Hermes background processing php library

2.2.2 2019-10-29 14:36 UTC


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Background job processing PHP library

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What is Hermes?

If you need to process some task outside of http request in your web app, you can utilize Hermes. Hermes provides message broker for sending messages from http thread to offline processing jobs. Recommended use for sending emails, call other API or other time consuming operations.

Other goal for Hermes is variability to use various message brokers like redis, rabbit, database and ability to easy create new drivers for other messaging solutions. And also simple creation of workers to perform tasks on specified events.


This library requires PHP 5.4 or later. It works also on HHVM and PHP 7.0.

Recommended installation method is via Composer:

$ composer require tomaj/hermes

Library is compliant with PSR-1, PSR-2, PSR-3 and PSR-4.

Optional dependencies

Hermes is able to log activity with logger that is compatible with psr/log interface. For more information take a look at psr/log.

Library works without logger but maintener recommends installing monolog for logging.

Framework integrations

  • Laravel provider (not yet implemented)
  • Nette provider (not yet implemented)
  • Simple CLI example (not yet implemented)

Supported drivers

Right now Hermes library is distributed with 2 drivers:

Note: You have to install all 3rd party libraries for initializing connections to this drivers. For example you have to add nrk/predis to your composer.json and create connection to your redis instance.

Concept - How hermes works?

Hermes works as a emitter and dispatcher for events from your php requests on webserver to particular handler running on cli. Basicaly like this:

--> http request to /file.php -> emit(Message) -> Hermes Emitter
                                                 Queue (redis, rabbit etc...)
--> running php cli file waiting for new Message-s from Queue
        when received new message it calls registered handler to process it.

You have to implement these four steps in your application:

  1. select driver that you would like to use and register it to Dispatcher and Emitter
  2. emit events when you need to process something in the background
  3. write handler class that will process your message from 2.
  4. create php file that will run on your server "forever" and run Dispatcher there

How to use

This simple example demonstrates using Redis driver and is an example how to send email in the background.

Emitting event

Emmitting messages (anywhere in application, easy and quick).

use Redis;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Message;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Emitter;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Driver\RedisSetDriver;

$redis = new Redis();
$redis->connect('', 6379);
$driver = new RedisSetDriver($redis);
$emitter = new Emitter($driver);

$message = new Message('send-email', [
	'to' => '',
	'subject' => 'Testing hermes email',
	'message' => 'Hello from hermes!'


Processing event

For processing an event we need to create some php file that will be running in CLI. We can create this simple implementation and register this simple handler.

# file handler.php
use Redis;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Driver\RedisSetDriver;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Dispatcher;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Handler\HandlerInterface;

class SendEmailHandler implements HandlerInterface
    // here you will receive message that was emmited from web aplication
    public function handle(MessageInterface $message)
    	$payload = $message->getPayload();
    	mail($payload['to'], $payload['subject'], $payload['message']);
    	return true;

// create dispatcher like in the first snippet
$redis = new Redis();
$redis->connect('', 6379);
$driver = new RedisSetDriver($redis);
$dispatcher = new Dispatcher($driver);

// register handler for event
$dispatcher->registerHandler('send-email', new SendEmailHandler());

// at this point this script will wait for new message

For running handler.php on your server you can use tools like upstart, supervisord, monit, god, or any other alternative.


Hermes can use any psr/log logger. You can set logger for Dispatcher or Emitter and see what type of messages come to Dispatcher or Emitter and when a handler processed a message. If you add trait Psr\Log\LoggerAwareTrait (or implement Psr\Log\LoggerAwareInterface) to your handler, you can use logger also in your handler (Dispatcher and Emitter injects it automatically).

Basic example with monolog:

use Monolog\Logger;
use Monolog\Handler\StreamHandler;

// create a log channel
$log = new Logger('hermes');
$log->pushHandler(new StreamHandler('hermes.log'));

// $driver = ....

$dispatcher = new Dispatcher($driver, $log);

and if you want to log also some information in handlers:

use Redis;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Driver\RedisSetDriver;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Dispatcher;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Handler\HandlerInterface;
use Psr\Log\LoggerAwareTrait;

class SendEmailHandlerWithLogger implements HandlerInterface
    // enable logger
    use LoggerAwareTrait;

    public function handle(MessageInterface $message)
        $payload = $message->getPayload();

        // log info message
    	$this->logger->info("Trying to send email to {$payload['to']}");

    	mail($payload['to'], $payload['subject'], $payload['message']);
    	return true;


If you need to retry you handle() method when they fail for some reason you can add RetryTrait to handler. If you want you can override maxRetry() method from this trait to specify how many times hermes will try to run your handle(). Warning: if you want to use retry you have to use driver that support delayed execution ($executeAt message parameter)


namespace Tomaj\Hermes\Handler;

use Tomaj\Hermes\MessageInterface;

class EchoHandler implements HandlerInterface
    use RetryTrait;

    public function handle(MessageInterface $message): bool
        throw new \Exception('this will always fail');
    // optional - default is 25
    public function maxRetry(): int
        return 10;

Scaling Hermes

If you have a lot of messages that you need to process, you can scale your Hermes workers very easily. You just run multiple instances of handlers - cli files that will register handlers to dispatcher and then run $dispatcher->handle(). You can also put your source codes to multiple machines and scale it out to as many nodes as you want. But you need a driver that supports these 2 things:

  1. driver needs to be able to work over network
  2. one message must be delivered to only one worker

If you ensure this, Hermes will work perfectly. Rabbit driver or Redis driver can handle this stuff and these products are made for big loads, too.

Extending Hermes

Hermes is written as separated classes that depend on each other via interfaces. You can easily change implementation of classes. For example you can create new driver, use other logger. Or if you really want, you can create your own messages format that will be send to your driver serialized via your custom serializer.

How to write your own driver

Each driver has to implement Tomaj\Hermes\Driver\DriverInterface with 2 methods (send and wait). Simple driver that will use Gearman as a driver

namespace My\Custom\Driver;

use Tomaj\Hermes\Driver\DriverInterface;
use Tomaj\Hermes\Message;
use Closure;

class GearmanDriver implements DriverInterface
	private $client;

	private $worker;

	private $channel;

	private $serializer;

	public function __construct(GearmanClient $client, GearmanWorker $worker, $channel = 'hermes')
		$this->client = $client;
		$this->worker = $worker;
		$this->channel = $channel;
		$this->serializer = $serialier;

	public function send(Message $message)
		$this->client->do($this->channel, $this->serializer->serialize($message));

	public function wait(Closure $callback)
		$worker->addFunction($this->channel, function ($gearmanMessage) use ($callback) {
			$message = $this->serializer->unserialize($gearmanMessage);
		while ($this->worker->work());

How to write your own serializer

If you want o use your own serializer in your drivers, you have to create a new class that implements Tomaj\Hermes\MessageSerializer and you need a driver that will support it. You can add trait Tomaj\Hermes\Driver\SerializerAwareTrait to your driver that will add method setSerializer to your driver.

Simple serializer that will use library jms/serializer:

namespace My\Custom\Serializer;

use Tomaj\Hermes\SerializerInterface;
use Tomaj\Hermes\MessageInterface;

class JmsSerializer implements SerializerInterface
	public function serialize(MessageInterface $message)
		$serializer = JMS\Serializer\SerializerBuilder::create()->build();
		return $serializer->serialize($message, 'json');

	public function unserialize($string)
		$serializer = JMS\Serializer\SerializerBuilder::create()->build();
		return $serializer->deserialize($message, 'json');

Scheduled execution

From version 2.0 you can add 4th parameter to Message as timestamp in future. This message will be processed after this time. This funcionality is supported in RedisDriver right now.

Change log

Please see CHANGELOG for more information what has changed recently.


$ composer test


Please see CONTRIBUTING and CONDUCT for details.


If you discover any security related issues, please email instead of using the issue tracker.


The MIT License (MIT). Please see License File for more information.