Work Queue with Go and IronMQ

Setting up a work queue is ideal for a system where background jobs often take longer than an average HTTP request, whether they are at risk of timeout or simply eating away at efficiency. By maintaining a queue of work or tasks, new work can be pushed into the queue while workers actively monitor tasks and complete them as they enter the task queue.

The result is that your standard HTTP handler isn't overwhelmed with time-consuming tasks that can take place in the background without holding up the requests you put into your HTTP handler. In this guide, we'll explain how to set up a message queuing system for distributing work using Go and IronMQ.

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Using Message Queues for Distributing Work

Setting up a work queue begins with a system where you can manage a queue of messages. For this, a messaging queue solution like IronMQ will work perfectly as a distributed work queue for task dispatch and asynchronous processing. With IronMQ powering the work queue, workers will be "subscribers" to the queue, and work producers would be "publishers" to the queue, with each living on different servers.

IronMQ allows you to have as many publishers (work producers) and subscribers (workers) as you'd like. In fact, building a distributed system like this is extremely easy with the right message queue or message broker solution. By passing messages (work) into the queue, IronMQ will automatically deliver that work to the workers.

There are several other tools on the market you could use for this, including Amazon SQS, ZeroMQ, RabbitMQ, Kafka, Redis, and Apache ActionMQ. In this guide, we'll show you how you can use IronMQ together with Go to get a lightning-fast, reliable work queue up-and-running easily.

Overview of IronMQ Concepts

When working with IronMQ, there are two primary sets of concepts you should be familiar with to make the most of this solution.

  • Publishers and Subscribers: In IronMQ, a Publisher or Producer is the person who creates new messages or work for the queue. Meanwhile, Consumers or Subscribers are the workers who are alerted to new messages and consume the information accordingly. In the same sense, think of how an HTTP handler or web app is a producer and the background workers are consumers.
  • Exchange and Queues: On the backend, IronMQ has both exchanges and queues in order to handle messages. An exchange is there to receive messages from publishers/producers and send them to the queues. Subscribers/consumers then consume the messages from that queue. With powerful routing functionality, IronMQ allows you to customize how messages are sent to different queues.

In its simplest form, all publishers would send messages to a single queue where a given worker would be notified and able to consume the message. When that worker is busy, the next worker in line would receive the next incoming message, and so on. However, IronMQ provides for advanced message handling and routing.

With IronMQ, you can set up multiple queues to help organize and prioritize tasks. Routing configuration will help make sure that every important task is handled in a succinct manner, which is one key component that makes a distributed work system so powerful.

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Setting Up IronMQ

While IronMQ certainly offers all the features you could ask for in a message queue — like push and pull queues, long polling, error queues, alerts, and triggers — setting it up is kept as simple as possible with a highly developer-friendly interface.

In addition to using HTTPS/Rest-based APIs for efficient use on the cloud, IronMQ works with all major programming languages, including Java, Ruby, Perl, Python, and PHP.

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Setting Up Golang and IronMQ Together

Now that you know what IronMQ is all about, the other half is Golang, or Go, an open-source programming language that makes building software truly simple. After installing IronMQ by whatever means you wish, you'll need to access Go and install the Go AMQP package into your system. One of the easiest ways to do that is via Go Modules, but you can also get it yourself or use a dependency management system.

You can find documentation and client libraries for setting up IronMQ and Golang on Github. In general, the process is very straightforward, but if you have any issues, the IronMQ team is always happy to assist. After getting credentials, you can easily:

  • Get the queues list.
  • Get a queue object.
  • Post a message on the queue.
  • Retrieve information about the queue.
  • Get a message off the queue.
  • Touch and release messages on the queue.

Adding alerts and setting up other options, like push queues, is also very straightforward. Plus, you can determine if things are processed in real-time, or you can schedule in some latency using message scheduling, reserves, and other features.

Building Your IronMQ and Go Job Queue

  1. Build a consumer: Create a consumer directory inside of your application, connect it to IronMQ, and declare which queue it should listen to. It's also a good idea to build an error handling function, as Go has a notoriously tedious error handling process.
  2. Set up channels: Connecting IronMQ to Go also requires you to set up channels. During this step, you'll want to define how you'd like to send messages (i.e., JSON).
  3. Build a publisher: Once your consumer is all set up and ready-to-go, you'll need to set up your publisher or producer.

As you can see, getting your message queue up and running truly only requires a handful of steps. If you're curious about what happens in certain scenarios, like when a message queue ("queue_name") isn't defined by the publisher, you can easily find that information in the extensive documentation for IronMQ.

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Getting Started with IronMQ

Building a distributed work queue doesn't have to be a hassle, and MQ from Iron.io proves it. Whether you're pairing IronMQ with Go to make your application web scalable or seeking a solution that can work on-premise or in the cloud, IronMQ checks all the boxes. As one of the fastest message queue solutions on the market today, IronMQ easily outperforms competitors as the most reliable, feature-rich, and highly scalable service options.

With best-effort, one-time delivery along with industrial-strength architecture, IronMQ makes it easy to set up reliable communication across all of your services and components. With persistent retries and a highly available design, IronMQ is the cloud-native, modern solution your organization needs.

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If you think IronMQ could be the right fit for your project, reach out to our team to learn more. Simply schedule a free trial and we'll show you everything the IronMQ solution can do.

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