Talarian Corp. and Tibco are the two marquee names in real-time messaging. Both companies' products are used primarily in publish-subscribe (one-to-many) mode in high-performance contexts such as financial sector and the defense industries. Typically, they are found on trading floors of stock exchanges providing brokers with data feeds of share prices, trades, and the like.
In these contexts, both companies specialize in velocity and dependability. Talarian leads the way in JMS implementations, having announced two JMS products, one of which is already shipping. This product, Workbench for JMS, uses a subset of Talarian's middleware and is designed to compete with the low end of the JMS market. The Enterprise version of Workbench for JMS is shipping this summer and runs on the full Talarian messaging transport. This gives it the benefit of access from languages other than Java, plus multicast, and a number of administrative tools. A developer version with a 15-day time lock is available from Talarian's website.
Talarian's primary competitor in extreme performance is Tibco. That is, in all areas but JMS. Tibco has announced that it will ship a version of JMS some time this year. As yet, though, no product is available.
Next month, I will discuss how to choose a JMS implementation and how to assess the vendors discussed here.