Tibco EMS & ActiveMQ Comparison

Tibco EMS & ActiveMQ Comparison

This article mainly focus on what is the basic difference between ActiveMQ and Tibco ems and experimentally determine the performance, message persistence and a comparative analysis between both ActiveMQ and Tibco ems brokers using the same tools and configuration parameters. The outcome of this work is used for selecting the broker that manages high volume of traffics in a busy cloud environment. It is worth mentioning that the experiments are conducted in real physical cloud environments and no simulations are used to verify the results.


Cloud computing gives a great opportunity to the world by reducing the cost of infrastructure and making this same infrastructure easily accessible. Nowadays cloud computing is becoming popular with the intention of moving the services from the ground to the cloud. Such approach introduces flexibility, reliability, and low maintenance. However, speed and performance are considered to be the key factors of cloud solutions and thus the internal processes within it must be fast. We selected two known brokers where we physically experimented their performance behavior and recorded their outcome.

Synchronous communication, asynchronous communication is one of the other known mechanisms used for delivering data from one point to another. Asynchronous communication gives the best performance via the messaging technique. Synchronous communication is give assurance of no message loss with proper settings. Both ActiveMQ and Tibco ems supports Synchronous and asynchronous communication

When we deal with important and highly sensitive data in an organization, avoiding the information loss is one of the main objectives. For these reasons selecting the suitable messaging system and configuration is highly recommended

TIBCO Enterprise Message Service(EMS):

TIBCO Enterprise Message Service is a standards-based messaging solution that can serve as the backbone of an SOA by providing Java Message Service (JMS) compliant communications across a widerange of platforms and application technologies. Organizations are becoming increasingly dependenton the real-time flow of information across systems to ensure top performance and competitiveness.Consequently, most IT organizations are moving away from monolithic applications and towardservice-oriented architecture (SOA) that makes software functions and information easily accessibleand reusable as services. One key requirement of an SOA is the ability to make information of allkinds available wherever and whenever it’s needed, without requiring extensive administrative effortand without putting undue stress and traffic on corporate and public networks.


Thousands of organizations have built their IT infrastructure on TIBCO messaging, including leading financial institutions, government agencies, and telecommunications providers withextremely demanding distributed computing environments. TIBCO’s Enterprise Message Service messagingplatform powers the communications infrastructure for a large number of the world’s top 100companies.

EMS Destination Features:

TIBCO Enterprise Message Service allows you to configure destinations to enhance the functionality of each messaging model. The EMS destination features allow you to:

  • Set a secure mode for access control at the queue or topic level, so that some destinations may require permission and others may not.
  • Set threshold limits for the amount of memory used by the EMS server to store messages for a topic or a queue and fine-tune the server’s response to when the threshold is exceeded
  • Route messages sent to destinations to other servers.
  • Create bridges between destinations of the same or different types to create a hybrid-messaging model for your application. This can be useful if your application requires that you send the same message to both a topic and a queue
  • Control the flow of messages to a destination. This is useful when message producers send messages much faster than message consumers can receive them.
  • Exchange messages with other message services, such as TIBCO FTL, TIBCO Rendezvous, and TIBCO Smart Sockets. Queues can receive messages from any of these services. Topics can either receive or send messages.
  • Set queues to be exclusive or non-exclusive. Only one receiver can receive messages from an exclusive queue. More than one receiver can receive messages from non-exclusive queues.
  • Specify a redelivery policy for queues. When messages must be redelivered, you can specify a property on the queue that determines the maximum number of times a message should be redelivered.
  • Trace and log all messages passing through a destination
  • Administrator operations can use wildcards in destination names. The wildcard destination name is the parent, and any names that match the wildcard destination name inherit the properties of the parent.
  • Use the store property to cause messages sent to a destination to be written to a store file. Set the destination store to store=$sys.failsafe to direct the server to write messages to the file synchronously and guarantee that messages are not lost under any circumstances.
  • Specify that a consumer is to receive batches of messages in the background to improve performance. Alternatively, you can specify that queue receivers are to only receive one message at a time.

Tibco EMS Pros:

  • Enterprise messaging system:The Tibco ems is an enterprise messaging system and it comes with advanced built in functions, we can use them just by configuring properly.
  • Easier Application Integration: TIBCO EMS helps in faster and efficient integration of applications in an enterprise environment. With a centralized EMS server, integration becomes quite easier.
  • Reliability In Message Delivery: TIBCO EMS communication is considered very reliable with a guaranteed delivery of every message. EMS based messaging is preferred and recommended choice for applications with critical data.
  • Secure Messaging Between Applications and Systems: It provides great level of Security and administrative controls, including SSL for client-to-server and server-to-server connectivity, provide secure, message delivery, as well as plug-ins for custom-built authentication.
  • Shared Durable subscription: Tibco Ems supports shared durable subscription.


Tibco EMS Cons:

  • Single Point Of Failure: By defaulta single EMS server maintains all the data in one store.
  • Slower Communication, Low Throughput: Compared to ActiveMQ, TIBCO EMS based communication is considered slower for message communication between applications due to additional overheads associated with its reliability and message delivery guarantees.
  • Proprietary/very expensive: The License cost of Tibco EMS is an expensive one.

Apache ActiveMQ:

“ActiveMQ is an open sourced implementation of JMS 1.1 as part of the J2EE 1.4 specification.”

ActiveMQ is an open source messaging software, which can serve as the backbone ofarchitecturefor distributed applications built upon messaging.

ActiveMQ features:


ActiveMQ provides an abundance of features. The following is a high-level view of them:

  • JMS compliance: A good starting point for understanding the features in ActiveMQ is that ActiveMQ is an implementation of the JMS 1.1 spec. The JMS spec provides important benefits and guarantees, including synchronous or asynchronous message delivery, once-andonly-once message delivery, message durability for subscribers, and much more. Adhering to the JMS spec for such features means that no matter what JMS provider is used, the same base set of features will be made available.
  • Connectivity: ActiveMQ provides a wide range of connectivity options, including support for protocols such as HTTP/S, IP multicast, SSL, STOMP, TCP, UDP, XMPP, and more. Support for such a wide range of protocols equates to more flexibility. Many existing systems utilize a particular protocol and don’t have the option to change, so a messaging platform that supports many protocols lowers the barrier to adoption.
  • Pluggable persistence:ActiveMQ provides multiple flavors of persistence and you can choose between them. Also, security in ActiveMQ can becompletely customized for the type of authentication and authorization that’sbest for your needs. For example, ActiveMQ offers its own style of ultra-fast messagepersistence via KahaDB, but also supports standard JDBC-accessible databases.
  • Pluggable security: ActiveMQ also supports its own simple style of authentication andauthorization, using properties files as well as standard JAAS login modules.
  • Building messaging applications with Java: The most common practice withActiveMQ is using Java applications for sending and receiving messages.
  • Integration with application servers: It’s common to integrate ActiveMQ with aJava application servers like Apache Tomcat, Jetty,Apache Geronimo, and JBoss.
  • Client APIs: ActiveMQ provides client APIs for many languages besides just Java,including C/C++, .NET, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and more. This opens the doorto opportunities where ActiveMQ can be utilized outside of the Java world.
  • Broker clustering: Many ActiveMQ brokers can work together as a federated networkof brokers for scalability purposes. This is known as a network of brokers and can support many different topologies.

Simplified administration: ActiveMQ is designed with developers inmind. As such, it doesn’t require a dedicated administrator because it provideseasy-to-use yet powerful administration features. There are many ways to monitordifferent aspects of ActiveMQ, including via JMX using tools such as JConsoleor the ActiveMQ web console


ActiveMQ Pros:

  • Open source: It is open source so organizations no need to anything forLicense.
  • High Performance:We canstore and send a message at a time by enabling “concurrentStoreAndDispatchQueues” which improves the performance.
  • Pro quality web console: We can perform most of the operations in the GUI mode like sending, receiving messages and viewing all the stats.
  • Custom plugins: ActiveMQ allows developer to add their own custom plugins.

ActiveMQ Cons:

  • Shared Durable subscription: ActiveMQ does not support shared durable subscription.
  • Lot to Develop: To use complete ActiveMQ, it requires lot of development.
  • Difficult to configure: AMQ is uses xml based configuration, Breakingone tag make the server miserable.

Performance comparison between Tibco EMS and ActiveMQ:

Environment setup:

Producers/Consumers  = 20 for Asynchronous

= 100 for Synchronous

Store size                       = 10GB


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