Skip to content

Rabbit Routing#

FastStream RabbitMQ support is implemented on top of aio-pika. You can always get access to objects of it, if you need to use some low-level methods, not represented in FastStream.


The advantage of RabbitMQ is the ability to configure flexible and complex message routing scenarios.

RabbitMQ covers the whole range of routing: from one queue - one consumer, to a queue retrieved from several sources, including message prioritization.


For more information about RabbitMQ, please visit the official documentation

It supports the ability to successfully process messages, mark them as processed with an error, remove them from the queue (it is also impossible to re-receive processed messages, unlike Kafka), lock it for the processing duration, and monitor its current status.

Having to keep track of the current status of all messages is a cause of the RabbitMQ performance issues. With really large message volumes, RabbitMQ starts to degrade. However, if this was a "one-time influx", then consumers will free the queue of messages and the "health" of RabbitMQ will be stable.

If your scenario is not based on processing millions of messages and also requires building complex routing logic, RabbitMQ will be the right choice.

Basic Concepts#

If you want to totally understand how RabbitMQ works, you should visit their official website. There you will find top-level comments about the basic concepts and usage examples.


RabbitMQ works with three main entities:

  • Exchange - the point of receiving messages from publisher
  • Queue - the point of pushing messages to consumer
  • Binding - the relationship between queue-exchange or exchange-exchange

Routing Rules#

The rules for delivering messages to consumers depend on the type of exchange and binding parameters. All the main options will be discussed at examples.

In general, the message path looks so:

  1. Publisher sends a message to exchange, specify its routing_key and headers according to which routing will take place.
  2. Exchange, depending on the message parameters, determines which of the subscribed bindings to send the message to.
  3. Binding delivers the message to queue or another exchange (in this case it will send it further by its own rules).
  4. Queue, after receiving a message, sends it to one of subscribed consumers (PUSH API).


By default, all queues have a binding to the default exchange (Direct type) with a routing key corresponding to their name. In FastStream, queues are connected to this exchange, and messages are sent by default unless another exchange is explicitly specified.

Connecting the queue to any other exchange will still leave it subscribed to the `default exchange'. Be careful with this.

At this stage, the message gets into your application - and you start processing it.

Message Statuses#

RabbitMQ requires confirmation of message processing: only after that, it will be removed from the queue.

Confirmation can be either positive (Acknowledgment - ack) if the message was successfully processed or negative (Negative Acknowledgment - nack) if the message was processed with an error.

At the same time, in case of an error, the message can also be extracted from the queue (reject); otherwise, after a negative confirmation, it will be requeued for processing again.

In most cases, FastStream performs all the necessary actions by itself. However, if you want to manage the message lifecycle directly, you can access the message object itself and call the appropriate methods directly. This can be useful if you want to implement an "at most once" policy and you need to confirm the consuming of the message before it is actually processed.

FastStream Specific#

FastStream omits the ability to create bindings directly, since in most cases, you do not need to subscribe one queue to several exchanges or subscribe exchanges to each other. On the contrary, this practice leads to over-complication of the message routing scheme, which makes it difficult to maintain and further develop the entire infrastructure of services.

FastStream suggests you adhere to the scheme exchange:queue as 1:N, which will greatly simplify the scheme of interaction between your services. It is better to create an additional queue for a new exchange than to subscribe to an existing one.

However, if you want to reduce the number of entities in your RabbitMQ, and thereby optimize its performance (or you know exactly what you are doing), FastStream leaves you the option to create bindings directly. In other cases, the connection parameters are an integral part of the entities RabbitQueue and RabbitExchange in FastStream.