During the AMQP in Action session at the QCon 2009 conference in London the speakers presented what seems to be a very interesting solution for probably the biggest issue in messaging middleware today– interoperability. Message oriented middleware (MOM) is often standardised at the API level (such as JMS) but individual implementations are not compatible on the protocol level so they cannot work with each-other, often resulting in vendor lock-in. John O’Hara from JPMorgan said that dominant messaging solutions today are proprietary, too expensive for everyday use and don’t interoperate, which lead to incumbent stagnating. That has resulted in lots of ad-hoc home-brew solutions. AMQP (Advanced Message Queueing Protocol) tries to address this by presenting an open universal standard.
AMQP is a standard messaging protocol specification developed by a large working group and gaining more support from the big players in the industry, including Microsoft and Cisco. It was announced as the Internet protocol for business messaging, with key features including:
- Standard protocol for maximum interoperability
- queueing with strong delivery assurances
- event distribution with flexible routing
- large messaging capabilities (gigabytes)
- global addressing scheme
- meets common requirements of mission critical systems
- robust, available, secure…
- Aims to be stable over the long run
- Platform agnostic and totally open
AMQP aims to become what SMTP is for e-mail today but in middleware messaging, an open universal standard allowing interoperability across platforms and products. AMQP is a protocol, not an API, which makes it possible to use AMQP services through standard APIs such as JMS or WCF.
O’Hara said that the AMQP products today are ready for massive production usage, giving the example of JPMorgan which has 33 systems live with AMQP and seventeen more going live soon, serving more than a billion messages and running live for more than three years.
Pieter Hintjens from iMatix pointed out that all AMQP products out there are opensource which de-risks usage, especially as the open standard allows you to take out a product and replace it with an alternative later.
Alexis Richardson from Cohesive FT said that AMQP is not about the products but exactly opposite, about getting away from the idea that products are the key to messaging and moving from the notion of products to systems that just work with each-other, avoiding vendor lock-in. He also announced that his AMQP server, Rabbit MQ, will soon be shipping with Ubuntu Linux.
AMQP 1.0 will be released later this year, possibly at the AMQP conference that will take place in San Diego on the first of April. Key new features of version 1.0 are simplified architecture, stronger transactional model and global addressing.
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I'm Gojko Adzic, author of Impact Mapping and Specification by Example. To learn about discounts on my books, conferences and workshops, sign up for Impact or follow me on Twitter. Join me at these conferences and workshops:
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