There are basically three ways to communicate from one endpoint to another:

  • sending command messages for processing
  • sending command messages for deferred processing
  • publishing event messages

A command message is only ever sent to one endpoint and at least one endpoint is required for the message to be successfully sent. This requirement stems from a command being an instruction that will result in an action so it is something that is still going to take place. If there is no endpoint to send a command to the instruction will not be executed whilst there is an expectation that the action would be executed.

An event, on the other hand, is something that has happened typically as a result of a command but not always. There may be some other state that is noticed by the system that may require an event being published. An event may have zero or more subscribers since there is no requirement for anyone to be interested in the event. Typically when a business event is defined there should be at least one interested subscriber; else the event would not exist. There may be some infrastructure-related eventst that may not always have a subscriber but it may be worthwhile publising the event anyway since it is something interesting that has occurred.

Some examples of commands and events:

Command Event
SendEMailCommand EMailSentEvent
CreateCustomerCommand CustomerCreatedEvent
PlaceOrderCommand OrderPlacedEvent
CancelOrderCommand OrderCancelledEvent

Message structure

Both command messages and event messages are basically data containers. They are, therefore, data transfer objects and should not contain any behaviour. If you would like to add some basic behaviour you should opt for extension methods as these will not interfere with serialization. LINQ features, for example, may interfere with serialization.

Since the messages are plain classes you do not need to implement any specific interface or inherit from any specific class to make them work.

You may want to apply some convention to distinguish between the messages. As indicated by the examples above a Command and Event suffix may be added to the command and event messages respectively.

In order to send a command or publish an event you need an instance of the IMessageSender interface. This interface is implemented on both the ServiceBus class (via the IServiceBus interface) and the HandlerContext.


The ServiceBusConfiguration instance contains all the configuration required by the ServiceBus to operate and is built up from the application configuration file by default. You can make use of your dependency injection container of choice to inject your own instance of IServiceBusConfiguration before creating the service bus in order to provide a custom configuration.