With dozens of options for message queue technology, even experienced professionals can feel frustrated when choosing the right microservices for their needs. The perfect messaging queue for your organization will depend on unique factors, such as how much you can afford to spend and how quickly you need your apps to process requests.

The following article looks at some critical features to consider before investing in any message queue (MQ). It will also explain the pros and cons of some popular MQ tools.

You don’t have to spend time reading an article to get message queue technology that offers exceptional durability, scalability, and real-time processing. Request a demoto see how IronMQ can fit into your existing software to improve their compatibility.

Top Features to Look For in Messaging Queues

Not every popular message broker comes with features that most experts recognize as essential. Look for these top features before you dedicate any time or money to a message queueing solution.

Asynchronous Messaging

Asynchronous messaging is a foundational concept for message queueing. When asynchronous messaging, an application can send a message and continue performing other work. It doesn’t have to pause and wait for a response. Instead, it can trust the message queue to handle delivery. Even if the recipient is offline when the message gets added to the queue, it will get delivered once the recipient becomes available.

Unlimited Queues

Access to unlimited queues ensures that your applications perform well even during the busiest part of the day. You need them because you never know when end users and employees will submit multiple requests at the same time.

Real-Time Message Processing

Real-time message processing will improve your message queue’s throughput by making sure that every request gets handled as quickly as possible.

Push and Pull Queues

Ideally, you want a message queue solution that handles push and pull delivery. The pull feature continuously looks for new messages that it needs to send to the appropriate application. The push feature notifies users when a message is available. Push is also called “pub/sub messaging,” which is short for publish-subscribe.

When you have push and pull queues, your system can adapt to evolving needs to work efficiently and meet the needs of all users.

First in, First out (FIFO)

FIFO describes a queue system that processes the first request before handling others. It helps ensure that you get a timely response to requests. Instead of putting the message on hold, the queue will prioritize older ones before getting to the newer ones.

One-Time Delivery

One-time delivery means that your message queue will send a message one time. You and your network benefit because the messenger doesn’t mistakenly send duplicate requests that can lead to confusing, inaccurate results. It also helps prevent networks from getting slowed down by unnecessary requests.

Automatic Failover

Automatic failover relies on multi-cloud systems that serve diverse geographic regions. If one cloud network fails, another one can pick up the slack to retain high-performance messaging and avoid delays.

MQ as a Service

MQ as a service essentially means that your message queue tool lives on a cloud server instead of your on-site network. MQ as a service isn’t the perfect solution for everyone, but it helps ensure reliable message processing at affordable prices.

High Availability

Efficient message routing depends on network availability. If your system cannot connect with the network that hosts your message queue, you will have to wait for a solution before you can process requests. You could wait a few minutes or several hours for someone to find the correct solution.

A high-availability messaging queue makes it less likely that employees and customers will suffer outages. By choosing a tool with high availability, you keep customers happy and improve the efficiency of your business processes.

Scalability

Scalability usually applies to cloud-hosted message queues that can give you access to more processing power when needed. Without scalability, you cannot count on efficient, high throughput during the business times of the day.

Webhook Support

Not every organization needs webhook support, but it comes in handy when developers want to change how a web page or application functions. Webhook support will also help you track bugs, making it easier for developers to fix problems as they arise.

Security

You cannot overestimate the importance of security in message queues or any other aspect of your IT. Common approaches to security for messaging queues include authentication tokens, passwords, and SASLs (simple authentication and security layer).

Serverless

You will need to research and set up a server that runs your message queue before it can manage communications between your apps. Even after setting up the server, you have to manage it for efficiency and installing patches.

You can avoid these headaches by choosing a serverless messaging queue solutions. IRonMQ’s serverless approach to messaging lets your IT professionals focus on other tasks instead of worrying about maintaining servers.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Message Queue

The following questions should help you focus on the features that you need most from your message queueing solution.

How Much Can the Organization Spend on a Messaging System?

If you don’t have much room in your budget for a messaging system, you might need to choose an open source option. Open source message queues might not cost anything to use. Popular open source message brokers include RabbitMQ, ActiveMQ, and Red Hat AMQ.

Keep in mind that open source brokers rarely give you strong customer service features. You will usually need to rely on user communities when you run into problems.

You might also need exceptional coding experience to use open source tools well. Without the right API, you will have to make one yourself. Depending on the applications on your network, that could mean using diverse languages like JavaScript, C++, C#, Java, Ruby on Rails, and Python.

Will Managers Outside of IT Need Access to the Message Queue?

If you think that managers outside of your IT department will need to access the message queue, you should look for an option that comes with a user-friendly dashboard. This also applies to businesses that don’t have dedicated IT departments.

Other than IronMQ and RabbitMQ, you won’t find many message queue tools with dashboards.

Do You Experience Sudden Surges in Activity?

Does your business experience sudden surges in activity throughout the day, week, month, or year? If so, then you need to look for message queues that can scale quickly. It helps to choose a solution with unlimited queues, multi-cloud architecture, and automated failover.

Any breakdown in your message queues can prevent your system from performing essential tasks. You definitely don’t want that to happen during your business times. That will just create a situation that angers more of your users.

Popular message brokers tend to have reliable features that can help your applications work together. The option that you choose, however, will depend on how you plan to use the MQ. The following list gives you a quick understanding of each service’s pros and cons. Use it to help narrow your search for the perfect message broker.

IronMQ

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros: 

  • Scalable, multi-cloud-based message queue.
  • Dashboard that produces metrics and analytics reports.
  • HTTPS message transports.
  • FIFO.
  • Pub/sub.
  • One-time delivery.
  • Token authentication.
  • Serverless.
  • In-person training available.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include as many collaboration tools as some message queues.
  • Drag-and-drop interface not available.

MQTT

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros: 

  • Built for IoT (internet of things) messaging.
  • Low network usage doesn’t reduce bandwidth noticeably.
  • Lightweight protocol.

Cons:

  • Only uses TLS/SSL for security encryption.
  • Slow transmit cycles.
  • Difficult for global scalability.

RabbitMQ

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros:

  • Open source message queue can help you save money.
  • MQ as a service.
  • Publish-subscribe.
  • One-time delivery.
  • FIFO.
  • High availability.
  • Dashboard.

Take a more in-depth look by reading RabbitMQ vs. IronMQ.

Cons:

  • 10x slower than IronMQ.
  • Does not take a multi-cloud, distributed systems approach.
  • No webhook support.
  • Socket-based AMQP may not work as well as HTTPS message transports.

Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros:

  • FIFO.
  • One-time delivery.
  • MQ as a service.
  • High availability.
  • Unlimited queues.

Cons:

  • No push queues.
  • No webhook support.
  • No multi-cloud architecture that prevents outages.

Learn more about this AWS service by reading IronMQ vs. Amazon SQS: What’s the Difference?.

Apache ActiveMQ

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros:

  • Open source can help you save money as long as you have experienced developers on staff.
  • JMS compliant.
  • High availability.
  • Scalable to meet evolving needs quickly.

Cons:

  • Isn’t language agnostic, so you need someone on staff who can code in Java.
  • Difficult for inexperienced users to configure.
  • Lack of customer support options.

Get more detail by reading Apache ActiveMQ vs IronMQ.

IBM MQ

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros:

  • Stable, secure platform with reliable security protocols.
  • One-time delivery.
  • Unlimited queues.

Cons:

  • High price compared to most message queue solutions.
  • Doesn’t always notify users when failures occur.
  • Graphical user interface only available for Windows users.

Learn more from IMB MQ vs IronMQ: Pros, Cons, and Choosing an MQ.

Redis RQ

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros:

  • FIFO.
  • One-time delivery.
  • Pub/sub.

Cons:

  • Password access doesn’t meet today’s security standards.
  • Socket-based message transports won’t work in every instance.

Get a more in-depth view from Redis RQ vs IronMQ: Which Service Is Better for Me?

Apache RocketMQ

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros:

  • Low latency.
  • Vendor neutral.
  • Open source.

Cons:

  • Like many open source solutions, you need someone with experience to fine-tune how RocketMQ functions.

Apache Kafka

How to Choose Message Queue Technology Selection

Pros:

  • Netflix uses it for its video streaming platform, so it must have exceptional functionality.
  • High throughput.
  • Permanent storage.
  • Scalable.
  • High availability.

Cons:

  • Works best when paired with other Apache software.
  • Open source requires experienced users to operate well.

Learn more by reading Apache Kafka vs IronMQ: What’s Best for Your Business?

Other Message Queueing Solutions Worth Exploring

  • Java Message Service (JMS)
  • ZeroMQ
  • MuleSoft Anypoint
  • Azyre Scheduler
  • Google Cloud Pub/Sub
  • KubeMQ

Get IronMQ for Reliable, Fast Communication

IronMQ stands out as the best message queue for most businesses. It has a reasonable price that makes it easy to afford. The company also provides training that will teach users how to get the most out of their message queues.

You won’t find many message queues that work as well as IronMQ, especially for the amount of money you will spend. Start a free trial with IronMQ so you can see the software in action. Most users find that it exceeds their expectations.

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