Steve HustonRiverace Corporation
Steve's Networked Programming Newsletter
Making Nets Work
November 2009

In September I showed an Apache Qpid "How-To" describing how to send a message. This month I have the complement to that example, showing how to receive a message. This example is also the subject of a blog posting. I intend to expand this "How-To" series on the blog, so keep an eye out there.

As always, be sure to forward this note to other people you work with to be sure they know what's happening in the world of networked application development.

In This Issue
How to Receive a Message Using Apache Qpid C++
ACE Training Live On the Web: November 23!
Did Your Last Project Run Late? Want to Prevent That?
How to Receive a Message Using Apache Qpid C++
Last month I showed how to send a message using the C++ client in Apache Qpid. This article looks at the flip side of that example: how to receive a message.

Apache Qpid offers client APIs in a number of languages, but I work more with the C++ version, so will use that language for this example.

To review the groundwork from last month, the players in AMQP that we're concerned with are:
  • Client: an entity that sends and receives messages. The example in this article is a client program.
  • Exchange: destination for messages that a client sends; there are a number of different exchange types which provide various message distribution mechanisms such as direct, fan-out, and publish-subscribe (pub-sub).
  • Queue: holds messages that a client will receive
  • Broker: the traffic cop; manages exchanges, queues, and the routing between them
  • Connection: a data connection to the broker
  • Session: an abstraction for managing a set of message transfers; Sessions operate over Connections.
The message-sending example sends a message to a direct exchange with a routing key. The broker uses the routing key to route the message from the exchange to any queues that are bound to the exchange using that key. Therefore, this message-receiving example will create a queue and bind it with the same routing key the sending example used. That will cause a copy of the message to be routed to the new queue where the example will retrieve it.

Ok, let's get into it... first, the header files we need:

#include <qpid/client/Connection.h>
#include <qpid/client/Session.h>
#include <qpid/client/Message.h>

As with the sending example, we need a connection to the broker and a session to use. We'll assume there's a broker on the local system and that it's listening on TCP port 5672 (the default for Qpid). After setting up the session, this example does the following:
  • Declare a queue (my_queue) that will receive the messages this program is interested in.
  • Bind the new queue to the exchange using the routing key that the message sender used (my_key).
  • Use a SubscriptionManager and LocalQueue to manage receiving messages from the new queue. There are a number of ways to receive messages, but this one is simple and needs only the single, main thread.
qpid::client::Connection connection;
try {"localhost", 5672);
  qpid::client::Session session = connection.newSession();
  SubscriptionManager subscriptions(session);
  LocalQueue local_queue;
  subscriptions.subscribe(local_queue, string("my_queue"));
  Message message;
  local_queue.get(message, 10000);
  std::cout << message.getData() << std::endl;
  return 0;
} catch(const std::exception& error) {
   std::cout << error.what() << std::endl;
  return 1;

That's it. Again, this is a simple case and there are many options and alternatives. One particular thing to note in the above example is that the Message::getData() method returns a reference to a std::string. It is easy to assume that this means the message is text. This would be a bad assumption in general. A std::string can contain any set of bytes, text or not. What those bytes are is up to the application designers.

Keep an eye on my blog for more how-to article on Qpid (and ACE). Is there something particular you want to see an example of? Let me know!
Do You Need Help Designing Your Next System?
Nobody has to tell you that designing a well-formed, efficient, maintainable networked application is hard. You've had to deal with it. The problem is that networking functionality is usually in a supporting role to your system's main purposes, and your skills and experience are much better used to focus on specific business and technology issues. It may make more sense to bring in seasoned expertise to help design a solid networking base in your next system.

I've helped many companies get great networked applications built - I may be able to help you as well. Let's talk and see if I can help take care of the networking, and let you focus on applying your expertise and experience to the business features that'll really help your system stand out.

Call me at 508-541-9180 or email me at [email protected].
If you have any ideas for areas of networked programming you'd like to hear about in future issues, please email me with your suggestions. In the meantime, keep those nets working!

Steve Huston
Riverace Corporation
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