Talarian integrates message queuing and pub-sub middleware

Talarian Corp.’s new MQexpress message queuing product for publish-subscribe middleware offers significant features, but will still have to reckon with IBM’s new MQSeries pub-sub capability, according to analysts.

Targeted towards information-intensive industries, MQexpress is a message queuing product that integrates with Talarian’s SmartSockets publish-subscribe middleware.

“MQexpress is a brand new product that has implemented a message queuing mechanism, but the novel thing here is that it has been integrated with publish-subscribe (middleware) for the first time,” said Tom Laffey, chief technology officer at Talarian Corp. in Los Altos, Calif.

Through the MQexpress API, users can configure the software to place or get messages on a store-and-forward basis, group messages transactionally, get messages on sporadically-connected client processes, use native queuing services or interoperate with other products, and have persistent messages, according to the company.

Laffey said MQexpress is unique in its ability to work with multiple queuing products. In addition to its own internal queuing mechanisms, MQexpress can interoperate with a number of message queuing products, including IBM’s MQSeries.

It also offers simplified queuing configuration. Whereas other queuing products require that every queue manager be configured in a static manner to view other queue managers with which it may need to communicate, MQexpress uses Talarian’s SmartSockets publish-subscribe cloud and dynamic naming services to eliminate the need for static configuration, Laffey explained.

“With MQSeries I have to go to every queue and point it at every other queue that I might receive a message from, so all that has to be configured,” he said.

“We’ve completely eliminated that. We have this concept of a publish-subscribe cloud and so the queues don’t need to be able to see the other queues. Messages get routed to the publish-subscribe cloud from one queue to another.”

Beth Gold-Bernstein, CTO and senior analyst with the Hurwitz Group Inc. in Framingham, Mass., called this is a “pretty significant” feature.

“IBM MQSeries has over 50 per cent of the market, so it’s a very well-established product, but it is an older architecture so that is really an issue with that product,” Gold-Bernstein said.

“A naming service enables you to attach to one service and that naming service can dynamically attach to whatever it is you need, so if you’re changing platforms (or) changing queues it allows for more dynamic configuration, adding new systems without changing anything else. That is important for adaptability,” she explained.

In addition to full transactional messaging, persistent messaging and temporal distribution, MQexpress also enables users to select the level of guarantee with which messages can be delivered, Laffey said.

“When you have a message that needs to be published, you can trade off speed vs. safety,” Laffey said, which allows developers to decide what level of reliability is required to deliver a message.

Gold-Bernstein said the product’s dynamic routing capability is also important. “You can add dynamic routing on top of MQSeries, which makes MQSeries much more dynamic.”

Ed Acly, director of middleware research at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass., said though the ability to integrate with IBM’s MQSeries is beneficial and “publish and subscribe is certainly good to have when you’re doing messaging, IBM now has its own publish and subscribe…so that is going to be significant competition for them.”

Kimberly Knickle, senior analyst at Boston-based AMR Research Inc., said “IBM is considered to be the major player here,” but Talarian is known for its high-performance, high-reliability products.

“Talarian has to be a niche player because of IBM…they have to keep their existing customer base happy, those are the basic issues you consider when a company like Talarian adds a product.”

MQexpress runs on all major Unix platforms and Microsoft Windows and supports C, C++ and Java.

Pricing for MQexpress (www.talarian.com/products/mqexpress.html) starts at US$9,500.

Talarian Corp. in Los Altos, Calif., is at (650) 965-8050.