The MQ Appliance provides the same core functionality as the MQ software product in a simplified ‘plug it in and go’ hardware form factor. You can run multiple queue managers on a single appliance, and in general, experienced MQ administrators or developers should feel at home – you’ll just find more of the boring ‘set up’ and management work has been done for you. It also provides some neat appliance specific features, in particular the built in High Availability support allows you to take a pair of appliances and mirror all persistent message data between them.
If you’re new to MQ, the appliance is a great place to start, since once again any installation and management hurdles are instantly cleared, letting you get straight to the interesting bit – getting your applications up and running and taking advantage of all that enterprise class asynchronous messaging can offer.
All messaging APIs (including JMS and MQLight) are used in exactly the same way as on any software MQ platform, so, for example, you can develop on your workstation using the (free) MQ Advanced for Developers edition and then deploy to the MQ Appliance. Just bear in mind that as the appliance is a securely locked down system, all applications will need to connect in MQ client mode (there is no ‘local bindings’ concept with the appliance).