How to use Message Queuing 3.0 to perform secure Internet messaging over HTTPS in IIS

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This step-by-step article describes how to use HTTPS to encrypt messages that must be secure and send these messages to Internet Information Services (IIS) servers.


The following items describe the recommended hardware, software, network infrastructure, skills and knowledge, and service packs that you need:
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003
  • Microsoft Windows XP
  • Microsoft Message Queuing 3.0
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Visual Basic programming
  • Knowledge of basic IIS administration techniques

Secure Internet Messaging with Message Queuing 3.0

When you develop distributed applications, a means of guaranteeing the reliability of communications between components is essential. Message Queuing 3.0 provides store and forward functions for communications between components of distributed applications that run on different computers by creating queues in which messages can be stored until delivery is possible. Version 3.0 of this application programming interface (API), which is included with Windows XP, includes the ability to send messages through Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to IIS servers. If these messages need to be secure, you can use the HTTPS protocol, which includes Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

Message Queuing 3.0 must be installed on all computers that are involved in the application, including the IIS server. To install Message Queuing 3.0, follow these steps:
  1. On the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs, and then click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  3. Select Messaging Queuing from the list.

Install a Certificate on the IIS Server

Any system that uses SSL requires a server-side certificate. You should otain a server-side certificate from a trusted source, such as an Internet Certificate Authority.

To create a certificate request file, follow these steps:
  1. Open Internet Services Manager, right-click the default Web site, and then click Properties.
  2. On the Directory Security tab, click Server Certificate.
  3. When the IIS Certificate Request Wizard starts, select Create a New Certificate and Prepare the request now but send it later.
  4. Under Name and Security Settings, accept the default, and then type your organization and organizational unit. The Common Name value must be the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the Web server (for example,
  5. Complete the remaining details according to your location. Select a file name where the resulting request will be saved.
  6. Forward this file to your chosen Certificate Authority. The Certificate Authority checks the details and returns the completed certificate. You can use the IIS Certificate Request Wizard again to install the certificate into the Web site.

Create the New Queue on the IIS Server

The following Visual Basic sample demonstrates how to create the new queue:

NOTE: You must add Microsoft Message Queue 3.0 Object Library to the project references. This sample uses an MSMQQueueInfo object.
'Declare the MSMQQueueInfo object.
Dim objQueueInfo As MSMQQueueInfo

'Instantiate it.
Set objQueueInfo = New MSMQQueueInfo

'To specify the queue name, use the PathName property. Here "." is
'used to specify the localhost. Note that http: syntax cannot be 
'used to create a new queue, only to reference an existing one.
objQueueInfo.PathName = ".\testqueue"

'Create the queue.

Send a Message to the Queue Using HTTPS

Run the following Visual Basic code on the computer that sends the messages:

NOTE: You must add Microsoft Message Queue 3.0 Object Library to the project references. An MSMQDestination object is used to reference the queue on the IIS server. To ensure that secure protocol is used, set the Format Name property of the MSMQDestination object by using HTTPS syntax.
Dim objDestination As MSMQDestination
Dim objMessage As MSMQMessage
Dim strFormatName As String

'Formulate the HTTPS format name. Substitute your server FQDN and queue 'name here.
strFormatName = "DIRECT=HTTPS://\msmq\testqueue"

'Open the remote queue.
Set objDestination = New MSMQDestination
objDestination.FormatName = strFormatName

'Create a new message and set its properties. Here the Label property is 'used by way of example.
Set objMessage = New MSMQMessage
objMessage.Label = "This is a test message!"

'Send the message.
objMessage.Send objDestination

Retrieve a Message Using HTTPS

The following sample loops through all the messages in the queue and reads their labels, and then displays the messages in a message box:

NOTE: An MSMQQueueInfo object is used to address the queue by using an HTTPS format name. You must add Microsoft Message Queue 3.0 Object Library to the project references.
'Declare the necessary objects.
Dim objQueueInfo As MSMQQueueInfo
Dim objQueue As MSMQQueue
Dim objMessage As MSMQMessage

'Use the MSMQQueueInfo object to specify the HTTPS format name.
Set objQueueInfo = New MSMQQueueInfo
objQueueInfo.FormatName = "DIRECT=HTTPS://"_& "\msmq\testqueue"

'Open the queue.
Set objQueue = objQueueInfo.Open(MQ_RECEIVE_ACCESS, MQ_DENY_NONE)

'Loop through the messages in the queue.
Do While True
   Set objMessage = objQueue.Receive(, , , 1000)
   If objMessage Is Nothing Then
      MsgBox "No Messages! Closing Queue..."
      Exit Sub
   End If
   MsgBox "A message with label " & objMessage.Label & " was retrieved!"


For additional information about how to use an internal Certificate Authority and set up Windows 2000 Certificate Services, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
231881 How to Install/Uninstall a Public Key Certificate Authority for Windows 2000
For more information about Message Queuing 3.0, see the "Message Queuing (MSMQ)" topic in the Platform Software Development Kit (SDK).


Article ID: 315471 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 3.5
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services version 5.1
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0
  • Microsoft Message Queuing 3.0
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhowtomaster KB315471

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