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Develop a JMS application for CICS Liberty

In this tutorial, we show you how to create a Java Message Service (JMS) application using either a message-driven bean (MDB) that receives incoming messages from an IBM MQ queue manager or a servlet that uses a JMS connection factory to send and receive JMS messages.


  • CICS TS v5.3 or later
  • A configured CICS Liberty JVM server
  • IBM Java SDK for z/OS v8.0
  • IBM CICS SDK for Java EE, Jakarta EE, and Liberty

Estimated time

Completing this tutorial should take around two hours.

What is JMS?

JMS is an API defined by the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) specification that allows applications to send and receive messages using reliable asynchronous communication. Liberty supports both the JMS 1.1 and JMS 2.0 versions of the specification. It provides the ability to use a range of messaging providers including MQ, the IBM WebSphere Liberty embedded JMS messaging provider, or a third-party messaging provider. JMS 2.0 is the latest version of the specification and provides for a simplified API over the classic JMS 1.1 API. The MQ v9 JMS resource adapter is required to use JMS in CICS Liberty, and you can use it to connect to an MQ v7, v8, or v9 queue manager. The v9 resource adapter only supports JMS 2.0, but you can also deploy applications written to the JMS 1.1 API into a JMS 2.0 environment such as that provided in CICS Liberty.

JMS 2.0 flow diagram

Use JMS in CICS with MQ

There are three potential ways of connecting to MQ from a CICS JVM server:

  1. MQ client mode — through a TCP/IP network connection to a queue manager

  2. MQ bindings mode — with a local cross-memory interface to the queue manager using the MQ Resource Recovery Services (RRS) adapter

  3. CICS MQ adapter and MQCONN — with a local cross-memory interface to the queue manager using the CICS MQ adapter

In addition to MQ, you can use the JMS client support in Liberty to connect to an embedded JMS messaging provider hosted in IBM WebSphere Application Server or in Liberty. For further details on this option, see Liberty embedded JMS messaging provider.

There are 3 different JVM server environments in CICS that support JMS:

  1. Liberty JVM server (integrated mode) provides managed JMS connection factories and MDB support along with integrated CICS transactions and security.

  2. Liberty JVM server (standard mode) provides managed JMS connection factories and MDB support, but without integrated CICS transactions.

  3. OSGi JVM server supports non-managed JMS connection factories with integrated CICS transactions and security, and is discussed further in the article Using MQ JMS in a CICS OSGi JVM server.

The following table summarizes the current JMS API support for MQ across the different CICS Java environments:

MQ connectivity Liberty – integrated mode Liberty – standard mode OSGi JVM server
CICS MQCONN (local QM) N/A N/A JMS 1.1 and JMS 2.0
MQ – bindings mode (local QM) N/A JMS 1.1 and JMS 2.0 N/A
MQ – client mode (remote QM) JMS 1.1 and JMS 2.0 JMS 1.1 and JMS 2.0 N/A

This tutorial uses the Liberty JVM server running in integrated mode with an MQ client mode connection over TCP/IP to a queue manager on the same IBM z/OS system. All the sample code from this tutorial is available in the CICSDev Git repository.

MDB sample application

Our sample MDB application provides a message-driven bean called MySimpleMDB that receives messages from an MQ queue and writes the message body to a CICS temporary storage queue (TSQ).

MDB sample application

Create an MDB

An MDB is implemented in Eclipse using an Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) project, so first of all, you need to create an EJB project, and then you can simply add an MDB using the Eclipse wizard New -> Message-Driven Bean (EJB 3.x). In the resulting dialog, be sure to check JMS to specify that the MDB is a JMS message type, and then select the Destination type as Queue.

The resulting generated class should look similar to the following code, and the key lines are explained below.

@MessageDriven(activationConfig = { @ActivationConfigProperty(propertyName = "destinationType", propertyValue = "javax.jms.Queue") })
public class MySimpleMDB implements MessageListener {

    public MySimpleMDB() {

    public void onMessage(Message message) {        


  • The Class MySimpleMDB implements the javax.jms.MessageListener interface marking the EJB as an MDB

  • The @ActivationConfigProperty annotation destinationType is set to "javax.jms.Queue" signifying the use of point-to-point messaging.

  • The onMessage() method in the MDB is invoked by the EJB container each time a message arrives on the queue associated with the MDB. A javax.jms.Message object is then passed as input to the MDB for further processing.

Message headers

The first processing that our MDB performs is to analyze some of the message headers. The JMS API provides access to the message header fields such as the destination, delivery mode, reply queue and so on. Each of these has its own JMS field, and these map to MQMD and MQRFH2 fields as documented in Mapping IBM MQ fields onto JMS fields (incoming messages) in the IBM documentation.

        try {
            Destination jmsDestination = message.getJMSDestination();
            if (jmsDestination != null) {
                q = ((Queue) jmsDestination).getQueueName();
                System.out.println(formatTime() + " JMS message received by MDB from queue: " + q);
            } else {
                System.out.println(formatTime() + " MQ message received by MDB ");
        } catch (JMSRuntimeException | JMSException e) {
            msgErr = " ERROR: JMS error getting destination: " + e.getLocalizedMessage();
            throw new RuntimeException(msgErr, e);
  • Use the getJMSDestination() method on the JMS message to obtain the destination, and then obtain the input queue name using the getQueueName() method on the destination.

  • The absence of the Destination determines whether the message came from an MQ API client or a JMS application. If using an MQ API client, then the destination is null.

  • The try/catch block handles both a JMSException and a JMSRuntimeException from the JMS API, although only the JMSException is a mandatory checked exception. This is a change in JMS 2.0 in that much of the JMS API now throws the unchecked exception JMSRuntimeException rather than the checked JMSException, so it’s good practice to test for both when using JMS 2.0.

Message properties

Message properties consisting of a name/value pair are a standard way of passing metadata with messages. Message consumers often use them to selectively get messages from queues. In our application, the message property, if set, determines the name of the CICS TSQ to which the message body is written.

private static final String TSQNAME = "RJMSTSQ";
String TSQname = message.getStringProperty("TSQNAME");
if (TSQname == null) {
    TSQname = TSQNAME;
TSQ tsqQ = new TSQ();
  • The message.getStringProperty() method is used to read the message property named TSQNAME from the message.

  • The TSQNAME property defines the name of the CICS TSQ that is used to store the message body, and if not present defaults to the static value RJMSTSQ.

  • The message body is then written to the TSQ using the JCICS TSQ class and the writeString() method.


An MDB is a type of EJB and can therefore use either container-managed or bean-managed Java transactions. In your MDB, add the @TransactionAttribute annotation to the onMessage() method with the value=TransactionAttributeType.REQUIRED to define this method as always being part of a container-managed Java transaction. When used within a CICS Liberty JVM server, this requires a Java transaction to be used to control both the Liberty-managed resources and the CICS unit of work. This means that the commit() method on the JMSContext() cannot be used to commit updates to the queue manager because they are controlled by the Liberty Transaction Manager. For our MDB using the TransactionAttributeType.REQUIRED, this means that both the read from the JMS queue and the write to the CICS TSQ are part of the same global transaction so they commit or roll back together providing the TSQ is defined as recoverable to CICS.

For further details on the Java Transaction API (JTA) support in CICS, see Using Java Transactions in CICS Liberty to coordinate JDBC updates.

    @TransactionAttribute(value = TransactionAttributeType.REQUIRED)
    public void onMessage(Message message) {

The CICS transaction ID under which the MDB request runs defaults to CJSU, which is the JVM server unclassified request processor. This can be modified per the JVM server using the system property com.ibm.cics.jvmserver.unclassified.tranid.

Test the MDB sample

To test the MDB sample, download the code from the Git repository and perform the following actions to configure the Liberty JVM server as detailed in the repository readme file.

  1. Download the MQ v9 resource adapter from Fix Central to zFS and define it in the Liberty server.xml using the variable element:

    <variable name="wmqJmsClient.rar.location" value="/u/cics1/RARs/wmq.jmsra.rar"/>
  2. Add the wmqJmsClient-2.0 and mdb-3.2 features to the Liberty feature manager list in the server.xml configuration file:

  3. Define a jmsQueue in the Liberty server.xml referencing the MQ queue DEMO.MDBQUEUE from the baseQueueName property:

    <jmsQueue id="jms/mdbq" jndiName="jms/mdbq">
        <properties.wmqJms baseQueueName="DEMO.MDBQUEUE" />
  4. Define a jmsActivationSpec in the Liberty server.xml referencing the jmsQueue element, the channel, queue manager, host, port, and transport type as shown below. The jmsActivationSpec id attribute must be in the format of application name/module name/bean name and is output in the Liberty messages.log in the CNTR0180I message.

       <jmsActivationSpec id="com.ibm.cicsdev.mqjms.mdb.ear/com.ibm.cicsdev.mqjms.mdb/MySimpleMDB">
             transportType="CLIENT" />

    The transportType property must be set to the value CLIENT to ensure the use of the MQ client mode transport. For full details on the MQ properties that you can set on the jmsActivationSpec, refer to the JMS activation specification properties.wmqJms attribute in the IBM documentation.

  5. Last, deploy the sample MDB application using the supplied CICS bundle project, com.ibm.cicsdev.mqjms.mdb.cicsbundle, and a CICS bundle resource definition as described in the readme.

    You can now test whether the MDB is invoked by writing a message to the MQ queue named in the activation spec. This can be achieved either by either installing the MQJMSDemo servlet described in the JMS connection factory sample section of this tutorial or by using the MQ sample client program amqsputc installed on a remote workstation.

    • To use the amqsputc, you first need to set the MQSERVER environment variable to define the MQ channel, connectivity protocol, and IP endpoint. You can then simply write to the queue as shown below:
     > set MQSERVER=WAS.JMS.SVRCONN/TCP/<hostname(port)>
     > amqsputc DEMO.MDBQUEUE
     > hello
  6. To use the MQJMSDemo servlet to write to the MDB queue, you can use this URL: http://host:port/jmsweb?test=putmdbq.

Having written to the DEMO.MDBQUEUE, the string “hello” should now have been passed in the JMS message body and written to the TSQ RJMSTSQ. You can verify this in CICS using the CEBR queue browsing transaction. Alternatively, you can install the MQJMSDemo servlet, which can read the CICS TSQ.

JMS connection factory sample

JMS connection factory sample

The JMS connection factory sample provides a servlet called MQJMSDemo that uses a JMS connection factory to send and receive messages to and from an MQ queue called DEMO.SIMPLEQ. The servlet can also write messages to the MDB queue DEMO.MDBQUEUE and read the CICS TSQ that’s used in the MDB test.


When using a servlet, the init() method runs once at servlet initialization and is therefore a useful place to look up the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) references for the connection factory and the required queues. In our servlet, these objects are defined as class instance variables and are hence shared between all servlet invocations.

private static final String JMS_CF1 = "jms/qcf1";
private static final String JMS_SIMPLEQ = "jms/simpleq"
private static final String JMS_MDBQ = "jms/mdbq";
private static ConnectionFactory qcf;
private static Queue simpleq;
private static Queue mdbq;

public void init(ServletConfig config) throws ServletException {

        String errmsg;

        try {
            InitialContext ctx = new InitialContext();
            qcf = (ConnectionFactory) ctx.lookup(JMS_CF1);
            simpleq = (Queue) ctx.lookup(JMS_SIMPLEQ);
            mdbq = (Queue) ctx.lookup(JMS_MDBQ);

        } catch (NamingException ne) {
            errmsg = " ERROR: On JNDI lookup in servlet initialisation ";
            throw new ServletException(errmsg, ne);

Write to the queue

Use the putQ method in the servlet to write a simple string to the DEMO.SIMPLEQ queue:

    public void putQ(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
        try (JMSContext context = qcf.createContext()) {    
            JMSProducer producer = context.createProducer();            
            producer.send(simpleq, cicsmsg);
            String title = "Message has been written to " + simpleq.getQueueName();
            printWeb(pw, title);            
        } catch (JMSException | JMSRuntimeException jre) {
            webmsg = "ERROR on JMS send " + jre.getMessage();
            throw new ServletException(webmsg, jre);

In a multithreaded servlet environment, it’s good practice to ensure that connections to the queue manager are pooled efficiently. The MQ resource adapter handles connection pooling, and you can obtain connection handles using the createContext() method on the connection factory. Connection handles should be released (closed) as soon as practical to ensure efficient connection pooling.

A JMSContext is created directly from the connection factory. The JMSContext interface is new in JMS 2.0 and replaces the separate Connection and Session objects in the JMS 1.1 API. The JMSContext implements the Java 7 java.lang.AutoCloseable interface. This means that because you create the JMSContext in a try-with-resources block, the close method is called automatically at the end of the block without the need to explicitly close it.

A JMSProducer is a replacement for the MessageProducer object in JMS 1.1. It allows message delivery options, headers, and properties to be configured. You can create it using the createProducer() method on the JMSContext. The putMDBQ() method in our sample shows how to use the JMSProducer to set message properties on a JMS message.

The JMSProducer.send() method passes in the JMS queue and a string to be written to the queue. In the JMS 2.0 API, there’s no need to create a TextMessage object and set its body to the specified string. Instead, you can simply pass the string in to the send() method. The JMS provider automatically creates a JMS TextMessage and sets its body to the supplied string.

Read the queue

The readQ() method in our servlet is used to read the DEMO.SIMPLEQ queue, as shown in the following snippet:

public void readQ(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {

        try (JMSContext context = qcf.createContext()) {

            JMSConsumer consumer = context.createConsumer(simpleq);

            webmsg = "Records read from " + simpleq.getQueueName() + " are as follows:";
            printWeb(pw, webmsg);

            String txtmsg;
            for (int i = 0; i < QM_MAX_DEPTH_COUNT; i++) {
                txtmsg = consumer.receiveBodyNoWait(String.class);
                if (txtmsg != null) {
                    webmsg = "Record[" + i + "] " + txtmsg;
                    printWeb(pw, webmsg);
                } else {
        } catch (JMSRuntimeException | JMSException jre) {
            webmsg = "ERROR on JMS receive " + jre.getMessage();
            throw new ServletException(webmsg, jre);

The JMSContext is created in a try-with-resources block and obtains a connection from the underlying connection pool. When an application needs to receive messages, it uses the createConsumer() method to create a JMSConsumer object. The queue is then read in a loop until the maximum depth count is exceeded or no more data is returned.

The receiveBodyNoWait(String.class) method is called, which returns the JMS message body as a string if one is immediately available. Note that alternative versions of this method are available that block for a specified time-out period.

Deploy the servlet

To test the servlet sample, download the code from the Git repository, cics-java-liberty-mq-jms, and then add the following elements to the Liberty server.xml in addition to the configuration for the previous MDB sample:

  1. Add the JNDI feature to the Liberty feature manager list to support the use of the InitialContext.lookup():

  2. Define the connection factory referencing the MQ queue manager and channel along with the TCP/IP host and port on which the MQ channel is listening. Add a connectionManager definition to define the size of the connection manager pool. For full details on the MQ properties you can set on the jmsQueueConnectionFactory, refer to the properties.wmqJms attribute for the JMS queue connection factory in the IBM documentation.

    <jmsQueueConnectionFactory connectionManagerRef="ConMgrJms" jndiname="jms/qcf1">
        <properties.wmqJms channel="WAS.JMS.SVRCONN"
    <connectionManager id="ConMgrJms" maxPoolSize="20"/>

    Note: You should use a jmsQueueConnectionFactory rather than the alternative jmsConnectionFactory because you only want to use point-to-point messaging and not JMS topics in your test.

  3. Define the MQ queue DEMO.SIMPLEQ to be used by the servlet:

    <jmsQueue id="jms/simpleq" jndiName="jms/simpleq">
        <properties.wmqJms baseQueueName="DEMO.SIMPLEQ" />
  4. Last, deploy the sample web application using the supplied CICS bundle project com.ibm.cicsdev.mqjms.cf.cicsbundle and a CICS bundle resource definition as described in the readme.

    Once the web application is installed, you can specify the following query strings to drive the sample code discussed in this tutorial:

    • http://host:port/jmsweb?test=putq — Write a message to the DEMO.SIMPLEQ.
    • http://host:port/jmsweb?test=readq — Read messages from the DEMO.SIMPLEQ.
    • http://host:port/jmsweb?test=putmdbq — Write a message to the DEMO.MDBQUEUE used in the MDB test.
    • http://host:port/jmsweb?test=readtsq — Read messages from the CICS TSQ used in the MDB test.


This tutorial has covered the basics of JMS usage with MQ in a CICS Liberty JVM server, including the following topics:

  • The different JMS and MQ environments supported in CICS
  • How to create an MDB to read messages from a queue
  • How to use a JMS connection factory in a web application
  • Some of the benefits of the simplified JMS 2.0 API

For more details on the technologies covered in this tutorial, see the Resources links in the upper right-hand column.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to fellow IBMers Matthew Leming and Pete Siddall of MQ development, and Andy Wharmby of CICS Development.