Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Starting an ActiveMQ Project with Maven and Eclipse

I'm currently researching and prototyping a new subproject under the RHQ umbrella that will be a subsystem that can perform the emission and storage of audit messages (we're tentatively calling it "rhq-audit").

I decided to start the prototype with ActiveMQ. But one problem I had was I could not find a "starter" project that used ActiveMQ. I was looking for something with basic, skeleton Maven poms and Eclipse project files and some stub code that I could take and begin fleshing out to build a prototype. So I decided to publish my basic prototype to fill that void. If you are looking to start an ActiveMQ project, or just want to play with ActiveMQ and want a simple project to experiment with, then this might be a good starting point for you. This is specifically using ActiveMQ 5.10.

The code is in Github located at https://github.com/jmazzitelli/activemq-start

Once you clone it, you can run "mvn install" to compile everything and run the unit tests. Each maven module has an associated Eclipse project and can be directly imported into Eclipse as-is. If you have the Eclipse M2E plugin, these can be imported using that Eclipse Maven integration.

Here's a quick overview of the Maven modules and a quick description of some of the major parts of the code:

  • /pom.xml
    • This is the root Maven module's pom. The name of this parent module is rhq-audit-parent and is the container for all child modules. This root pom.xml file contains the dependency information for the project (e.g. dependency versions and the repositories where they can be found) and identifies the child modules that are built for the entire project.
  • rhq-audit-common
    • This Maven module contains some core code that is to be shared across all other modules in the project. The main purpose of this module is to provide code that is shared between consumer and producer (specifically, the message types that will flow from sender to receiver).
      • AuditRecord.java is the main message type the prototype project plans to have its producers emit and its consumers listen for. It provides JSON encoding and decoding so it can be sent and received as JSON strings.
      • AuditRecordProcessor.java is an abstract superclass that will wrap producers and consumers. This provides basic functionality such as connecting to an ActiveMQ broker and creating JMS sessions and destinations.
  • rhq-audit-broker
    • This provides the ability to start an ActiveMQ broker. It has a main() method to allow you to run it on the command line, as well as the ability to instantiate it in your own Java code or unit tests.
      • EmbeddedBroker.java is the class that provides the functionality to embed an ActiveMQ broker in your JVM. It can be configured using either an ActiveMQ .properties configuration file or an ActiveMQ .xml configuration file.
  • rhq-audit-test-common
    • The thinking with this module is that there is probably going to be common test code that is going to be needed between producer and consumer. This module is to support this. The intent is for other Maven modules in this project to list this module as a dependency with a scope of "test". For example, some common code will be needed to start a broker in unit tests - including this module as a test dependency will give unit tests that common code.
  • rhq-audit-producer
    • This provides the producer-side functionality of the project. The intent here is to flesh out the API further. This will become rhq-audit's producer API.
      • AuditRecordProducer.java provides a simple API that allows a caller to connect the producer to the broker and send messages. The caller need not worry about working with the JMS API as that is taken care of under the covers.
  • rhq-audit-consumer
    • This provides the consumer-side functionality of the project. The intent here is to flesh out the client-side API further. This will become the rhq-audit's consumer API.
      • AuditRecordConsumer.java provides a simple API that allows a caller to connect the consumer to the broker and attach listeners so they can process incoming messages.
      • AuditRecordListener.java provides the abstract listener class that is to be extended in order to process received audit records. The idea here is that subclasses can process audit records in different ways - perhaps one can store the audit records in a backend data store, and another can log the audit messages in rsyslog.
      • AuditRecordConsumerTest.java provides a simple end-to-end unit test that uses the embedded broker to pass messages between a producer and consumer.
Taking a look at AuditRecordConsumerTest shows how this initial prototype can be tested and shows how audit records can be sent and received through an ActiveMQ broker:

1. Create and start the embedded broker:
VMEmbeddedBrokerWrapper broker = new VMEmbeddedBrokerWrapper();
String brokerURL = broker.getBrokerURL();
3. Connect the producer and consumer to the test broker:
producer = new AuditRecordProducer(brokerURL);
consumer = new AuditRecordConsumer(brokerURL);
2. Prepare to listen for audit record messages:
consumer.listen(Subsystem.MISCELLANEOUS, listener);
3. Produce audit record messages:
At this point, the messages are flowing and the test code will ensure that all the messages were received successfully and had the data expected.

A lot of the code in this prototype is generic enough to provide functionality for most messaging projects; but of course there are rhq-audit specific types such as AuditRecord involved. The idea is to now flesh out this generic prototype to further provide the requirements of the rhq-audit project. More on that will be discussed in the future. But for now, perhaps this could help others come up to speed quickly with an AcitveMQ project without having to start from scratch.