Abstraction on top of various cloud queing systems

sqs, azure, rabitmq, ironmq, redis, rackspace
npm install cloud-queue@0.0.4


Cloud Queue

This library acts as a common abstraction on top of a number of popular cloud queue implementations. It provides a simple, common interface on top of SQS, IronMQ, RabbitMQ, Azure, Rackspace and Redis. This means you can write your application code once, and with only config file changes use any one of the implementations supported by this library.

The Cloud Queue Model

The cloud queue behavioral model as far as I understand it, is as follows: When you dequeue a message, that message is not removed from the queue; it is marked "invisible" so no other possible dequeuer can dequeue the same message. This invisibility marker only lasts a certain amout of time. If that amount of time runs out before the message is explicity removed from the queue, it becomes visible again for others to dequeue. So when you dequeue, at some point you must explicity remove the message you dequeued from the queue.

The idea is that we want to deal with the problem that someone dequeues a message, but then dies or otherwise gets into a bad state before the message is actually handled. If this happens, the temporarily invisible message will become visible after a short time, allowing someone else to attempt to process the message.

All of the queue implementations in this library follow this model except for RedisQ. Redis does not have the capability to emulate this behavior, at least not in any strait forward way. So the RedisQ should not be used in production, or at least in any mission critical situation. Once a message is dequeued, its gone. If the process that is processing the message dies before handling the message, its gone forever.

Queues and Fifos

There are queues and there are fifos. SQS is a queue but it is not a fifo. That is, the order in which things are enqueued is not the order in which they are dequeued. SQS is suitable as a work queue, when you don't really care about the strict ordering of messages. RackQ, IronMQ and RabbitMQ are strict fifos. Redis emulates a strict fifo. I am not sure if Azure is a strict fifo, but I don't think it is.


let q = require( 'cloud-queue' )( config );
q.enqueue( 'myQueueName', { my: "message" }, function( err ) {
   // ...


The object that you pass when creating a cloud queue looks like:

  retry_times: HOW-MANY-TIMES-TO-RETRY ( default: 6 ),
  connection: { CONNECTION-OPTIONS },
  options: {
    maxNumberOfMessages: 1,  // max number of messages to dequeue at a time
    waitTimeSeconds: 5,      // if no messages, seconds to wait for another poll
    visibilityTimeout: 30    // visibility timeout, iff applicable

The class names supported as of this writing are; SQS, IronMQ, RabbitMQ, AzureQ, RackQ and RedisQ. The connection object you pass depends on the class you choose. See "config-example.json" for how the configuration should look for each class.


enqueue( queueName, message, cb ) - enqueue a message, message should be a JSON object
dequeue( queueName, cb )          - dequeue one or more messages
remove( queueName, handle, cb )   - remove a message from the queue
release( queueName, handle, cb )  - explicity make an invisible message visible again

Dequeue Message Format

Dequeuing is a blocking operation. That is, when the callback is called, you will be passed an error object and an array of messages. With some queue implementations, the array of messages might be empty ( SQS, IronMQ ). The array is an array of items that looks like:


The handle is an opaque type. It is different for different queue implementations and you should never care about it. Its the handle you pass when you call remove() or release().