IBM pushes new messaging

IBM pushes new messaging

IBM is adding publish-subscribe messaging to its MQSeries platform, providing as part of the core product a feature previously available only from Big Blue's partners, such as Tibco.

IBM has begun beta testing its publish-subscribe software at some customer sites with MQSeries Version 5, said Taf Anthias, chief technology officer of IBM's MQSeries group, in England. Version 5 began shipping in October on some platforms.

General availability of IBM's publish-subscribe software is expected in 1999.

Publish-subscribe messaging involves the dissemination of data from applications or other data sources to authorised subscribers, whether users or systems, and can range from point-to-point to broadcast messaging.

"Version 5 has some enabling support for publish-subscribe messaging. It allows an application to send a message to multiple targets, but it's not explicit support. What we've been telling our customer is that we're providing it as part of the base product, first as an add-on for Version 5 and then in different levels for forthcoming versions," Anthias said.

"The aim is to provide it integrated in the product, as opposed to requiring a separate layer. Publish-subscribe becomes one of the many behaviours that an application can deploy," Anthias added. The move does not necessarily pre-empt third-party products, he said.

Alternative offerings

"It's possible that third parties could provide alternative offerings that do other things that may be applicable in some settings, whether more specialised products or different qualities of service," Anthias said.

IBM's move at first glance might seem borrowed from Microsoft's play book, in which third-party, add-on features are followed up with in-house development of the same functionality and bundled with the core product. However, third-party developers and analysts strongly downplayed any parallels to Microsoft, lauding the move as a validation of the publish-subscribe messaging model.

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