Chapter 14. Scalable Event-Driven Processing

In Chapter 7, I described the benefits and basic primitives of asynchronous messaging systems. By utilizing a messaging system for communications, you can create loosely coupled architectures. Message producers simply store a message on a queue, without concern about how it is processed by consumers. There can be one or many consumers, and the collection of producers and consumers can evolve over time. This buys you immense architectural flexibility and has benefits in improving service responsiveness, smoothing out request arrival spikes through buffering, and maintaining system processing in the face of unavailable consumers.

Traditionally, the message broker technologies used to implement asynchronous systems focus on message transit. A broker platform such as RabbitMQ or ActiveMQ supports collections of queues that are used as temporary FIFO-based memory or disk-based storage. When a consumer accesses a message from a queue, the message is removed from the broker. This is known as destructive consumer semantics. If publish-subscribe messaging is used, brokers implement mechanisms to maintain messages in queues until all active subscribers have consumed each message. New subscribers do not see old messages. Brokers also typically implement some additional features for message filtering and routing.

In this chapter I’m going to revisit asynchronous systems through the lens of event-driven architectures. Event-driven systems have some ...

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