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Particular Software Blog

  • RPC vs. Messaging – which is faster?

    Sometimes developers only care about speed. Ignoring all the other advantages messaging has, they’ll ask us the following question:

    “But isn’t RPC faster than messaging?”

    In place of RPC, 1 they may substitute a different term or technology like REST, microservices, gRPC, WCF, Java RMI, etc. However, no matter the specific word used, the meaning is the same: remote method calls over HTTP. So we’ll just use “RPC” for short.

    Some will claim that any type of RPC communication ends up being faster (meaning it has lower latency) than any equivalent invocation using asynchronous messaging. But the answer isn’t that simple. It’s less of an apples-to-oranges comparison and more like apples-to-orange-sherbet.

    Let’s take a look at the bigger picture.

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    1. short for remote procedure call

    2. Did you notice we build a product that helps you build message-driven systems? So yeah, maybe we're selling you something too, but at least we're honest about it. 😉

    3. Note: This is not and should not be considered the only definition of microservices.

    4. In NServiceBus, we default to 2 * LogicalProcessorCount, but this is fully configurable.

  • What's new with NServiceBus and Azure Functions

    Do you think Azure Functions are pretty great? Us too! Do you hate boilerplate code? Yeah, us too.

    Have you heard of C# source generators 1 and thought they sounded pretty cool but didn’t really know how they could be useful?

    In the newest version of our Azure Functions integration, we’ve used source generators to reduce the boilerplate needed to set up an NServiceBus endpoint on Azure Service Bus down to just a few lines of code.

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    1. A source generator is a new type of Roslyn analyzer that runs during compilation, inspects the code you're building, and produces additional source files that are compiled together with the rest of your code. Check out the blog post introducing source generators or the Microsoft source generator docs for more info.

  • Cosmos DB Persistence — Questions & Answers

    We recently released NServiceBus.Persistence.CosmosDB version 1.0, which provides saga and outbox storage for NServiceBus endpoints that is transactionally consistent with the business data you store in Cosmos DB.

    This component was previously offered as a preview package. Now that it has reached version 1.0, our full support policy applies, including API stability and backporting of bugfixes.

    Now that our Cosmos DB persistence has reached general availability, let’s answer some common questions about Cosmos DB and what it means to use Cosmos DB with NServiceBus.

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    1. For reference, in one year, that's 5 minutes 16 seconds of downtime.

    2. A noisy neighbor problem is where one tenant in a multi-tenant hosting scenario monopolizes too many of the resources such that performance is impacted for the other tenants sharing the same resources.

    3. Data committed to the database but without an accompanying message sent out due to a failure between the database commit and message send operations. See What does idempotence mean? for more details.

    4. A message sent before a failure occurs that can't be recalled, so the message refers to data that never got saved to the database. See What does idempotence mean? for more details.

    5. The two package names are NServiceBus.Persistence.AzureStorage and NServiceBus.Persistence.AzureTable. They're the same thing, we just renamed the package between versions 2 and 3 to make it more clear what it does.

  • More message recoverability options in ServicePulse

    ServicePulse 1.30 is out and this release is all about better recoverability management. We’ve addressed several of our most popular feature requests: add notes to failed message groups restore groups of deleted messages replace lazy loading in message lists with paging export failed message data Read on to take a look at these features in more detail. Read more
  • Cross-platform integration with NServiceBus native message processing

    When the Romans met the Gauls for the first time, they couldn’t talk to each other. The Romans spoke Latin, and Gauls a Celtic language. How could they communicate? It must have been difficult to start with simple gestures, slowly building enough concepts, until a full translation guide was possible. Perhaps one day, as in Star Trek, a universal translator will enable us to talk to anyone regardless of their language, even if chah jatlh Tlhingan. 1

    Sometimes I feel like a Roman meeting a Gaul for the first time. Different technologies make sense to address different problems. For example, if your order entry front end can benefit from rapid prototyping, you should be able to use Ruby on Rails and Active Record. In your back-end system, you might benefit from event-driven architecture, automatic message retries, and orchestration of long-running business processes. In that case, you should be able to use C#, RabbitMQ, and a messaging framework like NServiceBus.

    But then, how do we get these parts to communicate and work together?

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    1. they speak Klingon

    2. Technically, IronRuby does exist for this, but……

    3. Raise your hand if you've ever had a problem where your JSON serializer wouldn't talk to somebody else's JSON serializer. 🙋

    4. An endpoint is just a short name for a logical message processor.

    5. Plain Old C# Object

  • Fallacy #8: The network is homogeneous

    Interoperability is painful.

    Around 2005 or 2006, it wasn’t so bad. Most of the code running on the planet, at least the code that mattered, was written in .NET or Java, and interoperability via web services was at least serviceable. Since then, things have gotten gradually worse.

    First came Ruby and Ruby on Rails. In the early days, it did not support web services like other platforms did. Next came the dawn of the NoSQL movement, driven at least partially by large companies with no incentive to interoperate. Google built BigTable, Amazon built Dynamo, Facebook built Cassandra, LinkedIn came up with Voldemort. None of these things can talk to each other.

    Then came REST, or in other words, “something I invented myself over HTTP.” Each RESTful endpoint is that developer’s definition of what REST means, which is different from what every other developer thinks REST means.

    Competitive pressures, together with companies’ desire to create vendor lock-in, suggest that we can expect more divergence to occur in the future.

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  • NServiceBus with Azure Functions turns 1.0

    NServiceBus support for Microsoft Azure Functions, previously available as a preview package, is turning the big 1.0 and is now generally available.

    Over the past nine months, we’ve been offering NServiceBus support for Microsoft Azure Functions as a Preview. This marked the first in a series of previews designed to provide new capabilities to the Particular Software Platform and explore new options for NServiceBus customers.

    Now we’re adding Version 1.0 to its credentials, which means that in addition to production support, we’re also committing to all aspects of our support policy, including API stability and backporting of bug fixes. Plus we added a few more features, so you can do a lot more with Functions too.

    Let’s take a look.

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  • Azure Storage Queues learns some new tricks

    Azure Storage Queues is a basic yet robust queueing service available on the Azure platform. In contrast to other messaging services in Azure, it has very few features out of the box. For example, it lacks concepts like topics and subscriptions to build publisher and subscriber topologies—these are capabilities NServiceBus adds on top of Azure Storage Queues. In our latest enhancement release, we’ve added native publish/subscribe to our Azure Storage Queues transport, creating feature parity between Azure Storage Queues and… Read more
  • What's new in SQL Persistence 6.1

    Business runs on SQL. As popular as NoSQL databases have become, you’d be hard-pressed to find a successful business that isn’t running some flavor of SQL somewhere.

    For NServiceBus systems, our SQL Persistence package allows you to use whatever flavor of SQL works best for you, supporting dialects for Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle.

    SQL Persistence 6.1 is a big release. In it, we now offer a new tool for generating scripts for NServiceBus tables, enable support for SQL Server Always Encrypted, have begun to expand our testing to MariaDB and Amazon Aurora, have solved a problem with ever-expanding outbox storage, and added controls for managing transaction isolation level.

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  • Fallacy #7: Transport cost is zero

    Of course, there are upfront and ongoing costs associated with any computer network. The servers themselves, cabling, network switches, racks, load balancers, firewalls, power equipment, air handling, security, rent/mortgage, not to mention experienced staff to keep it all running smoothly, all come with a cost.

    Companies today have, for the most part, accepted this as just another cost of doing business in the modern world.

    With cloud-based server resources, this equation changes only slightly. Instead of paying for a lot of these things upfront, we instead lease them from the cloud providers. It may change how a company can represent these costs on a balance sheet, but overall, it’s the same concept.

    But, we also have to pay for bandwidth. In order to connect our data center to the rest of the world, we must exchange currency for the transport of our bits and bytes. In the cloud, we must pay this also, whether directly or as part of the cost of whichever service we’re using.

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