The retries mechanism allows to retry a failing operation according to a given policy (e.g. retry 3 times with a 100ms delay between attempts).


The basic syntax for retries is:

import ox.retry.retry


or, using syntax sugar:

import ox.syntax.*


Operation definition

The operation can be provided directly using a by-name parameter, i.e. f: => T.

There’s also a retryEither variant which accepts a by-name Either[E, T], i.e. f: => Either[E, T], as well as one which accepts arbitrary error modes, accepting the computation in an F context: f: => F[T].


A retry policy consists of two parts:

  • a Schedule, which indicates how many times and with what delay should we retry the operation after an initial failure,

  • a ResultPolicy, which indicates whether:

    • a non-erroneous outcome of the operation should be considered a success (if not, the operation would be retried),

    • an erroneous outcome of the operation should be retried or fail fast.

The available schedules are defined in the Schedule object. Each schedule has a finite and an infinite variant.

Finite schedules

Finite schedules have a common maxRetries: Int parameter, which determines how many times the operation would be retried after an initial failure. This means that the operation could be executed at most maxRetries + 1 times.

Infinite schedules

Each finite schedule has an infinite variant, whose settings are similar to those of the respective finite schedule, but without the maxRetries setting. Using the infinite variant can lead to a possibly infinite number of retries (unless the operation starts to succeed again at some point). The infinite schedules are created by calling .forever on the companion object of the respective finite schedule (see examples below).

Schedule types

The supported schedules (specifically - their finite variants) are:

  • Immediate(maxRetries: Int) - retries up to maxRetries times without any delay between subsequent attempts.

  • Delay(maxRetries: Int, delay: FiniteDuration) - retries up to maxRetries times , sleeping for delay between subsequent attempts.

  • Backoff(maxRetries: Int, initialDelay: FiniteDuration, maxDelay: FiniteDuration, jitter: Jitter) - retries up to maxRetries times , sleeping for initialDelay before the first retry, increasing the sleep between subsequent attempts exponentially (with base 2) up to an optional maxDelay (default: 1 minute).

    Optionally, a random factor (jitter) can be used when calculating the delay before the next attempt. The purpose of jitter is to avoid clustering of subsequent retries, i.e. to reduce the number of clients calling a service exactly at the same time, which can result in subsequent failures, contrary to what you would expect from retrying. By introducing randomness to the delays, the retries become more evenly distributed over time.

    See the AWS Architecture Blog article on backoff and jitter for a more in-depth explanation.

    The following jitter strategies are available (defined in the Jitter enum):

    • None - the default one, when no randomness is added, i.e. a pure exponential backoff is used,

    • Full - picks a random value between 0 and the exponential backoff calculated for the current attempt,

    • Equal - similar to Full, but prevents very short delays by always using a half of the original backoff and adding a random value between 0 and the other half,

    • Decorrelated - uses the delay from the previous attempt (lastDelay) and picks a random value between the initalAttempt and 3 * lastDelay.

Result policies

A result policy allows to customize how the results of the operation are treated. It consists of two predicates:

  • isSuccess: T => Boolean (default: true) - determines whether a non-erroneous result of the operation should be considered a success. When it evaluates to true - no further attempts would be made, otherwise - we’d keep retrying.

    With finite schedules (i.e. those with maxRetries defined), if isSuccess keeps returning false when maxRetries are reached, the result is returned as-is, even though it’s considered “unsuccessful”,

  • isWorthRetrying: E => Boolean (default: true) - determines whether another attempt would be made if the operation results in an error E. When it evaluates to true - we’d keep retrying, otherwise - we’d fail fast with the error.

The ResultPolicy[E, T] is generic both over the error (E) and result (T) type. Note, however, that for the direct variant retry, the error type E is fixed to Throwable, while for the Either and error-mode variants, E can ba an arbitrary type.

API shorthands

When you don’t need to customize the result policy (i.e. use the default one), you can use one of the following shorthands to define a retry policy with a given schedule (note that the parameters are the same as when manually creating the respective Schedule):

  • RetryPolicy.immediate(maxRetries: Int),

  • RetryPolicy.immediateForever,

  • RetryPolicy.delay(maxRetries: Int, delay: FiniteDuration),

  • RetryPolicy.delayForever(delay: FiniteDuration),

  • RetryPolicy.backoff(maxRetries: Int, initialDelay: FiniteDuration, maxDelay: FiniteDuration, jitter: Jitter),

  • RetryPolicy.backoffForever(initialDelay: FiniteDuration, maxDelay: FiniteDuration, jitter: Jitter).

If you want to customize a part of the result policy, you can use the following shorthands:

  • ResultPolicy.default[E, T] - uses the default settings,

  • ResultPolicy.successfulWhen[E, T](isSuccess: T => Boolean) - uses the default isWorthRetrying and the provided isSuccess,

  • ResultPolicy.retryWhen[E, T](isWorthRetrying: E => Boolean) - uses the default isSuccess and the provided isWorthRetrying,

  • ResultPolicy.neverRetry[E, T] - uses the default isSuccess and fails fast on any error.


import ox.UnionMode
import ox.retry.{retry, retryEither}
import ox.retry.{Jitter, ResultPolicy, RetryPolicy, Schedule}
import scala.concurrent.duration.*

def directOperation: Int = ???
def eitherOperation: Either[String, Int] = ???
def unionOperation: String | Int = ???

// various operation definitions - same syntax

// various policies with custom schedules and default ResultPolicy
retry(directOperation)(RetryPolicy.delay(3, 100.millis))
retry(directOperation)(RetryPolicy.backoff(3, 100.millis)) // defaults: maxDelay = 1.minute, jitter = Jitter.None
retry(directOperation)(RetryPolicy.backoff(3, 100.millis, 5.minutes, Jitter.Equal))

// infinite retries with a default ResultPolicy
retry(directOperation)(RetryPolicy.backoffForever(100.millis, 5.minutes, Jitter.Full))

// result policies
// custom success
retry(directOperation)(RetryPolicy(Schedule.Immediate(3), ResultPolicy.successfulWhen(_ > 0)))
// fail fast on certain errors
retry(directOperation)(RetryPolicy(Schedule.Immediate(3), ResultPolicy.retryWhen(_.getMessage != "fatal error")))
retryEither(eitherOperation)(RetryPolicy(Schedule.Immediate(3), ResultPolicy.retryWhen(_ != "fatal error")))

// custom error mode
retry(UnionMode[String])(unionOperation)(RetryPolicy(Schedule.Immediate(3), ResultPolicy.retryWhen(_ != "fatal error")))

See the tests in ox.retry.* for more.