IBM MQ 9.2.3 Streaming Queues: Your Integration Infrastructure (i2) Data Win
By now, you have probably seen the announcement for IBM MQ 9.2.3. The first thing to mention is that Nastel had support for 9.2.3 right away. Nastel Technologies is an integration infrastructure management (i2M) solutions company, and IBM MQ is at the heart of most enterprises’ integration infrastructure (i2).
Nastel works with the IBM teams to ensure we are ready for any new releases and changes. One key enhancement included in 9.2.3 is the streaming queue. As a quick summary, a streaming queue allows you to define an alternate queue to which every message 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 just a simple example of the basic concept. There are 2 queues, MyQueue and CopyQueue. As messages are put to MyQueue, IBM MQ automatically makes a copy in 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 makes a copy in the CopyQueue. As the messages are read by the receiving application, the copied messages remain. You can select whether the put is required or optional (such as if CopyQueue gets full). The current limit is one stream queue per primary queue, although the steaming queue could be a topic.
There are many different use cases for IBM MQ 9.2.3 streaming queues.
Here are three:
- Create an audit trail for all activities through the queue
- Create an alternate workflow for the messages
- Access the valuable data flowing through the IBM MQ message queues
The use case that is very attractive from our many banking and financial services customers’ perspectives 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.
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 can 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 as well. 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 when topics are used including 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 i2 layer can deliver a lot more ROI.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Nastel Customer Support Newsletter on 8/25/2021.
About Richard Nikula: As the Vice President of Development, Richard is responsible for the entire development lifecycle of all Nastel products. He runs the Nastel Technologies global development organization including Q&A, support, and services. He is an integration infrastructure management (i2M) expert and his work spans both mainframe and distributed computing, including IBM MQ, CICS, all Cloud infrastructures, and everything in-between. Prior to Nastel, Mr. Nikula worked for BMC Software (Boole & Babbage) for over 20 years. He is a graduate of Washington State University and lives in Texas where he is known for his over-the-top Christmas display.
About Steven Menges: A business-to-business (B2B) innovator and products executive with 20 years of progressive experience, Steven Menges is a frequent industry author and speaker on enterprise computing, data analytics, managed service providers (MSPs), IT Security, regulatory compliance, and buyer’s journey-based engagement. Mr. Menges is also an Adjunct Instructor and Capstone/Thesis advisor at the NYU MS in Management and Systems (STEM) and MS in Integrated Marketing programs and is the co-developer of the Business-to-Business Marketing Maturity Model.
Steven has an MBA in Strategic Planning from the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. Mr. Menges drives adoption and product efforts for Nastel Technologies and is the Director of the Nastel Technologies Advisory Board.