Application development framework

Application development framework

Application development framework is a library that helps application developers to create applications that can be scalable, highly available, (self)healable and do not contain boilerplate code for common application workflow operations. This library is placed into the Murano repository under the meta/io.murano.applications folder.

To allow your applications to use the code of the library, zip it and upload to the Murano application catalog.

Framework objectives

The library allows application developers to focus on their application-specific tasks without the real need to dive into resource orchestration, server farm configuration, and so on. For example, on how to install the software on the VMs, how to configure it to interact with other applications. Application developers are able to focus more on the software configuration tools (scripts, puppets, and others) and care less about the MuranoPL if they do not need to define any custom workflow logic.

The main capabilities the library provides and its main use-cases are as follows:

  • Standard operations are implemented in the framework and can be left as is
  • The capability to create multi-server applications and scale them
  • The capability to create composite multi-component applications
  • The capability to track application failures and recover from them
  • The capability to define event handlers for various events


To use the framework in your application, include the following lines to the manifest.yaml file:


Create a one-component single-server application

To create a simple application deployed on a single server:

  1. Include the following lines to the code of the application class:

      apps: io.murano.applications
    Name: AppName
    Extends: apps:SingleServerApplication
  2. Provide an input for the application server property in your ui.yaml file:

          type: io.murano.resources.LinuxMuranoInstance
        name: generateHostname($.instanceConfiguration.unitNamingPattern, 1)
        flavor: $.instanceConfiguration.flavor
        ... <other instance properties>

    Now you already have the app that creates a server ready for installing software on it.

  3. To create a fully functional app, add an installation script to the body of the onInstallServer method:

          - server:
              Contract: $.class(res:Instance).notNull()
          - serverGroup:
              Contract: $.class(apps:ServerGroup).notNull()
          - $file: sys:Resources.string('')
          - conf:Linux.runCommand($server.agent, $file)
  4. Optional. Add other methods that handle certain stages of the application workflow, such as onBeforeInstall, onCompleteInstallation, onConfigureServer, onCompleteConfiguration, and others. For details about these methods, see the Software components section.

Create a one-component multi-server application

To create an application that is intended to be installed on several servers:

  1. Make it inherit the MultiServerApplication class:

      apps: io.murano.applications
    Name: AppName
    Extends: apps:MultiServerApplication
  2. Instead of the server property in SingleServerApplication, provide an input for the servers property that accepts the instance of one of the inheritors of the ServerGroup class. The ui.yaml file in this case may look as follows:

          type: io.murano.applications.ServerList
          - ?:
              type: io.murano.resources.LinuxMuranoInstance
            name: "Server-1"
            flavor: $.instanceConfiguration.flavor
            ... <other instance properties>
          - ?:
              type: io.murano.resources.LinuxMuranoInstance
            name: "Server-2"
            flavor: $.instanceConfiguration.flavor
            ... <other instance properties>
  3. Define the custom logic of the application in the handler methods, and it will be applied to the whole app, exactly like with SingleServerApplication.

Create a scalable multi-server application

To provide the application with the ability to scale:

  1. Make the app extend the MultiServerApplicationWithScaling class:

      apps: io.murano.applications
    Name: AppName
    Extends: apps:MultiServerApplicationWithScaling
  2. Provide the ui.yaml file:

          type: io.murano.applications.ServerReplicationGroup
        numItems: $.appConfiguration.numNodes
            type: io.murano.applications.TemplateServerProvider
              type: io.murano.resources.LinuxMuranoInstance
            flavor: $.instanceConfiguration.flavor
            ... <other instance properties>
          serverNamePattern: $.instanceConfiguration.unitNamingPattern

    The servers property accepts instance of the ServerReplicationGroup class, and in turn it requires input of the numItems and provider properties.

After the deployment, the scaleOut and scaleIn public methods (actions) become available in the dashboard UI.

For a working example of such application, see the com.example.apache.ApacheHttpServer package version 1.0.0.

Library overview

The framework includes several groups of classes:

Classes that provide the capability to replicate the resources.
Classes that provide instances grouping and replication.
Classes that define common application workflows.
Class for handling events.
Base classes for applications.

As it is described in the QuickStart section, the application makes use of the Application development framework by inheriting from one of the base application classes, such as SingleServerApplication, MultiServerApplication, MultiServerApplicationWithScaling. In turn, these classes are inheritors of the standard Application class and the SoftwareComponent class. The latter class binds all of the framework capabilities.

The SoftwareComponent class inherits both Installable and Configurable classes which provide boilerplate code for the installation and configuration workflow respectively. They also contain empty methods for each stage of the workflow (e.g. onBeforeInstall, onInstallServer), which are the places where application developers can add their own customization code.

The entry point to execute deployment of the software component is its deployAt method which requires instance of one of the inheritors of the serverGroup class. It is the object representing the group of servers the application should be deployed to. The application holds such an object as one of its properties. It can be a single server (SingleServerGroup subclass), a prepopulated list of servers (ServerList subclass) or a list of servers that are dynamically generated in runtime (ServerReplicationGroup subclass).

ServerReplicationGroup or, more precisely, one of its parent classes ReplicationGroup controls the number of items it holds by releasing items over the required amount and requesting creation of the new items in runtime from the ReplicaProvider class which acts like an object factory. In case of servers, it is TemplateServerProvider which creates new servers from the given template. Replication is done during the initial deployment and during the scaling actions execution.

Framework detailed description

This section provides technical description of all the classes present in the application development library, their hierarchy and usage.

Scaling primitives

There is an ability to group similar resources together, produce new copies of the same resources or release the existing ones on request. Now it is implemented for instances only, other resources may be added later.

The following is the hierarchy of classes that provide grouping and replication of resources:

| +-------+
| | +--------+        +------------------+        +-----------------+
| | |        |        |                  |        |                 |
+-+ | Object <--------+ ReplicationGroup +--------> ReplicaProvider |
  +-+        |        |                  |        |                 |
    +--------+        +---+--------------+        +-+--------+------+
                          ^                         ^        ^
                          |                         |        |
                          |      +------------------+-----+  |
                          |      |                        |  |
+-------+                 |      |  CloneReplicaProvider  |  |
| +-------+               |      |        + other         |  |
| | +----------+          |      +------------------------+  |
| | |          |          |                                  |
+-+ | Instance |          |                                  |
  +-+          |          |                                  |
    +----+-----+          |                                  |
         |                |                                  |
   +-----+-------+        |                                  |
   |             |        |                                  |
   | ServerGroup |        |                  +---------------+--+
   |             |        |                  |     Template     |
   +-----^-------+    +---+----------+       |      Server      +--+
         |            |    Server    +------->     Provider     |  |
         +------------+  Replication |       +-----+------------+  +---+
                      |    Group     |             |               |   |
                      +--------------+             +---+---other---+   |
                                                       |               |


A base class which holds the collection of objects generated in runtime in its items output property and contains a reference to a ReplicaProvider object in its provider property which is used to dynamically generate the objects in runtime.

Input properties of this class include the minItems and maxItems allowing to limit the number of objects it holds in its collection.

An input-output property numItems allows to declaratively change the set of objects in the collection by setting its size.

The deploy() method is used to apply the replica settings: it drops the objects from the collection if their number exceeds the number specified by the numItems or generate some new if there are not enough of them.

The scale() method is used to increase or decrease the numItems by some number specified in the delta argument of the method, but in range between maxItems and minItems.


A class which does the object replication. The base one is abstract, its inheritors should implement the abstract createReplica method to create the actual object. The method accepts the index parameter to properly parametrize the newly created copy and optional owner parameter to use it as an owner for the newly created objects.

The concrete implementations of this class should define all the input properties needed to create new instances of object. Thus the provider actually acts as a template of the object it generates.


An implementation of ReplicaProvider capable to create replicas by cloning some user-provided object, making use of the template() contract.


Replica provider that takes replicas from the prepopulated pool instead of creating them.


Replica provider with a load balancing that returns replica from the prepopulated list. Once the provider runs out of free items it goes to the beginning of the list and returns the same replicas again.


Replica provider which is a composition of other replica providers. It holds the collection of providers in its providers input property. Its ReplicaProvider method returns a new replica created by the first provider in that list. If that value is null, the replica created by the second provider is returned, and so on. If no not-null replicas are created by all providers, the method returns null.

This provider can be used to have some default provider with the ability to fall back to the next options if the preferable one is not successful.

Servers replication


A class that provides static methods for deployment and releasing resources on the group of instances.

The deployServers() static method accepts instance of ServerGroup class and a list of servers as the parameters and deploys all servers from the list in the environment which owns the server group, unless server is already deployed.

The releaseServers() static method accepts a list of servers as the parameter and consequentially calls beginReleaseResources() and endReleaseResources() methods on each server.


A class that extends the ServerGroup class and holds a group of prepopulated servers in its servers input property.

The deploy() method calls the deployServers() method with the servers defined in the servers property.

The .destroy() method calls the releaseServers() method with the servers defined in the servers property.


Degenerate case of a ServerGroup which consists of a single server. Has the server input property to hold a single server.


A server group that is composed of other server groups.


A subclass of the ReplicationGroup class and the ServerGroup class to replicate the Instance objects it holds.

The deploy() method of this group not only generates new instances of servers but also deploys them if needed.


A subclass of ReplicaProvider which is used to produce the objects of one of the Instance class inheritors by creating them from the provided template with parameterization of the hostnames. The resulting hostname looks like ‘Server {index}{groupName}’.

May be passed as provider property to objects of the ServerReplicationGroup class.

other replica providers

Other subclasses of ReplicaProvider may be created to produce different objects of Instance class and its subclasses depending on particular application needs.

Classes for grouping and replication of other kinds of resources are to be implemented later.

Software Components

The class to handle the lifecycle of the application is the SoftwareComponent class which is a subclass of Installable and Configurable:

+-----------+-+           +-+------------+
|             |           |              |
| Installable |           | Configurable |
|             |           |              |
+-----------+-+           +-+------------+
            ^               ^
            |               |
            |               |
          |                   |
          | SoftwareComponent |
          |                   |

The hierarchy of the SoftwareComponent classes is used to define the workflows of different application lifecycles. The general logic of the application behaviour is contained in the methods of the base classes and the derived classes are able to implement the handlers for the custom logic. The model is event-driven: the workflow consists of the multiple steps, and most of the steps invoke appropriate on%StepName% methods intended to provide application-specific logic.

Now ‘internal’ steps logic and their ‘public’ handlers are split into the separate methods. It should improve the developers’ experience and simplify the code of the derived classes.

The standard workflows (such as Installation and Configuration) are defined by the Installable and Configurable classes respectively. The SoftwareComponent class inherits both these classes and defines its deployment workflow as a sequence of Installation and Configuration flows. Other future implementations may add new workflow interfaces and mix them in to change the deployment workflow or add new actions.

Installation workflow consists of the following methods:

| INSTALL                                                                                                              |
|                                                                                                                      |
|      +------------------------------+                               +---------------+                                |
|    +------------------------------+ |                             +---------------+ |                                |
|  +------------------------------+ | |      +---------------+    +---------------+ | |      +----------------------+  |
|  |                              | | |      |               |    |               | | |      |                      |  |
|  |    checkServerIsInstalled    | +-+ +----> beforeInstall +----> installServer | +-+ +----> completeInstallation |  |
|  |                              +-+        |               |    |               +-+        |                      |  |
|  +------------------------------+          +------+--------+    +------+--------+          +-----------+----------+  |
|                                                   |                    |                               |             |
                                                    |                    |                               |
                                                    |                    |                               |
                                                    |                    |                               |
                                                    v                    v                               v
                                              onBeforeInstall      onInstallServer              onCompleteInstallation
Method Arguments Description
install serverGroup Entry point of the installation workflow. Iterates through all the servers of the passed ServerGroup and calls the checkServerIsInstalled method for each of them. If at least one of the calls has returned false, calls a beforeInstall method. Then, for each server which returned false as the result of the checkServerIsInstalled calls the installServer method to do the actual software installation. After the installation is completed on all the servers and if at least one of the previous calls of checkServerIsInstalled returned false, the method runs the completeInstallation method. If all the calls to checkServerIsInstalled return true, this method concludes without calling any others.
checkServerIsInstalled server Checks if the given server requires a (re)deployment of the software component. By default checks for the value of the attribute installed of the instance. May be overridden by subclasses to provide some better logic (e.g. the app developer may provide code to check if the given software is pre-installed on the image which was provisioned on the VM).
beforeInstall servers, serverGroup Reports the beginning of installation process, sends notification about this event to all objects which are subscribed for it (see Event notification pattern section for details) and calls the public event handler onBeforeInstall.
onBeforeInstall servers, serverGroup Public handler of the beforeInstall event. Empty in the base class, may be overridden in subclasses if some custom pre-install logic needs to be executed.
installServer server, serverGroup Does the actual software deployment on a given server by calling an onInstallServer public event handler (with notification on this event). If the installation completes successfully sets the installed attribute of the server to true, reports successful installation and returns null. If an exception encountered during the invocation of onInstallServer, the method handles that exception, reports a warning and returns the server. The return value of the method indicates to the install method how many failures encountered in total during the installation and with what servers.
onInstallServer server, serverGroup An event-handler method which is called by the installServer method when the actual software deployment is needed.It is empty in the base class. The implementations should override it with custom logic to deploy the actual software bits.
completeInstallation servers, serverGroup, failedServers It is executed after all the installServer methods were called. Checks for the number of errors reported during the installation: if it is greater than the value of allowedInstallFailures property, an exception is raised to interrupt the deployment workflow. Otherwise the method emits notification on this event, calls an onCompleteInstallation event handler and then reports the successful completion of the installation workflow.
onCompleteInstallation servers, serverGroup, failedServers An event-handler method which is called by the completeInstallation method when the component installation is about to be completed. Default implementation is empty. Inheritors may implement this method to add some final handling, reporting etc.

Configuration workflow consists of the following methods:

| CONFIGURATION                                                                                                        |
|               +-----------------+                                                                                    |
|               |                 |                                                                                    |
|               |          +---------------+                          +-----------------+                              |
|               |        +---------------+ |                        +-----------------+ |                              |
|  +------------v--+   +---------------+ | |   +--------------+   +-----------------+ | |   +-----------------------+  |
|  |               |   |               | | |   |              |   |                 | | |   |                       |  |
|  | checkCluster\ +---> checkServer\  | +-+---> preConfigure +---> configureServer | +-+---> completeConfiguration |  |
|  | IsConfigured  |   | IsConfigured  +-+     |              |   |                 +-+     |                       |  |
|  +------------+--+   +---------------+       +------+-------+   +--------+--------+       +-----------+-----------+  |
|               |                                     |                    |                            |              |
|               |                                     |                    |                            |              |
|    +----------v----------+                          |                    |                            |              |
|    |                     |                          |                    |                            |              |
|    | getConfigurationKey |                          |                    |                            |              |
|    |                     |                          |                    |                            |              |
|    +---------------------+                          |                    |                            |              |
|                                                     |                    |                            |              |
                                                      |                    |                            |
                                                      |                    |                            |
                                                      v                    v                            v
                                              configureSecurity,    onConfigureServer          onCompleteConfiguration
Method Arguments Description
configure serverGroup Entry point of the configuration workflow. Calls a checkClusterIsConfigured method. If the call returns true, workflow exits without any further action. Otherwise for each server in the serverGroup it calls checkServerIsConfigured method and gets the list of servers that need reconfiguration. The preConfigure method is called with that list. At the end calls the completeConfiguration method.
checkClusterIsConfigured serverGroup Has to return true if the configuration (i.e. the values of input properties) of the component has not been changed since it was last deployed on the given server group. Default implementation calls the getConfigurationKey method and compares the returned result with a value of configuration attribute of serverGroup. If the results match returns true otherwise false.
getConfigurationKey None Should return some values describing the configuration state of the component. This state is used to track the changes of the configuration by the checkClusterIsConfigured and checkServerIsConfigured methods. Default implementation returns a synthetic value which gets updated on every environment redeployment. Thus the subsequent calls of the configure method on the same server group during the same deployment will not cause the reconfiguration, while the calls on the next deployment will reapply the configuration again. The inheritors may redefine this to include the actual values of the configuration properties, so the configuration is reapplied only if the appropriate input properties are changed.
checkServerIsConfigured server, serverGroup It is called to check if the particular server of the server group has to be reconfigured thus providing more precise control compared to cluster-wide checkClusterIsConfigured. Default implementation calls the getConfigurationKey method and compares the returned result with a value of configuration attribute of the server. If the results match returns true otherwise false. This method gets called only if the checkClusterIsConfigured method returned false for the whole server group.
preConfigure servers, serverGroup Reports the beginning of configuration process, calls the configureSecurity method, emits the notification and calls the public event handler onPreConfigure. This method is called once per the server group and only if the changes in configuration are detected.
configureSecurity servers, serverGroup Intended for configuring the security rules. It is empty in the base class. Fully implemented in the OpenStackSecurityConfigurable class which is the inheritor of Configurable.
onPreConfigure servers, serverGroup Public event-handler which is called by the preConfigure method when the (re)configuration of the component is required. Default implementation is empty. Inheritors may implement this method to set various kinds of cluster-wide states or output properties which may be of use at later stages of the workflow.
configureServer server, serverGroup Does the actual software configuration on a given server by calling the onConfigureServer public event handler. Before that reports the beginning of the configuration and emits the notification. If the configuration completes successfully calls the getConfigurationKey method and sets the configuration attribute of the server to resulting value thus saving the configuration applied to a given server. Returns null to indicate successful configuration. If an exception encountered during the invocation of onConfigureServer, the method will handle that exception, report a warning and return the current server to signal its failure to the configure method.
onConfigureServer server, serverGroup An event-handler method which is called by the configureServer method when the actual software configuration is needed. It is empty in the base class. The implementations should override it with custom logic to apply the actual software configuration on a given server.
completeConfiguration servers, serverGroup, failedServers It is executed after all the configureServer methods were called. Checks for the number of errors reported during the configuration: if it is greater than set by the allowedConfigurationFailures property, an exception is raised to interrupt the deployment workflow. Otherwise the method emits notification, calls an onCompleteConfiguration event handler, calls the getConfigurationKey method and sets the configuration attribute of the server group to resulting value and then reports successful completion of the configuration workflow.
onCompleteConfiguration servers, serverGroup, failedServers The event-handler method which is called by the completeConfiguration method when the component configuration is finished at all the servers. Default implementation is empty. Inheritors may implement this method to add some final handling, reporting etc.

The OpenStackSecurityConfigurable class extends Configurable by implementing the configureSecurity method of the base class and adding the empty getSecurityRules method.

Method Arguments Description
getSecurityRules None

Returns an empty dictionary in default implementation. Inheritors which want to add security rules during the app configuration should implement this method and make it return a list of dictionaries describing the security rules with the following keys:

  • FromPort (port number, e.g. 80).
  • ToPort (port number, e.g. 80).
  • IpProtocol: (string, e.g. ‘tcp’).
  • External: (boolean: true means that the inbound traffic to the given port (or port range) may originate from outside of the environment; false means that only the VMs spawned by this or other apps of the current environment may connect to this port).
  • Ethertype: (optional, can be ‘IPv4’ or ‘IPv6’).
configureSecurity servers, serverGroup Gets the list of security rules provided by the getSecurityRules method and adds security group with these rules to the Heat stacks of all regions which the component’s servers are deployed to

Consider the following example of this class usage:

  =: com.example.apache
  apps: io.murano.applications

Name: ApacheHttpServer

  - apps:MultiServerApplicationWithScaling
  - apps:OpenStackSecurityConfigurable

      - Return:
          - ToPort: 80
            FromPort: 80
            IpProtocol: tcp
            External: true
          - ToPort: 443
            FromPort: 443
            IpProtocol: tcp
            External: true

In the example above, the ApacheHttpServer class is configured to create a security group with two security rules allowing network traffic over HTTP and HTTPS protocols on its deployment.

The SoftwareComponent class inherits both Installable and Configurable and adds several additional methods.

Method Arguments Description
deployAt serverGroup Binds all workflows into one process. Consequentially calls deploy method of the serverGroup, install and configure methods inherited from the parent classes.
report message Reports a message using environment’s reporter.
detectSuccess allowedFailures, serverGroup, failedServers Static method that returns true in case the actual number of failures (number of failedServers) is less than or equal to the allowedFailures. The latter can be on of the following options: none, one, two, three, any, ‘quorum’. any allows any number of failures during the installation or configuration. quorum allows failure of less than a half of all servers.

Event notification pattern

The Event class may be used to issue various notifications to other MuranoPL classes in an event-driven manner.

Any object which is going to emit the notifications should declare the instances of the Event class as its public Runtime properties. You can see the examples of such properties in the Installable and Configurable classes:

Name: Installable

    Contract: $.class(Event).notNull()
    Usage: Runtime
      name: beforeInstall

The object which is going to subscribe for the notifications should pass itself into the subscribe method of the event along with the name of its method which will be used to handle the notification:

$event.subscribe($subscriber, handleFoo)

The specified handler method must be present in the subscriber class (if the method name is missing it will default to handle%Eventname%) and have at least one standard (i.e. not VarArgs or KwArgs) argument which will be treated as sender while invoking.

The unsubscribe method does the opposite and removes object from the subscribers of the event.

The class which is going to emit the notification should call the notify method of the event and pass itself as the first argument (sender). All the optional parameters of the event may be passed as varargs/kwargs of the notify call. They will be passed all the way to the handler methods.

This is how it looks in the Installable class:

    - servers:
          - $.class(res:Instance).notNull()
    - serverGroup:
        Contract: $.class(ServerGroup).notNull()
    - ...
    - $this.beforeInstallEvent.notify($this, $servers, $serverGroup)
    - ...

The notifyInParallel method does the same, but invokes all handlers of subscribers in parallel.

Base application classes

There are several base classes that extend standard io.murano.Application class and SoftwareComponent class from the application development library.

A base class for applications running a single software component on a single server only. Its deploy method simply creates the SingleServerGroup with the server provided as an application input.
A base class for applications running a single software component on multiple servers. Unlike SingleServerApplication, it has the servers input property instead of server. It accepts instance of on of the inheritors of the ServerGroup class.

Extends MultiServerApplication with the ability to scale the application by increasing (scaling out) or decreasing (scaling in) the number of nodes with the application after it is installed. The differences from MultiServerApplication are:

  • the servers property accepts only instances of ServerReplicationGroup rather than any ServerGroup
  • the additional optional scaleFactor property accepts the number by which the app is scaled at once; it defaults to 1
  • the scaleOut and scaleIn public methods are added

Application developers may as well define their own classes using the same approach and combining base classes behaviour with the custom code to satisfy the needs of their applications.

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