Reliable messaging for mobile apps

James Governor wrote a nice post on Facebook’s expanding usage of MQ-TT. I’ve written about WebSphere MQ’s native telemetry transport (MQ-TT) capabilities in the past. The fact that Facebook is using MQ-TT protocol isn’t new news, they have actually been using it for their Facebook messenger capability for years. However, the fact that they are expanding their use because of the benefits of the protocol is definitely an encouraging development.

“…this week Facebook announced it would stop offering lame mobile experiences by offering a new native IoS client… and it is deepening its commitment to MQTT”

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With Facebook expanding their usage of MQ-TT, I would think it is a safe bet that MQ-TT is the dominant real-time messaging protocol for mobile apps. It isn’t surprising that other software vendors like Software AG are announcing support for it.

I talk to at least one organization every week who is looking for reliable real-time messaging between mobile apps and on-premise systems. Most customers are not wholesale adopting WebSockets yet (some because of compatibility concerns, some because of security and reliability concerns, some because of server resource usage concerns). Usually when I tell them they can simply extend the industry’s leading reliable messaging platform (WebSphere MQ) out to mobile devices, using the same management tools and skills they use today, they are both incredulous and thrilled. Add to that WebSphere MQ’s inherent security and reliability benefits, and the ability to support models like pub/sub, and you have a much more complete solution.

The benefits of MQ-TT are extraordinary when you consider battery and bandwidth usage. As compared to HTTPS polling on an Android 3G, MQ-TT has 93x higher throughput with much lower latency, while consuming 1/10th the bandwidth, and well over 10x less battery usage. The scalability of the protocol is probably best evidenced by Facebook messenger’s use, given they have over 350M mobile users.

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