MuranoPL metadata to properties, classes, methods

MuranoPL metadata is a way to attach additional information to various MuranoPL entities such as classes, packages, methods etc. That information might be used by both applications (to implement dynamic programming techniques) or by the external callers (API consumers like UI or even by the Murano Engine itself to impose some runtime behavior based on well known meta values).

Problem description

With time and development of the language new challenges arrived and MuranoPL need to be extended with new keywords for new features. For example, it may be needed to mark some method as the one that serves special purpose to distinguish it from other methods in the program workflow. Let’s say one wants to obtain the list of all methods within the class and choose only methods that can be called by the unprivileged user. The one way to do it is to introduce a new possible value for the Usage attribute, something like Usage: Non-admin. Another way is to introduce even new keyword. The problem is that every application developer may need to attach different kinds of such information depending on the needs of their apps, and the range of these needs can be endless. With the current approach, every new sort of additional information requires modification of the core MuranoPL language code.

In order to solve this problem, metadata will be used to store new information about various MuranoPL entities. With this new feature MuranoPL will become more flexible and go away from the “new keyword for new feature” rule. All the developer will need to do is to define his own kind of data he wants to apply to the elements of his application (in the form of the custom MuranoPL class) and use it.

Proposed change

The proposed solution is to introduce another type of classes - meta-classes. Meta classes are similar to regular classes but has additional attributes that control how and where instances of that meta-class can be attached.

To distinguish meta-classes from regular classes new class-level attribute will be introduced called Usage. When Usage is Class (which is a default) the rest of markup is interpreted as a class. Usage Meta is used to define meta-class.

In addition to Usage the following attributes are available for meta-classes:

  1. Cardinality - either One or Many - controls if there can be more than one instance of the meta-class attached to a single language entity. Default is One.
  2. Applies - one of Package, Type, Method, Property, Argument or All - controls to which of the language entities instances of the meta- class can be attached. It is possible to specify several values using YAML list notation. Default is All.
  3. Inherited - true or false - specifies if the metadata retained for child classes, overridden methods and properties. Default is false.

Now, let’s take a look at the examples of the meta-class in MuranoPL:

Name: FooMetaOne
Usage: Meta
Applies: Property
Cardinality: One
   Contract: $.string()
   Default: null
   Contract: $.int()
   Default: null
Name: FooMetaMany
Usage: Meta
Applies: [Property, Method]
Cardinality: Many

The instances of meta-classes will never have an owner and thus cannot use find() function.

Instances of FooMetaOne class can be attached to properties only and each property may have at most on attached FooMetaOne instance. To attach this class to a property is used Meta keyword in a property description.

  =: io.murano.apps.apache
  std: io.murano
  res: io.murano.resources
  sys: io.murano.system
  meta: io.murano.meta
Name: ApacheHttpServer
Extends: std:Application
    Contract: $.bool()
    Default: false
    Contract: $.class(res:Instance).notNull()
         description: "Stub metaclass"
         count: 2

In example above Meta keyword has a scalar value because it is only one instance get attached. However it can also be an array:

 - meta:FooMetaOne:
     description: "Stub metaclass"
     count: 2
 - meta:FooMetaMany:
 - meta:FooMetaMany:

Metadata can be accessed from MuranoPL using reflection capabilities and from Python code using existing yaql mechanism (additional yaql smart type/helper interface may be needed to simplify the task).


Add new keyword for new feature when we need it.

Data model impact


REST API impact


Versioning impact


Other end user impact


Deployer impact


Developer impact


Murano-dashboard / Horizon impact




Primary assignee:

Work Items

  1. Create a new basic class instead of MuranoType.
  2. Create 2 new classes which will inherit from new basic class - one for regular data structures and the other one will be MetaAttribute.
  3. Provide possibility to create instances of meta-classes.
  4. Provide an access to meta-classes.
  5. Create a mechanism to attach instances of meta-classes to related objects and store it.




New unit tests should be added to packages.

Documentation Impact

New documents about metadata usage should be added to the documents pool.