Creating new DNS Resource Types (rtypes)

Everyone is familiar with A, AAAA, CNAME, NS and other Rtypes. However there are new record types being added all the time. Each new record type requires special handling by DNSControl.

If a record simply has a single “target”, then there is little to do because it is handled similarly to A, CNAME, and so on. However if there are multiple fields within the record you have more work to do.

Our general philosophy is:

Step 1: Update RecordConfig in models/dns.go

If the record has any unique fields, add them to RecordConfig. The field name should be the record type, then the field name as used in For example, the CAA record has a field called Flag, therefore the field name in RecordConfig is CaaFlag (not CaaFlags or CAAFlags).

Here are some examples:

type RecordConfig struct {
  MxPreference uint16            `json:"mxpreference,omitempty"`
  SrvPriority  uint16            `json:"srvpriority,omitempty"`
  SrvWeight    uint16            `json:"srvweight,omitempty"`
  SrvPort      uint16            `json:"srvport,omitempty"`
  CaaTag       string            `json:"caatag,omitempty"`
  CaaFlag      uint8             `json:"caaflag,omitempty"`

Step 2: Add a capability for the record

You’ll need to mark which providers support this record type. The initial PR should implement this record for the bind provider at a minimum.

DNSControl will warn/error if this new record is used with a provider that does not support the capability.

If the capabilities testing is not configured correctly, go test ./... will report something like the MISSING message below. In this example we removed providers.CanUseCAA from the providerCapabilityChecks list.

--- FAIL: TestCapabilitiesAreFiltered (0.00s)
    capabilities_test.go:66: ok: providers.CanUseAlias (0) is checked for with "ALIAS"
    capabilities_test.go:68: MISSING: providers.CanUseCAA (1) is not checked by checkProviderCapabilities
    capabilities_test.go:66: ok: providers.CanUseNAPTR (3) is checked for with "NAPTR"

Step 3: Add a helper function

Add a function to pkg/js/helpers.js for the new record type. This is the JavaScript file that defines dnsconfig.js’s functions like A() and MX(). Look at the definition of A, MX and CAA for good examples to use as a base.

Please add the function alphabetically with the others. Also, please run prettier on the file to ensure your code conforms to our coding standard:

npm install prettier
node_modules/.bin/prettier --write pkg/js/helpers.js

Any time you change pkg/js/helpers.js, run go generate to regenerate pkg/js/static.go.

The dnscontrol -dev flag ignores pkg/js/static.go and reads pkg/js/helpers.js directly. This is useful when debugging since it is one less step.

Likewise, if you are debugging helpers.js and you can’t figure out why your changes aren’t making a difference, it usually means you aren’t running go generate after any change, or using the -dev flag.

Step 4: Search for #rtype_variations

Anywhere a rtype requires special handling has been marked with a comment that includes the string #rtype_variations. Search for this string and add your new type to this code.

Step 5: Add a parse_tests test case.

Add at least one test case to the pkg/js/parse_tests directory. Test 013-mx.js is a very simple one and is good for cloning.

Run these tests via:

cd dnscontrol/pkg/js
go test ./...

If this works, then you know the dnsconfig.js and helpers.js code is working correctly.

As you debug, if there are places that haven’t been marked #rtype_variations that should be, add such a comment. Every time you do this, an angel gets its wings.

The tests also verify that for every “capability” there is a validation. This is explained in Step 2 (search for TestCapabilitiesAreFiltered or MISSING)

Step 6: Add an integrationTest test case.

Add at least one test case to the integrationTest/integration_test.go file. Look for func makeTests and add the test to the end of this list.

Each testgroup() is a named list of tests.

testgroup("MX",                                   <<< 1
  tc("MX record", mx("@", 5, "")),        <<< 2
  tc("Change MX pref", mx("@", 10, "")),  <<< 3
  tc("MX record",                                 <<< 4
      mx("@", 10, ""),
      mx("@", 20, ""),

Line 1: testgroup() gives a name to a group of tests. It also tells the system to delete all records for this domain so that the tests begin with a blank slate.

Line 2: Each tc() encodes all the records of a zone. The test framework will try to do the smallest changes to bring the zone up to date. In this case, we know the zone is empty, so this will add one MX record.

Line 3: In this example, we just change one field of an existing record. To get to this configuration, the provider will have to either change the priority on an existing record, or delete the old record and insert a new one. Either way, this test case assures us that the diff’ing functionality is working properly.

If you look at the tests for CAA, it inserts a few records then attempts to modify each field of a record one at a time. This test was useful because it turns out we hadn’t written the code to properly see a change in priority. We fixed this bug before the code made it into production.

Line 4: In this example, the next zone adds a second MX record. To get to this configuration, the provider will have add an additional MX record to the same label. New tests don’t need to do this kind of test because we’re pretty sure that part of the diffing engine work fine. It is here as an example.

Also notice that some tests include requires(), not() and only() statements. This is how we restrict tests to certain providers. These options must be listed first in a testgroup. More details are in the source code.

To run the integration test with the BIND provider:

cd dnscontrol/integrationTest
go test -v -verbose -provider BIND

Once the code works for BIND, consider submitting a PR at this point. (The earlier you submit a PR, the earlier we can provide feedback.)

If you find places that haven’t been marked #rtype_variations but should be, please add that comment. Every time you fail to do this, God kills a cute little kitten. Please do it for the kittens.

Step 7: Support more providers

Now add support in other providers. Add the providers.CanUse... flag to the provider and re-run the integration tests:

For example, this will run the tests on Amazon AWS Route53:

export  # Use a test domain.
go test -v -verbose -provider ROUTE53

The test should reveal any bugs. Keep iterating between fixing the code and running the tests. When the tests all work, you are done. (Well, you might want to clean up some code a bit, but at least you know that everything is working.)

If you find bugs that aren’t covered by the tests, please please please add a test that demonstrates the bug (then fix the bug, of course). This will help all future contributors. If you need help with adding tests, please ask!