Declare the order in which Resque-based background tasks should run and implement them with blocks, using simple DSL, in ActiveRecord model or any Ruby class. The tasks will run serially, strictly one after the other
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README.md

Serially

Build Status Code Climate Gem Version

Have you ever had a class whose instances required a series of background tasks to run serially, strictly one after another? Than Serially is for you. Declare the tasks using a simple DSL in the order you want them to to run. The tasks for each instance will run inside a separate Resque job, in a queue you specify. The next task will run only if the previous one has finished successfully. All task runs are written to DB and can be inspected.

Check this demo app to see how Serially may be used in a Rails app.

Note: Serially is under active development. If there is anything you miss in it, let me know!

Twitter: @mikepolis Email: mike AT polischuk DOT net

Installation

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'serially'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install serially

Optional ActiveRecord Setup

If you use ActiveRecord, you can generate a migration that creates serially_task_runs table, which would be used to write the results of all task runs.

$ rails generate serially:install
$ rake db:migrate

Usage

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
     include Serially

     serially do
        task :draft
        task :review
        task :publish
        task :promote
     end

     def draft
        # each task must return a boolean, signifying whether it has succeeded or not
        puts "Post #{self.id} drafted"
        true
     end

     def review
        puts "Post #{self.id} reviewed by staff"
        # in addition to a boolean status, task can also return a string and an arbitrary object
        [true, 'reviewed by staff', {reviewed_by: 'Mike', reviewed_at: Date.today}]
     end

     def publish
        puts "Post #{self.id} not published - bibliography is missing"
        [false, 'bibliography is missing']
     end

     def promote
        puts "Post #{self.id} promoted"
        true
     end
   end

Schedule for a Single Instance

After creating an instance of a Post, you can call post.serially.start! to schedule your Post tasks to run serially. They will run one after the other in the scope of the same Serially::Job in the default serially queue. An example run:

post1 = Post.create(title: 'Critique of Pure Reason', author: 'Immanuel Kant') #=> <Post id: 1, title: 'Critique of Pure Reason'...>
post2 = Post.create(title: 'The Social Contract', author: 'Jean-Jacques Rousseau') #=> <Post id: 2, title: 'The Social Contract'...>
post1.serially.start!
post2.serially.start!

The resulting resque log may look something like this:

Post 1 drafted
Post 1 reviewed by staff
Post 2 drafted
Post 1 not published - bibliography is missing
Post 2 reviewed by staff
Post 2 not published - bibliography is missing

Schedule Batch

If you want to schedule serially tasks for multiple instances, you can do it in a single call:

Post.start_batch!([post1.id, post2.id, post3.id])

Task Return Values

  • A task should at minimum return a boolean value, signifying whether that task finished successfully or not
  • A task can also return a string with details of the task completion and an arbitrary object
  • If a task returns false, the execution stops and the next tasks in the chain won't be performed for current instance

Inspection

The easiest way to inspect the task run results, is using serially.task_runs instance method:

post1.serially.task_runs # => returns ActiveRecord::Relation of all task runs for post1, ordered by their order of running
post1.serially.task_runs.finished # => returns Relation of all tasks runs that finished (successfully or not) for post1
post1.serially.task_runs.finished_ok # => returns Relation of all tasks runs that finished successfully for post1
post1.serially.task_runs.finished_error # => returns Relation of all tasks runs that finished with error for post1
post1.serially.task_runs.finished.last.task_name # => returns the name of the last finished task for post1
post1.serially.task_runs.count # => all the usual ActiveRecord queries can be used

You can also inspect task runs results using the Serially::TaskRun model directly. Calling Serially::TaskRun.all for the previous task runs example, will show something like this:

+----+------------+---------+-----------+----------------+----------------------+---------------------+
| id | item_class | item_id | task_name | status         | result_message       | finished_at         |
+----+------------+---------+-----------+----------------+----------------------+---------------------+
| 1  | Post       | 1       | draft     | finished_ok    |                      | 2015-12-31 09:17:17 |
| 2  | Post       | 1       | review    | finished_ok    | reviewed by staff    | 2015-12-31 09:17:17 |
| 3  | Post       | 2       | draft     | finished_ok    |                      | 2015-12-31 09:17:17 |
| 4  | Post       | 1       | publish   | finished_error | bibliography missing | 2015-12-31 09:17:17 |
| 5  | Post       | 2       | review    | finished_ok    |                      | 2015-12-31 09:17:17 |
| 6  | Post       | 2       | publish   | finished_error | bibliography missing | 2015-12-31 09:17:17 |
+----+------------+---------+-----------+----------------+----------------------+---------------------+

Notice that the promote task didn't run at all, since the publish task that ran before it returned false for both posts.

Configuration

You can specify in which Resque queue the Serially::Job for each instance of your class will be scheduled:

class Post
     include Serially

     serially in_queue: 'posts' do
        ...
     end
end

In this example, jobs for different instances of Post will all be scheduled in 'posts' queue, without any interference to each other.

Callbacks

Blocks

In addition to instance methods, you can pass a block as a task callback, and you can mix both syntaxes in your class:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
     include Serially

     serially do
        task :draft
        task :review do |post|
            # finished successfully
            true
        end
        task :publish do |post|
            # block can return message and result object in addition to boolean status, just like the instance method
            [true, 'published ok', {author: 'Mike}]
        end
     end

     def draft
        # using instance methods makes sense when your callback is more than 1 or 2 lines of code
        [false, 'drafting failed']
     end
end

On Error Callbacks

You can provide an error handling callback for each task, which will be called if a task fails to finish successfully. If the error handling callback returns true, the execution will continue to next task, despite the failure of the previous task. Otherwise tasks execution will stop.

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
     include Serially

     serially do
        task :draft, on_error: :handle_draft_error
        ...
     end

     def draft
        # something happened here that caused draft to fail
        result_obj = {author: 'Mike'}
        [false, 'drafting failed', result_obj]
     end

     def handle_draft_error(msg, result_obj)
        if result_obj[:author] == 'Mike'
            # let's continue to next task
            true
        else
            # can't continue executing tasks like nothing happened, have to stop
            false
        end
     end
end

Customize Plain Ruby Class Instantiation

Before the first task runs, Serially creates an instance of your class, on which your task callbacks are then called. If your plain Ruby class has a custom initialize method that you want to be called when creating instance of your class, it's easy to achieve. All you need to do is to implement instance_id method that can return any number of arguments, which will be passed as-is to your initialize.

class Post
     include Serially

     attr_accessor :title

     def initialize(title)
        @title = title
     end

     def instance_id
        @title
     end


     serially do
        ...
     end
end

class PostWithAuthor
     include Serially

     attr_accessor :title
     attr_accessor :author

     def initialize(title, author)
        @title = title
        @author = author
     end

     def instance_id
        [@title, @author]
     end


     serially do
        ...
     end
end

ActiveRecord Model Instantiation

For instances of ActiveRecord models, instance_id will return the DB id as expected. Overwriting this method isn't recommended.

Development

After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to rubygems.org.

Contributing

Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at https://github.com/mikemarsian/serially.

License

Copyright (c) 2015-2016 Mike Polischuk

The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.