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ActiveMQ vs IBM MQ comparison

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Q&A Highlights
Question: What Is The Biggest Difference Between ActiveMQ and IBM MQ?
Answer: ActiveMQ offers very high throughput and low latency compared to IBM MQ. ActiveMQ supports standard messaging protocols like AMQP, STOMP, MQTT etc whereas IBM MQ just comply with JMS and its own protocol. IBM MQ Light supports AMQP though. IBM MQ is much preferred in enterprise environment, probably due to the support. Redhat AMQ offers enterprise support on ActiveMQ. AFAIK documentation wise, they are at par. Both support clustering. But only in ActiveMQ real storage of messages in another broker which is less loaded happens. IBM MQ just enables communication between Queue managers. But I would prefer to put a few more options on the table. 1. RabbitMQ - fully compliant with protocols, supports replication and distribution of messages, throughput in tens of thousands 2. Redis - Light weight single threaded server. Supports pub sub messaging and supports HA via sentinel and clustering for distributed messaging 3. Kafka - Preferred mechanism for data streaming. Throughput in millions. 4. ZeroMQ - Brokerless messaging platform. Very high throughput. 5. NanoMsg - Brokerless. Claims to be advanced than ZeroMQ
Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Message Queue (MQ) Software
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Apache, VMware and others in Message Queue (MQ) Software. Updated: July 2022.
620,319 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"ActiveMQ is very lightweight and quick."

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"This solution has improved and influenced the communication between different applications, then standardized that communication.""Offers good performance as well as scalability and stability.""The solution is very stable.""The solution can scale well.""The solution is stable.""The solution allows one to easily configure an IBM MQQueueManager.""It is useful for exchanging information between applications.""IBM is still adding some features and coding some other systems on the security end. However, it has the most security features I've seen in a communication solution. Security is the most important thing for our purposes."

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"From the TPS point of view, it's like 100,000 transactions that need to be admitted from different devices and also from the different minor small systems. Those are best fit for Kafka. We have used it on the customer side, and we thought of giving a try to ActiveMQ, but we have to do a lot of performance tests and approval is required before we can use it for this scale."

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"I would like to see message duplication included.""It's not always easy for applications to connect to IBM MQ, but I think it's fine in general.""The licensing fees should be more cost-effective so that we can better pitch the product to our clients. With the pricing as it is, they tend to move away from IBM products.""There are things within the actual product itself that can be improved, such as limitations on message length, size, etc. There is no standardized message length outside of IBM. Each of the implementations of the MQ series or support of that functionality varies between various suppliers, and because of that, it is very difficult to move from one to the other. We have IBM MQ, but we couldn't use it because the platform that was speaking to MQ didn't support the message length that was standard within IBM MQ. So, we had to use a different product to do exactly the same thing. So, perhaps, there could be more flexibility in the standards around the message queue. If we had been able to increase the message queue size within the IBM MQ implementation, we wouldn't have had to go over to another competing product because the system that was using MQ messaging required the ability to hold messages that were far larger than the IBM MQ standard. So, there could be a bit more flexibility in the structuring. It has as such nothing to do with the IBM implementation of MQ. It is just that the standard that is being put out onto the market doesn't actually stipulate those types of things.""The main issue we are having with the solution is due to the connection dropouts which have been going on for a long time now.""There are many complications with IBM MQ servers.""I don’t like legacy view of MQ.""There could be a better front-end GUI interface for us, where we can see things more easily."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "We are using the open-source version, so we have not looked at any pricing."
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  • "Our costs haven't increased but they also have not improved."
  • "There is real money involved here. As compared to RabbitMQ, IBM MQ is on the higher side in terms of cost."
  • "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."
  • "IBM is expensive."
  • "The solution costs are high, it is going to cost a fair bit for annual operating costs and support."
  • "This solution requires a license and we have purchased an enterprise license."
  • "I think IBM needs to look at its pricing. The prices of IBM products should be simple. The old way of pricing should now be moving on to the cloud to be pay as you go, a plan-based kind of 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."
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    Answers from the Community
    Miriam Tover
    Jack Angoe - PeerSpot reviewerJack Angoe
    Real User

    From my Experience so far i will go for RabbitMQ its rock solid and robust with a simple learning curve. Its free and has great documentation available

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:ActiveMQ is very lightweight and quick.
    Top Answer:For Kafka, we mainly use it for event sourcing. We have huge concurrent events. From the TPS point of view, it's like 100,000 transactions that need to be admitted from different devices and also from… more »
    Top Answer:We are using ActiveMQ in our customers' companies, so all of the integrations are there. We use this solution for microservices intercommunication.
    Top Answer:Hi As someone with 45+ years of experience in the Transaction and Message Processing world, I have seen many "MQ" solutions that have come into the market place. From my perspective, while each… more »
    Top Answer:Apache Kafka is open source and can be used for free. It has very good log management and has a way to store the data used for analytics. Apache Kafka is very good if you have a high number of users… more »
    Top Answer:IBM MQ has a great reputation behind it, and this solution is very robust with great stability. It is easy to use, simple to configure and integrates well with our enterprise ecosystem and protocols… more »
    Average Words per Review
    Average Words per Review
    Also Known As
    WebSphere MQ
    Learn More

    Apache ActiveMQ is the most popular and powerful open source messaging and Integration Patterns server.

    Apache ActiveMQ is fast, supports many Cross Language Clients and Protocols, comes with easy to use Enterprise Integration Patterns and many advanced features while fully supporting JMS 1.1 and J2EE 1.4. Apache ActiveMQ is released under the Apache 2.0 License

      IBM MQ is a middleware product used to send or exchange messages across multiple platforms, including applications, systems, files, and services via MQs (messaging queues). This solution helps simplify the creation of business applications, and also makes them easier to maintain. IBM MQ is security-rich, has high performance, and provides a universal messaging backbone with robust connectivity. In addition, it also integrates easily with existing IT assets by using an SOA (service oriented architecture).

      IBM MQ can be deployed:

      • On-premises
      • In the cloud
      • Hybrid cloud

      IBM MQ supports the following APIs:

      • MQI (Message Queue Interface)
      • REST
      • .NET
      • MQTT
      • JMS
      • IBM MQ Light

      IBM MQ Features

      Some of the most powerful IBM MQ features include:

      • High availability
      • Stability and scalability
      • Flexible deployment options
      • Uniform clusters
      • Automated and intelligent workload balancing
      • Broad language, API, and messaging protocol support
      • Administrative features that simplify messaging management
      • Open standards development tools
      • Simple management tools

      IBM MQ Benefits

      Some of the benefits of using IBM MQ include:

      • Multi-style messaging: IBM MQ supports simple multi-style messaging, making it easy to connect diverse systems with support for message queuing, transactions, and more.

      • Reduced risk: With IBM MQ you will never lose a message, and messages are never delivered more than once.

      • Cloud-native: Because IBM MQ has a minimal infrastructure, it is suitable to be cloud-native, and therefore has the capability to always remain on.

      • Available anywhere: Using IBM MQ, you have access to secure messaging anywhere, at any time.

      • Secure: IBM MQ makes sure to keep your data safe by using TLS secured communications, providing access identity management, message-level security, and more measures to protect your information.

      • Easy for application programmers: To use IBM MQ, application programmers do not need to have any knowledge of communications programming.

      • Technical support: IBM MQ has a large user community and also provides support 24/7 as needed.

      Reviews from Real Users

      Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by IBM MQ users who are currently using the solution.

      PeerSpot user Sunil S., a manager at a financial services firm, explains that they never lose messages are never lost in transit, mentioning that he can store messages and forward them as required: "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."

      Another PeerSpot reviewer, Luis L. who is a solutions director at Thesys Technologies, says that IBM MQ is a valuable solution and is "A stable and reliable software that offers good integration between different systems."

      The head of operations at a financial services firm notes that "I have found the solution to be very robust. It has a strong reputation, is easy to use, simple to configure in our enterprise software, and supports all the protocols that we use."

      In addition, a Software Engineer at a financial services firm praises the security benefits of it and states that “it has the most security features I've seen in a communication solution. Security is the most important thing for our purposes."

    Learn more about ActiveMQ
    Learn more about IBM MQ
    Sample Customers
    University of Washington, Daugherty Systems, CSC, STG Technologies, Inc. 
    Deutsche Bahn, Bon-Ton, WestJet, ARBURG, Northern Territory Government, Tata Steel Europe, Sharp Corporation
    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm38%
    Transportation Company25%
    Energy/Utilities Company13%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Computer Software Company23%
    Financial Services Firm21%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Financial Services Firm38%
    Insurance Company10%
    Healthcare Company6%
    Financial Services Firm28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Company Size
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise60%
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise75%
    Small Business7%
    Midsize Enterprise9%
    Large Enterprise85%
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise11%
    Large Enterprise77%
    Buyer's Guide
    Message Queue (MQ) Software
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Apache, VMware and others in Message Queue (MQ) Software. Updated: July 2022.
    620,319 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    ActiveMQ is ranked 4th in Message Queue (MQ) Software with 1 review while IBM MQ is ranked 1st in Message Queue (MQ) Software with 26 reviews. ActiveMQ is rated 10.0, while IBM MQ is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of ActiveMQ writes "Lightweight and quick solution for microservices intercommunication". On the other hand, the top reviewer of IBM MQ writes "Reliable and stable software with good integration but the file transfer process needs improvement". ActiveMQ is most compared with Apache Kafka, VMware RabbitMQ, Anypoint MQ, Red Hat AMQ and PubSub+ Event Broker, whereas IBM MQ is most compared with Apache Kafka, VMware RabbitMQ, Anypoint MQ, PubSub+ Event Broker and Amazon SQS.

    See our list of best Message Queue (MQ) Software vendors.

    We monitor all Message Queue (MQ) Software reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.