Introduction To Service Broker

Colleen Morrow is starting a series on Service Broker:

So why am I such a big fan of Service Broker and if it’s so great, why isn’t everybody using it? Let me start by telling you why I’m such a fan.

  • Asynchronous – The biggest benefit of Service Broker, or probably any messaging technology, is that is decouples long running processing from the client application.  A great example of what I mean by this is Amazon.com.  When you place an order at Amazon, a whole series of backend processes are initiated.  Your payment is processed, inventory is verified and updated, fulfillment and shipping is initiated, etc.  All of which ultimately end with a box arriving on your doorstep.  But the website doesn’t wait for all of that stuff to finish before it thanks you for your order.  Your order information is added to a queue and the page returns.  All that other stuff is handled asynchronously.  And that’s what Service Broker lets you do in your database.

I think the biggest impediment to adoption of Service Broker is that there was never a friendly UI.  The same applied to Extended Events in 2008.  Both involve a non-trivial amount of setup and maintenance, and the tooling just hasn’t been there for Service Broker.  I know they’re still making (minor) improvements to the product, but if they wanted a big improvement, putting a friendly UI tie-in with Management Studio would go a long way.

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1 Comment

  • Colleen Morrow on 2016-03-24

    Great point Kevin, and I doubt there ever will be an SSMS GUI for it, unfortunately. It’s easy to script out, but if you’re not comfortable with the concepts and components to begin with, the lack of a UI makes it that much more daunting.

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