Event Driven Architecture

Event Driven Architecture


Event Driven Architecture (EDA) is vased on building applications with loosely coupled components and services which communicate via events - producing and consumping events. For example, suppose we have microservices including Order Microservice, Customer Microservice and Payment Microservice. When the user makes a purchase, it sends a message to the Payment Microservice which processes the payment, and returns response if it succeeded or failed. In the case that it succeeded, it generates a PaymentSucceededMessage, and then the Order Microservice reacts by setting the status as successfully paid, and the Customer Microservice sends a confirmation email to the customer.

Advanced Message Queueing Protocol (AMPQ)

Advanced Message Queueing Protocol (AMPQ) which defines a standardized way for systems to communicate via messages:

  • Messages contain information, including attributes (e.g. request header) and message content (i.e. payload / request body)
  • Publishers are applications which produce (generate) the message
  • Consumers are applications which consume (process) the message
  • Messaging systems receive messages from publishers and route them to consumers
  • An exchange is the mailbox inside the messaging system where the publisher drops the message, and then the exchange distribute the the messages to queues
  • Queue is where the messages are distributed (e.g. FIFO order) and messages are stored in the queue, and then they are either delivered to consumers who are subscribed or are fetched from queues by consumers on demand
  • Routing are the rules for delivery messages to the correct queues, this is defined by bindings and routing keys
  • Bindings are links between exchanges and queues
  • Routing keys are specific mesage attributes used for routing

The following are AMPQ exchange types:

  • Direct exchange - bind to a specific queue using the routing key
  • Fanout exchange - routes messages to all the queues that are bound to it (and ignores the routing key)
  • Topic exchange - routes messages to one or many queues based on matching between routing key and a pattern used to bind a queue to exchange (used for multicast routing of messages where multiple consumers want to selectively choose which messages to receive)
  • Headers exchange - routing on multiple attributes that are more conveniently expressed as message headers than routing key (so here the routing key is ignored, but instead use attributes for routing from headers attribute)


RabbitMQ is a popular implementation of a message broker, aka service bus, supporting AMPQ. Other implementations include: ActiveMQ, ZeroMQ, Azure Service Bus and Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS). The storage layer is based on queues and exchanges. Developers define named queues, and publishers publish messages to those queues and consumers retrieve messages from those queues. Message exchanges are used to implement the publish/subscribe mechanism, ensuring that publishers and consumers are independent of each other. Message exchanges can also do filtering of messages using routing rules. RabbitMQ provides support both for temporary and durable subscriptions, and it is up to consumer to decide.

Apache Kafka is a distributed streaming platform, not an implementation of a message broker. The storage layer is implemented using a partitioned transaction log. It provides Streams API (processing streams real-time) and Connectors API (easy integration with various data sources). Cloud vendors for alternatives for Kafka’s storage layer are - Azure Event Hubs and AWS Kinesis Data Streams. There are also alternatives to the stream processing capabilities.


  • High decoupling - publisher does not need to know about consumers and vice versa
  • Asynchronous task handling - actions which follow an event are independent, can be executed in parallel
  • Increased reliability - queue acts as a buffer if a consumer fails temporarily
  • Setting up retry queues - enable automatic publishing of a message in a queue after a certain amount of time, if processing failed, e.g. retrying several times if a consumer needs to get information from unreliable API


  • High decoupling - even notification is good only if the publisher does not care about the response
  • Implementation overhead - setting up messaging systems requires additional effort


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Event-driven_architecture
  • https://pradeeploganathan.com/architecture/event-driven-architecture/
  • https://blog.theodo.com/2019/08/event-driven-architectures-rabbitmq/
  • https://www.rabbitmq.com/tutorials/amqp-concepts.html
  • https://medium.com/better-programming/rabbitmq-vs-kafka-1ef22a041793

Valentina Cupać
Valentina Cupać

Valentina is a Software Architecture Consultant who is focused on standardizing software architecture and software development to achieve high quality efficiently.