Pub/Sub without CloudEvents

Use Pub/Sub without CloudEvents.


Dapr uses CloudEvents to provide additional context to the event payload, enabling features like:

  • Tracing
  • Deduplication by message Id
  • Content-type for proper deserialization of event’s data

For more information about CloudEvents, read the CloudEvents specification.

When adding Dapr to your application, some services may still need to communicate via raw pub/sub messages not encapsulated in CloudEvents. This may be for compatibility reasons, or because some apps are not using Dapr. Dapr enables apps to publish and subscribe to raw events that are not wrapped in a CloudEvent.

Publishing raw messages

Dapr apps are able to publish raw events to pub/sub topics without CloudEvent encapsulation, for compatibility with non-Dapr apps.

Diagram showing how to publish with Dapr when subscriber does not use Dapr or CloudEvent

To disable CloudEvent wrapping, set the rawPayload metadata to true as part of the publishing request. This allows subscribers to receive these messages without having to parse the CloudEvent schema.

curl -X "POST" http://localhost:3500/v1.0/publish/pubsub/TOPIC_A?metadata.rawPayload=true -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"order-number": "345"}'

from dapr.clients import DaprClient

with DaprClient() as d:
    req_data = {
        'order-number': '345'
    # Create a typed message with content type and body
    resp = d.publish_event(
                     ('rawPayload', 'true')
    # Print the request
    print(req_data, flush=True)


require_once __DIR__.'/vendor/autoload.php';

$app = \Dapr\App::create();
$app->run(function(\DI\FactoryInterface $factory) {
    $publisher = $factory->make(\Dapr\PubSub\Publish::class, ['pubsub' => 'pubsub']);
    $publisher->topic('TOPIC_A')->publish('data', ['rawPayload' => 'true']);

Subscribing to raw messages

Dapr apps are also able to subscribe to raw events coming from existing pub/sub topics that do not use CloudEvent encapsulation.

Diagram showing how to subscribe with Dapr when publisher does not use Dapr or CloudEvent

Programmatically subscribe to raw events

When subscribing programmatically, add the additional metadata entry for rawPayload so the Dapr sidecar automatically wraps the payloads into a CloudEvent that is compatible with current Dapr SDKs.

import flask
from flask import request, jsonify
from flask_cors import CORS
import json
import sys

app = flask.Flask(__name__)

@app.route('/dapr/subscribe', methods=['GET'])
def subscribe():
    subscriptions = [{'pubsubname': 'pubsub',
                      'topic': 'deathStarStatus',
                      'route': 'dsstatus',
                      'metadata': {
                          'rawPayload': 'true',
                      } }]
    return jsonify(subscriptions)

@app.route('/dsstatus', methods=['POST'])
def ds_subscriber():
    print(request.json, flush=True)
    return json.dumps({'success':True}), 200, {'ContentType':'application/json'}


require_once __DIR__.'/vendor/autoload.php';

$app = \Dapr\App::create(configure: fn(\DI\ContainerBuilder $builder) => $builder->addDefinitions(['dapr.subscriptions' => [
    new \Dapr\PubSub\Subscription(pubsubname: 'pubsub', topic: 'deathStarStatus', route: '/dsstatus', metadata: [ 'rawPayload' => 'true'] ),

$app->post('/dsstatus', function(
    \Dapr\PubSub\CloudEvent $cloudEvent,
    \Psr\Log\LoggerInterface $logger
    ) {
        $logger->alert('Received event: {event}', ['event' => $cloudEvent]);
        return ['status' => 'SUCCESS'];


Declaratively subscribe to raw events

Subscription Custom Resources Definitions (CRDs) do not currently contain metadata attributes (issue #3225). At this time subscribing to raw events can only be done through programmatic subscriptions.

Last modified June 21, 2021: fix: cron format (#1581) (c227603)