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Swirl

A simple, efficient background work queue for Rust

Swirl is a background work queue built on Diesel and PostgreSQL's row locking features. It was extracted from crates.io, which uses it for updating the index off the web server.

This library is still in its early stages, and has not yet reached 0.1 status. We're using it successfully in production on crates.io today, but there are still several things missing that you may want from a job queue.

Getting Started

Swirl stores background jobs in your PostgreSQL 9.5+ database. As such, it has migrations which need to be run. At the moment, this should be done by copying our migrations directory into your own. This will be improved before the crate is released.

Jobs in Swirl are defined as functions annotated with #[swirl::background_job], like so:

#[swirl::background_job]
fn resize_image(file_name: String, dimensions: Size) -> Result<(), swirl::PerformError> {
    // Do expensive computation that shouldn't be done on the web server
}

All arguments must implement serde::Serialize and serde::DeserializeOwned. Jobs can also take a shared "environment" argument. This is a struct you define, which can contain resources shared between jobs like a connection pool, or application level configuration. For example:

struct Environment {
    file_server_private_key: String,
    http_client: http_lib::Client,
}

#[swirl::background_job]
fn resize_image(
    env: &Environment,
    file_name: String,
    dimensions: Size,
) -> Result<(), swirl::PerformError> {
    // Do expensive computation that shouldn't be done on the web server
}

Note that all jobs must use the same type for the environment. Once a job is defined, it can be enqueued like so:

resize_image(file_name, dimensions).enqueue(&diesel_connection)?

You do not pass the environment when enqueuing jobs. Jobs are run asynchronously by an instance of swirl::Runner. To construct one, you must first pass it the job environment (this is () if your jobs don't take an environment), and a Diesel connection pool (from diesel::r2d2).

let runner = Runner::builder(environment, connection_pool)
    .build();

At the time of writing, it is up to you to make sure your connection pool is well configured for your runner. Your connection pool size should be at least as big as the thread pool size (defaults to the number of CPUs on your machine), or double that if your jobs require a database connection.

Once the runner is created, calling run_all_pending_jobs will continuously saturate all available threads, attempting to run one job per thread at a time. It will return Ok(()) once at least one thread has reported there were no jobs available to run, or an error if a job fails to start running. Note that this function does not know or care if a job completes successfully, only if we were successful at starting to do work. Typically this function should be called in a loop:

loop {
    if let Err(e) = runner.run_all_pending_jobs() {
        // Something has gone seriously wrong. The database might be down,
        // or the thread pool may have died. We could just try again, or
        // perhaps rebuild the runner, or crash/restart the process.
    }
}

In situations where you have low job throughput, you can add a sleep to this loop to wait some period of time before looking for more jobs.

When a job fails (by returning an error or panicking), it will be retried after 1 ^ {retry_count} minutes. If a job fails or an error occurs marking a job as finsihed/failed, it will be logged to stderr. No output will be sent when jobs are running successfully.

Swirl uses at least once semantics. This means that we guarantee all jobs are successfully run to completion, but we do not guarantee that it will do so only once, even if the job successfully returns Ok(()). Therefore, it is important that all jobs are idempotent.

Upcoming features

Planned features that are not yet implemented are:

  • Automatic configuration of the DB connection pool
  • Allowing jobs to take a database connection as an argument
    • If your jobs need a DB connection today, put the connection pool on your environment.
  • More robust and configurable logging
  • Configurable retry behavior
  • Support for multiple queues with priority
  • Less boilerplate in the job runner

Code of conduct

Anyone who interacts with Swirl in any space, including but not limited to this GitHub repository, must follow our code of conduct.

License

Licensed under either of these:

Contributing

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution you intentionally submit for inclusion in the work, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual-licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.

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A simple background processing framework for Diesel and PostgreSQL

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