Netflix, the online movie streaming company, has invested heavily in microservices. To support their architectures, they have created many projects that have been integrated into WildFly Swarm.


Ribbon provides a method for registering services by name, and allowing clients to invoke those services. One of the primary facilities of Ribbon is client-side load-balancing. With Ribbon, each client discovers possibly many instances of a given service, and uses a strategy (such as round-robin) to balance requests to the service across the many providers.

Additionally, Ribbon provides a method for wrapping an HTTP/REST invocation in an easy-to-use Java interface.

Ribbon makes heavy use of both RxJava and Netty.


Part of the Netflix strategy for using microservices involves being able to satisfy (for some value of "satisfy") requests even if remote services are unavailable. Sometimes called a circuit-breaker, this pattern allows for providing locally-derived fallback responses when the bonafide service fails to respond.

The Hystrix components work with Ribbon to provide this circuit-breaker functionality.

For instance, in the case of Netflix’s own consumer product, the "recommendations" for a given movie or television show may be provided by a specific service. If that service is unavailable, the UI can still provide some default list of recommendations. Everybody loves The Big Lebowksi, so it could be returned by the Hystrix component if the intelligent recommendation service is unavailable.


RxJava provides a framework for working with asynchronous & reactive components. If one service needs to invoke an additional 3 services, RxJava provides the way to fire off the three additional requests and perform work as each completes (or once all have completed).


Netty is an asynchronous I/O framework maintained by Trustin Lee of Twitter (formerly of Red Hat). Ribbon uses Netty underneath the covers to perform its network actions. The primary way that Netty is exposed to users of Ribbon is through the ByteBuf interface, which provides interaction with bytes sent or received from an I/O stream.


To use the Netflix OSS stack within your WildFly Swarm application, you need to add the following dependency:


The necessary components for RxJava, Hystrix and Netty will be transitively made available to your code.


In order for your service to participate in the service discovery (as a service to be discovered, a client performing discovery, or both), your deployment should be converted to a TopologyArchive at some point.

In the event your deployment has a service you wish to advertise, you subsequently need to advertise(name) on the resulting TopologyArchive.

A service advertising itself

There are a couple of ways to advertise a service’s name. By default the advertise() method on TopologyArchive will advertise the simplified name of the archive without the extension.

JAXRSArchive deployment = ShrinkWrap.create(JAXRSArchive.class, "recommendations.war");

swarm.deploy( deployment );

If you haven’t named the archive, or wish to advertise it with a distinct service-name, there is a version of advertise(…​) which can take the service name as an argument.

JAXRSArchive deployment = ShrinkWrap.create(JAXRSArchive.class);
  .advertise( "recommendations" );

swarm.deploy( deployment );

Secured Ribbon

If your application is using Keycloak to secure your services, and you are using Ribbon to invoke those services, you’ll want to use the secured variant of Ribbon. This requires a slightly different dependency:


In addition to your normal usage of .as(RibbonArchive) and .as(Secured), instead of using the Netflix-provided Ribbon class, you should use the WildFly Swarm-provided SecuredRibbon class to construct your clients.

RecommendationService recommendations = SecuredRibbon.from(RecommendationService.class);

By using the SecuredRibbon factory, any Keycloak security token will propagate across invocations of the services using an HTTP Authorization header and a bearer token.

Ribbon Webapp can be used on the client side to secure calls to ribbon services as well. Just include the keycloak.js Javascript that is provided with the Keycloak server in your HTML file and call the ribbon constructor function with a keycloak object.

<script src="/ribbon/ribbon.js"></script>
<script src="http://keycloak-server:9191/auth/js/keycloak.js"></script>
  var keycloak = new Keycloak( '/keycloak.json' );
  var Ribbon   = ribbon( {keycloak: keycloak} );


The following properties control ribbon options:

Name Description Default


Can be used to override the default /ribbon context for Ribbon Webapp