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Apache Thrift
Apache Thrift logo.svg
Original author(s)Facebook, Inc.
Developer(s)Apache Software Foundation
Stable release
0.16.0 / 15 February 2022; 6 months ago (2022-02-15)
RepositoryThrift Repository
Written inActionScript, C, C#, C++, D, Dart, Delphi, Erlang, Go, Haskell, Haxe, Java, JavaScript, Node.js, OCaml, Perl, PHP, Python, Rust, Scala, Smalltalk
TypeRemote procedure call framework
LicenseApache 2.0
Websitethrift.apache.org

Thrift is an interface definition language and binary communication protocol[1] used for defining and creating services for numerous programming languages.[2] It was developed at Facebook for "scalable cross-language services development" and as of 2020 is an open source project in the Apache Software Foundation.

With a remote procedure call (RPC) framework it combines a software stack with a code generation engine to build cross-platform services which can connect applications written in a variety of languages and frameworks, including ActionScript, C, C++,[3] C#, Cappuccino,[4] Cocoa, Delphi, Erlang, Go, Haskell, Java, JavaScript, Objective-C, OCaml, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Elixir,[5] Rust, Scala, Smalltalk and Swift.[6] The implementation was described in an April 2007 technical paper released by Facebook, now hosted on Apache.[7][8]

Architecture

The Apache Thrift API client/server architecture
The Apache Thrift API client/server architecture

Thrift includes a complete stack for creating clients and servers.[9] The top part is generated code from the Thrift definition. From this file, the services generate client and processor code. In contrast to built-in types, created data structures are sent as result in generated code. The protocol and transport layer are part of the runtime library. With Thrift, it is possible to define a service and change the protocol and transport without recompiling the code. Besides the client part, Thrift includes server infrastructure to tie protocols and transports together, like blocking, non-blocking, and multi-threaded servers. The underlying I/O part of the stack is implemented differently for different languages.

Thrift supports a number of protocols:[9]

The supported transports are:

Thrift also provides a number of servers, which are

Benefits

Some stated benefits of Thrift include:[citation needed]

Creating a Thrift service

Thrift is written in C++, but can create code for a number of languages. To create a Thrift service, one has to write Thrift files that describe it, generate the code in the destination language, write some code to start the server, and call it from the client. Here is a code example of such a description file:

enum PhoneType {
  HOME,
  WORK,
  MOBILE,
  OTHER
}

struct Phone {
  1: i32 id,
  2: string number,
  3: PhoneType type
}

service PhoneService {
  Phone findById(1: i32 id),
  list<Phone> findAll()
}

Thrift will generate the code out of this descriptive information. For instance, in Java, the PhoneType will be a simple enum inside the Phone class.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Installing and using Apache Cassandra With Java Part 4 (Thrift Client)". Sodeso – Software Development Solutions. Retrieved 2011-03-30. Thrift is a separate Apache project which is a binary communication protocol
  2. ^ Andrew Prunicki. "Apache Thrift: Introduction". Object Computing. Retrieved 2011-04-11. Through a simple and straightforward Interface Definition Language (IDL), Thrift allows [users] to define and create services which are both consumable by and serviceable by numerous languages. Using code generation, Thrift creates a set of files which can then be used for creating clients and/or servers. In addition to interoperability, Thrift can be very efficient through a unique serialization mechanism that is efficient in both time and space.
  3. ^ Thrift Requirements, see this issue for Windows support
  4. ^ Fred Potter, Using Thrift with Cappuccino Archived 2011-08-12 at the Wayback Machine, parallel48's posterously luscious blog, 10 June 2010.
  5. ^ pinterest/elixir-thrift, Pinterest, 2020-02-05, retrieved 2020-02-06
  6. ^ Andrew Prunicki. "Apache Thrift: Code Generation". Object Computing. Retrieved 2011-04-12. Thrift supports many programming languages too varying degrees. The complete list is below. Be careful before assuming that just because your language has some support that it supports all of Thrift's features. Python for example, only supports TBinaryProtocol. Cocoa, C++, C#, Erlang, Haskell, Java, OCaml, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Smalltalk
  7. ^ Mark Slee, Aditya Agarwal, Marc Kwiatkowski, Thrift: Scalable Cross-Language Services Implementation
  8. ^ "LibraryFeatures - Thrift Wiki". Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  9. ^ a b Andrew Prunicki. "Apache Thrift: Introduction". Object Computing. Retrieved 2011-04-11. The top portion of the stack is generated code from your Thrift definition file. Thrift services result in generated client and processor code. These are represented by the brown boxes in the diagram. The data structures that are sent (other than built-in types) also result in generated code. These result in the red boxes. The protocol and transport are part of the Thrift runtime library. Therefore with Thrift, you can define a service, and are free to change the protocol and transport without re-generating your code. Thrift also includes a server infrastructure to tie the protocols and transports together. There are blocking, non-blocking, single and multi-threaded servers available. The "Underlying I/O" portion of the stack differs based on the language in question. For Java and Python network I/O, the built-in libraries are leveraged by the Thrift library, while the C++ implementation uses its own custom implementation.
  10. ^ Skelton, Steven (3 August 2013). "Developer Friendly Thrift Request Logging". Retrieved 3 July 2014.