Federation is a federated event emitter for distributed environments.
Federation is inspired by Akka and Erlang, and borrows some semantics from the actor model. While there are actors, many features familiar to Akka and Erlang are not included. Federation prioritizes being useful to the Node.js community over being faithful to the pure actor model.
Federation considers cross-process and cross-host messaging to be the top priority.
It has been designed to sit above an application protocol like
http, and can be extended to any other protocol quite easily.
A good module evolves to meet the needs of the community. There are many ways you can help. Pull-requests are always welcome, but you don't have to be a programming expert to lend a hand.
$ npm install federation
Every actor has a name, and can receive messages at that name.
var director = director;var actorBob = director;var actorTom = director;
Federation nodes can send and receive messages to each other.
tell each other messages with:
Telling a message is a fire-and-forget approach.
Actors receive messages by binding a callback to their
The callback will be invoked as a method, so
this resolves to the actor object.
Actors can also
ask other actors questions that will receive replies.
The request-reply pattern uses anonymous actors known as extras.
An extra has a limited life span of
5000 by default.
If the timeout occurs before a reply is delivered,
TIMEOUT error will be send to your callback.
Federation supports inter-process communication, and abstracts the details away from the programmer.
Actors have names, any name you like. The nameing convention is up to you, but choosing a good convention will make routing easier. Each process has its own router and routing table. Since messages are addressed to other actors by name, the router matches names to URLs. Once a match is found, the message is sent to the remote process.
Routers have a default local route. Any message matching the default route will be delivered locally. Additional routes can be defined in a JSON-encoded routes file:
Incoming messages are matched in-order against the
The first match wins, and the packet is forwarded to the gateway at the destination address.
The default route will always be matched last.
The easiest way to add a routes file is by setting the
var federation = ;federationdefaultstable_file = processenvROUTES_FILE_PATH;var director = federationdirector;
See the example in Multi-Proc Example for two-process routing table. Routes can be the same, or different hosts.
Comprehensive documentation is kept in the wiki.
The wiki is open to anyone for improvement. Feel free to make constructive edits. If you are not sure about making a change, please ask first on the issue tracker.
The todo list is maintained under the issue tracker
Copyright (c) 2013 Jacob Groundwater (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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