Skip to main content

Event-Based Asynchronous

ConcurrencyAsynchronousDecouplingEvent-drivenFault toleranceMessagingReactiveScalabilityAbout 3 min

Also known as

  • Asynchronous Event Handling


The Event-Based Asynchronous pattern allows a system to handle tasks that might take some time to complete without blocking the execution of the program. It enables better resource utilization by freeing up a thread that would otherwise be blocked waiting for the task to complete.


Real-world example

A real-world analogy of the Event-Based Asynchronous design pattern is how a restaurant operates. When a customer places an order, the waiter records the order and passes it to the kitchen. Instead of waiting at the kitchen for the food to be prepared, the waiter continues to serve other tables. Once the kitchen completes the order, they signal (event) the waiter, who then delivers the food to the customer. This allows the waiter to handle multiple tasks efficiently without idle waiting, similar to how asynchronous programming handles tasks in parallel, enhancing overall efficiency and responsiveness.

In Plain Words

The Event-Based Asynchronous design pattern allows tasks to be executed in the background, notifying the main program via events when completed, thereby enhancing system efficiency and responsiveness without blocking ongoing operations.

Programmatic Example

The Event-Based Asynchronous design pattern in this project is implemented using several key classes:

  • App: This is the main class that runs the application. It interacts with the EventManager to create, start, stop, and check the status of events. It can run in either interactive mode or non-interactive mode.
  • EventManager: This class is the core of the Event-Based Asynchronous pattern implementation. It manages the lifecycle of events, including creating, starting, stopping, and checking the status of events. It maintains a map of event IDs to Event objects.
  • Event: This is an abstract class that represents an event. It has two concrete subclasses: AsyncEvent and SyncEvent. An Event has an ID, a runtime (how long it should run), and a status (whether it's running, completed, or ready to start). It also has methods to start and stop the event.
  • AsyncEvent: This is a subclass of Event that represents an asynchronous event. When an AsyncEvent is started, it runs in a separate thread without blocking the main thread.
  • SyncEvent: This is a subclass of Event that represents a synchronous event. When a SyncEvent is started, it runs on the main thread and blocks it until the event is completed.
  • MaxNumOfEventsAllowedException, LongRunningEventException, EventDoesNotExistException, InvalidOperationException: These are custom exceptions that are thrown by the EventManager when certain conditions are not met. For example, MaxNumOfEventsAllowedException is thrown when the maximum number of allowed events is exceeded.

Here's a simplified code example of how these classes interact:

// Create an EventManager
EventManager eventManager=new EventManager();

// Create an asynchronous event that runs for 60 seconds
int asyncEventId=eventManager.createAsync(60);

// Start the asynchronous event

// Check the status of the asynchronous event

// Stop the asynchronous event

In this example, the App class creates an EventManager, then uses it to create, start, check the status of, and stop an asynchronous event. The EventManager creates an AsyncEvent object, starts it in a separate thread, checks its status, and stops it when requested.

Class diagram

alt text
Event-based Asynchronous


  • When multiple tasks can be processed in parallel and independently.
  • Systems that require responsiveness and cannot afford to have threads blocked waiting for an operation to complete.
  • In GUI applications where user interface responsiveness is critical.
  • Distributed systems where long network operations are involved.

Known Uses

  • GUI libraries in Java (e.g., JavaFX, Swing with SwingWorker).
  • Java Message Service (JMS) for handling asynchronous messaging.
  • Java’s CompletableFuture and various Event-Driven Frameworks.



  • Improves application scalability and responsiveness.
  • Reduces the resources wasted on threads that would simply wait for I/O operations.
  • Enhances fault tolerance through isolation of process execution.


  • Increases complexity of error handling as errors may occur in different threads or at different times.
  • Can lead to harder-to-follow code and debugging challenges due to the non-linear nature of asynchronous code execution.

Related Patterns

  • Observeropen in new window: Often used in conjunction where the observer reacts to events as they occur.
  • Publish/Subscribe: Related in terms of event handling mechanisms, particularly for messaging and event distribution across components.
  • Commandopen in new window: Useful for encapsulating all information needed to perform an action or trigger an event.