IBM WebSphere MQ is a family of network software products launched by IBM in March 1992. WebSphere MQ, which is often referred to simply as "MQ" by users, is IBM's Message Oriented Middleware offering. It allows independent and potentially non-concurrent applications on a distributed system to communicate with each other. WebSphere MQ allows applications to communicate even when they are running at different times, provides total reliability, even during system or network failures enabling synchronous and asynchronous messaging. MQ is available on a large number of platforms (both IBM and non-IBM), including z/OS (mainframe), OS/400 (IBM System i or AS/400), Transaction Processing Facility, UNIX (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris), HP-UX, OpenVMS, Linux and Microsoft Windows.