.NET FrameworkTPL Dataflow

Remarks

Libraries Used in Examples

System.Threading.Tasks.Dataflow

System.Threading.Tasks

System.Net.Http

System.Net

Difference between Post and SendAsync

To add items to a block you can either use Post or SendAsync.

Post will try to add the item synchronously and return a bool saying whether it succeeded or not. It may not succeed when, for example, a block has reached its BoundedCapcity and has no more room for new items yet. SendAsync on the other hand will return an uncompleted Task<bool> that you can await. That task will complete in the future with a true result when the block cleared its internal queue and can accept more items or with a false result if it's declining permanently (e.g. as a result of cancellation).

Posting to an ActionBlock and waiting for completion

// Create a block with an asynchronous action
var block = new ActionBlock<string>(async hostName =>
{
    IPAddress[] ipAddresses = await Dns.GetHostAddressesAsync(hostName);
    Console.WriteLine(ipAddresses[0]);
});

block.Post("google.com"); // Post items to the block's InputQueue for processing
block.Post("reddit.com");
block.Post("stackoverflow.com");

block.Complete(); // Tell the block to complete and stop accepting new items
await block.Completion; // Asynchronously wait until all items completed processingu

Linking blocks to create a pipeline

var httpClient = new HttpClient();

// Create a block the accepts a uri and returns its contents as a string
var downloaderBlock = new TransformBlock<string, string>(
    async uri => await httpClient.GetStringAsync(uri));

// Create a block that accepts the content and prints it to the console
var printerBlock = new ActionBlock<string>(
    contents => Console.WriteLine(contents));

// Make the downloaderBlock complete the printerBlock when its completed.
var dataflowLinkOptions = new DataflowLinkOptions {PropagateCompletion = true};

// Link the block to create a pipeline
downloaderBlock.LinkTo(printerBlock, dataflowLinkOptions);

// Post urls to the first block which will pass their contents to the second one.
downloaderBlock.Post("http://youtube.com");
downloaderBlock.Post("http://github.com");
downloaderBlock.Post("http://twitter.com");

downloaderBlock.Complete(); // Completion will propagate to printerBlock
await printerBlock.Completion; // Only need to wait for the last block in the pipeline

Synchronous Producer/Consumer with BufferBlock

public class Producer
{
    private static Random random = new Random((int)DateTime.UtcNow.Ticks);
    //produce the value that will be posted to buffer block
    public double Produce ( )
    {
        var value = random.NextDouble();
        Console.WriteLine($"Producing value: {value}");
        return value;
    }
}

public class Consumer
{
    //consume the value that will be received from buffer block
    public void Consume (double value) => Console.WriteLine($"Consuming value: {value}");
}

class Program
{
    private static BufferBlock<double> buffer = new BufferBlock<double>();
    static void Main (string[] args)
    {
        //start a task that will every 1 second post a value from the producer to buffer block
        var producerTask = Task.Run(async () =>
        {
            var producer = new Producer();
            while(true)
            {
                buffer.Post(producer.Produce());
                await Task.Delay(1000);
            }
        });
        //start a task that will recieve values from bufferblock and consume it
        var consumerTask = Task.Run(() => 
        {
            var consumer = new Consumer();
            while(true)
            {
                consumer.Consume(buffer.Receive());
            }
        });

        Task.WaitAll(new[] { producerTask, consumerTask });
    }
}

Asynchronous Producer Consumer With A Bounded BufferBlock

var bufferBlock = new BufferBlock<int>(new DataflowBlockOptions
{
    BoundedCapacity = 1000
});

var cancellationToken = new CancellationTokenSource(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(10)).Token;

var producerTask = Task.Run(async () =>
{
    var random = new Random();

    while (!cancellationToken.IsCancellationRequested)
    {
        var value = random.Next();
        await bufferBlock.SendAsync(value, cancellationToken);
    }
});

var consumerTask = Task.Run(async () =>
{
    while (await bufferBlock.OutputAvailableAsync())
    {
        var value = bufferBlock.Receive();
        Console.WriteLine(value);
    }
});

await Task.WhenAll(producerTask, consumerTask);