LiteQueue 1.2.0

dotnet add package LiteQueue --version 1.2.0
NuGet\Install-Package LiteQueue -Version 1.2.0
This command is intended to be used within the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio, as it uses the NuGet module's version of Install-Package.
<PackageReference Include="LiteQueue" Version="1.2.0" />
For projects that support PackageReference, copy this XML node into the project file to reference the package.
paket add LiteQueue --version 1.2.0
#r "nuget: LiteQueue, 1.2.0"
#r directive can be used in F# Interactive and Polyglot Notebooks. Copy this into the interactive tool or source code of the script to reference the package.
// Install LiteQueue as a Cake Addin
#addin nuget:?package=LiteQueue&version=1.2.0

// Install LiteQueue as a Cake Tool
#tool nuget:?package=LiteQueue&version=1.2.0

LiteQueue

Lightweight, persisted, thread safe, (optionally) transactional, FIFO queue built on LiteDB.

Background

On unattended or embedded systems, it is often a requirement to reliably deliver messages even when the network is periodically down or the machine is power cycled. When using Windows, Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) is an old standby for queuing and can be called from .NET code. But what if we want to use .NET Core and be OS portable?

One option is to install something like ZeroMQ or RabbitMQ, but these are heavyweight for a client side queue on a single machine. Queues.io has a great list with some lighter options, but I did not find any with a nice .NET Standard client library.

So, it was time to explore creating one. It was not necessary to fully re-invent this wheel. In particular, I did not want to roll my own persistence layer. I came across LiteDB, an embedded NoSQL database specifically for .NET. It behaved quite nicely wrapped within queue logic, which I call LiteQueue.

Nuget

Install-Package LiteQueue

LiteQueue

LiteQueue provides:

  • A persisted FIFO queue.
  • Transactions (optionally). More on this below.
  • API not too dissimilar from MSMQ for easy porting of legacy code. I use the method name Dequeue instead of Receive since this is intended to be a local queue.
  • Thread safety. Multiple threads can add and remove from the queue.
  • Portability via .NET Standard library.
  • Storage of both primitives and user defined objects.
  • Batch methods.
  • Performance is limited by the constraints as LiteDB - recommended for use only on client machines or services with small loads.
  • MIT license, same as LiteDB

Transactions

By default LiteQueue uses transactional logic. In this mode, Dequeue will flag an item as checked out but not remove it from the queue. You should call Commit (which fully removes the item) or Abort (which undoes checkout) after processing the retrieved item. Any other calls to Dequeue (on same or different threads) will not see items already checked out.

To turn transactional logic off, set transactional to false in the constructor. Some methods like Commit and Abort will throw InvalidOperationException if the queue is not transactional. I debated this as it makes it annoying to switch between the two modes, but I want to fail safe if you are trying to use transactional logic when the queue is not in that mode.

Threading

If accessing the same queue from multiple threads, each thread must reference the same LiteQueue instance to ensure correct locking. If you encounter the following exception, suspect a violation of this rule as the cause:

SynchronizationLockException: Object synchronization method was called from an unsynchronized block of code.

This is a limitation of LiteDB after version 5.08.

Message Duplication

Using a queue such as this to send messages to another system, there are two ways in which the receiver could see a duplicate message. The first is when the receiver gets the message, commits it, and sends its ACK but the sender fails to see the ACK (think cellular network). Your code will timeout and logic will trigger a resend. The other possibility is that you receive the final ACK but you get halted (process crash, power cycle) before you can remove the message from your local queue.

LiteQueue provides some help in the second situation (see CurrentCheckouts and ResetOrphans), but fundamentally de-duplication will require your receiver to identify and suppress duplicates. You will need to include a unique message identifier (such as GUID) in your message. If you have huge volumes, also consider a timestamp and de-duplication window so your receiver does not need to remember a complete history.

For further reading:

Code Example

Here's a quick start C# code snippet using transactional logic. See the unit tests for more usage.

// LiteQueue depends on LiteDB. You can save other things to same database.
using (var db = new LiteDatabase("Queue.db"))
{
	// Creates a "logs" collection in LiteDB. You can also pass a user defined object.
	var logs = new LiteQueue<string>(db, "logs");

	// Recommended on startup to reset anything that was checked out but not committed or aborted. 
	// Or call CurrentCheckouts to inspect them and abort yourself. See github page for
	// notes regarding duplicate messages.
	logs.ResetOrphans();

	// Adds record to queue
	logs.Enqueue("Test");

	// Get next item from queue. Marks it as checked out such that other threads that 
	// call Checkout will not see it - but does not remove it from the queue.
	var record = logs.Dequeue();

	try
	{
		// Do something that may fail, i.e. a network call
		// record.Payload contains the original string "Test"

		// Removes record from queue
		logs.Commit(record);
	}
	catch
	{
		// Returns the record to the queue
		logs.Abort(record);
	}
}

License

MIT

Copyright (C) by Nomadeon Software LLC

Product Compatible and additional computed target framework versions.
.NET net5.0 was computed.  net5.0-windows was computed.  net6.0 was computed.  net6.0-android was computed.  net6.0-ios was computed.  net6.0-maccatalyst was computed.  net6.0-macos was computed.  net6.0-tvos was computed.  net6.0-windows was computed.  net7.0 was computed.  net7.0-android was computed.  net7.0-ios was computed.  net7.0-maccatalyst was computed.  net7.0-macos was computed.  net7.0-tvos was computed.  net7.0-windows was computed.  net8.0 was computed.  net8.0-android was computed.  net8.0-browser was computed.  net8.0-ios was computed.  net8.0-maccatalyst was computed.  net8.0-macos was computed.  net8.0-tvos was computed.  net8.0-windows was computed. 
.NET Core netcoreapp3.1 is compatible. 
Compatible target framework(s)
Additional computed target framework(s)
Learn more about Target Frameworks and .NET Standard.
  • .NETCoreApp 3.1

NuGet packages

This package is not used by any NuGet packages.

GitHub repositories

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Version Downloads Last updated
1.2.0 630 2/24/2023
1.1.0 122,035 11/19/2018
1.0.1 982 6/25/2018
1.0.0 891 6/7/2018

Updated to latest LiteDB
See README for new threading requirements