When building systems of many microservices, being able to locate, discovery and interact with them in an ever-changing deployment environment can become a challenge. There are many solutions to managing a topology of services, each with this own trade-offs.

In a pure WildFly scenario, in an environment where multicast is available, many users rely upon JGroups to handle discovery and reliable communications between nodes. In other scenarios, either due to the lack of multicast, heterogenuity of services, or scaling concerns, different service-discovery mechanisms are used. These may include services such as Apache Zookeeper or Hashicorp’s Consul.

WildFly Swarm attempts to abstract away the many ways of handling service registration and discovery through its topology fraction. The topology fraction only provides the abstractions and APIs. It must work in concert with other specific implementations to actually provide information about the layout of your concrete services.

At the moment, two topology implementations are available:

  • JGroups

  • Consul

Additionally, regardless of the topology implementation selected, WildFly Swarm provides a topology-webapp which helps bring the topology abstraction to your Javascript-centric applications running in the browser.

General Usage

Advertising Services

Via Deployment Archive

When using topology in your application, your various archives can be turned into a TopologyArchive and subsequently advertise() themselves under a variety of names. By default, a no-arg version of advertise() will advertise the deployed service using the base name of the archive.

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

// advertise this deployment as `events`;

Additionally, archives can advertise different names, especially in the case where you do not provide a name when creating the archive.

JAXRSArchive deployment = ShrinkWrap.create(JAXRSArchive.class);

// advertise this deployment as `events`"events");


If you wish to be more declarative in advertising services, the org.wildfly.swarm.topology.Advertise annotation may be applied to arbitrary classes. Usually you would apply the annotation to a JAX-RS resource, a servlet, or some other reasonable component that exposes a discoverable service. The annotation may be repeated in the event you wish to advertise a single service under multiple names.

public class MyResource {

Runtime API

If you only want some services to register when they are actually alive, or dynamically registered based upon runtime knowledge, the Topology interface provides a method, advertise(…​) which can be used within your deployment to advertise a service during any arbitrary point of execution. It returns an AdvertisementHandle which may be used to unadvertise the service.

AdvertisementHandle handle = Topology.lookup().advertise("cheesemonger");


With alladvertisement forms, the service will be registered with the current server’s IP address, and the appropriate ports for HTTP and HTTPS, if either or both are enabled.

Additionally, if the HTTP port is registered, the service will also be advertised with the tag of http, and likewise HTTPS services will be tagged as https.

Accessing Topology Information inside a WildFly Swarm Application

The Topology is made available through JNDI, and provides a simple method for performing the retrieval of it from within your running application.

Topology topology = Topology.lookup();

Once retrieved, your application and add or remove a TopologyListener in order to be informed about changes in the topology as services start and stop.

Additionally, the Topology class provides an asMap() method which returns the full current topology in a Map where the keys are the service names, and the values are a list of Topology.Entry items, providing access to the host and port.