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Author: Maciej Pasternacki <>
Date: 2010-01-15 Fri
Maintainer: Adrien Lemaire <>

Integrate Amazon Simple Queue Service in your Django project

Table of Contents
1 Setup
2 Receivers
2.1 Register using a decorator
2.2 Register manually
2.3 Example receiver
3 Receiving
4 Sending
4.1 Using decorated function
4.2 Manually
5 Custom message classes
5.1 ModelInstanceMessage class
6 Management
6.1 sqs_status
6.2 sqs_clear
6.3 sqs_wait
8.1 Sensible forking/threading or multiplexing instead of the fork hack?
8.2 Autoimporting from apps
8.3 docstrings
8.4 Minimize polling
8.5 Custom exception to leave message in queue

1 Setup
Boto library for accessing Amazon Web Services is required.

1. Add `django_sqs' to your Python path
2. Add `django_sqs' to INSTALLED_APPS setting
4. Optionally set SQS_QUEUE_PREFIX to prefix your queues and avoid
clashes with other developers, production/staging env and so on.
SQS_QUEUE_PREFIX is required when DEBUG is true, and recommended
even in production mode.
5. Optionally set SQS_DEFAULT_VISIBILITY_TIMEOUT (default is 60 seconds)
6. Optionally set SQS_POLL_PERIOD (default is 10 seconds)
7. Optionally set AWS_REGION (default to "us-east-1")

2 Receivers
Create receiver function that accepts one argument, which will be an
instance of `boto.sqs.message.Message' or its custom subclass.
Then, register it as queue receiver:

2.1 Register using a decorator
Decorate receiver function with:

django_sqs.receiver([queue_name=None, visibility_timeout=None, message_class=None, delete_on_start=False, close_database=False, suffixes=()])

Decorated function will become an instance of
`django_sqs.registered_queue.RegisteredQueue.ReceiverProxy' class.
Instance is callable - you may call it with an instance of
appropriate message class, or its constructor's keyword arguments,
and the message will be added to the queue. Instance provides also
attributes `direct' with original decorated function, and
`registered_queue' with appropriate
`django_sqs.registered_queue.RegisteredQueue' instance.

If `queue_name' is omitted or false, function's `__module__' and
`__name__' is used, with dots converted to double underscores.

The `suffixes' argument is a tuple of known queue name suffixes. If
an unknown suffix is used, a warning will be issued.

If `delete_on_start' is true, received message will be deleted from
queue right after it's been received, before receiver function is
called. If it is false (which is the default), it will be deleted
after receiver function has finished, when message has been fully

If `close_database' is true, all database connections will be
closed after processing each message to prevent pending unclosed

Queue name suffixes can be used to split processing similar items
to multiple queues (e.g. use separate queue for big input items to
distribute load).

2.2 Register manually
Alternatively, you can avoid decoration, and register a receiver
manually by calling:

django_sqs.register(queue_name, [fn=None, visibility_timeout=None, message_class=None, delete_on_start=False, suffixes=()])

If `fn' is None or not given, no handler is assigned: messages can
be sent, but won't be received.

Create function in modules that will be imported by default
(recommendation: use `' and import them in `',
autoimporting TBD).

2.3 Example receiver
def receive_message(msg):
print 'received:', msg.get_body()

3 Receiving
python runreceiver [--message-limit=N] [--suffix=SUFFIX] [queue_name [queue_name [...]]]

If no `queue_name' parameters are given, receive from all configured

If more than one queue is registered, a new process is forked for
each queue.

For each message received on the queue, registered receiver function
is called with the message instance as argument. If receiver
function returns successfully, message is then deleted from queue.
If receiver message raises an exception, exception traceback is
logged using logging module, and message is deleted. If receiver
sees a restartable error and wants to keep message in queue, it
should raise `django_sqs.RestartLater' exception - this exception will
leave the message in queue.


`--message-limit=N': exit after receiving `N' messages
`--suffix=SUFFIX': Use queue name suffix

4 Sending

4.1 Using decorated function
You can simply call function decorated with `@receiver' decorator,
providing a message instance or keyword arguments (like for `send'
function described below).

4.2 Manually
To send a message manually, use following function:

django_sqs.send(queue_name, message=None, suffix=None, **kwargs)

`message' should be an instance of `message_class' configured with
`receiver' decorator or `register' function for the queue (or

When `message' is omitted or `None', new instance of queue's message
class will be instantiated using `**kwargs'. With default message
class, `boto.sqs.message.Message', we can simply provide body:

django_sqs.send("a_queue", body='Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet')

`suffix' is a queue name suffix to use.

5 Custom message classes
For sending other values than raw, non-unicode strings, any of
classes provided in `boto.sqs.message' or their subclasses may be
used. The module is well commented (much better than this one), so
go ahead and read the fine source!

5.1 ModelInstanceMessage class
The `django_sqs.message.ModelInstanceMessage' class is provided for
convenience. It encodes a single model instance, using Django's
ContentType framework (as app/model/primary key triple). It
accepts `instance' keyword parameter in constructor, and provides
`get_instance()' method.

There is no support for passing additional information except the
instance yet.

6 Management

6.1 sqs_status
Prints the (approximate) count of messages in the queue.

6.2 sqs_clear
Clears all queues (by default), or queues named as arguments.
Prints number of messages deleted.

If queue receivers are running or were running recently, some
messages may be still locked and won't be deleted. Command may
need to be re-run.

6.3 sqs_wait
Waits until specified (or all) queues are empty.

A single view, `django_sqs.views.status', is provided for simple,
plain text queue status report (same as ` sqs_status').


8.1 TODO Sensible forking/threading or multiplexing instead of the fork hack?

8.2 TODO Autoimporting from apps

8.3 TODO docstrings

8.4 TODO Minimize polling
Amazon charges for every call. Less polling, lower invoice. Some
exponential backoff + out-of-band signal (view?) to wake up a running
receiver process may be a good thing.

8.5 TODO Custom exception to leave message in queue
Provide a custom exception class that won't be handled by receive
loop (i.e. no backtrace) that can be used by receiver function to
explicitly leave message in queue without printing backtrace and
alarming everyone.

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