TODO update to Java APIs
In the chapter about constructing Routes the
~ operator was introduced, which connects two routes in a way that allows a second route to get a go at a request if the first route “rejected” it. The concept of “rejections” is used by Akka HTTP for maintaining a more functional overall architecture and in order to be able to properly handle all kinds of error scenarios.
When a filtering directive, like the get directive, cannot let the request pass through to its inner route because the filter condition is not satisfied (e.g. because the incoming request is not a GET request) the directive doesn’t immediately complete the request with an error response. Doing so would make it impossible for other routes chained in after the failing filter to get a chance to handle the request. Rather, failing filters “reject” the request in the same way as by explicitly calling
After having been rejected by a route the request will continue to flow through the routing structure and possibly find another route that can complete it. If there are more rejections all of them will be picked up and collected.
If the request cannot be completed by (a branch of) the route structure an enclosing handleRejections directive can be used to convert a set of rejections into an
HttpResponse (which, in most cases, will be an error response).
Route.seal internally wraps its argument route with the handleRejections directive in order to “catch” and handle any rejection.
A rejection encapsulates a specific reason why a route was not able to handle a request. It is modeled as an object of type
Rejection. Akka HTTP comes with a set of predefined rejections, which are used by the many predefined directives.
Rejections are gathered up over the course of a Route evaluation and finally converted to
HttpResponse replies by the handleRejections directive if there was no way for the request to be completed.
trait RejectionHandler extends (immutable.Seq[Rejection] => Option[Route])
RejectionHandler returns an
Option[Route] it can choose whether it would like to handle the current set of rejections or not. If it returns
None the rejections will simply continue to flow through the route structure.
RejectionHandler applied by the top-level glue code that turns a
Route into a
Flow or async handler function for the low-level API (via
Route.asyncHandler) will handle all rejections that reach it.
As you can see from its definition above the
RejectionHandler doesn’t handle single rejections but a whole list of them. This is because some route structure produce several “reasons” why a request could not be handled.
Take this route structure for example:
TODO missing sample
For uncompressed POST requests this route structure would initially yield two rejections:
MethodRejectionproduced by the get directive (which rejected because the request is not a GET request)
UnsupportedRequestEncodingRejectionproduced by the decodeRequestWith directive (which only accepts gzip-compressed requests here)
In reality the route even generates one more rejection, a
TransformationRejection produced by the post directive. It “cancels” all other potentially existing MethodRejections, since they are invalid after the post directive allowed the request to pass (after all, the route structure can deal with POST requests). These types of rejection cancellations are resolved before a
RejectionHandler sees the rejection list. So, for the example above the
RejectionHandler will be presented with only a single-element rejection list, containing nothing but the
Since rejections are passed around in a list (or rather immutable
Seq) you might ask yourself what the semantics of an empty rejection list are. In fact, empty rejection lists have well defined semantics. They signal that a request was not handled because the respective resource could not be found. Akka HTTP reserves the special status of “empty rejection” to this most common failure a service is likely to produce.
If you’d like to customize the way certain rejections are handled you’ll have to write a custom RejectionHandler. Here is an example:
TODO missing sample
The easiest way to construct a
RejectionHandler is via the
RejectionHandler.Builder that Akka HTTP provides. After having created a new
Builder instance with
RejectionHandler.newBuilder() you can attach handling logic for certain types of rejections through three helper methods:
- Handles certain rejections with the given partial function. The partial function simply produces a
Routewhich is run when the rejection is “caught”. This makes the full power of the Routing DSL available for defining rejection handlers and even allows for recursing back into the main route structure if required.
- handleAll[T <: Rejection]
- Handles all rejections of a certain type at the same time. This is useful for cases where your need access to more than the first rejection of a certain type, e.g. for producing the error message to an unsupported request method.
- As described above “Resource Not Found” is special as it is represented with an empty rejection set. The
handleNotFoundhelper let’s you specify the “recovery route” for this case.
Even though you could handle several different rejection types in a single partial function supplied to
handle it is recommended to split these up into distinct
handle attachments instead. This way the priority between rejections is properly defined via the order of your
handle clauses rather than the (sometimes hard to predict or control) order of rejections in the rejection set.
Once you have defined your custom
RejectionHandler you have two options for “activating” it:
- Pass it to the
seal()method of the
- Supply it as an argument to the handleRejections directive
In the first case your handler will be “sealed” (which means that it will receive the default handler as a fallback for all cases your handler doesn’t handle itself) and used for all rejections that are not handled within the route structure itself.
The second case allows you to restrict the applicability of your handler to certain branches of your route structure.