Event Handlers

An Event Handler is a method that is capable of handling an EventMessage. As such, the method will react to the occurrences within an application.

In Axon, an object may declare several event handlers by annotating them with @EventHandler. This object is most often referred to as an Event Handling Component, or simply an Event Handler. When drafting an @EventHandler annotated method, the declared parameters of the method define which events it will receive.

Arguably the most important parameter of an event handler is the first parameter which refers to the payload of an EventMessage. If the event handler does not need access to the payload of the message, you can specify the expected payload type on the @EventHandler annotation.

Do not configure the payload type on the annotation if you want the payload to be passed as a parameter. For a complete list of all parameters, we refer to this section.

In all circumstances, at most one event handler method is invoked per listener instance. Axon will search for the most specific method to invoke, using the following rules:

  1. On the actual instance level of the class hierarchy (as returned by this.getClass()), all annotated methods are evaluated.

  2. If the framework finds one or more methods for which it can resolve all parameters to a value, the method with the most specific type is chosen and invoked.

  3. If the framework finds no methods on this level of the class hierarchy, the supertype is evaluated the same way.

  4. When it reaches the top level of the hierarchy and no suitable event handler is found, the event is ignored.

Consider the following Event Handling Component sample to explain the event handler invocation rules further:

// assume EventB extends EventA
// and EventC extends EventB
// and a single instance of SubListener is registered
public class TopListener {
@EventHandler
public void handle(EventA event) {
}
@EventHandler
public void handle(EventC event) {
}
}
public class SubListener extends TopListener {
@EventHandler
public void handle(EventB event) {
}
}

In the example above, Axon will invoke the handler methods of SubListener for all instances of EventB and EventC (as it extends EventB). In other words, the handler methods of TopListener will not receive any invocations for EventC at all. Since EventA is not assignable to EventB (it is its superclass), the TopListener's handler method will process them.

Registering event handlers

Event handling Components are defined using an EventProcessingConfigurer, which can be accessed from the global Axon Configurer. EventProcessingConfigurer is used to configure an EventProcessingConfiguration. Typically, an application will have a single EventProcessingConfiguration defined, but larger, more modular applications may define one per module.

To register objects with @EventHandler methods, consider the following samples:

Axon Configuration API
Spring Boot Autoconfiguration
Axon Configuration API

The Configurer exposes several options towards registering an Event Handling Component:

public class AxonConfig {
// ...
public void configureEventHandler(Configurer configurer) {
configurer.registerEventHandler(config -> new MyEventHandlingComponent());
// or, when the handling component contains several message handler types:
configurer.registerMessageHandler(config -> new MyEventHandlingComponent());
// or, directly on the EventProcessingConfigurer:
configurer.eventProcessing()
.registerEventHandler(config -> new MyEventHandlingComponent());
}
}
Spring Boot Autoconfiguration

In a Spring Boot environment, simply adding the Event Handling Components to the Application Context is sufficient:

@Component
public class MyEventHandlingComponent {
@EventHandler
public void on(SomeEvent event) {
// ...
}
}