Dispatching An Async Request

Once you have implemented your Request Handler, you will want to dispatch Commands or Events to that Handler.


In the following example code we register a handler, create a command processor, and then use that command processor to send a command to the handler asynchronously.

    public class Program
        private static async Task Main(string[] args)
            var host = Host.CreateDefaultBuilder()
                .ConfigureServices((hostContext, services) =>

            var commandProcessor = host.Services.GetService<IAmACommandProcessor>();
            await commandProcessor.SendAsync(new GreetingCommand("Ian"));

            await host.RunAsync();

Registering a Handler

In order for a Command Dispatcher to find a Handler for your Command or Event you need to register the association between that Command or Event and your Handler.

Brighter's HostBuilder support provides AutoFromAssemblies to register any Request Handlers in the project. See Basic Configuration for more.

Pipelines Must be Homogeneous

Brighter only supports pipelines that are solely IHandleRequestsAsync or IHandleRequests. In particular, note that middleware (attributes on your handler) must be of the same type as the rest of your pipeline. A common mistake is to UsePolicy when you mean UsePolicyAsync.

Dispatching Requests

Once you have registered your Handlers, you can dispatch requests to them. To do that you simply use the commandProcessor.SendAsync() (or commandProcessor.PublishAsync()) method passing in an instance of your command. Send expects one handler, Publish expects zero or more. (You can use commandProcessor.DepositPostAsync and commandProcessor.ClearOutboxAsync with an External Bus).

await commandProcessor.SendAsync(new GreetingCommand("Ian"));

Returning results to the caller.

A Command does not have return value and CommandDispatcher.Send() does not return anything. Please see a discussion on how to handle this in Returning Results from a Handler.


Brighter supports the cancellation of asynchronous operations.

The asynchronous methods: SendAsync and PublishAsync accept a CancellationToken and pass this token down the pipeline. The parameter defaults to default(CancellationToken) where the call does not intend to cancel.

The responsibility for checking for a cancellation request lies with the individual handlers, which must determine what action to take if cancellation had been signalled.

Async Callback Context

When an awaited method completes, what thread runs any completion code? There are two options:

  • The original thread that was running when the await began

  • A new thread allocated from the thread pool

Why does this matter? Because if you needed to access anything that is thread local, being called back on a new thread means you will not have access to those variables.

As a result, when awaiting it is possible to configure how the continuation runs.

  • To run on the original thread, requires the CLR to capture information on the thread you were using. This is the SynchronizationContext; because the CLR must record this information, we refer to it as a captured context. Your execution will be queued back on to the original context, which has a performance cost.

  • To run on a new thread, using the Task Scheduler to allocate from the thread pool.

You can use ConfigureAwait to control this. This article explains why you might wish to use ConfigureAwait, in more depth.

As a library, we need to allow you to make this choice for your handler chain. For this reason, our *Async methods support the parameter continueOnCapturedContext.

Library writers are encouraged to default to false i.e. use the Task Scheduler instead of the SychronizationContext. Brighter adopts this default, but it might not be what you want if your handler needs to run in the context of the original thread. As a result we let you use this parameter on the *Async calls to change the behaviour throughout your pipeline.

await commandProcessor.SendAsync(new GreetingCommand("Ian"), continueOnCapturedContext: true);

A handler exposes the parameter you supply via the property ContinueOnCapturedContext.

You should pass this value via ConfigureAwait if you need to be able to support making this choice at the call site. For example, when you call the base handler in your return statement, to ensure that the decision as to whether to use the scheduler or the context flows down the pipeline.

return await base.HandleAsync(command, ct).ConfigureAwait(ContinueOnCapturedContext);

You can ignore this, if you want to default to using the Task Scheduler.

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