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Purely Functional Transaction Management In Scala With ZIO
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VladKopanev Merge pull request #22 from VladKopanev/parallel-compensation-9
Allow different strategies for combining compensations for parallel execution
Latest commit 2da6ec9 Jul 15, 2019


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Build your transactions in purely functional way.

ZIO-SAGA allows you to compose your requests and compensating actions from Saga pattern in one transaction without any boilerplate.

Backed by ZIO it adds a simple abstraction called Saga that takes the responsibility of proper composition of effects and associated compensating actions.

Getting started

Add zio-saga dependency to your build.sbt:

libraryDependencies += "com.vladkopanev" %% "zio-saga-core" % "0.1.1"

Example of usage:

Consider the following case, we have built our food delivery system in microservices fashion, so we have Order service, Payment service, LoyaltyProgram service, etc. And now we need to implement a closing order method, that collects payment, assigns loyalty points and closes the order. This method should run transactionally so if e.g. closing order fails we will rollback the state for user and refund payments, cancel loyalty points.

Applying Saga pattern we need a compensating action for each call to particular microservice, those actions needs to be run for each completed request in case some of the requests fails.

Order Saga Flow

Let's think for a moment about how we could implement this pattern without any specific libraries.

The naive implementation could look like this:

def orderSaga(): IO[SagaError, Unit] = {
    for {
      _ <- collectPayments(2d, 2) orElse refundPayments(2d, 2)
      _ <- assignLoyaltyPoints(1d, 1) orElse cancelLoyaltyPoints(1d, 1)
      _ <- closeOrder(1) orElse reopenOrder(1)
    } yield ()

Looks pretty simple and straightforward, orElse function tries to recover the original request if it fails. We have covered every request with a compensating action. But what if last request fails? We know for sure that corresponding compensation reopenOrder will be executed, but when other compensations would be run? Right, they would not be triggered, because the error would not be propagated higher, thus not triggering compensating actions. That is not what we want, we want full rollback logic to be triggered in Saga, whatever error occurred.

Second try, this time let's somehow trigger all compensating actions.

def orderSaga(): IO[SagaError, Unit] = {
    collectPayments(2d, 2).flatMap { _ = >
        assignLoyaltyPoints(1d, 1).flatMap { _ => 
            closeOrder(1) orElse(reopenOrder(1)  *> SagaError))
        } orElse (cancelLoyaltyPoints(1d, 1)  *> SagaError))
    } orElse(refundPayments(2d, 2) *> SagaError))

This works, we trigger all rollback actions by failing after each. But the implementation itself looks awful, we lost expressiveness in the call-back hell, imagine 15 saga steps implemented in such manner, and we also lost the original error that we wanted to show to the user.

You can solve this problems in different ways, but you will encounter a number of difficulties, and your code still would look pretty much the same as we did in our last try.

Achieve a generic solution is not that simple, so you will end up repeating the same boilerplate code from service to service.

ZIO-SAGA tries to address this concerns and provide you with simple syntax to compose your Sagas.

With ZIO-SAGA we could do it like so:

def orderSaga(): IO[SagaError, Unit] = {
    import com.vladkopanev.zio.saga.Saga._

    (for {
      _ <- collectPayments(2d, 2) compensate refundPayments(2d, 2)
      _ <- assignLoyaltyPoints(1d, 1) compensate cancelLoyaltyPoints(1d, 1)
      _ <- closeOrder(1) compensate reopenOrder(1)
    } yield ()).transact

compensate pairs request IO with compensating action IO and returns a new Saga object which then you can compose with other Sagas. To materialize Saga object to ZIO when it's complete it is required to use transact method.

As you can see with ZIO-SAGA the process of building your Sagas is greatly simplified comparably to ad-hoc solutions. ZIO-Sagas are composable, boilerplate-free and intuitively understandable for people that aware of Saga pattern. This library let you compose transaction steps both in sequence and in parallel, this feature gives you more powerful control over transaction execution.

Additional capabilities


ZIO-SAGA provides you with functions for retrying your compensating actions, so you could write:

collectPayments(2d, 2) retryableCompensate (refundPayments(2d, 2), Schedule.exponential(1.second))

In this example your Saga will retry compensating action refundPayments after exponentially increasing timeouts (based on ZIO#retry and ZSchedule).

Parallel execution

Saga pattern does not limit transactional requests to run only in sequence. Because of that ZIO-SAGA contains methods for parallel execution of requests.

    val flight          = bookFlight compensate cancelFlight
    val hotel           = bookHotel compensate cancelHotel
    val bookingSaga     = flight zipPar hotel

Cats Compatible Sagas


See in the next releases:

  • Even more powerful control over compensation execution
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