What is Spring Actuator and how to configure in project

Spring Actuator is a sub-project of the Spring Boot framework that provides production-ready features to help you monitor and manage your application easily. It offers various endpoints and tools to gather information about the application's health, metrics, environment, and other useful insights.

Here are some of the key features provided by Spring Actuator:

  1. Health Check: The Actuator exposes an endpoint to check the health status of your application. It allows you to determine if your application is running correctly and whether all required dependencies are available.
  2. Metrics: Spring Actuator provides endpoints to collect and access application-specific metrics, such as CPU usage, memory consumption, request/response statistics, etc. These metrics are essential for monitoring application performance.
  3. Info: This endpoint gives general information about the application, such as its name, version, description, etc.
  4. Environment: You can access detailed information about the application's environment, including properties, system variables, and configuration.
  5. Auditing: Actuator supports endpoint to track recent HTTP requests and other application-specific audit events.
  6. Loggers: You can manage and change the logging levels of your application at runtime using this feature.
  7. Thread Dump: This feature generates a thread dump that can be useful for debugging purposes.
  8. Heap Dump: Spring Actuator can create a heap dump of your application, which is helpful for memory analysis.

To configure Spring Actuator in your project, follow these steps:

Step 1: Add Actuator Dependency

In your Spring Boot project's pom.xml (for Maven) or build.gradle (for Gradle), include the Spring Boot Actuator dependency:

Maven:


    org.springframework.boot
    spring-boot-starter-actuator

Gradle:

implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-actuator'

Step 2: Configure Actuator Endpoints (Optional)

By default, most Actuator endpoints are enabled. However, you can customize the behavior and enable/disable specific endpoints in your application.properties or application.yml file:

application.properties:

# To enable all endpoints
management.endpoints.web.exposure.include=*

or, application.yml:

# To enable all endpoints
management:
  endpoints:
    web:
      exposure:
        include: '*'

Step 3: Access Actuator Endpoints

Once you've configured Actuator, you can access its endpoints using HTTP requests. The default base path for Actuator endpoints is /actuator. For example, to access the health endpoint, make a GET request to /actuator/health.

Here are a few examples of accessing different Actuator endpoints:

  1. Health Check: GET /actuator/health
  2. Metrics: GET /actuator/metrics
  3. Info: GET /actuator/info
  4. Environment: GET /actuator/env
  5. Auditing: GET /actuator/auditevents
  6. Loggers: GET /actuator/loggers
  7. Thread Dump: GET /actuator/threaddump
  8. Heap Dump: GET /actuator/heapdump
Remember that Actuator endpoints may expose sensitive information, so it's crucial to secure them properly in production environments

That's it! With these steps, you should have Spring Actuator up and running in your Spring Boot project, allowing you to monitor and manage your application with ease.