Qpid Proton C++ API  0.13.0
Introduction

This is the C++ API for the Proton AMQP protocol engine. It allows you to write client and server applications that send and receive AMQP messages.

The best way to start is with the Tutorial.

An overview of the AMQP model

Messages are transferred between connected peers over links. The sending end of a link is a proton::sender, and the receiving end is a proton::receiver. Links have named 'source' and 'target' addresses. See "Sources and Targets" below for more information.

Links are grouped in a proton::session. Messages for links in the same session are sent sequentially. Messages on different sessions can be interleaved, so a large message being sent on one session does not block messages being sent on other sessions.

Sessions are created over a proton::connection, which represents the network connection. You can create links directly on a connection using its default session if you don't need multiple sessions.

proton::message represents the message: the body (content), properties, headers, and annotations. A proton::delivery represents a message being received over a link. The receiver acknowledges the delivery by accepting or rejecting it. The corresponding message sender uses a proton::tracker to follow the state of the delivery.

The delivery is settled when both ends are done with it. Different settlement methods give different levels of reliability: at-most-once, at-least-once, and exactly-once. See "Delivery Guarantees" below for details.

Sources and targets

Every link has two addresses, source and target. The most common pattern for using these addresses is as follows:

When a client creates a receiver link, it sets the source address. This means "I want to receive messages from this source." This is often referred to as "subscribing" to the source. When a client creates a sender link, it sets the target address. This means "I want to send to this target."

In the case of a broker, the source or target usually refers to a queue or topic. In general they can refer to any AMQP-capable node.

In the request-response pattern, a request message carries a reply-to address for the response message. This can be any AMQP address, but it is often useful to create a temporary address for just the response message.

The most common approach is for the client to create a receiver for the response with the dynamic flag set. This asks the server to generate a unique source address automatically and discard it when the link closes. The client uses this "dynamic" source address as the reply-to when it sends the request, and the response is delivered to the client's dynamic receiver.

In the case of a broker, a dynamic address usually corresponds to a temporary queue, but any AMQP request-response server can use this technique. The server_direct.cpp example illustrates how to implement a queueless request-response server.

Delivery guarantees

Proton offers three levels of message delivery guarantee: at-most-once, at-least-once, and exactly-once.

For at-most-once, the sender settles the message as soon as it sends it. If the connection is lost before the message is received by the receiver, the message will not be delivered.

For at-least-once, the receiver accepts and settles the message on receipt. If the connection is lost before the sender is informed of the settlement, then the delivery is considered in-doubt and should be retried. This will ensure it eventually gets delivered (provided of course the connection and link can be reestablished). It may mean that it is delivered multiple times, however.

Finally, for exactly-once, the receiver accepts the message but doesn't settle it. The sender settles once it is aware that the receiver accepted it. In this way the receiver retains knowledge of an accepted message until it is sure the sender knows it has been accepted. If the connection is lost before settlement, the receiver informs the sender of all the unsettled deliveries it knows about, and from this the sender can deduce which need to be redelivered. The sender likewise informs the receiver which deliveries it knows about, from which the receiver can deduce which have already been settled.

Anatomy of a Proton application

To send AMQP commands, call methods on classes like proton::connection, proton::sender, proton::receiver, or proton::delivery.

To handle incoming commands, subclass the proton::messaging_handler interface. The handler member functions are called when AMQP protocol events occur on a connection. For example proton::messaging_handler::on_message is called when a message is received.

Messages are represented by proton::message. AMQP defines a type encoding that you can use for interoperability, but you can also use any encoding you wish and pass binary data as the proton::message::body. proton::value and proton::scalar provide conversion between AMQP and C++ data types.

There are several ways to manage handlers and AMQP objects, for different types of application. All of them use the same proton::messaging_handler subclasses so code can be re-used if you change your approach.

proton::default_container - Easy single-threaded applications

proton::container is the top-level object in a proton application. Use proton::container::connect() and proton::container::listen() to create connections. The container polls multiple connections and calls protocol events on your proton::messaging_handler subclasses.

The default container implementation is created using proton::default_container.

You can implement your own container to integrate proton with any IO provider using the proton::io::connection_engine.

See also
IO integration