Sample Buffered Null Transform Plugin

The buffered null transform, bnull_transform.c, reads the response content into a buffer and then writes the full buffer out to the client. Many examples of transformations, such as compression, require you to gather the full response content in order to perform the transformation.

The buffered null transform uses a state variable to keep track of when it is (a) reading data into the buffer and (b) writing the data from the buffer to the downstream vconnection.

The following is a step-by-step walk through the buffered null transform:

  1. Gets a handle to HTTP transactions.

       TSPluginInit (int argc, const char *argv[]) {
             TSContCreate (transform_plugin, NULL)); }

    With this TSPluginInit routine, the plugin is called back every time Traffic Server reads a response header.

  2. Checks to see if the transaction response is transformable.

    static int transform_plugin (TSCont contp, TSEvent event, void *edata) {
       TSHttpTxn txnp = (TSHttpTxn) edata;
       switch (event) {
             if (transformable (txnp)) {
                transform_add (txnp);

    The default behavior for transformations is to cache the transformed content (if desired, you also can tell Traffic Server to cache untransformed content). Therefore, only responses received directly from an origin server need to be transformed. Objects served from the cache are already transformed. To determine whether the response is from the origin server, the routine transformable checks the response header for the “200 OK” server response.

       TSMBuffer bufp;
       TSMLoc hdr_loc;
       TSHttpStatus resp_status;
       TSHttpTxnServerRespGet (txnp, &bufp, &hdr_loc);
          return 1;
       else {
          return 0;
  3. If the response is transformable, then the plugin creates a transformation vconnection that gets called back when the response data is ready to be transformed (as it is streaming from the origin server).

    static void transform_add (TSHttpTxn txnp)
       TSVConn connp;
       connp = TSTransformCreate (bnull_transform, txnp);
       TSHttpTxnHookAdd (txnp, TS_HTTP_RESPONSE_TRANSFORM_HOOK, connp);

    The previous code fragment shows that the handler function for the transformation vconnection is bnull_transform.

  4. The bnull_transform function has to handle ERROR, WRITE_COMPLETE, WRITE_READY, and IMMEDIATE events. If the transform is just beginning, the event received is probably IMMEDIATE. The bnull_transform function calls handle_transform to handle WRITE_READY and IMMEDIATE.

  5. The handle_transform function examines the data parameter for the continuation passed to it (the continuation passed to handle_transform is the transformation vconnection). The data structure keeps track of two states: copying the data into the buffer (STATE_BUFFER_DATA) and writing the contents of the buffer to the output vconnection (STATE_OUTPUT_DATA).

  6. Get a handle to the input VIO (see the handle_buffering function). input_vio = TSVConnWriteVIOGet (contp); This is so that the transformation can get information about the upstream vconnection’s write operation to the input buffer.

  7. Copy data from the input buffer to the output buffer. See the handle_buffering function for the following code fragment:

    TSIOBufferCopy (data->output_buffer,
       TSVIOReaderGet (write_vio), towrite, 0);
  8. Tell the input buffer that the transformation has read the data. See the handle_buffering function for the following code fragment:

    TSIOBufferReaderConsume (TSVIOReaderGet (write_vio), towrite);
  9. Modify the input VIO to tell it how much data has been read (increase the value of ndone). See the handle_buffering function for the following code fragment:

    TSVIONDoneSet (write_vio, TSVIONDoneGet (write_vio) + towrite); }
  10. If there is more data left to read ( if ndone < nbytes), then the handle_buffering function wakes up the upstream vconnection by sending it WRITE_READY:

    if (TSVIONTodoGet (write_vio) > 0) {
       if (towrite > 0) {
          TSContCall (TSVIOContGet (write_vio),
             TS_EVENT_VCONN_WRITE_READY, write_vio);
    } else {

    The process of passing data through the transformation is illustrated in the following diagram. The transformation sends WRITE_READY events when it needs more data; when data is available, the upstream vconnection reenables the transformation with an IMMEDIATE event.

    The following diagram illustrates the read from an input vconnection:

    Reading Data Into the Buffer (the ``STATE_BUFFER_DATA`` State) {#ReadingDataIntoBuffer}

    Reading Data Into the Buffer the STATE\_BUFFER\_DATA State

    Reading Data Into the Buffer the STATE_BUFFER_DATA State

  11. When the data is read into the output buffer, the handle_buffering function sets the state of the transformation’s data structure to STATE_OUTPUT_DATA and calls the upstream vconnection back with the WRITE_COMPLETE event.

    data->state = STATE_OUTPUT_DATA;
    TSContCall (TSVIOContGet (write_vio),
  12. The upstream vconnection will probably shut down the write operation when it receives the WRITE_COMPLETE event. The handler function of the transformation, bnull_transform, receives an IMMEDIATE event and calls the handle_transform function. This time, the state is STATE_OUTPUT_DATA, so handle_transform calls handle_output.

  13. The handle_output function gets a handle to the output vconnection: output_conn = TSTransformOutputVConnGet (contp);

  14. The handle_output function writes the buffer to the output vconnection:

    data->output_vio =
       TSVConnWrite (output_conn, contp, data->output_reader,
       TSIOBufferReaderAvail (data->output_reader) );

    The following diagram illustrates the write to the output vconnection:

    Writing the Buffered Data to the Output Vconnection {#WritingBufferedtDataIntoVConnection}

    Writing the Buffered Data to the Output Vconnection

    Writing the Buffered Data to the Output Vconnection