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Create Extensions for Ditto

Ditto offers the possibility to execute custom behaviour by utilizing Akka extensions. The places which can be extended by such custom behaviour are marked by extending the DittoExtensionPoint interface. Add a new implementation of an interface extending DittoExtensionPoint for changing its behaviour.

The implementation needs a public constructor accepting an ActorSystem and Config, for the Akka Classloader to load the extension via reflection.

public CustomExtension(final ActorSystem actorSystem, final Config config) {}

Configure Extensions

In order for the Akka Classloader to load the correct implementation of a DittoExtensionPoint, the implementation has to be configured. This can be done by adding the CONFIG_KEY of the extension either to the <service-name>-extension.conf if the extension should only be loaded in specific services, or to the reference.conf for a global scope.

The configuration for an extension consists of two parts:

  • extension-class: specify the implementation that should be used by the canonical name.
  • extension-config: specify custom configurations for the extension.
ditto.extensions.signal-enrichment-provider {
  extension-class = org.eclipse.ditto.gateway.service.endpoints.utils.DefaultGatewaySignalEnrichmentProvider
  extension-config = {
    ask-timeout = 10s

    cache {
      enabled = true
      maximum-size = 20000
      expire-after-create = 2m

If no custom configuration is needed, the extension-config can be omitted, thus directly specifying the implementation.

ditto.extensions.signal-enrichment-provider = org.eclipse.ditto.gateway.service.endpoints.utils.DefaultGatewaySignalEnrichmentProvider

Extend Ditto Docker images

Adjusting configuration of Ditto

Adjusting configuration is also possible using system properties.
If however lots of configuration changes should be done, a more feasible approach is to provide a HOCON formatted configuration file named <ditto-service-name>-extension.conf in the working directory of Ditto’s Docker container:

  • for extending Ditto’s Policies service: /opt/ditto/policies-extension.conf
  • for extending Ditto’s Things service: /opt/ditto/things-extension.conf
  • for extending Ditto’s Search service: /opt/ditto/search-extension.conf
  • for extending Ditto’s Connectivity service: /opt/ditto/connectivity-extension.conf
  • for extending Ditto’s Gateway service: /opt/ditto/gateway-extension.conf

Those configuration files can contain any Ditto configuration done in the service config files.

For example, the gateway.conf contains the following configuration snippet:

ditto {
  gateway {
    health-check {
      cluster-roles = {
        enabled = true
        enabled = ${?HEALTH_CHECK_ROLES_ENABLED} # may be overridden with this environment variable

        expected = [

If this needs to be adjusted, e.g. because the “connectivity” role should not be checked in the health-check (which could be the case if ditto-connectivity should not be started at all in a Ditto installation), this would be possible by creating a gateway-extension.conf and adding the following content:

ditto.gateway.health-check.cluster-roles = {
  expected = [

And then by putting this gateway-extension.conf, e.g. as a Docker volume mount, to the path /opt/ditto/gateway-extension.conf.

Providing additional functionality by adding .jars to the classpath

The new extensions and their corresponding configuration have to be in the Java classpath of the Ditto service which loads them. To achieve this, the Ditto Docker images automatically add all jars, that are in the home directory of the docker container into the classpath:

  • /opt/ditto
  • /opt/ditto/extensions

The easiest way to achieve this, is thus building an extension jar (including the extension classes and extension config files) and adding it to the home extensions directory of the Docker container.


  • Create a new implementation of the CustomApiRoutesProvider, overriding the unauthorized(*) and authorized(*) functions, returning custom HTTP API routes.
  • Build the project to a new gateway-extension.jar
  • Add the gateway-extension.jar to the /opt/ditto/extensions directory of the Docker images, by i.e. copying the jar into the container.
      docker cp gateway-extension.jar container_id:/opt/ditto/extensions/
  • Configure the new CustomApiRoutesProvider via a file gateway-extension.conf
      ditto.extensions.custom-api-routes-provider = org.company.project.gateway.service.endpoints.utils.MyCustomApiRoutesProvider
  • Add the gateway-extension.conf to the /opt/ditto directory of the Docker images
      docker cp gateway-extension.conf container_id:/opt/ditto/

Alternatively, you can of course also mount the extension .jar and .conf file into the Docker containers, e.g. via docker-compose:

    image: docker.io/eclipse/ditto-gateway:${DITTO_VERSION:-latest}
      - TZ=Europe/Berlin
      - JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS=-Dlogback.configurationFile=/opt/ditto/logback.xml
      - ./gateway-extension.conf:/opt/ditto/gateway-extension.conf
      - ./logback.xml:/opt/ditto/logback.xml
      - ./gateway-extension.jar:/opt/ditto/extensions/gateway-extension.jar