request parameters & bodies

Fintrospect broadly abstracts the various parts of an HTTP Request Path, Header, Query and Body behind a common interface to which the main functions are:

  1. Retrieve a valid value from an incoming request in a type-safe way using <--() or from()
  2. Bind a specified value into an outgoing request in a type-safe way using -->() or of()

Parameters are created in a uniform way using the objects Path, Header, Query, FormField and Body. The general form for definition is as follows, although since Path and Body parameters are always required, the middle step is omitted:

<parameter location class>.<required|optional>.<param type>("<name>")

Descriptions can be attached to these definitions for documentation purposes. Note the retrieved type for the optional param:

val anniversary = Header.required.localDate("anniversary", "the date you should not forget! format: yyyy-mm-dd")
val myAnniversary: LocalDate = age <-- request

val age ="age", "your age")
val age: Option[Integer] = age <-- request

val ohDear = Body.xml("soapMessage", "This isn't Simple")
val ohDearDear: Elem = anniversary <-- request

There are convenience methods for a standard set of "primitive" types, plus extensions for such as native Scala XML, Forms and JSON.

Additionally, there is another form for parameters which can appear multiple times in a request - simply insert the *() method in the chain:

val kidsBirthdays = Query.required.*.localDate("birthdays", "the dates you should not forget! format: yyyy-mm-dd")
val ourKidsBirthdays: Seq[LocalDate] = kidsBirthdays <-- request


These represent a slightly special case you first need to retrieve the form from the request, and then the fields from the form.

val name = FormField.required.string("name")
val isMarried = FormField.optional.boolean("married")
val form = Body.form(name, isMarried)
val myForm = form <-- request
val myName = name <-- myForm
val iAmMarried = isMarried <-- myForm

working with custom parameter types

Custom parameter and body types can be implemented by defining a ParameterSpec or BodySpec and passing an instance instead of calling the <param type> method in the form above. These Spec objects define:

  • name and description of the entity type being handled
  • for Parameters: the higher level ParamType of the on-the-wire representation. For custom formats, this is StringParamType, although ObjectParamType should be used for JSON appearing in an request body
  • for Bodies: the higher level ContentType of the on-the-wire representation.
  • functions representing the serialization and deserialization from the String format that comes in on the request. Note that we are only concerned with the happy case on-the-wire values. These throw exceptions if unsuccessful - these are caught by the request validation mechanism and turned into a rejected BadRequest (400) response which is returned to the caller.

An example for a simple domain case class Birthday:

case class Birthday(value: LocalDate)

val birthdayAsAQueryParam = Query.required(ParameterSpec.localDate().map(Birthday(_), (b:Birthday) => b.value), "DOB")

val birthdayAsABody = Body(BodySpec.string(ContentTypes.TEXT_PLAIN)
                             .map(s => Birthday(LocalDate.parse(s)), (b:Birthday) => b.value.toString),

usage of JSON libraries

Fintrospect comes with binding support for several JSON libraries, each represented by static instances of JsonFormat on a class named after the library in question. When defining a Body or Parameter, if required you can also specify the library format for it to use (else it will default to the bundled Argo JSON library) - and if this is done centrally then you can switch out JSON libraries with only a single line of code change.

val jsonFormat = Argonaut.JsonFormat
val exampleObject = jsonFormat.obj("fieldName" -> json.string("hello"))
val json = Body.json(Option("my lovely JSON object"), exampleObject, Argonaut)
val body: Json = json <-- request

Notice that in the above we specified an example of the JSON message. This is not mandatory, but allows the generation of JSON Schema to be included in the auto-generated API documentation.

Additionally, in the case of some JSON libraries that provide auto marshalling and demarshalling to case class instances, you can remove the JSON step altogether:

case class Email(address: String)
val email = Body(Argonaut.bodySpec[Email](Option("an email address")), Email(""))
val retrieved: Email = email <-- request