Sunday, July 17, 2011

Azure Queue

In general, Queue stores messages that may be read by any client who has access to the storage account. Azure queue is a FIFO queue, so when you peek/get a message, it returns the first message (earliest message by time) that was inserted into the queue, problem is this is not guaranteed, so you need to carefully plan your application.

When a new consumer requests a message in Azure queue, the next available visible message is sent to it. In case a consumer asks for a 30sec processing time, but fails to delete the message during this time, the message is marked visible again by the queue and is made available to the next consumer. If the consumer tries to delete a message after the timeout, the queue checks the ‘popreceipt’ to see if it indeed is the most recent requester of the message, if not an exception is thrown.

Azure queue can contain an unlimited number of messages, each of which can be up to 8 KB in size. Messages are generally added to the end of the queue and retrieved from the front of the queue, although first in, first out (FIFO) behavior is not guaranteed.

Windows Azure Queue provides a reliable message delivery mechanism. It provides a simple and asynchronous work dispatch mechanism, which can be used to connect different components of a cloud application. The Windows Azure Queues are highly available, durable and performance efficient. Its programming semantics ensure that a message can be processed at least once. Furthermore, Windows Azure Queue has a REST interface, so that applications can be written in any language and they can access the queue at anytime from anywhere in the Internet via the web.

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