The last 12 months have been very busy for WebSphere MQ. First, in November 2011 there was a great new functional release with WebSphere MQ V7.1, bringing improvements to performance, security, install and more on all platforms including z/OS. Then we brought out a major shift in how we packaged and delivered the whole WebSphere MQ family with WebSphere MQ V7.5 in June 2012. And now we follow up both of those with the announcement of WebSphere MQ Advanced V7.5 and WebSphere MQ Advanced for z/OS V7.1.
So what are these new offerings, how do they build on the other recent releases, and why are they important and of benefit for our clients – they many thousands of MQ users?
First, a quick restatement of the reason for using WebSphere MQ – IT infrastructure becomes ever more complex as it is more inter-connected. More applications, more systems, more services. All looking to exchange information rapidly, simply, reliably, securely. And the truth is that no matter how robust you make your infrastructure, failures inevitably occur, which means your applications that move and exchange data need to cater for all types of potential failure. This introduces complexity, potential errors and vastly increases the time and cost to both implement and maintain each and every application.
So WebSphere MQ exists on virtually every commercial IT platform to allow developers to focus their applications on the business logic, and to leave the handling of the data movement to WebSphere MQ, where failures can be managed and handled without logic in the applications.
WebSphere MQ was able to be extended to add additional value, generally for fairly general use-cases, such as managed file transfer using MQ as a transport, and for end-to-end encryption, and also extending the MQ infrastructure to more lightweight, infrequently connected devices.
In WebSphere MQ V7.5 we changed how we made all this MQ content available, by shipping all of it within the core WebSphere MQ package. All content was separately installable and separately entitled, but it was all available to all WebSphere MQ users as a part of the package, and hence a core part of the whole MQ value proposition. This was how IBM would be delivering WMQ content from now on – as a whole package. And customers could easily trial any of the features in the offering to see if they were of interest to their business.
But it was then clear that part of the value of the WebSphere MQ V7.5 package could be progressed further, by making it even simpler for customers to move up to use all of the WebSphere MQ capabilities, by enabling customers to buy and install all of the capabilities more easily. So we are today – October 9th 2012 – announcing WebSphere MQ Advanced V7.5, which will be available on October 12th 2012. This part provides entitlement to WebSphere MQ V7.5, and also WebSphere MQ Managed File Transfer Service, as well as WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security. If you buy 1000PVUs of WebSphere MQ Advanced you get entitlement to 1000 PVUs of each of those 3 offerings. Customers who buy any entitlement to WebSphere MQ Advanced also get unlimited entitlement to deploy WebSphere MQ Telemetry, allowing the standard WMQ Telemetry clients to connect to any of their WMQ Servers.
The addition of WebSphere MQ Advanced to the licensing options available to customers (none of the existing licenses are being removed) will make it easier for customers to buy and deploy all the WebSphere MQ capabilities they need, without worrying about whether they are actually entitled to deploy them.
Buying and deploying WebSphere MQ Advanced will also encourage more developers to take advantage of the use-cases around WebSphere MQ Managed File Transfer, WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security and WebSphere MQ Telemetry, which will allow WebSphere MQ users to get more benefit from their existing WebSphere MQ investment and help that network drive those benefits more deeply into their business.
An important aspect of this announcement is that we have not just announced WebSphere MQ Advanced V7.5 for distributed platforms but also WebSphere MQ Advanced for z/OS V7.1. When we announced WebSphere MQ V7.5, it was just for distributed platforms as it made substantial changes and fixes to the specific install procedures on the distributed platforms which weren’t an issue on the z/OS platform. However with WebSphere MQ Advanced we wanted to deliver on z/OS something as similar as possible to the plan for the distributed platforms. As on the distributed platforms the z/OS versions of WMQ Advanced Message Security and WMQ File Transfer Edition depend on WebSphere MQ being available. However unlike the distributed platforms where multiple WMQ servers may be deployed on multiple different physical machines, on z/OS you would tend to see WebSphere MQ deployed on a z/OS partition with numerous other applications. As such the best way to provide the aggregated and integrated value of the wider WebSphere MQ family on z/OS is to combine both WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security and WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition in a single package, where WebSphere MQ for z/OS is a pre-req, but otherwise customers buying this new offering will gain entitlement to both WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security and WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition.
We believe both of these announcements will help our customers better understand the wide set of WebSphere MQ capabilities and find it easy to gain entitlement to all the functions they need. Customers can of course continue to buy and use the separate WebSphere MQ parts already available, and buy WebSphere MQ Advanced as they see the need.
One last item before I finish this blog update. There was a recent item on the MQDev Community Blog about how you can use the MQTT protocol in a Hybrid android mobile app developed using IBM Worklight Studio. This is a great example of the exciting ways in which both the MQTT protocol, and also WebSphere MQ Advanced can be used going forward.
Now what shall we do next with WebSphere MQ? Watch this space!