud Circuit Breaker redirects calls to the method, and they’re passed on to our specified fallback method.

Spring Cloud Circuit Breaker supports many different circuit breaker implementations including, Resilience4J, Hystrix, Sentinal, and Spring Retry. In this guide we will use the Resilience4J implementation. To use this implementation we just need to add spring-cloud-starter-circuitbreaker-reactor-resilience4j to our application’s classpath.

reading/pom.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>

	<groupId>hello</groupId>
	<artifactId>reading</artifactId>
	<version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<packaging>jar</packaging>

	<parent>
		<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
		<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
		<version>2.3.2.RELEASE</version>
		<relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->
	</parent>

	<properties>
		<project.build.sourceEncoding>UTF-8</project.build.sourceEncoding>
		<java.version>1.8</java.version>
	</properties>

	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.cloud</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-cloud-starter-circuitbreaker-reactor-resilience4j</artifactId>
		</dependency>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-webflux</artifactId>
		</dependency>

		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId>
			<scope>test</scope>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>

	<dependencyManagement>
		<dependencies>
			<dependency>
				<groupId>org.springframework.cloud</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-cloud-dependencies</artifactId>
				<version>Hoxton.SR1</version>
				<type>pom</type>
				<scope>import</scope>
			</dependency>
		</dependencies>
	</dependencyManagement>

	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-boot-maven-plugin</artifactId>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>

	<repositories>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-snapshots</id>
			<name>Spring Snapshots</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/libs-snapshot-local</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>true</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-milestones</id>
			<name>Spring Milestones</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/libs-milestone-local</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>false</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
		<repository>
			<id>spring-releases</id>
			<name>Spring Releases</name>
			<url>https://repo.spring.io/release</url>
			<snapshots>
				<enabled>false</enabled>
			</snapshots>
		</repository>
	</repositories>

</project>

reading/build.gradle

buildscript {
	ext {
		springBootVersion = '2.3.2.RELEASE'
	}
	repositories {
		mavenCentral()
		maven { url 'https://repo.spring.io/milestone' }
		maven { url 'https://repo.spring.io/snapshot' }
	}
	dependencies {
		classpath("org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-gradle-plugin:${springBootVersion}")
	}
}

apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'eclipse'
apply plugin: 'idea'
apply plugin: 'org.springframework.boot'
apply plugin: 'io.spring.dependency-management'

bootJar {
	baseName = 'reading'
	version = '0.0.1-SNAPSHOT'
}
sourceCompatibility = 1.8
targetCompatibility = 1.8

repositories {
	mavenCentral()
}


dependencies {
	compile('org.springframework.cloud:spring-cloud-starter-circuitbreaker-reactor-resilience4j')
	compile('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-webflux')
	testCompile('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test')
}

dependencyManagement {
	imports {
		mavenBom "org.springframework.cloud:spring-cloud-dependencies:Hoxton.SR1"
	}
}

eclipse {
	classpath {
		 containers.remove('org.eclipse.jdt.launching.JRE_CONTAINER')
		 containers 'org.eclipse.jdt.launching.JRE_CONTAINER/org.eclipse.jdt.internal.debug.ui.launcher.StandardVMType/JavaSE-1.8'
	}
}

Spring Cloud Circuit Breaker provides an interface called ReactiveCircuitBreakerFactory which we can use to create new circuit breakers for our application. An implementation of this interface will be auto-configured based on the starter that is on your application’s classpath. Lets create a new service that uses this interface to make API calls to the Bookstore application

reading/src/main/java/hello/BookService.java

package hello;

import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import reactor.core.publisher.Mono;

import org.springframework.cloud.client.circuitbreaker.ReactiveCircuitBreaker;
import org.springframework.cloud.client.circuitbreaker.ReactiveCircuitBreakerFactory;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Service;
import org.springframework.web.reactive.function.client.WebClient;

@Service
public class BookService {

  private static final Logger LOG = LoggerFactory.getLogger(BookService.class);


  private final WebClient webClient;
  private final ReactiveCircuitBreaker readingListCircuitBreaker;

  public BookService(ReactiveCircuitBreakerFactory circuitBreakerFactory) {
    this.webClient = WebClient.builder().baseUrl("http://localhost:8090").build();
    this.readingListCircuitBreaker = circuitBreakerFactory.create("recommended");
  }

  public Mono<String> readingList() {
    return readingListCircuitBreaker.run(webClient.get().uri("/recommended").retrieve().bodyToMono(String.class), throwable -> {
      LOG.warn("Error making request to book service", throwable);
      return Mono.just("Cloud Native Java (O'Reilly)");
    });
  }
}

The ReactiveCircuitBreakerFactory has a single method called create we can use to create new circuit breakers. Once we have our circuit breaker all we have to do is call run. Run takes a Mono or Flux and an optional Function. The optional Function parameter acts as our fallback if anything goes wrong. In our sample here the fallback will just return a Mono containing the String Cloud Native Java (O’Reilly).

With our new service in place, we can update the code in ReadingApplication to use this new service.

reading/src/main/java/hello/ReadingApplication.java

package hello;

import reactor.core.publisher.Mono;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.web.reactive.function.client.WebClient;

@RestController
@SpringBootApplication
public class ReadingApplication {

  @Autowired
  private BookService bookService;

  @RequestMapping("/to-read")
  public Mono<String> toRead() {
    return bookService.readingList();
  }

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    SpringApplication.run(ReadingApplication.class, args);
  }
}

Try it out

Run both the Bookstore service and the Reading service, and then open a browser to the Reading service, at localhost:8080/to-read. You should see the complete recommended reading list:

Spring in Action (Manning), Cloud Native Java (O'Reilly), Learning Spring Boot (Packt)

Now shut down the Bookstore application. Our list source is gone, but thanks to Hystrix and Spring Cloud Netflix, we have a reliable abbreviated list to stand in the gap; you should see:

Cloud Native Java (O'Reilly)

Summary

Congratulations! You’ve just developed a Spring application that uses the Circuit Breaker pattern to protect against cascading failures and to provide fallback behavior for potentially failing calls.

Want to write a new guide or contribute to an existing one? Check out our contribution guidelines.

All guides are released with an ASLv2 license for the code, and an Attribution, NoDerivatives creative commons license for the writing.