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Service Bus - Introduction to Service Bus of Windows Azure

With the last versions of Windows Azure, Service Buss from Windows Azure updated and having a log of new features. I will write a series of posts about Service Buss from the Windows Azure.
I saw that there are a lot of persons that don’t know what Service Buss is. So, let’s try to define what Service Buss means in general.
Service Bus is an architecture model that is used to create applications (or modules) that need to communicate and interact between each other. The way that they are communicating is asynchronous and they are oriented to a design that uses messages. Any kind of communication between components is made using messages. One important feature of Service Buss, it that a specific message is sends to the Service Buss, without specifying a specific receiver. Based on the message the Service Buss can broadcast the message to one, two or 10 listeners.
In the current version of Windows Azure we have three types of Service Bus:
  • Service Bus Queues
  • Service Bus Topics
  • Service Bus Relay
Service Bus Queues use as the name say, use a queue to communicate between the sender and the receiver. In this way the sender (the producer) don’t need to wait the message to be consumed by the receiver and can working. The receivers are able to pull from the queue messages that were send in the same order that the producer added to the Service Buss Queue. This type of communicate support a brokered messaging communication model.
One important think that we need to notify at this type of service bus is the numbers of consumers for each message. A message will be able to be consumed by only one consumer, and only one.
The next type of service bus is Service Bus Topics. From the perspective of the producer it is very similar. The consumer creates a message and sends it to the service buss. The consumer of this messages need to as for the Service Bus Queues register to the service bus. We will be notified each time when a message is available in the service bus. The main difference is the numbers of subscribers that can exist for each message. In the Service Bus Queues we had only one, but in this type of Service Bus we can have multiple subscribers. Each message will be send to each subscriber.
This type of communication is one-to-many and represent the publish/subscribe communication model. When we will talk about this type of service bus will describe how it was implemented.
The last type of service bus is Service Bus Relay. This last type of service bus doesn’t use messages as we expect. He helps us to create WCF services for applications that are hosted on on-premise servers not only in cloud. It offers us a safe method to expose WCF services from our on-premise servers and accessed from cloud or by other clients in a very safe way. It enable us to secure the access to services and offer access to WCF services without creating custom rules on our on-premise network and firewalls. Using this feature we can very easily and safe expose WCF services from our private networks without having security problems.
We saw what kind of Service Bus exists on Windows Azure. In the next series of post we will talk about each of one in details.


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