Microservices with go-kit. Part 2

plutov profile image Alex Pliutau ・5 min read

This is a text version of the "packagemain #13: Microservices with go-kit. Part 2" video.

Microservices with go-kit. Part 2

In the previous video we prepared a local environment for our services using kit command line tool. In this video we'll continue to work with this code.

Let's implement our Notificator service first by writing the proto definition as it's supposed to be a gRPC service. We aleady have pre-generated file notificator/pkg/grpc/pb/notificator.pb, let's make it really simple.

syntax = "proto3";

package pb;

service Notificator {
    rpc SendEmail (SendEmailRequest) returns (SendEmailReply);

message SendEmailRequest {
    string email = 1;
    string content = 2;

message SendEmailReply {
    string id = 1;

Now we need to generate server and client stubs, we can use the compile.sh script already given us by kit tool, it basically contains the protoc command.

cd notificator/pkg/grpc/pb

If we check notificator.pb.go - it was updated.

Now we need to implement the service itself. Instead of sending a real email let's generate a uuid only and return it, pretending that it's sent. But first we have to edit a bit the service to match our Request / Response formats (new id return argument).


import (

    uuid "github.com/satori/go.uuid"

// NotificatorService describes the service.
type NotificatorService interface {
    // Add your methods here
    SendEmail(ctx context.Context, email string, content string) (string, error)

type basicNotificatorService struct{}

func (b *basicNotificatorService) SendEmail(ctx context.Context, email string, content string) (string, error) {
    id, err := uuid.NewV4()
    if err != nil {
        return "", err

    return id.String(), nil


func (l loggingMiddleware) SendEmail(ctx context.Context, email string, content string) (string, error) {
    defer func() {
        l.logger.Log("method", "SendEmail", "email", email, "content", content)
    return l.next.SendEmail(ctx, email, content)


// SendEmailResponse collects the response parameters for the SendEmail method.
type SendEmailResponse struct {
    Id string
    E0 error `json:"e0"`

// MakeSendEmailEndpoint returns an endpoint that invokes SendEmail on the service.
func MakeSendEmailEndpoint(s service.NotificatorService) endpoint.Endpoint {
    return func(ctx context.Context, request interface{}) (interface{}, error) {
        req := request.(SendEmailRequest)
        id, e0 := s.SendEmail(ctx, req.Email, req.Content)
        return SendEmailResponse{Id: id, E0: e0}, nil

If we search for TODO grep -R "TODO" notificator we can see that we still need to implement Encoder and Decoder for gRPC request and response.


func decodeSendEmailRequest(_ context.Context, r interface{}) (interface{}, error) {
    req := r.(*pb.SendEmailRequest)
    return endpoint.SendEmailRequest{Email: req.Email, Content: req.Content}, nil

func encodeSendEmailResponse(_ context.Context, r interface{}) (interface{}, error) {
    reply := r.(endpoint.SendEmailResponse)
    return &pb.SendEmailReply{Id: reply.Id}, nil

Service discovery

The SendEmail will be invoked by User service, so User service needs to know the address of Notificator, the typical service discovery problem. Of course in our local environment we know how to connect to the service as we use Docker Compose, but it may be more difficult in real distributed environment.

Let's start with registering our Notificator service in the etcd. Basically etcd is a distributed reliable key-value store, widely used for service discovery. go-kit supports other technologies for service discovery: eureka, consul, zookeeper, etc.

Let's add it to our Docker Compose so it will be available for our servers. Copied from Internet:


        image: 'quay.io/coreos/etcd:v3.1.7'
        restart: always
            - '23791:2379'
            - '23801:2380'
            ETCD_NAME: infra
            ETCD_INITIAL_ADVERTISE_PEER_URLS: 'http://etcd:2380'
            ETCD_INITIAL_CLUSTER: infra=http://etcd:2380
            ETCD_INITIAL_CLUSTER_TOKEN: secrettoken
            ETCD_LISTEN_CLIENT_URLS: 'http://etcd:2379,http://localhost:2379'
            ETCD_LISTEN_PEER_URLS: 'http://etcd:2380'
            ETCD_ADVERTISE_CLIENT_URLS: 'http://etcd:2379'

Let's register Notificator in etcd, notificator/cmd/service/service.go:

registrar, err := registerService(logger)
if err != nil {

defer registrar.Deregister()

func registerService(logger log.Logger) (*sdetcd.Registrar, error) {
    var (
        etcdServer = "http://etcd:2379"
        prefix     = "/services/notificator/"
        instance   = "notificator:8082"
        key        = prefix + instance

    client, err := sdetcd.NewClient(context.Background(), []string{etcdServer}, sdetcd.ClientOptions{})
    if err != nil {
        return nil, err

    registrar := sdetcd.NewRegistrar(client, sdetcd.Service{
        Key:   key,
        Value: instance,
    }, logger)


    return registrar, nil

We should always remember to deregister service when our program is stopped or crashed. Now etcd knows about our service, in this example we have only 1 instance, but in real life it could be more of course.

Now let's test our Notificator service and check if it is able to register in etcd:

docker-compose up -d etcd
docker-compose up -d notificator

Now let's get back to our Users service and invoke the Notificator service, basically we're going to send a fictional notification to user after it's created.

As Notificator is a gRPC service, so we need to share a client stub file with our client, in our case Users service.

The protobuf client stub code is located in notificator/pkg/grpc/pb/notificator.pb.go, and we can just import this package to our cient.


import (

type basicUsersService struct {
    notificatorServiceClient pb.NotificatorClient

func (b *basicUsersService) Create(ctx context.Context, email string) error {
    reply, err := b.notificatorServiceClient.SendEmail(context.Background(), &pb.SendEmailRequest{
        Email:   email,
        Content: "Hi! Thank you for registration...",

    if reply != nil {
        log.Printf("Email ID: %s", reply.Id)

    return err

// NewBasicUsersService returns a naive, stateless implementation of UsersService.
func NewBasicUsersService() UsersService {
    conn, err := grpc.Dial("notificator:8082", grpc.WithInsecure())
    if err != nil {
        log.Printf("unable to connect to notificator: %s", err.Error())
        return new(basicUsersService)

    log.Printf("connected to notificator")

    return &basicUsersService{
        notificatorServiceClient: pb.NewNotificatorClient(conn),

But as we registered Notificator in etcd we can replace hardcoded Notificator address by getting it from etcd.

var etcdServer = "http://etcd:2379"

client, err := sdetcd.NewClient(context.Background(), []string{etcdServer}, sdetcd.ClientOptions{})
if err != nil {
    log.Printf("unable to connect to etcd: %s", err.Error())
    return new(basicUsersService)

entries, err := client.GetEntries("/services/notificator/")
if err != nil || len(entries) == 0 {
    log.Printf("unable to get prefix entries: %s", err.Error())
    return new(basicUsersService)

conn, err := grpc.Dial(entries[0], grpc.WithInsecure())

We get the first entry as we have only one, but in real system it may be hundreads of entries, so we can apply some logic for instance selection, for example Round Robin.

Now let's start our Users service and test this out:

docker-compose up users

We're going to call the http endpoint to create a user:

curl -XPOST http://localhost:8802/create -d '{"email": "test"}'


In this video we have implemented fictional Notificator gRPC service, registered it in etcd and invoked from another service Users.

In the next video we're going to review the service authorization through JWT (SON Web Tokens).


Editor guide
cencul profile image

Hi, will be there part 3 with jwt?

najamsk profile image

i am also looking for part3

0xbkt profile image
Berkant Ipek

Will there be an article version of the video?

plutov profile image
Alex Pliutau Author

I modified this post, so it contains all the code.

plutov profile image
Alex Pliutau Author

Make sense! I will add one now.

timhavens profile image

If you happen to be using etcd (in my case on windows) versions:
"etcdserver": "3.4.3",
"etcdcluster": "3.4.0"

Using: sdetcd "github.com/go-kit/kit/sd/etcd"

I was seeing this message:

ts=2019-10-25T21:16:34.0458025Z caller=registrar.go:74 key=services-authgrpc-authgrpc:8182 value=authgrpc:8182 err="client: response is invalid json. The endpoint is probably not valid etcd cluster endpoint"

I changed to this:

sdetcd "github.com/go-kit/kit/sd/etcdv3"

And get this WINNING response :-)

ts=2019-10-25T21:17:43.5125494Z caller=registrar.go:77 key=services-authgrpc-authgrpc:8182 value=authgrpc:8182 action=register

Took me a while to realize this.

plutov profile image
tranphuoctien profile image
Tran Tien

Do you know how to debug?

plutov profile image
souvikghosh profile image
Souvik Ghosh

Thanks a ton Alex for sharing this tutorial. Just wanted to ask how we should optimize the docker containers for production use. Each container is approx 1 Gb now.