What Is A Message Broker?

A message broker is an intermediary computer program that interconnects applications by translating and routing messages. It supports various cross-language interoperability and communication protocols. A message broker receives, routes and sends messages between disparate applications, systems or services. This eliminates the need for each application to have built-in knowledge and code to communicate with each other. In addition, message brokers can transform messages to match the data format of the target application.

For example, a message broker can receive a message in XML format from one application, convert it to JSON format, and send it to another application. Message brokers are often used in Complex Event Processing (CEP) and Event Stream Processing (ESP) systems to gather data from multiple sources, process the data and route it to multiple destinations. Some common message broker software applications include Apache Kafka, Apache ActiveMQ, IBM WebSphere MQ and Microsoft Azure Service Bus.

Message Broker Models

There are three common models for message brokers: publish/subscribe, point-to-point, and fan-out.

Message brokers vs. APIs

Message brokers vs. APIs: what are the differences?

There are two main ways to enable communication between software applications: message brokers and APIs. Both have their pros and cons, and the best choice for a given situation depends on the specific requirements. Here’s a quick overview of the key differences between message brokers and APIs:

  1. Message brokers are designed for large-scale, asynchronous communication. They can handle high volumes of messages and can be used to connect disparate systems. However, they tend to be complex and can be difficult to manage.
  1. APIs, on the other hand, are typically used for more direct, synchronous communication between two applications. They’re usually simpler and easier to manage than message brokers, but they don’t scale as well.

So, which is better: message broker or API? It depends on your needs. If you need to connect multiple systems or you’re dealing with high volumes of data, a message broker is probably your best bet. If you just need to enable communication between two applications, an API will likely suffice.

Message Broker Use Cases

A message broker is an intermediary software component that enables communication and collaboration between applications, services, and systems. By using a message broker, organizations can decouple applications and services to improve scalability, performance, and reliability 

There are numerous message broker use cases, such as 

Message brokers can be deployed in a variety of ways, including on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. The most important considerations when choosing a deployment model are performance, security, compliance, and cost.

How Memphis{Dev} Can Help You

Memphis{​dev} is an open-source, modern replacement for Apache Kafka, and probably the easiest message broker in the world. It combines the reliability of a well-known OSS project called NATS.IO with an out-of-the-box abilities that greatly shorten the time to spin-up a fully-optimized message broker and start developing event-driven applications.

The main features of Memphis{​dev} are

3-minute installation over any Docker or Kubernetes

Easy-to-use UI, CLI, and SDKs (Constantly evolving)

Real-time tracing of messages and their journey

Inline processing

Schema management

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