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Service Bus Queues from Windows Azure - BrokeredMessage content

In this blog post I'll continue the blog posts series about Service Bus Queue. In this post we will talk about what and how we should add information’s to a BrokeredMessage. Theoretically, this applies also to Service Bus Topics because in both cases we use BrokeredMessage.
We will start with a simple example. We have the following class with information that we want to add to the queue.
public class Foo
public string Name { get; set; }
public decimal Value { get; set; }
public int CustomerId { get; set; }
In this case we have two options. We can make this object serializable and specify the object in the constructor. This is a solution for our problem, but do we really need to add attributes and add the entire object to the queue.
Another solution for our problem is to add all this information to the properties collection of BrokeredMessage. We have collection properties in the BrokeredMessage that we can set that are based on an IDictionary . Theoretically we can add our Foo instance as a property or we can add each field that we want to put in the message as a separate property.
BrokeredMessage message = new BrokeredMessage();
message.Properties["Name"] = foo.Name;
message.Properties["Value"] = foo.Value;
message.Properties["CustomerId"] = foo.CustomerId;
message.Properties["currentInstance"] = foo;
Any object that is added to a BrokeredMessage need to be serializable. What solution should be used... hmm depends.
If we have already an object that is used to store all the content that need to be added to the BrokeredMessage that we can put the whole object to the BrokeredMessage. If we don't have this kind of object or our object contains data that should not be added to the BrokeredMessage that we should add separately each property or create an object for this purpose.
What about if we have a lot of information that we need to add to the message. First of all do we need all this information? Can we store this information in another place? For example if we have a picture we could store it on the blob or in another kind of repository. If we don't have any other option we can split the content in more messages and use SessionId. I explained how we can do this in this post:
If we need to add a stream to a BrokeredMessage the first thing that I would say is: "Do you really need this?” It is possible, but I would try to think twice before adding stream content to it.
To set the content of a message from the stream we need to specify in constructor our stream. The consumer will need to call the GetBody() method to get the current stream from the message.
--- Producer ---
byte[] currentMessageContent = new byte[100];
BrokeredMessage currentMessage = new BrokeredMessage(
new MemoryStream(currentMessageContent),
--- Consumer ---
Stream messageStream = message.GetBody<Stream>();
BrokeredMessage implement IXmlSerializable interface. So bassicaly on the queue, this will an XML content. Also we can set a label to each message:
message.Label = "SomeLabelText";
If you design your application to process a message and after that to forward another BrokeredMessage to another queue a message has the property "ReplyTo". This string property can be used when we want the queue that can be used to reply to a given message - we could create a chat very easily, where each user whould have is own queue :-)
BrokeredMessage implement the IDispose interface with a scope. Please don't forget to call it. Because we can do operations on Service Bus Queues asyncron, we need to be carefully when we call the Dispose method. Only on the callback of the Complete method or DeadLetter we could call it.
In this post we saw how we should add data to a BrokeredMessage. We can use not only the body of the message but also the property collection. Any kind of data that is serializeble can be added to a BrokeredMessage.


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