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Event handling

The InvenioRDM backend is not event driven. At the time of writing (v11) there is no support for event handling, although there is work being done to implement an event bus (RFC).

Nonetheless, there are several addressed use cases that would benefit from an event bus and will be refactored to use it once it is implemented.

In the following sections these specific use cases will be described with more detail. However, they all share a similar architecture.


The object in charge of sending/triggering the "event". The lack of an event bus leaves freedom of implementation on the emitter. For example, they could be emitted from the views, after unit of work (record) commit, etc. These events are written to case-specific message queues.

The important factor to have into account is the decoupling of the happening of the action and creating the event about it happening. For example, notifying about record creation should be done after the record has been committed. This would avoid inconsistencies such as failing to commit a record because the event failed to be created, or sending a notification about something that was not committed yet and might fail to do so. This leads to the question of what happens if after commit I cannot create the event? and other corner cases. Addressing these cases is out of the scope of the current implementations and will be solved by the event bus.


For every event there is one or more operations that need to be executed. In the following examples the logic is implemented in case-specific tasks that run periodically (celery beat).

When processing events it is important to eventually arrive to the same state. For example, if all events where to be reprocessed (e.g. event sourcing) several times, the final state should be the same. In addition, if one or more events were processed more than once the final state should also be the same, this means that event processing must be idempotent.

Moreover, processing events can take a long time. If this effects the user experience eager read derivation could be used. However, this comes at a cost of having to handle rollbacks and potential data inconsistency.


Since there is no defined event API, the current use cases define case-specific payloads and formats.


Change notifications

The full design details can be found in the RFC.

InvenioRDM uses polyglot persistence: PostgreSQL and OpenSearch. Due to data retrieval and search requirements data is denormalized in OpenSearch. This means that when some entities are updated (e.g. user profiles) objects containing their denormalized information also need to be updated too (e.g. membership requests reflecting the user's username).

To achieve this, the events or change notifications are registered in the unit of work. On an operation that will trigger an asynchronous Celery task with a custom payload on post_commit. This task will enrich the payload and trigger all the handlers registered for the record type that was changed. These handlers are service methods with custom signatures, and are configurable in the invenio.cfg file. The records have a revision id and use optimistic concurrency, therefore idempotence can be guaranteed.


Statistics such as record view or file downloads are calculated using events. These events are emitted on the resources/views, by registering a message with a custom payload in a specific queue. Event indexers will then read these messages and carry out the appropriate operations (e.g. aggregations). Event indexers are running as celery beat tasks. To guarantee idempotence each event contains a unique identifier (e.g. timestamp + User-agent + IP address + URL), which guarantees that the event is captured/persisted only once.

Mail notifications

This feature has not been fully implemented yet. But progress can be followed and the full design details can be found in the RFC.


Not supported

This feature has not been implemented yet

In order to enable interoperability and for other applications to build on top of InvenioRDM we can deliver webhook notifications to user-configured 3rd-party applications. These webhooks can be configured/filtered on the level of specific events (and their properties, e.g. "send a webhook for all records of type software added to the community astronomy").

Audit log

Not supported

This feature has not been implemented yet

For many operations it's useful to keep an audit log, so that administrators, community curators/managers, and users, can review past actions. This is both a security and "inspection" feature. Events can be mapped to actions, and logging them could be implemented via event handlers.