The following is documentation on how to use the as/thrift implementation to handle encoding and decoding for you

Stability: unstable


Thrift example


struct EchoResult {
    1: string value

service Echo  {
    EchoResult echo(
        1: string value


var TChannelThrift = require('tchannel/as/thrift');
var TChannel = require('tchannel');
var fs = require('fs');
var path = require('path');

var server = TChannel({
    serviceName: 'server'
var client = TChannel();
var tchannelThrift = TChannelThrift({
    channel: client,
    source: fs.readFileSync(
        path.join(__dirname, 'thrift', 'service.thrift'), 'utf8'

var context = {};

tchannelThrift.register(server, 'echo', context, echo);
function echo(context, req, head, body, callback) {
    callback(null, {
        ok: true,
        head: head,
        body: body

server.listen(4040, '', onListening);

function onListening() {
        serviceName: 'server',
        host: ''
    }).send('Echo::echo', {
        someHeader: 'headerValue'
    }, {
        value: 'some-string'
    }, onResponse);

    function onResponse(err, resp) {
        if (err) {
            console.log('got error', err);
        } else {
            console.log('got resp', resp);


var tchannelThrift = TChannelThrift(opts)

TChannelThrift returns a tchannelThrift interface with a .request(), .send() and .register() method used to send call requests and register call request handlers

It can be passed options.

  • required opts.source The thrift idl as a string
  • opts.strict defaults to true. When set to false you opt out of strict IDL parsing.
  • opts.logParseFailures logParseFailures defaults to true. When it is set to true we will log parse failures to the logger using logger.warn(). If you do not want these log statements you can set the option to false
  • The channel used to make requests on. This option is required if you want to use the .request() method or opts.isHealthy is passed in.
  • opts.isHealthy The callback function used to return the health check status of the service. The callback function should return an object that contains 1) a required field of ok that can be true or false; and 2) a field of message that indicates the reason for current status. message is required when ok is false.

tchannelThrift.request(reqOpts).send(endpoint, head, body, cb)

You MUST pass in a channel option to TChannelThrift() to use this method

The .request() method can be used to make an outgoing Thrift request.

It returns an object with a .send() method used to send requests

This is just sugar for tchannelThrift.send(...)

tchannelThrift.send(req, endpoint, head, body, callback(err, response))

The .send() method can be used to send to an outgoing request.

First you must use tchannel.request(...) to create an outgoing request to send to.

  • endpoint is the name of thrift endpoint as {Service}::{method}
  • head is an object with string key value pairs that we serialize to arg2
  • body is an object that we will serialize as a thrift struct
  • callback takes two args; an error and a response. The response is an object with three fields; ok, head and body.
  • response.ok is the ok field from the call response.
  • response.head is an object with string key value pairs that is parsed from arg2
  • response.body is an object or error that we parsed from a thrift struct. If the response is ok then it's a struct; if the response is not ok then it's an error object.

tchannelThrift.register(tchannel, arg1, ctx, handlerFn)

The .register() method can be used to register a call request handler for a given arg1.

First you must pass in the tchannel you want to register on as well as the arg1, i.e. method name you want to register.

The ctx argument will be passed to your handlerFn and can be used for passing context around without creating closures.

The handlerFn takes five arguments, (ctx, req, head, body, cb(err, response))

  • ctx in the handlerFn will be the same ctx you specified in your .register() call. This is useful for passing context around.
  • req will be the incoming call request object from tchannel
  • head will be an object with string key value pairs that we parsed from arg2
  • body will be an object that we parsed from a thrift struct
  • cb takes two args; and error and a response. The response is an object with four fields; ok,head, body, typeName
  • error If you pass an error to the cb we will send a UnexpectedError error frame. This must NOT be used for normal operations. Any error passed to the cb will be considered an unexpected error and will be logged to the logger with logger.error(); i.e. it is a bug.
  • response.ok A boolean whether to return a call response that is ok or not.
  • response.head an object with string key value pairs that will be serialized to arg2
  • response.body If response.ok is true then this will be an object that is serialized as a thrift struct to arg3. If response.ok is false then this must be an error that is serialized as a thrift exception to arg3.
  • response.typeName if you respond with response.ok set as false you must specify a typeName to determine how the exception will be serialized. This typeName must match the name of your exception in the thrift specification