NServiceBus vs. MassTransit

I have got an interesting request to compare and choose the right integration technology for one of my customer.

By the end of the day the technologies were limited by NServiceBus and MassTransit systems only.

The comparing process is simple. We create a sieve and filter the technologies through it. In the end we have got several, one or even zero winner.

The filters are the mix of technology, life cycle or old man questions. The whole filter process looks unscientific and unsystematic but it is sane (I hope) and simple.

Here are the filters:

  • What systems do we integrate?
  • What are your development resources: the team skills, the team agility, the team size?
  • Java, .NET or both?
  • What is the life horizon of the integration? 1, 2, 5, 10 years?
  • The nonfunctional requirements:
    • reliability
    • sustainability
    • scalability
    • performance: throughput (messages per sec/day); message size; latency
  • etc.

The integration technology could fail just on one filter and it will be enough to filter it out of competition.

So how NServiceBus and MassTransit compete there? They are very similar in technology aspects and a non-technology factor should give us the winner. It is the life horizon factor.

Here is the development activity on the code base of both systems:




Do I need to comment on those graphs? Probably not.

OK Let’s do one more check with the Google Trends:


There is a company that supports the NServiceBus, it is the Particular Software. The MassTransit is supported by open source community only, that had shown a lot of enthusiasm at early years but pretty much stopped by now. The key developers of the MassTransit have moved on some other projects.

I did not work with any of this system and, by any means, I do not choose the “best” integration system. Some of the features of one system could be much better then other, it doesn't matter now. I do not choose the better system, I do chose the failed system only for my specific requirements.

It happens the customer wants the integration code works and constantly improves at last next 5 years. From this perspective the MassTransit failed.

[Update: 2014-07-16
 BTW One of the core developer of the NServiceBus, Udi Dahan, made a comment on this post about the first picture. Seems a good proof of the healthy system.]

Print | posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:49 PM


# re: NServiceBus vs. MassTransit

left by Udi Dahan at 7/16/2014 12:19 AM Gravatar
Just wanted to let you know that the NServiceBus code base was in development for quite some time before we moved it to GitHub.

Previously it was on SourceForge and you can see that the history goes back to 2007 here:


# re: NServiceBus vs. MassTransit

left by Leonid Ganeline at 7/16/2014 12:59 AM Gravatar
Udi, thanks for the additional information. Your comment means the NServiceBus is in very active status, which adds one more point to the NSB.

# re: NServiceBus vs. MassTransit

left by Your savior at 7/16/2014 8:47 AM Gravatar
Just try REBUS dude. You'll thank me later.

# re: NServiceBus vs. MassTransit

left by Lex at 7/16/2014 9:39 AM Gravatar
I’ve used these kinds of metrics as a finger in the air before, but I'd hesitate to rely on them too heavily even as a rule of thumb in regards to life span.

Without such context your data could be misleading. What if repo activity mean that the project vision/scope is chaotic or that code churn has led to continual API breaks?

Google trend information won’t tell you nature of that engagement (i.e. compare Aston Martin & GM – note the spikes over GM’s bankruptcy!). Also note the size of the dataset used, if it’s small even concrete looking trends could down to sampling errors, unduly influenced by the teams themselves or simply irrelevant (note that both products here you are looking at fewer than 100 per month).

These metrics are nice tools to have in the box, so don’t throw them away. But I’d question relying on them in isolation.

# re: NServiceBus vs. MassTransit

left by Leonid Ganeline at 7/16/2014 10:06 AM Gravatar
@Your savior: TNX dude. Rebus looks like a solid option for free. BTW Free is not always a good thing in long investment as it is with ESB.

@Lex: You are absolutely right. Big repo activity can mean also chaotic development. It worth to look, if the product goes from one major and minor version to another or it is just patch after patch. (BTW NServiceBus got v5. on GitHub but its documentation is still with v4. I didn't get it.) My point is not the repo activity but repo inactivity on MassTransit.
Google Trends works fine if the words are kind of unique, which is the case here. It would not be, if, for example, I would try to analyze the "Rebus" ESB. :)

# re: NServiceBus vs. MassTransit

left by Udi Dahan at 5/23/2015 6:59 AM Gravatar
@Lex: we strictly follow SemVer so that there are no breaking changes across minor versions. While we do some breaking API changes on major versions, we preserve wire and compatibility so that a running system won't be affected.
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