IBM MQ Review

It's a core part of a middleware platform, integrating with our CRM billing application and our online transaction application.

What is most valuable?

It's one of our core parts of a middleware platform for integrating our CRM billing application and our online transaction application as well. That's the key usage for day-to-day activities.

How has it helped my organization?

Integration is a key benefit; it integrates easily. Management is easy. Queue management is one of the key features of it; how easy it is to get set up, get started, get running, look at your queues, look at your workloads, etc., and see what's going on.

We’re not using MQ to better connect across cloud, mobile and devices, or part of the internet of things. It's something that we're looking at for IoNT. We're looking at doing mobile parking, our parking meters. It's something that we're looking at, but we're just doing the road mapping. We haven't deployed that yet.

Currently, it's our connection between our web front end and our back end billing, but that's the next step.

What needs improvement?

Everything that we need so far works, so I think I'd have to look at the road map, what we planned for internet of things and see if it meets that, which it should. At that point, we'll have a better understanding of what we need going forward.

My support guys, because they use it on a day-to-day basis, might want to see improvements from a management perspective, the management interface. That's one of the complaints I've heard: modernize to a more mobile platform. It's not modern enough for what they wanted to do with it, from what I've heard. That's one area I would say improvement could be done, but again, that might be a small component. Beyond that, nothing.

The main reasons why I haven’t rated it higher is the management interface, which has been a topic of discussion among some of the users, and some issues we’ve had with MQ for z/OS; that's probably because we were on an older version. I haven't looked at the newer version. Those are the two main reasons.

As far as the price point, I don't deal with that; that's somebody else's problem. From a deployment perspective, I didn't have an issue. It's a set up and go for me, from an architect's perspective. These are the requirements, these are the design, you go.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is pretty good. We haven't had issues from a stability perspective. It seemed to always be running. Everyone seems to say, "Hey, it's an MQ issue." Once you look at it, though, the bottleneck is always somewhere else.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great as well. You can create your queue managers or you can add a node if you need to and just grow your platform.

How are customer service and technical support?

I personally haven't used technical support, so I can’t comment on that. Once it's deployed, the support team manages everything into it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was not involved in the decision to invest in MQ.

How was the initial setup?

I was in the initial setup; I was involved in the design of the environment for MQ and the rollout of that platform.

It was midway between straightforward and being complex. Our environment is quite complex. We have to integrate the different systems; we have MQ on z/OS, we have MQ distributed. It's right across the platform. The setup of MQ was not complex, but the integration with our environment had some complexity. Overall, with the MQ platform, I don’t think we could have done it any easier.

What other advice do I have?

It's a great tool. It's a great integration middleware tool. Once you have your requirements set, MQ should meet it, but review: Make sure that you understand what you need, what you're setting up, and how you're going to deploy it.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is how easy it is to get the information from that vendor. Usually, when we get a project, it needs to be deployed yesterday; very tight timelines. If a vendor can come to the forefront, come with all the information, show that their product will meet our needs and it's above any other product on the market, or even on par, but you get a little bit of extra service or support, that's what we look for.

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