Critter Stack Roadmap (Marten, Wolverine, Weasel)

This post is mostly an attempt to gather feedback from anyone out there interested enough to respond. Comment here, or better yet, tell us and the community what you’re interested in in the Critter Stack Discord community.

The so called “Critter Stack” is Marten, Wolverine, and a host of smaller, shared supporting projects within the greater JasperFx umbrella. Marten has been around for while now, just hit the “1,000 closed pull request” milestone, and will reach the 4 million download mark sometime next week. Wolverine is getting some early adopter love right now, and the feedback is being very encouraging to me right now.

The goal for this year is to make the Critter Stack the best technical choice for a CQRS with Event Sourcing style architecture across every technical ecosystem — and a strong candidate for server side development on the .NET platform for other types of architectural strategies. That’s a bold goal, and there’s a lot to do to fill in missing features and increase the ability of the Critter Stack to scale up to extremely large workloads. To keep things moving, the core team banged out our immediate road map for the next couple months:

  1. Marten 6.0 within a couple weeks. This isn’t a huge release in terms of API changes, but sets us up for the future
  2. Wolverine 1.0 shortly after. I think I’m to the point of saying the main priority is finishing the documentation website and conducting some serious load and chaos testing against the Rabbit MQ and Marten integrations (weirdly enough the exact technical stack we’ll be using at my job)
  3. Marten 6.1: Formal event subscription mechanisms as part of Marten (ability to selectively publish events to a listener of some sort or a messaging broker). You can do this today as shown in Oskar’s blog post, but it’s not a first class citizen and not as efficient as it should be. Plus you’d want both “hot” and “cold” subscriptions.
  4. Wolverine 1.1: Direct support for the subscription model within Marten so that you have ready recipes to publish events from Marten with Wolverine’s messaging capabilities. Technically, you can already do this with Wolverine + Marten’s outbox integration, but that only works through Wolverine handlers. Adding the first class recipe for “Marten to Wolverine messaging” I think will make it awfully easy to get up and going with event subscriptions fast.

Right now, Marten 6 and Wolverine 1.0 have lingered for awhile, so it’s time to get them out. After that, subscriptions seem to be the biggest source of user questions and requests right now, so that’s the obvious next thing to do. After that though, here’s a rundown of some of the major initiatives we could pursue in either Marten or Wolverine this year (and some straddle the line):

  • End to end multi-tenancy support in Wolverine, Marten, and ASP.Net Core. Marten has strong support for multi-tenancy, but users have to piece things together themselves together within their applications. Wolverine’s Marten integration is currently limited to only one Marten database per application
  • Hot/cold storage for active vs archived events. This is all about massive scalability for the event sourcing storage
  • Sharding the asynchronous projections to distribute work across multiple running nodes. More about scaling the event sourcing
  • Zero down time projection rebuilds. Big user ask. Probably also includes trying to optimize the heck out of the performance of this feature too
  • More advanced message broker feature support. AWS SNS support. Azure Service Bus topics support. Message batching in Rabbit MQ
  • Improving the Linq querying in Marten. At some point soon, I’d like to try to utilize the sql/json support within Postgresql to try to improve the Linq query performance and fill in more gaps in the support. Especially for querying within child collections. And better Select() transform support. That’s a neverending battle.
  • Optimized serverless story in Wolverine. Not exactly sure what this means, but I’m thinking to do something that tries to drastically reduce the “cold start” time
  • Open Telemetry support within Marten. It’s baked in with Wolverine, but not Marten yet. I think that’s going to be an opt in feature though
  • More persistence options within Wolverine. I’ll always be more interested in the full Wolverine + Marten stack, but I’d be curious to try out DynamoDb or CosmosDb support as well

There’s tons of other things to possibly do, but that list is what I’m personally most interested in our community getting to this year. No way there’s enough bandwidth for everything, so it’s time to start asking folks what they want out of these tools in the near future.


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