Chapter 3. Queue-Centric Workflow Pattern

This essential pattern for loose coupling focuses on asynchronous delivery of command requests sent from the user interface to a back-end service for processing. This pattern is a subset of the CQRS pattern.

The pattern is used to allow interactive users to make updates through the web tier without slowing down the web server. It is especially useful for processing updates that are time consuming, resource intensive, or depend on remote services that may not always be available. For example, a social media site may benefit from this pattern when handling status updates, photo uploads, video uploads, or sending email.

The pattern is used in response to an update request from an interactive user. This is first handled by user interface code (in the web tier) that creates a message describing work needing to be done to satisfy the update request. This message is added to a queue. At some future time, a service on another node (running in the service tier) removes messages from the queue and does the needed work. Messages flow only in one direction, from the web tier, onto the queue, and into the service tier. This pattern does not specify how (or if) the user is informed of progress.

This is an asynchronous model, as the sender does not wait around for a response. In fact, no response is directly available. (In programming parlance, the return value is void.) It helps the user interface maintain consistently fast response times.


The web tier ...

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