Learn all about building and coordinating Java microservices with my two updated Pluralsight courses about Spring Cloud

Java retains its stubborn hold near the top of every language ranking. Developers continue to depend on it for all sorts of application types. Back when I joined Pivotal in 2016, I figured the best way to learn their flagship Java framework, Spring, was to teach a course about it. I shipped a couple of Pluralsight courses that have done well over the years, but feel dated. Spring Boot and Spring Cloud keep evolving, as good frameworks do. So, I agreed to refresh both courses, which in reality, meant starting over. The result? Forty new demos, a deep dive into thirteen Spring (Cloud) projects, and seven hours of family-friendly content.

Spring Cloud is a set of Spring projects for developers who want to introduce distributed systems patterns into their apps. You can use these projects to build new microservices, or connect existing ones. Both of these areas are where I focused the courses.

Java Microservices with Spring Cloud: Developing Services looks at four projects that help you build new services. We dig into:

  • Spring Cloud Config as a way to externalize configuration into a remote store. This is a pretty cool project that lets you stash and version config values in repositories like Git, Vault, databases, or public cloud secret stores. In my course, we use GitHub and show how Spring transparently caches and refreshes these values for your app to use.
  • Spring Cloud Function offers a great option for those developing event-driven, serverless-style apps. This is a new addition to the course, as it didn’t exist when I created the first version. But as serverless, and event-driven architectures, continue to take off, I thought it was important to add it. I throw in a bonus example of deploying one of these little fellas to a public cloud FaaS platform.
  • Spring Security. I have a confession. I don’t think I really understood how OAuth 2.0 worked until rebuilding this module of the course. The lightbulb finally went off as I set up and used Keycloak as an authorization server, and grokked what was really happening. If you’d like that same epiphany, watch this one!
  • Spring Cloud Sleuth. When building modern services, you can’t forget to build in some instrumentation. Sleuth does a pretty remarkable job of instrumenting most everything in your app, and offering export to something like Zipkin. 

The second course is Java Microservices with Spring Cloud: Coordinating Services where we explore projects that make it easier to connect, route, and compose microservices. We spend time with:

  • Spring Cloud Eureka. This rock-solid framework is still plugging away, almost a decade after Netflix created it. It offers a mature way to easily register and discover services in your architecture. It’s lightweight, and also uses local caching so that there’s no SPOF to freak out about. 
  • Spring Cloud Circuit Breaker. This one is also new since my first run through the course. It replaced Hystrix, which is end of life. This project is an abstraction atop libraries like Resilience4j, Spring Retry, and Sentinel. Here, we spend time with Resilience4j and show how to configure services to fail fast, use sliding windows to determine whether to open a circuit, and more.
  • Spring Cloud LoadBalancer and Spring Cloud Gateway. Ribbon is also a deprecated projected, so instead, I introduced LoadBalancer. This components works great with service discovery to do client-side load balancing. And Spring Cloud Gateway is an intriguing project that gives you lightweight, modular API gateway functionality for your architecture. We have fun with both of those here.
  • Spring Cloud Stream. This is probably my favorite Spring Cloud project because I’m still a messaging geek at heart. With the new functional interface (replacing the annotation-based model in my earlier course), it’s stupid-easy to build functions that publish to message brokers or receive messages. Talking to Apache Kafka, RabbitMQ, or public cloud messaging engines has never been easier.
  • Spring Cloud Data Flow. Stitch a bunch of streaming (or batch-processing) apps into a data processing pipeline? That’s what Spring Cloud Data Flow is all about. Running atop modern platforms like Kubernetes, it’s a portable orchestration engine. Here we build pipelines, custom apps for our pipelines, and more.

It took me about 5 months to rebuild, record, and edit these courses, and I’m proud of the result. I think you’ll enjoy this look through an exciting, fun-to-use set of components made by my friends on the Spring team. 

Author: Richard Seroter

Richard Seroter is Director of Outbound Product Management at Google Cloud, with a master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Colorado. He’s also an instructor at Pluralsight, a frequent public speaker, the author of multiple books on software design and development, plus former InfoQ.com editor and former 12-time Microsoft MVP for cloud. As Director of Outbound Product Management at Google Cloud, Richard leads a team focused on products that help teams build and run modern software. Richard maintains a regularly updated blog on topics of architecture and solution design and can be found on Twitter as @rseroter.

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