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Published July 18, 2022

IBM MQ Streaming Queues Adds Business Value to Middleware

IBM MQ Streaming Queues Adds Business Value to Middleware

Last year we published this blog post about the benefits of IBM MQ streaming queues.  On July 15th, 2022 this functionality was also made available for MQ on the mainframe (z/OS) and it’s also been announced for the MQ appliance for Aug 2nd, 2022.

Nastel has been supporting and embracing this functionality for some time in its integration infrastructure management (i2M) platform.

As a quick summary, a streaming queue allows you to define an alternate queue to which every message is sent, so the original is duplicated. This is important for data-driven companies (and we’ll get back to why in a minute).

The image below is a simple example of the basic concept. There are 2 queues, MyQueue and CopyQueue. As messages are put to MyQueue, IBM MQ automatically copies them to CopyQueue.

So in the example, messages A and B are put to MyQueue by the application. As each message is put, the queue manager automatically copies it to CopyQueue. As the messages are read by the receiving application, the copied messages remain. You can select whether the copy is required or optional (such as if CopyQueue gets full). The current limit is one stream queue per primary queue, although the streaming queue could be a topic.

There are many different use cases for IBM MQ streaming queues.

Here are three:

  1. Create an audit trail for all activities through the queue
  2. Create an alternate workflow for the messages
  3. Access the valuable data flowing through the IBM MQ message queues

The use case that is very attractive to our many banking and financial services customers is the ability to immediately access the data flowing through the queues.

This might bring to mind Application Activity Events which are commonly used with Nastel XRay to track messages. Activity events are good for tracking activity and can be used to get payload and are a good option in many cases. They are best for tracking the application calls and when messages were put and received.

Now, with streaming queues, you get the raw data directly from the source, not a reformatted message to process. Since messages contain the business information, you could now answer questions like “How many orders today (or in the last 5 minutes) were greater than 1 million dollars?” Well, you can get that if you have a way to collect this data.

Nastel XRay is specifically suited for this too. By listening to your data, you can get various data and related insights without having to make any application changes.  Time and data analytics are money today and transaction tracking, AIOps, and business analytics just became a whole lot simpler and faster for IBM MQ shops, many of which have been searching for a better ROI (return on investment) from that part of the IT stack.

This ability has existed for a long time when topics are used in IBM MQ and Kafka, but for traditional MQ applications that use queues, this creates a new avenue to get insight.  If you are an IBM MQ shop, this is a big productivity and data analytics win.  Your investments in IBM MQ and your entire middleware and integration infrastructure (i2) layer can deliver a lot more ROI.

Check out XRay, all of Nastel’s IBM MQ-targeted solutions, or set up a demo to see how this all works for organizations like yours today.