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4.3.1 / 12 January 2019
|Type||Message queue, concurrency framework|
|License||LGPL with static linking exception|
ZeroMQ (also spelled ØMQ, 0MQ or ZMQ) is a high-performance asynchronous messaging library, aimed at use in distributed or concurrent applications. It provides a message queue, but unlike message-oriented middleware, a ZeroMQ system can run without a dedicated message broker. The library's API is designed to resemble that of Berkeley sockets.
ZeroMQ is developed by a large community of contributors, founded by iMatix, which holds the domain name and trademarks. There are third-party bindings for many popular programming languages.
The ZeroMQ API provides sockets (a kind of generalization over the traditional IP and Unix domain sockets), each of which can represent a many-to-many connection between endpoints. Operating with a message-wise granularity, they require that a messaging pattern be used, and are particularly optimized for that kind of pattern.
The basic ZeroMQ patterns are:
Each pattern defines a particular network topology. Request-reply defines a so-called "service bus", publish-subscribe defines a "data distribution tree", and push-pull defines "parallelised pipeline". All the patterns are deliberately designed in such a way as to be infinitely scalable and thus usable on Internet scale.
Any message through the socket is treated as an opaque blob of data. Delivery to a subscriber can be automatically filtered by the blob leading string. Available message transports include TCP, PGM (reliable multicast), inter-process communication (IPC) and inter-thread communication (ITC).
The ZeroMQ core library performs very well due to its internal threading model, and can outperform conventional TCP applications in terms of throughput by utilizing an automatic message batching technique.
ZeroMQ implements ZMTP, the ZeroMQ Message Transfer Protocol. ZMTP defines rules for backward interoperability, extensible security mechanisms, command and message framing, connection metadata, and other transport-level functionality. A growing number of projects implement ZMTP directly as an alternative to using the full ZeroMQ implementations.
iMatix CEO Pieter Hintjens registered the zeromq.org domain in May 2007 and started the ZeroMQ project together with Martin Sustrik, who was its architect and lead developer until December 2011.
On March 30, 2010, Hintjens announced that iMatix (the original designer of Advanced Message Queuing Protocol) would leave the AMQP workgroup and did not plan to support AMQP/1.0 in favor of the significantly simpler and faster ZeroMQ.
In 2011, CERN was investigating ways to unify middleware solutions used to operate CERN accelerators. The CERN study compared two open source implementations of CORBA, Ice, Thrift, ZeroMQ, YAMI4, RTI, and Qpid (AMQP) and scored ZeroMQ highest, in part for its versatility, including its easy adaptability to the LynxOS.
In March 2013, Pieter Hintjens announced a new draft of the ZMTP wire-level protocol bringing extensible security mechanisms to ZeroMQ. Martin Hurton implemented the CurveZMQ authentication and encryption mechanism in the core library shortly afterwards.
The ZeroMQ community mostly uses the Collective Code Construction Contract (C4) as a development contract. C4 is inspired by Wikipedia processes and GitHub's fork + pull request model. It focuses on making it simpler for new contributors to participate and reducing dependency on older contributors.
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