ActiveMQ Review
Provides sequential message processing and message broadcasting. Distributed message processing would be a nice addition.

Valuable Features

  • Sequential message processing.
  • Message broadcasting: There could be a use case sending the same message to all consumers. So as a producer, I broadcast the message to a topic. Then, whichever consumers are subscribed to the topic can consume the same message.
  • JMX console: Provides a UI to visualize a list of queues and topics on the broker. We can see any pending message for particular topic/queue. It displays how many consumers are connected to a topic/queue. We can send a message from the JMX console to a topic/queue without the need of a producer to distribute the message.

Improvements to My Organization

It has improved message processing. It removes the tight coupling and asynchronous invocation.

Room for Improvement

  • Distributed message processing would be a nice addition.
  • An older version of ActiveMQ only provided failover, without a message spread across multiple nodes/broker. As with clusters (three nodes/broker), if one of the nodes goes down, other nodes should take the message and process it. If a message is consumed by a client, there was only one way to get the same message again.

Use of Solution

I have used this product for around five years.

Stability Issues

We did not encounter many stability issues.

Scalability Issues

We did not encounter many scalability issues.

Customer Service and Technical Support

It’s open source, so we can’t expect more tech support. But the documentation has helped a lot.

Previous Solutions

We used JMS embedded in an application. Because of scalability issues, the JMS console, and isolation, we switched to ActiveMQ.

Initial Setup

The setup was straightforward. Just download the extract and begin the startup script. That’s it.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

I use open source with standard Apache licensing.

Other Advice

ActiveMQ is a great messaging system for synchronizing call and "fire and forget" types of calls. It can be integrated with Spring, Camel, and Struts.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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