Building and running a Granitic application
Building Granitic applications is a two stage process - bind then build. You can then run your application
Granitic’s core feature is a component container which allows Granitic to manage the lifecycle of those objects (structs) that a developer wants to treat as components. This is an implementation of the well-known inversion of control and dependency injection patterns.
Refer to the component container principles for more information about the concepts around components.
Developers define the behaviour and relationships between components in JSON files. In intepreted lanaguges (Python, Ruby etc) or virtual machine langauges (Java, .NET) these files could be loaded at runtime to discover which objects need to be created and, if those objects are not part of the base programming language, the libraries which do contain the objects can be dynamically loaded.
This is not a realistic option in mainstream Go - some of Go’s core benefits (small distributables, fast startup and execution times) derive from the fact that it is a generally used as a compiled and statically linked lanaguge.
This means that any code that you want to use in your application must be available when you run
go build. To bridge
the gap between the IoC container convention of defining components in configuration files and Go’s static nature, Granitic
requires an additional command
grnc-bind to be run before
grnc-bind is shipped with Granitic and can be built with:
go install github.com/graniticio/granitic/v2/cmd/grnc-bind
As long as your
$GOPATH/bin folder is in your
$PATH, you will be able to run this tool from any folder
What does grnc-bind do?
grnc-bind takes the definitions in your component definition files and converts
them into Go source code. By default the file containing the generated code is bindings/bindings.go
When should I run grnc-bind?
grnc-bind must be run whenever you modify one of your component definition files. If you are using an IDE, it is recommend that your configure it to run
grnc-bind automatically whenever a component definition file is saved.
It is also prudent to run it immediately before you run
go build. A common pattern for building Granitic applications from the command line is:
cd /path/to/project && grnc-bind && go build
Command line options for grnc-bind
When you run
grnc-bind without arguments, it assumes:
- You are the root folder of the project you want to build
- The project stores its component definition files under
- The generated Go code will be stored under
This behaviour can be modified by command line arguments:
Usage of grnc-bind: -c string A comma separated list of component definition files or directories containing component definition files (default "comp-def") -l string The level at which messages will be logged to the console (TRACE, DEBUG, WARN, INFO, ERROR, FATAL) (default "WARN") -m string The path of a file where the merged component definition file should be written to. Execution will halt after writing. -o string Path to the Go source file that will be generated to instatiate your components (default "bindings/bindings.go")
grnc-bind will exit with an error if your component definition files are syntactically or logically incorrect. However
it is possible to define component definition files that are correct but cause invalid Go to be generated.
In this case, your IDE will indicate that the generated
bindings.go file will not compile and the compilation
errors for that file should show you what is wrong with your component definition file.
Building and deploying
Once you have run
grnc-bind, you can build your application like any other go application with
go build or
Apart from configuration files, this executable is the sole distributable for your application. You can copy it to any machine running the same architecture as the one you built on and it will run. Go and Granitic do not need to be installed on the host machine.
You can also use Go’s cross-compilation support to compile your Granitic application for any target architecture.
Running your application
Once you have built your application you will have an executable with the same name as the Go source file that contains
your main method. If you have used the
grnc-project tool to create your project, the executable will be
which can be run directly from the command line. If you run the executable without arguments, it will assume that
you are running from the root project folder and that configuration for the application can be found in
This is normally the desired behaviour in development, but not in other environments.
You can use built-in command line arguments to change this behaviour.
Command line arguments for your application
Granitic applications automatically support a series of command line arguments to alter runtime behaviour:
Configuration file locations -c
The -c flag allows you to specify a comma separated list of configuration files, folders containing configuration files or URLs that will serve JSON files that will be merged together to form a single configuration for your application.
For example, if on your production machine your configuration files are stored in
/var/service-config you would start
your application with:
Startup framework log level -l
Granitic has a comprehensive logging facility for controlling the outout of both your application’s logging and Granitic’s built-in components. However this facility only starts after your application’s configuration files are parsed.
If you need to debug what is happening inside Granitic before that point, you can use the the -l parameter with one
TRACE, DEBUG, WARNING, ERROR, INFO, FATAL to control framework logging during the ‘bootstrap’ phase.
Defer startup framework logging -d
Granitic logs some information before it has loaded your application’s configuration and applied it to the logging facility. If you are using custom log formatting, this means those early messages will not be formatted to your requirements.
Providing the -d flag causes Granitic to hold all logging messages in memory until it has set up the logging facility.
Instance ID -i
If you are hosting multiple instances of your Granitic application on a single server/VM, or just want to give a logical name to a particular instance, you can specify the name using the -i flag.
Refer to the instance indentification documentation for more details.
Save merged configuration -m
-m flag and a path to a file when starting your application will cause Granitic to write it’s final, merged
view of your application’s configuration to that file (as JSON) and then exit. E.g.:
UUID instance ID -u
If you set the flag
-u when starting your application, Granitic will generate a V4 UUID and use that as an instance
ID. Ignored if the
-i flag has been set.
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