About the Author

Nick Crum

Software Engineer

Published

Our Admin, Your Services: Using Metadata To Connect Any (Micro)service

Imagine using a REST API for marketing newsletters. You’d likely use a custom application for scheduling and editing, prone to bugs. The marketing team can’t fix it on their own, and you’ve got yet another issue.

What if your marketing team could use an admin console that works with the REST APIs directly?

Leveraging the new Broadleaf Microservices Admin is as simple as writing the metadata and configuring the security using Java DSL. In certain scenarios, it would take a developer less than a day to:

  • Expose a new set of list grids for viewing your data
  • Expose new forms for managing your data

How is this possible? By decoupling Broadleaf’s admin metadata from admin persistence. As long as a security integration between our authentication service and your services exists, exposing your service is the same as exposing our own services.

To break it down, our resource services handle taking data as input and storing it for later. Meanwhile, our metadata service and React admin represent that data in a presentable way, in the example above, to your marketing team.

It doesn’t stop there. The Admin also supports live metadata editing (aka, metadata augmentations). Simply edit the metadata used to render the page right within your browser, and the changes are immediately seen by the rest of the team. .

If you have the permissions to do so, you can:

  • Add new fields
  • Hide existing fields
  • Change the name of a field
  • Give a field a default value
  • Undo any of your own or other's previous edits.


This is only the beginning, we are limited only by our imagination of what users can do in this Admin.We mentioned some simple cases for now, but our system supports components as complicated as a list grid or even an entire form.


The Broadleaf Microservices Admin is inspired by our legacy "Custom Fields" module, except it builds on the concept by providing new operations with a friendlier and more intuitive interface. Live metadata editing is an exciting tool and we’re excited to see inventive ways for you to integrate it to your own services!