Get an IBM MQ queue for development in IBM Cloud

To see how IBM MQ works, you will be guided through creating and configuring a queue manager (server).

After completing the tutorial, you will be able to send messages to and retrieve messages from a queue.

You can download, install, and run IBM MQ queue manager (server) in a variety of ways:

Learning objectives

After completing this tutorial, you will understand a bit about these concepts:

  • IBM MQ queue managers
  • IBM MQ queues
  • The IBM MQ console


You need to register for an IBM Cloud account.

Estimated time

This tutorial should take about 15-30 minutes.


  1. Create an MQ on Cloud service
  2. Use the guided tour
  3. Connect your own application to MQ in the Cloud
  4. Use the MQ console

Step 1. Create an MQ on Cloud service

Log in to your IBM Cloud account, and create an MQ on Cloud service.

Select your region, choose the Lite (Free!) pricing plan, change the service name to something you’ll remember, and keep the resource group as Default for now. Then, click Create to create a free MQ instance. It will likely take a few seconds for the MQ instance to be created.

Screen capture of the MQ on Cloud service in IBM Cloud

Step 2. Use the guided tour

Use the guided tour to create and configure a queue manager. Use the tips that pop up to guide you through the steps.

Screen capture of the MQ on Cloud service in IBM Cloud

The guided tour includes these steps:

  • Review the essentials of IBM MQ. (We also cover this essentials information in the IBM MQ Developer Essentials badge.)

  • Create a queue manager. It will estimate how much time it will take, usually a few minutes. While the queue manager is deploying, you can continue with the next step in the tour; however, you cannot complete the final step in the tour, Administering your queue manager, until after your queue manager is deployed and is “Running” (as shown in the following figure):

    Screen capture of the queue manager status

  • Register an application. You’ll create a set of IBM Cloud credentials that your application uses to connect to the queue manager. Make sure that you take note of the API key that is generated before closing the window.

    Once you’ve registered an application and downloaded the connection information (the variables you’ll need to set in any applications you develop: hostname, port, application channel name and queue manager name), you’ll be able to follow the tutorial in the Developer Essentials Badge Learning Path for developing an application with IBM MQ and JMS.

  • Administer your queue manager. You’ll learn about the MQ Console, and all the ways you can use it to configure your queue manager. See Step 4 in this tutorial for instructions on how to create and delete queues, and put and get messages, all using the MQ Console.

After completing the guided tour, come back to this tutorial and continue with Step 3.

Step 3. Connect your own application to MQ in the Cloud

To connect our application to a queue manager, you need the application name that you registered in the guided tour and you need the API key that you saved. You also need the connection information that was downloaded, but you can access that from the Application credentials tab:

Screen capture of downloading the connection information for your app

Step 4. Use the MQ console

The guided tour ends by asking you to open the MQ console, which is a powerful tool that you can use to see the status of your queue manager and make administrative changes. You can also create and delete queues, put and get messages, and more.

To learn more about how to set up the IBM MQ Console, access it, and view and edit MQ objects using it, use the tutorial in the IBM Cloud docs.


In this tutorial, you created an instance of IBM MQ running on IBM Cloud and created a queue manager to use throughout this learning path. You’ve learned how to manage the queue manager with the MQ console and obtained connection information that you can use to connect your applications to send messages to a queue.

When you start developing your own client applications to connect to the queue manager, you’ll follow these steps:

  1. Configure the connection to the queue manager.
  2. Open a queue.
  3. Put a message on the queue.
  4. Get the message from the queue.
  5. Close the connection to the queue manager.

This process demonstrates point-to-point style of messaging.

In IBM MQ, the queue manager is effectively the server part of the system, and applications that connect to it are clients.

Usually it is the administrators that look after the MQ server where all the MQ objects are defined and the routing of messages happens. Client applications are created by developers and IBM MQ provides client libraries that developers must include in their applications. These libraries, also called MQ clients, address and use the MQ objects that admins have set up on the MQ server side. In more complex scenarios, the MQ libraries do most of the heavy messaging work for you, so you just have to learn how to use them.

Configuration is needed on both the server and the client sides for the messaging to work.

When you first start developing MQ client applications, you need to have access to your own queue manager and a queue, for testing your client application against. MQ on cloud service gives you access to a queue manager and easy options for configuring MQ objects as you begin developing your own MQ applications.