JMS performance and tuning in WAS Liberty

Why these JMS blog posts?

I had a “quick” question from someone, “can I configure JMS to reduce CPU usage and improve performance?”. It was was wet Monday in Orkney (north of Scotland) and I thought I would spent an hour looking into it. A few weeks later, I am much wiser, and have some answers to the question. The Knowledge Center has a lot of information, mostly is useful, mostly accurate, some information is missing and some assumes that you are very familiar with the product.

I also found that that the Java people tend to use different words for familiar concepts, so I had to struggle with this different language.

Below are the blog posts I wrote on getting JMS working on Ubuntu 18.04 with MQ V9.


Paul Titheridge of the IBM MQ change team gave me a huge amount of help with this document – many of the words are his – any errors are all mine.

Tuning summary

  1. Use a connection pool for each business application so they do not interact.
  2. If you are using client connections specify applicationname  so you can see which connection pool is being for the connections and queue handles.
  3. Ensure each jmsActivationSpec has a connection pool with the right size, and labelled with the applicationname
  4. Use the display conn, and dis qstatus type(handles) commands to show the appltag (=applicationname) and userid, and pid (Process id) to identify connections coming from the web server.
  5. Use the MQ statistics to see the number of connects and disconnects, the appltag and userid

I’ll cover some basics before going into detail.  At the bottom I cover the (partial) success I had in tuning the configuration.

10 second performance background

  1. The MQCONN and MQDISC requests are expensive operations. You should use them as infrequently as possible.
  2. If you want to change the userid that your thread is using to communicate with MQ, you have to do MQDISC and then MQCONN with the new userid and password.

If you can keep a queue open, it uses less CPU than frequent opens and closes.

30 second background on JMS in a web server

There are three common patterns for JMS applications

  1. Connect once and stay connected all day doing sends and receives
  2. A listener task gets a message from the queue and passes it to an Message Driven Bean(MDB) which does all of the application work. It usually connects to MQ and sends a reply message.
  3. An application uses the web server and runs a transaction which invokes a program to do the work.

Scenarios in more detail

Connect once

This does one MQCONN/MQDISC

Message Driven Bean(MDB)

  • The listener thread is a long running thread which connects to the queue manager, and loops getting the message from the queue and passing it to a MDB. You specify the MDB name, but can have many instances of the MDB running.
  • The MDB does not need a connection to be given the message.
  • The MDB is given the message, and typically puts a reply back to the originator, so the MDB needs a connection to do this. If it consumes the message, and does no other MQ work, it does not need an MQ connection.
  • These MDB instances all run with the same userid (and password) This logically needs to do an MQCONN … MQDISC. As this is expensive, there is a capability called connection pooling (depending on your JMS provider). With Connection Pooling, when an application issues MQDISC, the request is not passed to MQ, but the connection is saved. Next time an application does an MQCONN, it can reuse this connection and so save a lot of CPU. In a similar way MQCLOSE may not always pass the request through to MQ, but keep the queue open for the next MQOPEN request. I do not think Liberty does this. With connection pooling you can usually specify the maximum number of connections that can be in the pool. If you look at the accounting data, you will see an application did one open of the reply to queue, and many puts. This shows connection pooling was used, and the queue was held open.
  • If the number of connections in use is at the maximum limit for the connection pool, then any new request will be queued.
  • The jmsActivationSpec has a parameter maxEndpoints which defaults to 500 .  This is the maximum number of MDB instances that can run concurrently.   The connectionFactory used by the MDBs need to have at least this maxEndpoints of connections in the pool.

A program running in the web server.

Typically a request is entered into the URL of a web browser for example http://localhost:9080/WMQ_IVT/

The string WMQ_IVT maps to a program which runs and processes the request. For example receive a message from a queue, and send a reply back.

You often have to sign on to be able to use the transaction, but a userid and password may be specified for the connection.

Connection pooling can be used, but it is more complex as the connection pooling code will search for an existing connection in the pool with the same userid and password (the same “subject”), and will use the connection if found. If one is not found, then it takes a unused connection from the pool (with the previous user’s userid and password) issues MQDISC to release the connection with the “wrong” userid, then MQCONN with the new userid and password

If the number of connections in use is at the maximum limit for the connection pool, then any new request will be queued.

Configuring the Web Server

  • When you configure your web server you define connection factory (CF) information. This has parameters such as maximum pool size.
  • An application specifies which connection factory to use. Note: Some applications define all the parameters in the program, and do not use a connection factory.
  • You can specify multiple connection factories.

What can possibly go wrong?

If the PAYROLL application is using the same connection factory as the INQUIRY application , and the INQUIRY applications instances are using all of the connections in the pool, then a PAYROLL instance will have to wait until there is a free connection. This is not good.

You should isolate the CF for different business applications to provide application isolation.

If the connection factory has a maximum size of 2 and the applications use different userids (and passwords) you can get

  • application INQUIRY with userid=INQUSER running twice. These end, and the connections are put back into the pool.
  • PAYROLL runs, with userid=PAYRUSER. There are no free connections with userid PAYRUSER. Under the covers the code has to obtain a free connection, and issue MQDISC + MQCONN. This program ends.
  • If PAYROLL runs again, it can reuse the connection in the pool.
  • If INQ runs next it finds there is a connection with the INQUSER, so does not need to do MQDISC and MQCONN.

So depending on the size of the pool there may be MQCONN and MQDISC to process different userids. Over time you may get lots of MQCONN and MQDISC when there is no connection with the required subject.

So again PAYROLL transaction is impacted by the INQUIRY transaction. In this example, making the connection pool larger(4) would improve the performance. It may be hard to decide how big to make the pool because/of the unknown number of userids that are being used. Making the maximum connection pool size very large can impact other applications if these other applications are unable to connect to MQ because of the MQ connection limit.

It will be easier to manage if each application has its own connection factory.

How many MDBs can be running concurrently?

You can configure the jmsActivationSpec to specify the maximum number of MDBs running at the same time. If each of these needs to put a reply, then the connection pool for these MDBs need to have a connection, so the connection factory being used needs to have the same capacity or larger than that on the jmsActivationSpec.

So Check the the connection pool used by MDBs have enough capacity for the size of the jmsActivationSpec connection pool.

MQ can limit the number of connections it has.

See MaxChannels in Attributes of channels stanzas the default is 200!

qm.ini -> Channel ->  maxChannels

 Maximum instances of server-connection channel connections (MAXINST) the default is 999999999.

Maximum instances per client (MAXINSTC) the default is 999999999.

How can I tell what is going on ?

You can get information about the queue manager, from the queue manager, and information about the web server from the web server and the queue manager.

Getting information from the queue manager.
On distributed MQ you can use MQ statistics to display the number of MQCONNs and MQDISCs in a time interval. If the number of these is low, you may not have a problem or you may have little activity.

Look at the MQ accounting data, this contains information about each transaction. Interesting fields are

“applName”: “java”, the applications will be java if using bindings mode, or the applicationName if using a client – and applicationName has been specified.

“processId”: 18560, in bindings mode, this is the process id of the web server instance.  When using client connections, this is the process id of the channel processing program, /opt/mqm/bin/amqrmppa.   There can be more than one of these depending on the number of connections

“userIdentifier”: “colinpaice”, the userid running the work

“startDateTime”: “2018-10-26T10:36:08”, when the MQCONN happened

“endtDateTime”: “2018-10-26T10:36:08”, when the MQDISC happened.

If you see the duration endDateTime – startDateTime is short – under 10 seconds, most probably you do not have connection pooling.

If you are using connection pooling on WAS liberty, you can specify the maxIdleTime so you would typically expect the duration of each record to be longer than this.

Note. If the configuration is changed, all threads may be closed down and restarted, in this case the duration may be short.

Getting started with information from the display commands.

To investigate the connection and handle usage I did the following.

  1. Specify applicationName in the properties.wmqJms definitions. This only works for client (not binding ) connections, so specify a client conection.
  2. Use a different applicationName for each connectionFactory and ActivationSpec


With this I could then use runmqsc to display some information. For example

DIS QSTATUS(IVT*) type(handle)
AMQ8450I: Display queue status details.


AMQ8450I: Display queue status details.

AMQ8450I: Display queue status details.

AMQ8450I: Display queue status details.

This shows

  1. There is a definitions using applicationName=”jmsASIVTCF”. There are three instance in use, all with the same userid ibmsys1
  2. There is a definition using applicationName=”JMSIVTCFA”. There is an instance, with a userid of colinpaice
  3. These have a process id of 8037


dis conn(*) appltag where(pid,eq,8037)


AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

Which shows there are pooled connections as they are long lasting.

We can see what queues have been opened by the Liberty instance.

  dis conn(*) type(handle) where(pid,eq,8037)

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.
AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.
AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.
AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

So we can see that there are 3 connections with a queue open.

We can display the number of connections by the appltag ( applicationName)

  dis conn(*) where(appltag,eq,IVTCF) userid

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

AMQ8276I: Display Connection details.

So we can see these all have the same userid.

I used some python (which I will publish at a later date) to take the output from the command and summarize it into queue, userid, appltag, and count. For example

q=CP0000,user=colinpaice,appltag=oemput, 1
q=CP0001,user=colinpaice,appltag=COLINMDBCF, 38
q=CP0001,user=ibmsys1,appltag=oemput, 1

oemput is a batch program, the fromQMAJMS and COLINMDBCF are from the applicationName of the  Liberty Connection Factories

Getting information from the Web Server.

Use the tools available with the Web Server to display information about the Connection Pools.

Most J2EE application servers provide some performance metric indicators which monitor connection pool usage. These metrics are usually exposed by either JMX or PMI, and include things such as how long an application waits for a connection from the connection pool, the average time that a connection in the pool was used by an application and so on. The metrics can be very useful in determining whether there is a lot of contention on a connection pool, and if the size of the connection pool needs to be increased

For example with WAS Liberty, you can use jconsole to connect to the liberty instance and display information about

This has a list of connection factories, and you can use operations→ showPoolContents. For example

  ManagedConnection@7ce98dcb=ActiveInTransaction thread=null transaction=2 connectionHandles=0


So we can see one connection is currently in use, and there are two available for reuse.

There are no transactions waiting.

How to tune MQ for JMS

The answer is that most of the tuning is outside of MQ, not within MQ.

Within an application, a JMS connectionFactory is used to define the connection. This includes information on how to connect to the queue manager, for example client or bindings.

As MQCONN and MQDISC are expensive requests, JMS can use connection pooling, where a connection is release back into a pool. A request for a connection can use a free connection in the pool – if one is available.

In a well set up, balanced MQ environment, there will be few MQCONNs an MQDISCs a second, as most of the requests should come from the pool. If a lot of work comes in, you may see the number of connections increase to the maximum. As the work drops off, the number of connections will drop down to a steady state.

To use connection pooling you configure the WebSphere® MQ resource adapter to specify

  • maxConnections
  • reconnectionRetryCount
  • reconnectionRetryInterval
  • startupRetryCount
  • startupRetryInterval

See here.

If you are using the SI bus in liberty as your queuing infrastructure, you can prevent spikes in requests for connections when a log of work arrives, you can specify

  • Surge threshold
  • Surge creation interval.

Which limit how fast the pool grows.

These are not supported for MQ.

If the connection pool is not being used… what do I need to change to get it to be used

  • When running in WebSphere Application Server, connection pooling is provided for free providing an application is using a connection factory that is defined in the WebSphere Application Server JNDI repository.
  • I could no find much information about connection pooling in WebLogic Server.
  • JBOSS documentation refers to Connection pooling – see here  


What do the performance levers do?

With most machinery, there are usually levers to make it go faster, and levers to make it go slower.

Before publishing this blog, I thought I had better check that I had covered the basic Liberty tuning for MQ. I found some levers worked, some levers did not work, and there are  some bottlenecks or levers which are hidden. I used Google search to go through the available documentation and blog posts.

Basic scenario.

I used an MDB based on the code below. Note the Thread.sleep() to add a 2 second wait in the program.

The class

public class mdb implements javax.ejb.MessageDrivenBean,
MessageListener {

with the onMessage method to do the work

public void onMessage(Message message) {
try {
  InitialContext ctx = new InitialContext(); 
  ConnectionFactory cf = (ConnectionFactory) ctx.lookup(“COLINMDB”);
  connection = cf.createConnection();
  session = connection.createSession(false, 1);
  producer = session.createProducer(dest);
  TextMessage response = session.createTextMessage(
      "Colins Reply”);
  Thread.sleep(2000); // this many milliseconds
} catch (Exception je) {}
finally {}

The program uses conectionFactory COLINMDB when sending the reply back.

There was additional code to report when an MDB started, and to print out statistics when it was shut down.   This was done using the methods

public void ejbCreate() {// print out information  }
public void ejbRemove()
throws EJBException
 {   // print out statistics} 

My program has code to time the various requests, and reports the data during “ejbRemove” processing.

Driving program.

I use a program to put 100 non persistent messages, then waited for the replies and then looped. So I would expect to have 100 instances of the MDB running at a time.

Server.xml file

In the server.xml file, I started by making the tuning parameters very large (typically over 200)

Initial results

When I ran the workload I had many messages on the input queue but achieved

  • number of MDBs running                                                     40
  • number of queue handles for the input queue appltag   41
  • number of queue handles for the output queue appltag 30

This was a disappointing surprise.

  1. I expected the number of MDBs to be close to 100. Even when running multiple jobs, and the queue depth of the input queue was over 200, I could not get more than 40-45 MDBs running. There is clearly a bottleneck or hidden lever here.
  2. The number of handles for the input queue was larger than the number of handles for the output queue. So there is another bottleneck or hidden lever here.

I would expect the number of output handles to peak at the value of the input handles. This is true for when the number of MDBs is under about 20, but not for larger numbers

What did the levers do?

jmsActivationSpec maxEndPoints

<jmsActivationSpec id=”MDB/MDB/MDB”   maxEndpoints=”100″ >

Changing maxEndpoints from 100 to 25 gave

  • number of MDBs running                                                    25
  • number of queue handles for the input queue appltag   25
  • number of queue handles for the output queue appltag 25

The maxEndpoints lever clearly works.

jmsActivationSpec, properties.wmqJms maxPoolDepth

<jmsActivationSpec id="MDB/MDB/MDB"
<properties.wmqJms maxPoolDepth="800"

Setting maxPoolDepth to 7 gave

  • number of MDBs running                                                    7
  • number of queue handles for the input queue appltag   7
  • number of queue handles for the output queue appltag 7

So this clearly works.

I do not know the difference between maxEndPoints, and maxPoolDepth.  They both need to be set to a high value to work.

Output queue, jmsConnectionFactory, Connection Manager maxPoolSize

<jmsConnectionFactory id="COLINMDB" 
   <connectionManager maxPoolSize="200"…

Setting maxPoolSize to 13 gave

  • number of MDBs running 100
  • number of queue handles for the input queue appltag 100
  • number of queue handles for the output queue appltag 13

This was a surprise, I get more MDBs but fewer output handles used.

Output queue, jmsConnectionFactory, properties.wmqJms  maxPoolDepth

 <jmsConnectionFactory id="COLINMDB" jndiName="COLINMDB"> 
  <connectionManager maxPoolSize="100" </connectionManager>
   <properties.wmqJms maxPoolDepth="7" 

No difference (but it did make a difference when used in the jmsActivationSpec)

wmqJmsClient maxConnections

<wmqJmsClient maxConnections=”997″ nativeLibraryPath=”a/opt/mqm/java/lib64″/>

Changing maxConnections=”997″ to maxConnections=”25″ had no effect.


<executor name=”Default Executor” coreThreads=”150″ id=”default” maxThreads=”496″ />

See here for the description of the executor tag.  Changing coreThreads and maxThreads had no effect

<executor name=”LargeThreadPool” id=”default”…

name=”LargeThreadPool” is mentioned in several blog posts.  Using this had no impact. 

If I used both, I got messages such as Property coreThreads has conflicting values when the server was restarted.  If I changed this dynamically the problem was not detected.

Startup times.

When the server was started, it took 30 seconds from the message

[AUDIT ] CWWKZ0001I: Application MDB started in 3.024 seconds

to the first MDB being started and processing messages.


Avoiding the random cut and paste approach to configuring JMS in a liberty web server

Why these JMS blog posts?

I had a “quick” question from someone, “can I configure JMS to reduce CPU usage and improve performance?”. It was was wet Monday in Orkney (north of Scotland) and I thought I would spent an hour looking into it. A few weeks later, I am much wiser, and have some answers to the question. The Knowledge Center has a lot of information, mostly is useful, mostly accurate, some information is missing and some assumes that you are very familiar with the product.

I also found that that the Java people tend to use different words for familiar concepts, so I had to struggle with this different language.

Below are the blog posts I wrote on getting JMS working on Ubuntu 18.04 with MQ V9.


WAS Liberty configuration

  • Liberty is a cut down IBM WebSphere Application Server (known as WAS)

  • There are two messaging engines available to WAS

    1. WMQ which all programs can use ( batch, CICS IMS etc)

    2. a messaging engine within the WAS know as the SI bus.

I’ll focus on the WMQ version.

  • A Liberty instance can connect to more than one queue manager, and can use local bindings or client attach.

  • An application running in Liberty can connect to multiple queue managers. For example, it might create a JMS connection to QM1 to get a message, and then connect to QM2 to send a reply. It usually connects to just one queue manager.

  • Different applications running in a Liberty instance can have different requirements, for example they may use different queue managers, or you want to limit how many application instances can connect to MQ at a time

  • You can run a program by specifying a URL in the web browser

  • You can have “triggering” within Liberty where there is a listening thread which gets messages from a queue, and runs an message-driven bean (MDB) instance on a new thread, passing it the message. . Typically these MDBs connect to MQ to put a reply.

  • There is “glue” code between applications and the queue manager. This is provided by IBM and converts the Java requests and issues the request to the queue manager, and handles syncpoint etc. This is the MQ resource adapter (RA), which implements the Java Connector Architecture (JCA) specification.

  • In days gone by you had

    • a jmsQueueConnectionFactory for generating a handle for working with queues,

    • a jmsTopicConnectionFactory for generating a handle for working with topics.

    • there is now a jmsConnectionFactory for working with either. They are not interchangable – I think jmsConnectionFactory is the way to go.

Programs that need a connection to MQ.

These applications

  1. Are involved with a URL. It typically connects to MQ, receives (gets) a message from a queue, and sends(puts) a reply message.

  2. or an MDB sending a reply back to the originator.

  3. or the thread which monitors a queue and invokes the MDB applications

There are several ways of providing the information needed to connect to MQ

  1. Provide all the information in the application. This is not very flexible, as you need to change constants, rebuild and redeploy the applications if you want to change the connection information

  2. Provide all of the information in a configuration file (server.xml). To change the connection information, you change the configuration and restart the application. You do not need to rebuild, nor redeploy the application. Your application passes in a label, and says give me the information.

  3. A mixture of the above.

Different applications may need a different connection profile

You may want different business applications to have a different connection profiles

You may want to specify

  • Queue manager name

  • TCP port number

  • SSL information etc

  • The maximum number of application instances that can get a connection to MQ – for a particular application. Different applications may have a different maximum.


Basic configuration

Page JMS Connection Factory (jmsConnectionFactory) describes the jmsConnectionFactory definition, but it is not very clear on how to specify things.
A sample jmsConnectionFactory definition is given below

<jmsConnectionFactory id="QMAJMS" jndiName="QMAJMS">
  <connectionManager maxPoolSize="21" > </connectionManager>
  <properties.wmqJms hostName="localhost"
    port="1414" transportType="CLIENT" 

Kindergarden basics.

<!– ….–> is a comment

For a “name” tag you either need


or <name… />

Where … is data relevant to that tag and ….. are other tags or is empty.

From the doc you can keyword=”value” on the jmsConnectionFactory tag.


From the doc, you can have tags between <jmsConnectionFactory …> and </jmsConnectionFactory> tags

  • <connectionManager…/>

  • <containerAuthData…/>

  • <properties.wasJms…/>

  • <properties.wmqJms…/>

  • <recoveryAuthData…/>

  • I found you can have <authData user=”…” password=”….”/> but this is not documented.

properties.wasJms are properties you specify if you are using the SI Bus, or internal queue manager, and properties.wmqJms if you are using MQSeries.

If you want to specify applicationName, this is a property on the <properties.wmqJms> and the <properties.wasJms>.  If you specify it else where, it will be ignored. So you cannot specify if on the <jmsConnectionFactory> tag and expect it be propogated to nested elements.  Make sure you specify the data on the correct tag.  You may not get told if you have misspelt it or added it to the wrong tag (as I frequently did).

Which data is used if there are multiple definitions

if you have multiple statements for the same definition, the last definition value is used. You generally do not get told of any differences.

<jmsConnectionFactory… >
<properties.wmqJms queueManager="QMB" transportType="CLIENT" 
<properties.wmqJms queueManager="QMA" transportType="BINDINGS"/>

The parameters used are

  • queueManager=”QMA”

  • transportType=”BINDINGS”

  • applicationName=”Hello”

<jmsConnectionFactory jndiName=J1 id=J1… >
<properties.wmqJms queueManager=”QMB” transportType=”CLIENT”

<jmsConnectionFactory jndiName=J1 id=J1… >
<properties.wmqJms queueManager=”QMC”


Will try to use bindings mode and queue manager QMC.

This behavior is not consistent, for examples

<jmsActivationSpec id="wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB"
<jmsActivationSpec id="wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB"
connectionFactoryLookup="IVTCFA" >

Reports the inconsistency and gives

[AUDIT ] CWWKG0102I: Found conflicting settings for 
wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB instance of 
jmsActivationSpec configuration.
Property connectionFactoryLookup has conflicting values:
Value IVTCFB is set in file:.../test/server.xml.
Value IVTCFA is set in file:...test/server.xml.
Property connectionFactoryLookup will be set to IVTCFA.

Server.xml pre-req information to run JMS applications

You need

<!-- the next two features are needed to install 
the JMS and MDB code -->
<!-- point to the Resource Adapter- 
  specify the value for your system -->
<variable name="wmqJmsClient.rar.location" 
<!-- if you use BINDINGS transport you need to -->
<!-- tell the server where the MQ libraries are -->
<wmqJmsClient nativeLibraryPath="/opt/mqm/java/lib64"/>

Basic JMS configuration

Below is an example configuration to provide connection information for two applications, one to connect to QMA, the other to connect to QMB, both using binding mode.

<jmsConnectionFactory jndiName="jms/PAYROLLCF" id="samplej1>
<properties.wmqJms queueManager="QMA" 
  transportType="BINDINGS" "/>

<jmsConnectionFactory jndiName="INQUIRYCF" id="samplej2>
<properties.wmqJms queueManager="QMB"
  transportType="BINDINGS" "/>

The PAYROLL application issues a request for the JNDI “jms/PAYROLLCF” and will get a bindings connection to queue manager QMA.

The INQUIRY application issues a request for the JNDI “INQUIRYCF” and will get a bindings connection to queue manager QMB.

The properties.wmqJms says this is for an external queue manager. If you had specified. properties.wasJms… this would be for the SI bus queue manager within the WAS server.

You should specify a jmsConnectionFactory for each business application to provide application isolation otherwise they sharer connections.

This should be enough configuration for your applications to connect to MQ, but  quickly moving on to more advanced topics.

Specifying connection parameters

You may want to limit how many concurrent connections a jmsConnectionFactory can use. You specify this information using an <connectionManager.. > tag.

You can either put <connectionManager.. > inside

<jmsConnectionFactory jndiName="PAYROLLCF" id="samplej1>
<connectionManager maxPoolSize=50/>
<properties.wmqJms … />

or create one outside of the tags, and point to it. This way a definition can be shared by multiple jmsConnectionFactorys.

<connectionManager id=”MYCM” maxPoolSize=50/>

<jmsConnectionFactory connectionManagerRef="MYCM"

<jmsConnectionFactory connectionManagerRef="MYCM" 

Each jmsConnectionFactory will have its own pool of threads up to the specified maximum of 50.

Specifying default userid information

You can specify a default userid and password for the application You can specify it inline

For example

<jmsActivationSpec jndiName="PAYROLLCF" id="samplej1>
<authData user="colinpaice" password="ret1red"/>
<properties.wmqJms .../>

The documentation describes containerAuthDataRef on the <jmsConnectionFactory…>

which points to a <authData id=..>
tag outside of the <jmsConnectionFactory..>, but I could not get it to work.

The connection factory pointed to by <properties.wmqJms connectionFactoryLookup=”QMAJMS”.. > can also has an authData, but this is not used for the jmsActivationSpec. It is used when applications use the jmsConnectionFactory – for example the WMQ_IVT sample.

You may have noticed that the password is in clear text! You can use

~/wlp/bin/securityUtility encode xxxxxxx

to encode xxxxxxxx to make it harder to read. For example

./securityUtility encode ret1red



and you use

<authData user=”me” password=”{xor}LTorbi06Ow==”/>

You have to do other configuration for
userid validationthis to work. For example using runmqsc

dis qmgr connauth    

Check you have CHCKLOCL(REQUIRED).

If the queue manager has been configured not to require userid and password then you can omit the <authdata…./>

How to specify a queue

If the applications are looking up the queue information, you pass a jndiName.

If you are specifying the queue for an MDB listener you specify the id, and refer to it.

<jmsQueue id="AAAA" jndiName="JIVTQueue">
<properties.wmqJms baseQueueName="IVTQueue"/>

Common parameters are

  • jndiName, this is what is used in the application to locate the queue definition

  • id used by the EJB listener task (jmsActivationSpec)

  • baseQueueName, this is the queue in the queue manager

  • baseQueueManagerName, this is used to specify a remote queue manager name, so there will typically be transmission queue with this name. This is not the name of the queue manager you need to connect to.

As with the properties.wmqJms above, the last definition is used, so with

<properties.wmqJms baseQueueName="IVT3"/>
<properties.wmqJms baseQueueName="IVT2"/>

the queue IVT2 would be used.

Specifying a MDB listener.

You need to configure the listening task for the queue.

I thought I had configured this properly, but when I tried to test it by using an invalid queue manager – it continued to work! This is because of new functions in <feature>wmqJmsClient-2.0</feature>

I had copied and pasted

<jmsActivationSpec id="wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB"
     maxEndpoints=500 >
  <authData id="auth1" user="colinpaice" password="ret1red"/>


  • id=”wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB” is the identity of the EJB code, it is coded within the EJB itself. “a/b/c” is

    • a: wmq.jmsra.ivt is the ….ear file in dropins directory.

    • b: WMQ_IVT_MDB is the name of the jar file within the .ear file

    • c: WMQ_IVT_MDB is the name of the MDB within the jar file.

  • destinationRef=”AAAA” points to a jmsQueue object described above.

  • QueueManager is the queue manager that the listener connects to – QMA

  • MaxEndpoints is optional and specifies the maximum number of threads that can be used for EJBs. The default is 500. You should specify the maximum number of MDBs you want to run for this Activation spec.

  • destinationType you can specify if you want to get from a queue or subscribe to a topic.

When I changed this to use a different queue manager, it continued to work because the MDB had ConnectionFactoryLookup=”IVTCF” hidden away in the ejb-jar.xml file. To make it even more difficult to understand, parameters can also be coded in @annotations in the java code!

This says ignore the queue manager information specified in the <properties.wmqJms…> within the <jmsActivationSpec…> and use the information in the <jmsConnectionFactory jndiName=”IVTCF“…> definition to find the  queue manager configuration to use.

This creates its own pool of connections based on the information in the jmsConnectionFactory – it does not share the connection pool.

I tried to override it, and specified

<jmsActivationSpec id="wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB" >
<properties.wmqJms connectionFactoryLookup="IVTCFBZ" …./>

where connection factory IVTCFBZ did not exist – but it still worked! ( Because connectionFactoryLookup property in the ejb-jar.xml file took precedence over the connectionFactoryLookup in the activation specification definition).

To be able to configure the jmsActivationSpec how I wanted it, I had to remove ConnectionFactoryLookup and DestinationLookup from the ejb-jar.xml file.

These are the steps I took

  1. copy out the .ear file cp wmq_jmsra_ivt.ear ~/temp/

  2. go to this file cd ~/temp

  3. save a copy in case things go wrong cp wmq_jmsra_ivt.ear

  4. rename it mv wmq_jmsra_ivt.ear ccp.ear
  5. extract the jar file jar -xvf ccp.ear WMQ_IVT_MDB.jar

  6. extract the ejb-jar.xml jar -xvf WMQ_IVT_MDB.jar META-INF/ejb-jar.xml

  7. edit file to remove the two activation-config-properties

  1. save the updates

  2. update the jar file jar -uvf WMQ_IVT_MDB.jar META-INF/ejb-jar.xml

  3. rebuild the ear file jar -uvf ccp.ear WMQ_IVT_MDB.jar

  4. copy the file back to the dropins directory cp ccp.ear…

  5. rename the file in the dropins directory mv wmq_jmsra_ivt.ear wmq_jmsra_ivt.ear.old

I found Configuring the resource adapter for inbound communication

and Configuring the resource adapter for inbound communication useful.

The document describes destinationLookup , which is new – but I could not get it to work. I needed destinationRef= pointing to a <jmsQueue..>.

If I removed destinationRef=… I got

CWWKG0095E: The element properties.wmqJms is missing the required attribute destinationRef.

Without < properties.wmqJms…> I got no console messages and it didnt work!

Can my MDB access this activationSpec?

I could not find any documentation on having your MDB access information from the ActivationSpec, so I dont think you can specify useful information such as which connectionfactory the MDB  should use for sending replies.

I want to use the same MDB for more than one queue or queue manager.

The <jmsActivationSpec id=…> maps to one queue. If you have the same id in two definitions, you get a combined definition, not two. Each major element has to have a unique id, and so you need a different .ear/.jar/mdb combination.

To use a second queue, with the same MDB I had to create a second ear file, ccpdup.jmsra.ivt.ear. This is not simply a copy of the wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear file because the wmq…ear file defines the web application, and Liberty complained because I had duplicate definitions.

WAS Traditional allows you to create a single activation spec definition, and share that across multiple MDBs. It is not possible to do that with Liberty though, so I had to adopt this approach

I did the following steps to create a copy of the ear file.

  1. create a temporary directory

  2. copy wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear info this directory.

  3. expand it into its constituent pieces. jar -xvf wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear

  4. remove the web application .war file I didnt need rm WMQ_IVT.war

  5. edit META-INF/application.xml

  6. remove the WMQ_IVT.war reference

  7. change <display-name>wmq.jmsra.ivt</display-name> to <display-name>ccp.jmsra.ivt</display-name>

  8. create a new jar file jar -cvf ccpdup.jmsra.ivt.ear WMQ_IVT_MDB.jar

  9. add the meta data to the new jar file. jar -uvf ccp.jmsra.ivt.ear META-INF/*

  10. copy ccpdup.jmsra.ivt.ear to the dropins directory

  11. change server.xml to duplication the <jmsActivationSpec and change it to id=”ccpdup.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB”…>

  12. In the dropins directory I copied ccpdup.jmsra.ivt.ear to zzz.jmsra.ivt.ear, and created an jmsActivationSpec. The liberty instance started – I dont know if it works!

I duplicated the <jmsActivationSpec..> and changed the name to ccpdup…..

This then worked.

You do not have to specify …

Under the covers the wmq.jmsra.rar logically generates a <resourceAdapter
id="wmqJms" ..>

You do not need to specify <connectionFactory
because the <jmsConnectionFactory… > does this for you.

Here be dragons – take care

In medieval maps you would get pictures of sea monsters and words of warning “Here be dragons” etc.
I think deploying MDBs and jmsActivationSpec is dragon country
because of the application development team specifying connectionFactoryLookup in the deployed file which overrides which queue manager parameters the system administrator has specified.  What works in test may not work in production, because the values have been hard coded.

The secret deployment can break you

Typically you have

  1. application developers who create the MDB and the .ear, .war and .jar files.

  2. System administrators who configure the environments and move deployments from test into production.

When using a MDB there is a risk that the jmsActivationSpec queue manager and queue information carefully crafted by the system administrators will be ignored. This is because the applications people have quietly added <activation-config-property-name>ConnectionFactoryLookup… → jndiname → queue manager name… deep down in the deployment of the jar file, and no one will know until there is a problem because the wrong queue is being processed, or a queue is not being serviced. To fix this you need to rebuild the application!

I could not find an easy set of commands to find if the string is in the ejb-jar.xml files. You have to extract from the .ear file to get the .jar files, then extract from the .jar files to get the ejb-jar.xml file and then use grep on it! So a big check every time you deploy (or redeploy) any MDB into production.

Difficult to deploy MDB more than once.

If you want to use an MDB on more than one queue, you need to have carefully consider your configuration. You may need multiple .ear files, or you may be able to use alias’s to a base .ear file.

Displaying connection manager information

You can use tools like jconsole to display information provided by JMX, such as the max size of a connection pool – but only a little useful information is provided.

I could not find how to display information about the connection factory built for the jmsActivationSpec.

Definitions not working.

I could not get applicationName=”MYAPP” definition to work on any binding connections.

This only works with client connections ( this is not documented). Once I had changed to use client connections, dis Q(IVT*) type(handle) gave me

AMQ8450I: Display queue status details.

Making it easier to configure your server.xml file

You can use the <include optional="true" location=".."/ statement to help

  1. Put the JMS stuff in its own file, so you reduced the complexity of the server.xml file.

  2. Put common, or repeated stuff in the file

See WAS Liberty documentation on Include

Location can be

  • an explicit path “/home/colinpaice/myxml.xml”

  • ${wlp.user.dir}/file.xml”
    in my case this is ~/wlp/usr

  • ${server.config.dir}/my.xml”.
    Where ${server.config.dir} =
    same place as the default server.xml file is stored

For example if you could have a server.xml file with

<include location=”${server.config.dir}/jmsfeat.xml/> <include location=”${server.config.dir}/jmscf.xml/> 

and in the same directory have jmsfeat.xml with

<variable name="wmqJmsClient.rar.location" value="/opt/mqm/java/lib/jca/wmq.jmsra.rar"/>
<wmqJmsClient  nativeLibraryPath="/opt/mqm/java/lib64"/> 

and jmscf.xml with

<server>  <jmsConnectionFactory… >  <properties.wmqJms queueManager="QMB"  transportType="BINDINGS”/> 
   </jmsConnectionFactory>  </server>

When the server starts it puts out a message

[AUDIT  ] CWWKG0028A: Processing included configuration resource:
[AUDIT  ] CWWKG0028A: Processing included configuration resource:

so you can see which files are (or are not) being included.

You  can specify

<include optional=”false” location=”${server.config.dir}/z.xml”/>

If this file is not found you get an error messages

[ERROR] CWWKG0090E: The ${server.config.dir}/z.xml configuration resource
does not exist or cannot be read.

If  you specify optional=”true” you get no message if the file is not found.

See Customizing the Liberty environment for information on the ${…} variables

Being super efficient failed.

I tried putting the passwords in an include file, but it did not work.  So

<jmsConnectionFactory… >
<properties.wmqJms queueManager="QMB"  transportType="CLIENT" /> >
<include location=”/home/password.xml/password.xml”/> 
</jmsConnectionFactory> </server>

did not try to include the file. If I moved the <include..> after the </jmsConnectionFactory> it  copied the file in but that did not help me with keeping the passwords in one place.

Also using Eclipse to validate the data in the server.xml file. Eclipse could check individual files, but it does not use information in other files, and may complain that something is not defined – when it is defined in another file.

Using Eclipse to check the configuration.

    • Start eclipse
    •  Window→ show view → servers
    •  No servers are available. Click this link to define a new server”
    •  Select IBM → Liberty Server
    • Next
    • Select “Chose an existing installation” and give the directory path of the liberty code (/home/colinpaice/wlp)
    •  next”
    •  select an existing server or create a new one”
  •  pick your server instance
  • Select Servers, and expand your “liberty server at..” and then expand “server configuration server.xml”
  • Double click on feature manager, and you should see the top middle pane have data in it.

You can now move through the file and check you definitions.

The “markers” tab has errors and warnings.

If you have used <include.. > then the validation is done on the individual file.

Some of the validation is not at the latest level. I had warning messages about  connectionFactoryLookup not being a valid parameter.

Use of Liberty Adminconsole

The Liberty Admin console provides a way of displaying your server.xml file. I found it often did not work, or did not display all of the information.

Check your liberty startup. If you have a statement like

[AUDIT ] CWWKT0016I: Web application available (default_host): http://…../adminCenter/

You may be able to use this URL to display and manage the server.xml file content.
It sometimes worked for me – sometimes it didnt and I got “One moment please…” and it did not get past this.

When it worked was random.

  • Sometime changing the level of java make it work, sometimes closing down and restarting the browser made it work.

  • Make sure you do not have the server.xml file open in an editor, or eclipse.

  • I also received SRVE8094W: WARNING: Cannot set header. Response already committed.

  • Working with one browser (Chrome) worked, when Firefox didn’t.

Good luck

Getting IBM JMS samples working in a WAS Libery Web Server on Ubuntu for people who cannot spell Java Massage Service.

Why these JMS blog posts?

I had a “quick” question from someone, “can I configure JMS to reduce CPU usage and improve performance?”. It was was wet Monday in Orkney (north of Scotland) and I thought I would spent an hour looking into it. A few weeks later, I am much wiser, and have some answers to the question. The Knowledge Centre has a lot of information, mostly is useful, mostly accurate, some information is missing and some assumes that you are very familiar with the product.

I also found that that the Java people tend to use different words for familiar concepts, so I had to struggle with this different language.

Below are the blog posts I wrote on getting JMS working on Ubuntu 18.04 with MQ V9.

This section builds on “Getting JMS samples working in batch on Ubuntu for people who cannot spell Java Massage Service” entry

What is a WAS Liberty server?

A WAS liberty server is a cut down version of a full function WAS server. You configure it by specifying information in a server.XML file.

I downloaded and unziped it into ~/wlp

Dont throw away your zip file… as you may need it if you make a mess of your configuration!

Create a server instance called test. (The WAS people call this a profile… another example of the strange language used by these Java people). See Setting up Liberty for more information

cd wlp
cd bin
./server create test

You can run the server in background using

./server start test

The messages go to a file in ~/wlp/usr/servers/test/logs

or run it in foreground using

./server run test

The messages come out in your terminal’s window, so it is easy to see the effects of changes to your configuration.

You can use ctrl-c to stop the server started with ./server run …

If you started the server with ./server run test, or ./server start test, you can stop it by running

./server stop test

in a different terminal window.

Note: If you stop the server it gives a message

CWWKE0036I: The server test stopped after 1 minutes, 43.709 seconds.
If you try to restart it, within a few seconds, it may give a message

CWWKE0055I: Server shutdown requested on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 at 17:02. The server test is shutting down.
I use Ctrl-C and it stops quicker.

If you wait for a short period( 10 seconds) it seems to start up OK.

Configure the server

In the directory (where ‘test’ is the name of my server) ~/wlp/usr/servers/test is a file server.xml

This contains the configuration for the instance. I added some statements to this file before configuring it for JMS.  The following is my initial server.xml file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<server description="new server">
<!-- Enable features -->
<!-- Define an Administrator and non-Administrator -->
<basicRegistry id="basic">
<user name="admin" password="adminpw" />
<user name="nonadmin" password="nonadminpwd" />
<!-- Assign 'admin' to Administrator -->
<!-- To access this server from a remote client add a host attribute to
the following element, e.g. host="*" -->

<httpEndpoint id="defaultHttpEndpoint" httpPort="9080" httpsPort="9443"/>

This defines userid admin and password adminpw, and says that user admin is an administrator.

You use port 9080 to access it non securely, and port 9443 for an SSL, or a secure session.

The statements


specify which components are to run in the server. The feature webProfile-8.0 copies in other features.

Save this file.

cd  ~/wlp/bin

execute  ./installUtility install test

Thisreads the server.xml anddownloads the files needed by the test instance,if they are not already installed.  I did a lot of playing around trying to get the Liberty instance to work as I expected.

{When things did not work as I expected, I did the following to ensure I had a clean environment

  1. copied out the server.xml file,

  2. removed the ~/wlp directory (which deletes the server.xml file)

  3. unzipped the file again to recreate the wlp directory

  4. cd wlp.bin, ./server create test

  5. copy the server.xml file back

  6. run ./installUtility install test

  7. copy the file to dropin- see below


Start the server  ./server run test

This produced

colinpaice@colinpaice:~/wlp/bin$ ./server run test
Launching test (WebSphere Application Server
on OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM, version 10.0.2+13-Ubuntu-1ubuntu0.18.04.2 (en_GB)

[AUDIT ] CWWKE0001I: The server test has been launched.
[AUDIT ] CWWKE0100I: This product is licensed for development, and limited production use.
The full license terms can be viewed here:

[AUDIT ] CWWKZ0058I: Monitoring dropins for applications.
[AUDIT ] CWPKI0820A: The default keystore has been created using the 'keystore_password'
environment variable.

WARNING: An illegal reflective access operation has occurred
WARNING: Illegal reflective access by org.apache.aries.jndi.startup.Activator (file:/home/colinpaice/wlp/lib/ to field javax.naming.spi.NamingManager.initctx_factory_builder
WARNING: Please consider reporting this to the maintainers of org.apache.aries.jndi.startup.Activator
WARNING: Use --illegal-access=warn to enable warnings of further illegal reflective access operations
WARNING: All illegal access operations will be denied in a future release
[AUDIT ] CWWKF0012I: The server installed the following features: [beanValidation-2.0, servlet-4.0, ssl-1.0, jndi-1.0, cdi-2.0, jdbc-4.2, osgiConsole-1.0, appSecurity-3.0, appSecurity-2.0, jaxrs-2.1, monitor-1.0, webProfile-8.0, jpa-2.2, jsp-2.3, jsonb-1.0, ejbLite-3.2, managedBeans-1.0, jsf-2.3, localConnector-1.0, jsonp-1.1, jaxrsClient-2.1, el-3.0, jpaContainer-2.2, jaspic-1.1, distributedMap-1.0, websocket-1.1].
[AUDIT ] CWWKF0011I: The server test is ready to run a smarter planet.

The statement
CWWKF0012I: The server installed the following features: [beanValidation-2.0, servlet-4.0, ssl-1.0, jndi-1.0,…, websocket-1.1]

shows you what <feature>…</feature> were included. <feature>webProfile-8.0</feature> included beanValidation-2.0, servlet-4.0 etc

See Liberty features  for a description and more information about them.

Enter http://localhost:9080/ into the URL of a web browser. A page should be displayed.

In the Liberty startup it should have displayed a url like

use this in the web browser.

sign on with the userid specified (admin) and password
I got 3 boxes

  • Explore

  • Server config


I originally had problems using the Explore and Server Config functions.  If I used /usr/lib/jvm/java-11-openjdk-amd64/bin/java then I got “Just a minute” and a blue box. Sometimes I got past this and I was given a link “server.xml” to click. This gave me “Just a minute”, and I was unable to get past this and display the configuration.

A week or so later I changed java levels and then the server started, and I could work with the server.xml file.

I reverted back to the openjdk version of java ( java -version)

openjdk version "1.8.0_181"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_181-8u181-b13-1ubuntu0.18.04.1-b13)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.181-b13, mixed mode)

and this also worked. I cannot explain why it didn’t work, and then a few weeks later it did work!  It has stopped working again.

Configuring your Liberty instance

You can use the web panels to configure the server, or you can edit the server.xml.

You may want to use the liberty web pages for initial configuration and exploration, but then use the server.xml file, so you can put common or shared data in their own file, and use change management on these files.

I’ve used the server.xml route in the rest of the section.

Adding the JMS components.

Shut down the liberty instance, either use Ctrl-c or issue the command ./server stop test.

The server needs access to the IBM MQ JMS resource adapter(RA). This is the code between the applications and the queue manager. It may already be in your MQ libraries.

If ls /opt/mqm/java/lib/jca shows two files, wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear wmq.jmsra.rar , you have the component installed.  If not, or you need a later version, you need to install it.

You can use the command jar -tvf /opt/mqm/java/lib/jca/wmq.jmsra.rar to show the dates of the files within the Resource Adapter. My files had a date of Mon Jul 09 … 2018.

Downloading the Jms Resource Adapter(RA)

See Installing the IBM MQ resource adapter and Installing the resource adapter in Liberty.

I downloaded the Resource Adapter from  Fix Central

I used java -jar ~/snap/firefox/common/Downloads/

make a note of where the files are installed – by default this is directory wmq in your current working directory

You will have two files

  • wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear this is the installation verification program

  • wmq.jmsra.rar in the directory this is the Jms Resource Adapter (RA)

Contents of the JMS sample wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear

The wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear has two programs inside it.

  1. A program you can execute from a web URL, for example http://localhost:9080/WMQ_IVT/ This has logic

    1. connect to MQ –  create connection factory object using passed JNDI connection factory name – or default to IVTCF,

    2. open the queue – create destination object using passed JNDI destination name or default IVTQueue

    3. create temporary dynamic reply_to_queue

    4. set message property JNDI_CF to the JNDI connection factory name. This is is so the back end application knows which connection factory to use.

    5. set message property IVTMessageID to the message id

    6. (put)  – send the message

    7. issue (get) receive and wait up to 10 seconds

    8. close queue

    9. end

  2. A program which runs when a message arrives. The program is a Message Driven Bean (MDB) (think triggered program). This MDB is called WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB

    1. When a message arrives, the listening thread invokes the MDB by passing the message into the onMessage method of the MDB.

    2. It gets the connection factory name from the message property “JNDI_CF” , or default to IVTCF if it is not present in the message

    3. Create the connection using the connection factory name

    4. locate the reply_to_ queue name from the message

    5. put a reply to the reply to queue

    6. end

This application uses by default

  1. a connection factory name of IVTCF. This maps onto queue manager name

  2. A destination IVTQueue. This maps to a queue name

  3. A temporary dynamic queue for the reply.

Once you have configured the server, you can use the url http://localhost:9080/WMQ_IVT/ to run the program, and if the MDB is active it will quickly complete, and you can display the returned message

Configuring the liberty instance

You can edit the server.xml file or use  “AdminConsole” application on the web page.

Both will update the server.xml file.

Add the JMS components to the server.xml configuration file

Add the following to the bottom of the server.xml file before the </server> tag at the bottom

<!– the next two features are needed to install the JMS and MDB code –>
<!– point to the Resource Adapter(RA) – specify the value for your system –>
<variable name=”wmqJmsClient.rar.location” value=”/opt/mqm/java/lib/jca/wmq.jmsra.rar”/>
<!– tell the server where the MQ libraries are –>
<wmqJmsClient nativeLibraryPath=”/opt/mqm/java/lib64″/>
<!– connection manager is used to define connection pool sizes etc
<connectionManager id=”QMAcf” />
<!– IVT Connection factory –>
<jmsConnectionFactory connectionManagerRef=”QMAcf”

   <properties.wmqJms queueManager=”QMA”
<!– IVT Queues –>
<jmsQueue id=”IVTQueue” jndiName=”IVTQueue”>
<properties.wmqJms baseQueueName=”IVTQueue”/>

The  executable JMS code is in wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear. You need to add this to the liberty server dropin directory

cp /opt/mqm/java/lib/jca/wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear ~/wlp/usr/servers/test/dropins/wmq.jmsra.ivt.ear

where test is the name of my server instance.

run ./installUtility install test

Restart the server

You will get additional messages

[WARNING ] CNTR4015W: The message endpoint for the WMQ_IVT_MDB message-driven bean cannot be activated because the wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB activation specification is not available. The message endpoint will not receive messages until the activation specification becomes available.

[AUDIT ] CWWKT0016I: Web application available (default_host): http://localhost:9080/WMQ_IVT/

[AUDIT ] CWWKZ0001I: Application wmq.jmsra.ivt started in 1.467 seconds.

Ignore the CNTR4015W: message. The liberty instance needs some more configuration which is done below.

Note the url in the CWWKT0016I: … http://localhost:9080/WMQ_IVT/ messsage.

Enter the URL in a web browser. You should get a panel displayed

The ConnectionFactory IVTCF needs to have a matching

<jmsConnectionFactory jndiName=”IVTCF” …


within this jmsQueueConnectionFactory the queue manager to use is defined with the

<properties.wmqJms queueManager="QMA" 

The Destination IVTQueue needs to have a matching jmsQueue

<jmsQueue id="IVTQueue" jndiName="IVTQueue">
<properties.wmqJms baseQueueName="IVTQueue"/>

define the queue to the queue manager using runmqsc

Define ql(‘IVTQueue’) …

You need the quotes around the queue name, because the default is an upper case queue name IVTQUEUE and you get return code 2085 when you try to run the sample! You could change it to

<properties.wmqJms baseQueueName=”IVTQUEUE”/>.

When you click on the run ivt button it issues a request with URL


As the MDB is not running, the web page will wait for about 10 seconds then reports  “failed to receive response message” – this is because the MDB is not running, and so did not send a reply back.Screenshot from 2018-11-26 08-43-37

Configuring the MDB

As with MQ on CICS on z/OS, you can have a thread listening for messages on a queue, and then passing the messages to a different thread do do the work.

In the JMS environment, you can run the same way. A thread listens, and when a message arrives on the queue, it runs a Message Driven Bean passes it the message.

You need to configure JMS so it know which queue to listen on, and which MDB to run.

When the Liberty instance was started, it produced a message

[WARNING ] CNTR4015W: The message endpoint for the WMQ_IVT_MDB message-driven bean cannot be activated because the wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB activation specification is not available. The message endpoint will not receive messages until the activation specification becomes available.

This was because the application is in the dropins directory. Liberty tries to process applications in this directory. It finds there are some definitions missing, and so produces the warning message.

MDBs need an Activation Specification so it knows which MQ Queue to listen to.

<jmsActivationSpec id=”wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB”>…

The ID value must be in the format of application name/module name/bean name where application name is the name of the jar file (without the .jar suffix). 

See Deploying message-driven beans to connect to IBM MQ

<jmsQueue id="AAAA" jndiName="IVTQueue">
<properties.wmqJms baseQueueName="IVTQueue"/>
<jmsActivationSpec id="wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB">
<authData id="auth1" user="colinpaice" password="ret1red"/>

The AAAAs must match up.  The id=”wmq.jmsra.ivt/WMQ_IVT_MDB/WMQ_IVT_MDB will use queue IVTQueue.

Specify the authData for the userid and password to use.

<connectionManager id="QMAJMS" maxPoolSize="21">
<jmsConnectionFactory connectionManagerRef="QMAJMS" jndiName="IVTCF" id="samplejQCF">
<authData user="colinpaice" password="ret1red"
 <properties.wmqJms queueManager="QMA"                       

(Since I got this working I found that the queueManager=”QMA” is ignored because the sample application has a hard coded “use connectionFactory IVTCF”. If the configuration does not have this specified, then the queueManager=.. is needed)

If you now enter the http://localhost:9080/WMQ_IVT/ URL in a web browser, if all is working you should get all ticks.Screenshot from 2018-11-26 08-54-41

If you click on View Message Contents it shows the message content.

Phew after all that work – it works!

How can I see what is going on ?

I could not find much to tell me what was going on, and providing useful information. From a performance perspective I am interested in the number of threads being used by the connections pool.

You can use an external program called jconsole, which comes in your Java environment, to look within the server.

Stop your server

Add the following statements to your server.xml


run ./installUtility install test

restart your server

If you do not have jconsole it can be downloaded eg sudo apt install openjdk-8-jdk

type jconsole 

Screenshot from 2018-11-26 08-19-34

Click Connect.
WebSphere →
→ connectionManager[QMAJMS]
→ showPoolContents

It is the line under WebSphere which does not have an icon at the front of the line.

Screenshot from 2018-11-26 08-41-51

Getting the IBM JMS samples working in batch on Ubuntu for people who cannot spell Java Massage Service.

Why these JMS blog posts?

I had a “quick” question from someone, “can I configure JMS to reduce CPU usage and improve performance?”. It was was wet Monday in Orkney (north of Scotland) and I thought I would spent an hour looking into it. A few weeks later, I am much wiser, and have some answers to the question. The Knowledge Centre has a lot of information, mostly is useful, mostly accurate, some information is missing and some assumes that you are very familiar with the product.

I also found that that the Java people tend to use different words for familiar concepts, so I had to struggle with this different language.

Below are the blog posts I wrote on getting JMS working on Ubuntu 18.04with MQ V9.

Basic background to JMS

JMS programs are written in Java (the clue is in the name)

They can run as a batch job, for example one program to put a message to a queue, and another program to get the message and send a reply back. You might have an application that connects to MQ, processes one message and ends, or a server application which connects and stays connected all day processing messages

You can run JMS applications in a Web Server

  1. Connect once and stay connected all day doing sends and receives
  2. Like a trigger monitor, a listener task gets a message from the queue and passes it to an Message Driven Bean(MDB) application which does all of the work, and sends the reply back to the requester.
  3. An application uses the web server and runs a transaction which invokes a program (MDB) to do the work. This is an URL usually something like http://localhost:9080/WMQ_IVT/ in your web browser.

JMS people speak a different language.

The JMS people (being Java people) speak with a different accent, which takes a bit of getting used to.

Puts vs send: MQ people speak of puts and gets, JMS people talk about send and receive.

Specifying queue names: C programmers often hard code names in their programs for example


Change the common header file, and recompile it and it picks up the new defintions.

The JMS people have a better way of doing it. The mapping of  SERVERQUEUE to “PAYROLLSERVERQ” can be done outside of the program. You just change a configuration file, and do not need to rebuild your program. However some Java people write programs without the use of the external parameters, and define every thing in their Java program!

Connecting to a queue manager. In a similar way, to get a C program to talk to a queue manager as a client you need to set up an environment variable containing the channel name, IP address etc.

In JMS this is usually stored in a configuration file, so to change the queue manager, or where it is located, you change the configuration and restart the application.

  • In WAS Liberty the code to connect to MQ is called a connectionFactory. You pass parameters to this using data in XML in <jmsConnectionFactory …> tags. Personally, I would have called this <jmsConnectionFactoryInput… >. You just have to get used to these naming conventions.

The Russian doll of packaging java programs

If you open up a Russian Doll, you find another one inside. If you open this one, you find another one etc down to the smallest baby.

When working with Java you need to understand some of the packaging terms ( .jar, .war, .ear, MDB). At first with any new concept it sounds really hard, but you soon get used to it

  • You start with a source program This gets processed and produces a myprog.class file. For simple programs, this class file can be executed.
  • Normally your program needs other bits from libraries or other java programs for it to work. You package up your program and the java classes it needs into a .jar file. You can execute a name.jar file.
    • Why .jar? Well my guess is that there are tools which creates an “archive”, packaging files together using zip. So it is natural to call it Java Archive. Also jar sounds half the word “Ja-va” and calling it .jbntrp (Java Bits Needed To Run Program) is much harder than saying .jar.
  • If you want to run a Web application you need you need your .jar file or classes, and the webpages your application will use. Web pages are not java classes, so storing them in a .jar file feels wrong,  so we now have .war files or Web ARchive. This is all the .class files and web pages etc zipped up.
  • As well as a web application running from a URL, these applications often need to uses other components. Message Driven Beans (MDB) provide a service, they get called with data (the message), they do something, and return some data.
  • If you are running a big commercial application, or Enterprise Application, you break up your huge program into bits. You can have some bits running here, and other bits running over there. Just like with CICS you can have a File Owning Region, and a Application Owning region. For your big commercial application you have Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs) Which take the .war files, and the MDBs, and other into and create an Enterprise Archive – or an .ear file.

How do you look inside these are archives?

You can use the jar command as in

jar -tvf xxxx.yyy

For example to list what is inside it you need the -t option

jar –tvf new.ear

17972 Tue Nov 13 20:09:26 GMT 2018 WMQ_IVT.war
571 Mon Jul 09 11:40:24 BST 2018 META-INF/application.xml
10984 Tue Nov 06 09:20:42 GMT 2018 WMQ_IVT_MDB.jar
17972 Tue Nov 13 20:09:24 GMT 2018 CCP.war

To break up the archive file and eXtract files within it into the current directory, use

jar –xvf new.ear

once you have extracted it, you can then use jar on the files within it

jar -tvf WMQ_IVT.war



which is what is executed!

You may also see .rar which are Resource Adapter ARchive files – ok – this should be .raar – but it is called .rar to keep it simple.

As I said it is like a Russian doll with, files within files, within files.

What’s in a bean?

You will hear a lot about Java Beans.
When you create an instance of a Java object you pass parameters, such as

new currentJob("Colin Paice","retired") or
new currentJob("Colin Paice", "retired","Orkney")

and there are methods which take the varying number of parameters and do things with the data.

A Bean is a java program, and instead of passing parameters into the object you invoke methods such as

job  = new currentJob();  // note no parameters are passed in
job.setName("Colin Paice");

You can also issue

job.getName() .

to extract information.

Now comes the clever usage bit.
I can ask Java to tell me the methods a class has.  I will get back [“setName”,”setStatus”,”setAddress”,”getName”..]

So now I can select all the “get….” methods, and call them in turn.  This makes it great for systems management.   You can process my bean, and display all of the information in it.  I change the bean – and your program does not have to change – good eh?

A Message Driven Bean – is a bean with an additional method, “onMessage(…)” so we can now pass it data ( eg the content of an MQ message) to process.

Looking up parameters – JNDI

Java developers like to use an interface called JNDI get the configuration information.

This configuration could be in a database, or in the local file system – it depends on how you configure it.

As different applications can use the same repository, the JNDI uses a hierarchical naming standard. For example

application/Payroll/Server → PAYROLLONINPUT

application/LookupBalancel/Server → BALANCEINPUT

The application issues a query saying get me the queue name from “application/Payroll/Server”

there may also be


This means you can isolate the “application” and “setup” environments.

The Java people use the term initial context to identify the “application” or “setup” at the top of the naming ree.

Setting up the JNDI

It is good practice to set up your definitions once, and have every one use the same set. This takes time, and perhaps a database and server.

To save me time, (and help me understand the concepts) I used a directory tree on my laptop for “batch” programs”, and had the information stored within the Web Server configuration for the web server.

When using the file system as a JNDI repository, you point to a directory, and JNDI stores information within the directory.

Running the JMS “batch programs”

My system is Ubuntu 18.04 and I was running MQ V9.1.

I used the linux command find /opt/mqm -name Jms*.java to display all of the JMS sample programs.

This gave me


I was interested in the JmsJndi* examples.

There are /opt/mqm/samp/jms/samples/JmsJndiProducer.class etc ready to run.

The syntax of the command is

JmsJndiProducer -i JNDI-Directory -c myQCF -d myQueue

Where the parameters summarised immediately below, and explained in more detail in the following text

  • -i JNDI-Directory is the directory where the JNDI data is stored (or the URL where the database is)
  • -c myQCF is the name of the connection factory (connection information object)
  • -d myQueue is the label which points to which queue to use

You define resources in the JNDI file using the JMSAdmin tool.

First you need to define where your JNDI resources will be stored.

mkdir ~/JNDI-Directory

See Starting the administration tool

The JMSAdmin tool needs to be told where the JNDI repository is.

MQ provides a file /opt/mqm/java/bin/JMSAdmin.config. Read it, there are lots of comments.

You can use the command grep -v ‘#’ /opt/mqm/java/bin/JMSAdmin.config to display just the non comment lines. This gave me


create a file JMSAdmin.config in your home directory and add the above statements to it.


says it is to read JNDI from a file in the file system.

Change PROVIDER_URL=file:///home/colinpaice/JNDI-Directory to match the directory you created above.

and make it writable

chmod 744 JMSAdmin.config

Objects required to run the sample programs

  1. The applications get passed a connectionFactory object, I’ll use ConnectionFactory CF1. This connection is to use bindings mode to queue manager QMA, and not use a client.
  2. Define a queue. The application will use JMSQ1, and this maps to queue Q1 on queue manager QMA.

Run the JMSAdmin tool to create the resources, using the above JMSAdmin configuration file.

See  Configuring JMS objects using the administration tool

/opt/mqm/java/bin/JMSAdmin -v -cfg JMSAdmin.config

# Define Queue Q1

dis CTX gives

InitCtx> DIS CTX
JMSADM4089 InitCtx
a CF1
3 Object(s)
0 Context(s)
3 Binding(s), 2 Administered


We have created a ConnectionFactory called CF1, and a queue object JMSQ1 which maps to queue Q1 on queue manager QMA.

To do things properly I should define a proper hierarchy

InitCtx> def ctx(Application)
InitCtx> change ctx(Application)
InitCtx/Application>def Q(APJMSQ1) QMGR(QMA) QUEUE(APPQ)
InitCtx/Application> change ctx(=UP)
InitCtx> dis ctx
2 Object(s)
0 Context(s)
2 Binding(s), 1 Administered

In an application I would normally create the connectionFactory as Application/CF1 and the queue as Application/APJMSQ1

If you list the directory, you can see some of the elements

colinpaice@colinpaice:~$ ls -ltra JNDI-Directory
-rw-r--r-- 1 colinpaice colinpaice 15133 Oct 23 15:32 .bindings
drwxr-xr-x 57 colinpaice colinpaice 4096 Oct 26 08:31 ..
drwxr-xr-x 3 colinpaice colinpaice 4096 Oct 26 13:40 .
drwxr-xr-x 2 colinpaice colinpaice 4096 Oct 26 13:42 Application

Run the JMS sample program

The syntax is

JmsJndiProducer -i JNDI-Directory -c myQCF -d myQueue

so we have

The whole command is

java -cp /opt/mqm/samp/jms/samples:/opt/mqm/java/lib/ -Djava.library.path=/opt/mqm/java/lib64 JmsJndiProducer -i file:///home/colinpaice/JNDI-Directory -c CF1 -d JMSQ1

This produced

Initial context found!
Sent message:
JMSMessage class: jms_text
JMSType: null
JMSDeliveryMode: 2
JMSDeliveryDelay: 0
JMSDeliveryTime: 1540558478659
JMSExpiration: 0
JMSPriority: 4
JMSMessageID: ID:414d5120514d41202020202020202020cdb6d25b09202925
JMSTimestamp: 1540558478659
JMSCorrelationID: null
JMSDestination: queue://QMA/Q1
JMSReplyTo: null
JMSRedelivered: false
JMSXAppID: java
JMSXDeliveryCount: 0
JMSXUserID: colinpaice
JMS_IBM_PutApplType: 6
JMS_IBM_PutDate: 20181026
JMS_IBM_PutTime: 12543866
JmsJndiProducer: Your lucky number today is 641

To read the message run the consumer JMS application

java -cp /opt/mqm/samp/jms/samples:/opt/mqm/java/lib/ -Djava.library.path=/opt/mqm/java/lib64 JmsJndiConsumer -i file:///home/colinpaice/JNDI-Directory -c CF1 -d JMSQ1

I have successfully managed to use a JMS program in batch to put and get a message!

Doing the above was relatively painless – the hardest part was understanding the concepts and strange language.