Multi-language extension-protocol access

In EMQ X Enterprise 4.2.0, we provide multi-language extension support. Among them, the Multilingual Extended Protocol Access module allows other programming languages ​​(such as Python, Java, etc.) to directly process byte data messages to achieve custom protocol analysis, and provides Pub/Sub interfaces to achieve message exchange with the system .

The scalability brought by this function to EMQ X is very powerful. It can process any proprietary protocol in a programming language familiar to users, and enjoy the advantages of extremely high concurrent connections brought by the EMQ X system.


-Very strong expansion capability. Use gRPC as the RPC communication framework to support various mainstream programming languages -Fully asynchronous IO. The connection layer is implemented in a completely asynchronous non-blocking I/O way -The connection layer is transparent. Fully support TCP\TLS UDP\DTLS connection management, and provide a unified API for the upper layer -Connection management capabilities. For example, the maximum number of connections, rate limits for connections and throughput, IP blacklists, etc.


Extension-Protocol Arch

The main contents of this module include:

  1. Connection layer: This part mainly maintains the life cycle of Socket, and the sending and receiving of data. Its functional requirements include:

    -Listen to a port. When a new TCP/UDP connection arrives, a connection process is started to maintain the connection status. -Call the ʻOnSocketCreatedcallback. Used to notify the external module that a new connection has been established**. -Call the ʻOnScoektClosed callback. Used to notify the external module that the connection is closed. -Call the ʻOnReceivedBytescallback. Used to notify the external module ** the newly received data packet for this connection**. -ProvideSendinterface. Called by external modules, **used to send data packets**. -ProvideClose` interface. Called by external modules, used to actively close the connection.

  2. Protocol/session layer: This part mainly provides PUB/SUB interface** to realize message intercommunication with the EMQ X Broker system. include:

    -Provide ʻAuthenticateinterface. Used by external modules to register clients to the cluster. -ProvideStartTimerinterface. Called by external modules to start timers such as heartbeat for the connection process. -ProvidePublishinterface. Used by external modules to publish messages in EMQ X Broker. -Provide theSubscribeinterface. It is used by external modules to subscribe to a topic in order to receive certain downlink messages from EMQ X Broker. -Provide the ʻUnsubscribe interface. Called by external modules to unsubscribe a topic. -Call the ʻOnTimerTimeoutcallback. It is used to handle events that the timer expires. -Call the ʻOnReceivedMessages callback. Used to receive downlink messages (after subscribing to the topic successfully, if there is a message on the topic, this method will be called back)

Interface design

From the gRPC perspective, ExProto will act as a client to send callback requests to the ConnectionHandler service. At the same time, it will also serve as a server to provide ConnectionAdapter services to external modules to provide various interface calls. As shown:

Extension Protocol gRPC Arch

For details, see: exproto.proto, for example, the definition of the interface is:

syntax = "proto3";

package emqx.exproto.v1;

// The Broker side serivce. It provides a set of APIs to
// handle a protcol access
service ConnectionAdapter {

  // - socket layer

  rpc Send(SendBytesRequest) returns (CodeResponse) {};

  rpc Close(CloseSocketRequest) returns (CodeResponse) {};

  // - protocol layer

  rpc Authenticate(AuthenticateRequest) returns (CodeResponse) {};

  rpc StartTimer(TimerRequest) returns (CodeResponse) {};

  // - pub/sub layer

  rpc Publish(PublishRequest) returns (CodeResponse) {};

  rpc Subscribe(SubscribeRequest) returns (CodeResponse) {};

  rpc Unsubscribe(UnsubscribeRequest) returns (CodeResponse) {};

service ConnectionHandler {

  // - socket layer

  rpc OnSocketCreated(SocketCreatedRequest) returns (EmptySuccess) {};

  rpc OnSocketClosed(SocketClosedRequest) returns (EmptySuccess) {};

  rpc OnReceivedBytes(ReceivedBytesRequest) returns (EmptySuccess) {};

  // - pub/sub layer

  rpc OnTimerTimeout(TimerTimeoutRequest) returns (EmptySuccess) {};

  rpc OnReceivedMessages(ReceivedMessagesRequest) returns (EmptySuccess) {};

Development Guide

Before using this module, users need to develop and deploy a gRPC service and implement the interface defined by ʻexproto.proto`.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Copy the current version of lib/emqx_exproto-<x.y.z>/priv/protos/exproto.proto file.
  2. Use the gRPC framework of the corresponding programming language to generate the gRPC server code of ʻexproto.proto`.
  3. Implement the interface of the ConnectionHandler service in exproto.proto.

After the development is completed, the service needs to be deployed to a server that can communicate with EMQ X, and the port is open.

The gRPC framework of each language can be referred to: grpc-ecosystem/awesome-grpc

Create module

After successfully deploying the gRPC service, you can open the multi-language extension protocol access module through the dashboard page, and configure the following three parts to use it successfully:

  1. The listening address of ExProto's ConnectionApdapter service. Used to receive gRPC requests.
  2. Configure Listener (Listener) to provide TCP/UDP/SSL/DTLS address monitoring. Used to monitor and receive device connections.
  3. Specify a service address of ConnectionHandler for each listener. A service used to send various event callbacks to users.

Open EMQ X Dashboard, click the "Modules" tab on the left, and choose to add:


Select "Multilingual Extended Protocol Access":

Add ExProto Module

Configure the listening address of the ConnectionAdapter service, and whether to enable SSL listening for it:

Configure ExProto gRPC Server

Click "Add Listener" to configure the listener for the ExProto module, including:

  1. The listener's listening address and listening type, which indicate how to receive the Socket connection of the custom protocol.
  2. The Handler Service Address of the ConnectionHandler and possible SSL certificate configuration, which indicate how ExProto accesses the ConnectionHandler service.

Configure ExProto Listener

Click OK to complete the listener addition; click Add to complete the creation of the module:

Add ExProto Successfully

So far, the configuration of multi-language extended protocol access has been completed.

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