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This Gem is still in an early stage of development. Please not use this in production yet.

Multi-threaded job backend with database queuing for ruby.


What it is:

  • Jobs are instances of classes that support the perform method.
  • Jobs are persisted in the database using ActiveRecord.
  • You can start one or more worker processes.
  • Each worker is configurable as to which queue(s) it processes.
  • Each worker polls the database and spawns a number of threads to execute jobs of different queues simultaneously.

What it isn't:

  • It cannot spawn new processes. Jobs are run in separate threads but not in separate processes (unless you start multiple worker processes manually).
  • It does not support retries.



  • A database and table handler that properly supports row-level locking (such as MySQL with InnoDB, PostgreSQL or Oracle).
  • An operating system and file system that supports file locking.

Installing under Rails

  1. Add workhorse to your Gemfile:
   gem 'workhorse'
  1. Run the install generator:
   bin/rails generate workhorse:install

This generates:

  • A database migration for creating the jobs table
  • An initializer config/initializers/workhorse.rb for global configuration
  • A daemon worker script under bin/workhorse.rb

Please customize the configuration files to your liking.

  1. If running Rails, create an initializer under config/initializers/workhorse.rb:
   Workhorse.setup do |config|
     # Use `tx_callback` to specify an alternate block that handels
     # transactions. This defaults to the following.
     # config.tx_callback = proc do |&block|
     #   ActiveRecord::Base.transaction&(&block)
     # end

     # Set this to false in order to prevent jobs from being automatically
     # wrapped into a transaction. The built-in workhorse logic will still run
     # in transactions.
     config.perform_jobs_in_tx = true

Queuing jobs

Basic jobs

Workhorse can handle any jobs that support the perform method and are serializable. To queue a basic job, use the static method Workhorse.enqueue:

class MyJob
  def perform
    puts "Hello world"

Workhorse.enqueue, queue: :test

In the above example, we also specify a queue named :test. This means that this job will never run simoultaneously with other jobs in the same queue. If no queue is given, the job can always be executed simoultaneously with any other job.

RailsOps operations

Workhorse allows you to easily queue RailsOps operations using the static method Workhorse.enqueue_op:

Workhorse.enqueue Operations::Jobs::CleanUpDatabase, quiet: true

Params passed using the second argument will be used for operation instantiation at job execution.

You can also specify a queue:

Workhorse.enqueue Operations::Jobs::CleanUpDatabase, { quiet: true }, queue: :maintenance

Configuring and starting workers

Workers poll the database for new jobs and execute them in one or more threads. Typically, one worker is started per process. While you can start workers manually, either in your main application process(es) or in a separate one, workhorse also provides you with a convenient way of starting one or multiple worker processes as a daemon.

Start workers manually

Workers are created by instantiatating, configuring and starting a new Workhorse::Worker instance.

  pool_size: 5,                           # Processes 5 jobs concurrently
  quiet:     false,                       # Logs to STDOUT
  logger:    Rails.logger                 # Logs to Rails log. You can also
                                          # provide any custom logger.

Start workers using a daemon script

Using Workhorse::Daemon (Workhorse::Daemon::ShellHandler), you can spawn one multiple worker processes automatically. This is useful for cases where you want the workers to exist in separate processes as opposed to in your main application process(es).

For this case, the workhorse install routine automatically creates a file called bin/workhorse.rb which can be used to start one or more worker processes.

The daemon-part allows you to run arbitrary code as a daemon: count: 5 do
  # This runs as a daemon and will be started 5 times

Within this shell handler, you can now instantiate, configure and start a worker as described under Start workers manually: count: 5 do
  # This will be run 5 times, each time in a separate process. Per process, it
  # will be able to process 3 jobs concurrently.
  Workhorse::Worker.start_and_wait(pool_size: 3, logger: Rails.logger)


  • [ ] ActiveJob integration for Rails
  • [ ] Job timeouts
  • [ ] Daemon, generator
  • [ ] Migration generator (+ data migration from delayed_job)


Copyright (c) 2017 Sitrox. See LICENSE for further details.