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Home > Guides > Dashboard Users Guide > Clouds > AWS Global > Queues > Actions > Add or View Messages in a Queue

Add or View Messages in a Queue


  • To add a new message to your queue
  • View the contents of your queue
  • Understand the attributes associated with messages in a queue


Note: Although this feature is still functional, there have been new enhancements to the SQS UI in a different location on the Dashboard. The new UI is currently in beta. For more information, see SQS Queue Beta or contact


Table of Contents


  • AWS SQS services enabled
  • A previously created SQS queue in your RightScale account


Adding sample messages to your queue is simple and very easy to test the basic functioning of your queue.


Adding messages to the queue

  1. Navigate to Clouds -> AWS Global -> Queues
  2. Select the queue you want to add messages to
  3. Select the Messages tab
    1. Type in the Body of your message
    2. Select the Add action button
    3. If you are testing your queue, you may want to add several messages to your queue
    4. After each message addition, you are placed back at the queue Info tab.  You should see the Approximate Length of your queue grow (Note:  There can be a time lag.)

Viewing messages in the queue

Viewing messages in the queue is simple, but it may work a bit differently than you would assume.  Amazon does not guarantee that the queue is FIFO (first in first out) because of the distributed nature of SQS.  To view the oldest message in the queue, select the View Top item action link.  The way "view top item" works ties into the "Visibility Timeout" setting.  The default is 30 seconds.  When you view an item in the queue, it actually leaves it in the queue, but marks it as "hidden". 

The Visibility Timeout is defined as:  "The time in seconds that a job will remain hidden before it becomes available to other worker instances."

General observations to make with respect viewing the queue and the visibility timeout setting:

  • If you view a message in the queue, it gets marked as "hidden", it is not deleted from the queue.  Basically, a "get" operation is performed.
  • To delete a message from the queue, you (or your application) must specifically delete it
  • If you view a message in the queue, but don't explicitly delete it, the "hidden" mark will get lifted after the visibility timeout expires
  • If you continue to press the "view top item" link, and do so in less than the visibility timeout setting, you will cycle through all items in the queue
  • When you have viewed all messages in the queue, you will see a "no items in queue message".  After 30 seconds (or whatever the Visibility Timeout is set to), all messages should be viewable again.


An example message body would look like this from the Dashboard:


Note that the Drop message action button deletes (not just hides) the current message from the queue.

Post Tutorial Steps

  • Note that each time you Add a message to your queue, you are placed back in the Info tab.  Although not always immediately reflected, if you submit several messages to your queue, you should see the Approximate Length of your queue grow to the total number added messages.
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Last modified
22:10, 16 May 2013



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