Steeltoe Microservices Framework

Steeltoe Microservices Framework
by Brad Jolicoeur
11/14/2020

If you have not run across Steeltoe, it is a set of libraries that address most of the cross cutting concerns you deal with when building microservices. Logging, Configuration, Health Checks, Traces, Service Discovery, etc.

I first learned about Steeltoe a few years ago when I worked for a client that was migrating their services to Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF). At the time, it was one of my favorite aspects of PCF. I especially liked the integration with Spring Config Server. Unfortunately, at that time Steeltoe was only really relevant for services running on PCF and I haven't had an opportunity to work with it since then.

I was quite pleasantly surprised when I saw the Steeltoe session of .NET Conf 2020 this week. From the session, I learned that Steeltoe has matured into a framework that is useful beyond PCF. I then proceeded to dig into Steeltoe to reacquaint myself with it.

What I found was very interesting. The Steeltoe framework consists of a set of libraries that can be combined to address a number of crosscutting concerns that every microservice solution should include. The ability to pull these libraries into your implementation means that you do not need to spend time writing things like Health Check endpoints for each of your services.

One of the really cool services that I learned about was start.steeltoe.io. This web app will generate a .NET starter project based on the libraries you select. This is a good starting point as configuration is usually the more challenging aspects of getting up to speed on a framework like Steeltoe.

Start-Seeltoe-Menu

There is also a dotnet new option to generate services that allow you to select the libraries you need and generate a project from the templates.

Summary

If you are building microservices using .NET, definitely check out Steeltoe.

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