Message switching was a technique developed as an alternate to circuit switching, before packet switching was introduced. In message switching, end users communicate by sending and receiving messages that included the entire data to be shared. Messages are the smallest individual unit.
Message Switching provide 2 distinct and important characteristics :
Store and forward – The intermediate nodes have the responsibility of transferring the entire message to the next node. Hence, each node must have storage capacity. A message will only be delivered if the next hop and the link connecting it are both available, otherwise it’ll be stored indefinitely. A store-and-forward switch forwards a message only if sufficient resources are available and the next hop is accepting data. This is called the store-and-forward property.
Message delivery – This implies wrapping the entire information in a single message and transferring it from the source to the destination node. Each message must have a header that contains the message routing information, including the source and destination.
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