Disclaimer: These are planning documents. The functionalities described here may be unimplemented, partially implemented, or implemented differently than the original design.

Abstract Queue


This RFC proposes a generic replacement for the pending queue. This new functionality allows for queues with different data types. Secondly, the new queue API provides abstractions to support durability. This allows for improved stability in processing batches and blocks. Lastly, the introduction of a new abstraction over the queue allows for batches to be injected via the queue instead of the publisher.


The main motivator for the new design is to provide durability of queue-related operations. The current implementation provides no durability guarantees. Secondarily, is to provide the capability to re-use queue capabilities for different definitions of transactions, as defined by the library consumer.

Guide-level explanation

Note, this RFC depends on the RefSet feature.

The generic queue abstraction splits the interactions with the queue into two aspects: popping items from the queue and updating the queue.

The QueueView provides the API for popping a RefToken for an item in the queue. In this way, the queue provides an order to process, where the items themselves are stored in an arbitrary fashion in a RefSet.

The QueueCommands trait provides an API for produces command-oriented changes to the underlying store for both pushing new items onto the queue, and marking them complete.

As operations on the items in the queue may be performed asynchronously, the item needs to be explicitly marked as complete. This should allow for any failures that may occur while processing the queue. The underlying storage implementation may determine how this is applied.

Marking an item complete accepts a RefToken and transforms it into a released TransferToken. The implication here is that once an item has been completely removed from the queue, it is most likely transferred to another component for the next stage in its life-cycle.

Take, for example, a batch queue. Once a batch is completed, it will be added to (or its reference transferred to) a candidate block.

These commands produced by the trait may be executed with other commands, such that they are included in the context of another transaction.

Reference-level explanation

Queue consumption is provided by the QueueView API, backed by a QueueStore. As this is a fairly trivial wrapper built on top of both a QueueStore implementation and RefSet, the complete implementation may be included here.

/// A store interface for a removing items from a persistent queue.
pub trait QueueStore<ID>: Send + Sync {
    /// Pop an item off the front of the queue, if one is available.
    /// This should not block.
    fn pop(&self) -> Result<Option<ID>, InternalError>;

    /// Return the curent queue length.
    /// # Returns
    /// The size of the queue.
    /// # Errors
    /// An [InternalError], if the size cannot be returned.
    fn len(&self) -> Result<u64, InternalError>;

/// A view over a queue store which provides [`RefToken`] values for each item
/// popped off the queue.
pub struct QueueView<ID, T, Q>
    ID: Send + Eq + Hash + Clone,
    T: Identifiable<ID>,
    Q: QueueStore<ID>,
    shared_queue: Q,
    ref_set: RefSet<T, ID>,

impl<ID, T, Q> QueueView<ID, T, Q>
    ID: Send + Eq + Hash + Clone,
    T: Identifiable<ID>,
    Q: QueueStore<ID>,
    /// Construct a new `QueueView` from a queue store and a [`RefSet`].
    pub fn new(shared_queue: Q, ref_set: RefSet<T, ID>) -> Self {
        Self {

    /// Return the [`RefToken`] for the next item in the queue, if there is one.
    /// This method should not block
    pub fn try_next(&self) -> Result<Option<RefToken<ID>>, InternalError> {
        self.shared_queue.pop().and_then(|opt| {
            opt.map(|id| self.ref_set.upgrade(id))

Updates to the queue are made via commands and transfer tokens provided by QueueCommands implementations.

/// Returns commands for operations on the queue that should be applied
/// atomically with other external commands.
pub trait QueueCommands {
    type Item: Send;
    type Context;

    /// Mark an item as complete, returning the transfer token for that item
    fn complete(
        ref_tokens: Vec<RefToken<Self::Item>>,
    ) -> TransferToken<Self::Item, Self::Context, Released>;

    /// Push a item onto the queue, via a transfer token.
    /// Returns a `QueueCommand` that may be executed as part of an atomic group
    /// of commands.
    fn push(
        transfer_token: TransferToken<Self::Item, Self::Context, Released>,
    ) -> Box<dyn QueueCommand<Context = Self::Context> + '_>;

/// A queue command executed within a context.
pub trait QueueCommand {
    type Context;

    /// Execute this command with the provided context.
    fn execute(&self, ctx: &Self::Context) -> Result<(), InternalError>;


This sequence diagram shows the how this queue design would interact within a sawtooth-style publishing context.

sequenceDiagram participant C as Coordinator participant P as Publisher participant Q as Queue participant QC as QueueCommands participant V as BatchVerifier participant R as RefSet C ->> P: Start Publishing rect rgb(192, 192, 256) note right of P: While constructing artifact loop Adding batches to artifact P ->>+ Q: try_next() Q -->>- P: Some(RefId) P ->> V: RefId V ->>+ R: RefId R -->>- V: Lease<Batch> V ->>P: BatchResult end end C ->> P: Publish rect rgb(192, 192, 256) note right of P: Marking queue items as verified P ->>+ QC: complete(ref_ids) QC-->>- P: TransferToken<Released> end


One drawback in this design is the use of Commands creates a potential difficulty in debugging when a change is specified versus when it is actually committed. The benefits to having atomic cross-component updates to the database (without leaking details between components) greatly outweigh this drawback.

Rationale and alternatives

One alternative is adapting the existing PendingBatchQueue to be durable. Unfortunately, the API doesn’t provide a way for this to be handled in an atomic way, with respect to other components, such as the Publisher.

Prior art

The existing pending queue provides some input into this design, in that similar needs must be met. It differs in that the abstract queue is not directly responsible for back-pressure.

Unresolved questions