RockScript Documentation
Introduction Why and when How does it work Project status Getting started Command line interface Tutorial Language Script versioning License Roadmap Help Services HTTP service API Commands Deploy script Start script Queries Script execution Service SPI End function

Why and when

If you just want to get your first script running asap, feel free to skip this background information and jump straight to the geting started and the tutorial.

Resilient script execution

Most system interactions these days are done over HTTP and are non transactional. Between the time you start sending a request and the time you have received the confirmation in the response, you can’t really know the state of the service you tried to invoke.

The only thing you can do is keep track of which request you started and which requests completed successfully. That is exactly what RockScript does for you. RockScript keeps track of which interactions have started, which have completed and the complete runtime execution state with event sourcing.

That means RockScript is also able to recover from crashes, something that normal programming languages cannot do. To get resilience without RockScript, you have to revert to message queues, which require you to cut or your code and connect those pieces with message queues.
With message queues, the overall business logic gets really hard to follow and test. With RockScript it’s easy to read your business logic in the scripts and test them.

Another very interesting consequence of storing the execuiton state with event sourcing is that you can really inspect the complete execution flow during and after the execution finishes. Imagine that you can investigate production issues with the exeuction inspector that lets you see what happened like in a debugger.

Juggle with JSON

When combining multiple microservices interactions, you often need to transform the data between those interactions. Most of the microservices interactions are based on JSON. There is no better language to deal with JSON manipulation than JavaScript. That’s why RockScript is based on JavaScript. So that coding your data transformations between microservice interactions becomes super easy.

Write blocking code, get non-blocking execution

With asynchronous messaging, you’re forced to cut up your code in pieces and connect the code-pieces with message queues, configuration and infrastructure. It can be a real challenge to read or debug code like that.

Activities package an interaction with an external system as a simple function invocation. Service function invocations look like normal function invocations. They are familiar and simple to read. But unlike other programming languages, the RockScript engine can execute those service function invocations non-blocking.

With RockScript, it’s much easier to keep the overview. The script contains the essence of the business logic. All the communication details are handled by the service bridges. Because those details are extracted from the script, it’s orders of magnitude easier to read, write and maintain compared to messages and message handlers.

RockScript lets you use a style of coding that is familiar to all developers. So it’s a safe choice in larger teams or teams where churn can be expected.


The most used alternative is message queues. This is a lower level solution that requires you to cut your code into pieces and tie your code-pieces together with with message queues and configuration of that infrastructure. It gets really hard to distill the business logic from all those fragments and configurations. RockScript let’s you write scripts at a higher business logic level and service bridges are a more elegant approach to breaking down the lower level communication details.

Other solutions on the same level as RockScript are

All these alternatives are based on activities, which are similar to our service functions. But there is an important difference related to coding the execution flow between these activities.
In RockScript, the control flow is defined in the script itself. This means constructs like if (condition) {...} else {...}, for (loop) {...} and blocks implying sequential execution. The script, written in JavaScript syntax contains the service function invocations as well as the control flow logic between the functions.

In AWS Step Functions and Uber Cadence the logic between the activities has to be implemented in the form of callbacks. Each time an serviceFunction is finished, those engines will call out to a workflow callback that has to calculate the next serviceFunction. So in these solutions you don’t have an overview. While you can code that logic in any language as well, you have to cut up your code in pieces. This way it’s harder to see the overview of how tasks are connected and what transformation logic is done inbetween. `` Other similar alternative technologies are Microsoft logic apps, BPM and workflow.