Reliable messaging

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Reliable messaging is the concept of communicating messages across an unreliable infrastructure whilst being able to make certain guarantees about the successful transmission of the messages. For example, that if the message is delivered, it is delivered at most once, or that all messages successfully delivered arrive in a particular order.

One protocol that implements this concept is WS-ReliableMessaging, which handles reliable delivery of SOAP messages.

Reliable delivery can be contrasted with best-effort delivery, where there is no guarantee that messages will be delivered quickly, in order, or at all. A reliable delivery protocol can be built on an unreliable protocol. An extremely common example is the layering of Transmission Control Protocol on the Internet Protocol, a combination known as TCP/IP.

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