Message store clean up strategy

In the previous post, we saw how to use message store strategy to make a receiver idempotent. As we are using a table in SQL server, it can fill up quickly if you have multiple types of messages getting stored. How do we keep it from filling up?

Instead of relying on any strategy outside our endpoint, I decided to use NServicebus scheduling. I configured it to send a message every 24 hours. This can be configured easily. My send code looks like below:

await endpointInstance.ScheduleEvery(
    timeSpan: TimeSpan.FromHours(24),
    task: context=>
        var message = new CleanupStoreMessage();
        return context.Send(message);

The CleanupStoreMessageHandler picks it up after. The handler goes back to the configured amount of days and removes them from the store. That code looks like below:

 var messagesToRemove = dbContext.MyMessageStore.Where(
     m =>  m.Timestamp <= DateTime.UtcNow.AddDays(-10));


The NServicebus scheduling comes with several caveats. A relevant one is below:

Since the Scheduler is non-durable, if the process restarts, all scheduled tasks (that are created during the endpoint's startup) are recreated and given new identifiers.

To get around this, my strategy is to keep the TimeSpan for the ScheduleEvery method small enough so that it gets executed at least once in a day. Since I am going back some days based on the day of the execution, if I receive more than one message, the later messages just wont find any data to cleanup and that's ok for me. My query here goes back 10 days and I am sending the CleanupStoreMessage every 24 hours. If I reduce the TimeSpan to 12, I will get 2 messages per day and the second time, I may not find any data to clean. This way my handler has a greater chance of executing and mitigating the limitation.

Another advantage here is that I am cleaning up my own data without relying on any other clever database archiving strategy or some other process to clean up it. I am less likely to forget about it and it requires less maintenance.

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