User Formats in MQEDIT

EXTENDED FREE TRIALIn August we announced MQEdit, a Live-Parsing editor for IBM MQ, which was to run as an open beta, free for all to use, until the end of January.

This month a new driver is available for the MQEdit beta which provides function for user defined messages. MQEdit knows the format of the standard MQ messages such as MQXQH, MQDLH, MQPCF as well as XML and EDIFACT messages. However, in this release we have also added the ability to edit user defined formats. This facility allows all manner of message formats to be defined using a simple definition language. For example, the following simple definition might define a customer record message.

struct CUST; Customer Record
  int    Version;
  char   Name[50];
  int    CustNo;
  time32 JoinDate;
  float  Rating;
  hex    DBId[12];
  char   Address1[100];
  char   Address2[100];
  char   Address3[100];
  char   Address4[100];

  struct CUST;

You can see that the syntax is very similar to a host of programming languages and, as such, is fairly intuitive to most. These definitions state that if MQEdit sees a message with a format value of ‘CUSTOMER’ it should display the message in the format of the CUST structure. Alternatively you can tie a structure definition to a queue name if you don’t use your own format values.

MQEdit showing a Formatted Customer Record

This definition is placed in a file which is then loaded into MQEdit through the User Formats tab in the Preferences dialog. If you make changes to the underlying file you can just click on Reload User Formats, there is no need to restart the editor.

MQEdit User Format file

MQEdit User Format file is loaded through the Preferences dialog

Many other data types are available and more complicated messages can be defined, if necessary. For example you can have variable length strings, variable length arrays or embedded structures. Why not give it a try and see whether your own messages can be displayed.

The product, which is in Beta phase, is free for you to download and try out until at least January 2017. You don’t even need to register any details to play with it. The product is free to download from our website.

All we ask in return is that in a week or two when you’ve played with it you send us an email telling us what you liked and what you didn’t like about the editor and perhaps what features you’d like to see in the future.

We look forward to hearing your comments. Please send them to


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