Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Netflix Dynamic Scripting Platform

Over the past couple of years, we have optimized the Netflix API with a view towards improving performance and increasing agility. In doing so, the API has evolved from a provider of RESTful web services to a platform that distributes development and deployment of new functionality across various teams within Netflix.

At the core of the redesign is a Dynamic Scripting Platform which provides us the ability to inject code into a running Java application at any time. This means we can alter the behavior of the application without a full scale deployment. As you can imagine, this powerful capability is useful in many scenarios. The API Server is one use case, and in this post, we describe how we use this platform to support a distributed development model at Netflix.

As a reminder, devices make HTTP requests to the API to access content from a distributed network of services. Device Engineering teams use the Dynamic Scripting Platform to deploy new or updated functionality to the API Server based on their own release cycles. They do so by uploading adapter code in the form of Groovy scripts to a running server and defining custom endpoints to front those scripts. The scripts are responsible for calling into the Java API layer and constructing responses that the client application expects. Client applications can access the new functionality within minutes of the upload by requesting the new or updated endpoints. The platform can support any JVM-compatible language, although at the moment we primarily use Groovy.

Read more here

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