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NodeJS worker patterns

Sometimes we just need to run a separated worker to process long running jobs in NodeJS, what are our options?

First step is to put the heavy actions into a queue. The second step is to run a poller to pull out the messages and execute theme one by one.

What can we do to max out those worker performance?

1, Fork a child process

NodeJS supports spinning off a new child process from the main one. It’s too expensive so we shouldn’t use it. It sure has uses on its own though.

2, Fire up Worker threads

From Node 10, worker_threads is supported, the code is trivial enough:

const {
  Worker, isMainThread, parentPort, workerData
} = require('worker_threads');

if (isMainThread) {
  module.exports = function parseJSAsync(script) {
    return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
      const worker = new Worker(__filename, {
        workerData: script
      worker.on('message', resolve);
      worker.on('error', reject);
      worker.on('exit', (code) => {
        if (code !== 0)
          reject(new Error(`Worker stopped with exit code ${code}`));
} else {
  const { parse } = require('some-js-parsing-library');
  const script = workerData;

These workers are useful for performing CPU-intensive tasks, not much effects for IO operations.

3, EventEmitter

Who would have thought about that?

const EventEmitter = require('events');

const myWorker = new EventEmitter();

myWorker.on('poll', () => {
  console.log('Go and do work');



We could fire up as many EventEmitter as we want and keep them doing the work for us.

Written on May 13, 2021.