Gouda is an ActiveJob adapter used at Cheddar. It requires PostgreSQL and a recent version of Rails.

⚠️ At the moment Gouda is only used internally at Cheddar. We do not provide support for it, nor do we accept issues or feature requests. This is likely to change in the future.


$ bundle add gouda
$ bundle install
$ bin/rails g gouda:install

Gouda is build as a lightweight alternative to good_job and has been created before solid_queue. It is smaller than solid_queue though.

It was designed to enable job processing using SELECT ... FOR UPDATE SKIP LOCKED on Postgres so that we could use pg_bouncer in our system setup.

Key concepts in Gouda: Workload

Gouda is built around the concept of a Workload. A workload is not the same as an ActiveJob. A workload is a single execution of a task - the task may be an entire ActiveJob, or a retry of an ActiveJob, or a part of a sequence of ActiveJobs initiated using job-iteration

You can easily have multiple Workloads stored in your queue which reference the same job. However, when you are using Gouda it is important to always keep the distinction between the two in mind.

When an ActiveJob gets first initialised, it receives a randomly-generated ActiveJob ID, which is normally a UUID. This UUID will be reused when a job gets retried, or when job-iteration is in use - but it will exist across multiple Gouda workloads.

A Workload can only be in one of the three states: enqueued, executing and finished. It does not matter whether the workload has raised an exception, or was manually canceled before it started performing, or succeeded - its terminal state is always going to be finished, regardless. This is done on purpose: Gouda uses a number of partial indexes in Postgres which allows it to maintain uniqueness, but only among jobs which are either waiting to start or already running. Additionally, only the transitions between those states are guarded by BEGIN...COMMIT and it is the selection on those states that is supplemented by SELECT ... FOR UPDATE SKIP LOCKED. The only time locks are placed on a particular gouda_workloads row is when this update is about to take place (SELECT then UPDATE). This makes Gouda a good fit for use with pg_bouncer in transaction mode.

Understanding workload identity is key for making good use of Gouda. For example, an ActiveJob that gets retried can take the following shape in Gouda:

 ____________________________         _______________________________________________
| ActiveJob(id="0abc-...34") | ----> |  Workload(id="f67b-...123",state="finished")  |
 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾        ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
 ____________________________         _______________________________________________
| ActiveJob(id="0abc-...34") | ----> |  Workload(id="5e52-...456",state="finished")  |
 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾        ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
 ____________________________         _______________________________________________
| ActiveJob(id="0abc-...34") | ----> |  Workload(id="8a41-...789",state="enqueued")  |
 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾        ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾

This would happen if, for example, the ActiveJob raises an exception inside perform and is configured to retry_on after this exception. Same for job-iteration:

 _______________________________________         _______________________________________________
| ActiveJob(id="0abc-...34",cursor=nil) | ----> |  Workload(id="f67b-...123",state="finished")  |
 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾        ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
 _______________________________________         _______________________________________________
| ActiveJob(id="0abc-...34",cursor=123) | ----> |  Workload(id="5e52-...456",state="finished")  |
 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾        ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
 _______________________________________         _______________________________________________
| ActiveJob(id="0abc-...34",cursor=456) | ----> |  Workload(id="8a41-...789",state="executing") |
 ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾        ‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾

A key thing to remember when reading the Gouda source code is that workloads and jobs are not the same thing. A single job may span multiple workloads.

Key concepts in Gouda: concurrency keys

Gouda has a few indexes on the gouda_workloads table which will:

  • Forbid inserting another enqueued workload with the same enqueue_concurrency_key value. Uniqueness is on that column only.
  • Forbid a workload from transition into executing when another workload with the same execution_concurrency_key is already running.

These are compatible with good_job concurrency keys, with one major distinction: we use unique indices and not counters, so these keys can be used to prevent concurrent executions but not to limit the load on the system, and the limit of 1 is always enforced.

Key concepts in Gouda: executing_on

A Workload is executing on a particular executing_on entity - usually a worker thread. That entity gets a pseudorandom ID . The executing_on value can be used to see, for example, whether a particular worker thread has hung. If multiple jobs have a far-behind updated_at and are all executing, this likely means that the worker has crashed or hung. The value can also be used to build a table of currently running workers.

Usage tips: bulkify your enqueues

When possible, Gouda uses enqueue_all to INSERT as many jobs at once as possible. With modern servers this allows for very rapid insertion of very large batches of jobs. It is supplemented by a module which will make all perform_later calls buffered and submitted to the queue in bulk:

Gouda.in_bulk do
  User.joined_recently.find_each do |user|

If there are multiple ActiveJob adapters configured and you bulk-enqueue a job which uses an adapter different than Gouda, in_bulk will try to use enqueue_all on that adapter as well.

Usage tips: co-commit

Gouda is designed to COMMIT the workload together with your business data. It does not need after_commit unless you so choose. In fact, the main advantage of DB-based job queues such as Gouda is that you can always rely on the fact that the workload will be enqueued only once the data it needs to operate on is already available for reading. This is guaranteed to work:

User.transaction do
  freshly_joined_user = User.create!(user_params)
  WelcomeMailer.with(user: freshly_joined_user).welcome_email.deliver_later

Web UI

At the moment the Gouda UI is proprietary, so this gem only provides a "headless" implementation. We expect this to change in the future.