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31 March 2010, 13:20

iMatix to drop OpenAMQ support by 2011

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iMatix, the original creator of AMQP, is dropping support for its own OpenAMQ implementation and the AMQP messaging protocol by 2011. The decision was announced by Pieter Hintjens in a posting to the openamq-dev mailing list. Hintjens says that while iMatix was the original designer of AMQP it now believes it is "fundamentally flawed and unfixable". The company is moving its resources to invest in ZeroMQ (0MQ) and is developing a migration programme for its customers to switch to 0MQ. 0MQ, also developed by iMatix, is an open source LGPL licensed lightweight and fast messaging system which is described as "TCP on steroids".

AMQP is a standard for message oriented middleware, used to create reliable, persistent connections between enterprise infrastructure for distributed and resilient services. AMQP was originally developed by iMatix and JP Morgan Chase and Co between 2004 and 2006. iMatix documented the protocol as an interoperable specification and helped create a working group around the specification which included Red Hat and Cisco. In 2009, the development of the AMQP standard was disturbed by a disagreement over patents related to the standard, which appears now to be a symptom of discontent within the AMQP community.

Hintjens says that iMatix will be "stepping out of the AMQP work group" and not supporting AMQP/1.0 "when that emerges, if it ever emerges". In comments on Hacker News, Hintjens expanded on the issues. "We've waited 6 years for AMQP to develop a community and address basic issues such as its complexity and high cost of change. No progress... despite years (literally) of work to try to open the AMQP work group to wider participation". He noted flaws in the development of AMQP; "When the AMQP working group was founded, RHAT (Red Hat) took a very assertive role over AMQP and created versions that no-one else implemented, and which were pushed through the working group by sheer political force".


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