Tutorial: Update inventory using CLI and topics/subscriptions

Microsoft Azure Service Bus is a multi-tenant cloud messaging service that sends information between applications and services. Asynchronous operations give you flexible, brokered messaging, along with structured first-in, first-out (FIFO) messaging, and publish/subscribe capabilities. This tutorial shows how to use Service Bus topics and subscriptions in a retail inventory scenario, with publish/subscribe channels using Azure CLI and Java.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Create a Service Bus topic and one or more subscriptions to that topic using Azure CLI
  • Add topic filters using Azure CLI
  • Create two messages with different content
  • Send the messages and verify they arrived in the expected subscriptions
  • Receive messages from the subscriptions

An example of this scenario is an inventory assortment update for multiple retail stores. In this scenario, each store, or set of stores, gets messages intended for them to update their assortments. This tutorial shows how to implement this scenario using subscriptions and filters. First, you create a topic with 3 subscriptions, add some rules and filters, and then send and receive messages from the topic and subscriptions.


If you don't have an Azure subscription, you can create a free account before you begin.


To develop a Service Bus app with Java, you must have the following installed:

Use Azure Cloud Shell

Azure hosts Azure Cloud Shell, an interactive shell environment that you can use through your browser. You can use either Bash or PowerShell with Cloud Shell to work with Azure services. You can use the Cloud Shell preinstalled commands to run the code in this article without having to install anything on your local environment.

To start Azure Cloud Shell:

Option Example/Link
Select Try It in the upper-right corner of a code block. Selecting Try It doesn't automatically copy the code to Cloud Shell. Example of Try It for Azure Cloud Shell
Go to https://shell.azure.com, or select the Launch Cloud Shell button to open Cloud Shell in your browser. Launch Cloud Shell in a new window
Select the Cloud Shell button on the menu bar at the upper right in the Azure portal. Cloud Shell button in the Azure portal

To run the code in this article in Azure Cloud Shell:

  1. Start Cloud Shell.

  2. Select the Copy button on a code block to copy the code.

  3. Paste the code into the Cloud Shell session by selecting Ctrl+Shift+V on Windows and Linux or by selecting Cmd+Shift+V on macOS.

  4. Select Enter to run the code.

If you choose to install and use the CLI locally, this tutorial requires that you are running the Azure CLI version 2.0.4 or later. Run az --version to find the version. If you need to install or upgrade, see Install the Azure CLI.

Service Bus topics and subscriptions

Each subscription to a topic can receive a copy of each message. Topics are fully protocol and semantically compatible with Service Bus queues. Service Bus topics support a wide array of selection rules with filter conditions, with optional actions that set or modify message properties. Each time a rule matches, it produces a message. To learn more about rules, filters, and actions, follow this link.

Sign in to Azure

Once CLI is installed, open a command prompt and issue the following commands to sign in to Azure. These steps are not necessary if you're using Cloud Shell:

  1. If you are using Azure CLI locally, run the following command to sign in to Azure. This sign on step is not necessary if you're running these commands in Cloud Shell:

    az login
  2. Set the current subscription context to the Azure subscription you want to use:

    az account set --subscription Azure_subscription_name

Use CLI to provision resources

Issue the following commands to provision Service Bus resources. Be sure to replace all placeholders with the appropriate values:

# Create a resource group
az group create --name myResourcegroup --location eastus

# Create a Service Bus messaging namespace with a unique name
az servicebus namespace create \
   --resource-group myResourceGroup \
   --name $namespaceName \
   --location eastus

# Create a Service Bus topic
az servicebus topic create --resource-group myResourceGroup \
   --namespace-name $namespaceName \
   --name myTopic

# Create subscription 1 to the topic
az servicebus subscription create --resource-group myResourceGroup --namespace-name $namespaceName --topic-name myTopic --name S1

# Create filter 1 - use custom properties
az servicebus rule create --resource-group myResourceGroup --namespace-name $namespaceName --topic-name myTopic --subscription-name S1 --name MyFilter --filter-sql-expression "StoreId IN ('Store1','Store2','Store3')"

# Create filter 2 - use custom properties
az servicebus rule create --resource-group myResourceGroup --namespace-name $namespaceName --topic-name myTopic --subscription-name S1 --name MySecondFilter --filter-sql-expression "StoreId = 'Store4'"

# Create subscription 2
az servicebus subscription create --resource-group myResourceGroup --namespace-name $namespaceName --topic-name myTopic --name S2

# Create filter 3 - use message header properties via IN list and 
# combine with custom properties.
az servicebus rule create --resource-group myResourceGroup --namespace-name $namespaceName --topic-name myTopic --subscription-name S2 --name MyFilter --filter-sql-expression "sys.To IN ('Store5','Store6','Store7') OR StoreId = 'Store8'"

# Create subscription 3
az servicebus subscription create --resource-group myResourceGroup --namespace-name $namespaceName --topic-name myTopic --name S3

# Create filter 4 - Get everything except messages for subscription 1 and 2. 
# Also modify and add an action; in this case set the label to a specified value. 
# Assume those stores might not be part of your main store, so you only add 
# specific items to them. For that, you flag them specifically.
az servicebus rule create --resource-group DemoGroup --namespace-name DemoNamespaceSB --topic-name tutorialtest1
 --subscription-name S3 --name MyFilter --filter-sql-expression "sys.To NOT IN ('Store1','Store2','Store3','Store4','Sto
re5','Store6','Store7','Store8') OR StoreId NOT IN ('Store1','Store2','Store3','Store4','Store5','Store6','Store7','Stor
e8')" --action-sql-expression "SET sys.Label = 'SalesEvent'"

# Get the connection string
connectionString=$(az servicebus namespace authorization-rule keys list \
   --resource-group myResourceGroup \
   --namespace-name  $namespaceName \
   --name RootManageSharedAccessKey \
   --query primaryConnectionString --output tsv)

After the last command runs, copy and paste the connection string, and the queue name you selected, to a temporary location such as Notepad. You will need it in the next step.

Create filter rules on subscriptions

After the namespace and topic/subscriptions are provisioned, and you have the necessary credentials, you are ready to create filter rules on the subscriptions, then send and receive messages. You can examine the code in this GitHub sample folder.

Send and receive messages

  1. Make sure that Cloud Shell is open and displaying the Bash prompt.

  2. Clone the Service Bus GitHub repository by issuing the following command:

    git clone https://github.com/Azure/azure-service-bus.git
  3. Navigate to the sample folder azure-service-bus/samples/Java/quickstarts-and-tutorials/quickstart-java/tutorial-topics-subscriptions-filters-java. Note that in the Bash shell, the commands are case-sensitive and path separators must be forward slashes.

  4. Issue the following command to build the application:

    mvn clean package -DskipTests
  5. To run the program, issue the following command. Make sure to replace the placeholders with the connection string and topic name you obtained in the previous step:

    java -jar .\target\tutorial-topics-subscriptions-filters-1.0.0-jar-with-dependencies.jar -c "myConnectionString" -t "myTopicName"

    Observe 10 messages being sent to the topic, and subsequently received from the individual subscriptions:

    program output

Clean up resources

Run the following command to remove the resource group, namespace, and all related resources:

az group delete --resource-group my-resourcegroup

Understand the sample code

This section contains more details about what the sample code does.

Get connection string and queue

First, the code declares a set of variables, which drive the remaining execution of the program:

    public String ConnectionString = null;
    public String TopicName = null;
    static final String[] Subscriptions = {"S1","S2","S3"};
    static final String[] Store = {"Store1","Store2","Store3","Store4","Store5","Store6","Store7","Store8","Store9","Store10"};
    static final String SysField = "sys.To";
    static final String CustomField = "StoreId";
    int NrOfMessagesPerStore = 1; // Send at least 1.

The connection string and the topic name are the only values added via command-line parameters and passed to main(). The actual code execution is triggered in the run() method and sends, then receives messages from the topic:

public static void main(String[] args) {
    TutorialTopicsSubscriptionsFilters app = new TutorialTopicsSubscriptionsFilters();
        try {
        } catch (Exception e) {
            System.out.printf("%s", e.toString());

public void run() throws Exception {
    // Send sample messages.

    // Receive messages from subscriptions.

Create topic client to send messages

To send and receive messages, the sendMessagesToTopic() method creates a topic client instance, which uses the connection string and the topic name, then calls another method that sends the messages:

public void sendMessagesToTopic() throws Exception, ServiceBusException {
    // Create client for the topic.
    TopicClient topicClient = new TopicClient(new ConnectionStringBuilder(ConnectionString, TopicName));

    // Create a message sender from the topic client.

    System.out.printf("\nSending orders to topic.\n");

    // Now we can start sending orders.

    System.out.printf("\nAll messages sent.\n");

    public CompletableFuture<Void> SendOrders(TopicClient topicClient, String store) throws Exception {

        for(int i = 0;i<NrOfMessagesPerStore;i++) {
            Random r = new Random();
            final Item item = new Item(r.nextInt(5),r.nextInt(5),r.nextInt(5));
            IMessage message = new Message(GSON.toJson(item,Item.class).getBytes(UTF_8));
            // We always set the Sent to field
            final String StoreId = store;
            Double priceToString = item.getPrice();
            final String priceForPut = priceToString.toString();
            message.setProperties(new HashMap<String, String>() {{
                // Additionally we add a customer store field. In reality you would use sys.To or a customer property but not both.
                // This is just for demo purposes.
                put("StoreId", StoreId);
                // Adding more potential filter / rule and action able fields
                put("Price", priceForPut);
                put("Color", item.getColor());
                put("Category", item.getItemCategory());

            System.out.printf("Sent order to Store %s. Price=%f, Color=%s, Category=%s\n", StoreId, item.getPrice(), item.getColor(), item.getItemCategory());

        return new CompletableFuture().completedFuture(null);

Receive messages from the individual Subscriptions

The receiveAllMessages() method calls the receiveAllMessageFromSubscription() method, which then creates a subscription client per call and receives messages from the individual subscriptions:

public void receiveAllMessages() throws Exception {
    System.out.printf("\nStart Receiving Messages.\n");


public CompletableFuture<Void> receiveAllMessageFromSubscription(String subscription) throws Exception {

    int receivedMessages = 0;

    // Create subscription client.
    IMessageReceiver subscriptionClient = ClientFactory.createMessageReceiverFromConnectionStringBuilder(new ConnectionStringBuilder(ConnectionString, TopicName+"/subscriptions/"+ subscription), ReceiveMode.PEEKLOCK);

    // Create a receiver from the subscription client and receive all messages.
    System.out.printf("\nReceiving messages from subscription %s.\n\n", subscription);

    while (true)
        // This will make the connection wait for N seconds if new messages are available.
        // If no additional messages come we close the connection. This can also be used to realize long polling.
        // In case of long polling you would obviously set it more to e.g. 60 seconds.
        IMessage receivedMessage = subscriptionClient.receive(Duration.ofSeconds(1));
        if (receivedMessage != null)
            if ( receivedMessage.getProperties() != null ) {
                System.out.printf("StoreId=%s\n", receivedMessage.getProperties().get("StoreId"));
                // Show the label modified by the rule action
                if(receivedMessage.getLabel() != null)
                    System.out.printf("Label=%s\n", receivedMessage.getLabel());
            byte[] body = receivedMessage.getBody();
            Item theItem = GSON.fromJson(new String(body, UTF_8), Item.class);
            System.out.printf("Item data. Price=%f, Color=%s, Category=%s\n", theItem.getPrice(), theItem.getColor(), theItem.getItemCategory());
            // No more messages to receive.
    System.out.printf("\nReceived %s messages from subscription %s.\n", receivedMessages, subscription);
    return new CompletableFuture().completedFuture(null);


You can manage Service Bus resources with Service Bus Explorer. The Service Bus Explorer allows users to connect to a Service Bus namespace and administer messaging entities in an easy manner. The tool provides advanced features like import/export functionality or the ability to test topic, queues, subscriptions, relay services, notification hubs and events hubs.

Next steps

In this tutorial, you provisioned resources using Azure CLI, then sent and received messages from a Service Bus topic and its subscriptions. You learned how to:

  • Create a Service Bus topic and one or more subscriptions to that topic using the Azure portal
  • Add topic filters using .NET code
  • Create two messages with different content
  • Send the messages and verify they arrived in the expected subscriptions
  • Receive messages from the subscriptions

For more examples of sending and receiving messages, get started with the Service Bus samples on GitHub.

Advance to the next tutorial to learn more about using the publish/subscribe capabilities of Service Bus.