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Build a metrics dashboard with background jobs in Wasp - Say hello to Waspleau!

· 5 min read
Shayne Czyzewski

Hello, Waspleau

See Waspleau here! | See the code

We've built a dashboard powered by a job queue using Wasp!

Wasp is a configuration language (DSL) for building full-stack web apps with less code and best practices that works alongside React and Node.js. We are on a mission to streamline web app development while empowering developers to continue using the power of code and their favorite tools. We are backed by Y Combinator and engineers from Airbnb, Facebook, and Lyft.

We are in Alpha (try it out)!Join our communityWork with us

Measure all the metrics!

Hello, Waspleau!#

Let’s face it - metrics are all around us. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a quick and easy way to build a nice-looking metrics dashboard from data pulled in by HTTP calls to many different sources, cache the data in-memory, and periodically update it via background jobs? Why yes, yes it would... so we made an example Wasp app called Waspleau that does just that!

Here is what it looks like live: https://waspleau.netlify.app/ There is also a screenshot at the top of this post for those who refrain from clicking on any unknown web links for fear of being Rickrolled. Respect.

“Show me the code”#

So, what do we need to get started? First, we need a way to schedule and run jobs; for this, we decided to use Bull. Ok, let’s wire it up. This should be easy, right? We can add external NPM dependencies in our Wasp files like so:

main.wasp
app waspleau {  title: "Waspleau",
  dependencies: [    ("bull", "4.1.1"),    ("axios", "^0.21.1")  ]}

But where do we declare our queue and processing callback functions in Wasp? Uh oh...

Sad

server.setupFn for queue setup#

Thankfully, Waspleau can leverage a powerful and flexible hook supplied by Wasp called server.setupFn. This declares a JavaScript function that will be executed on server start. Yahoo! This means we can do things like the following:

main.wasp
app waspleau {  ...
  server: {    setupFn: import serverSetup from "@ext/serverSetup.js"  }}
serverSetup.js
import Queue from 'bull'
const queue = new Queue('waspleau', process.env.REDIS_URL || 'redis://127.0.0.1:6379',  { defaultJobOptions: { removeOnComplete: true } })
queue.process('*', async (job) => { ... })
export default async () => {  // To initially populate the queue, we can do:  await queue.add({ ... }) // first run, one-off job  await queue.add({ ... }, { repeat: { cron: '*/10 * * * *' } }) // recurring job}

Abstracting workers and job processing#

Awesome, we can now enqueue and process background jobs, but how can we make it easy to create many different kinds of jobs and schedule them to run at different intervals? For Waspleau, we created our own type of worker object convention to help standardize and simplify adding more:

workers/template.js
const workerFunction = async (opts) => {  return [    { name: 'Metric 1 name', value: 'foo', updatedAt: ... },    { name: 'Metric 2 name', value: 'bar', updatedAt: ... },  ]}
export const workerTemplate = { name: 'Job Name', fn: workerFunction, schedule: '*/10 * * * *' }

With this workerFunction setup, we can return one or more metrics per worker type. Waspleau can easily use any module that exports this shape. Here is a real example from the demo that makes HTTP calls to GitHub’s API with Axios:

workers/github.js
import axios from 'axios'
const workerFunction = async (opts) => {  console.log('github.js workerFunction')
  const now = Date.now()
  try {    const response = await axios.get('https://api.github.com/repos/wasp-lang/wasp')
    return [      { name: 'Wasp GitHub Stars', value: response.data.stargazers_count, updatedAt: now },      { name: 'Wasp GitHub Language', value: response.data.language, updatedAt: now },      { name: 'Wasp GitHub Forks', value: response.data.forks, updatedAt: now },      { name: 'Wasp GitHub Open Issues', value: response.data.open_issues, updatedAt: now },    ]  } catch (error) {    console.error(error)    return []  }}
export const githubWorker = { name: 'GitHub API', fn: workerFunction, schedule: '*/10 * * * *' }

Note: Please see the actual serverSetup.js file for how we use this abstraction in practice.

Server → client#

We now have jobs running and data updating at regular intervals, nice, but we still need a way to send that data down the wire. Here, we expose the in-memory data from our server.setupFn module so our queries can also use it:

main.wasp
...
query dashboard {  fn: import { refreshDashboardData } from "@ext/dashboard.js"}
dashboard.js
import { getDashboardData } from './serverSetup.js'
export const refreshDashboardData = async (_args, _context) => {  return getDashboardData()}
serverSetup.js
...
const dashboardData = {} // This is updated in the queue process callbackexport const getDashboardData = () => Object.values(dashboardData).flat()

From there, we can request it on the frontend in React components as usual and also set a one-minute client-side refetch interval just for good measure:

MainPage.js
...
const { data: dashboardData, isFetching, error } = useQuery(refreshDashboardData, null, { refetchInterval: 60 * 1000 })
...

Congratulations, let’s dance!#

Whew, we did it! If you’d like to deploy your own customized version of this dashboard, please clone our repo and check out the Waspleau example README.md for tips on getting started. You can also check out our docs to dive deeper into anything.

Rickroll

Still got ya! :D

2022 is going to be exciting 🚀#

While this functionality currently exists outside of Wasp, keep an eye on our roadmap as we head toward 1.0. We will be busy adding lots of great features to our Wasp DSL in the coming months that will supercharge your web development experience! Thanks for reading, and please feel free to connect with us in Discord about using Wasp on your next project.