Message Handling Isolation

It's good to know how Ecotone solves the problem of Message Handling Isolation, which is one of the key features that allows us to build Resilient Messaging Systems.

Sending an Event Message

In Message-Based Systems we will have situation that as a result of given Event, we will want to trigger some actions. This can sending notification, but also calling an external Service or starting fully new separate flow etc.

However those actions may actually fail for various of reasons and depending on how Messaging is implemented, it may help us to recover from this safely, or trigger unexpected side effects that may harm the business.

Common Event Bus Implementation

Let's first consider typical implementation of Message Bus, where we send an Event Message which is consumed by more than one Message Handler (Subscriber / Event Handler).

After placing an Order we send Asynchronous Order Was Placed Event Message, which as as a result triggers all related Event Handlers. As we can easily imagine, one of those Event Handlers may fail. However this creates a problem, because it's not only the Event Handler that have failed will be retried, but all the Event Handlers connected to given Event Message.

This of course may produce unexpected side effects, like sending confirmation twice, or delivering goods to the Customers more than once. Idempotency may help here, but it's not always available or implemented correctly, therefore we may try to solve it on higher level code.

To solve it using higher level code we may introduce multiple Messages Queues having single Message Handler connected, or produce Command Messages from Event Handlers in order to provide isolation. However all of those solutions make infrastructure, configuration or application level code more complex. This is because we try to solve Message Handling Isolation in upper levels, instead of having it solved on the foundation level.

Ecotone's Event Bus Implementation

Ecotone solves Message Handling Isolation at the foundation level, by delivering a copy of a Message to each of the related Event Handler separately:

Whenever Event Message is sent, a copy of this Message will be delivered to each of the related Event Handlers. This as a result make each Handler consume the Message in complete isolation and enables safe retries.

Handling each Event Handler in complete isolation, creates environment where safe retries are possible, as only Event Handler that have failed will be retried. By solving this on the foundation, the higher level code can stay focused on business part of the system, not solving Message Handling Isolation problems.

There are of course more benefits that this solution enables:


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