Inspecting, debugging, simulating clients and more

Posted on 2018-07-05 by Oleg Grenrus servant
or simply put: a practical introduction to Servant.Client.Free.

We (Alp MEsganogullari and myself) wrote a new cookbook recipe for Servant, it's a part of the official servant's cookbook at readthedocs.


Someone asked on IRC how one could access the intermediate Requests (resp. Responses) produced (resp. received) by client functions derived using servant-client. My response to such inquiries is: to extend servant-client in an ad-hoc way (e.g for testing or debugging purposes), use Servant.Client.Free. This recipe shows how.

First the module header, but this time We'll comment the imports.

{-# LANGUAGE DataKinds     #-}
{-# LANGUAGE TypeOperators #-}
module Main (main) where

We will primarily use Servant.Client.Free, it doesn't re-export anything from free package, so we need to import it as well.

import Control.Monad.Free
import Servant.Client.Free

Also we'll use servant-client internals, which uses http-client, so let's import them qualified

import qualified Servant.Client.Internal.HttpClient as I
import qualified Network.HTTP.Client                as HTTP

The rest of the imports are for a server we implement here for completeness.

import Servant
import Network.Wai.Handler.Warp (run)
import System.Environment       (getArgs)

## API & Main We'll work with a very simple API:

type API = "square" :> Capture "n" Int :> Get '[JSON] Int
api :: Proxy API
api = Proxy

Next we implement a main. If passed "server" it will run server, if passed "client" it will run a test function (to be defined next). This should be pretty straightforward:

main :: IO ()
main = do
    args <- getArgs
    case args of
        ("server":_) -> do
            putStrLn "Starting cookbook-using-free-client at http://localhost:8000"
            run 8000 $ serve api $ \n -> return (n * n)
        ("client":_) ->
            test
        _ -> do
            putStrLn "Try:"
            putStrLn "cabal new-run cookbook-using-free-client server"
            putStrLn "cabal new-run cookbook-using-free-client client"

## Test In the client part, we will use a Servant.Client.Free client. Because we have a single endpoint API, we'll get a single client function, running in the Free ClientF (free) monad:

getSquare :: Int -> Free ClientF Int
getSquare = client api

Such clients are "client functions without a backend", so to speak, or where the backend has been abstracted out. To be more precise, ClientF is a functor that precisely represents the operations servant-client-core needs from an http client backend. So if we are to emulate one or augment what such a backend does, it will be by interpreting all those operations, the way we want to. This also means we get access to the requests and responses and can do anything we want with them, right when they are produced or consumed, respectively. Next, we can write our small test. We'll pass a value to getSquare and inspect the Free structure. The first three possibilities are self-explanatory:

test :: IO ()
test = case getSquare 42 of
    Pure n ->
        putStrLn $ "ERROR: got pure result: " ++ show n
    Free (Throw err) ->
        putStrLn $ "ERROR: got error right away: " ++ show err
    Free (StreamingRequest _req _k) ->
        putStrLn $ "ERROR: need to do streaming request" -- TODO: no Show Req :(

We are interested in RunRequest, that's what client should block on:

    Free (RunRequest req k) -> do

Then we need to prepare the context, get HTTP (connection) Manager and BaseUrl:

        burl <- parseBaseUrl "http://localhost:8000"
        mgr <- HTTP.newManager HTTP.defaultManagerSettings

Now we can use servant-client's internals to convert servant's Request to http-client's Request, and we can inspect it:

        let req' = I.requestToClientRequest burl req
        putStrLn $ "Making request: " ++ show req'

servant-client's request does a little more, but this is good enough for our demo. We get back an http-client Response which we can also inspect.

        res' <- HTTP.httpLbs req' mgr
        putStrLn $ "Got response: " ++ show res'

And we continue by turning http-client's Response into servant's Response, and calling the continuation. We should get a Pure value.

        let res = I.clientResponseToResponse res'
        
        case k res of
            Pure n ->
                putStrLn $ "Expected 1764, got " ++ show n
            _ -> 
                putStrLn "ERROR: didn't got a response"

So that's it. Using Free we can evaluate servant clients step-by-step, and validate that the client functions or the HTTP client backend does what we expect (e.g by printing requests/responses on the fly). In fact, using Servant.Client.Free is a little simpler than defining a custom RunClient instance, especially for those cases where it is handy to have the full sequence of client calls and responses available for us to inspect, since RunClient only gives us access to one Request or Response at a time. On the other hand, a "batch collection" of requests and/or responses can be achieved with both free clients and a custom RunClient instance rather easily, for example by using a Writer [(Request, Response)] monad.

Here is an example of running our small test against a running server:

Making request: Request {
  host                 = "localhost"
  port                 = 8000
  secure               = False
  requestHeaders       = [("Accept","application/json;charset=utf-8,application/json")]
  path                 = "/square/42"
  queryString          = ""
  method               = "GET"
  proxy                = Nothing
  rawBody              = False
  redirectCount        = 10
  responseTimeout      = ResponseTimeoutDefault
  requestVersion       = HTTP/1.1
}
Got response: Response
  { responseStatus = Status {statusCode = 200, statusMessage = "OK"}
  , responseVersion = HTTP/1.1
  , responseHeaders =
    [ ("Transfer-Encoding","chunked")
    , ("Date","Thu, 05 Jul 2018 21:12:41 GMT")
    , ("Server","Warp/3.2.22")
    , ("Content-Type","application/json;charset=utf-8")
    ]
  , responseBody = "1764"
  , responseCookieJar = CJ {expose = []}
  , responseClose' = ResponseClose
  }
Expected 1764, got 1764
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