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Helpers supercharging grpc features (API versioning, retry, etc...)

Project description



Miscellaneous GRPC helpers (API versioning, retry, config, etc...)

Python API

Provided classes in this module API help to deal with RPC servers/clients handling.

RPC Server

The RpcServer class handles the lifecycle of a GRPC server. To initialize, it basically needs:

  • a port on which to server RPC requests
  • a list of RpcServiceDescriptor objects
  • an optional Folders instance (usually provided by the RpcCliParser CLI parsing)
  • an optional dict of string:string, providing config items defaults initialized from CLI (usually provided by the RpcCliParser CLI parsing)
  • an optional list of Config or ConfigHolder instances, which will be this server's static config items
  • an optional list of Config or ConfigHolder instances, which will be this server's user config items
  • a boolean flag stating if the events service has to be started in this server instance (default: False)
  • a boolean flag stating if the debug signal has to be listened (see below; default: True)

The Folders class handle the different folders used by the server:

  • a system folder, used to store config shared by multiple users and applications. This folder doesn't need to be writable by the server running user.
  • a user folder, used to store config shared by multiple applications for the server running user.
  • a workspace folder, used to store config and other persistent information by the current server.

The RpcServiceDescriptor class describes a given service to be hooked in a server instance. Its attributes are:

  • a Python module (from which name and version will be used for the RpcServerService items registration)
  • a service name (used for service identification in RpcServerService items, and for auto-client setup)
  • a version enum:
    • lowest value in the enum will be considered to be the minimum supported version for this service API
    • highest value in the enum will be considered to be the current version for this service API
  • a manager instance, to which all RPC calls will be delegated. When registering a proxied service, this has to be a simple instance of the generated servicer.
  • the GRPC generated hooking method for this service
  • the GRPC generated client stub class
  • a boolean stating if this service is a proxied service or not

The manager class must:

  • inherit from the GRPC generated servicer class, in order to use the default implementation if any of the service method is not implemented by this manager
  • for each implemented service method:
    • declare a single input parameter, which will be the input request
    • declare the return type

A manager class can also inherit from RpcManager class, which provides some usefull features:

  • a _load method, called by the server once all services are alive (typically to perform some internal initializations)
  • a _shutdown method, called by the server once it is shutdown (typically to perform some internal finalization operations + interrupt long-running ones)
  • a logger instance, to be used for all logging inside this manager and dependencies
  • a lock instance, to be used to protect manager inner fields against reentrance
  • a client instance, initialized to the server own auto-client (see below)
  • a folders instance, initialized to the server Folders (see above)


The RPC server will live its life in its own thread. When the application is about to terminate, it is advised to call the shutdown method in order to turn off the RPC server properly. This method can also be called remotely as a RpcServerService servive method.

When the shutdown method is called:

  • the server will stop accepting new requests
  • it will notify all managers through their own _shutdown method
  • then it will wait for pending operations to terminate (within the rpc-shutdown-grace configured timeout)method.
  • if called through RPC, if will wait for the required timeout (using by default the rpc-shutdown-timeout value), if this one is >0
  • then the shutdown will be finalized (all non-daemon threads terminated)

Note that the code which created the server instance may use the wait_shutdown method to block until the RPC server is shutdown.

Default services

Note that the RPC server instance will automatically serve:

API version checks

For requests received from the RpcClient implementation on a given service, the client api version is checked against the server "supported - current" range for this service:

  • if the client version is older than the server supported version, the request will raise a ResultCode.ERROR_API_CLIENT_TOO_OLD error
  • if the client version is newer than the server current version, the request will raise a ResultCode.ERROR_API_SERVER_TOO_OLD error


The RPC server will hook to the USR2 signal for debug purpose (if required). When receiving this signal, following debug information will be dumped in a file name RpcServerDump-YYYYMMDDhhmmss.txt (with dump timestamp) in the logging folder (see below):

  • all the live threads call stacks
  • all the pending RPC requests


An initialized RPC server instance provides an auto_client attribute, providing an RpcClient instance pointing on everything served by this server. Note that the timeout for this client can be configured through the rpc-client-timeout config item.

Proxied services

Services declared as proxied ones (see RpcServiceDescriptor above) will be forwarded to the required server/port as soon as this server calls the proxy_register method of the proxying server. Note that if this method is not called within the rpc-client-timeout time, the method call will end with an ERROR_PROXY_UNREGISTERED error.

Configuration of proxied services is persisted in the workspace, in order to restore them when the proxying server restarts.

An RpcProxiedManager abstract class is available for managers who are designed to be proxied. Such managers will automatically register in main proxy server, with following details:

  • registered services names list has to be returned by _proxied_services method
  • registered services version string has to be returned by _proxied_version method
  • extra stubs available in the self.proxy_client attribute can be provided by _proxy_stubs method
  • if current host IP needs excpilicitely to be used for registration, _proxy_use_current_host method needs to return True

When handling proxy servers, if the proxying server is started with events service enabled, it will send:

  • an RPC_PROXY_REGISTER event on each proxy_register method successful call
  • an RPC_PROXY_FORGET event on each proxy_forget method successful call

Properties of the events will be inherited from the method input message.

Rolling logs

Each manager of the RPC server through its logger attribute, will have his logs persisted in a <name>/<name>.log rolling file (relative to the logging folder). The complete logs will also be persisted in the root folder. Both logging folder and rollover cadency can be configured -- see Configuration chapter below.


The RPC server behavior can be configured through the following static configuration items: Name | Description | Type | Default ---- | ----------- | ---- | ------- rpc-max-workers | Maximum parallel RPC worker threads | Positive integer | 30 rpc-shutdown-grace | Grace period for pending calls to be terminated on shutdown (seconds) | Positive float | 30 rpc-shutdown-timeout | Final timeout before real shutdown (i.e. end of process; seconds) | Positive float | 60 rpc-logs-folder | Folder (absolute or workspace-relative) where to store rolling logs | String | "logs" rpc-logs-backup | Backup log files to be persisted for each manager on rollover | Integer | 10 rpc-logs-interval-unit | Logs rollover interval unit (see TimedRotatingFileHandler documentation) | Custom (see doc) | H rpc-logs-interval | Logs rollover interval (see TimedRotatingFileHandler documentation) | Positive integer | 1 rpc-main-host | Main RPC server host (to be used by proxied services) | String | "localhost" rpc-main-port | Main RPC server port (to be used by proxied services) | Positive integer | 54321 rpc-client-timeout | Timeout for RPC client when server is unreachable or proxy not registered yet (seconds) | Positive float | 60 rpc-event-retain-timeout | Retain timeout for event queues on interruption (seconds) | Positive integer | 300 rpc-event-keepalive-timeout | Timeout for sending keep alive empty events (seconds) | Positive integer | 60

Usage example

import my_package
from my_package.api import MyStatus, MyConfig, MyApiVersion
from my_package.api.my_pb2_grpc import add_MyServiceServicer_to_server, MyServiceServicer, MyServiceStub
from grpc_helper import RpcServer, RpcServiceDescriptor, RpcManager

class MySampleManager(MyServiceServicer, RpcManager):
    # Custom implementation for sample service
    def update(self, request: MyConfig) -> MyStatus:
        # Note that return message *MUST* be explicitely annoted for each implemented method!
        return MyStatus()

def start():
    # Create an RPC server on port 12345
    srv = RpcServer(12345, [RpcServiceDescriptor(my_package, "my", MyApiVersion, MySampleManager(), add_MyServiceServicer_to_server, MyServiceStub)])

    # Server is running in its own thread; we need to wait it for shutdown (on Ctrl-C or remote shutdown call)

RPC Client

The RpcClient class provides an access to client side of a GRPC service. To initialize, it basically needs:

  • a host name or IP address for the RPC server to connect to
  • a port for the RPC server
  • a map of service stubs to access:
    • keys are used to define fields names on the generated client object, holding the client stubs
    • values are tuple providing:
      • the GRPC generated stub name
      • the client current API version (coming from the version enum)

Optional inputs can also be provided:

  • a timeout if RPC server is unreachable (default: 60s)
  • a name allowing to identify the client on the server side
  • a boolean flag stating if the client shall raise exceptions when receiving non-OK ResultCode status (default: true)
  • an exception type to be raised (instead of RpcException) when receiving non-OK ResultCode status

Usage example

from my_package.api import MyStatus, MyApiVersion, Empty
from my_package.api.my_pb2_grpc import MyServiceStub
from grpc_helper import RpcClient

def start():
    # Get a client access to my service
    c = RpcClient("", 12345, {"my": (MyServiceStub, MyApiVersion.MY_API_CURRENT)}, name="myclient")

    # Use API
    s: MyStatus =

Configuration items

Instances of the Config class can be provided to initialize list of static and user configuration items known to a RPC server:

  • static items are immutable, and are only initialized once when the RPC server instance is created
  • user items can be modified remotely through the config service

The Config constructor arguments are the same than the public API ConfigItem ones (see config service). It also supports an additional custom_validator one, allowing to provide a validation method when validator argument is set to CONFIG_VALID_CUSTOM. This method takes two arguments:

  • a name string: may be useful to raise meaningful validation errors
  • a value string: value to be validated. The method shall raise an RpcException if the value is invalid.

Default value

Configuration items default value are loaded in the following order:

  1. hard-coded value (the one provided in the item constructor)
  2. system folder config.json file value (if system folder is configured)
  3. user folder config.json file value (if user folder is configured)
  4. environment provided value. Environment variable name for a given item is obtained by capitalizing it and replacing hyphens ("-") by underscores ("_"). E.g. the environment variable name for a my-own-setting config item will be MY_OWN_SETTING.
  5. -c / --config command-line option provided value

Note that if the default value fails to be validated with a given item validator (or if it is empty while not allowed), the server will refuse to launch with a thrown relevant exception.

Current value

Static items current value will be initialized with the default value. User items are initialized to either the default value, or to the user configured value (thanks to the config service) if it was ever modified. User modified values are persisted in the workspace folder config.json file.

Current value may be programmatically accessed through one of the following property accessors:

  • item.str_val: raw string value
  • item.int_val: value converted as an integer

Config holders

Configuration items may be defined as attributes of a class inheriting from the ConfigHolder one. Such classes can be provided directly to RpcServer constructor to initialize configuration items (which is more convenient that referencing items one by one).

Command-line options

A ready-to-use CLI parser is provided through the RpcCliParser class, allowing to rapidly instantiate an RPC server from CLI options. Constructor arguments are:

  • a description string, which will be displayed when using the -h / --help option
  • an optional version string, which will be displayed when using the -V / --version option


The options defined by this parser are: Name | Description ---- | ----------- --help | displays the program help and exit -V / --version | displays the program version and exit --system PATH | overrides the default system folder --user PATH | overrides the default user folder -w / --workspace PATH | defines the workspace folder -p / --port PORT | overrides the RPC server default listening port -c / --config NAME=VALUE | overrides the default value of a given configuration item

After parsing:

  • the system/user/workspace folders are used to initialize a Folders object (see above), available in the folders argument of the namespace.
  • the configuration items default values are gathered in a dict, available in the config argument of the namespace.


The following methods are available to tune the parser behavior:

  • with_rpc_args: adds the options listed above, and returns the RpcCliParser instance (for fluent API usage). Arguments are:
    • default_port: default RPC listening port
    • default_sys: default system folder
    • default_usr: default user folder
    • default_wks: default workspace folder
  • parse: will parse input arguments, and return the namespace. Arguments are program command-line ones by default, or may be provided as a string list (e.g. for testing purpose)

Following example shows how to use this parser to create an RpcServer instance:

from grpc_helper import RpcCliParser, RpcServer

def start():
    # Parse arguments to create RPC server instance
    args = RpcCliParser("My custom RPC server", "1.0.0").with_rpc_args(12345, "/etc/my_srv", "~/.local/my_srv", "my_srv_wks").parse()
    srv = RpcServer(args.port, [], args.folders, args.config)

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