Ask the Expert

What's the difference between Synchronous and Asynchronous communication?

What's the difference between Synchronous and Asynchronous communication?

    Requires Free Membership to View

Asynchronous communication works much like the postal system: An application creates a message (that's a piece of data such as the text String "Order 1000 barrels crude oil", or an XML expression), and labels the message with a destination address (that's typically the logical name of a "mail box", and not an IP address). The message is passed to the messaging middleware system.

Now the sender application proceeds happily, without needing to wait for the message to be delivered.

Synchronous communication works much like a phone call. The Receiver (callee) must be available, otherwise the conversation cannot occur.

There are many pros and cons about both models, and many details (message priorities, message persistency, forwarding and routing, etc.). I'd suggest a distributed systems book such as the ones written by Andy Tanenbaum, or by Orfali et al.


This was first published in March 2002

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: