IBM MQ Review

The major thing we like about it is zero transaction loss.

What is most valuable?

The major thing we like about it is zero transaction loss. The other thing, which is a plus point, is first in, first out (FIFO). You can be pretty sure that if MQ goes down for whatever reason, the transactions will still sustain; they won't be lost. There is a drawback when, once a transaction touches the other point, it is lost, in the sense that if you don't process it, but that is fair enough.

How has it helped my organization?

There is a good user interface. It is a very good way of interfacing two systems. For example, in our case, the central bank clearing systems interface our systems using MQ. It is seamless. I did not face any problems. Initially, when you do the setup, you have to be careful and configure it properly. Once you do that, it is OK.

What needs improvement?

It should be able to keep a copy, so that if there is an accident, we would still be able to record the transactions. Maybe processing could be faster, in terms of EPS.
If you consider migration from one version to another, that is an issue and then initial configuration is challenging; when we change the version or change the server.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We never had stability issues. The issues are there only when you are configuring for the first time. Once you get the right configuration, then you can actually forget about the fact that there is MQ.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support once in a while, such as when we are upgrading or when we are going to change the server or something like that. They are pretty good. In our part of the world, it's pretty good support.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Interfacing is required in any situation when you have two systems talking to each other. So, there are not too many options. One, is that you can have a file handoff. You can have MQ messaging. Or, you can have an API. So, we currently prefer API, so MQ is slowly losing its position.

How was the initial setup?

Sometimes I am involved in the setup. But, now my people have become experts setting it up. There are issues that happen once in a while. For example, last year it happened when we changed the server. For whatever reasons, the configurations were in fact reset. So we brought IBM in. Those were complex configurations. For whatever reason, a couple of parameters could not be reset. Or, they didn't remember which parameters to reset.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As far as MQ, we only looked at IBM. There are many open-source products available now, like IBM MQ Plus. IBM is coming out with something called IBM MQ Plus Plus. Obviously we have not gone for it, but those are the competition.

MQ is also closely integrated with the broker; internally, it is now an API. There is a close connection.

When selecting a vendor, full scale support is important and technical acumen. If I'm asking a new question, he should be able to resolve it or at least give me direction. I also want timely support. If my production goes down at 12 o'clock in the night, there should be someone to talk to me. I think IBM has very reasonable support, so it helps. Worse-case scenario, you could call and expect an answer within the next one or two hours.

What other advice do I have?

Do the first configuration really well. Maybe involve IBM right from the beginning.

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