EAI Patterns with Actor Model: Message Channel

After a discussion of all those fancy doodahdah filters, routers, and buses, we are back to the plain old Message Channel. Yes, I did skip the Process Manager. We will get back to it, but for now it seems we all need a bit of boredom. Well, not really.

Sure, a Message Channel is simply the means by which a message producer and a message consumer communicate. Using a typical messaging mechanism, a producer creates a channel with an identity/name that is made known to the one who wants to consume the producer’s messages. The consumer opens the receiver end of the channel, prepared to consume messages. Once the producer sends a message, the consumer receives it.

It works a little differently when using the Actor Model. Each Actor provides its own Message Channel by means of which it will receive messages. This channel is often the Actor’s mailbox, and basically functions as a FIFO queue for all incoming messages. In the case of the Actor Model it’s not the producer that creates this mailbox channel. Rather, it’s the creation of the Actor that causes the underlying conceptual Message Channel to be created. And according to the rules of Actor Model, a message producer must know the address of the Actor—its Message Channel—to which it wishes to send messages.

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The full text is now available as part of my book Reactive Enterprise with Actor Model on Safari Books Online.