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FIFO Component

This page describes the usage of the FIFO component in Wires.

The current Wires threading model allows any component to perform potentially blocking operations when a wire envelope is received.

The fact that the wire envelopes are delivered synchronously implies that if a wire component performs blocking operations, other components in the same subgraph might be blocked as well, introducing delays in the processing of the graph.

The FIFO component can be used for decoupling blocking or slow wire components from other parts of the graph that cannot tolerate delays.

FIFO Component

In the graph above, the NODELAY component cannot tolerate potential delays introduced by the DB component, adding a FIFO component allows to decouple the two components.

This component implements a FIFO queue that operates as follows:

  • The received envelopes are added to the queue. Adding an envelope to the queue is usually (see below) a non-blocking operation.
  • A dedicated thread pops the envelopes from the queue and delivers them to downstream components.

In this way, the threads running the upstream components are not affected by blocking operations performed by the downstream components.

In the example above there will be two threads that manage the processing of the graph:

  1. A thread from the TIMER Quartz scheduler pool handles the processing for the NODELAY component and submits the envelopes produced by it to the queue of the FIFO component.

  2. A second thread introduced by the FIFO component pops the received envelopes from the queue and dispatches them to the DB component, performing the processing required by it.

In this way, the NODELAY and DB components are decoupled because they are managed by different threads.


The FIFO component configuration is composed of the following properties:

  • queue.capacity: The size of the queue in terms of the number of storable wire envelopes.

  • discard.envelopes : Configures the behavior of the component in case of a full queue.

  • If set to true, envelopes received when the queue is full will be dropped. In this mode, submitting an envelope to the queue is always a non-blocking operation. It should be used if occasionally losing wire envelopes is acceptable for the application, but introducing delays for upstream components is not.

  • If set to false, adding an envelope when the queue is full will block the submitting thread until there is space in the queue. Submitting an envelope to the FIFO component can be a blocking operation if the queue is full. This mode should be used if dropping wire envelopes is unacceptable for upstream components.

The probability of dropping envelopes in discard.envelopes=true mode or the probability of blocking upstream components in discard.envelopes=false mode can be controlled by setting a proper queue size.