Document updated on Oct 10, 2022
Plugins are soft-linked libraries, thus a separated
.so file that, when running in conjunction with KrakenD, can participate in the processing. When we talk about plugins, we refer to Go plugins. You can create custom code, inject it into different parts of KrakenD processing, and still use the official KrakenD software without forking the code.
Middlewares, on the other hand, are the components that form the KrakenD binary when glued together along with the core engine. Suppose you want to change its behavior or add new ones, then you must recompile KrakenD. However, the architecture is designed in a way you will not need to change middleware, and coding middleware is unnecessary.
Unlike KrakenD middlewares, plugins are an independent binary of your own and are not part of KrakenD itself. Plugins allow you to “drag and drop” custom functionality that interacts with KrakenD while still using the official binaries without needing to fork the code.
Let’s get you started building custom code!
There are four different types of plugins you can write. Most of the job is understanding what kind of plugin you are going to need:
All types of plugins are marked with colored dots in the following diagram.
In a nutshell, the sequence of a request-response depicted in the graph of the plugins above is as follows:
router pipe. One or more HTTP server (a.k.a http handler) plugins can be injected in this stage.
router pipe transforms the HTTP request into one or several
proxy requests -HTTP or not- through a handler function. The request modifier plugin can intercept this stage and make modifications.
proxy pipe fetches the data for all the requests through the selected transport layer. The HTTP client plugin modifies any interaction with the backend.
proxy pipe manipulates, aggregates, applies components… and returns the context to the
router pipe. The response modifier plugin) can manipulate the data per backend or when everything is aggregated.
router pipe finally converts back the proxy response into an HTTP response.
When you have chosen the type of plugin that best fits your scenario, it’s time to write your plugin.
The recommended way to customize KrakenD is through plugins. But as with all open-source code, you can modify KrakenD and its middleware and do your version. When writing your custom code, fork the KrakenD-CE repository, and read “Understanding the big picture” to identify the essential packages.
The krakend-ce repository is the one assembling all the middlewares and manages the dependencies (including Lura). It lets you effortlessly include your company customizations, as the project is mainly a wrapper for all components. Be aware that when you fork KrakenD, you must maintain your custom version, which differs from the official binaries.
There are many examples of different modules (included in KrakenD-CE and not) on our contributions list. If you create a new middleware, feel free to open a pull request and let us know.
A relaxed start to build a custom component for KrakenD is our article “Website development as a sysadmin”, where you can find custom code to add automatic API authentication against a backend. Of course, you can achieve this functionality without forking the code, but still, it is an illustrative example.
The documentation is only a piece of the help you can get! Whether you are looking for Open Source or Enterprise support, see more support channels that can help you.