This tutorial is for Immutant 1.x. Go here for the 2.x documentation!

This tutorial covers the creation and deployment of a basic Leiningen app to an Immutant. If you haven't read the installation tutorial, go do so now, since you'll need Immutant and the lein-immutant plugin installed. This tutorial assumes you are on a *nix system.

Creating an Immutant Clojure application

In our installation tutorial, we installed the lein plugin. Recall how to list all the subtasks it supports:

$ lein immutant

In this tutorial we'll cover the basic project layout and the deploy subtask. To do so, we'll build a basic application that demonstrates some web features. To get started, let's create a Leiningen project:

$ lein new immutant-demo
$ cd immutant-demo

Now, let's add a ring handler to our core namespace:

(ns immutant-demo.core)

(defn ring-handler [request]
  {:status 200
    :headers {"Content-Type" "text/html"}
    :body "Hello from Immutant!\n" })

Configuring the application for Immutant

An application can be bootstrapped when deployed to Immutant in a number of ways, the simplest of which uses the :ring map in project.clj, as described in the web tutorial. Another option is the immutant.init namespace. It can be used to configure the Immutant services you want your application to consume. It provides a single place for you to define all the components required by your application, and saves you from having to keep external configuration files in sync (crontabs, message queue definitions, init scripts, etc). Anything you create within src/immutant/init.clj can instead be created anywhere in your application, of course - it just provides a convenient place to do so.

Create a src/immutant/init.clj that looks like:

(ns immutant.init
  (:use immutant-demo.core)
  (:require [immutant.web :as web]))

(web/start ring-handler)

We'll come back to what web/start is doing after we get the application running.

Deploying your application

Before we can start up an Immutant, we need to tell it about our application. We do that by deploying:

$ lein immutant deploy

This writes a deployment descriptor to Immutant's deploy directory which points back to the application's root directory. Now the Immutant can find your application - so let's fire it up.

Starting Immutant

To launch an Immutant, use the lein immutant run command. This will start the Immutant's JBoss server, and will run in the foreground displaying the console log. You'll see lots of log messages that you can ignore - the one to look for should be the last message, and should tell you the app was deployed:

$ lein immutant run
Starting Immutant via /Users/tobias/immutant/current/jboss/bin/
(a plethora of log messages deleted)
13:04:39,888 INFO  [] (DeploymentScanner-threads - 2) Deployed "immutant-demo.clj"

Now, let's verify that our app is really there. Immutant runs on port 8080 by default, so let's hit it and see what happens:

$ curl http://localhost:8080/immutant-demo/
Hello from Immutant!


You can kill the Immutant with Ctrl-C.

Context Paths

Remember our call to web/start earlier? Let's talk about what that is doing. To do that, however, we need to first talk about context paths. The context path is the portion of the URL between the hostname and the routes (aka 'path info') within the application. It basically tells Immutant which requests to route to a particular application.

An Immutant can host multiple applications at the same time, but each application must have a unique context path. If no context path is provided when an application is deployed, it defaults to one based on the name of the deployment. The deployment name is taken from the name of the deployment descriptor, which in turn is taken from the name of the project given to defproject in project.clj (you can override this via the --name argument to the deploy command). So for our sample app above, the context path defaults to /immutant-demo. You can override this default by specifying a :context-path within an :immutant map in your project.clj. Let's go ahead and do that:

(defproject immutant-demo "1.0.0-SNAPSHOT"
  :description "A basic demo"
  :dependencies [[org.clojure/clojure "1.5.1"]]
  :immutant {:context-path "/"})

Now, when your app is deployed the context path will be picked up from your project.clj and any web endpoints your application stands up will be accessible under that context path.

If you want to set the context path for a particular deployment of a project instead of globally, you can set the context path in the deployment descriptor via the --context-path option to the deploy command:

$ lein immutant deploy --context-path /

Which brings us back to web/start. web/start stands up a web endpoint for you, and takes one or two arguments: an optional sub-context path and a Ring handler function. The sub-context path is relative to the application's context path, so a context path of "/ham" and a sub-context path of "/" makes the handler function available at /ham, whereas a sub-context path of "/biscuits" makes the handler function available at /ham/biscuits. If no sub-context path is provided, it is assumed to be "/". Make sense?

You can register as many web endpoints as you like within an application - each requires an application-unique sub-context path. If we add this to our core.clj:

(defn another-ring-handler [request]
  {:status 200
   :headers {"Content-Type" "text/html"}
   :body "Pssst! Over here!\n"})

And this to our init.clj:

(web/start "/biscuits" another-ring-handler)

Then fire an Immutant up again with lein immutant run, we can see they both work:

$ curl http://localhost:8080
Hello from Immutant!
$ curl http://localhost:8080/biscuits
Pssst! Over here!

web/start has a complement function for shutting down a web endpoint: web/stop. It takes an optional sub-context path for the endpoint, and can be called from anywhere. If no sub-context path is provided, "/" is assumed. You aren't required to shut down your endpoints - Immutant will do that on your behalf when it is shut down or the application is undeployed.

Wrapping up

We hope you've enjoyed this quick run-through of deploying a web application to Immutant. We've posted the demo application we've built if you want to download it.

If you have any feedback or questions, get in touch!