You could postponed many features in a software system to be processed asynchronously to improve performance, scalability, and overall responsiveness. Here are some common features that are well-suited for asynchronous processing.
Sending emails is a classic example of a task that can be moved to an asynchronous process. Instead of blocking the main application thread to send emails, a microservice or background worker can handle email delivery.
Notifications are similar to emails. When you need to Generate and send notifications, such as push notifications or in-app alerts, you could do it asynchronously. This ensures that the user doesn’t have to wait for the notification to be sent before continuing with their actions. This involves communicating with Push Providers like Google Firebase or Apple Push Notification Service. You don’t know how fast they will finish.
Uploading, processing, and transforming large files can be resource-intensive. Asynchronous processing allows you to offload these tasks to background workers, freeing up the main application to handle other requests. When the processing is finished – the user may receive a notification or even an email.
Tasks that involve processing large amounts of data on the server, like batch jobs – zipping a folder or data synchronization, can be performed asynchronously to avoid tying up resources and causing delays in other parts of the system. When the work is done – you could message the user internally as a status in an app – or externally with mail or notification. This is especially critical for user exprience – if the user needs to wait.
Generating complex reports or analytics that require significant computation time can be moved to an asynchronous process. Users can request reports, and the system can notify them or make the report available when it’s ready.
Image or Media Processing
Uploading, resizing, or processing images and media files can be resource-intensive. Once the main image is uploaded, asynchronous processing could handle in the background all the other transformations, allowing the main application to remain responsive.
For scenarios where payment processing might involve third-party services or financial institutions, handling payments asynchronously can be beneficial. Any progress on the purchase may be visualziled to the user as a status. This ensures that users don’t have to wait for payment confirmation during the checkout process. It is common marketing and sales activity to look out abondoned or pending shopping carts. Here are some previous articles on this topic:
Logging and Auditing:
Writing log entries or auditing user actions can be done asynchronously to avoid impacting the real-time processing of user requests.
Integration with Third-Party APIs
Interacting with external APIs that might have variable response times or could be temporarily unavailable can be handled asynchronously to prevent the main application from waiting for responses.
Asynchronously refreshing and updating cache data can help ensure that the application remains responsive while keeping data up-to-date in the background.
Background Jobs and Scheduled Tasks
Any periodic or scheduled tasks, such as database cleanup, can be performed asynchronously to avoid disrupting the regular flow of user interactions. Normally they are scheduled in ours with minimal user activity – such as 2 am in the night – for the area where most users live.
Machine Learning Inference
Running machine learning tasks can be resource-intensive. It even requries powerful hardware to get a data model. Asynchronous processing can be employed to handle inference requests in the background, providing results once they are ready.
These are just examples, and the suitability of asynchronous processing depends on the specific requirements and characteristics of your application. It’s crucial to carefully design and implement asynchronous features, considering factors such as error handling, monitoring, and eventual consistency.