Receiving messages from Azure Service Bus in .Net Core

For some time now we can observe how new .Net Core framework is growing and become more mature. Version 2.0 was released in August 2017 and it is more capable and supports more platforms then it’s previous releases. But the biggest feature of this brand new Microsoft framework is its performance and it’s ability to handle http requests much faster then it’s bigger brother.

However introduction of new creation is only the beginning as more and more packages are being ported or rewritten to new, lighter framework. This is a natural opportunity for developers to implement some additional changes,  refactor existing code or maybe slightly simplify existing API. It also means that porting existing solutions to .Net Core might not be straightforward and in this article I’ll check how receiving messages from Service Bus looks like.

First things first

In order to start receiving messages, we need to have:

After all of this, my topic looks like this:

Receiving messages

To demonstrate how to receive messages I created a console application in .Net Core 2.0 framework. Then I installed Microsoft.Azure.ServiceBus (v2.0) nuget package and also Newtonsoft.Json to parse messages body. My ProductRatingUpdateMessage message class looks like this:

All of the logic is inside MessageReceiver class:


Notice that creating a SubscriptionClient is very simple, it takes just one line and handles all the work. Next up is RegisterMessageHandler which handles messages one by one and completes them in the end. If something goes wrong message will not be completed and after lock on it will be removed – it will be available for processing again. If you set AutoComplete option to true, then message will be automatically completed after returning from User Callback. This message pump approach won’t let you handle incoming messages in batches, but parameter MaxConcurrentCalls can be set to handle multiple messages in parallel.

Is it ready?

Microsoft.Azure.ServiceBus nuget package in version 2.0 offers most desirable functionality. It should be enough for most cases but it also has huge gaps:

  • Cannot receive messages in batches
  • Cannot manage entities – create topics, queues and subscriptions
  • Cannot check if queue, topic or subscription exist

Especially entities management features are important. It is reasonable that when scaling-up a service that read from topic, it creates it’s own subscription and handles it on it’s own. Currently developer needs to go to Azure Portal to create subscriptions for each micro-service manually.


Version 3.1 supports entities management – have a look at my post about it: Managing ServiceBus queues, topics and subscriptions in .Net Core

If you liked code posted here, you can find it (and a lot more) in my github blog repo:




6 thoughts on “Receiving messages from Azure Service Bus in .Net Core

  1. Hi,

    How would I go about this if I just want to receive one message only? I don’t really want the message handler to be reading in all the messages in the subscription. I just want it to receive and pop off the first message and end.


    1. Hey Eto,
      This is a tough question and I’m not sure if Azure Service Bus package is build to work that way in .Net Core. However, with a few tests I was able to come with such code, that receives only one message, but also log an exception.

      public void ReceiveOne()
      var queueClient = new QueueClient(ServiceBusConnectionString, “go_testing”);

      async (message, token) =>
      var messageBody = Encoding.UTF8.GetString(message.Body);

      Console.WriteLine($”Received: {messageBody}, time: {DateTime.Now}”);

      await queueClient.CompleteAsync(message.SystemProperties.LockToken);

      await queueClient.CloseAsync();
      new MessageHandlerOptions(async args => Console.WriteLine(args.Exception))
      { MaxConcurrentCalls = 1, AutoComplete = false });

      Let me know if you find a better way!

    1. Hi Reinhard!
      Your right, it is possible to manage queues and topic in an easy way. However, it is possible only from version 3.1 of Microsoft.Azure.ServiceBus package. You can have a look at my post about it:

      Microsoft.Azure.Management.ServiceBus package uses a different approach and it is much more powerful, but can manage topic and queues as well.

  2. Hi Michal, Is possible receiving the messages in a web application like MVC, instead of console application?


    1. Hi Jonathan,
      Service Bus messages can be read in any type of a project, you just need to reference NuGet package and you’re good to go 🙂

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