Kaliop Queueing Bundle

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v0.10.1 2019-11-08 12:18 UTC

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Last update: 2024-05-21 00:56:12 UTC


A Symfony Bundle offering functionality related to message queuing systems.

Main use cases:

  • make it easy to write message producers and consumers
  • shield the rest of the application from the messaging system in use
  • make it easy to introduce a queueing system in an existing application, allowing remote execution of existing console commands/services/etc...
  • help with the creation of job-processing message consumers which work as daemons, in php, overcoming the inherent stability problems.

As of now the only messaging broker supported is RabbitMQ via the RabbitMqBundle; other brokers supporting the AMQP protocol (version 0.9) are likely to work but untested.

Support for other messaging systems is available in separate bundles:

  • STOMP based brokers (tested: Apache ActiveMQ and Apollo)

Features implemented

  • A MessageProducer class which can be used to distribute execution of any Symfony console command to distributed workers

  • A console command which can be used to test the above (distribute execution of existing console commands)

  • A MessageConsumer class which implements the complementary part of the above

    TAKE CARE about security when using it: you generally do NOT want to allow anyone to be able to post commands to the queue and execute them blindly. A basic limitation you can implement is to whitelist the commands available for execution via queue messages; this is set up via parameters.yml

  • MessageConsumer and MessageProducer classes to distribute execution of HTTP calls Useful f.e. to distribute link-checking tasks to many concurrent workers

  • MessageConsumer and MessageProducer classes to distribute execution of XMLRPC calls to remote servers (note that you will need to install the phpxmlrpc\phpxmlrpc package for this to work)

  • MessageConsumer and MessageProducer classes which can distribute execution of methods exposed by Symfony services. A basic limitation you can implement is to whitelist the service methods available for execution via queue messages; this is set up via parameters.yml

  • An event: kaliop_queueing.message_received, which your services can listen to by usage of tag kaliop_queueing.event_listener This allows to filter received messages to introduce e.g. security, logging or other cross-cutting concerns. To 'swallow' a consumed message, your event listener should simply call stopPropagation() on the event

  • An event: kaliop_queueing.message_consumed, which your services can listen to by usage of tag kaliop_queueing.event_listener

  • An event: kaliop_queueing.message_consumption_failed, which your services can listen to by usage of tag kaliop_queueing.event_listener

  • An event: kaliop_queueing.message_sent, which your services can listen to by usage of tag kaliop_queueing.event_listener

  • A console command used to consume messages, similar to the rabbitmq:consumer command but with more options, such as support for multiple driver and timeouts

  • A console command used to 'daemonize' (a.k.a. restart if not executing) multiple php processes which are 'workers' (a.k.a. message consumers)

  • A console command used to troubleshoot and manage queues, by dumping their config and current message count as well as purging and deleting them (exact capabilities depend on each driver)

  • A console command used to troubleshoot drivers - at the moment it can simply list them

  • A MessageProducer class from which message producers can be derived

  • A MessageConsumer class from which message consumers can be derived

Getting started tutorial


  1. Install and start RabbitMQ. Yo do not need to set up exchanges and queues at this time, but installing the Management Plugin is a good idea

  2. Install the bundle. Make sure you have the oldsound/rabbitmq-bundle package installed in Symfony (this happens automatically if you are using Composer)

  3. Enable both the KaliopQueueingBundle bundle and the OldSoundRabbitMqBundle, in your kernel class registerBundles().

  4. Clear all caches if not on a dev environment

Configure - testing

We will now configure the server so that console commands execution can be delegated to remote systems. For a start, the same Symfony installation will be used both as message producer and consumer.

  1. Test first that a simple console command from this bundle can be executed locally

     php console kaliop_queueing:echoback "hello world" -f "testoutput.txt"
  2. Check that the 'rabbitmq' driver for the bundle is registered:

     php console kaliop_queueing:managedriver list
  3. In a config file, define producers and consumers according to rabbitmq-bundle docs

    the rabbitmq_sample.yml file in Resources/config has an example of configuration to define a queue used to distribute execution of symfony console commands

  4. Check that the producers and consumers are properly set up by listing them:

     php console kaliop_queueing:managequeue list-configured

    In the results, queues tagged 1 are producers, queues tagged 2 are consumers

  5. Start a consumer, putting it in the background

     php console kaliop_queueing:consumer <queue> --label="testconsumer" -w &

    Note that above is to be substituted with the name of a consumer from step 8

  6. Test what happens now: when you queue execution of echoback, the consumer should trigger it immediately

    php console kaliop_queueing:queuecommand <queue> kaliop_queueing:echoback "hello world again" option.f.testoutput2.txt
    cat testoutput2.txt
    tail logs/<env>.log

    Note that above is to be substituted with the name of a producer from step 8

  7. Kill the consumer, remove the created testoutput files

Configure - moving to production

  1. Implement custom message producers and consumers, hook them to Rabbit queues via configuration

  2. Schedule execution of the watchdog so that it will start consumers automatically:

    • In a config file, define as parameters those workers which you want to run as daemons. See the parameters.yml file for more details

    • set up in crontab something akin to:

        * * * * * cd $APP && $PHP console kaliop_queueing:workerswatchdog > /dev/null

    If you are running the consumers which execute Symfony console commands or Symfony services, be warned that for the moment they provide no authentication mechanism at all . Anyone who can send messages to their queue can have them execute the relevant code.

  4. If you are running the consumers which execute Symfony console commands or Symfony services, set up at least some basic security via filtering of the accepted messages by configuring values in parameters.yml

Code samples

Sending a message

  1. Setting up a new message producer

    • create a subclass of MessageProducer;

    • implement a publish method which calls doPublish internally;

        namespace Hello\World;
        use Kaliop\QueueingBundle\Service\MessageProducer;
        class Producer {
            public function publish() {
                $this->doPublish($someData, $aRoutingKey);
    • declare it as service

                class: Hello\World\Producer
  2. Execution

     $driver = $container->get('kaliop_queueing.drivermanager')->getDriver($driverName);
  3. If you want to make the above code simpler, you can define specific message producers as services - as long as you are on Symfony 2.4 or later.

    Example configuration: this service uses the 'sqs' driver and a queue named 'aQueue'

             class: %kaliop_queueing.message_producer.console_command.class%
                 - [ setDriver, [ "@=service('kaliop_queueing.drivermanager').getDriver('sqs')" ] ]
                 - [ setQueueName, [ 'aQueue' ] ]

    And code:

     $container->get('hello.world.producer')->publish($args, $routingKey, ...);

Receiving a message

  1. Setting up a new message consumer

    • create a subclass of MessageConsumer;
    • implement a consume method;
    • declare it as service
    • hook up the service to the desired queue using driver-specific configuration
  2. Execution

     $driver = $container->get('kaliop_queueing.drivermanager')->getDriver($driverName);
         // optional

Console commands available

  • php console kaliop_queueing:queuecommand [-i=] [-ttl=] [-r=] [--novalidate] <args*>

    To send to a queue a message specifying execution of the given symfony console command

  • php console kaliop_queueing:queuemessage [-i=] [-ttl=] [-r=] [-c=] [-m=]

    To send to a queue a message in a pre-formatted payload

  • php console kaliop_queueing:consumer [-w] [-r=] [-m=] [-t=timeout]

    To start a worker process which consumes messages from the specified queue.

  • php console kaliop_queueing:managedriver list []

    To manage a given driver, or list installed drivers

  • php console kaliop_queueing:managequeue [-i=] list-configured|purge|delete|info [] [--argument=]*

    To manage a given queue: get info about its state, delete it or purge it from messages. Also to list all queues

  • php console kaliop_queueing:watchdog start|stop|check

    To check that all the configured worker processes are executing and restart them if they are not

Events available

  • Kaliop\QueueingBundle\Event\EventsList::MESSAGE_RECEIVED emitted when a message is gotten from the queue, before it is consumed. It can be used to cancel the consuming. It wil not be emitted if the message received from the queue can not be decoded according to its expected format (by default json).

  • Kaliop\QueueingBundle\Event\EventsList::MESSAGE_CONSUMED emitted when a message from the queue has been consumed.

  • Kaliop\QueueingBundle\Event\EventsList::MESSAGE_CONSUMPTION_FAILED emitted when an exception is thrown by a message consumer while trying to decode and consume a message. This is generally emitted instead of the MESSAGE_CONSUMED event.

  • Kaliop\QueueingBundle\Event\EventsList::PROCESS_STARTED emitted when the watchdog starts a process

  • Kaliop\QueueingBundle\Event\EventsList::PROCESS_STOPPED emitted when the watchdog stops a process

All of the filters tagged as 'kaliop_queueing.event_listener' can be set to run on all queues or just a single queue. In order to set up a filter on a single queue, use the following syntax:

    - { name: kaliop_queueing.event_listener, event: kaliop_queueing.message_received, queue: aQueueName }

Note : these events are not dispatched by Symfony2's event dispatcher as such you cannot register listeners with the kernel.event_listener tag, or the @DI\Observe annotation. See the examples in services.yml on how to use them.

Stability matters

Why is it a good idea to use the message consumer to execute Symfony console commands, instead of just doing all of the work in the consumer class itself?

The answer is: increased stability.

The message consumer by default is run as a daemon, i.e. it will execute for a long time. This means that is is subject to any memory leaks in the code. It might also halt unexpectedly on fatal errors, as well as suffer from broken connections to databases (this happens quite often when the connections are long lived) or other resource locking.

By using the consumer process to only 'listen' to incoming messages, and spin off each time a 'worker' console command as an independent process, we make the consumer more simple and more stable. It does not connect to databases, and it does not leak memory.

The drawback is that spinning off a console process for each message received takes quite some time, and the throughput of the system decreases.

If you know how the 'CGI mode' works for webservers executing PHP, well, that's what is being replicated, except starting with amqp requests instead of http ones (that, and the fact that our listener does only spawn one worker at a time, whereas a webserver would spawn many in parallel).

Performance matters

Option 1

If your consumer has to process a huge amount of messages in the shortest possible time, and you still want the nice stability guarantees of the 'one php process per message' model, you can simply set up multiple consumers to run in parallel. Depending on the kind of work done by the workers, you will generally want to have executing in parallel as many consumers as you have CPUs available. You can use the watchdog console command to start the consumers in parallel.

Option 2

If you prefer to benefit from faster execution time with lower guarantees of stability you can:

  • do all of the expected work in-process in the consumer
  • launch the consumer command using the -l option, which has it suicide before memory grows unbounded
  • launch the consumer command using the -m or -t options, which has it suicide after a certain amount of time has passed or a certain amount of messages has been consumed
  • use the watchdog console command to make sure that the consumers get restarted as soon as they suicide

This mode of functioning is akin to the 'Apache MPM' configuration, except that php does not clean up its global state at the end of every request.

If you want to have the consumer suicide itself on custom conditions besides memory usage and timeouts, you can simply add an event listener which is subclassed from Watchdog and implement the check method.

Note that the consumer will still only be able to act on one messages at a time, so you will most likely need to execute multiple consumers in parallel.


If you want to test the differences between the 'CGI-like' processing mode and the 'MPM-like' mode without having to rewrite a single line of code, you are invited to:

  1. write the code for your consumer(s) as Symfony console commands

  2. benchmark how many messages per second they can process

  3. in the configuration file, switch the callback for your queue from

     callback: kaliop_queueing.message_consumer.console_command


     callback: kaliop_queueing.message_consumer.inprocess_console_command
  4. benchmark again

Of course, you can still use the -l and -m options, as you would use the MaxRequestsPerChildren directive in Apache

Option 3

The third approach in the quest for uncompromising performance and stability is a bit more involved. The procedure is:

  1. write the code for your consumer(s) to be executed as 'web pages' (eg. Symfony controllers)
  2. set up a webserver which can only be accessed from localhost, where those pages can be executed
  3. write the code for your consumer so that it transforms the incoming messages into http requests to the local server

Continuing the webserver analogy, this is more akin to a FastCGI configuration.


Error management

(to be documented)

ACK/NACK, what the heck

(to be documented)

Re-queueing a message when an execute-console-command fails

(to be documented. For the moment, look in services.yml for an example filter service definition which does that)

Bundle Queues and Routing Keys - how do they map to Messaging Systems

(to be documented)

Implementing a new driver

(to be documented)

More docs

Similar packages

The work done here is by no means unique; it seems that there are already a lot of php packages dealing with queues and abstracting away from the details of the transport protocols.

What follows is neither an endorsement statement, nor a definitive list by any measure, more of a reminder for the developers of this library of where to turn to to get inspiration and borrow code from ;-)

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