Getting Started

Welcome! #

Ready to get started with eventing? Let’s go!

What is Ensign? #

Ensign is a new eventing tool that make it fast, convenient, and fun to create event-driven microservices without needing a big team of devOps or platform engineers. All you need is a free API key to get started.

Getting Started #

The first step is to get an Ensign API key by visiting the sign-up page. Similar to getting a developer API key for Youtube, Twitter or, you will need an API key to use Ensign and to follow along with the rest of this Quickstart guide.

Ensign API Keys #

Your key consists of two parts, a ClientID and a ClientSecret. The ClientID uniquely identifies you, and the ClientSecret proves that you have permission to create and access event data.

API Key Component NameLengthCharactersExample
ClientID32alphabetic (no digits)DbIxBEtIUgNIClnFMDmvoZeMrLxUTJVa

Together, the ClientID and ClientSecret uniquely identify you. They enable you to create Ensign topics, publishers, and subscribers, which will be the building blocks of your microservice! Keep in mind that the ClientID and ClientSecret should be kept private and not shared.

Prerequisites #

Ensign’s SDK currently supports Golang (Python and Javascript coming soon!). If you haven’t already:

Install Ensign #

In your command line, type the following to install the ensign API, SDK, and library code for Go:

go get -u

Create a Client #

After you’ve made a new Go project for this example, create a main.go file and add the dependencies you’ll need, which will include importing the Ensign API, SDK, and mimetypes.

Next, create an Ensign client, which is similar to establishing a connection to a database like PostgreSQL or Mongo. To create the client, use the New method and pass in an ensign.Options struct that specifies your Client ID and Client Secret (described in the section above on getting an API key).

package main

import (

	api ""
	mimetype ""
	ensign ""

client, err := ensign.New(&ensign.Options{
	ClientID: "DbIxBEtIUgNIClnFMDmvoZeMrLxUTJVa",
	ClientSecret: "wAfRpXLTiWn7yo7HQzOCwxMvveqiHXoeVJghlSIK2YbMqOMCUiSVRVQOLT0ORrVS",
if err != nil {
	panic(fmt.Errorf("could not create client: %s", err))

Congratulations, you now have an open connection to Ensign!

Create a Publisher #

The next step is to start publishing data onto your event stream. Start by creating a publisher using the Publish method:

pub, err := client.Publish(context.Background())
if err != nil {
    fmt.Errorf("could not create publisher: %s", err)

Next, we need some data! Generally this is the place where you’d connect to your live data source (a database, Twitter feed, weather data, etc). But to keep things simple, we’ll just create a single event, which starts with a map.

data := make(map[string]string)
data["sender"] = "Twyla"
data["timestamp"] = time.Now().String()
data["message"] = "Let's get this started!"

Next, we will convert our map into an event, which will allow you to specify the mimetype of the message you intend to send (in this case, we’ll say it’s JSON), and the event type (which will be a generic event for this example). You’ll also need to pass in a TopicId, which will be a string. If you aren’t sure what TopicId to use, you can quickly log into your Ensign dashboard and look it up. For this example, we’ll pretend it’s "quality-lemon-time":

e := &api.Event{
    TopicId:  "quality-lemon-time",
    Mimetype: mimetype.ApplicationJSON,
    Type: &api.Type{
        Name:    "Generic",
        Version: 1,

Next, we’ll marshal our dictionary into the Data attribute of our sample event, and publish it by calling the Publish method on the publisher we created above:

e.Data, _ = json.Marshal(data)

Create a Subscriber #

Creating a subscriber is a bit more straightforward:

sub, err := client.Subscribe(context.Background())
if err != nil {
    fmt.Errorf("could not create subscriber: %s", err)

var events <-chan *api.Event
if events, err = sub.Subscribe(); err != nil {
    panic("failed to create subscribe stream: " + err.Error())

for msg := range events {

Next Steps #

You’re already well on your way to building your first event-driven microservice with Ensign!

If you’re ready to see some more advanced examples with code, check out the End-to-end Examples.

If you’re looking for more on the basics of event-driven systems, check out Eventing 101.

Happy eventing!