IBM MQ OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM MQ is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Business Activity Monitoring tools. It is most often compared to Apache Kafka: IBM MQ vs Apache Kafka

What is IBM MQ?

    IBM MQ provides the universal messaging backbone for service-oriented architecture (SOA) connectivity. It connects virtually any commercial IT system, whether on premise, in the cloud, or a mixture. For more than 20 years IBM has led the market in messaging middleware and more than 10,000 businesses across all geographies and industries rely on IBM MQ.

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IBM MQ is also known as WebSphere MQ.

IBM MQ Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM MQ Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

IBM MQ Customers

Deutsche Bahn, Bon-Ton, WestJet, ARBURG, Northern Territory Government, Tata Steel Europe, Sharp Corporation

IBM MQ Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM MQ pricing:
  • "You have to license per application installation and if you expand vertically or horizontally, you will be paying for more licenses. The licenses are approximately $10,000 to $15,000 a license, it can get expensive quite quickly."
  • "IBM MQ is expensive and they charge based on the CPU."
  • "It is a licensed product. As compared to an open-source solution, such as RabbitMQ, it is obviously costly. If you're using IBM Message Broker, which is a licensed product, IBM MQ is included in the same license. You don't have to pay separately for IBM MQ. The license cost of IBM MQ is lesser than IBM Message Broker."

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Sunil Sahoo
Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
We don't lose messages in transit and we can store messages and forward them when required

What is our primary use case?

We are a bank whose core banking system is not so advanced. It is still running on an AS/400 system. Credit Card system is are deployed on IBM mainframes. About 70 to 80 percent of the bank's core systems rely on IBM AS/400 and mainframes. The enterprise service bus is used in conjunction with MQ to break synchronous web service /TCP calls into asynchronous MQ calls and expose them a web services-based or API-based service for both internal and external customers. As part of enterprise architecture principles, we have enforced all connectivity to be service/ interface based by using ESB, MFT… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "Whenever payments are happening, such as incoming payments to the bank, we need to notify the customer. With MQ we can actually do that asynchronously. We don't want to notify the customer for each and every payment but, rather, more like once a day. That kind of thing can be enabled with the help of MQ."
  • "I would like to see it integrate with the newer ways of messaging, such as Kafka. They might say that you have IBM Integration Bus to do that stuff, but it would be great if MQ could, out-of-the-box, listen to public Kafka."

What other advice do I have?

Overall, MQ is good, capability-wise. You still need a messaging platform and MQ is quite a reliable messaging platform. I have not seen hiccups using MQ across multiple environments in the bank. I have been using it since 2006 and I have never experienced any issues with the product itself. The guidelines of the product, the way it is used, the way things are done, are pretty self-explanatory. There are multiple blogs/ online helps available and there is a lot of help available from experts around the world. Have a look at the features. If they complement the requirements you have, go ahead…
NK
Technical Lead at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Using the Appliance has enabled us to consolidate servers and licenses

What is our primary use case?

Our use cases include ATM transactions where a customer, for example, inquires about balances. Transactions go from an ATM at a branch, using a Java application to take the information, and it connects into our mainframe, gets the balances, and goes back. We also use it for when customers go online using the internet itself for things like pre-approved home loans. We take the customers' information from the front-end and pop it into MQ to look up the customer's data in the bank itself — all of the databases — and then come back to the customer. It is also used in our mobile banking. MQ is… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "What is quite useful is the asynchronous function which means we don't lose everything in the bank. Although we use a lot of things synchronously, asynch is the best thing so that no banking information is ever lost, even when the network goes down and comes up."
  • "The scalability is the one area where IBM has fallen behind. As much as it is used, there is a limit to the number of people who are skilled in MQ. That is definitely an issue. Places have kept their MQ-skilled people and other places have really struggled to get MQ skills. It's not a widely-known skillset."

What other advice do I have?

You must be careful in that it must fit what you want it to do. A few years ago, we had a silo approach where everybody had their own IBM MQ and their own application support with their own teams. That got out of control. In the last few years we realized that you need to be careful about the deployment model you're using. And you need to make sure it's used for the proper use cases. That's really the biggest lesson I've learned from using IBM MQ: You need to be very sure about what you want it to do. I would advise that you talk to someone who knows about the solution and who is not biased…
Learn what your peers think about IBM MQ. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
535,544 professionals have used our research since 2012.
MT
Head Of Operations at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Highly scalable, easy to use, and entirely robust

What is our primary use case?

We have two different use cases for this solution. We use it for the interactive interconnectivity between clients into the cloud and applications communicating within our enterprise software.

Pros and Cons

  • "I have found the solution to be very robust. It has a strong reputation, easy to use, simple to configure in our enterprise software, and supports all the protocols that we use."
  • "Everything in the solution could be simplified a little. We have trouble with the configuration and cost which is mostly an internal issue, but nevertheless, the errors do come up when there are configuration changes across a specific version. We have slightly different versions, which may have slightly different configurations which cause issues."

What other advice do I have?

If you want a robust enterprise application that you know is going to be around that you can trust and you are very comfortable with the concept that you are going to pay for that stability and robustness, then IBM MQ is the best choice. If you are on a lighter throughput or you do not need to worry about the robustness as much then Rabbit MQ could be the better choice. It is a fairly stable application, and it works very well but you do not have that industrialization and long-term code benefit that you receive from IBM WebSphere. If your use case and budget fit then this solution would be a…
AA
Unix/Linux Systems Administrator at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Easy to install and manage, with the stability needed for our banking application

What is our primary use case?

We have a core banking application. If any system or application wants to talk to the core banking application, the request and the response will go through the MQ servers. The requests and responses are in the form of XML. We have a VMware environment with Windows and Linux.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the Queue Manager, which lies in the middle between our application and our core banking server."
  • "The memory management is very poor and it consumes too much memory."

What other advice do I have?

For the most part, this solution serves our purpose. It is not difficult to manage and the only challenges we have really had were to deal with some of the messages manually. My advice to anybody who is researching this solution is to consider costs first. It is expensive and you have to ask what value you are going to get from it. You need to consider factors like how many messages you are sending per day. If your budget is sufficient then IBM MQ is your choice, otherwise, you should look into a cheaper option. Also, if stability is the most important thing to you then IBM MQ is the choice…
JL
Lead Architect at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
It's a very strong integration platform but it's developed as more of an on-premise solution

What is our primary use case?

It's the EAI for connecting all our services like transport systems, replenishment systems, and order entry systems to our supply chain warehouse systems.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that it's a very strong integration platform but it is quite a monolithic solution. It's got everything."
  • "It's hard to put in a nutshell, but it's sort of developed as more of an on-premise solution. It hasn't moved much away from that."

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to rethink the cloud strategy. Make sure to have certain components that you can put into the cloud. Think about cloud-first properly so that it scales automatically. It knows how to work with some of the container services that are out there so that it scales better. It has some cloud components that are good but you still have quite a strong on-prem infrastructure to support it. It's quite a complete solution. They have modules and stuff that they acquire and may add on as features and modules, additional modules, which is a very complete solution. It's been expensive to…
Prashant Powar
Senior Middleware Administrator at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
A reliable and scalable solution that comes with advanced features and good support

What is our primary use case?

We are all using the file transfer or MQ FTP feature. We are also it for distributed queuing and clustering.

Pros and Cons

  • "Currently, we are not using many advanced features. We are only using point-to-point MQ. I have previously used features like context-based authentication, SSL authentication, and high availability. These are good and pretty cool features. They make your business reliable. For critical business needs, everyone uses only IBM MQ. It is the first choice because of its reliability. There is a one-send-and-one-delivery feature. It also has a no-message-loss feature, and because of that, only IBM MQ is used in banking or financial sectors."
  • "It would be an advantage if they can include streaming in IBM MQ, similar to Kafka. Kafka is used mainly for streaming purposes. This feature is clearly lacking in IBM MQ. If they add this feature to IBM MQ, it will have an edge over other products."

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution, but it also depends on your needs and business case. I have been using IBM MQ for the last 14 years. I am very much used to it, and I like it. I have used other products too, such as RabbitMQ and Kafka, but not that much. I would rate IBM MQ an eight out of ten.
VB
IT Development Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Very stable with good integration capabilities and easy to work with

What is our primary use case?

IBM WebSphere MQ is deployed on a Windows machine, as well as almost all of our infrastructure. Windows services read and write to the MQ server - this is the way that we interact with it. All the messages that we put on the queue are also stored in an SQL Databases. A Windows service reads that message from the SQL Database storage and puts it on a queue on a certain channel; these Windows services are running indefinitely, on a loop so any message is read instantly.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very easy to work with."
  • "The solution isn't free. There are other solutions, like RabbitMQ, which are open source and absolutely free to use. It's one reason we are moving away from IBM."

What other advice do I have?

I'd recommend the solution. It's a very stable solution and very resilient. If there is not essential data that needs to be transported between services, then I would go for a RabbitMQ, because it's easier in style, and it's free to use. On top of that, you can have it to wrap around everything in a straightforward way. That said, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. We've used it for a number of years and it's always worked very well for us.
Jitendra Jethwa
Websphere MQ Specialist at a maritime company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, stable, and offers great technical support

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used for business transactions. It's used for financial transactions as well. Those are the two main use cases. We exchange information with our in-house applications before we supply information to our customers and so on.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution can scale well."
  • "There could be a better front-end GUI interface for us, where we can see things more easily."

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user. I'd recommend the solution to any organization. I'd rate it ten out of ten. It really provides everything we need.
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