Introducing AjProcessor (Part 1)

Last month, I was working in AjProcessor code, as part of my code katas Google project:

The idea is the evolution of some exploratory coding with AjMessages and other examples. I want to have an application, based in message passing, that can be run in a grid of heterogeneus machines. The application could 
be partitioned in steps, and each step could run in the same host machine, or on a another machine. The deployment in machines should be transparent to the writing of the application code.

Some of those goals were reached with AjMessages, but this time, I want a more clear kick off, based on the lesson learnt of my previous attempts.

First, I want to write down some basic ideas, to explain the motivation of the initial code written for AjProcessor. The basic idea, is to have message processors. A message processor is a code that receives a message, and process it.


The message has a payload (an arbitrary object, string, anything), and additional properties, with key/value.

Another essential brick in this lego-like application, is the element that publish messages. That is, there is a publisher:


An outgoing message could be received by any other code. The same message can be processed by more than one processor:


It’s like the publish/subscribe pattern. Another pattern to take into account, is a router-like component. Depending on the message (property, content), it could be send to different targets.


Frequently, a component will implement both roles, message processor and message publisher. In order to call plain old .NET objects, it would be nice to have a processor that receives a message, take some part of the message (i.e. the payload), and send it as a parameter to one its methods. The return value could feed a new message.


The components can be arranged as a chain, implementing a pipeline to process a message:


A more complex arrangement could receive a message, and forward it to different pipelines, according to some property or content in incoming message.


(this concept could be mapped to an application in AjMessage, but without the idea of distributed processing). A more interesting idea is to run that kind of pipeline routers in many machines


AjProcessor infrastructure is in charge of the serialization/routing/deserialization of messages between host machine. It could be WCF or anything else. The basic idea is to have a pluggable transport.

Well, these are the seed ideas behind the project. In an upcoming post, I’ll explain some of the current code (only few interfaces and classes, now).

Angel “Java” Lopez

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