How do we know the server is running? Let’s create a client with http4s to try our service.

A recap of the dependencies for this example, in case you skipped the service example. Ensure you have the following dependencies in your build.sbt:

scalaVersion := "2.11.8" // Also supports 2.10.x and 2.12.x

val http4sVersion = "0.17.1"

// Only necessary for SNAPSHOT releases
resolvers += Resolver.sonatypeRepo("snapshots")

libraryDependencies ++= Seq(
  "org.http4s" %% "http4s-dsl" % http4sVersion,
  "org.http4s" %% "http4s-blaze-server" % http4sVersion,
  "org.http4s" %% "http4s-blaze-client" % http4sVersion

Then we create the service again so tut picks it up:

import org.http4s._
// import org.http4s._

import org.http4s.dsl._
// import org.http4s.dsl._

import org.http4s.server.blaze._
// import org.http4s.server.blaze._

val service = HttpService {
  case GET -> Root / "hello" / name =>
    Ok(s"Hello, $name.")
// service: org.http4s.HttpService = Kleisli(org.http4s.package$HttpService$$$Lambda$2570/1080381703@c07e9f9)

import org.http4s.server.syntax._
// import org.http4s.server.syntax._

val builder = BlazeBuilder.bindHttp(8080, "localhost").mountService(service, "/")
// builder: org.http4s.server.blaze.BlazeBuilder = org.http4s.server.blaze.BlazeBuilder@7a1413fc

val server =
// server: org.http4s.server.Server = BlazeServer(/

Creating the client

A good default choice is the PooledHttp1Client. As the name implies, the PooledHttp1Client maintains a connection pool and speaks HTTP 1.x.

import org.http4s.client.blaze._
// import org.http4s.client.blaze._

val httpClient = PooledHttp1Client()
// httpClient: org.http4s.client.Client = Client(Kleisli(org.http4s.client.blaze.BlazeClient$$$Lambda$2603/624243005@2b6c8348),Task)

Describing a call

To execute a GET request, we can call expect with the type we expect and the URI we want:

val helloJames = httpClient.expect[String]("http://localhost:8080/hello/James")
// helloJames: fs2.Task[String] = Task

Note that we don’t have any output yet. We have a Task[String], to represent the asynchronous nature of a client request.

Furthermore, we haven’t even executed the request yet. A significant difference between a Task and a scala.concurrent.Future is that a Future starts running immediately on its implicit execution context, whereas a Task runs when it’s told. Executing a request is an example of a side effect. In functional programming, we prefer to build a description of the program we’re going to run, and defer its side effects to the end.

Let’s describe how we’re going to greet a collection of people in parallel:

import fs2.Task
// import fs2.Task

import fs2.Strategy
// import fs2.Strategy

import fs2.interop.cats._
// import fs2.interop.cats._

import cats._
// import cats._

import cats.implicits._
// import cats.implicits._

import org.http4s.Uri
// import org.http4s.Uri

// fs2 `Async` needs an implicit `Strategy`
implicit val strategy = Strategy.fromExecutionContext(
// strategy: fs2.Strategy = Strategy

def hello(name: String): Task[String] = {
  val target = Uri.uri("http://localhost:8080/hello/") / name
// hello: (name: String)fs2.Task[String]

val people = Vector("Michael", "Jessica", "Ashley", "Christopher")
// people: scala.collection.immutable.Vector[String] = Vector(Michael, Jessica, Ashley, Christopher)

val greetingList = Task.parallelTraverse(people)(hello)
// greetingList: fs2.Task[Vector[String]] = Task

Observe how simply we could combine a single Task[String] returned by hello into a scatter-gather to return a Task[List[String]].

Making the call

It is best to run your Task “at the end of the world.” The “end of the world” varies by context:

  • In a command line app, it’s your main method.
  • In an HttpService, a Task[Response] is returned to be run by the server.
  • Here in the REPL, the last line is the end of the world. Here we go:
val greetingsStringTask ="\n"))
// greetingsStringTask: fs2.Task[String] = Task

// res1: String =
// Hello, Michael.
// Hello, Jessica.
// Hello, Ashley.
// Hello, Christopher.

Cleaning up

Our client consumes system resources. Let’s clean up after ourselves by shutting it down:


Calls to a JSON API

Take a look at json.

Body decoding / encoding

The reusable way to decode/encode a request is to write a custom EntityDecoder and EntityEncoder. For that topic, take a look at entity.

If you prefer the quick & dirty solution, some of the methods take a Response => Task[A] argument, which lets you add a function which includes the decoding functionality, but ignores the media type.

TODO: Example here

However, your function has to consume the body before the returned Task exits. Don’t do this:

// will come back to haunt you
client.get[EntityBody]("some-url")(response => response.body)

Passing it to a EntityDecoder is safe.

client.get[T]("some-url")(response => jsonOf(response.body))