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Last updated: 9 Jun 2020

publishing-api: Decision record: don't log events which result in an error


We made an architectural decision to use Event Sourcing to capture all requests to the Publishing API that mutate its data. Please refer to adr-001 for more information.

There are some incoming requests to the API that are not accepted. For example, a request to create a content item might fail validation if it is missing mandatory fields.


We should not capture events for requests that are rejected by the Publishing API.

If these events were captured in the event log, the event log have an inconsistent view of the data that resides in the system. This is a problem because:

  • The state of the system would be harder to understand because the event log contains information that has no bearing on the behaviour of the system
  • An attempt to replay an event history containing rejected events would encounter errors


We should not capture events that result in an error response from the Publishing API.

It also follows that:

In cases where an error response is returned from the Publishing API, the internal state of the system should not be mutated.




The event log should be updated in the same transaction as changes to the internal state of the Publishing API.

Downstream asynchronous requests should not be allowed to fail. Validations must be performed in the Publishing API as part of the synchronous request/response cycle.

If an asynchronous downstream request does fail, this should be regarded as a system error to be investigated by a developer.