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The Benefits of Java Message Service

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Pravin Tulachan introduces Java Message Service in this sample chapter. He discusses JMS architecture, messaging domain models, the JMS programming model, and JMS integration with EJBs.
This sample chapter is excerpted from Developing EJB 2.0 Components, by Pravin Tulachan.

Topics in This Chapter

  • Introduction to Java Message Service
  • JMS Architecture
  • Messaging Domain Models
  • The JMS Programming Model
  • JMS Integration with EJBs

Introduced in the Enterprise JavaBean 2.0 specification, the message-driven bean is a type of Enterprise JavaBean that uses asynchronous communication. Message-driven beans are based on the Java Message Service (JMS) architecture and require an understanding of JMS prior to writing message-driven bean applications. This chapter focuses on Java Message Services, beginning with a brief review of messaging concepts. Specifically, this chapter provides

  • an introduction to JMS
  • a review of the JMS architecture and messaging domain
  • the JMS programming API
  • JMS and its relation to EJBs

Broadly speaking, messaging is the exchange of information between two separate and independent entities distributed over a network such as a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), or a wireless network. Messaging entities can be either humans or applications. E-mail is an example of a messaging system that allows human-to-human exchange of messages, while the messaging middleware enables two or more client applications to communicate by sending and receiving messages in a distributed environment without any human intervention.

With messaging middleware, clients use the peer-to-peer communication model, according to which clients can either produce or consume messages. There's no distinction between consumer and producer. In fact, a client may be a producer, a consumer, or both simultaneously. Producer clients produce messages; consumer clients consume the messages as shown in Figure 12-1.

Figure 12-1 A messaging middleware with peer-to-peer communication

Messaging Oriented Middleware (MOM) messaging systems have been around since the 1970s (including IBM's MQSeries, Microsoft's MSMQ, and Tibco's Rendezvous), and businesses have used them extensively, from exchanging messages between incompatible systems to managing B2B (business-to-business) exchanges processes with global partners.

Introduction to Java Message Service

JMS, like JDBC and JNDI, isn't a product, but rather a Java specification for messaging middleware from Sun and its partners. JMS defines an enterprise messaging Java API that makes it easy to write business applications that can exchange business data and events asynchronously and reliably in a vendor-agnostic manner. The messaging server vendors provide the service provider interface that supports the standard JMS API (see Figure 12-2). JMS is required in the J2EE 1.3 specification and is supported by several different vendor-generated enterprise messaging products.

Figure 12-2 The JMS architecture

The JMS specification was written by Sun Microsystems and its partners, many who already had proprietary messaging middleware, resulting in the combination of "best of the breed" features from existing proprietary messaging middleware. One objective of JMS is to minimize the learning curve for writing messaging applications and to maximize the portability of messaging applications. As a result, JMS applications are easier to write and highly portable and support both the P2P and pub/sub messaging models.

Prior to JMS, programmers had to go through a steep learning curve to learn the complex proprietary APIs of the specific messaging server—this made writing messaging applications difficult and resulted in minimal portability. Additionally, messaging servers from different vendors weren't interoperable in most cases, and businesses weren't happy with vendor lock-in and high cost of the product and support. Adoption of JMS in businesses is being driven by the following:

  • wide industry support—Because it's easy to implement the JMS specification in existing messaging servers, JMS is the first enterprise messaging API that has garnered wide industry support and, as a result, has become the messaging standard.

  • standard messaging API—By defining standard messaging concepts and conventions supported across different vendor messaging systems, JMS has simplified client application development and addressed portability issues.

  • interoperability—JMS leverages the existing messaging systems and is widely supported in many messaging products. For example, a client application using MQSeries as the JMS provider can communicate with another client application using the Rendezvous JMS provider. JMS clients can interoperate fully with non-JMS clients, an important consideration for businesses having proprietary applications.

  • message-driven beans—EJB 2.0 supports JMS-based message-driven beans, which enable developers to write scalable asynchronous EJB applications.

  • simple API—Application developers only have to learn the JMS API and can then write portable messaging enterprise applications easily and quickly.

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