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Enqueue, Dequeue, Propagation Features of Advanced Queuing

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Enqueue Features

The following features apply to enqueuing messages.

Correlation Identifiers

Users can assign an identifier to each message, thus providing a means to retrieve specific messages at a later time.

Subscription and Recipient Lists

A single message can be designed to be consumed by multiple consumers. A queue administrator can specify the list of subscribers who can retrieve messages from a queue. Different queues can have different subscribers, and a consumer program can be a subscriber to more than one queue. Further, specific messages in a queue can be directed toward specific recipients who may or may not be subscribers to the queue, thereby overriding the subscriber list.

You can design a single message for consumption by multiple consumers in a number of different ways. The consumers who are allowed to retrieve the message are specified as explicit recipients of the message by the user or application that enqueues the message. Every explicit recipient is an agent identified by name, address, and protocol.

A queue administrator may also specify a default list of recipients who can retrieve all the messages from a specific queue. These implicit recipients become subscribers to the queue by being specified in the default list. If a message is enqueued without specifying any explicit recipients, the message is delivered to all the designated subscribers.

A rule-based subscriber is one that has a rule associated with it in the default recipient list. A rule-based subscriber will be sent a message with no explicit recipients specified only if the associated rule evaluated to TRUE for the message. Different queues can have different subscribers, and the same recipient can be a subscriber to more than one queue. Further, specific messages in a queue can be directed toward specific recipients who may or may not be subscribers to the queue, thereby overriding the subscriber list.

A recipient may be specified only by its name, in which case the recipient must dequeue the message from the queue in which the message was enqueued. It may be specified by its name and an address with a protocol value of 0. The address should be the name of another queue in the same database or another Oracle database (identified by the database link), in which case the message is propagated to the specified queue and can be dequeued by a consumer with the specified name. If the recipient's name is NULL, the message is propagated to the specified queue in the address and can be dequeued by the subscribers of the queue specified in the address. If the protocol field is nonzero, the name and address are not interpreted by the system and the message can be dequeued by a special consumer.

Priority and Ordering of Messages in Enqueuing

It is possible to specify the priority of the enqueued message. An enqueued message can also have its exact position in the queue specified. This means that users have three options to specify the order in which messages are consumed: (a) a sort order specifies which properties are used to order all message in a queue; (b) a priority can be assigned to each message; (c) a sequence deviation allows you to position a message in relation to other messages. Further, if several consumers act on the same queue, a consumer will get the first message that is available for immediate consumption. A message that is in the process of being consumed by another consumer will be skipped.

Messages belonging to one queue can be grouped to form a set that can only be consumed by one user at a time. This requires that the queue be created in a queue table that is enabled for message grouping. All messages belonging to a group have to be created in the same transaction and all messages created in one transaction belong to the same group. This feature allows users to segment complex messages into simple messages; for example, messages directed to a queue containing invoices can be constructed as a group of messages starting with the header message, followed by messages representing details, followed by the trailer message. Propagation

This feature enables applications to communicate with each other without having to be connected to the same database or the same queue. Messages can be propagated from one Oracle AQ to another, irrespective of whether the queues are local or remote. Propagation is done using database links and Oracle Net Services (formerly Net8).

Sender Identification

Applications can mark the messages they send with a custom identification. Oracle also automatically identifies the queue from which a message was dequeued. This allows applications to track the pathway of a propagated message or a string messages within the same database.

Time Specification and Scheduling

Delay interval or expiration intervals can be specified for an enqueued message, thereby providing windows of execution. A message can be marked as available for processing only after a specified time elapses (a delay time) and has to be consumed before a specified time limit expires.

Rule-Based Subscribers

A message can be delivered to multiple recipients based on message properties or message content. Users define a rule-based subscription for a given queue as the mechanism to specify interest in receiving messages of interest. Rules can be specified based on message properties and message data (for object and raw payloads). Subscriber rules are then used to evaluate recipients for message delivery.

Asynchronous Notification

The asynchronous notification feature allows clients to receive notification of a message of interest. The client can use it to monitor multiple subscriptions. The client does not have to be connected to the database to receive notifications regarding its subscriptions.

Clients can use the OCI function, OCISubcriptionRegister, or the PL/SQL procedure DBMS_AQ.REGISTER to register interest in messages in a queue.

Dequeue Features

The following features apply to dequeuing messages.


A message can be retrieved by multiple recipients without the need for multiple copies of the same message. Designated recipients can be located locally or at remote sites. Navigation of Messages in Dequeuing

Users have several options to select a message from a queue. They can select the first message or once they have selected a message and established a position, they can retrieve the next. The selection is influenced by the ordering or can be limited by specifying a correlation identifier. Users can also retrieve a specific message using the message identifier.

Modes of Dequeuing

A DEQUEUE request can either browse or remove a message. If a message is browsed, it remains available for further processing. If a message is removed, it is not available more for DEQUEUE requests. Depending on the queue properties, a removed message may be retained in the queue table.

Optimization of Waiting for the Arrival of Messages

A DEQUEUE can be issued against an empty queue. To avoid polling for the arrival of a new message, a user can specify if and for how long the request is allowed to wait for the arrival of a message.

Retries with Delays

A message must be consumed exactly once. If an attempt to dequeue a message fails and the transaction is rolled back, the message will be made available for reprocessing after some user-specified delay elapses. Reprocessing will be attempted up to the user-specified limit.

Optional Transaction Protection

ENQUEUE and DEQUEUE requests are normally part of a transaction that contains the requests, thereby providing the desired transactional behavior. You can, however, specify that a specific request is a transaction by itself, making the result of that request immediately visible to other transactions. This means that messages can be made visible to the external world as soon as the ENQUEUE or DEQUEUE statement is issued or after the transaction is committed.

Exception Handling

A message may not be consumed within given constraints, such as within the window of execution or within the limits of the retries. If such a condition arises, the message will be moved to a user-specified exception queue.

Listen Capability (Wait on Multiple Queues)

The listen call is a blocking call that can be used to wait for messages on multiple queues. It can be used by a gateway application to monitor a set of queues. An application can also use it to wait for messages on a list of subscriptions. If the listen returns successfully, a dequeue must be used to retrieve the message.

Dequeue Message Header with No Payload

The dequeue mode REMOVE_NODATA can be used to remove a message from a queue without retrieving the payload. Use this mode to delete a message with a large payload whose content is irrelevant.

Propagation Features

The following features apply to propagating messages.

Automated Coordination of Enqueuing and Dequeuing

Recipients can be local or remote. Because Oracle does not support distributed object types, remote enqueuing or dequeuing using a standard database link does not work. However, you can use AQ message propagation to enqueue to a remote queue. For example, you can connect to database X and enqueue the message in a queue, DROPBOX, located in database X. You can configure AQ so that all messages enqueued in DROPBOX will be automatically propagated to another queue in database Y, regardless of whether database Y is local or remote. AQ will automatically check if the type of the remote queue in database Y is structurally equivalent to the type of the local queue in database X and propagate the message.

Recipients of propagated messages can be applications or queues. If the recipient is a queue, the actual recipients are determined by the subscription list associated with the recipient queue. If the queues are remote, messages are propagated using the specified database link. Only AQ-to-AQ message propagation is supported.

Propagation of Messages with LOBs

Propagation handles payloads with LOB attributes.

Propagation Scheduling

Messages can be scheduled to propagate from a queue to local or remote destinations. Administrators can specify the start time, the propagation window, and a function to determine the next propagation window (for periodic schedules).

Enhanced Propagation Scheduling Capabilities

Detailed run-time information about propagation is gathered and stored in the DBA_QUEUE_SCHEDULES view for each propagation schedule. This information can be used by queue designers and administrators to fix problems or tune performance. For example, available statistics about the total and average number of message/bytes propagated can be used to tune schedules. Similarly, errors reported by the view can be used to diagnose and fix problems. The view also describes additional information such as the session ID of the session handling the propagation, and the process name of the job queue process handling the propagation.

Third-Party Support

AQ allows messages to be enqueued in queues that can then be propagated to different messaging systems by third-party propagators. If the protocol number for a recipient is in the range 128 - 255, the address of the recipient is not interpreted by AQ and so the message is not propagated by the AQ system. Instead, a third-party propagator can then dequeue the message by specifying a reserved consumer name in the dequeue operation. The reserved consumer names are of the form AQ$_P#, where # is the protocol number in the range 128-255. For example, the consumer name AQ$_P128 can be used to dequeue messages for recipients with protocol number 128. The list of recipients for a message with the specific protocol number is returned in the recipient_list message property on dequeue.

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