State propagation

This page describes StackState version 4.1.

The StackState 4.1 version range is End of Life (EOL) and no longer supported. We encourage customers still running the 4.1 version range to upgrade to a more recent release.

Go to the documentation for the latest StackState release.

Propagation defines how a propagated state flows from one component to the next. Propagation always flows from dependencies to dependent components and relations. Note that this is the opposite direction of the relation arrows in the graph.

A propagated state is returned as one of the following health states:





Transparent propagation (default)

By default, the propagation method for components and relations is set to transparent propagation. The propagated state for a component or relation is determined by taking the maximum of the propagated state of all its dependencies and its own state. For example:

Dependency state

Component state

Propagated state










Other propagation methods

In some situations transparent propagation is undesirable. Different propagation functions can be installed as part of a StackPack or you can write your own custom propagation functions. The desired propagation function to use for a component or relation can be set in its edit dialogue.

For example:

Quorum based cluster propagation: When a component is a cluster component, a CRITICAL state should typically only propagate when the cluster quorum is in danger.

Custom propagation functions

It is possible to write your own custom propagation functions to determine the new propagated state of an element (component or relation). A propagation function can take multiple parameters as input and produces a new propagated state as output. The propagation function has access to the component itself, the component's dependencies and the transparent state that has already been calculated for the element.

The simplest possible function that can be written is given below. This function will always return a DEVIATING propagated state:

    return DEVIATING

You can also use a propagation function to implement more complicated logic. For example, the script below will return a DEVIATING state in case a component is not running:

  .then { component ->
    if (component.runState.runState != "RUNNING") {
      return DEVIATING
    } else {    
      return transparentState

This code works as follows:




The componentId is passed as long and resolved


Returns a Json-style representation of the component. This is the same format as is obtained from the Show Json component menu or by using a topology query in analytics.

then { component -> ... }

An async lambda function where the main logic for the propagation function resides. component is the component variable, which has properties that can be accessed using .<property name>. For example, .type returns component type id.


A propagation function script takes system and user defined parameters. System parameters are predefined parameters passed automatically to the script:

System parameter



The precomputed transparent state if returned from the script will lead to transparent propagation


The id of the current component

Async On / Off

Propagation functions can be run as either async (default) or synchronous.

  • With Async set to On the function will be run as async.

  • With Async set to Off the function will be run as synchronous.

Async propagation functions (default)

Running as an async function will allow you to make an HTTP request. This allows you to use StackState script APIs in the function body and gives you access to parts of the topology/telemetry not available in the context of the propagation. You can also use the available element properties and methods.

The async script APIs provide super-human level of flexibility and even allow querying standalone services, therefore during propagation function development it is important to keep performance aspects in mind. Consider extreme cases where the propagation function is executed on all components and properly assess system impact. StackState comes with a number of StackPacks with tuned propagating functions. Changes to those functions are possible, but may impact the stability of the system.

Synchronous propagation functions (async Off)

Running a propagation function as synchronous places limitations on both the capability of what it can achieve and the number of functions that can be run in parallel. Synchronous propagation functions do, however, have access to stateChangesRepository information that is not available if the runs as async. stateChangesRepository can be used to return:

  • The propagating state of an element

  • The number of elements with a particular propagating state

  • The highest state of a given set of elements

See available properties and methods.

Available properties and methods

Several element properties and methods are available for use in propagation functions. Synchronous functions also have access to stateChangesRepository methods.

Element properties and methods

The element properties and methods listed below can be used in async and synchronous propagation functions.

  • - Returns the name of the current element.

  • element.type - Returns type of the current element.

  • element.version - Returns the component version (optional).

  • element.runState() - Returns the run state of the current element.

  • element.isComponent() - Returns True if element is a component and False if element is a relation.

  • element.getDependencies().size() - Returns the number of dependencies.

  • element.getDependencies() - Returns a set of the outgoing relations (for components) or a set of components (for relations).

StateChangesRepository methods

The stateChangesRepository methods listed below are only available in synchronous propagation functions.

  • stateChangesRepository.getPropagatedHealthStateCount(<set_of_elements>, <health_state>) Returns the number of elements in the set that have a certain health state, for example CRITICAL.

  • stateChangesRepository.getHighestPropagatedHealthStateFromElements(<set_of_elements>) Returns the highest propagated health state based on the given set of elements.

  • stateChangesRepository.getState(element).getHealthState().intValue Returns the health state of the element.

  • stateChangesRepository.getState(element).getPropagatedHealthState().getIntValue() Returns the propagated health state of the element.


You can add user logging from the script for debug purposes, for example, with"message"). Logs will appear in stackstate.log. Read how to enable logging for functions.

See also

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