Using NServiceBus with ASP.NET MVC

Component: NServiceBus
NuGet Package NServiceBus (5.x)

Run the solution. A new browser window/tab opens, as well as a console application.

The web sample starts with two available methods of sending a command to the server and waiting for a response from it:

  • SendAndBlock: a controller that uses NServiceBus
  • SendAsync: an AsyncController that uses NServiceBus

The sample covers only the sending of the asynchronous message as the send and block are similar in NServiceBus.

In SendAndBlock, the web page renders synchronously. From the user's perspective, the interaction is synchronous and blocking, even though behind the scenes NServiceBus is messaging asynchronously.

AsyncPages Asp.Net Mvc sample running

Choosing SendAsync results in the following page:

AsyncPages Asp.Net Mvc sample running

Changing the number in the text box from even to odd changes the result.

This sample has three projects:

  • AsyncPagesMvc: ASP.NET MVC application that sends messages (found in the Messages project)
  • Shared: Common code including declaration of messages
  • Server: Destination of messages sent from the MVC project. Hosted in a console application

Initializing the bus

The sample controller holds a reference to the instance used later to send messages and receive a response (IBus implementation for NServiceBus version 5 and below, IEndpointInstance for version 6 and above). In AsyncPagesMvc, open Global.asax.cs and see the code for the ApplicationStart method:

var builder = new ContainerBuilder();

// Register the MVC controllers.
builder.RegisterControllers(typeof(MvcApplication).Assembly);

// Set the dependency resolver to be Autofac.
var container = builder.Build();

DependencyResolver.SetResolver(new AutofacDependencyResolver(container));

var busConfiguration = new BusConfiguration();
busConfiguration.EndpointName("Samples.Mvc.WebApplication");
busConfiguration.UseContainer<AutofacBuilder>(
    customizations: customizations =>
    {
        customizations.ExistingLifetimeScope(container);
    });
busConfiguration.UsePersistence<InMemoryPersistence>();
busConfiguration.EnableInstallers();

var startableBus = Bus.Create(busConfiguration);
bus = startableBus.Start();

AreaRegistration.RegisterAllAreas();
RegisterRoutes(RouteTable.Routes);

For more details on how to inject NServiceBus classes into the controllers, check Sending from an ASP.NET MVC Controller.

Sending a message

Asynchronous message sending: SendAsync controller

Using AsyncController:

var command = new Command
{
    Id = number
};
bus.Send("Samples.Mvc.Server", command)
    .Register<int>(status =>
    {
        AsyncManager.Parameters["errorCode"] = Enum.GetName(typeof(ErrorCodes), status);
    });

Synchronous message sending: SendAndBlockController controller

Open the SendAndBlockController class:

var command = new Command
{
    Id = number
};

var asyncResult = bus.Send("Samples.Mvc.Server", command)
    .Register(SimpleCommandCallback, this);
var asyncWaitHandle = asyncResult.AsyncWaitHandle;
asyncWaitHandle.WaitOne(50000);

The controller is sending a message using the instance injected in controller's constructor (IBus implementation for NServiceBus version 5 and below, IEndpointInstance for version 6 and above). The code calls the send method, passing in the newly created command object.

The call registers a callback method that will be called (with this parameter) as soon as a response is received by the server.

Handling the message

In the Server project, open the CommandMessageHandler class to see the following:

public class CommandMessageHandler :
    IHandleMessages<Command>
{
    static ILog log = LogManager.GetLogger<CommandMessageHandler>();
    IBus bus;

    public CommandMessageHandler(IBus bus)
    {
        this.bus = bus;
    }

    public void Handle(Command message)
    {
        log.Info("Hello from CommandMessageHandler");

        if (message.Id%2 == 0)
        {
            log.Info("Returning Fail");
            bus.Return(ErrorCodes.Fail);
        }
        else
        {
            log.Info("Returning None");
            bus.Return(ErrorCodes.None);
        }
    }
}

This class implements the NServiceBus interface IHandleMessages<T> where T is the specific message type being handled; in this case, the Command message.

NServiceBus manages the classes that implement this interface. When a message arrives in the input queue, it is deserialized, and then, based on its type, NServiceBus instantiates the relevant classes and calls their Handle method, passing in the message object.

In the method body notice the response being returned to the originating endpoint. This will result in a message being added to the input queue for AsyncPagesMVC.

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