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Getting Started


Wolverine targets .NET 6/7 and above.

Wolverine is a toolset for command execution and message handling within .NET Core applications. The killer feature of Wolverine (we think) is its very efficient command execution pipeline that can be used as:

  1. An inline "mediator" pipeline for executing commands
  2. A local message bus within .NET applications
  3. A full fledged asynchronous messaging framework for robust communication and interaction between services when used in conjunction with low level messaging infrastructure tools like RabbitMQ,
  4. With the WolverineFx.Http library, Wolverine's execution pipeline can be used directly as an alternative ASP.Net Core Endpoint provider

Wolverine tries very hard to be a good citizen within the .NET ecosystem and even when used in "headless" services, uses the idiomatic elements of .NET (logging, configuration, bootstrapping, hosted services) rather than try to reinvent something new. Wolverine utilizes the .NET Generic Host for bootstrapping and application teardown. This makes Wolverine relatively easy to use in combination with many of the most popular .NET tools.

Your First Wolverine Application

Also see the full quickstart code on GitHub.

For a first application, let's say that we're building a very simple issue tracking system for our own usage. If you're reading this web page, it's a pretty safe bet you spend quite a bit of time working with an issue tracking system:)

Ignoring any discussion of the user interface or even a backing database, let's start a new web api project for this new system with:

dotnet new webapi

Next, let's add Wolverine to our project with:

dotnet add package WolverineFx

To start off, we're just going to build two API endpoints that accepts a POST from the client that...

  1. Creates a new Issue, stores it, and triggers an email to internal personnel.
  2. Assigns an Issue to an existing User and triggers an email to that user letting them know there's more work on their plate

The two commands for the POST endpoints are below:

public record CreateIssue(Guid OriginatorId, string Title, string Description);

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Let's jump right into the Program.cs file of our new web service:

using Oakton;
using Quickstart;
using Wolverine;

var builder = WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args);

// The almost inevitable inclusion of Swashbuckle:)

// For now, this is enough to integrate Wolverine into
// your application, but there'll be *many* more
// options later of course :-)

// Some in memory services for our application, the
// only thing that matters for now is that these are
// systems built by the application's IoC container

var app = builder.Build();

// An endpoint to create a new issue that delegates to Wolverine as a mediator
app.MapPost("/issues/create", (CreateIssue body, IMessageBus bus) => bus.InvokeAsync(body));

// An endpoint to assign an issue to an existing user that delegates to Wolverine as a mediator
app.MapPost("/issues/assign", (AssignIssue body, IMessageBus bus) => bus.InvokeAsync(body));

// Swashbuckle inclusion

app.MapGet("/", () => Results.Redirect("/swagger"));

// Opt into using Oakton for command line parsing
// to unlock built in diagnostics and utility tools within
// your Wolverine application
return await app.RunOaktonCommands(args);

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IMessageBus is the entrypoint into all message invocation, publishing, or scheduling. Pretty much everything at runtime will start with this service. Wolverine registers IMessageBus as a scoped service inside your application's DI container as part of the UseWolverine() mechanism.

Alright, let's talk about what's going on up above:

  1. I integrated Wolverine into the new system through the call to IHostBuilder.UseWolverine()
  2. I registered the UserRepository and IssueRepository services
  3. I created a couple Minimal API endpoints

See also: Wolverine as Command Bus

The two Web API functions directly delegate to Wolverine's IMessageBus.InvokeAsync() method. In that method, Wolverine will direct the command to the correct handler and invoke that handler inline. In a simplistic form, here is the entire handler file for the CreateIssue command:

namespace Quickstart;

public class CreateIssueHandler
    private readonly IssueRepository _repository;

    public CreateIssueHandler(IssueRepository repository)
        _repository = repository;

    // The IssueCreated event message being returned will be
    // published as a new "cascaded" message by Wolverine after
    // the original message and any related middleware has
    // succeeded
    public IssueCreated Handle(CreateIssue command)
        var issue = new Issue
            Title = command.Title,
            Description = command.Description,
            IsOpen = true,
            Opened = DateTimeOffset.Now,
            OriginatorId = command.OriginatorId


        return new IssueCreated(issue.Id);

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Hopefully that code is simple enough, but let's talk what you do not see in this code or the initial Program code up above.

Wolverine uses a naming convention to automatically discover message handler actions in your application assembly, so at no point did we have to explicitly register the CreateIssueHandler in any way.

We didn't have to use any kind of base class, marker interface, or .NET attribute to designate any part of the behavior of the CreateIssueHandler class. In the Handle() method, the first argument is always assumed to be the message type for the handler action. It's not apparent in any of the quick start samples, but Wolverine message handler methods can be asynchronous as well as synchronous, depending on what makes sense in each handler. So no littering your code with extraneous return Task.Completed; code like you'd have to with other .NET tools.

As I mentioned earlier, we want our API to create an email whenever a new issue is created. In this case I'm opting to have that email generation and email sending happen in a second message handler that will run after the initial command. You might also notice that the CreateIssueHandler.Handle() method returns an IssueCreated event. When Wolverine sees that a handler creates what we call a cascading message, Wolverine will publish the IssueCreated event to an in memory queue after the initial message handler succeeds. The advantage of doing this is allowing the slower email generation and sending process to happen in background processes instead of holding up the initial web service call.

The IssueHandled event message will be handled by this code:

public static class IssueCreatedHandler
    public static async Task Handle(IssueCreated created, IssueRepository repository)
        var issue = repository.Get(created.Id);
        var message = await BuildEmailMessage(issue);
        using var client = new SmtpClient();

    // This is a little helper method I made public
    // Wolverine will not expose this as a message handler
    internal static Task<MailMessage> BuildEmailMessage(Issue issue)
        // Build up a templated email message, with
        // some sort of async method to look up additional
        // data just so we can show off an async
        // Wolverine Handler
        return Task.FromResult(new MailMessage());

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Now, you'll notice that Wolverine is happy to allow you to use static methods as handler actions. And also notice that the Handle() method takes in an argument for IssueRepository. Wolverine always assumes that the first argument of an handler method is the message type, but other arguments are inferred to be services from the system's underlying IoC container. By supporting method injection like this, Wolverine is able to cut down on even more of the typical cruft code forced upon you by other .NET tools.

You might be saying that this sounds like the behavior of the conventional method injection behavior of Minimal API in .NET 6, and it is. But I'd like to point out that Wolverine had this years before the ASP.NET team got around to it:-)

This page introduced the basic usage of Wolverine, how to wire Wolverine into .NET applications, and some rudimentary Handler usage. There's much more of course, so learn more about Handlers and Messages.

Released under the MIT License.