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A message queue is a software engineering component used for communication between processes or between threads within the same process. Message queues provide an asynchronous communication protocol in which the sender and receiver of messages don't need to interact at the same time - messages are held in queue until the recipient retrieves them.
Message queues are used within operating systems or applications as a way for programs to communicate with one another. They may also be used to pass messages between computer systems.
A message queuing environment provides programs in a set, and performs well-defined, self-contained actions in response to a particular request. Messages are held in a predefined queue to communicate with another program. The other program retrieves the message from the queue and processes the requests and information encapsulated in the message.
A message-oriented middleware furnishes message passing through distributed networks over heterogeneous platforms, reducing the complexity of building applications that span multiple operating systems and network protocols.