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Vivek Upadhyay
Vivek Upadhyay

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Message Queues in Node.js


In today's world of apps, we often need to handle lots of data and do tricky tasks. But one big challenge is making different parts of the app talk to each other without slowing down. That's where Message Queues come in super handy.

What's a Queue?

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Okay, think of a queue like a line at the movies. You know, first come, first served. In tech talk, it's called FIFO. Now, in the world of Message Queues, it's like a middleman. It holds messages until they're ready to be used by the right person. People put messages at the back, and others take them from the front. Simple, right?

Important Message Queue Stuff

1. Sender: This is like the person who sends a text. They're called the producer.

2. Message: It's just the stuff you're sending, like a WhatsApp message or an email.

3. Queue: This is where messages hang out until someone reads them.

4. Receiver: Think of them like the person getting your message. They're called the consumer.

5. Broker: This is like the manager of the whole message system.

Cool Ways We Use Queues

  1. Help with Busy Times: Queues are great when too many messages come at once. They keep things organized so nobody gets overwhelmed.

  2. Doing Big Tasks Quietly: They're perfect for jobs that take a long time or need lots of computer power. They quietly work in the background, so you can keep using your app without any interruptions.

  3. Remembering Important Stuff: In apps that react to events, like a change in your account balance, queues store those events until they're needed.

  4. Taking Care of Orders: If you're running an online shop, queues make sure orders get processed in the right order, without any mix-ups.

  5. Retry Mechanism : In the context of an online store, queues ensure that orders are processed correctly and in the correct sequence, minimizing errors and avoiding any confusion.

What's a Dead Letter Queue (DLQ)?

Okay, imagine you're sending a letter, but the address is wrong, or the mailman can't deliver it. That's where the Dead Letter Queue comes in. It's like a lost and found for messages that couldn't get where they were supposed to go. It helps us figure out what went wrong and sometimes gives messages a second chance to get delivered.

How We Do Message Queues with BullMQ

Step 0: Connect With Redis Here I am using Docker
Install Docker: Ensure Docker is installed on your system. You can download and install Docker from the official Docker website:
Run Redis Container: Start a Redis container using Docker. You can do this by running the following command in your terminal or command prompt:

docker run -d --name redis-container -p 6379:6379 redis
This command will download the Redis image if it's not already available locally and start a Redis container named redis-container on port 6379.

Connect BullMQ to Redis: In your Node.js application, you can connect BullMQ to the Redis container using the Redis connection string. Here's an example of how you can do this:

const { Queue } = require('bullmq');

// Create a new queue instance connected to Redis
const myQueue = new Queue('myQueue', {
  connection: {
    host: 'localhost',
    port: 6379 // Default Redis port
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// Now you can use myQueue to send and process messages
In the above code:

  1. We import the Queue class from BullMQ.

  2. We create a new queue instance named myQueue and pass an object
    with connection details, specifying the host as localhost and port as 6379, which is the default port for Redis.

Step 1: Send a Message
You start by sending a message to the queue. It's like dropping a letter in a mailbox.

const { Queue } = require('bullmq');

// Create a new queue instance
const myQueue = new Queue('myQueue');

// Send a message to the queue
async function sendMessage(message) {
  try {
    await myQueue.add(message);
    console.log('Message sent successfully:', message);
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error sending message:', error);

// Call the sendMessage function with your message
sendMessage({ text: 'Hello, world!' });

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  • We import the Queue class from the 'bullmq' package.

  • We create a new instance of the Queue class named myQueue.

  • We define an asynchronous function sendMessage that takes a message as input.

  • Inside the sendMessage function, we use the add method of the queue instance to add the message to the queue.

  • If the message is sent successfully, we log a success message to the console. Otherwise, we log an error message.

Step 2: Process the Message
Then, you've got a worker who takes the message from the queue and does something with it, like delivering a letter.

const { Worker, Queue } = require('bullmq');

// Create a new queue instance
const myQueue = new Queue('myQueue');

// Define a function to process messages
async function processMessage(job) {
  console.log('Processing message:',;
  // Do something with the message, like delivering it
  // For demonstration purposes, let's just log the message data
  console.log('Message delivered successfully:',;

// Create a new worker to process messages from the queue
const worker = new Worker('myQueue', processMessage);

// Start the worker
worker.on('completed', (job) => {
  console.log('Message processing completed:',;

worker.on('failed', (job, err) => {
  console.error('Message processing failed:', err);
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  • We import both the Worker and Queue classes from the 'bullmq' package.

  • We define an asynchronous function processMessage that takes a job (message) as input.

  • Inside the processMessage function, we log the message data to the console to simulate message processing.

  • We create a new worker instance named worker that listens to the myQueue queue and processes messages using the processMessage function.

  • We attach event listeners to the worker to handle completion and failure events
    Wrapping Up

Using Message Queues in Node.js isn't rocket science. It's like having a smart messenger that helps apps talk to each other without any fuss. By understanding how queues work and where they come in handy, we can make our apps run smoother and handle tasks like champs!

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