Messaging library, supporting pub-sub, using MS SQL Server or MySql Server for storage. Ideal for implementing a (business) event driven architecture, pub-sub, microservices, etc.
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LICENSE Update LICENSE Feb 7, 2017

Resonance Build status NuGet Docker Pulls #Resonance Messaging library, with support for MsSql and MySql. Ideal for implementing pub/sub messaging for distributing (business) events for example in microservices architectures (eventual consistency), etc.

Core features:

  • Pub-sub (using topics and subscriptions)
  • Subscriptions on multiple topics
  • Fifo delivery (on publishing date), with priority-support to 'skip the line'
  • Ordered delivery on functional key: niiice!!
  • Delayed delivery
  • Message expiration (time to live), on both topic and subscriptions
  • Max-deliveries (per subscription) to maximize the number of retries/redeliveries
  • Filtered subscriptions (only matched messages go through to subscription)
  • Batched processing
  • Targets both .NET Core and the regular .NET Framework (4.5.2)
  • Supports both Microsoft SQL Server (2012+ and SQL Azure) and MySql (5.7+)
  • ASP.NET Core REST-api supporting all functionality

How to get it

Easiest way is to install the NuGet package Resonance.Core. You may also deside to fork this repo. To play with the REST-api, you may want to try the docker image.

Topics and subscriptions

Messages are sent to topics. Whether each type of message gets its own topic or not is up to you. It may be usefull to group certain messages that are usually always processed by the same subscriber. For processing these messages, a subscription must be created. A subscription subscribes to one or more topics. When messages are published to a topic, each subscription will get its own copy.

Publishing a message

The EventPublisher is used to publish messages and to manage topics. It's constructor requires an IEventingRepoFactory. In this example MS SQL Server is used, so we create a MsSqlEventingRepoFactory and provide a connectionstring:

var connectionString = config.GetConnectionString("Resonance");
var repoFactory = new MsSqlEventingRepoFactory(connectionString);
var publisher = new EventPublisher(repoFactory);

Messages are published to topics, so before a message can be published, a topic must be created:

var demoTopic = publisher.AddOrUpdateTopic(new Topic { Name = "Demo Topic" });

Now that the topic exists, publishing a message/event is very easy:

publisher.Publish("Demo Topic", payload: "Hello there!");

Or to publish an object instead of a string:

var order = new Order
    Product = "Car",
    Price = 15000m,
    ItemCount = 1,
publisher.Publish<Order>("Demo Topic", payload: order);

Consuming a message

The EventConsumer is used to consume messages and to manage subscriptions. Similar to the EventPublisher, it also takes a IEventingRepoFactory as an argument to its constructor:

var consumer = new EventConsumer(repoFactory);

The message published above currently cannot be consumed, since there were no subscriptions at the time of publishing (it is not lost: it is stored in the 'TopicEvent'-table in the repository). Creating a subscription is pretty straight forward:

consumer.AddOrUpdateSubscription(new Subscription
    Name = "Demo Subscription",
    TopicSubscriptions = new List<TopicSubscription>
        new TopicSubscription { TopicId = demoTopic.Id, Enabled = true }

The subscription can receive messages from multiple topics. In this case it only receives messages from the above created demoTopic. If we publish the order once more, it can then be consumed from the subscription:

publisher.Publish<Order>("Demo Topic", payload: order);
var orderEvent = consumer.ConsumeNext<Order>("Demo Subscription").SingleOrDefault();

Locking: the Visibility Timeout

If no messages are available, ConsumeNext will return null. If it does return a message (order in this case), the order can be processed, eg: by sending an invoice. However, if multiple eventconsumers are consuming events from the same subscription (which is a very valid scenario when requiring high throughput and scaling out), other consumers should not receive the same order, since it would be processed more than once. This is the reason the message must be locked, before it can be consumed.

Locking is done by using a making the message invisible to other consumers, so that it will not be consumed more than once. The consumer gets a certain time to perform the processing. Once the message is processed, the consumer must explicitly mark it consumed:

consumer.MarkConsumed(orderEvent.Id, orderEvent.DeliveryKey);

This will remove the event from the subscription-queue so that it cannot be consumed anymore. If the consumer does not process the message before the visibility timeout expires, the message becomes visible again and can be consumed once more (retried). The delivery key is generated on every 'lock' and must be provided when marking the message consumed as a way of prove the lock was yours to begin with.

The consumer decides how long the message must remain invisible. It can do so by providing the optional visibilityTimeout parameter to the ConsumeNext-method. By default it is set to 60 seconds. It's usually best to keep it rather large: if processing runs out of time, it can be very complex (if not impossible) to undo all processing done so far. And if it needs to be retried, it's rarely a problem to wait a while for the visibility timeout to expire.

If for some reason the message is unprocessable, eg: the publisher passed an incorrect payload to the event, it is useless to keep retrying. The message can then be marked failed:

consumer.MarkFailed(orderEvent.Id, orderEvent.DeliveryKey, Reason.Other("Order data is missing!"));

Messages marked consumed or failed are not gone: they are moved to different tables in the repository. This allows for performing health-checks on the system, reporting on processed messages, etc. It also allows messages to be reprocessed, eg: when a flaw in the processing logic was found and corrections need to be made. The data is easily accessible and can therefore be easily used to create new messages to support such scenarios. When used as a central 'business eventing' solution, it may also provide insight into what business-level events occur, where business processed take the most time, etc.


A more convenient way to consume messages is to use the EventConsumptionWorker. It handles polling the subscription (with an exponential back-off mechanism), marks messages complete when done processing and handles parallel processing to maximize throughput. Using the EventConsumptionWorker is not much harder than using the EventConsumer directly:

var worker = new EventConsumptionWorker(consumer, "Demo Subscription",
    (ce) =>
        // Process the event
        Console.WriteLine($"Event payload consumed: {ce.Payload}.");

        return ConsumeResult.Succeeded;
Console.WriteLine("Press a key to stop the worker...");

Ordered Delivery

Messages are always delivered in the order of publication: first in, first out (fifo). However, this is no guarantee that messages are also processed in the same order: when a subscription is consumed by multiple eventconsumers, perhaps each processing messages on multiple threads, it is very likely that the processing of a later message finishes sooner than earlier messages. It is a best practice to design a consuming system in such way that it handles these situations gracefully, eg. by dropping older messages.

However, this is often not very trivial, especially when different parts of a business process are handled by different subsystems. These systems are normally not aware of eachother and have no knowledge about which messages others have or have not processed. In this case functional ordering can be used.

Functional ordering means that messages are still delivered in the order of publication, but this is done per functional key. The functional key can be specified for a message, which allows all messages marked with the same functional key to be delivered in the correct order.

A message with a functional key will only be delivered if:

  • It was published later than the last successfully consumed message for this functional key (if not, it will never be delivered)
  • It is the next in line for messages with the same functional key (for each functional key the publishingdate of the last consumed message is stored (per subscription))
  • There are currently no messages being locked (invisible) with the same functional key: the current processing of that message may time out, requiring it to be redelivered.

In this way, Resonance relieves the event consumers of the complex task of handling incorrectly ordered messages themselves and is therefore a very powerfull feature, not found in any other library (at least I couldn't spot it ;-)).

Advanced features

The examples above show basic usage of Resonance. There are however some more supported scenarios. These are briefly explained here.

Message expiration / Time to Live

Most messages become less relevant after some time and delivery may not be needed or even desired. It possible to specify an expiration timeout on messages. This can be done on both topics and subscriptions, but subscriptions can never make message expire later than the expiration specified when published.

Retries / redelivery

Messages that are not marked consumed or failed in time, become visible again. Every they are consumed, their delivery count is raised. A subscription can specify a maximum delivery count: once the message has been retried/delivery this many times and is still not marked consumed/failed, will not be delivered any more.

Filtered subscriptions

A subscription specifies which topics it subscribes to. For each topic a filter can be specified: only messages which match this filter will be delivered to the subscription. Currently filters only work on the headers-collection on the message.


As stated before, messages are delivered first-in first-out. However, if a message should not be put 'back in row', a priority can be specified. Messages with a higher priority are delivered first. By default messages are published with a priority of 0. A priority of 10 is considered a higher priority (warning: do not use in conjuction with functional ordering, unless you know exactly what you are doing).

Delivery delay

Published messages will normally be delivered immediatly, it the subscription queue was empty. If for some reason messages should not be processed immediately, eg: to allow other systems (having their own subscriptions) to process it first, a delivery delay can be specified on the subscription (warning: do not use in conjuction with functional ordering, unless you know exactly what you are doing).

Processing suspension (EventConsumptionWorker)

When continuously processing messages using the EventConsumptionWorker, there may be a reason why processing must be suspended temporarely. This may be the case when messages must be sent to a different system which appears to be offline. Instead of continue making many attempts every second, perhaps causing many messages to reach their MaxDeliveries-setting, it can be more sane to just wait for some time before trying again. This can be done by returning a ConsumeResult.MustSuspend from the EventConsumptionWorkers' consumeAction.