Tutorial - Fundamentals

What you’ll learn

  1. How to create a basic Granitic application
  2. Some of Granitic’s fundamental principles
  3. How to create a simple web service


  1. Follow the Granitic installation instructions
  2. Read the before you start tutorial
  3. Have access to a text editor or IDE for writing Go and JSON files and a terminal emulator or command prompt (referred to as a terminal from now on)

Note for Windows users

Refer to the Windows notes in the before you start tutorial


This tutorial will show you how to create a simple Granitic application that exposes a JSON web service over HTTP. It’s a little more in-depth than the usual ‘look how much you can achieve in two lines with this powerful framework’ tutorial, as it’s a good opportunity to introduce some of Granitic’s fundamentals.

Creating a Grantic project

A Granitic project is made up of three sets of assets:

  1. Go source files
  2. JSON application configuration files
  3. JSON component definition files

Each of these types of asset will be explained over the course of this tutorial. Granitic includes a command line tool to create a skeleton project that can be compiled and started.

Run the following in a terminal:

mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/grnc-tutorial
cd $GOPATH/src/grnc-tutorial
grnc-project recordstore grnc-tutorial/recordstore

This will create the following files under $GOPATH/src/grnc-tutorial:


The first argument to grnc-project is a name for your project, in this case recordstore The second is the location of your project relative to $GOHOME/src - specifying this allows the tool to generate source files that are ready to use with go build and go install.

Starting and stopping your application

This minimal configuration is actually a working Granitic application that can be started and stopped - it just doesn’t do anything interesting.

Start the application by returning to your terminal and running

cd recordstore
go build

You should see output similar to:

04/Jan/2017:14:41:20 Z INFO  [grncInit] Starting components
04/Jan/2017:14:41:20 Z INFO  [grncInit] Ready (startup time 3.866393ms)

This means your application has started and is waiting. You can stop it with CTRL+C and will see output similar to

04/Jan/2017:14:43:11 Z INFO  [grncInit] Shutting down (system signal)


A facility is Granitic’s name for a high-level feature that your application can enable or disable. By default, most of the features are disabled. You can see which features are available to your applications and whether or not they’re enabled by inspecting the file $GRANITIC_HOME/resource/facility-config/facilities.json:

  "Facilities": {
    "HttpServer": false,
    "JsonWs": false,
    "XmlWs": false,
    "FrameworkLogging": true,
    "ApplicationLogging": true,
    "QueryManager": false,
    "RdbmsAccess": false,
    "ServiceErrorManager": false,
    "RuntimeCtl": false,
    "TaskScheduler": false

In order to build a JSON web service, you will need to enable two facilities: HttpServer and JsonWs (JSON Web Services).

We do this by overriding the default setting for each facility. To do this, open the JSON /grnc-tutorial/resource/config/config.json that was generated for you and change it so it looks like:

  "Facilities": {
    "HttpServer": true,
    "JsonWs": true

(from now on this file will be referred to as your application’s config file)

If you return to your terminal and run:

go build

You’ll see an additional line of logging on startup similar to:

04/Jan/2017:16:34:27 Z INFO  [grncHttpServer] Listening on 8080

Which shows that a HTTP server is listening on the default port of 8080. Stop the runnning service with CTRL+C

Adding an endpoint

An endpoint is Granitic’s preferred name for code that handles a web service request to a particular URI pattern for a particular HTTP method (GET, POST etc). Most of the mechanics of routing a request to your code and converting between JSON and your custom Go code is handled by Granitic, you will be concerned mainly with defining your endpoint logic.

Endpoint logic is code in a Go struct implementing the ws.WsRequestProcessor interface.

These tutorials are based on the granitic-examples/recordstore demo application, so let’s recreate one of the endpoints from that application.

Create the file recordstore/endpoint/artist.go and set the contents to:

package endpoint

import (

type ArtistLogic struct {

func (al *ArtistLogic) Process(ctx context.Context, req *ws.WsRequest, res *ws.WsResponse) {

  a := new(ArtistDetail)
  a.Name = "Hello, World!"

  res.Body = a

type ArtistDetail struct {
  Name string

This code defines an object implementing the ws.WsRequestProcessor interface and another object that will be used to store the results of the web service call, in this case a recording artist with the unlikely name “Hello, World!”

Turning your code into a component

At the core of Granitic is an Inversion of Control or IoC container. Granitic looks after the lifecycle (creating and destroying) of the Go objects you define, but needs to be told which objects should be included in your application and how they should be configured These definitions are stored in a JSON component definition file which, by default, are stored under resource/component

A component is a named instance of a Go object, managed by the IoC container.

Open the file recordstore/resource/components/components.json and set the content to:

  "packages": [

  "components": {
    "artistLogic": {
      "type": "endpoint.ArtistLogic"

    "artistHandler": {
      "type": "handler.WsHandler",
      "HttpMethod": "GET",
      "Logic": "ref:artistLogic",
      "PathPattern": "^/artist"

A component definition file has two sections. The packages section declares the Go packages containing the code that you intend to use as components. The components section declares uniquely named components that you want to be managed by Granitic.

The first component, named artistLogic has a type field that specifies that the component should be an instance of the ArtistLogic Go struct you wrote above.

The second declared component, artistHandler, is an instance of ws.WsHandler, a built-in Granitic type. A ws.WsHandler coordinates the bulk of the request processing lifecycle as well as managing error-handling for a web service request.

The minimal configuration in this example specifies the HTTP method that the handler will respond to (GET) and a regex for matching against incoming request paths.

The line

"Logic": "ref:artistLogic"

is an example of a component reference. When artistHandler is instantiated by the Granitic container, the previously declared artistLogic component will be used as value for the Logic field on the artistHandler component.


Granitic is written in Go because of Go’s positioning between C’s performance and memory consumption and the relative ease-of-use of JVM and CLR languages (Java, C# etc). One of the compromises we accept in using Go is that it is a statically-linked language with no facility for creating objects from a text name at runtime - if you want to use a type in your application, it must be referenced at compile time.

In order to reconcile the configuration-based approach favoured by Granitic with this limitation, a tool is used to generate Go source code from component definition files.

Return to your terminal and run


You will notice that a Go source file bindings/bindings.go has been created. You will not (and in fact should not) edit this file directly, but feel free to examine it to see what is happening.

You will need to re-run grnc-bind whenever you change your component definition file

Building and testing your application

Every Go application requires an entry point main method. For a Go application that was created using the grnc-project tool, the main method is in the service.go file at the root of the project. For this tutorial, this file will look like:

package main

import "github.com/graniticio/granitic"
import "grnc-tutorial/bindings"

func main() {

This simply takes the objects generated by grnc-bind and passes them to Granitic. For the vast majority of Granitic applications you will not need to modify or even look at this file.

Return to your terminal and run:

go build

Now open a browser and visit:

http://localhost:8080/artist or http://[::1]:8080/artist

and you should see the response:

  "Name": "Hello, World!"


  • Granitic applications contain Go source files, configuration files and component definition files
  • The grnc-project tool can create an empty, working Granitic application
  • Components are a named instance of a Go object, managed by Granitic’s IoC container
  • The grnc-bind tool converts your component definition files into Go source - run the tool whenever you change your component definitions.


The next tutorial covers configuration in more depth