When building web applications, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what’s happening on the server-side. One crucial aspect of this is being able to track all incoming requests and responses, so you can monitor performance, troubleshoot issues, and analyze user behavior. In Spring Boot, one way to achieve this is by using the /actuator/httptrace endpoint.
Activate the Spring Boot Actuator
Spring Boot Actuator endpoints let you monitor and interact with your application. Spring Boot includes a number of built-in endpoints and lets you add your own. For example, the health endpoint provides basic application health information. In this tutorial we will learn how to use the HTTP Tracing Actuator Endpoint.
In order to use Spring Boot Actuator all you need to do is including the following dependencies in the pom.xml file:
<dependency> <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId> <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-actuator</artifactId> </dependency> <dependency> <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId> <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId> </dependency>
By default, only the /health and /info endpoints are exposed by default. To expose the httptrace Endpoint, you need to add in your application.properties the following:
Now you can issue some requests for your application then check the actuator/httptrace endpoint:
Here is the output from the actuator httptrace endpoint:
As you can see, the response returned contains several fields:
- timestamp: the time when the request was received
- principal: the authenticated user who did the request, if any
- session: the session associated with the request
- request: information about the request such as the method, full URI or headers
- response: information about the response such as the status or the headers
- timeTaken: the time taken to handle the request
However, to log all requests and responses to your server’s console or a log file, you’ll need to configure Spring Boot’s logging system to include the httptrace information.
To do this, you can create a new file called application.yml in your src/main/resources directory (if it doesn’t already exist), and add the following configuration:
logging: level: org.springframework.web.servlet.mvc.method.annotation.ServletInvocableHandlerMethod: TRACE org.springframework.boot.actuate.trace.http.HttpTraceRepository: DEBUG
This configuration sets the log level for two specific Spring Boot classes to TRACE and DEBUG, respectively. The first class logs information about incoming requests and responses, while the second class logs information about the /actuator/httptrace endpoint itself.
With this configuration in place, all incoming requests and responses will be logged to the console or log file, depending on how you’ve configured your logging system. You can use this information to monitor server performance, track user behavior, and troubleshoot issues as they arise.
In conclusion, logging all requests in Spring Boot using the /actuator/httptrace endpoint is a powerful tool for monitoring and analyzing your web application’s performance and user behavior. By following the steps outlined above, you can quickly configure your Spring Boot project to log all incoming requests and responses, and start using this valuable data to improve your application’s functionality and performance.