QueueProxy on MSMQ cluster

Managing clustered MSMQ was always tricky, since it runs as a separate instance, i.e. more or less like a separate “virtual” computer with MSMQ installed. When you try to manage it from QueueExplorer you’ll see that there are some limitations since it’s done in remote mode, either from one of cluster nodes or from some other machine. You can’t create or modify queues, you can’t find out queue’s transactional status, etc.

QueueProxy allows you to bypass these limitations. It’s a small app which can be installed as a generic cluster application, and since it runs as a part of a cluster, it can connect to clustered MSMQ locally. QueueExplorer then talks with QueueProxy and not with remote MSMQ, eliminating all these problems.

How to run QueueProxy on a cluster?

Here are step by step instructions:

  • Download QueueProxy
  • Unzip it on both cluster nodes, and put in same folders.
  • Open “Failover Cluster Manager”
  • Locate MSMQ role you created before. While it’s selected, pick “Add resource” and select “Generic Application”.
  • Type path to QueueProxy.exe. It should be on the same path on both cluster nodes! Finish wizard.
  • Before bringing “QueueProxy Application” resource online, open its Properties.
  • Go to Dependencies tab, and add MSMQ resource. Click apply but don’t close the tab. If it’s not applied next step won’t work.
  • Go to General tab and check “Use Network Name for computer name”.
  • Now close properties and you can bring “QueueProxy Application” online.

If everything is ok, once you connect to clustered MSMQ from QueueExplorer – you should see that queues have correct transactional/non transactional status, and you’ll be able to create new queues and edit their properties, same as for local MSMQ.

QueueExplorer 4 Beta – next gen queue manager

QueueExplorer 4 is finally available for Beta testing. It’s been a long wait but not without a reason. It was overhauled to support multiple queueing systems, and for start we added support for ActiveMQ.

There are lot of improvements for MSMQ users as well. You no longer have to wait big queues to load, messages now show up progressively as soon as they are received. Neither you have to press F5 to refresh queues and messages as they are refreshed in the background, with new/updated stuff flashing for few seconds to easily see changes.

 

For Professional edition you can now extract business data from your messages using XPath, JSON or Regex. That business data is then displayed as a new column, and you can see, filter, or sort it.

Also, you can create your own folders to organize queues. Just drag and drop queues there or set up wildcard filtering. For example you can use “test*” and have all test queues grouped there. In that case folder will dynamically update itself to include newly created queues which fit wildcard search.

This is just a quick glance on new features, you can check full list and download Beta here:

Full list of improvements in QueueExplorer 4

QueueExplorer for ActiveMQ

Yes, that’s right. We’re extending support to other queueing systems beyond MSMQ. First pick was ActiveMQ. More to come in the future.

You’ll be able to use more or less all features available to MSMQ users – copy/paste messages, save/load to files, create test messages, bulk sending for performance tests, etc. Standard message views like JSON, XML, Text, Hex will continue to work as well. We’ll also cover ActiveMQ specific features. Message properties and headers will be available for filtering and editing, allowing you to quickly find relevant message and change it if needed.

QueueExplorer for ActiveMQ

ActiveMQ Topics

One of biggest differences between ActiveMQ and MSMQ are Topics. Topics are a way to achieve publish/subscribe messaging pattern. Unlike regular queues, topic can have multiple subscribers and each of them receives all messages sent to topic. On the other hand, these messages are not stored like messages sent to a regular queue. They are just passed to currently active subscribers *. So when you subscribe to a topic you only get messages which are published from that moment on.

* What I wrote here is not actually true, but a simplification to help distinguish between regular queue and topic. You can configure topic to keep messages for some time so that if you drop subscription and resubscribe you get messages which came during that period.

Anyway, apart from functionality we already had working for MSMQ, QueueExplorer for ActiveMQ will also allow you to subscribe to topic and see messages as they come in real time.

Sing up to try ActiveMQ support

ActiveMQ support is not yet ready for public yet, but if you want to be the first to know when it’s available sign up here.

QueueExplorer 3.3 – Queue views (PRO)

QueueExplorer 3.3 bring queue views for Professional edition.

Queue views allow user to configure how messages are filtered, displayed, etc. on queue by queue basis. Following settings are stored:

  • Which columns are displayed
  • Filtering and sorting
  • Limiting number of messages (i.e. “Top x messages”)
  • .Net viewer assembly path
  • Encodings for body and extension when displayed as a column

(more…)

QueueExplorer 3.0 Standard and Professional released

We released new major version of QueueExplorer. Here’s list of most important new features in QueueExplorer 3.0:

  • Message body is visible at all times, so it’s much easier to check several messages in a queue – body will be automatically displayed as you click on message.
  • Subqueues are supported if QueueExplorer runs on OS which offers that functionality (Windows Vista or higher).
  • Messages can be quickly filtered by any field, or you can even create more complex queries.
  • Performance is improved in several areas. Now it’s realistic to open, select, save or load queues with tens of thousands of messages.
  • New file format is compressed and much smaller than before, and it doesn’t need lot of memory during save/load as prevoius file format did.
  • WCF messages viewer.
  • Color coded XML editor replaced previous read-only XML view.

(more…)

QueueExplorer 2.2.4 – bugfixes and performance improvements

Changes in this release:

  • Faster loading of big files and reduced memory usage
  • Faster display of large XML message bodies
  • Command line option for turning off loading of public queues for performance reasons – /NoPublic
  • Bugfix: message body larger than 64KB was not correctly displayed/edited
  • Bugfix: messages containing byte 0 were not completely displayed in text view.
  • Bugfix: queue list didn’t show all queue properties correctly.
  • Bugfix: on some Vista machines QueueExplorer worked with reduced functionality

QueueExplorer 2.2.3 released

Changes in this release:

  • Queues are now closed immediately after each operation to prevent locking issues with other applications
  • Reduced MSMQ security requirements. QueueExplorer required full MSMQ permissions no matter which operation was performed. Now it will ask only for what’s needed, e.g. Peek to get list of messages, Receive to delete message, etc. Works only on .Net 2.0 or higher
  • Bugfix: More complex class hierarchies in .Net view crashed entire QueueExplorer.