Compelling Uses of RabbitMQ with Node.js Applications

Have you ever experienced bottleneck in your application?
Bottlenecks can be very frustrating with the applications and can annoy the users to such a great extent that in many situations the users just quit using the application.
So, why do these bottlenecks happen in the applications? Applications when subjected to compute heavy tasks that require a lot of memory and time to be processed can get your application to a hang state. Hence, a better way for this is to delegate these tasks to some other services instead of your main application thread or service. For instance, your application needs to handle image uploads where the image needs to resized to fit into different standard sizes. Here this is a heavy computing task that can slow down your application and hinder its performance. An alternative way for this is to assign this task to message queue.

What is a Message Queue?

A message queue is a kind of message broker system that receives or accepts the messages from one or two message producers and sends them to one or more consumers. Message queues are great tools for implementing asynchronous inter-thread communication within the same process. It’s not required that both the sender and receiver interact with the message queue at the same time. The sender pushes the message on to the queue which is piled over there until a consumer retrieves it. The messages in the message queue do not imply the simple chat, mail or push messages, but in actual sense they are some commands or data placed in queue for processing by other applications.

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Understanding RabbitMQ

RabbitMQ is a type of message queue widely implemented in development of Node.js applications. It is an Erlang implementation of AMQP or Advanced Message Queuing Protocol and hence, well-known for its speed and efficiency.
There is much more with RabbitMQ as compared to the simple message brokers. This in the right sense is an intelligent message broker that can figure out for itself what is to be done in various situations. For example, consider that the consumer thread or process is slow, in this case it stores up the message for further delivery or else consider that the consumer gets crashed, then the queue stores and re-delivers the message.

RabbitMQ’s main features include its support for variety of operating systems and developer platforms. It’s rather ease to implement in applications and mainly used where robust messaging is required. It’s an open source message queue technology and great for commercial applications.
In RabbitMQ’s Messaging Model, producer of the message is not responsible to send it to a queue. Instead, it sends out messages to an exchange, basically known as fan out exchange which receives messages from producers and broadcasts them to all the queues it knows. These messages remain on the queue until a receiver/subscriber requests/subscribes it for processing.

When is it best to use RabbitMQ in Node.js Applications?
Heavy Operations:

A typical Node.js application would find it difficult to manage excessive workloads and hence, can implement RabbitMQ for the purpose. In the applications, sometimes there would be some operations that are heavier than the others or consider that a task consumes many resources, in such a case you can scale it separately from the application by placing it on a queue like RabbitMQ. The queue shall distribute the work evenly among the consumers not causing any particular one to be burdened with too many heavy operations. Hence, you can decuple the work responsibilities among all the subscribers of the queue and reduce the chances of your Node.js application to be blocked with bottlenecks frequently.

Asynchronous Process Execution:

If there is a situation where there are things that are not required to be handled on priority by the application, they can well be placed out on RabbitMQ message queue so that they shall be carried within the process but not on the same or main thread which can be available for other urgent process executions.

Scaling Applications:

Message queue can help you scale your Node.js application’s work to a possible extent by allowing to add up the count of specific subscribers or processors of the queue that are carrying out maximum work. You can scale your worker cluster to absorb maximum work load by ensuring proper planning of the cluster for maximum work capacities. Delegating the minor tasks like image processing, sending of sign up mails to users when they create accounts, fetch pictures from a folder etc., to the other services through a queue allow you to scale your application and keep it responsive and also cost effective as it grows to meet your needs when needed.

Image Processing

Using RabbitMQ to the Node.js applications that need to execute heavy processes that consume lot of resources like that of image processing, can be a wise option because alone Node.js is not at all the best option for such tasks. You can just put up such processes on queue separately. The workers that are built with Node.js are slow and take lot of time to execute such processes. One can rewrite the workers in language that is much faster like Python and then just let these workers take tasks from the queue.

Benefits of using RabbitMQ with Node.js

Below are some impeccable benefits that Node.js applications can derive using RabbitMQ message queue system.

Redundancy: Often when messages are lost when are left unprocessed by the consumers, but with a message queue like RabbitMQ, these messages can persisted until processing.

Elasticity: Queues can distribute more work by adding more queue processors and shall absorb workloads until more resources can be allotted.

Delivery Guarantee: Decoupling with RabbitMQ shall make Node.js application resilient as there shall not be message delivery failure because of consumer failure. In such case message will be stacked in the queue and then re-delivered.

Controlled Process Flow: Queue is like a buffer where between the producers and consumers of the message. The messages are produced at a much faster rate than they are consumed, which allows to keep up with the proper process flow within the application.

Efficient Asynchronous Communication: RabbitMQ gives independence from the strict timely execution of write and read processes of the application. Here the writers and readers (producers and consumers) are independent of each other and hence writers can write and leave, while the readers shall process the same when free. Hence, RabbitMQ is best to implement when you are looking to implement asynchronous processes through your Node.js application.

Hence, RabbitMQ is a highly reliable entity on which Node.js developers can rely on for developing real-time scalable applications that can function smoothly without bottlenecks and can deliver better results under heavy workloads as well. It is the best option for developing high performing or scalable applications with the combination of Message Queue and Node.js technology.

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