Propagation functions

StackState Self-hosted v5.0.x

This page describes StackState version 5.0.

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:





A component's propagated state is calculated using a propagation function, which is set during synchronization.

Propagation type

Auto propagation (default)

Assigns the transparent state as the propagated state of a component.

Transparent state

The transparent state is precalculated by StackState and used for the default propagation type (auto propagation). It is passed to each propagation function script at run time in the system parameters transparentState and autoState. The transparent state is calculated as the maximum of a component's own state and the propagated state of all the components that it depends upon. For example:

Dependency stateComponent stateTransparent state










Propagation functions

Propagation functions can be defined and used to calculate the propagated state of a component. Some propagation functions are installed as part of a StackPack. For example, Quorum based cluster propagation, which will propagate a DEVIATING state when the cluster quorum agrees on deviating and a CRITICAL state when the cluster quorum is in danger. You can also write your own custom propagation functions. A full list of the propagation functions available in your StackState instance can be found in the StackState UI, go to Settings > Functions > Propagation Functions

To specify a propagation function that should be used to calculate the propagated state a component, add the propagation block to the template used in topology synchronization.

Custom propagation functions

Create a custom propagation function

You can write custom propagation functions to determine the new propagated state of an element (component or relation). The propagation function can then be specified in the template used to synchronize topology.

A propagation function can take multiple parameters as input and produces a new propagated state as output. To calculate a propagated state, a propagation function has access to the element itself, the element'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 properties menu for a component, 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.

System parameters

System parameters are predefined parameters that are passed automatically to the propagation function script at run time.

System parameterDescription


The precomputed transparent state.


The precomputed transparent state. This is the same as transparentState.


The ID of the current component.

User parameters

User parameters can optionally be defined and used in the propagation function script. The value must be provided as an argument when the function is configured in the template.


Two types of execution are available for propagation functions:

Asynchronous execution

Functions that run with asynchronous execution can make an HTTP request and use StackState script APIs in the function body. This gives you access to parts of the topology/telemetry not available in the context of the propagation itself. You can also use the available element properties and methods.

Keep performance aspects in mind when developing functions with asynchronous execution The script APIs provide super-human levels of flexibility and even allow querying standalone services. Consider extreme cases where the function is executed on all components and properly assess system impact. StackState comes with a number of StackPacks that include tuned propagating functions. Changes to those functions are possible, but may impact the stability of the system.

Synchronous execution

Running a propagation function with synchronous execution 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 function runs with asynchronous execution.

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.

Script - properties and methods

The properties and methods described below are available for use in a propagation function script.

Element properties and methods

The element properties and methods listed below can be used in propagation functions with either asynchronous or synchronous execution. Functions with synchronous execution also have access to stateChangesRepository methods.

  • - 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.

Script - logging

You can add logging statements to a propagation function script for debug purposes, for example, with"message"). Logs will appear in stackstate.log. Read how to enable logging for functions.

Edit template

Specify a propagation function

The default propagation used in StackState is Auto propagation. If another type of propagation should be applied to a component, this must be specified in the template and applied during topology synchronization. In most cases this will be handled by the StackPack responsible for synchronization of the component.

To manually specify a non-default propagation function, a "propagation" block should be added to the template used for topology synchronization. If the "propagation" block is omitted, the default Auto propagation will be used.

"propagation": {
  "_type": "Propagation",
  "function": <id-of-the-function-to-use>,
  "arguments": []

The propagation block requires the following keys:

  • _type - specifies that the JSON block defines a Propagation.

  • function the node ID of the propagation function to use. This can be obtained using a get helper.

  • arguments - a list of arguments to match any user parameters that the propagation function requires. Arguments for system parameters are automatically provided during run time and do not need to be specified here. For further details, see the examples of adding a propagation function to a template.

    • _type - the type of the argument. This must match the type specified for the user parameter in the propagation function.

    • parameter - the node ID of the propagation function’s user parameter. This can be obtained using a get helper.

    • Any values required for the specified argument _type.

Example templates

Examples of adding a propagation function to a template can be found below:

Active/active failover propagation function

The example template below uses a get helper to obtain the ID of the Active/active failover propagation function with the identifier urn:stackpack:common:propagation-function:active-failover. No "arguments" are specified as the propagation function does not include any user parameters. Arguments for system parameters are automatically provided during run time and do not need to be specified.

"propagation": {
  "_type": "Propagation",
  "function": {{ get "urn:stackpack:common:propagation-function:active-failover" }},
  "arguments": [],

Stop propagation for relation type

The template example below includes an argument that will be passed to the propagation function as a user parameter together with the standard system parameters. The "arguments" list contains one argument that matches the user parameter relationType from the Stop propagation for relation type propagation function. Arguments for system parameters are automatically provided during run time and do not need to be specified.

"propagation": {
  "_type": "Propagation",
  "function": {{ get "urn:stackpack:common:propagation-function:stop-propagation-for-relation-type" }},
  "arguments": [{
    "_type": "ArgumentRelationTypeRef",
    "parameter": {{ get "urn:stackpack:common:propagation-function:stop-propagation-for-relation-type" "Type=Parameter;Name=relationType" }},
    "relationType": {{ get "urn:stackpack:common:relationtype:is-hosted-on" }}

See also

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