17. Command Acknowledgment

AMPS command processing is designed to be asynchronous. The design of the server makes it possible for an application to send a command to AMPS, and receive the results of that command at a later time. Acknowledgment of commands is always optional: the server makes no requirement that an application request acknowledgment. The AMPS client libraries automatically request the acknowledgments required to maintain the guarantees the client API provides.

The status and results of a command are returned to a client in the form of an acknowledgment, or ack, message. AMPS can return status updates at various checkpoints throughout the command processing sequence.

For many applications, it may not be necessary for the application to request message acknowledgments explicitly. The AMPS clients request a set of acknowledgments by default that balance performance with error detection.

AMPS supports a variety of ack types, and allows you to request multiple ack types on each command. For example, the received ack type requests that AMPS acknowledge when the command is received, while the completed ack type requests that AMPS acknowledge when it has completed the command (or the portion of the command that runs immediately). Each AMPS command supports a different set of types, and the precise meaning of the ack returned depends on the command that AMPS is acknowledging.

AMPS commands are inherently asynchronous, and AMPS does not provide acknowledgment messages by default. A client must both explicitly request an acknowledgment and then receive and process that acknowledgment to know the results of a command. It is normal for time to elapse between the request and the acknowledgment, and so AMPS acknowledgments provide ways to correlate the acknowledgment with the command that produced it. This is typically done with an identifier that the client assigns to a command, which is then returned in the acknowledgment for the command.

AMPS supports the acknowledgment types listed in the following table:

Acknowledgment Type General Description
completed The command (or a portion of the command) has completed.
persisted The results of the command have been persisted to durable storage.
processed AMPS has processed the command.
received AMPS has received the command.
stats AMPS returns statistics associated with the command.

Table 17.1: AMPS acknowledgment messages

Acknowledgments for different commands may not arrive in the order that commands were submitted to AMPS. For example, a publish command to a topic that uses synchronous replication will not return a persisted acknowledgment until the synchronous replication destinations have persisted the message. If the client issues a subscribe command in the meantime, the processed acknowledgment for the subscribe command – indicating that AMPS has processed the subscription request – may well return before the persisted acknowledgment.

Not all commands support all acknowledgment types, and the meaning of each acknowledgment may differ depending on the command submitted. The acknowledgments for different commands set different fields on an acknowledgment message. See the AMPS Command Reference for details.

Requesting Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments from the AMPS server are always optional. The AMPS clients will request acknowledgments as necessary for processing and error reporting. In addition, an application can request acknowledgments as necessary to meet the requirements of an application.

The AMPS Command Guide contains information on the acknowledgment types available for each command and the meaning of those acknowledgments.


Developer tip: The AMPS client libraries automatically request and automatically process the acknoweldgements needed for the library itself to work as expected.

An application can also request acknowledgements explicitly.

When an application explicitly requests an acknowledgement that is not conflated (see the section on Acknowledgment Conflation and Publish Acknowledgments below), the AMPS clients deliver that acknowledgement to the message handler provided on the command, if one was provided.

If the acknowledgement is conflated, the application must either provide a last chance message handler, or provide a global command type message handler to process acknowledgements.

Receiving Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments for a specific command or subscription are delivered as a part of the message stream for that command. In an AMPS client, this means that whatever method an application is using to receive responses from AMPS will include acknowledgment messages.

Acknowledgments from AMPS have a command type of ack. This command type is reserved for responses from AMPS to a client. The CommandId of the acknowledgment message contains the CommandId provided by the client on the command that AMPS is responding to. The client uses this CommandId to route the acknowledgment message to the correct message processor in the application.

Notice that when acknowledgments are conflated – that is, the acknowledgment refers to a number of publish commands – AMPS does not include a command ID in the acknowledgment message. Further details are provided at Acknowledgment Conflation and Publish Acknowledgments.

Bookmark Subscriptions and Completed Acknowledgments

When AMPS is processing a bookmark subscription, a completed acknowledgment indicates that the subscription has completed replay from the transaction log. This means that the subscription has reached the point in the transaction log at which the subscribe command was received, and messages delivered on the subscription after the completed acknowledgment are from new publishes.

Bookmark Subscriptions and Persisted Acknowledgments

A bookmark subscription typically also requests the persisted acknowledgment (the AMPS clients do this automatically). In this case, once the replay has reached the end of the transaction log, AMPS periodically returns an acknowledgment that includes the last bookmark written to the local transaction log. This information helps with application recovery, particularly in cases where publishers are intermittent or low-volume, and the last message for a subscription is significantly older than the last message evaluated for delivery to the subscription.

Acknowledgment Conflation and Publish Acknowledgments

For some commands, AMPS will conflate acknowledgments and return acknowledgments for multiple commands at one time. When AMPS conflates acknowledgments, AMPS provides an identifier other than the command identifier that describes which commands the acknowledgment applies to.

For example, when a transaction log is configured, AMPS conflates persisted acknowledgments in response to publish commands and sow_delete commands. These conflated acknowledgments contain the last client sequence number that the acknowledgment applies to rather than the command identifiers or sequence numbers for all messages being acknowledged. For example, if an application publishes messages with sequence numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and message 3 fails due to entitlement restrictions, AMPS will return an ack indicating success for message 2, an ack indicating failure for message 3, and an ack indicating success for message 5.

By default, AMPS produces conflated acknowledgments for a given connection approximately once a second.

Starting with version, AMPS allows configuration of the conflation interval.

  • To set a different conflation interval for an individual client, provide an ack_conflation option in the options string for the logon for that client. This sets the interval at which AMPS will provide acknowledgments to that client.
  • To set a different conflation interval for replication acknowledgments, specify the AckConflationInterval in the replication Destination. This sets the interval at which the downstream AMPS server will provide acknowledgments to this AMPS server.

Notice that when a publisher is publishing to a replicated topic, the ack_conflation interval sets the interval at which AMPS acknowledges messages that have already been acknowledged by synchronous replication destinations, while the AckConflationInterval specifies how often those downstream destinations produce an acknowledgment. In a situation where it is important to reduce the default latency of an acknowledgment, both the server option and the client side option typically need to be set.

To see more information about the different commands and their supported acknowledgment types, please refer to the AMPS Command Reference, provided with 4.0 and greater versions of the AMPS clients and available on the 60East web site.