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From Joe Niski <>
Subject durable subscription problems
Date Tue, 17 Aug 2010 00:00:40 GMT
i have a network of 2 brokers, let's call them "Remote" and "Central", running on ActiveMQ
5.0.3, in a store-and-forward configuration. i inherited this setup, i did not design it,
but it seems like a generally solid configuration.

On the Remote broker, there are topics (e.g. "org.nwea.topics.license") that have durable
subscriptions to topics of the same name on the Central broker. Messages that are published
to topics on the Central broker find their way to Remote really fast - as long as the Remote
is online when the message is published. Messages that are published when Remote is offline
are never picked up by the remote.

i have a j2ee application that contains MDBs that are annotated to have durable subscriptions
to the topics on the Remote broker.

The NetworkConnector configuration in the Remote broker's activemq.xml looks like this:

            <networkConnector name="${ApplianceID}"
                    <queue physicalName="org.nwea.queues.central.>"/>
                    <topic physicalName="org.nwea.topics.>"/>
                    <queue physicalName="org.nwea.queues.central.>"/>
                    <topic physicalName="org.nwea.topics.>"/>

In reading through the book "ActiveMQ in Action" and reviewing the online docs at,
it seems that we should use the default setting for "dynamicOnly", "false" (the docs say "if
true, only forward messages if a consumer is active on the connected broker").

However, when i set "dynamicOnly" to false, i see numerous startup errors and NullPointerExceptions
in the Remote activemq.log, and connection errors in Central's logs. The Remote log simply
[DemandForwardingBridge.serviceLocalException]:  Network connection between vm://remotebroker.msg02.nweacolo.pvt#24
and ssl:// shutdown due to a local error: java.lang.NullPointerException

With "dynamicOnly" set to true, the log shows that existing durable subscriptions are reconnecting
during startup.

Playing with the "prefetchSize" and "networkTTL" attributes for <networkConnector> on
Remote (vaguely recommended in the docs) doesn't seem to have any effect.

This seems very similar to this issue from February 2009:,
which didn't seem to get resolved.

Any insight, recommendations, or help are most appreciated.

Joe Niski
IS Development |  NWEA
NWEA.ORG<3D%22>  |  Partnering to Help All Kids Learn

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