What is IBM MQ?

IBM® MQ is messaging middleware that simplifies and accelerates the integration of diverse applications and business data across multiple platforms. It uses message queues to facilitate the exchanges of information and offers a single messaging solution for cloud, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and on-premises environments.

By connecting virtually everything from a simple pair of applications to the most complex business environments, IBM MQ helps you improve business responsiveness, control costs, reduce risk—and gain real-time insight from mobile, IoT and sensor data.

IBM MQ is available as standalone distributed software, as a physical appliance and on IBM z/OS®. IBM MQ workloads can also be pushed to the cloud. An enhanced version of MQ—IBM MQ Advanced—is available as distributed software and on z/OS to meet a greater set of integration requirements, including extended encryption, file transfer capabilities and a telemetry option for access to data from sensors and mobile devices.

IBM MQ provides:

  • Flexible, near-universal connectivity to adapt systems to meet changing market demands and seize emerging opportunities.
  • Secure message delivery to preserve message integrity and mitigate risk of data loss.
  • Dynamic scaling to improve business responsiveness and control costs.
  • Simplified management and control to improve productivity.
  • A unified messaging solution to simplify integration, lower cost of ownership and accelerate application deployment.

“Everything's moving toward connecting data from different hospitals over a broad area interchange, or health information exchange, and we now have the foundation for that.”

Markus Gogolin, Integration Architecture Team Lead

University Medical Center Freiburg

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What's new?

IBM MQ V9 gives you two ways to consume new IBM MQ functionality: a traditional route, which delivers new functions with new releases, or an agile Continuous Delivery (CD) release, which delivers new functions between major releases. Those who choose CD release will receive incremental updates that develop the following themes:

Dynamic resourcing

Scale elastically and respond to the needs of the connected business in any deployment environment—across cloud, mobile, IoT and on-premises.

Painless data protection

Reduce performance overheads by providing new encryption options for messages in IBM MQ Advanced Message Security.

Increased resiliency

Respond quickly and easily to infrastructure changes by allowing messages to connect to IBM MQ rather than a specific queue manager.

Enhancement to managed file transfer capability

Make faster, more secure and reliable use of data stored in files.

Rapid provisioning

Enable self-service provisioning of messaging capability and lower the cost of ownership with simplified definition, deployment and management.

IBM MQ provides:

Flexible, near-universal connectivity

  • Integrates with a mix of heterogeneous applications with support for multiple platform configurations, including industry-standard JMS messaging, scalable publish-subscribe (pub-sub) and a choice of application programming interfaces (API).
  • Offers an integrated solution for managed file transfer, with connectivity to mobile devices through a single messaging layer.
  • Adds transformation, intelligent routing and information flow modeling to the IBM MQ messaging backbone using IBM Integration Bus.

IBM MQ: Integrated messaging to connect your enterprise

Secure message delivery

  • Assures delivery of information—once and only once—with the highest quality of service.
  • Helps ensure real-time information is available and accessible from anywhere, at any time.
  • Provides reliable delivery, without message loss, duplication or complex recovery, if the network should fail.
  • Preserves message integrity throughout the network—and does so affordably through a confidentiality option that strengthens encryption without substantial processing overhead.
  • Protects data and helps ensure regulatory compliance with security rich functions, including: full authentication—based on OS or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP); encryption when moving and at rest; and message integrity.

IBM MQ V9 Advanced Message Security functional overview

Dynamic scaling

  • Flexible solution that allows rapid response to changes, reducing the need to modify code in the applications.
  • Highly scalable solution that can address evolving workloads and new mobile and cloud deployments.
  • Highly available solution with fully automated failover.
  • Dynamically distributed messaging workloads available through clustering.
  • High throughput, low-latency solution with support for Multicast.

IBM MQ Appliance Performance Report

Simplified management and control

  • Uses a single installation process for deploying the full set of IBM MQ capabilities in distributed environments.
  • Allows visibility and tracking of messages and files for gaining insights through a single dashboard view.
  • Permits a quick audit of the movement of data and completion of transactions.
  • Simplifies application integration tasks by using a function-rich application development interface with full code access for development.

Forrester Study: Total Economic Impact of IBM MQ

A unified messaging solution

  • Reduces the cost and effort associated with managing multiple solutions.
  • Simplifies application design and maintenance, reducing integration costs and time.
  • Reduces the cost of connecting applications through a rich set of connectivity functions.
  • Eliminates the need to write complex communications code, offering a choice of simple API options.
WebSphere Application Server

IBM MQ and cloud

IBM MQ combines 20 years of proven enterprise messaging performance1 with the flexibility and agility of the cloud.

The options for using IBM MQ with the Cloud are:

  • Deploy IBM MQ into the cloud
  • Use MQ in a Docker container in our Cloud, IBM Bluemix (no cost)
  • Connect to our managed messaging service, IBM Message Hub

Take IBM MQ to the cloud

You can deploy IBM MQ into a private cloud or a managed cloud. If you are using multiple types of cloud environments, you can deploy IBM MQ across these environments to provide a common messaging backbone, rather than relying on different services in each cloud environment. Deploying IBM MQ in this way gives you control over its design and capabilities, for example, ensuring the security configuration matches your organization’s requirements.

IBM MQ can be deployed to a variety of cloud environments with a range of tools:

  • IBM PureApplication—use IBM MQ as part of a repeatable pattern
  • Docker—deploy IBM MQ in a container
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Openstack
  • Golang
  • Chef
  • SystemD
  • ...and the list is growing.

Use MQ in a container

You can use a developer edition of IBM MQ in the IBM Bluemix Container service at no cost. Containers remove complexity by providing code and its dependencies in one portable package. You can incorporate images from the Bluemix Container catalog or Docker Hub into your solution, and also integrate with a choice of over 150 Bluemix services.

Connect IBM MQ to cloud applications with IBM Message Hub

IBM Message Hub is a cloud-based messaging service available on IBM Bluemix® that enables you to communicate with IBM MQ and connect cloud and on-premises applications using microservices. It offers a scalable, distributed, high throughput message bus to unite your on-premises and off-premises data and applications.

With IBM Message Hub:

  • Use microservices to scale elastically according to demand, and update applications quickly.
  • Integrate with analytics engines to uncover opportunities and customize customer experiences.
  • Take advantage of a fully managed infrastructure and service updates to focus on innovative projects and business needs.

1. IBM MQ V9.0 delivers new, more flexible delivery and support options, enhanced encryption configurations, self-service enhancements, and updates to managed file transfer capabilities, IBM United States Software Announcement 216-153, April 19, 2016

MQ on Z/OS and the cloud

Getting started with Message Hub

IBM MQ Advanced

IBM MQ Advanced builds on the strengths of IBM MQ to provides an even more comprehensive solution. In addition to the benefits that IBM MQ provides, IBM MQ Advanced gives you the following capabilities, meaning that you can purchase one solution to cover your data transfer needs:

  • End-to-end data encryption: protects message and file data in motion and at rest
  • Managed file transfer: reliable alternative to solutions such as FTP
  • Real time data access (distributed only): connecting to mobile, sensors, and the Internet of Things

IBM MQ Advanced also offers a Developer edition. Explore the entire range of MQ Advanced function at no cost.

End to end encryption – enhanced security for MQ users

Security is essential to protect data at every stage of the journey. IBM MQ Advanced offers:

  • Message-level security that delivers data protection for your point-to-point messaging infrastructure.
  • Data encryption and authentication that provides security-rich data transport throughout the messaging cycle.
  • Centralized policy capabilities that help enforce message security standards and aid compliance.

Available as part of IBM MQ Advanced, IBM MQ Advanced on IBM z/OS® and IBM MQ Advanced on z/OS Value Unit Edition.

Managed File Transfer – the file transfer solution for MQ users

IBM MQ Advanced offers reliable and secure file transfer with the following key capabilities:

  • A flexible file transfer gateway that integrates with your heterogeneous infrastructure.
  • Reliable and flexible technology that supports fast, cost-effective file transfers.
  • Visibility and auditability of files with central visibility and tracking of file data movement.
  • Integrated administration tools that help to manage and customize your setup.

Available as part of IBM MQ Advanced, IBM MQ Advanced on z/OS and IBM MQ Advanced on z/OS Value Unit Edition.

Real time advantage – innovate using mobile, sensor, and IoT data

IBM MQ Advanced is designed to offer real-time access to mobile, IoT and sensor data, using the MQTT protocol. Key features include:

  • A gateway for mobile messaging for mobile networks, enabling mobile devices (e.g. Android and iOS phones and tablets) to be rapidly and easily connected with existing enterprise applications and services.
  • Flexible message processing that is designed specifically for mobile device messaging and connectivity.
  • Simple administration tools that help manage and customize your setup.

Available as part of IBM MQ Advanced only. Not available on z/OS.


Report: AMS Confidentiality Performance

Examine the performance of the AMS Confidentiality mode.

Software Download: IBM MQ Advanced for Developers

Download a no-cost developer version of IBM MQ with all the features of IBM MQ Advanced for development and unit test. And more...

IBM MQ Appliance

IBM MQ Appliance provides the application connectivity performance of IBM MQ software in a physical messaging appliance. It offers rapid deployment of enterprise messaging with easier administration. Performance and message throughput are optimized for the appliance's capability and configuration.

IBM MQ Appliance delivers exceptional performance and capacity with the inclusion of large capacity (3.2TB) solid-state drives. You can also take advantage of simultaneous synchronous high availability and asynchronous disaster recovery capabilities with additional 10GB Ethernet ports.

IBM MQ Appliance is available in two options:

  • IBM MQ Appliance M2001A for larger, enterprise workloads.
  • IBM MQ Appliance M2001B for smaller workloads at a lower price.

IBM MQ Appliance:

Simplifies configuration, management and monitoring with the IBM MQ Console—a browser-based, personalized tool.

  • Delivers powerful and flexible tooling.
  • Works in conjunction with the existing tooling interfaces of IBM MQ Explorer and IBM MQ Script Commands (MQSC).
  • Eliminates the need to install an executable program such as IBM MQ Explorer.
  • Restricts access by LDAP-defined user role—common LDAP entry to manage multiple MQ Appliances.
  • Monitors appliances with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

Increases flexibility with single or multiple queue managers that participate in IBM MQ clusters and exchange messages with other queue managers or IBM MQ clients.

  • Allows IBM MQ Appliance to be the runtime messaging provider for applications written using the IBM MQ Light API—as well as supporting connectivity from other programming interfaces such as the message queue interface (MQI) and Java Message Service (JMS).
  • Offers an additional deployment option with IBM MQ appliances that operates alongside software-based IBM MQ deployments—either a single queue manager or multiple queue managers can be defined for each appliance.
  • Provides a messaging hub with applications connecting to the IBM MQ Appliance as IBM MQ Clients or through other IBM MQ queue managers.
  • Can be used as the co-ordination queue manager for management file transfer in an IBM MQ Advanced deployment, providing file-to-file transfer, file-to-message transfer and message–to-file transfer.
  • Enables the configuration of queue managers and resources to be quickly created by copying existing IBM MQ queue managers or through MQSC scripts.

Improves security with end-to-end message and file content data encryption.

  • Allows encryption of message contents at rest based on pre-defined policies.
  • Helps ensure that message contents are protected without changes to applications.
  • Aids security and integrity and simplifies maintenance with locked-down appliance hardware—no additional software can be installed and no user files stored.

Keeps data safe with built-in high availability and disaster recovery capabilities.

  • Automatically recovers data locally and synchronously through pairing with a second appliance.
  • Recovers data over large distances asynchronously to one or more additional appliances deployed remotely.

Lowers cost of ownership through rapid deployment and simplified administration and maintenance.

  • Provides a familiar experience to existing IBM MQ administrators and a user-friendly one to new users.
  • Eases maintenance through certified firmware updates—which include both IBM MQ software updates and appliance firmware updates.
  • Features remote administration of the appliance through the IBM MQ Console.
  • Provides administration guidance regarding unused appliance capacity and supports dashboard customization to display key resources.

Webcast: IBM MQ Appliance Overview


Performance Benchmark: IBM MQ Appliance Performance Report

Review IBM MQ Appliance performance by use case and topology to understand the implications for your environment.

Data sheet: IBM MQ Appliance

Combine the scalability and security of IBM MQ with the simplicity, convenience and lower cost of an appliance.

Ebook: Enabling IBM MQ Messaging with the IBM MQ Appliance

IBM MQ Appliance is fast to deploy and uses fewer administrative and infrastructure resources than multiple messaging servers.


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