RabbitMQ vs. Kafka vs. ActiveMQ

RabbitMQ vs Kafka vs ActiveMQ: What are the differences?

RabbitMQ, Kafka, and ActiveMQ are all messaging technologies used to provide asynchronous communication and decouple processes (detaching the sender and receiver of a message). They are called message queues, message brokers, or messaging tools. RabbitMQ, Kafka, and ActiveMQ all serve the same basic purpose, but can go about their jobs differently. Kafka is a high-throughput distributed messaging system. RabbitMQ is an AMQP based reliable message broker. ActiveMQ and Kafka are both Apache products, and both written in Java; RabbitMQ is written in Erlang.

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What is RabbitMQ?

RabbitMQ gives your applications a common platform to send and receive messages, and your messages a safe place to live until received.

What is Kafka?

Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.

What is ActiveMQ?

Apache ActiveMQ is fast, supports many Cross Language Clients and Protocols, comes with easy to use Enterprise Integration Patterns and many advanced features while fully supporting JMS 1.1 and J2EE 1.4. Apache ActiveMQ is released under the Apache 2.0 License.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!


Why do developers choose RabbitMQ?
Why do you like RabbitMQ?

Why do developers choose Kafka?
Why do you like Kafka?

Why do developers choose ActiveMQ?
Why do you like ActiveMQ?


What are the cons of using RabbitMQ?
Downsides of RabbitMQ?

What are the cons of using Kafka?
Downsides of Kafka?

What are the cons of using ActiveMQ?
No Cons submitted yet for ActiveMQ
Downsides of ActiveMQ?

Why do developers choose RabbitMQ vs Kafka vs ActiveMQ?

  • Users of RabbitMQ say it’s fast, easy to configure, and intuitive.
  • Fans of Kafka cite its scalability, high performance, and high-throughput abilities.
  • ActiveMQ users call it efficient and easy to use, and celebrate its open source roots.


What companies use RabbitMQ?
1049 companies on StackShare use RabbitMQ
What companies use Kafka?
526 companies on StackShare use Kafka
What companies use ActiveMQ?
41 companies on StackShare use ActiveMQ


What tools integrate with RabbitMQ?
15 tools on StackShare integrate with RabbitMQ
What tools integrate with Kafka?
26 tools on StackShare integrate with Kafka
What tools integrate with ActiveMQ?
4 tools on StackShare integrate with ActiveMQ

What are some alternatives to RabbitMQ, Kafka, and ActiveMQ?

  • Celery - Distributed task queue
  • Amazon SQS - Fully managed message queuing service
  • ZeroMQ - Fast, lightweight messaging library that allows you to design complex communication system without much effort
  • NSQ - A realtime distributed messaging platform

See all alternatives to RabbitMQ

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