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This repository demonstrates a way to call IBM MQ from applications running in a Node.js environment.


MQI Description

The package exposes the IBM MQ programming interface via a wrapper layer implemented in JavaScript. This should make it easy for a Node.js developer to send and receive messages via MQ, and interact with other MQ-enabled applications in the organisation.

The package is based on the full MQI. It uses essentially the same verbs and structures as the C or COBOL interface, but with a more appropriate style for this environment. It removes the need for a developer to worry about how to map elements to the underlying C libraries and instead enables a focus on the business application code. For example, JavaScript strings are used instead of fixed-length, spaced-padded fields.

Most MQI verbs and parameters are implemented here. Where there are missing details within the verbs, these are shown by TODO markers in the source files.

It is assumed that someone using this package does have a basic understanding of the procedural MQI, as that is needed to decide which options and fields may need to be set for each verb.

The implemented verbs follow the JavaScript style, invoking user-supplied callback functions on completion. In all cases, the callbacks are presented with an MQError object as the first parameter when an error or warning occurs (null otherwise), followed by other relevant objects and data. If the callback is not provided by the application, then either an exception is thrown, or the verb returns.


Note: This has changed significantly from the 0.9.2 version of the module onwards.

The main verbs - Conn(x), Disc, Open, Close, Sub, Put, Put1 and Get - have true synchronous and asynchronous variations. The default is that the verbs are asynchronous, to be more natural in a Node.js environment. When given a ...Sync suffix (eg OpenSync) then the verb is synchronous. Callback functions are now required for the OpenSync and SubSync verbs to obtain the object handles; these are not returned explicitly from the function calls.

The remaining verbs continue to internally make synchronous calls to the underlying MQI services. Callback functions can still be used to indicate completion of the operation, with function return values and exceptions being available if you want to treat them more synchronously rather than pseudo-async.

For the asynchronous functions, a callback function is mandatory.

Note that MQ also has a concept of Asynchronous Put (an MQPMO option) usable from client applications. That can be used in conjunction with a later call to the Stat function to determine the success of the Put calls, but it is not related to asynchronous notification of the operation completion in JavaScript terms.

Synchronous compatibility option

If you wish to continue to use the original pseudo-async calls made by this module without changing the verbs to use the Sync variants, then you can set the SyncMQICompat variable to true. This variable should be considered a temporary migration path; it will likely be removed at some point in the future.


Most of the core MQI verbs (excluding the GET variants) have Promise-based alternatives named with a ...Promise suffix (eg ConnxPromise). This can help with removal of much of the typical callback nesting. See the amqsputp.js sample for a demonstration of how these can be used. There is no Get-based Promise because the async Get operation invokes callbacks multiple times as messages appear.

Message Retrieval

This implementation includes two mechanisms for retrieving messages from a queue:

  • GetSync() is the call that does an MQGET(wait) synchronously. In a Node environment, it blocks the execution thread until it completes. That may be OK for an immediate retrieval where the wait time is set to zero, but it is not recommended for any times where you want to wait a while for a message to arrive. Some of the samples use this function for simplicity, where the Get() is not the interesting aspect being demonstrated.
  • Get() is the call that works asynchronously. The callback given as a parameter to this function is invoked asynchronously. The function remains active after delivering a message to permit receipt of multiple messages. To stop the callback being called for further messages, use the GetDone() function. This behaviour is similar to how the MQI MQCB callback invocation works.

The asynchronous retrieval is implemented using a polling MQGET(immediate) operation. Originally, this package used the MQCB and MQCTL functions to work fully asynchronously, but the threading model used within the MQ libraries does not work well with the Node model, and testing demonstrated deadlocks that could not be solved without changes to the underlying MQ products. The polling is done by default every 10 seconds; applications can override that by calling the setTuningParameters function.

Sample programs amqsget and amqsgeta demonstrate the two different techniques.

Alternative JavaScript routes into MQ

There are already some other ways to access MQ from Node.js:

  • Take a look at the MQ Light client available from NPM. MQ supports connections from MQ Light clients via AMQP channels.
  • The MQTT protocol has an implementation here. MQ supports connections from MQTT clients via the XR service and Telemetry channels.
  • MQ V9.0.4 includes a simple REST API for messaging that is accessible from any environment. See here for more information.

These interfaces may be suitable for many messaging applications, even though they do not give access to the full services available from MQ such as transactions.

Unimplemented capabilities

All the application-level MQI verbs are implemented.

There are no structure definitions for most MQ elements in message contents such as the MQCIH structure. When putting messages, JavaScript Buffers and strings can be used; when getting messages, data is always returned in a Buffer.

However there is now a definition and sample program to manipulate the Dead Letter Header (MQDLH). This should be considered experimental for now - there may be better ways to work with the structures. There is also a definition for the MQRFH2 structure header, though not for the individual folders and properties that may be added to that structure.

The amqsget sample shows ways to process the returned message, including extracting details from the MQDLH and MQRFH2 structures if they are part of the message.

Local queue manager connectivity

The C MQ library is dynamically loaded at runtime. By default, this package will try to load the library from the node_modules directory associated with the application.

For platforms where the MQ Redistributable Client exists and has been installed, this means that local bindings connections will not work to connect to a queue manager, even if there is also a full MQ installation on the machine. Only client connections can be used by the Redistributable Client libraries. Trying to connect to a local queue manager will likely result in an MQRC_Q_MGR_NAME_ERROR (2058) error.

To override this default behaviour and to permit use of local bindings connections, the full MQ installation libraries must be used instead. There are two mechanisms to do this:

  • Set the MQIJS_NOREDIST environment variable during npm install so that the Redist Client package is not downloaded and installed in the node_modules directory.
  • Set the MQIJS_PREFER_INSTALLED_LIBRARY environment variable at runtime

The use of the Redist Client libraries is preferred wherever possible, so that new function can be introduced regardless of the version of MQ that has been "properly" installed on a machine.

Client connectivity

Client connections work in the usual way.

  • Definitions can be set up externally via CCDT or the MQSERVER environment variable
  • Definitions can be set up programmatically via the MQCD and MQSCO structures passed to Connx()

To force client connections, even when there is a full MQ server set of libraries installed and loaded:

  • The program can set the MQCNO_CLIENT_BINDING flag in the MQCNO options during Connx()
  • You can set the MQ_CONNECT_TYPE environment variable to "CLIENT".

Extra operations

The package includes a couple of verbs that are not standard in the MQI.

  • GetDone() is used to end asynchronous retrieval of messages.
  • GetSync() is equivalent of the traditional MQGET operation.
  • Lookup() extracts strings corresponding to MQI numbers, similar to the MQConstants.lookup() method in Java.


  • node version 10.20 or greater. Older versions will no longer work because of requirements from the ffi-napi package
  • On platforms other than Windows and Linux x64, you must also install the MQ client package
  • The package makes use of the libffi capabilities for direct access to the MQ API. For some platforms the libffi and ffi-napi components may need additional configuration before they can be build. That package is not available at all on z/OS - there is no way that this package can run on that platform even with handcrafting build steps.

I have run it on Windows, where the NPM 'windows-build-tools' package also needed to be installed first. See this document for more information on Windows.


To install this package, you can pull it straight from the NPM repository. You can also refer to it in a package.json file for automatic installation.

mkdir <something>
cd <something>
npm install ibmmq

Prerequisite components

Installation of the package will automatically install any prerequisite packages downloadable from the npm repository. By default, it will pull in packages listed in both the dependencies and the devDependencies sections. For environments where you only want to run a program, then adding an option npm install --only=prod or setting the NODE_ENV environment variable to production will cause downloads of only the runtime dependencies.

The MQ C Client libraries

The package also requires the MQ C client libraries to be installed/available.

For Windows and Linux x64, the npm installation process tries to access the Redistributable Client packages and unpack them automatically. The installation of this library succeeds even if the download and unpack of the MQ runtime libraries fails in some way.

Note: IBM removes older levels of the Redistributable Client packages when they become unsupported. If you want to continue to use older versions of this package (which will reference those unsupported MQ versions) then you will have to keep a local copy of the tar/zip files and unpack it as part of your build process, using the MQIJS_* environment variables to control installation and runtime.

If you do not want this automatic installation of the MQ runtime, then set the environment variable MQIJS_NOREDIST to any value before running npm install. The MQ libraries are then be found at runtime using mechanisms such as searching LD_LIBRARY_PATH (Linux) or PATH (Windows).

The post-installation program will usually be pointing at the most recent Continuous Delivery version of MQ (for example These versions of MQ do not have fixpacks released. However you can override both the version (VRM) and fixpack to be installed, assuming that full VRMF level is still available for download. Setting the environment variables MQIJS_VRM and MQIJS_FIXPACK will select a specific Redistributable Client package to be installed. Note that installing an older VRM than the default in the current version of this package may not work, if newer options have been introduced to the MQI. At the time of writing this paragraph, the latest version of MQ was 9.2.0 (with no later CD releases), but there was also a fixpack. If you want to pick that up instead of the base 9.2.0 referred to in postinstall.js, then set MQIJS_FIXPACK=1 before running npm install. Once newer CD levels are available, then the postinstall script will point at those instead by default.


The MQ client package for MacOS can be found at this site . Download a suitable version and install it in a local directory. The package is signed, and is not a simple tar/zip format. The environment variable DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH then should be set to the lib64 directory within that tree before running the program.

For example

export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/mqm/lib64

Errors and warnings during build

If you get an error message such as "gyp: No Xcode or CLT version detected" while running npm install you may need to install the developer tools. Usually the command xcode-select --install will deal with this.

You may also see a number of warnings from the C++ compiler as it compiles some of the FFI prerequisite packages. While undesirable, there should be no actual errors shown and the generated code does seem to work ok.

Other platforms

For other MQ-supported platforms and environments, the C runtime can be installed from your MQ installation media, or from the full Client downloads at this site.

The Redistributable Client packages for Windows and Linux x64 are also available directly from this site .

As noted above, this package cannot run on z/OS as the prerequisite elements are not available there.

Sample applications

See the samples README file for more information about the sample programs.


The samples directory includes a Dockerfile that can be used as the basis of generating an independent container to run MQ programs. The run.docker script builds and executes the container. Environment variables are used in the Dockerfile and the script to control connection to the queue manager.


The package contains JSDoc comments that can be formatted using the makedoc script in the root directory. The generated documentation is then accessible via a web browser.


The package includes a set of type definitions, suitable for use with TypeScript programs. Some of the sample programs have also been converted to use types. See the samples/typescript directory. These definitions have been tested with the tsc compiler, the ts-node front-end, and inside the VSCode IDE.

The initial release of the these definitions should be considered a beta level, to gain feedback on the structure and naming. It is possible that elements of the types will change in future.

Bitwise vs Array Options fields

To help with syntax checking, many of the fields in the MQI that are normally set with bitwise operations (for example, pmo.Options = MQPMO_SYNCPOINT|MQPMO_NEW_CORREL_ID) can now also be set using an array syntax such as pmo.Options = [MQPMO_SYNCPOINT, MQPMO_NEW_CORREL_ID]. Once you make a choice in your application on which style to use, you should stay consistent throughout the program. If input to an MQI function uses arrays, then the field will still be an array on return from the function. It doesn't change shape within the MQI call. But sometimes you may still need an explicit definition as the fields are defined as having either a number or an array type and the compiler may not know which it is set to at some places when it needs to validate the code.

If you are using the array format, then any elements with the real value 0 will not show up in the array after an MQI call. For example, MQPMO_NONE would not be in the array following an MQPUT call even if you had set it in the original array.

Interrogating and modifying the options fields has to be done by being explicit about how the field is being used. For example,

  mq.PutSync( ... )

  var opts = pmo.Options as mq.MQC_MQPMO[]; // Be explicit
  if (opts.includes(MQC.MQPMO_SYNCPOINT)) {
    console.log("Array includes value SYNCPOINT");
  } else {
    console.log("Array does not include value SYNCPOINT");

and an example from the amqsbra.tsexample where we use the bitwise operations to modify a field:

  gmo!.Options = ((gmo!.Options as number) & ~MQC.MQGMO_BROWSE_FIRST);
  gmo!.Options = (gmo!.Options | MQC.MQGMO_BROWSE_NEXT);



Health Warning

This package is provided as-is with no guarantees of support or updates. You cannot use IBM formal support channels (Cases/PMRs) for assistance with material in this repository.

There are also no guarantees of compatibility with any future versions of the package; the API is subject to change based on any feedback. Versioned releases are made in this repository to assist with using stable APIs. Future versions will follow semver guidance so that breaking changes will only be done with a new major version number.

Issues and Contributions

For feedback and issues relating specifically to this package, please use the GitHub issue tracker.

Contributions to this package can be accepted under the terms of the Developer's Certificate of Origin, found in the DCO file of this repository. When submitting a pull request, you must include a statement stating you accept the terms in the DCO.


Thanks to the IBM App Connect team for the initial implementation of the asynchronous MQI variations. Their work has been adopted and adapted into this library.

Thanks to Andre Asselin for the TypeScript definitions and sample program conversions.



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