A framework for pluggable business logic components
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A framework for pluggable business logic components.



The package can be installed by adding opus to your list of dependencies in mix.exs:

def deps do
  [{:opus, "~> 0.5"}]



  • Each Opus pipeline module has a single entry point and returns tagged tuples {:ok, value} | {:error, error}
  • A pipeline is a composition of stateless stages
  • A stage returning {:error, _} halts the pipeline
  • A stage may be skipped based on a condition function (:if option)
  • Exceptions are converted to {:error, error} tuples by default
  • An exception may be left to raise using the :raise option
  • Each stage of the pipeline is instrumented. Metrics are captured automatically (but can be disabled).
  • Errors are meaningful and predictable


defmodule ArithmeticPipeline do
  use Opus.Pipeline

  step  :add_one,         with: &(&1 + 1)
  check :even?,           with: &(rem(&1, 2) == 0), error_message: :expected_an_even
  tee   :publish_number,  if: &Publisher.publishable?/1, raise: [ExternalError]
  step  :double,          if: :lucky_number?
  step  :randomize,       with: &(&1 * :rand.uniform)
  link  JSONPipeline

  def double(n), do: n * 2
  def lucky_number?(n) when n in 42..1337, do: true
  def lucky_number?(_), do: false

# {:ok, 84.13436750126804}

Read this blogpost to get started.


The core aspect of this library is defining pipeline modules. As in the example above you need to add use Opus.Pipeline to turn a module into a pipeline. A pipeline module is a composition of stages executed in sequence.


There are a few different types of stages for different use-cases. All stage functions, expect a single argument which is provided either from initial call/1 of the pipeline module or the return value of the previous stage.

An error value is either :error or {:error, any} and anything else is considered a success value.


This stage processes the input value and with a success value the next stage is called with that value. With an error value the pipeline is halted and an {:error, any} is returned.


This stage is intended for validations.

This stage calls the stage function and unless it returns true it halts the pipeline.


defmodule CreateUserPipeline do
  use Opus.Pipeline

  check :valid_params?, with: &match?(%{email: email} when is_bitstring(email), &1)
  # other stages to actually create the user


This stage is intended for side effects, such as a notification or a call to an external system where the return value is not meaningful. It never halts the pipeline.


This stage is to link with another Opus.Pipeline module. It calls call/1 for the provided module. If the module is not an Opus.Pipeline it is ignored.

Available options

The behaviour of each stage can be configured with any of the available options:

  • :with: The function to call to fulfill this stage. It can be an Atom referring to a public function of the module, an anonymous function or a function reference.
  • :if: Makes a stage conditional, it can be either an Atom referring to a public function of the module, an anonymous function or a function reference. For the stage to be executed, the condition must return true. When the stage is skipped, the input is forwarded to the next step if there's one.
  • :raise: A list of exceptions to not rescue. Defaults to false which converts all exceptions to {:error, %Opus.PipelineError{}} values halting the pipeline.
  • :error_message: A String or Atom to replace the original error when a stage fails.
  • :retry_times: How many times to retry a failing stage, before halting the pipeline.
  • :retry_backoff: A backoff function to provide delay values for retries. It can be an Atom referring to a public function in the module, an anonymous function or a function reference. It must return an Enumerable.t yielding at least as many numbers as the retry_times.
  • :instrument?: A boolean which defaults to true. Set to false to skip instrumentation for a stage.


defmodule ExternalApiPipeline do
  use Opus.Pipeline

  step :http_request, retry_times: 8, retry_backoff: fn -> lin_backoff(10, 2) |> cap(100) end

  def http_request(_input) do
    # code for the actual request

The above module, will retry be retried up to 8 times, each time applying a delay from the next value of the retry_backoff function, which returns a Stream.

All the functions from the :retry package will be available to be used in retry_backoff.

Stage Filtering

You can select the stages of a pipeline to run using call/2 with the :except and :only options.


# Runs only the stage with the :validate_params name
CreateUserPipeline.call(params, only: [:validate_params]

# Runs all the stages except the selected ones
CreateUserPipeline.call(params, except: :send_notification)


Instrumentation hooks which can be defined:

  • :before_stage: Called before each stage
  • :stage_skipped: Called when a conditional stage was skipped
  • :stage_completed: Called after each stage

You can disable all instrumentation callbacks for a stage using instrument?: false.

defmodule ArithmeticPipeline do
  use Opus.Pipeline

  step :double, instrument?: false

You can define module specific instrumentation callbacks using:

defmodule ArithmeticPipeline do
  use Opus.Pipeline

  step :double, with: &(&1 * 2)
  step :triple, with: &(&1 * 3)

  instrument :before_stage, fn %{input: input} ->
    IO.inspect input

  # Will be called only for the matching stage
  instrument :stage_completed, %{stage: %{name: :triple}}, fn %{time: time} ->
    # send to the monitoring tool of your choice

You can define a default instrumentation module for all your pipelines by adding in your config/*.exs:

config :opus, :instrumentation, YourModule

# but you may choose to provide a list of modules
config :opus, :instrumentation, [YourModuleA, YourModuleB]

An instrumentation module has to export instrument/3 functions like:

defmodule CustomInstrumentation do
  def instrument(:pipeline_started, %{pipeline: ArithmeticPipeline}, %{input: input}) do
    # publish the metrics to specific backend
  def instrument(:before_stage, %{stage: %{pipeline: pipeline}}, %{input: input}) do
    # publish the metrics to specific backend

  def instrument(:stage_completed, %{stage: %{pipeline: ArithmeticPipeline}}, %{time: time}) do
    # publish the metrics to specific backend

  def instrument(:pipeline_completed, %{pipeline: ArithmeticPipeline}, %{input: input, time: total_time}) do
    # publish the metrics to specific backend

Module-Global Options

You may choose to provide some common options to all the stages of a pipeline.

defmodule ArithmeticPipeline do
  use Opus.Pipeline, instrument?: false, raise: true
  # The pipeline opts will disable instrumentation for this module
  # and will not rescue exceptions from any of the stages

  step :double, with: &(&1 * 2)
  step :triple, with: &(&1 * 3)


You may visualise your pipelines using Opus.Graph:

# => {:ok, "Graph file has been written to your_app_opus_graph.png"}

This needs the opus_graph package to be installed, add it in your mix.exs.

defp deps do
  {:opus_graph, "~> 0.1", only: [:dev]}


First make sure to add graphvix to your dependencies:

# in mix.exs

defp deps do
    {:opus, "~> 0.5"},
    {:graphvix, "~> 0.5", only: [:dev]}

This feature uses graphviz, so make sure to have it installed. To install it:

# MacOS

brew install graphviz
# Debian / Ubuntu

apt-get install graphviz

Opus.Graph is in fact a pipeline and its visualisation is:


You can customise the visualisation:

Opus.Graph.generate(:your_app, %{filetype: :svg})
# => {:ok, "Graph file has been written to your_app_opus_graph.svg"}

Read the available visualisation options here.




Copyright (c) 2018 Dimitris Zorbas, MIT License. See LICENSE.txt for further details.