real time web communication for apps

How to Bring Your Apps to Life With Real-Time Web Communication

What is a Real-Time Web Application?

Bored of your straightforward applications that are good to provide only calculated responses? Then, let’s get you through an amazing yet simple way of adding some life to your otherwise regular apps. A real-time web application is a basic software application with an enhanced feature that provides data in real-time. While an application is a software that is designed to provide some specific solutions to the users, a real-time web application is an application that is capable of providing real-time updates without any external intervention.

Real-time applications or RTA users receive updates as soon as the update is published on the application automatically. The concurrent connections and quickly changing content for the users have made real-time applications more robust and responsive.

Wondering how to make your application real-time responsive? Well, Server-Sent Events (SSEs) are the answer to this. This article here discusses the features and limitations of SSEs. Also, we will discuss another way of turning your normal apps lively which is through the ASP.NET Core SignalR.

 

Properties of Server-Sent Events

Server-Sent Events in JavaScript are a push technology that is ‘pushed’ from a particular server to a browser. This allows the end-users to automatically receive data from the server with the help of an HTTP connection. The HTTP connection between the server and the client is a mandate in this case, where the SSEs are sent through the usual HTTP protocol. So, let’s know about its properties of Server-Sent Events.

  • It uses XHR streaming so that the messages are successfully transported over HTTP.
  • It has a one-way connection making SSEs useful for apps that involve the reading of data from the server. Web apps for news or livestock are a good example of such kinds of SSEs.
  • Implementation of SSE-based connections is less complex in nature and also there is less availability of related libraries.
  • The primary feature of SSEs is that it is event-based and thus require no polling to intercept messages. These events are specified in the specifications of HTML and are supported by the major browsers.

 

How ASP.NET Core SignalR can Help Improve Functionality

ASP.NET Core SignalR is an open-source library of SignalR that is readily maintained so as to add real-time functionalities to your web apps. SignalR is the open-source code of the ASP.NET Core which enables the implementation of real-time functions for the web apps of .NET Core. It allows a server to forward data to the client without the server having to wait for a request from the client.

For high-frequency updates like social networking, SignalR is the best solution to it. It is two-way communication between the server and the client.

The ASP.NET Core SignalR can help improve the functionalities of several areas such as,

  • It aids in support of WebSockets,
  • Seamless streaming of Response-Model,
  • There is no dependency on jQuery,
  • It supports custom protocols,
  • It promotes simplification of the Scale-out Model and others.

SignalR supports many modes of real-time transmission medium like Server-Sent Events, WebSockets, and Long Polling. It selects and executes the best method of transport that is perfect for both the server and the client, automatically.

 

Reasons why SignalR is advantageous over the other solutions

So, if you are still not very convinced of the usage of SignalR, then here are some prominent reasons why SignalR is preferable when it comes to adding real-time features to your web application.

Simplified code

SignalR has a much-simplified code compared to WebSocket. Implementation of a server of WebSocket requires writing a complex set of codes that is absent in the case of the SignalR server. In scenarios where not even WebSocket can be used, a huge number of codes need to be written which is not required if SignalR is used.

Moreover, SignalR can be implemented with any type of client. So, from the developer’s point of view, SignalR is simple to use over others.

AJAX is not a necessity anymore

Earlier when jQuery was used, AJAx was the primary way of making partial updates. Ajax is fit for the instance when only data retrieval from the server was necessary. For real-time data retrieval like during a chat, AJAX was not very effective.

With the introduction of SignalR, this issue was resolved and the client was updated as soon as the data was available. While AJAX requires a considerable amount of network bandwidth, SignalR is a consistent connection with less or almost no extra payload.

Any type of client can be handled through SignalR

SignalR is commonly used for browser-based clients. But not all clients are browser-based. Some clients are .NET, Java, and JavaScript clients which are not browser-based. For such clients as well, SignalR provides official support. Also, any WebSocket, long polling, or Server-Sent Events supporting clients can be compatible with SignalR servers.

Easy scaling of application

For a real-time connection that constantly updates, scaling can be a difficult question. In a particular instance, it might be extremely difficult to send messages from one client to multiple clients due to the lack of identification of all the required clients. This can be solved through SignalR. SignalR has several in-built ways to scale out the application.

The Redis-based backplane technique in SignalR allows every node present in the cluster to provide real-time notifications to each other. Also, the Azure SignalR Service transfers all load-balancing to the Azure cloud which automatically scales your application.

Integration in other sections of ASP.NET Core

Even if you do not use SignalR directly, it is used in different parts of ASP.NET Core. Thus, you will get the benefit of it while using ASP.NET Core. It is also used in some Microsoft products like Visual Studio with a premium subscription.

 

Conclusion

This article deals with the ways a regular application can come to life with real-time responses. We have discussed the properties of Server-Sent Events, how can SignalR be helpful in improving web functionalities, and the reasons why SignalR is the preferable one.

Dignitas Digital can help you transform your business with the help of SignalR components to add real-time web functionality to your applications so that you can maximize returns with limited effort.

Want to discuss your project and see how we can enhance your app’s functionality? Leave us a note here and we’ll get in touch with you hello@dignitas.digital