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Eduard Stefanescu
Eduard Stefanescu

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RabbitMQ Consumer Received Event with Docker in .NET

Originally published at

This article contains another approach to consuming messages. The first part will be a comparison between the several types of consuming messages and in the second part, each line of code will be explained.\
The entire environment setup with Docker can be found in the first article from the RabbitMQ series. This series, there are also explained some core principles about each RabbitMQ node. I highly recommend that, if you are at the beginning with RabbitMQ or with the AMQP standard, to start with these articles:



The RabbitMQ Client provides a Received event that will be used to consume the messages coming from one or more Queues. In the Consumer article, the messages are consumed and acknowledged using the BasicGet and the BackAck methods in a while loop, waiting for the CancellationToken. The advantage of that method is that a message can be consumed when needed. So, care must be taken when using this method. It's not recommended to use it in an infinite while loop if the Received event exists, and it's a good replacement for that type of approach.\
The advantage of the Received event is obvious, that will no longer consume unnecessary resources, but the "disadvantage" is that the messages will be consumed whenever they are raised based on the routing key.\
But this depends on the different scenarios which way to choose. A useful tip that may help when you must choose between these two ways of consuming messages is:

  • BasicGet method can be used when there are more messages to get or it needs to be consumed at a certain time;
  • Received event can be used when the raised message needs to be consumed immediately;

There is also another approach to consume messages, by inheriting the DefaultBasicConsumer class. This gives the advantage of having a hierarchy of consumers, which may lead to different design patterns.

In the following part of this article, there will be only some chunks of code, which are required to consume the messages using the Received event. The connection setup is the same as in previous articles.

Received event

Before start establishing the connection, a CancellationToken is needed to wait for the user to stop the Console App execution.

To bind the Consumer to the Channel, a new EventingBasicConsumer instance is made by passing the Channel as a parameter.

IConnection connection = factory.CreateConnection();
IModel channel = connection.CreateModel();
var basicConsumer = new EventingBasicConsumer(channel);
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An important note here is that there is no need to surround the IConnection and the IChannel into a using statement, the reason for this is that the Connection and the Channel need to exist as long as the app. If these two variables were disposed too early, then no message would be received.\
You may notice that in this RabbitMQ series, I used the Channel word instead of the official name Model, that's because it's easier to understand. For me, a Model is too generic, instead, a Channel makes me think of a communication channel, which in fact it really is.\
The official documentation for EventingBasicConsumer can be found here:

Subscribing to the event

Using the Consumer created earlier, we subscribe to the Received event the OnNewMessageReceived handler.

basicConsumer.Received += OnNewMessageReceived;
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Handling the event

This event handler will display the received message and another message to inform the user that can stop consuming messages.

private static void OnNewMessageReceived(object sender, BasicDeliverEventArgs e)
    Console.WriteLine($"Message: {Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Body)}");
    Console.WriteLine("Press any key to stop consuming message.");
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Consuming messages

To start consuming messages, the Consumer will be bind to the queue. In the following code, there is an iteration through the queues count entered previously. Then the user is asked to enter the Queue name that will be bound to the Consumer.\
The BasicConsume method takes three parameters:

  • the first one is the Queue name;
  • the second is used for auto acknowledgment, in this case, is set to true, but if it was set to false then the acknowledgment had to be done manually if this is wanted;
  • and the third one is the Consumer;

Waiting for Cancellation

The WaitHandle static class is a handy way to wait for the CancellationToken to be raised. Instead of the CancellationToken, the AutoResetEvent or other signaling events can be also used.

WaitHandle.WaitAny(new[] { cancellationToken.WaitHandle });
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Disposing resources

After the user indicates that no longer wants to receive messages, or in a real-life scenario, when the application ends, all the created resources need to be disposed.

basicConsumer.Received -= OnNewMessageReceived;
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Firstly the OnNewMessageReceived event handler needs to be unsubscribed from the Received to stop displaying messages after the program finishes its execution. It can be possible that reference to event handler can still exist after the resources are disposed and the program closes. So, I highly recommend that all the time when it's needed, unsubscribe the event handlers.\
After that, the Channel and the Connection are closed and disposed.

The result

Using the Producer, the direct Exchange and one Queue created in the previous articles, the topology will be created and the Consumer will be connected to it.\
In the picture below, the sent message by the Producer using a specific routing key bound to the Queue reached the event handler, and this displayed the message.

Consumer received message

All the code for this Consumer and for the entire topology is available on my GitHub account:

Thanks for reading this article, if you find it interesting please share it with your colleagues and friends. Or if you find something that can be improved please let me know.

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