givesocialmovement / moonlight

Delayed job framework for Playframework on Heroku

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Moonlight is a simple delayed job (or, in other words, background job) framework for Playframework on Heroku.

Here are important notes:

  • Moonlight uses Heroku's Postgresql through Slick. This requires you to configure Slick correctly.
  • No concurrency. No lock. Moonlight can only have one worker.
  • Support retrying up to 3 times. Retry happens one hour later after a failure.
  • Use JSON to serialize/deserialize job's params.

At, we've built Moonlight because we wanted a delayed job framework for moderate load. At the same time, we want to avoid introducing a new datastore to our system.

We are using Playframework on Heroku with Postgresql (through Slick), so Moonlight fits perfectly into our setting.


The usage requires some degree of involvement.

Please see a full working example in the folder test-project and the live demo here: (The worker dyno isn't free, so it's off. Therefore, the job will be added but not processed).

1. Setup Postgresql's table

We've provided a set of SQLs for creating/updating required schemas. Please see conf/evolutions/default/1.sql.

Please apply the SQLs to your database.

2. Include Moonlight in your build.sbt

resolvers += Resolver.bintrayRepo("givers", "maven")
libraryDependencies += "givers.moonlight" %% "play-moonlight" % "0.4.0"

The artifacts are hosted here:

3. Create a worker

You can define a delayed job by providing WorkerSpec which allows you to specify params and job runner. Here's an example:

import{Inject, Singleton}
import givers.moonlight.{BackgroundJob, Worker, WorkerSpec}
import play.api.Logger
import play.api.libs.json.{Json, OFormat}

import scala.concurrent.ExecutionContext
import scala.reflect.ClassTag

object SimpleWorkerSpec extends WorkerSpec {
  case class Job(userId: Long) extends givers.moonlight.Job

  type Data = Job
  type Runner = SimpleWorker

  implicit val classTag = ClassTag(classOf[SimpleWorker])
  implicit val jsonFormat: OFormat[Job] = Json.format[Job]

  val identifier = "Simple"  // Job's identifier (should be unique)
  val previousIdentifiers = Set.empty  // In case, you'd like to change identifier

class SimpleWorker @Inject()(
  // You may inject any needed dependency here
  userService: UserService
) extends Worker[SimpleWorkerSpec.Job] {

  private[this] val logger = Logger(this.getClass)

  def run(param: SimpleWorkerSpec.Job, job: BackgroundJob): Unit = {
    val user = userService.getById(param.userId)
    println(s"Process user (id=${})")

4. Install Moonlight's module

Create a module with defined WorkerSpec:

package modules

import givers.moonlight.{Config, Moonlight}
import play.api.{Configuration, Environment}

class MoonlightModule extends play.api.inject.Module {
  def bindings(environment: Environment, configuration: Configuration)  = Seq(
    bind[Moonlight].toInstance(new Moonlight(
      // When 3 errors occurs, Moonlight will exit. This is for avoiding being stuck in error repetitively.
      // For example, in our case, on Heroku, when Moonlight runs on a bad machine, it will stop by itself and be
      // started on a good machine.
      config = Config(maxErrorCountToKillOpt = Some(3),
      workers = Seq(SimpleWorkerSpec)

Then, install the module and configure Slick's database connection in application.conf by:

play.modules.enabled += "modules.MoonlightModule""postgres://user:pass@localhost:5432/database"

5. Run Moonlight

You can run Moonlight locally with sbt 'runMain givers.moonlight.Main dev run'.

On Heroku, you can run Moonlight by adding the below line to Procfile:

worker: ./target/universal/stage/bin/[your_app_name] -Dconfig.resource=application.conf -main givers.moonlight.Main -- prod

Please see a full example in the folder test-project.

Interested in using the framework?

Please don't hesitate to ask questions by opening a Github issue. We want you to use Moonlight successfully.

Future improvement

  • Support more than one worker by implementing Postgresql-based mutual lock.
  • Improve Moonlight API to prevent mistakes like defining a job but forgetting to register the runner.
  • Reduce the verbosity of WorkerSpec. We should be able to use Macros to define jsonFormat and classTag.