Not Your Father's Cloud: Microsoft Azure Service Bus Explained

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If you need to understand the format of this post, take a look at my introduction to the series.

Like A Boss

Microsoft Azure Service Bus is a PaaS offering that allows application developers to connect components of larger systems to one another in a loosely coupled fashion. Loose coupling facilitates scalability of systems through asynchronous messaging (send a message, don't wait, receive a response at a later time) and Service Bus' messaging architecture also enables scalability via publish/subscribe messaging (send one message, lots of subscribers can receive it).  Through use of Service Bus Relay it is also possible to integrate on-premise systems with Microsoft Azure without the need to create Virtual Private Networking (VPN) connections.  The most recent addition, Notification Hubs, allows push notifications to large numbers of mobiles devices to be sent by way of a single call.  As with many other Microsoft Azure services there are SDKs in a range of languages including .Net, Java, Node.js, PHP, Python and Ruby.

Goes Well With

  • Custom-built Cloud applications that require inter-component messaging.
  • Integration of on-premise applications with Cloud applications (Service Bus Relay).
  • Mobile solutions that could target large subscriber bases (you know, like the Olympics!):

Open Other End

  • Legacy systems that do not support an asynchronous integration pattern.
  • Off-the-shelf software that has an API that cannot be modified or proxied to support Service Bus Relay.
  • If you're likely to have a queue exceeding 5GB you will need to use Queue Storage Service instead.

Contents May Be Hot

  • Quotas on some aspects of Service Bus may mean you need to solve larger scale-out scenarios with multiple queues, topics or subscriptions.
  • Make sure you design your solutions well.  Null messages to empty queues or subscriptions still incur a cost.

Don't Take My Word For It

Let the man behind the service, Clemens Vasters, give you an introduction to Service Bus.

(originally from: