Messaging with WebSphere Application Server 7.0 (Part 1)

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Messaging in a large enterprise is common and a WebSphere administrator needs to understand what WebSphere Application Server can do for Java Messaging and/or WebSphere Message Queuing (WMQ) based messaging. Here, we will learn how to create Queue Connection Factories (QCF) and Queue Destinations (QD) which we will use in a demonstration application where we will demonstrate the Java Message Service (JMS) and also show how WMQ can be used as part of a messaging implementation.

In this two-part article by Steven Charles Robinson, we will cover the following topics:

  • Java messaging
  • Java Messaging Service (JMS)
  • WebSphere messaging
  • Service integration bus (SIB)
  • WebSphere MQ
  • Message providers
  • Queue connection factories
  • Queue destinations

Java messaging

Messaging is a method of communication between software components or applications. A messaging system is often peer-to-peer, meaning that a messaging client can send messages to, and receive messages from, any other client. Each client connects to a messaging service that provides a system for creating, sending, receiving, and reading messages. So why do we have Java messaging? Messaging enables distributed communication that is loosely-coupled. What this means is that a client sends a message to a destination, and the recipient can retrieve the message from the destination. A key point of Java messaging is that the sender and the receiver do not have to be available at the same time in order to communicate. The term communication can be understood as an exchange of messages between software components. In fact, the sender does not need to know anything about the receiver; nor does the receiver need to know anything about the sender. The sender and the receiver need to know only what message format and what destination to use. Messaging also differs from electronic mail (email), which is a method of communication between people or between software applications and people. Messaging is used for communication between software applications or software components. Java messaging attempts to relax tightly-coupled communication (such as, TCP network sockets, CORBA, or RMI), allowing software components to communicate indirectly with each other.

Java Message Service

Java Message Service (JMS) is an application program interface (API) from Sun. JMS provides a common interface to standard messaging protocols and also to special messaging services in support of Java programs. Messages can involve the exchange of crucial data between systems and contain information such as event notification and service requests. Messaging is often used to coordinate programs in dissimilar systems or written in different programming languages. By using the JMS interface, a programmer can invoke the messaging services like IBM’s WebSphere MQ (WMQ) formerly known as MQSeries, and other popular messaging products. In addition, JMS supports messages that contain serialized Java objects and messages that contain XML-based data.

A JMS application is made up of the following parts, as shown in the following diagram:

  • A JMS provider is a messaging system that implements the JMS interfaces and provides administrative and control features.
  • JMS clients are the programs or components, written in the Java programming language, that produce and consume messages.
  • Messages are the objects that communicate information between JMS clients.
  • Administered objects are preconfigured JMS objects created by an administrator for the use of clients. The two kinds of objects are destinations and Connection Factories (CF).

    WebSphere Application Server

As shown in the diagram above, administrative tools allow you to create destinations and connection factories resources and bind them into a Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) API namespace. A JMS client can then look up the administered objects in the namespace and establish a logical connection to the same objects through the JMS provider.

JMS features

Application clients, Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), and Web components can send or synchronously receive JMS messages. Application clients can, in addition, receive JMS messages asynchronously. A special kind of enterprise bean, the message-driven bean, enables the asynchronous consumption of messages. A JMS message can also participate in distributed transactions.

JMS concepts

The JMS API supports two models:

Point-to-point or queuing model

As shown below, in the point-to-point or queueing model, the sender posts messages to a particular queue and a receiver reads messages from the queue. Here, the sender knows the destination of the message and posts the message directly to the receiver’s queue. Only one consumer gets the message. The producer does not have to be running at the time the consumer consumes the message, nor does the consumer need to be running at the time the message is sent. Every message successfully processed is acknowledged by the consumer. Multiple queue senders and queue receivers can be associated with a single queue, but an individual message can be delivered to only one queue receiver. If multiple queue receivers are listening for messages on a queue, Java Message Service determines which one will receive the next message on a first-come-first-serve basis. If no queue receivers are listening on the queue, messages remain in the queue until a queue receiver attaches to the queue.

WebSphere Application Server

Publish and subscribe model

As shown by the above diagram, the publish/subscribe model supports publishing messages to a particular message topic. Unlike the point-to-point messaging model, the publish/subscribe messaging model allows multiple topic subscribers to receive the same message. JMS retains the message until all topic subscribers have received it. The Publish & Subscribe messaging model supports durable subscribers, allowing you to assign a name to a topic subscriber and associate it with a user or application. Subscribers may register interest in receiving messages on a particular message topic. In this model, neither the publisher nor the subscriber knows about each other.

WebSphere Application Server

By using Java, JMS provides a way of separating the application from the transport layer of providing data. The same Java classes can be used to communicate with different JMS providers by using the JNDI information for the desired provider. The classes first use a connection factory to connect to the queue or topic, and then populate and send or publish the messages. On the receiving side, the clients then receive or subscribe to the messages.

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