Object-Oriented Programming

Design Pattern Message Queue

Michael L. Collard, Ph.D.

Department of Computer Science, The University of Akron



  • Producer has direct knowledge of the Consumer interface
  • Producer blocks while Consumer processing occurs
  • Does not easily support multiple Producers
  • Does not easily support multiple Consumers

Message Queue

The message queue pattern decouples the sender and receiver of a message by introducing an intermediary component, the message queue.

  • Messages are placed in a queue by the sender
  • Messages are retrieved from the queue by the receiver
  • Typically, the sender and receiver are in a separate thread or process
  • This way, the sender and receiver are asynchronous

Message Queue




The message queue can be implemented using a variety of technologies

  • In-memory queues
  • Disk-based queues
  • Distributed message brokers


  • Producers The components responsible for generating and sending messages to the message queue
  • Consumers The components responsible for processing messages received from the message queue
  • MessageQueue A buffer-like data structure that stores and manages messages in a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) manner. It can be either in-memory or persistent.
  • MessageBroker An optional component that manages the message queue and facilitates message routing, delivery, and persistence

Key Concepts

  • Asynchronous Communication Message queues enable asynchronous communication, allowing producers and consumers to interact without waiting for each other to complete their tasks
  • Decoupling Message queues promote the separation of concerns and reduce dependencies between components, making the system more maintainable and less prone to cascading failures
  • Scalability Message queues can help to distribute workload evenly among consumers, which can be scaled horizontally to handle increased demand
  • Resilience Message queues provide a level of fault tolerance by ensuring that messages are not lost if a consumer fails or becomes unavailable
  • Routing and Filtering Message brokers can provide advanced routing and filtering capabilities, allowing messages to be directed to specific consumers based on specific criteria
  • Load Balancing Message queues can distribute the workload among multiple consumers, preventing overloading and improving overall system performance


  • Improved system responsiveness By using asynchronous communication, components can continue processing other tasks without waiting for responses, resulting in a more responsive system
  • Flexibility Decoupling allows for independent development, deployment, and scaling of components, making it easier to adapt to changing requirements
  • Enhanced reliability Message queues can buffer messages during peak times or when consumers are temporarily unavailable, preventing message loss and improving overall system reliability
  • Simplified Error Handling Centralizing error handling in consumers allows for better error isolation and recovery mechanisms


  • Increased complexity Implementing a message queue pattern can introduce additional complexity to a system, such as managing message brokers and ensuring message delivery
  • Latency Asynchronous communication can introduce some latency in processing messages, which might not be suitable for time-sensitive applications
  • Debugging and Monitoring Debugging and monitoring distributed systems using message queues can be more challenging due to the asynchronous nature of the communication