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Version: v2.0.0

General messaging functionality

The Arcus Messaging library has several messaging systems that can retrieve messages from Azure technology (like Azure Service Bus and Azure EventHubs), and run abstracted message handlers on the received messages. Both and future systems also support some general functionality that will be explained here.

Stop message pump when downstream is unable to keep up

Pause message processing with a circuit breaker

When your message handler interacts with a dependency on an external resource, that resource may become unavailable. In that case you want to temporarily stop processing messages.

⚠️ This functionality is currently only available for the Azure Service Bus message pump.

⚠️ This functionality is not supported for the Azure Event Hubs message pump.

⚠️ This functionality is only available when interacting with message pumps, not in message router-only scenarios like Azure Functions.

To interact with the message processing system within your custom message handler, you can inject the IMessagePumpCircuitBreaker:

using Arcus.Messaging.Abstractions.ServiceBus.MessageHandling;
using Arcus.Messaging.Pumps.Abstractions.Resiliency;

public class OrderMessageHandler : IAzureServiceBusMessageHandler<Order>
private readonly IMessagePumpCircuitBreaker _circuitBreaker;

public OrderMessageHandler(IMessagePumpCircuitBreaker circuitBreaker)
_circuitBreaker = circuitBreaker;

public async Task ProcessMessageAsync(Order message, AzureServiceBusMessageContext messageContext, ...)
// Determine whether your dependent system is healthy...

// If not, call the circuit breaker, processing will be halted temporarily.
await _circuitBreaker.PauseMessageProcessingAsync(messageContext.JobId);

The message pump will by default act in the following pattern:

  • Circuit breaker calls Pause
    • Message pump stops processing messages for a period of time (circuit is OPEN).
  • Message pump tries processing a single message (circuit is HALF-OPEN).
    • Dependency still unhealthy? => Tries again later (circuit is OPEN)
    • Dependency healthy? => Message pump starts receiving message in full again (circuit is CLOSED).

Both the recovery period after the circuit is open and the interval between messages when the circuit is half-open is configurable when calling the circuit breaker. These time periods are related to your dependent system and could change by the type of transient connection failure.

await _circuitBreaker.PauseMessageProcessingAsync(
options =>
// Sets the time period the circuit breaker should wait before retrying to receive messages.
// A.k.a. the time period the circuit is closed (default: 30 seconds).
options.MessageRecoveryPeriod = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(15);

// Sets the time period the circuit breaker should wait between each message after the circuit was closed, during recovery.
// A.k.a. the time interval to receive messages during which the circuit is half-open (default: 10 seconds).
options.MessageIntervalDuringRecovery = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(1.5);

Pause message processing for a fixed period of time

⚡ If you use one of the message-type specific packages like Arcus.Messaging.Pumps.EventHubs, you will automatically get this functionality. If you implement your own message pump, please use the services.AddMessagePump(...) extension which makes sure that you also registers this functionality.

When messages are being processed by a system that works slower than the rate that messages are being received by the message pump, a rate problem could occur. As a solution to this problem, the Arcus Messaging library registers an IMessagePumpLifetime instance in the application services that lets you control the message receiving process and pauses if necessary for the downstream dependency system to keep up.

The following example below shows how a 'rate limit' service gets injected with the IMessagePumpLifetime instance and pauses. Note that the message pumps need to be registered with a unique job ID so that the lifetime component knows which pump it needs to manage.

using Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection;
using Arcus.Messaging.Pumps.Abstractions;

public class Program
public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
services.AddServiceBusMessagePump(..., options => options.JobId = "abc-123")
.WithServiceBusMessageHandler<..., ...>();

services.AddEventHubsMessagePump(..., options => options.JobId = "def-456")
.WithEventHubsMessageHandler<..., ...>();

public class RateLimitService
private readonly IMessagePumpLifetime _pumpLifetime;

public RateLimitService(IMessagePumpLifetime lifetime)
_pumpLifetime = lifetime;

public async Task CantKeepUpAnymoreAsync(CancellationToken cancellationToken)
var duration = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(30);
await _pumpLifetime.PauseProcessingMessagesAsync("abc-123", duration, cancellationToken);

⚡ Besides the PauseProcessingMessagesAsync method, there also exists Stop.../Start... variants so that you can control the time dynamically when the pump is allowed to run again.

For more information on message pumps: