Message Handlers Edit on GitHub


Jasper purposely eschews the typical IHandler<T> approach that most .Net messaging frameworks take in favor of a more flexible model that relies on naming conventions. This might throw some users that are used to being guided by implementing an expected interface or base class, but it allows Jasper to be much more flexible and reduces code noise.

As an example, here's about the simplest possible handler you could create:


public class MyMessageHandler
{
    public void Handle(MyMessage message)
    {
        // do stuff with the message
    }
}

Like most frameworks, Jasper follows the Hollywood Principle where the framework acts as an intermediary between the rest of the world and your application code. When a Jasper application receives a MyMessage message through one of its transports, Jasper will call your method and pass in the message that it received.

How Jasper Consumes Your Message Handlers

If you're worried about the performance implications of Jasper calling into your code without any interfaces or base classes, nothing to worry about because Jasper does not use Reflection at runtime to call your actions. Instead, Jasper uses runtime code generation with Roslyn to write the "glue" code around your actions. Internally, Jasper is generating a subclass of MessageHandler for each known message type:


public abstract class MessageHandler
{
    public HandlerChain Chain { get; set; }

    // This method actually processes the incoming Envelope
    public abstract Task Handle(IInvocationContext input);
}

See Message Handlers for information on how Jasper generates the MessageHandler code and how to customize that code.

Naming Conventions

Out of the box, message handlers need to follow these naming conventions and rules:

  • Classes must be public, concrete classes suffixed with either "Handler" or "Consumer"
  • Message handling methods must have be public and have a deterministic message type
  • The message type has to be a public type

If a candidate method has a single argument, that argument type is assumed to be the message type. Otherwise, Jasper looks for any argument named either "message", "input", or "@event" to be the message type.

See Message Handler Discovery for more information.

Instance Handler Methods

Handler methods can be instance methods on handler classes if it's desirable to scope the handler object to the message:


public class ExampleHandler
{
    public void Handle(Message1 message)
    {
        // Do work synchronously
    }

    public Task Handle(Message2 message)
    {
        // Do work asynchronously
        return Task.CompletedTask;
    }
}

Note that you can use either synchronous or asynchronous methods depending on your needs, so you're not constantly being forced to return Task.CompletedTask over and over again for operations that are purely CPU-bound (but Jasper itself might be doing that for you in its generated MessageHandler code).

Static Handler Methods

Note! Using a static method as your message handler can be a small performance improvement by avoiding the need to create and garbage collect new objects at runtime.

As an alternative, you can also use static methods as message handlers:


public static class ExampleHandler
{
    public static void Handle(Message1 message)
    {
        // Do work synchronously
    }

    public static Task Handle(Message2 message)
    {
        // Do work asynchronously
        return Task.CompletedTask;
    }
}

The handler classes can be static classes as well. This technique gets much more useful when combined with Jasper's support for method injection in a following section.

Constructor Injection

Jasper can create your message handler objects by using an IoC container (or in the future just use straight up dependency injection without any IoC container overhead). In that case, you can happily inject dependencies into your message handler classes through the constructor like this example that takes in a dependency on an IDocumentSession from Marten:


public class ServiceUsingHandler
{
    private readonly IDocumentSession _session;

    public ServiceUsingHandler(IDocumentSession session)
    {
        _session = session;
    }

    public Task Handle(InvoiceCreated created)
    {
        var invoice = new Invoice {Id = created.InvoiceId};
        _session.Store(invoice);

        return _session.SaveChangesAsync();
    }
}

See IoC Container Integration for more information about how Jasper integrates the application's IoC container.

Method Injection

Similar to ASP.Net MVC Core, Jasper supports the concept of method injection in handler methods where you can just accept additional arguments that will be passed into your method by Jasper when a new message is being handled.

Below is an example action method that takes in a dependency on an IDocumentSession from Marten:


public static class MethodInjectionHandler
{
    public static Task Handle(InvoiceCreated message, IDocumentSession session)
    {
        var invoice = new Invoice {Id = message.InvoiceId};
        session.Store(invoice);

        return session.SaveChangesAsync();
    }
}

So, what can be injected as an argument to your message handler?

  1. Any service that is registered in your application's IoC container
  2. Envelope
  3. The current time in UTC if you have a parameter like DateTime now or DateTimeOffset now
  4. Services or variables that match a registered code generation strategy. See Jasper Middleware and Codegen for more information on this mechanism.

Cascading Messages from Actions

To have additional messages queued up to be sent out when the current message has been successfully completed, you can return the outgoing messages from your handler methods with Cascading Messages.

Using the Message Envelope

To access the Envelope for the current message being handled in your message handler, just accept Envelope as a method argument like this:


public class EnvelopeUsingHandler
{
    public void Handle(InvoiceCreated message, Envelope envelope)
    {
        var howOldIsThisMessage =
            DateTime.UtcNow.Subtract(envelope.SentAt);
    }
}

See Customizing the Sent Message Envelopes for more information on interacting with Envelope objects.