Frequently Asked Questions


Getting started with this product

How is IBM MQ different from other messaging solutions?

Once and once only delivery: With IBM MQ, data arrives once, unlike other solutions that can duplicate or lose messages because they have a different quality of service.

Transactional: IBM MQ handles all messages using a transaction, so you can be assured of predictable behavior even in failure situations.

Asynchronous: If the network or an application becomes unavailable, synchronous solutions will fail. Asynchronous solutions, such as IBM MQ, protect that data and resume its transport when the system becomes available again.

Message encryption: Various solutions offer protection for data at rest. Some only protect the disk, but whereas IBM MQ Advanced protects the message data itself. If the disk is hacked and only the disk is encrypted, everything on that disk is vulnerable. Protection of the messages themselves gives extra peace of mind.

Are there trial or developer version?

What management and monitoring options does IBM MQ offer?

  • IBM MQ Console is a web-based graphical console for administration and configuration.
  • IBM MQ Explorer provides a graphical user interface (GUI), built on Eclipse, for administration and monitoring of IBM MQ objects — whether they are hosted locally or remotely. See Introduction to IBM MQ Explorer to learn more.
  • MQSC commands are used for scripting or an interactive Command Line. These commands configure and manage all queue manager objects. See MQSC reference to learn more. Customers using v9.0.4 (or higher) can submit any MQSC command using REST.
  • Programmable Command Formats (PCF) use command and reply messages that can be exchanged between a program and any queue manager that supports PCFs in a network. PCFs provide a programmable way to configure and manage queue managers. See Introduction to Programmable Command Formats to learn more.

How do I get help?

The most useful ways to access help are listed here.

What is IBM MQ?

IBM MQ is a market-leading messaging solution that helps you send and receive data as messages between applications, services and systems — whether they reside on premises or on cloud. IBM MQ simplifies connectivity by removing the requirement for application changes to help ensure security and once and once only delivery of transaction-based messages.

Where can I run IBM MQ?

IBM MQ is a universal messaging solution. You can run it on premises using software,  on an optimized appliance, on a mainframe, or in one cloud or a multicloud environment.

Which version of IBM MQ do I need?

All versions of IBM MQ send messages asynchronously between applications, systems and services with once and once only delivery, transaction support and persistence built in. Data is protected on the wire, and high availability and disaster recovery capabilities are provided. This is available on premises, on IBM z/OS® and in the cloud.

For end-to-end encryption or sending file content data as messages, upgrade to IBM MQ Advanced, or IBM MQ Advanced for z/OS VUE. This is standard functionality for IBM MQ Appliance.

If you have little IBM MQ expertise, or want to consolidate your existing IBM MQ infrastructure, consider IBM MQ Appliance.

If you are working in the cloud, IBM MQ on IBM Cloud™ is a hosted service that provides a more simple way of managing your IBM MQ environment. Alternatively, if you do not want a hosted version, you can use IBM MQ in other clouds — including IBM Cloud Private, Amazon Web Services and Azure.

How often are new versions of IBM MQ released?

Main releases of IBM MQ are released approximately every two years through a model we call Long-Term Support (LTS). Alternatively, you can adopt new features more quickly with the Continuous Delivery (CD) model which delivers new content three or four times each year. Content delivered through CD is included in the next long-term delivery version and is a great way to preview which features are coming or get started with new features early.

What do you mean by LTS and CD releases?

The LTS release is for systems that demand the highest levels of stability. Updates during the support period contain fixes to identified problems and vulnerabilities. CD releases add new function to IBM MQ on a regular cadence and are intended for customers wanting to exploit the latest features and capabilities of IBM MQ without waiting for the next LTS release cycle. Fixes are only provided on the LTS and two most recent CD releases.

How do I upgrade?

Speak to your IBM sales or IBM Business Partner representative. Otherwise, you can use this contact form.

What are my support options?

One year of support is included in the cost of IBM MQ with your original purchase. You can move up to the latest version if you continue paying subscription charges. If you stop paying your subscription, you cannot upgrade to the latest version without paying a reactivation fee. End of support for a version is normally announced two years in advance, giving you time to plan any necessary migrations. You can negotiate an extension to this, but it is advisable to upgrade for the latest functions and fixes instead.

You can choose the CD option, but will have a shorter support period because you are receiving new releases as they become available.

How long does IBM MQ take to get up and running?

You can get up and running in minutes with IBM MQ. See LearnMQ on IBM developerWorks® for more information.

Is IBM MQ secure?

IBM MQ protects data on the wire using Transport Layer Security (TLS). By upgrading to IBM MQ Advanced, IBM MQ Appliance or IBM MQ Advanced for z/OS VUE, you also benefit from the encryption of data at rest for end-to-end data protection. Messages are encrypted, rather than the disk, for extra security. Your file data is also protected.

Learn more

Can I transfer file data across IBM MQ?

File transfer management capabilities are offered in IBM MQ Advanced, IBM MQ Appliance and IBM MQ Advanced for z/OS VUE. This enables you to send file content data as messages across your existing IBM MQ network. File transfer agents can be redistributed and are available at no cost when running against an IBM MQ Advanced, IBM MQ Appliance, or IBM MQ Advanced for z/OS VUE queue manager.

Is IBM MQ equipped for failover?

High availability and disaster recovery capabilities are included in all IBM MQ offerings. IBM MQ and IBM MQ Advanced provide multi-instance queue managers and network file system solutions. IBM PowerHA® for IBM AIX® (formerly HACMP) or the Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) can be used to enable a high-availability manager. Additionally, synchronous replication of network-attached storage enables offsite backup.

The different MQ deployment options have additional capabilities:

IBM MQ Advanced: Replicated data queue managers (RDQM) to enable synchronous replication of logs and data to two other systems (IBM MQ on Linux only); also offers asynchronous and synchronous replication for manual failover, using RDQM (2 nodes only)

IBM MQ Appliance: Appliance-to-appliance replication

IBM MQ for z/OS:  Highly available queue-sharing groups with shared storage and peer recovery

IBM MQ on Cloud: Automatic failover of the queue manager across multiple available instances and network storage

What data integrity does IBM MQ offer?

IBM MQ provides very high levels of data integrity through message persistence and transaction capabilities including: 

  • Persistent messages that can survive the restart of any part of the system. Once a persistent message has been successfully received into an IBM MQ system it will not be lost, even during network or system terminations and failures.
  • Messaging operations that are performed by an application can be coordinated with other resources using global transactions — such as application servers and databases — either with IBM MQ as the transaction coordinator or as a resource manager.

Which APIs does IBM MQ support?

IBM MQ API support includes (but is not limited to):

  • MQI
  • JMS (Java Message Service) style APIs
  • MQTT
  • MQ Light

An administrative REST API and a Messaging REST API are available in the IBM MQ CD release.

Where can I learn about IBM MQ performance?

For IBM MQ performance reports, see IBM MQ Family - Performance Reports.

Where can I find IBM MQ information for beginners?

Go to LearnMQ on developerWorks for information and tutorials to help you understand IBM MQ and get started in minutes.

Where can I find detailed technical information?

Go to the IBM Knowledge Center for in-depth technical information about IBM MQ, IBM MQ for z/OS and IBM MQ Appliance.

How do I recommend improvements?

You can request enhancements and vote on ones that have already been requested on our Request for Enhancement page.