Using Transit with Immutant 2

Out of the box, Immutant 2 has support for several data serialization strategies for use with messaging and caching, namely: EDN, Fressian, JSON, and none (which falls back to Java serialization). But what if you want to use another strategy? Luckily, this isn't a closed set - Immutant allows us to add new strategies. We took advantage of that and have created a separate project that brings Transit support to Immutant - immutant-transit.

What is Transit?

From the Transit format page:

Transit is a format and set of libraries for conveying values between applications written in different programming languages.

It's similar in purpose to EDN, but leverages the speed of the optimized JSON readers that most platforms provide.

What does immutant-transit offer over using Transit directly?

immutant-transit provides an Immutant codec for Transit that allows for transparent encoding and decoding of Transit data when using Immutant's messaging and caching functionality. Without it, you would need to set up the encode/decode logic yourself.


Note: immutant-transit won't work with Immutant 2.0.0-alpha1 - you'll need to use an incremental build (#298 or newer).

First, we need to add org.immutant/immutant-transit to our application's dependencies:

  :dependencies [[org.clojure/clojure "1.6.0"]
                 [org.immutant/immutant "2.x.incremental.298"]
                 [org.immutant/immutant-transit "0.2.2"]]

If you don't have com.cognitect/transit-clj in your dependencies, immutant-transit will transitively bring in version 0.8.259. We've tested against 0.8.255 and 0.8.259, so if you're running another version and are seeing issues, let us know.

Now, we need to register the Transit codec with Immutant:

    (:require [immutant.codecs.transit :as it]))


This will register a vanilla JSON Transit codec that encodes to a byte[] under the name :transit with the content-type application/transit+json (Immutant uses the content-type to identify the encoding for messages sent via HornetQ).

To use the codec, provide it as the :encoding option wherever an encoding is used:

  (immutant.messaging/publish some-queue {:a :message} :encoding :transit)

  (def transit-cache (immutant.caching/with-codec some-cache :transit))
  (immutant.caching/compare-and-swap! transit-cache a-key a-function)

If you need to change the underlying format that Transit uses, or need to provide custom read/write handlers, you can pass them as options to register-transit-codec:

    :type :json-verbose
    :read-handlers my-read-handlers
    :write-handlers my-write-handlers)

The content-type will automatically be generated based on the :type, and will be of the form application/transit+<:type>.

You can also override the name and content-type:

    :name :transit-with-my-handlers
    :content-type "application/transit+json+my-stuff"
    :read-handlers my-read-handlers
    :write-handlers my-write-handlers)

For more examples, see the example project.

Why is this a separate project from Immutant?

Transit's format and implementation are young, and are still in flux. We're currently developing this as a separate project so we can make releases independent of Immutant proper that track changes to Transit. Once Transit matures a bit, we'll likely roll this in to Immutant itself.

If you are interested in adding a codec of your own, take a look at the immutant-transit source and at the immutant.codecs namespace to see how it's done.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions, issues, or other feedback about mmutant-transit, you can always find us on #immutant on freenode or our mailing lists.