The digest engine collects multiple trigger events, aggregates them into a single message and delivers it to the subscriber.

This becomes useful when a user needs to be notified on a large amount of triggers and you want to avoid sending too many notifications. Novu will automatically batch the incoming trigger events based on the subscriberId and an optional digestKey that can be added to control the digestion of the events.

Digest Step

After adding a digest step to a workflow, each node that will be below the digest node will be only triggered once in the specified digest interval. You can decide to send messages before adding a digest node and they will be triggered in real-time.

Digest Nodes

In the image above, there are two nodes (Email and SMS) after the digest node and one node (In-App) before the digest node in the workflow.

For this workflow, if we trigger 10 events within the digest interval, the In-App step will be executed 10 times, and Email and SMS will be executed only 1 time with digested events data.

Digest Configuration

Digest Key

If specified, the digest engine will group the events based on the digestKey and subscriberId, otherwise the digest engine will group the events based only on the subscriberId.

The digest key might come useful when you want a particular subscriber to get events grouped on a custom field. For example when an actor likes the user’s post, you might want to digest based on the post_id key.

Time Interval

The time interval determines how long the digest engine will wait before sending the message once created. You can specify the amount and the unit that best suits your needs.

Here, in the image below, 5 is the interval amount, and mins is the interval unit. Interval units can be sec(s), min(s), hour(s), or day(s).

Digest Strategy Types

The strategy which Novu should use to handle the digest step. More details on available strategies below.

Novu allows you to define different digest strategies depending on the actual use-case you are trying to achieve. At this point we allow you to select from 2 strategies:

  • Regular Strategy
  • Back-off Strategy

Let’s explore them in detail:

Regular Strategy

In regular strategy, a digest will always be created for the specified window time. Which means that from the first event trigger, if no active digest exists for this subscriber, one will be created and the user will receive the message only when the digest window time is reached.

Back-off Strategy

In the back-off strategy, before creating a digest, Novu will check if a message was sent to the user in the back-off period. If a message was sent, a digest will be created. Otherwise, a message will be sent directly to the user and the digest creation will be skipped.

Backoff digest has two intervals, digest interval and backoff interval. Here, in the image below, the digest interval is 20 minutes, and the backoff interval is 15 minutes. In the case of a backoff digest, first, it checks if any event is triggered within the past backoff interval, only then a digest is created for the digest interval. If not, the event is considered non-digest and workflow execution continues to the next step.


Let’s set the digest interval as 20 minutes and the backoff time as 15 minutes.

If we trigger the first event. Since it is the first event and there was no event triggered in the past 15 minutes (backoff interval), this event will be executed as it is (without digest).

Now, if we trigger a second within 15 minutes, then a new digest will be created with this second event. From now onwards till 20 minutes (digest interval), all triggers will be digested in this digest, and after 20 minutes, the workflow will carry forward to the next step with digested events.

Scheduled Digest


It digests events for every specified minutes. For example, as per the image below, events will be digested for 20 minutes and after 20 minutes, workflow will carry forward to the next step. It will be repeated after every 20 minutes.


It digests events for given hours. After given hours, a new digest is created.


It digests events for specified days till given time. After those days and time, a new digest is created and events are digested in this new digest.


It digests events for specified weekdays. Only at the specified time, the workflow continues to the next step after the digest step. A new digest is created and events are digested in this new digest till these weeks and time.

Defining a digest step

const digestResult = await step.digest("digest", async () => {
  return {
    unit: "days", // 'seconds' | 'minutes' | 'hours' | 'days' | 'weeks' | 'months'
    amount: 3, // the number of units to digest events for

Writing digest templates

In many cases, you will need to access all the digested events payload in order to show the user all or parts of the events included in this digest. For example: “John and 5 others liked your photo.”

The digest function returns an array of triggers that have been digested. You can use this array to perform any necessary actions on the digested triggers. Like Sending and email, or updating a database.

const digestResult = await step.digest("digest-3-days", async () => {
  return {
    unit: "days", // 'seconds' | 'minutes' | 'hours' | 'days' | 'weeks' | 'months'
    amount: 3, // the number of units to digest events for

await"send-email", async () => {
  return {
    subject: "Digest Email",
    body: `You have ${} new events`,

The digest step returns an object with events array. Each event in the array has the following properties:

  • id - The job id of the digested event
  • time - The time when the event was triggered
  • payload - The original payload passed to the event

Frequently Asked Questions

All digest times are in UTC time