There are some similarities between the two; they both support JMS 1.1 and run inside JBoss 4.x.
However ActiveMQ does offer some specific differences and advantages (at least from our perspective)
- ActiveMQ works great in any JVM not just inside the JBoss application server
- ActiveMQ comes complete with a large number of Cross Language Clients
- ActiveMQ supports many different Protocols such as Ajax, REST, Stomp, OpenWire, XMPP
- ActiveMQ supports a large number of advanced features like Message Groups, Exclusive Consumer, Composite Destinations, Advisory Message support
- ActiveMQ supports reliable connections with configurable automatic reconnection
- ActiveMQ has great Spring Support
- ActiveMQ supports distributed destinations across networks
- ActiveMQ is very fast; often 10x faster than JBossMQ.
If you're not convinced by performance reports then please do try running performance tests yourself. You might wanna check out our overview of Performance or try using out the ActiveMQ Performance Module Users Manual
The Commercial Providers on the Support page may also be able to help diagnose performance issues, suggest changes, etc...