Skip to main content

Building an Open Standard for Distributed Messaging: Introducing OpenMessaging

By 2017-10-093月 24th, 2018Blog

Through a collaborative effort from enterprises and communities invested in cloud, big data, and standard APIs, I’m excited to welcome the OpenMessaging project to The Linux Foundation. The OpenMessaging community’s goal is to create a globally adopted, vendor-neutral, and open standard for distributed messaging that can be deployed in cloud, on-premise, and hybrid use cases.

Alibaba, Yahoo!, Didi, and Streamlio are the founding project contributors. The Linux Foundation has worked with the initial project community to establish a governance model and structure for the long-term benefit of the ecosystem working on a messaging API standard.

As more companies and developers move toward cloud native applications, challenges are developing at scale with messaging and streaming applications. These include interoperability issues between platforms, lack of compatibility between wire-level protocols and a lack of standard benchmarking across systems.

In particular, when data transfers across different messaging and streaming platforms, compatibility problems arise, meaning additional work and maintenance cost. Existing solutions lack standardized guidelines for load balance, fault tolerance, administration, security, and streaming features. Current systems don’t satisfy the needs of modern cloud-oriented messaging and streaming applications. This can lead to redundant work for developers and makes it difficult or impossible to meet cutting-edge business demands around IoT, edge computing, smart cities, and more.

Contributors to OpenMessaging are looking to improve distributed messaging by:

  • Creating a global, cloud-oriented, vendor-neutral industry standard for distributed messaging
  • Facilitating a standard benchmark for testing applications
  • Enabling platform independence
  • Targeting cloud data streaming and messaging requirements with scalability, flexibility, isolation, and security built in
  • Fostering a growing community of contributing developers

You can learn more about the new project and how to participate here:

These are some of the organizations supporting OpenMessaging:

“We have focused on the messaging and streaming field for years, during which we explored Corba notification, JMS and other standards to try to solve our stickiest business requirements. After evaluating the available alternatives, Alibaba chose to create a new cloud-oriented messaging standard, OpenMessaging, which is a vendor-neutral and language-independent and provides industrial guidelines for areas like finance, e-commerce, IoT, and big data. Moreover, it aims to develop messaging and streaming applications across heterogeneous systems and platforms. We hope it can be open, simple, scalable, and interoperable. In addition, we want to build an ecosystem according to this standard, such as benchmark, computation, and various connectors. We would like to have new contributions and hope everyone can work together to push the OpenMessaging standard forward.” — Von Gosling, senior architect at Alibaba, co-creator of Apache RocketMQ, and original initiator of OpenMessaging

“As the sophistication and scale of applications’ messaging needs continue to grow, lack of a standard interface has created complexity and inflexibility barriers for developers and organizations. Streamlio is excited to work with other leaders to launch the OpenMessaging standards initiative in order to give customers easy access to high-performance, low-latency messaging solutions like Apache Pulsar that offer the durability, consistency, and availability that organizations require.” — Matteo Merli, software engineer at Streamlio, co-creator of Apache Pulsar, and member of Apache BookKeeper PMC

“Oath–a Verizon subsidiary of leading media and tech brands including Yahoo and AOL– supports open, collaborative initiatives and is glad to join the OpenMessaging project.” Joe Francis, director, Core Platforms

“In Didi, we have defined a private set of producer API and consumer API to hide differences among open source MQs such as Apache Kafka, Apache RocketMQ, etc. as well as to provide additional customized features. We are planning to release these to the open source community. So far, we have accumulated a lot of experience on MQs and API unification, and are willing to work in OpenMessaging to construct a common standard of APIs together with others. We sincerely believe that a unified and widely accepted API standard can benefit MQ technology and applications that rely on it.” — Neil Qi, architect at Didi

“There are many different open source messaging solutions, including Apache ActiveMQ, Apache RocketMQ, Apache Pulsar, and Apache Kafka. The lack of an industry-wide, scalable messaging standard makes evaluating a suitable solution difficult. We are excited to support the joint effort from multiple open source projects working together to define a scalable, open messaging specification. Apache BookKeeper has been successfully deployed in production at Yahoo (via Apache Pulsar) and Twitter (via Apache DistributedLog) as their durable, high-performance, low-latency storage foundation for their enterprise-grade messaging systems. We are excited to join the OpenMessaging effort to help other projects address common problems like low-latency durability, consistency and availability in messaging solutions.” — Sijie Guo, co-founder of Streamlio, PMC chair of Apache BookKeeper, and co-creator of Apache DistributedLog