Azure Messaging Services

Another important factor in software development is messaging. With the popularity of Microservices and Serverless applications for scalable design, Message-based communication has received special focus.

Azure does provide us with multiple ways for message-based communication.

Azure Storage Queue: This is a simple form of messaging where one can create a queue under Azure Storage service, send and receive messages from the queue.

Azure Service Bus Queue: If you need more sophisticated queues with more control on data retention, create topics with publisher-subscriber pattern, dead letter queue support etc, Azure Service Bus queue is an option for you.

Azure Storage queue vs Service Bus queue: By this point, it is obvious to ask the question when should one use the Storage queue and when to use the Service queue. Let’s look at some important points to consider

  • Storage queue uses storage infrastructure to provide simple GET/ PUT/ PEEK operations on queues, whereas Storage bus uses proper message-based infrastructure, with that message can be received without constant polling by subscribing to queues and topics.
  • Storage bus provides features like FIFO, duplication detection, “At most once” delivery, etc.
  • Storage queue provides point to point communication whereas service bus can be used for multiple publishers – subscribers design.
  • Service Bus has a limit on queue size as 80GB, which is not there in Storage queue

More Detailed comparison-

Azure Relay Service: If you want to expose a service on your local network to cloud, you can use Azure Relay service without too much of a hassle. This uses socket-based communication and you will need not open a firewall port or get into network-level communications by setting a VPN gateway.


Azure Event Grid: Sometimes we want to message an application or send an alert based on some event happening, for example, your CPU usage for a Virtual machine is more than 80%, you would like to alert the admin or trigger an Azure function to take some action.

Azure Event Hub: Event hub is more relevant for processing larger amount of data like telemetry or streaming data. A good example of Event hub usage is Azure Application insights which showcase important information about applications using telemetry data.

Azure Notifications Hub: Azure Notification hub is a solution that provides you with the functionality of sending messages to mobile applications and devices. You can send push notifications to millions of devices in one go using the notification hub.