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DevSecOps

What is a Message Broker? Explains Wallarm

What is a Message Broker? Explains Wallarm

The intricacy of today's apps continues to rise. Developers encounter a wide variety of challenges, including tasks that take a long time or use a lot of resources, coordinating amongst different amenities, and dealing with large amounts of data. Providentially, there are ways to overcome these obstacles more easily. One of them is utilizing a message broker. Let's get a better grasp on this ground-breaking piece of technology, shall we?

Learning Objectives

What is a Message Broker (MB)?

It is a piece of freeware that permits various services and programs to be more easily exchanged for messages for the purposes of transmission and statistics sharing. Cloud-native, OpenStack, microservices-based, and amalgam cloud frameworks can all benefit from MB since they provide a standard interaction mechanism.

For this purpose, it converts communications between supported messaging formats. With this, it becomes much easier for services that rely on one another to connect in real time, even if they use entirely dissimilar programming languages.

The main components of a message broker

Let's dive into the guts of MB now:

  • Producer: This part is in charge of sending commands and communicating with the broker of messages. They are known as publishers when using the publish/subscribe model.
  • Consumer: This component is responsible for consuming messages from the MB. They are known as subscribers when using a publish/subscribe model.
  • Queue: MB vs message queue; the main difference is that the message broker employs the queue data type for storing commands in an ordered collection based on FIFO principles. 
  • Exchanger: A logical configuration or even an entity that sits on top of the queues and directs it to form a group to which consumers/producers can write or listen in order to send/receive commands.

What Is a Message Broker in Microservices?

When developing a system with a microservice framework, it may end up being more than one microservice after the development process is complete. The difficulty lies in our inability to connect effectively with one another. Microservices can coordinate with one another with the usage of a central broker. In addition to this, if you want to add another service to this, all you have to do to do is connect it to it

Message Broker Patterns

It offers two fundamental communication distribution methods or decorations:

  • Point-to-point messaging

When there is a one-to-one correspondence between a message's sender and its recipient, a point-to-point communication pattern is used. There is only one beneficiary and one consumer for each message in the queue.  When a message can only be processed once, point-to-point communication is the best option. Payroll and monetary operation processing are two programs that could benefit from this mode of transmission. In such systems, both the sender and the recipient need assurance that the transaction will occur just once.

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  • Publish/subscribe messaging:

The "pub/sub" way of message distribution involves the production of commands that are then posted to a topic and the subsequent subscription of multiple consumers. All applications that have subscribed to a subject will get any messages that are posted. This is a broadcast model of communication in which a single source of information is shared with numerous recipients. If an airline, for instance, were to broadcast the latest announcement on the status of its flights, that information would be useful to a wide variety of people. In this case, the pub/sub method of transmission might work well.

Message Brokers vs. APIs

The term "Representational State Transfer" (REST) is used to describe a set of guidelines for building web services. REST application programming interfaces are widely utilized for communication between microservices. They provide forth a uniform set of shared stateless operators and requests that can be used for communication with any services that stick to them.

Communication between components of REST APIs occurs over HTTP. However, since HTTP is a request/response protocol, API Security is most effective when utilized in scenarios requiring synchronous requests/responses. In order to meet this requirement, REST APIs for services that make demands and injunctions must be built with a zero-latency response time in mind. If the message broker service waiting for the response is unavailable, the sender will be blocked until the response is received. API gateway vs message broker, both should have redundancy and error handling code built in.

On the other hand, MBs allow services to intercommunicate asynchronously, meaning neither service must wait for the other to respond before continuing. These enhancements increase the robustness and defect tolerance of the systems that use them. Since a pub/sub communicating architecture may readily handle adjusting various services, the usage of MBs makes it simpler to scale systems. Furthermore, MBs log the current status of their users.

Message Broker vs ESS

Event streaming solutions (ESS) only provide a pub/sub style of distribution, while message brokers typically provide many communication ways. Event streaming platforms are easily scalable because they were developed with large amounts of data in mind. They can sort incoming records into themes and keep them in storage for a set period of time. Event streaming services, in contrast to message brokers, have no way of knowing whether or not a message was successfully delivered or by which customers.

Compared to message brokers, event streaming platforms are more scalable in terms of the number of concurrent users they can support, but they lack robust fault tolerance features like message resending and message queuing.

Message Broker vs. ESB

Enterprise service bus (ESB) is a pattern used in business service-oriented architectures. An ESB integrates communication protocols and data formats into a "common language" that all services and applications can share. For a message broker example, this can translate requests from one protocol (such as XML) to another (such as JSON). ESBs automate payload transformation. The centralized platform manages connectivity, routing, and request processing.

ESB infrastructures are complex and exclusive to uphold. Troubleshooting, scaling, and updating are tough in production contexts. They are a "lightweight" substitute to ESBs that provide equivalent capabilities at a cheaper cost. As ESBs have gone out of favor, microservices architectures have gained popularity.

Message Broker Use Cases

Message brokers can be put in to satisfy a diverse range of business requirements across a variety of business sectors and in a number of different enterprise computing settings.

The following are common applications that make frequent use of message brokers:

  • E-commerce order processing and fulfillment: If your company conducts business online, the dependability of your website and e-commerce platform is a major factor in determining how well your brand is known in the marketplace. Because of its capacity to improve fault tolerance and ensure that messages are only consumed once, message brokers are an obvious choice for the processing of online orders.
  • Payment processing and financial transactions: It is vital to ensure that payments are only sent once. The use of a message broker to handle the data from these transactions ensures that payment information is not lost or unintentionally duplicated; it also offers confirmation of rec, and it enables systems to interact reliably even when intermediary networks are unavailable.
  • Protecting extremely sensitive data both while it is stored and while it is in transit: Choose a communications system that supports end-to-end encryption if your sector is highly regulated or if your firm confronts major security issues.

Real-World Use Cases of Message Brokers

  • Rest APIs

In the present day, it is common practice for us to implement web frontends or mobile applications with a REST API backend. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is used for communication in a client-server architecture. But what happens if the information obtained from the request needs to be processed for an extended period of time? What happens if the calculation takes a significant amount of time?

Also, what if the user experience problems with their connection at that time? There is a possibility that the user will never receive the response. In this situation, the use of a message broker is recommended so that the delivery of the message can be ensured.

  • Mobile Applications

Imagine that you wish to share information with a mobile app that you've downloaded. But what occurs if some of the people are not currently online? When they sign on to their account, the message will automatically be delivered to them if you use a WebSocket message broker.

  • Data Management for Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

A single network may contain thousands upon thousands of Internet of Things devices, each of which generates its own set of one-of-a-kind data. It's possible that using the HTTP protocol to manage the data won't be the most effective course of action given its velocity and volume.

  • Keeping Tabs on Website Engagement

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you are interested in observing how people engage with a web app after it has been made available to the public. Because of this, activities carried out within the web application (such as button presses, page views, search queries, and so on) are capable of being broadcast to the appropriate forums. The data that is acquired can be put to use for processing and monitoring in real-time, and activities can be categorized according to their own unique topics.

Advantages And Drawbacks of Using Message Brokers

Pros:

  • Provides the ability for different services to communicate with one another, even if they aren't all running at the same time. The manufacturer is still able to communicate with the customer regardless of the state in which they are now located. All that is necessary is a message broker that is actively processing messages. The same can be said for the final consumer.
  • Introduced asynchronous processing, which greatly boosted system performance. Separate procedures can be used to handle intensive jobs. If you do that, your software will run more quickly and provide a better experience for users.
  • Guaranteed message delivery improves dependability. There is a redelivered option available through message brokers. It has the ability to resend the message instantly or at a later time if the recipient doesn't get it. A dead-letter method is also supported, which allows for the rerouting of undelivered communications.

Cons:

  • Curve of learning difficulty – You can utilize several messaging brokers with various design patterns. Learning the distinctions and when to employ each is essential. Then there's the trouble of configuring message brokers.
  • Debugging – As the complexity of a system grows, so does the difficulty of debugging it.
  • Complicacy – A amqp message broker unquestionably incorporates a brand-new component into the architecture of the system.

Message Broker Tools

For the purpose of facilitating communication between modern apps, we have compiled a list of the most well-known message brokers currently available.

  • Memphis

Memphis is an open-source MB that programmers developed specifically for in-app streaming. Your data-driven software is capable of being scaled and deployed in a short amount of time. The creators have assured that consumers will be able to use the capabilities offered by Memphis in addition to those offered by others. This specific message broker makes use of the main features provided by NATS in order to supply automatic optimization methods, schema management, inline processing capabilities, and debugging tools.

  • RabbitMQ

It was first made available to the public in 2007, and since then, it has grown to become one of the most well-known and successful MBs. Because it is written in Erlang, it is extremely lightweight; furthermore, it can be deployed in both cloud and on-premises systems because of its versatility.

  • Apache Kafka

Apache Kafka is a robust MB that directly incorporates splitting, replication, and fault tolerance into its design. Kafka makes use of a distributed architecture based on TCP to enable communication between clients and servers. Apache Kafka performs faultlessly on physical hardware, virtual machines, and containerized environments alike. Its primary functions are to buffer undelivered messages, segregate processing and data producers, and so on.

Conclusion

Implementing a producer-consumer architecture that can accommodate a large variety of different use cases can be made simple with the utilization of a message broker as an alternative. MBs are expected to take on an increasingly important role as businesses modernize their IT systems in anticipation of cloud computing. Simply said, in the technologically evolved cultures of today, message brokers are an absolute necessity.

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