Thursday, 20 December 2007

WebSphere Message Queue utilities

Having done work using WebSphere MQ and Message Broker, I was asked by a colleague today about developing and testing of an MQ Client using Microsoft Dot Net.

The platform was not in question, and the recipient of the messages sent from the client will be a Mainframe, so it all makes sense in that regard. (After all, what would you use to communicate from .Net to the Mainframe, where MQ messaging is already implemented).

As my colleague (being a Microsofty developer) is new to MQ, I thought it helpful to point out the existence of the 'RFHUTIL' utility software freely available from IBM. Kind of surprising that is doesn't get included as part of the standard MQ install by now.

Anyway, if you want a utility that allows you to read, write and browse MQ messages, this has to be your first port of call. Admittedly the user interface is a bit 'clunky' but it includes display of all manner of MQ message properties, headers and data.

For integration testing of applications using MQ, RFHUTIL is a 'must-have'.

It is available as IBM MQ Support Pac IH03, with no warranty, blah, blah, blah.
Search for MQ RFHUTIL Support Pac to get it, or use the following link:
http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24000637


Moving on, I have recently done development using the MQ Broker, which provides publish/subscribe functionality for MQ messaging. This used to be an add-on, but is now included as a core part of WebSphere MQ V6 releases.

If you do any work with this broker, you will find it useful to download and install the broker plug-in for the MQ Explorer utility. This is available as IBM MQ Support Pac IS02, here:

http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24012457

This utility adds display of topic subscriptions, with the facility to de-register unused entries when required (depending on your design approach, you may be quite likely to get 'orphan subscriptions' on abnormal process exits).


On that note, if you wish to develop Java software to perform housekeeping or administration tasks, IBM also provide libraries and sample sources for the Programmable Command Format (PCF) MQ command interface. This is Support Pac MS0B: WebSphere MQ Java classes for PCF.

http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24000668


If you have already done MQ development work, the above information shouldn't be news to you, but hopefully these pointers will help out with people who may be new to MQ, or the MQ Pub/Sub Broker.

1 comment:

andypiper said...

Some excellent tips here John, well promoted ;-)

It's also worth looking at http://hursleyonwmq.wordpress.com and http://mqseries.net (plus, of course, IBM developerWorks) if someone is new to WMQ. There is usually good information to be found in those places.

As for RFHUtil being bundled with the product... well... I think it is easy enough to find and get hold of, and the way it is put out there means that incremental improvements can happen quickly. You're right, it's an absolutely brilliant tool, as are the other utilities shipped in SupportPac IH03.

Other important SupportPacs worth looking at are the saveqmgr utility in MS03 and the q program in MA01.

Been brilliant working with you this year. Hope we stay in touch.