Hydra4NET 0.0.14

.NET Standard 2.1
dotnet add package Hydra4NET --version 0.0.14
NuGet\Install-Package Hydra4NET -Version 0.0.14
This command is intended to be used within the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio, as it uses the NuGet module's version of Install-Package.
<PackageReference Include="Hydra4NET" Version="0.0.14" />
For projects that support PackageReference, copy this XML node into the project file to reference the package.
paket add Hydra4NET --version 0.0.14
#r "nuget: Hydra4NET, 0.0.14"
#r directive can be used in F# Interactive and Polyglot Notebooks. Copy this into the interactive tool or source code of the script to reference the package.
// Install Hydra4NET as a Cake Addin
#addin nuget:?package=Hydra4NET&version=0.0.14

// Install Hydra4NET as a Cake Tool
#tool nuget:?package=Hydra4NET&version=0.0.14



Hydra for .NET is a library module for building Dotnet microservices. Hydra4Net is an open source project offered under the MIT license.

This is an experimental release of an implementation of Hydra for .NET. Years ago (~7 now) Hydra for NodeJS was built to leverage the power of Redis for building microservices. The early Hydra (announced at EmpireNode 2016) offered features such as service discovery, distributed messaging, message load balancing, logging, presence, and health monitoring.

NuGet packaged versions of Hydra4Net are available at: Hydra4NET@NuGet For most Dotnet development projects we recommend using the Hydra4Net.HostingExtensions@NuGet package.

Hydra4Net documentation is available Hydra4Net Docs and Hydra4Net.HostingExtensions Docs

Caution and Housekeeping

Hydra4Net is under active development and existing functionality may be dramatically changed (read: improved). Updates are offered for testing and feedback purposes. Please use with caution (i.e. not in production) and report any issues you may find.

More about Hydra and related open source projects can be found at: https://github.com/pnxtech where other implementations of Hydra for NodeJS, Python and Dart can be found.

For an example of Hydra4Net messaging in action see the MessageDemo example


Hydra4Net seeks to support the following features:

  • Extreme ease of use. Just add it to your project and immedidately start benefiting from microservice functionality.
  • Enable your service to be discovered by other services. There's no need to hard code service locations. Additionally, your service can discover other hydra-based services.
    • Using service discovery your service can determine the IP address and port of other services. This is useful for making HTTP (API) requests to other services.
  • Enable your service to send and receive messages to other services.
    • Messages can be sent to a specific service or to a service group.
    • Messages can be queued for a service group.
  • Hydra4Net is built to be compatible with other Hydra implementations. This means that you can use Hydra4Net to communicate with a Hydra service written in NodeJS or Python or Dart.

The following features are offered but not required for use. In production cases these features may be handled by cloud container orchestration services such as Kubernetes or Docker Swarm.

  • Enable your service to be monitored for health and presence. This is useful for load balancing and service discovery.

A few words about messaging

Hydra4Net, as well as any other Hydra implementation, depends on the use of JSON-based messages. More specifically, JSON messages need to be packed in a format known as UMF - Universal Messaging Format. The reason for this requirement is because UMF has support for messaging routing and queuing - where as plain JSON messages do not. Hydra4Net specifically uses the short form UMF.

Hydra4Net has built-in support for UMF via its UMF and UMFBase classes.

The basics

  1. Add Hydra4Net to your project, as a dependency reference. Grag the latest Nuget package from: Hydra4NET on Nuget.
  2. Create a JSON configuration file for your service.
  "hydra": {
    "serviceName": "testrig-svcs",
    "serviceIP": "",
    "servicePort": 12018,
    "serviceType": "test",
    "serviceDescription": "Dotnet-based experimental service",
    "plugins": {
      "hydraLogger": {
        "logToConsole": true,
        "onlyLogLocally": false
    "redis": {
      "host": "redis",
      "port": 6379,
      "db": 0,
      "options": "abortConnect=false,connectRetry=3,connectTimeout=5000"

Replace the following values above:

  • Replace the hydra.serviceName with the name of your service.
  • hydra.serviceIP is optional and will be auto-detected at run-time by Hydra4Net.
  • hydra.servicePort is the port your service will listen on. Note, that if your service doesn't offer an API or listen on a port then you can set this to 0.
  • hydra.serviceType is the type of service you are running. This field is largely for descriptive purposes when reviewing via the optional HydraRouter API and messaging gateway or while debugging entries in Redis. This field may be blank.
  • hydra.serviceDescription is a description of your service. This field is largely for descriptive purposes for cases similar to those of hydra.serviceType. This field may be blank.
  • You can ignore the hydra.plugins branch for now. This is for future use.
  • Update the hydra.redis branch with the host, port and db of the Redis server you will use for Hydra4Net. Note the hostname can be an IP address or DNS name. Also you can use a mask pattern to allow Hydra4Net to select from a range of IPs. To use that specify a pattern such as "10.0.0.*" to restrict IP selection. Note, this is useful when containerizing your microservice.
  1. Ensure that your app is async for Hydra4Net to keep running. In the testrig project this is done by using Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting as shown here:
using Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting;
using Hydra4NET;

// Create an instance of Hydra4Net
Hydra hydra = new();

// Create a Host instance to prevent this console app
// from closing and to track application close
using IHost host = Host.CreateDefaultBuilder(args).Build();
AppDomain.CurrentDomain.ProcessExit += AppDomain_ProcessExit;
void AppDomain_ProcessExit(object? sender, EventArgs e)

Note, this allows for the detection of the process exit event that helps ensure that the hydra.Shutdown() call allows Hydra4Net to clean up after itself.

  1. Load the configuration file and start Hydra4Net.
// Load the hydra config.json file
HydraConfigObject? config = Configuration.Load("config.json");
if (config == null)
    Console.WriteLine("Hydra config.json not found");

// Initialize Hydra using the loaded config file
await hydra.InitAsync(config);
  1. Use Hydra4Net to send and receive messages. The example below shows that a delegate will be called when a message is received. The delegate is passed the message type and the message body. The message body is a string and must be parsed by the application.
// Setup an OnMessageHandler to recieve incoming UMF messages
hydra.OnMessageHandler(async (string type, string? message) =>
    Console.WriteLine($"{type}: {message}");
    if (type == "testMsg")
        TestMsg? tm = hydraTests.ParseTestMsg(message ?? "");
        Console.WriteLine($"msg: {tm?.Bdy?.Msg}, id: {tm?.Bdy?.Id}");
        await hydraTests.SendMessageAsync();
    else if (type == "ping")
        PingMsg? pm = hydraTests.ParsePingMsg(message ?? "");
        Console.WriteLine($"message: {pm?.Bdy?.Message}");
    await Task.Delay(1);

Message sending and receiving

Receiving messages is handled by the OnMessageHandler delegate shown above. Sending messages is handled by the SendMessageAsync method. The following example shows how to send a message to a specific service.

  PingMsg pingMessage = new();
  pingMessage.To = "hmr-service:/";
  pingMessage.Frm = $"{_hydra.InstanceID}@{_hydra.ServiceName}:/";
  pingMessage.Typ = "ping";
  string json = pingMessage.Serialize();
  await _hydra.SendMessageAsync(pingMessage.To, json);

Note that we prepare a message object (more about that later) and we serialize it to JSON. Then we call the hydra.SendMessageAsync member with a string containing the route to a service followed by the JSON stringified class object. In the case above that's an instance of the PingMsg class.

Message queues

Hydra4Net supports message queues. This is useful for posting messages to a service that may be busy or not be running at the time the message is sent.

Queue retreival is done for you by this library, and received messages are handled by the OnQueueMessageReceived method you implemented earlier. This is implemented using the QueueProcessor base class within Hydra4NET. However, you can manually retrieve queue messages if desired.

Message queue handling is done via the QueueMessageAsync, GetQueueMessageAsync and MarkQueueMessageAsync methods.

The following example shows how to use the queueing features of Hydra4Net.

  // Create and queue message

  IUMF<QueueMsg> pingMessage = _hydra.CreateUMF("testrig-service:/", "job", new QueueMsg
    JobID = "1234";
    JobType = "Sample Job";
    JobData = "Test Data";

  // UMF<QueueMsg> queueMessage = new();
  // queueMessage.To = "testrig-svcs:/";
  // queueMessage.Frm = _hydra.GetServiceFrom();
  // queueMessage.Typ = "job";
  // queueMessage.Bdy = new QueueMsg
  // {
  //   JobID = "1234";
  //   JobType = "Sample Job";
  //   JobData = "Test Data";
  // }

  await _hydra.QueueMessageAsync(queueMessage.Serialize());

  // Retrieve queued message manually (dequeue)
  string json = await _hydra.GetQueueMessage("testrig-svcs");
  UMF umf = UMF.Deserialize(json);
  if(qm.Typ == "job") {
      UMF<QueueMsg> castedMsg = umf.Cast<QueueMsg>();
      await _hydra.MarkQueueMessageAsync(json, true);

Retreving Responses

If you need to retrieve a response from another Hydra service, you can use one of the following methods:

  • GetUMFResponseAsync
  • GetUMFResponseAsync<T>
  • GetUMFResponseStreamAsync
  • GetUMFResponseStreamAsync<T>

GetUMFResponseAsync sends a message and returns a Task which will resolve when the first message with an rmid (and optionally specified typ) matching the sent message's mid is received. If you know what body format to expect, you can use GetUMFResponse<T> and it will handle casting the body for you.

var msg = _hydra.CreateUMF<SharedMessageBody>("queuer-svcs:/", "respond", new());
IInboundMessage<SharedMessageBody> resp = await _hydra.GetUMFResponseAsync<SharedMessageBody>(msg, "response");

IUMF<SharedMessageBody> request ; //received request from Sender
IUMF<SharedMessageBody> response = hydra.CreateUMFResponse(request, "response", new SharedMessageBody());
await hydra.SendMessageAsync(sharedMessage);

Similarly, if you would like to receive more than one response for a given message, you can use GetUMFResponseStreamAsync. This will send a message and return an IInboundMessageStream which will allow you to enumrate the responses (where rmid matches the sent message mid) via an IAsyncEnumerable. This class will continue to listen for messages until you Dispose() it, so it is important to do so once you know that you no longer need to recieve messages (how you determine this is up to you). If all messages are expected to have the same body format, then you can use the GetUMFResponseStreamAsync<T> method and it will handle casting the body for you.

var msg = _hydra.CreateUMF<SharedMessageBody>("queuer-svcs:/", "response-stream", new());
using (IInboundMessageStream<SharedMessageBody> resp = await _hydra.GetUMFResponseStreamAsync<SharedMessageBody>(msg))
    await foreach (var rMsg in resp.EnumerateMessagesAsync())
        //umfs are cast for you 
        IUMF<SharedMessageBody>? rUmf = rMsg?.ReceivedUMF;
        if (rMsg?.Type == "response-stream") 
            //do something
        else if (rMsg?.Type == "response-stream-complete")

IUMF<SharedMessageBody> request ; //received request from Sender
for (var i = 0; i < 5; i++)
  IUMF<SharedMessageBody> sharedMessage = hydra.CreateUMFResponse(sm!, "response-stream", new SharedMessageBody());
  await hydra.SendMessageAsync(sharedMessage);
IUMF<SharedMessageBody> completeMsg = hydra.CreateUMFResponse(sm!, "response-stream-complete", new SharedMessageBody());
await hydra.SendMessageAsync(completeMsg);
Product Versions
.NET net5.0 net5.0-windows net6.0 net6.0-android net6.0-ios net6.0-maccatalyst net6.0-macos net6.0-tvos net6.0-windows net7.0 net7.0-android net7.0-ios net7.0-maccatalyst net7.0-macos net7.0-tvos net7.0-windows
.NET Core netcoreapp3.0 netcoreapp3.1
.NET Standard netstandard2.1
MonoAndroid monoandroid
MonoMac monomac
MonoTouch monotouch
Tizen tizen60
Xamarin.iOS xamarinios
Xamarin.Mac xamarinmac
Xamarin.TVOS xamarintvos
Xamarin.WatchOS xamarinwatchos
Compatible target framework(s)
Additional computed target framework(s)
Learn more about Target Frameworks and .NET Standard.

NuGet packages (1)

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Helper extensions for Microsoft.Hosting.Extensions and Hydra for .NET

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Version Downloads Last updated
0.0.14 192 2/10/2023
0.0.13 146 2/10/2023
0.0.12 190 2/1/2023
0.0.11 203 1/27/2023
0.0.10 236 1/17/2023
0.0.9 419 1/12/2023
0.0.8 156 12/31/2022
0.0.7 150 12/31/2022
0.0.6 156 12/31/2022
0.0.5 156 12/31/2022
0.0.4 164 12/31/2022
0.0.3 167 12/27/2022
0.0.2 156 12/27/2022
0.0.1 157 12/25/2022

This is a work-in-progress experimental release.