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Version: 2.0.x

Introduction to Configuration in ZIO

Configuration is a core concern for any cloud-native application. So ZIO ships with built-in support for configuration by providing a front-end for configuration providers as well as metrics and logging.

So, ZIO provides a unified way to configure our applications, while still enabling customizability, flexibility, and significant integrations with configuration backends via ecosystem projects, most notably ZIO Config.

This configuration front-end allows ecosystem libraries and applications to declaratively describe their configuration needs and delegates the heavy lifting to a ConfigProvider, which may be supplied by third-party libraries such as ZIO Config.

The ZIO Core ships with a simple default config provider, which reads configuration data from environment variables and if not found, from system properties. This can be used for development purposes or to bootstrap applications toward more sophisticated config providers.

Getting Started

To make our application configurable, we should know about three essential elements:

  1. Config Description— To describe configuration data of type A, we should create an instance of Config[A]. If the configuration data is simple (such as string, string, boolean), we can use built-in configs inside companion object of Config data type. By combining primitive configs, we can model custom data types such as HostPort.

  2. Config Front-end— By using ZIO.config we can load configuration data described by Config. It takes a Config[A] instance or expect implicit Config[A] and loads the config using the current ConfigProvider.

  3. Config BackendConfigProvider is the underlying engine that ZIO.config uses to load configs. ZIO has a default config provider inside its default services. The default config provider reads configuration data from environment variables and if not found, from system properties. To change the default config provider, we can use Runtime.setConfigProvider layer to configure the ZIO runtime to use a custom config provider.

note

By introducing built-in config front-end in ZIO Core, the old way of reading configuration data using ZLayer is deprecated, and we don't recommend using layers for configuration anymore.

Primitive Configs

ZIO provides a set of primitive configs for the most common types like int, long, string, boolean, double, etc. All of these configs are available inside the Config object.

Let's start with a simple example of how to read configuration from environment variables and system properties:

import zio._

object MainApp extends ZIOAppDefault {
def run = {
for {
host <- ZIO.config(Config.string("host"))
port <- ZIO.config(Config.int("port"))
_ <- Console.printLine(s"Application started: $host:$port")
} yield ()
}
}
note

Use ZIO.config(config: A) overload for primitive data types instead of ZIO.config[A] to avoid potential implicit conflicts.

If we run this application we will get the following output:

timestamp=2023-02-14T09:45:27.074151Z level=ERROR thread=#zio-fiber-0 message="" cause="Exception in thread "zio-fiber-4" zio.Config$Error$Or: ((Missing data at host: Expected HOST to be set in the environment) or (Missing data at host: Expected host to be set in properties))

This is because we have not provided any configuration. Let's try to run it with the following environment variables:

HOST=localhost PORT=8080 sbt "runMain MainApp"

Now we get the following output:

Application started: localhost:8080

We can also run it by setting system properties:

sbt -Dhost=localhost -Dport=8080 "runMain MainApp"

Custom Configs

Other than primitive types, we can also define a configuration for custom types. To do so, we need to use primitive configs and combine them together using Config operators (++, ||, map, etc) and constructors (listOf, chunkOf, setOf, vectorOf, table, etc).

Example 1

Let's say we have the HostPort data type, which consists of two fields: host and port:

case class HostPort(host: String, port: Int)

We can define implicit config for this data type by combining primitive string and int configs:

import zio._

object HostPort {
implicit val config: Config[HostPort] =
(Config.string("host") ++ Config.int("port")).map { case (host, port) =>
HostPort(host, port)
}
}
note

The best practice is to put the implicit Config value in the companion object of the configuration data type and call it config.

If we use this customized config in our application, it tries to read corresponding values from environment variables (HOST and PORT) and system properties (host and port):

for {
config <- ZIO.config[HostPort]
_ <- Console.printLine(s"Application started: $config")
} yield ()

Example 2

Now let's assume we want to have multiple HostPort configurations. We can define a config for a list of HostPort like bellow using the listOf constructor:

case class HostPorts(hostPorts: List[HostPort])

object HostPorts {
implicit val config: Config[HostPorts] =
Config.listOf(HostPort.config).map(HostPorts(_))
}

Then we can use this config in our application:

for {
config <- ZIO.config[HostPorts]
_ <- Console.printLine(s"Application started with:")
_ <- ZIO.foreachDiscard(config.hostPorts)(e => Console.printLine(s" - http://${e.host}:${e.port}"))
} yield ()

With the default config provider, we can run the application with the following environment variables:

HOST=host1,host2,host3 PORT=8080,8081,8082 sbt "runMain MainApp"

The output will be:

Application started with:
- http://host1:8081
- http://host2:8082
- http://host3:8083

Top-level and Nested Configs

So far we have seen how to define configuration in a top-level manner, whether it is a primitive or a custom type. But we can also define a nested configuration.

Assume we have a SerivceConfig data type that consists of two fields: hostPort and timeout:

case class ServiceConfig(hostPort: HostPort, timeout: Int)

Let's define a config for this type in its companion object:

import zio._

object ServiceConfig {
implicit val config: Config[ServiceConfig] =
(HostPort.config ++ Config.int("timeout")).map {
case (a, b) => ServiceConfig(a, b)
}
}

If we use this customized config in our application, it tries to read corresponding values from environment variables (HOST, PORT, and TIMEOUT) and, if not found from system properties (host, port, and timeout).

But in most circumstances, we don't want to read all the configurations from the top-level namespace. Instead, we want to nest them under a common namespace. In this case, we want to read both HOST and PORT from the HOSTPORT namespace, and TIMEOUT from the root namespace. In order to do that, we can use the nested combinator:

object ServiceConfig {
implicit val config: Config[ServiceConfig] =
- (HostPort.config ++ Config.int("timeout")).map {
+ (HostPort.config.nested("hostport") ++ Config.int("timeout")).map {
case (a, b) => ServiceConfig(a, b)
}
}

Now, if we run our application, it tries to read corresponding values from environment variables (HOSTPORT_HOST, HOSTPORT_PORT and TIMEOUT) and, if not found it tries to read from system properties (hostport.host, hostport.port and timeout).

Built-in Config Providers

ZIO has some built-in config providers:

  • ConfigProvider.defaultProvider - reads configuration from environment variables and if not found, from system properties
  • ConfigProvider.envProvider - reads configuration from environment variables
  • ConfigProvider.propsProvider - reads configuration from system properties
  • ConfigProvider.consoleProvider - reads configuration from interactive console prompts

Other than these built-in providers, we can also use third-party providers in ZIO ecosystem libraries, such as ZIO Config which provides a rich set of backends for reading configuration from different sources such as HOCON, JSON, YAML, etc.

Custom Config Provider

We can also define our own custom config providers.

The default config provider is used by default, but we can also override it by using Runtime#setConfigProvider.

In the following example, we set the default config provider to consoleProvider which reads configuration from the console:

import zio._

object MainAppScoped extends ZIOAppDefault {
override val bootstrap: ZLayer[Any, Nothing, Unit] =
Runtime.setConfigProvider(ConfigProvider.consoleProvider)

def run =
for {
host <- ZIO.config(Config.string("host"))
port <- ZIO.config(Config.int("port"))
_ <- Console.printLine(s"Application started: http://$host:$port")
} yield ()
}
note

The console provider is stored inside a FiberRef, so we can override it in a scoped manner. This is useful for changing the config provider for a specific part of the application.

Testing Services

When testing services, we sometimes need to provide some configuration to them. So we should be able to mock any backend that we use for reading configuration data.

In order to do that, we can use the ConfigProvider.fromMap constructor, which takes a map of configuration data and returns a config provider that reads configuration from that map. Then we can pass that to the Runtime.setConfigProvider, which returns a ZLayer that we can use to override the default config provider for our test specs using Spec#provideLayer operator:

import zio._
import zio.test._

object MyServiceTest extends ZIOSpecDefault {

val mockConfigProvider: ZLayer[Any, Nothing, Unit] =
Runtime.setConfigProvider(ConfigProvider.fromMap(Map("timeout" -> "5s")))

// This service reads configuration data (host and port) inside its implementation
def myService: ZIO[Any, Config.Error, Double] = ???

override def spec = {
val expected: Double = ??? // expected value
test("test myService") {
for {
result <- myService
} yield assertTrue(result == expected)
}
}.provideLayer(mockConfigProvider)

}