WCF, MSMQ et al: Durable Reliable Messaging 

I'm thinking about reliable messaging these days (isn't it evident?). There are a couple of specific reasons for that. First, I can imagine a wonderful world of seamless message delivery. Second, currently there are technology limitations that prohibit what most of the industry would like to see.

Let's take a look.

There's a sentence in the first post of the series that says:

There is no durable reliable messaging support in WCF.

This is conditionally true. There are built-in bindings that support MSMQ integration and use MSMQ transport as a delivery mechanism, thus making the message exchange durable. Limitations of this approach include platform dependence, durable store dependence and more importantly, one-way messaging. To implement a durable duplex session one would need to implement two one-way service contracts. Downside? Forget about clients sitting behing a NAT without poking holes in your firewalls.

There are multiple uses for having durable messaging, the most prominent being different client/service lifetimes. Why can't I dispatch a message to a service when the service is down or I have no network connectivity?

Reliable messaging support in WCF is designed to support reliable transport and does not make any assurances of what happens to messages when they hit both ends of the wire. The problem is not in the WCF implementation but rather the WS-RM spec, which does not imply on how and when a message should/must be persisted.

There are different implementations of durable transports or at least, some people are already thinking about it. Amazon's SQS Transport for WCF is a good idea, and so is SQL Server SSB usage... if you control both ends of the wire.

The industry (read WS-* stack) needs a specification which will cover interoperable + durable message delivery. BYODS ("bring your own durable store") concept would be efficient only when demanding a durable store on the other side of the wire, is governed by a messaging specification.

Categories:  .NET 3.0 - WCF
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 11:25:32 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


Thursday, May 31, 2007 3:19:16 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
Is this where Biztalk "R2" is taking us?
Friday, June 1, 2007 2:16:59 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)
No. BizTalk is the router and (optionally) a transformer. There is no strong durability story in BizTalk.
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