Having clear and consistent communication is key to accomplishing your business goals. It’s even more important to have open communication between your business technologies to ensure your organization continues to run as is, if not better.
In modern technology architecture, performance and decoupled integration is a key factor of application development. Message queues can significantly simplify the coding of decoupled applications to improve performance, reliability, and scalability and decouple heavyweight processing, buffer or batch work, and smooth over a strenuous workload.
Here are some reasons why implementing Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) is beneficial to how your technologies interact and connect:
How MSMQ Works
MSMQ is a technology for asynchronous messaging, meaning an immediate response is not required to move forward throughout the given process. With MSMQ technology, two or more applications can send messages to each other, either through remote machines or over the internet. MSMQ communicates between the application sending the message and the one receiving it. Once the receiving program gets the message, the application can read and respond to the message.
Let’s say you need to submit an order to your ERP system, and the ERP order processing is slow because the system is offline or the validation of the order is slow to respond. You don’t want the slow processing to affect your application. MSMQ is ideal for this kind of scenario because the sender application can create a message for the order and send it to the messaging queue. The ERP system can read when the system is online and available. Once the ERP system receives the order, it can process the message and send back an acknowledgment or denial message to the sender application through the queue. This technique allows the ERP to process the pending order behind the scenes. The sender application can continue to send a new order without waiting for the previous order to finish processing.
The Advantages of Using MSMQ
Message queues enable asynchronous communication, meaning the endpoints producing and consuming messages interact with the queue, not each other. Producers, the sender application, can add requests to the queue without waiting for them to be processed. Consumers, the receiving application can process messages only when they are available. The programs are not dependent on one another, and no component stalls within the system while waiting for another, allowing for optimized data flow. Queues make your data persistent and reduce errors that happen when different parts of your system go offline.
Message queues make it possible to scale precisely in the places you need to. When workloads peak, your application can add all of its requests to the queue without the risk of collision. As your queues get longer with incoming requests, you can distribute the workload across a fleet of consumers. Also, producers, consumers, and the queue itself can all grow and shrink on demand.
Due to MSMQ’s decoupled architecture, the program can communicate and send messages between various types of independent technology platforms and applications through common formats such as a .xml or .json. Message queues are a simple way to decouple distributed systems, whether using monolithic applications, micro-services, or server-less architectures.
Types of Message Queues
A message is sent from one application to another application via a queue. More than one consumer can listen, meaning to check in-with the queue, and potentially receive a message from the queue, but only one of the consumers will get the message.
This messaging model allows publishers and the application publishing and sending the message to send a message to multiple subscribers (the application reading and acting on the message) through a topic (which is the link between a publisher and a subscriber). Subscribers also have the option of whether to acknowledge the published message.
What to Keep in Mind
MSMQ technology comes with many benefits that simplify tech integration and communication, but some points keep in mind with this particular technology.
Limited Queue Space and Message Size
Like a hard-drive, each queue can only hold up to 2GB in storage and cannot store any more messages once the storage is full. You must remain mindful of how many messages are outgoing and stored within the queue to avoid filling up, or a message may be deleted if it is not received in time.
Concerning message size, each individual message has a size limit of 4MB. Although this is a large amount, it is important to remain aware of this limitation if you anticipate sending larger messages or multiple large files.
Accessible through Windows
For applications to communicate through MSMQ, they must run through a Microsoft Windows server. Therefore, for those who do not use a Microsoft Windows server, MSMQ will not work.
How to Learn More
Let MSMQ technology act as the intermediary for all your technology-messaging needs. To learn how to implement it, stay tuned for my second piece, “Steps to Integrating MSMQ Technology into Your Technology Stack.”. For any other questions regarding this type of technology, contact our experts for more information today.