jruby-jms is a complete JRuby API into Java Messaging Specification (JMS) V1.1.

Note: jruby-jms is for JRuby only.


jruby-jms attempts to "rubify" the Java JMS API without compromising performance. It does this by sprinkling "Ruby-goodness" into the existing JMS Java interfaces, I.e. By adding Ruby methods to the existing classes and interfaces. Since jruby-jms exposes the JMS Java classes directly there is no performance impact that would have been introduced had the entire API been wrapped with an extra Ruby layer.

In this way, using regular Ruby constructs a Ruby program can easily interact with JMS in a highly performant way. Also, in this way you are not limited to whatever the Ruby wrapper would have exposed, since the entire JMS API is available to you at any time.


Add to Gemfile if using bundler:

gem 'jruby-jms'

Install using bundler:


If not using Bundler:

gem install jruby-jms



One of the difficulties with the regular JMS API is that it uses completely separate classes for Topics and Queues in JMS 1.1. This means that once a program writes to a Queue for example, that without modifying the source code the program it cannot write to a topic.

jruby-jms fixes this issue by allowing you to have a Consumer or Producer that is independent of whether it is producing or consuming to/from or a Topic or a Queue. The complexity of which JMS class is used is taken care of transparently by jruby-jms.

Concepts & Terminology

Java Message Service (JMS) API

The JMS API is a standard interface part of Java EE 6 as a way for programs to send and receive messages through a messaging and queuing system.

For more information on the JMS API: http://download.oracle.com/javaee/6/api/index.html?javax/jms/package-summary.html

Broker / Queue Manager

Depending on which JMS provider you are using they refer to their centralized server as either a Broker or Queue Manager. The Broker or Queue Manager is the centralized "server" through which all messages pass through.

Some Brokers support an in-JVM broker instance so that messages can be passed between producers and consumers within the same Java Virtual Machine (JVM) instance. This removes the need to make any network calls. Useful for passing messages between threads in the same JVM.


In order to connect to any broker the Client JMS application must create a connection. In traditional JMS a ConnectionFactory is used to create connections. In jruby-jms the JMS::Connection takes care of the complexities of dealing with the factory class, just pass the required parameters to Connection.new and jruby-jms takes care of the rest.


A queue is used to hold messages. The queue must be defined prior to the message being sent and is used to hold the messages. The consumer does not have to be active in order to send messages.


Instead of sending messages to a single queue, a topic can be used to publish messages and allow multiple consumers to register for messages that match the topic they are interested in


Producers write messages to queues or topics

ActiveMQ Example:

require 'jms'

# Connect to ActiveMQ
config = {
  :factory: org.apache.activemq.ActiveMQConnectionFactory
  :broker_url: tcp://localhost:61616
    - /usr/local/Cellar/activemq/5.11.1/libexec/activemq-all-5.11.1.jar
    - /usr/local/Cellar/activemq/5.11.1/libexec/lib/optional/log4j-1.2.17.jar

JMS::Connection.session(config) do |session|
  session.producer(queue_name: 'ExampleQueue') do |producer|
    producer.send(session.message("Hello World"))


Consumers read message from a queue or topic

ActiveMQ Example:

require 'rubygems'
require 'jms'

# Connect to ActiveMQ
config = {
  :factory: org.apache.activemq.ActiveMQConnectionFactory
  :broker_url: tcp://localhost:61616
    - /usr/local/Cellar/activemq/5.11.1/libexec/activemq-all-5.11.1.jar
    - /usr/local/Cellar/activemq/5.11.1/libexec/lib/optional/log4j-1.2.17.jar

JMS::Connection.session(config) do |session|
  session.consume(queue_name: 'ExampleQueue', timeout: 1000) do |message|
    p message

More Examples

There are several more examples available at https://github.com/reidmorrison/jruby-jms/tree/master/examples


A JMS::Connection instance can be shared between threads, whereas a session, consumer, producer, and any artifacts created by the session should only be used by one thread at a time.

For consumers, it is recommended to create a session for each thread and leave that thread blocked on Consumer#receive. Or, even better use Connection#on_message which will create a session, within which any message received from the specified queue or topic will be passed to the block.


jruby-jms uses Semantic Logger for logging since it is fully thread-aware, uses in-memory queue based logging for performance, and has several other useful features.

To enable Semantic Logger in a rails logger, include the gem rails_semantic_logger

For standalone installations:

SemanticLogger.add_appender(file_name: 'test.log', formatter: :color)
SemanticLogger.default_level = :info


JMS V1.1 Provider

In order to communicate with a JMS V 1.1 provider jruby-jms needs the jar files supplied by the JMS provider. As in the examples above the jar files can be specified in the configuration element :require_jars. Otherwise, the jars must be explicitly required in the Ruby code:

require '/usr/local/Cellar/activemq/5.11.1/libexec/activemq-all-5.11.1.jar'
require '/usr/local/Cellar/activemq/5.11.1/libexec/lib/optional/log4j-1.2.17.jar'


jruby-jms has been tested against JRuby 1.7, and JRuby


This project uses Semantic Versioning.


Reid Morrison