Compute Services

Easily stream events into Bluemix using our new Message Connect service

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I’m delighted to announce the availability of our new experimental service, Message Connect. Message Connect is a service which enables you to feed events from a variety of sources into Message Hub. So, if you want to get events from sources such as Twitter into your Bluemix apps, this is the easiest way to achieve it.

Rather than build connectors for a wide range of event sources directly into Message Hub, we’ve decided to create a separate service. This will enable us to add new event sources more easily and also to build additional features into the connectors. To start with, we support four event sources:

  • Twitter
  • Force.com
  • Cloudant
  • MQ Light

There is a lot of similarity to the earlier Event Hub service and the capabilities are broadly the same. Behind the scenes, a lot has changed. For example, we’ve changed the way that messages are published into Message Hub to get better efficiency and reliability.

Message Connect and hybrid cloud messaging

Using Message Connect to bridge from on-premise MQ queue managers into Message Hub is important for hybrid cloud messaging. That’s all about connecting MQ to the cloud. The connector that enables this is the MQ Light connector. To start with, Message Connect can only flow messages from MQ into Message Hub, but in the future we want to add support for sending messages in the other direction.

Most people using the MQ Light connector will actually use it with the Secure Gateway service to create a secure connection to an on-premise MQ queue manager. Using the Secure Gateway, you don’t have to expose the queue manager directly to the public internet. Instead, you use a Secure Gateway client on an on-premise server to initiate a connection to Bluemix, thus creating a secure tunnel which you can use to connect safely to MQ. We’ve added code in Message Connect to get the configuration of your Secure Gateway destinations while you’re setting up Message Connect, so you no longer need to note down an IP address.

Getting started

To get started, you’ll need to create an instance of Message Hub and Message Connect in Bluemix. Then you can create a stream in Message Connect to receive events from one of our supported event sources. You can consume the event data from Message Hub using a Kafka client or REST API in an app, or using another service such as Streaming Analytics.

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