Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Pattern: Event sourcing


How to reliably/atomically update the database and send messages/events?


  • 2PC is not an option
  • If the database transaction commits messages must be sent. Conversely, if the database rolls back, the messages must not be sent
  • Messages must be sent to the message broker in the order they were sent by the service. This ordering must be preserved across multiple service instances that update the same aggregate.


A good solution to this problem is to use event sourcing. Event sourcing persists in the state of a business entity such as an Order or a Customer as a sequence of state-changing events. 

Whenever the state of a business entity changes, a new event is appended to the list of events. Since saving an event is a single operation, it is inherently atomic. 

The application reconstructs an entity’s current state by replaying the events.

Applications persist events in an event store, which is a database of events. The store has an API for adding and retrieving an entity’s events. 

The event store also behaves like a message broker. It provides an API that enables services to subscribe to events. When a service saves an event in the event store, it is delivered to all interested subscribers.

Some entities, such as a Customer, can have a large number of events. In order to optimize loading, an application can periodically save a snapshot of an entity’s current state. 

To reconstruct the current state, the application finds the most recent snapshot and the events that have occurred since that snapshot. As a result, there are fewer events to replay.

Amazon Kinesis Data Streams implementation

In the following illustration, Kinesis Data Streams is the main component of a centralized event store. The event store captures application changes as events and persists them on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

The workflow consists of the following steps:

  1. When the "/withdraw" or "/credit" microservices experience an event state change, they publish an event by writing a message into Kinesis Data Streams.

  2. Other microservices, such as "/balance" or "/creditLimit," read a copy of the message, filter it for relevance, and forward it for further processing.

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