2.1.1 • Public • Published

qb Build Status

A framework for queue-based services.

qb makes it easy to create a service-oriented architecture built on whatever queue you like.

The currently only queue implementaion is built on Redis queues (specifically relyq), but with version 2.0, we have expanded extensibility to possibly other queue types.

To get started, check out the example app.

Minimal Example (using qb-relyq backend):

var QB = require('qb')
  , qb = new QB(qbOptions)
  // pull tasks off of relyq
qb.component(require('qb-relyq').queue, relyqOptions)
  // get tasks from an http api server
  .component(require('qb-http').receive, httpIncomingOptions)
  // push tasks to other http api servers
  .component(require('qb-http').push, httpOutgoingOptions)
  // process "email" tasks
  .can('email', sendEmail)
  // Create some middleware
  .post('push', function (location, task, next) {
    console.log('pushing task into the queue: ' + location + ' and id ' + task.id)
  .pre('process', function (type, task, next) {
    console.log('about to process task of type ' + type + ' and id ' + task.id)
  .post('finish', function (type, task, next) {
    console.log('finished processing task of type ' + type + ' and id ' + task.id)
  .post('fail', function (type, task, next) {
    console.log('failed processing task of type ' + type + a' and id ' + task.id  + ' with error ' + task.error)


  • Easy service setup: .can method
  • Extensible interfaces for queue pulling and communication
  • Flexible middleware system: .pre and .post methods
  • Graceful shutdown: .post('end', onReadyToShutdown).end methods
  • Easy configuration


npm install qb


qb makes a lot of assumptions on how you might use it. But most of those are configurable. I've highlighted the most commonly used options, while being complete with the description of all options.


var qb = new QB(qbOptions)

Available options:

  • name The name used in log messages.
  • aliases An object mapping a pushable type to a location
  sometype: 'http://my.other.service.com/api/push/sometype',
  othertype: 'relyq://otherservice:othertype'
  • catch_sigterm_end Catch SIGTERM and start a graceful shutdown (default: true)
  • end_timeout Timeout to wait for graceful shutdown of processing tasks

Upgrading from 1.x

Version 2.0 is a complete refactor of the qb ecosystem. Here's a rundown of the updates:

  • The backend system (QB = require('qb').backend(require('qb-relyq'))) has been folded into the new component system as queue components.
  • The dialect system (qb.speaks('http', ...) and qb.dialect('http')) has also been folded into the component system as push components and receive components.
  • All options for all dialects and backends used to passed in using a single object, now they are split out into individual options objects passed using qb.component(component, options).
  • The queue component API is way easier to use than the old dialect API.
  • The .contact() system has been replaced with a simpler .alias(alias, location)
  • qb.start() is gone.

Overall the changes are a great refactor, bringing down the code size and increasing usability.


qb is useless framework without its components. The primary component is one that can pull tasks off of a queue for processing (called queue compenents). Other components will allow pushing of tasks to other queues (push components), as well as receiving tasks from other means (receiver components). Some components provide none of the above, simply middleware or convienience.

  • qb-relyq Provider of a queue component and pusher component for pushing directly onto other service's queues.
  • qb-http Provider of receive and push components.
  • qb-statsd Records statistics on queues to statsd.
  • qb-monitor Works with qb-statsd and qb-http to provide monitoring solutions for queues.

Component API

Developing a Component is easy. qb works on an event and middleware model that make it really easy to extend.

All components are function (qb, options) {} and are called by the user as qb.component(comp, options).

All components must end on the end event.

qb.on('component-end', function (next) {
Queue Components

Queue components should listen on process-type for types that are able to be processed. This is fired after the user calls qb.can(type, processFunc). The queue should setup a listener. When a task is pulled, it should call qb.emit('process', type, task).

qb.on('process-type', function (type, next) {
  setupQueue(function onTask(task, callback) {
    qb.process(type, task, callback)

Additionally, the queue component should start a corresponding push component and add aliases for processable types.

qb.on('process-type', function (type, next) {
  qb.alias(type, 'myprotocol://queue_name_for_type')
Push Components

Push components' job is to listen on the push event for its protocol.

qb.on('push', function (location, task, next) {
  // if location starts with "myprotocol://"
  if (/^myprotocol:\/\//.test(location)) {
    pushIntoQueue(location, task, next)
  } else {
Receive Components

Receive components' job is to listen for tasks and push them into the local queue.

setupSomeListener(function onReceive(type, task, callback) {
  if (qb._types[type]) {
    qb.push(type, task, callback)
  } else {
    callback(new Error('Cant push task types that arent processable via qb.can()'))


  • qb.log is a default instance of node-book. You can configure it with middleware and all qb.log calls will be formatted as appropriate. (See book-raven and book-loggly.)


Middleware can be put on the following events: push, process, fail, finish, and error. All middleware can be either .pre(event), .post(event), or .on(event) to control flow.

These are the primary points for middleware:

  • .pre('push', function (type, task, next) {}) Before a push occurs, modify the task. Erroring here will cause an error response by receive components.
  • .on('finish', function (type, task, next) {}) Do something upon a successful completion of a task.
  • .on('fail', function (err, type, task, next) {}) Do something upon a failed task.
  • .on('error', function (err, next) {}) Do something upon an internal error occurring.

Provided Middleware

qb.pre('push', QB.middleware.setTimestamp('field-to-set-in-the-task'))
qb.on('fail', QB.middleware.retry(['type-to-retry','another-type'], 2 /* times */))


npm install -g nodeunit
npm test


See LICENSE file.

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npm i qb

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