Service Broker is an inter-application messaging
agent that provides queuing and messaging within a single instance of
SQL Server or between multiple instances. Database applications can use
Service Broker to utilize an asynchronous programming model. Unlike
synchronous models, where activities happen live, in real-time,
asynchronous processing operates under extended delays, often waiting
for secondary processes to activate the continuation of the procedure.
a synchronous model, the application often spends its time waiting for
a response. In many situations, the response is nothing more than a
confirmation that an action was completed. In other situations,
responses may be needed from other applications or activities, and an
asynchronous model would therefore allow processing to continue without
requiring a wait.
an asynchronous model, processing can continue in situations in which
the response is not a requirement for processing to continue. To
shorten the interactive response time and increase overall application
throughput, you can implement this type of model by using Service
Broker. Service Broker provides reliable messaging between servers and
their applications. Messages are the interaction tools used between the
service applications that utilize Service Broker. Service Broker uses
TCP/IP to exchange messages. The messages are delivered using
mechanisms that help prevent unauthorized access and provide for
next few sections illustrate some of the coding and functionality of
Service Broker. In each environment, the details change significantly.
For that reason, the example described here is intended solely as a
mechanism to illustrate functionality. If it were to be put in place in
an actual environment, several additional pieces would be needed.
Designing a Service
Service Broker service component is composed of several elements. When
designing an application that will interact with Service Broker, you
need to specify the following:
Message types— You define classes and provide names for the messages that will be exchanged.
You define the direction of the message flow and which types of
messages are utilized within a conversation. A contract provides the
service with a set of message types.
Queues— These are the message stores. Queues are the vehicle that enables asynchronous communication between services to exist.
These are the endpoints for conversations. Messages are sent from one
service to another. A service specifies a queue and the contracts for
which the service is targeted.
basis for a Service Broker application is a conversation. Two or more
applications communicate by creating conversations. Conversations occur
between service components. When a conversation is initiated, it allows
for the exchange of messages between services.
Defining Message Types
first portion of a service is the message type. When you create a
message type, you are creating a category of message that can be used
by an application. With the creation, you may also specify any
validation that is to occur against the message. The message content
can be checked against an existing schema or have less stringent
validation rules, as is the case in the following examples:
CREATE MESSAGE TYPE JobPosting
VALIDATION = VALID_XML
WITH SCHEMA COLLECTION JobPostingSchema
CREATE MESSAGE TYPE OpenPositionResponse
VALIDATION = WELL_FORMED_XML
CREATE MESSAGE TYPE ApplicationReceived
VALIDATION = NONE
you are using an XML schema for validation, the schema must already
exist within the database before you can create the message type.
Providing Contract Details
contract is used to define the message types used within a
conversation, and it determines which side of the conversation a
message can be sent by. The initiating service specifies the contract
to be used for any given conversation. The target service defines the
contracts that the service accepts. You use the CREATE CONTRACT statement as follows:
CREATE CONTRACT JobApplication
( OpenPositionResponse SENT BY INITIATOR,
ApplicationReceived SENT BY TARGET)
contract can involve any number of message types. Each conversation
need not use all messages that are bound to the contract.
Creating a Queue
queue is used to store messages. When a message arrives for a
particular service, Service Broker places the message in the queue that
is associated with the service. Message queues can be created with a
number of different mannerisms.
queue definition that is provided at the point of creation determines
how messages are handled when they reach the queue. You can make
changes in the queue definition by using ALTER QUEUE, as in this example:
CREATE QUEUE JobApplicationQueue
WITH STATUS = ON, RETENTION = ON,
ACTIVATION ( STATUS = ON, PROCEDURE_NAME = ProcessResume,
MAX_QUEUE_READERS = 1, EXECUTE AS SELF)
no activation is defined, the queue must be explicitly handled and read
by the services that interact with the queue. When you define
activation, you provide the name of the stored procedure that will
execute to handle the message. It is possible
to turn the queue status on and off so that it is unavailable. If the
activation status is turned off, the queue is still available, but the
automated handling as messages are received does not occur.
It is not recommended that you retain messages over time. If the RETENTION setting is set to ON,
messages stay in the queue after they have been received. It can
degrade performance and increases maintenance on the system to
periodically review and clean out messages from the queue.
setting up the procedure execution security for a task, you can choose
to execute the procedure as the owner of the queue, self (the person
who created the queue), or another defined user.
Assembling Components into a Service
all the components of a service have been created, the parts can
collectively become the service. When you create a service, you assign
the service to a queue and optionally provide the contract that will be
used for the service communication to the queue, as in the following
CREATE SERVICE SubmitJobApplication
ON QUEUE JobApplicationQueue(JobApplication)
this point, you initiate the service by using the communication and you
initiate the messages by using some front-end application. Within each
application, interactions with the queues is simply a matter of sending
and receiving messages.
The Communications Dialogue
dialogue encompasses a conversation. The initiator must begin the
communication via the dialogue, and the target usually handles the
message and ends the communication. Messages are sent to the
corresponding queue using the dialogue via the SEND statement, as in the following example:
Declare @dialog_handle uniqueidentifier
Declare @XMLMessageContent XML
SET @XMLMessageContent = NCHAR(0xFEFF) +
N'<root>XML Message Content</root>'
BEGIN DIALOG CONVERSATION @dialog_handle
FROM SERVICE SubmitJobApplication
TO SERVICE 'ProvideApplicationResponse'
ON CONTRACT JobApplication
WITH ENCRYPTION = OFF
;SEND ON CONVERSATION @dialog_handle
MESSAGE TYPE OpenPositionResponse( @XMLMessageContent )
You read messages that are waiting in the queue by using the RECEIVE statement. When retrieving messages, a dialog need not be initiated. An example of message retrieval is as follows:
Declare @dialog_handle uniqueidentifier
Declare @msgtype nvarchar(256)
Declare @XMLMessageContent nvarchar(max)
;RECEIVE TOP(1) @XMLMessageContent = message_body,
@dialog_handle = conversation_handle, @mgstype = message_type_name
simple example that we have been using illustrates the functionality in
a singular machine environment, using local object names. If the
communication is going to occur between multiple machines, some
additional setup is required. For communications over a local area
network, for example, you need to create a TCP endpoint for the service
broker to use, like this:
CREATE ENDPOINT ServiceBrokerEndPoint
STATE = STARTED
AS TCP ( LISTENER_PORT = 4037)
FOR SERVICE_BROKER (AUTHENTICATION = WINDOWS)
set up the security credentials that are needed to initiate a
conversation with a service that is located on another machine, you
need to define the credential binding to be used. You do this by using CREATE REMOTE SERVICE BINDING, as in the following example:
CREATE REMOTE SERVICE BINDING JobAppServBind
TO SERVICE '//YukonTwo:80/sql/Services'
WITH USER CertOwnerUserName, ANONYMOUS = ON
With this binding you can identify a specific owner of the binding by using the AUTHORIZATION clause. You can specify the USER
clause to identify the owner of the certificate associated with the
remote service. It is possible to define the remote access as anonymous.
If ANONYMOUS = ON,
anonymous authentication is used, and operations in the remote database
occur as a member of the public fixed database role. If ANONYMOUS = OFF, operations in the remote database occur as a specific user in that database.
can set up an HTTP namespace to be used. This makes it easier to access
the services on the machine from sources external to the machine. You
can initiate a namespace by using the following stored procedure call:
The name can be a machine name or can be a standard DNS name for the location of the service.