Background tasks in ASP.NET Core

January 12, 2019 by Anuraj

ASP.NET Core Background Tasks

This post is about running background tasks in ASP.NET Core. In .NET Core 2.1, Microsoft introduced a new feature called IHostedService to allow developers to run a background service that can have a managed lifetime to its caller, be it from an ASP.NET Core or a console.

To enable Background processing, you need to create a class which implements IHostedService interface.

public interface IHostedService
    Task StartAsync(CancellationToken cancellationToken);
    Task StopAsync(CancellationToken cancellationToken);

This interface got two methods StartAsync and StopAsync. And you need to register the service using dependency injection, like this.

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
    services.Configure<CookiePolicyOptions>(options =>
        // This lambda determines whether user consent for non-essential cookies is needed for a given request.
        options.CheckConsentNeeded = context => true;
        options.MinimumSameSitePolicy = SameSiteMode.None;

    services.AddSingleton<IHostedService, DemoService>();

Finally you can consume it in the controller like this.

private readonly IHostedService _demoService;
public HomeController(IHostedService demoService)
    _demoService = demoService;

Instead of implementing IHostedService, you can derive from Background abstract class and you can implement the ExecuteAsync abstract method. Here is an example of a minimal background service, which monitors a table in SQL Server and send emails.

public class DemoService : BackgroundService
    private readonly ILogger<DemoService> _demoservicelogger;
    private readonly DemoContext _demoContext;
    private readonly IEmailService _emailService;
    public DemoService(ILogger<DemoService> demoservicelogger, 
        DemoContext demoContext, IEmailService emailService)
        _demoservicelogger = demoservicelogger;
        _demoContext = demoContext;
        _emailService = emailService;
    protected override async Task ExecuteAsync(CancellationToken stoppingToken)
        _demoservicelogger.LogDebug("Demo Service is starting");
        stoppingToken.Register(() => _demoservicelogger.LogDebug("Demo Service is stopping."));
        while (!stoppingToken.IsCancellationRequested)
            _demoservicelogger.LogDebug("Demo Service is running in background");
            var pendingEmailTasks = _demoContext.EmailTasks
                .Where(x => !x.IsEmailSent).AsEnumerable();
            await SendEmailsAsync(pendingEmailTasks);
            await Task.Delay(1000 * 60 * 5, stoppingToken);
        _demoservicelogger.LogDebug("Demo service is stopping");

In this example, the background service monitor the check the table in every 5 minutes and if records found, send the email using SendEmailAsync method.

Keep in mind that these services running on your application context, if the service is consuming memory or CPU it is not recommended. There are Azure Web Jobs and Azure Functions which helps you to handle dedicated background jobs.

Happy Programming :)

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