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MQ series and BizTalk

What is the MQ series? How is it related to BizTalk? I am a software engineer. How will it useful in my career?

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MQ series is a commonly used piece of message oriented middleware (MOM). It has a store and forward architecture, similar to the architecture of e-mail systems that we all know. However, it is aimed at program-to- program communication rather than person-to-person communication. Also, it has more robust enterprise class capabilities, such as a guaranteed delivery function. More and more often MQ is being used in combination with the Web services standards (XML, SOAP, WSDL).

BizTalk is an Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) product that is commonly used in corporations. It has protocol and format conversion capabilities as well as some workflow and orchestration capabilities. MQ is one of the transport protocols that BizTalk supports, so MQ can be used to carry messages to and from BizTalk. Similar to MQ, BizTalk is frequently being used today in combination with the Web services standards.

Across the board complex information systems are being developed based on the principles of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). This design approach is heavily focused on re-use, standardized interfaces, and messaging between software sub-systems. Anyone who is planning a career working on IT issues for a large organization will need to adapt to this new design approach. MQ and BizTalk are just two of the plethora of products today that can fit within an SOA.

This was first published in September 2004

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