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What is Message Queue for RocketMQ?

Last Updated: Jul 26, 2019

Message Queue for RocketMQ (RocketMQ) is a professional message middleware developed by Alibaba Group. RocketMQ is a core product in the enterprise-level Internet architecture. Based on the highly available distributed cluster technology, RocketMQ provides a series of message cloud services, including message subscription and publishing, message tracing query, scheduled and delayed messages, resource statistics, monitoring, and alerts. With more than nine years of history, RocketMQ provides asynchronous decoupling and load shifting for distributed application systems and supports features for Internet applications, including massive message accumulation, high throughput, and reliable retrying. It is one of the core Alibaba products used to support the Double 11 Shopping Festival.

RocketMQ is already in commercial use and provides highly available message cloud services in multiple regions of Alibaba Cloud. Multiple IDCs are deployed in a single region, ensuring extremely high availability. Even when one IDC completely fails, RocketMQ can still provide a message distribution service for applications with no SPOF. The stability and availability of the product fully comply with the internal standards of Alibaba Group.

Currently, RocketMQ supports access through TCP or HTTP. It also supports seven programming languages: Java, C++, .NET, Go, Python, Node.js, and PHP, to facilitate quick access to the cloud services of RocketMQ for applications developed with different programming languages. You can either deploy your applications on Alibaba Cloud ECS instances or your own enterprise clouds or embed them into a mobile device or IoT device to connect with RocketMQ for sending and receiving messages. Also, local developers can access RocketMQ through the Internet to send and receive messages.


RocketMQ supports access through TCP or HTTP and multiple programming languages, and offers multidimensional management tools. It provides a series of featured functions for different application scenarios.

Feature overview


Support for TCP, HTTP, and STOMP

  • HTTP: RocketMQ supports HTTP and RESTful, making it easy to use, fast to access, and powerful in cross-network access. Additionally, it supports clients developed in seven programming languages.
  • TCP: Different from the HTTP-based access mode of HTTP, the TCP-based SDK access mode is more specialized, reliable, and stable.
  • STOMP: Similar to the text-based protocol HTTP. This protocol is used for lightweight interaction between STOMP clients using script languages (such as Ruby, Python, and Perl) and RocketMQ brokers.

Management tools

  • Web console: It supports topic management, producer management, consumer management, message query, message tracing, statistics, and monitoring.
  • API: It allows you to integrate RocketMQ management tools into your own console.
  • mqadmin command set: A rich set of management commands for private clouds is provided for you to manage RocketMQ by command.

Feature highlights

  • Transactional messages: RocketMQ provides a distributed transaction processing function similar to X/Open XA to ensure transaction consistency.
  • Scheduled and delayed messages: RocketMQ allows producers to specify the length of time to wait before a scheduled or delayed message is delivered. The maximum length is 40 days.
  • Large messages: A maximum message size of 4 MB is supported.
  • Message tracing: This records the complete route of a message from its publishing by the producer to the RocketMQ broker and then to the consumer. This function facilitates troubleshooting.
  • Broadcasting consumption: Consumers identified by the same group ID can consume a certain message once.
  • Ordered messages: Message consumers can consume messages in the order in which messages are delivered.
  • Reset consumer offset: Users can reset the consumer progress by time to trace back messages or discard accumulated messages.
  • Dead-letter queues: Messages that cannot be consumed are stored to a special dead-letter queue for subsequent processing.
  • Message routers: These are used to synchronize and copy messages between instances in different regions all over the world, ensuring data consistency between regions.

Apsara Stack deployment

  • Customization: Technical solutions, and onsite technical support and training are provided.
  • Flexible deployment: RocketMQ can be deployed in Apsara Stack separately or in a hybrid cloud.
  • O&M management: Apsara Stack supports such O&M tools as mqadmin command set and APIs to facilitate the management of platform integration and unified O&M.

Message sending and receiving model

RocketMQ supports the publish/subscribe model. A message publisher (producer) can send a message to a topic of the broker and multiple message receivers (consumers) can subscribe to this topic to receive the message. The model is illustrated in the following figure.


For more information about RocketMQ concepts, see Terms.