Building 'Real-time' Applications Using Web-Sockets

In a typical web-application the client makes a request to the server and the server responds. The server cannot send information to any client unless the client first requests it. However, in 'real-time' applications the server maintains a connection to the client and there is a two way channel for sending and receiving messages. When the server, or any of the connected clients, sends a message, the message is broadcast to all of the connected clients and an event will be triggered on each client when a message is received. The event handler can choose to handle the message, or to ignore it. A common pattern (which is discouraged because it does not scale) is to use timer events on a Grid or UX to make periodic callbacks to the server to see if there is any 'new information' that is of interest to the client. Real-time applications built on web-sockets are much more efficient than the pattern of executing Ajax callbacks on a timer. This video demonstrates how a real-time application can be built using Alpha Anywhere. The video demonstrates a chat application where any client can post a message that is instantly seen by all of the other clients.

Video: Web-sockets Overview

This feature is now in beta and available to current Alpha Anywhere subscribers by downloading the latest pre-release build. To become an Alpha Anywhere subscriber, please click here.
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About Author

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Chris Conroy

Chris Conroy runs digital programs for Alpha Software.


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