Enhancing Web Service Communication with Messaging

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Web services are transforming the digital landscape by allowing diverse applications to communicate using a universal format: XML. However, the technology behind web services, while facilitating remote function execution, falls short in providing a solid framework for managing data flow. This article delves into the integration of messaging with web services to address this gap, offering a more reliable and scalable solution for enterprise applications.

The Evolution of Web Services

Web services represent a significant leap in web application development. They are autonomous,Enhancing Web Service Communication with Messaging Articles modular applications that can be discovered, published, and executed over the internet. These services can perform a range of functions, from simple data retrieval to complex business processes.

The Shift from Web Applications to Web Services

Traditional web applications are designed for user interaction, whereas web services facilitate application-to-application communication. This shift is pivotal for evolving business models from B2C to B2B, as web services are instrumental in enabling seamless integration between businesses.

Web services empower organizations to integrate applications effortlessly, exchange information with partners, and access enterprise systems through various devices.

Identifying the Challenges

Despite their advantages, web services alone cannot guarantee the effective management of data. Enterprises must consider whether their applications can handle increased messaging demands, preserve data integrity after crashes, and connect seamlessly to backend systems. These challenges necessitate the adoption of a complementary technology: Messaging.

The Messaging Paradigm

Messaging offers a solution for high-speed, asynchronous communication between programs, ensuring message delivery even when systems are unreliable. It can be likened to voicemail, which allows messages to be left and retrieved at a later time, facilitating communication without requiring both parties to be available simultaneously.

In the enterprise context, messaging ensures dependable communication between processes, regardless of the reliability of the processes themselves or their connections.

The De Facto Messaging Standards

  1. The Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) includes the Java Message Service (JMS) API.
  2. The Microsoft .NET Framework SDK features the System.Messaging namespace for accessing Microsoft Message Queue (MSMQ).

Java Message Service (JMS)

JMS provides Java-based messaging that facilitates message exchange between servers and clients. The messages can vary in format, including text (such as raw text, SOAP, and XML), Java objects, and simple acknowledgment messages. Unlike synchronous methods like TCP/IP packets and Java RMI, JMS operates asynchronously by default, allowing clients to remain disconnected.

Microsoft Message Queue (MSMQ)

MSMQ, Microsoft's messaging implementation, supports both point-to-point and publisher-subscriber messaging models. Messages are stored in queues managed by Queue managers, and applications interact with MSMQ through a straightforward client API. Messages can be prioritized and delivered based on their queue position, with the option to store them in memory or on disk.

MSMQ distinguishes between two types of queues:

  • Public queues: Published in the Message Queue Information Store (MQIS) and accessible throughout the enterprise.
  • Private queues: Not published in the MQIS and only accessible to systems with the queue's full path or format name.

Integrating Messaging with Web Services

The integration of messaging with web services results in a second-generation architecture that addresses data reliability and scalability issues. Messaging servers take on the responsibility of managing messages and web service clients, allowing applications to communicate through an adapter to the messaging server.

This architecture enables multiple applications to reuse a single web service client and simplifies the upgrade process for web services. It also ensures that when an application is overwhelmed, its web service data is queued in the messaging server until it can be processed.


While integrating messaging with web services introduces complexity, it becomes increasingly valuable as the number of applications and web services expands. Messaging is the cornerstone of many integration projects because it streamlines and improves data management. As web services are another method for integrating information and functionality, it is logical to include messaging in the mix.

For further insights on messaging best practices, visit Coding Tips for Messaging.

To explore more about web services interoperability, check out the related article Web Services Interoperability.