Real-Time Web Technologies Guide

Note: This page is a work in progress. I plan to update it new technologies as I find them and increase the information on each as I find the time. If you know of a technology that should be included in this guide then please raise a pull request. If you have any questions please drop me an email me

As above, you can contribute to the list by making a pull request to the Realtime Web Technologies Guide github repo.

Hosted Realtime Services

General Messaging & PubSub

Fanout

Build and scale realtime APIs. Fanout’s push CDN makes it easy. Add live updates to your websites and web services using REST, HTTP streaming, WebSockets, Webhooks, and XMPP

For front-end applications, Fanout's JavaScript library receives realtime JSON notifications with just a few lines of code. Integration is quick and simple.

For services and APIs, you can add realtime functionality with minimal modification. By acting as a reverse proxy, Fanout's global cloud invisibly bridges realtime clients with the services you've already built.

  • WebHooks
  • PubSub
  • XMPP
  • REST
  • WebSockets
  • HTTP Streaming
  • HTTP Long-Polling
  • REST

Hydna

A scalable real-time platform

Hydna is a hosted backend into which you can send data and have it instantly appear on other devices.

Instantly move data across platforms, technologies, and devices

Hydna is ideal for building dashboards, activity streams, notification- and chat systems, real-time collaboration, live statistics, remote controls, multiplayer games, and more.

  • Real-Time messaging
  • Binary
  • WebSockets
  • Comet
  • Flash
  • HTTP/REST
  • Behaviors
  • Routing
  • Authentication
  • Room partitioning
  • Presence
  • .NET
  • Erlang
  • Java
  • Node.js
  • Objective-C
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Multiplexing
Subscribe
JavaScript (client)
var channel = new HydnaChannel('public.hydna.net/my-channel', 'r');

channel.onmessage = function(event) {
  // handle update
};
Publish
JavaScript (client)
var channel = new HydnaChannel('public.hydna.net/my-channel', 'w');

channel.onopen = function(event) {
  channel.send('Hello world');
};
Authentication

Developers can deploy Behaviors (small snippets of code) to Hydna. Behaviors instruct Hydna how to behave when certain actions take place (when a channel is opened for example). This is useful when you want to keep state, authenticate users, connect with external services etc.

The following example describes how authentication can be added to a channel.

Behavior (Hydna BeMachine)
// Create rules for channel "/admin" 
behavior('/admin', {
  open: function (event) {
    if (event.token == 'password) {
      event.allow();
    } else {
      event.deny('Incorrect password');
    }
  }
});
JavaScript (client)
var channel = new HydnaChannel('public.hydna.net/admin?password', 'w');

channel.onopen = function (event) {
  // Granted to open channel, handle update
};

channel.onclose = function (event) {
  if (event.wasDenied && event.data == 'Incorrect password') {
    // Incorrect password
  }
};

PubNub

Pubnub is the fastest cloud-hosted realtime messaging system for web and mobile apps.

  • BOSH
  • Fallback-support
  • Real-Time Client Push
  • Real-Time messaging
  • Real-Time data
  • Coldfusion
  • .NET
  • Erlang
  • Google App Engine (GAE)
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Lua-Corona
  • node.js
  • Objective-C
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Silverlight
  • Titaniumf
  • REST API
  • PubSub
Subscribe
JavaScript (client)
var pubnub = PUBNUB.init({
  subscribe_key: 'demo'
});

pubnub.subscribe({
  channel: 'my_channel',
  message: function( msg )  {
    // handle update
  }
});
Publish
JavaScript (client)
var pubnub = PUBNUB.init({
  publish_key: 'demo'
});

pubnub.publish( {
  channel: 'my_channel',        
  message: 'hello!'
} );
PHP
$pubnub = new Pubnub(
  "demo",  ## PUBLISH_KEY
  "demo",  ## SUBSCRIBE_KEY
  "",      ## SECRET_KEY
  false    ## SSL_ON?
);

$info = $pubnub->publish( array(
  'channel' => 'hello_world',
  'message' => 'Hey World!'
) );    

Pusher

Pusher is a hosted API for quickly, easily and securely adding scalable realtime functionality to web and mobile apps.

  • WebSockets
  • HTTP fallback
  • Flash socket fallback
  • Real-Time Client Push
  • Real-Time messaging
  • Real-Time Data
  • in-built security
  • HTML5
  • JavaScript
  • Objective-C
  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • node.js
  • .NET
  • Silverlight
  • ActionScript
  • Google App Engine (GAE)
  • Erlang
  • Perl
  • Coldfusion
  • Python
  • Groovy
  • Java
  • REST API
  • Presence
  • PubSub
Subscribe
JavaScript (client)
var pusher = new Pusher( 'APP_KEY', options );
var channel = pusher.subscribe( 'my-channel' );
channel.bind( 'my-event', function( eventData ) {
  // handle event
} );
Publish
Node.js
var pusher = new Pusher( { appId: 'APP_ID', key: 'APP_KEY', secret: 'APP_KEY' } );
pusher.trigger( 'my-channel', 'my-event', { "some": "data" } );
PHP
$pusher = new Pusher( 'APP_KEY', 'APP_SECRET', 'APP_ID' );
$pusher->trigger( 'my-channel', 'my_event', array( 'some' => 'data' );

Realtime.co

The Realtime Messaging Framework is a cloud-hosted messaging system for websites and mobile apps that require constant content updates in just a few milliseconds, enabling any application to interact with millions of connected users in a fast and secure way.

  • Websockets
  • Fallback-support (streaming and polling)
  • Real-Time Client Push
  • Real-Time messaging
  • Real-Time data
  • Mobile Push Notifications for iOS and Android (APNS and GCM)
  • .NET
  • Java / Android
  • JavaScript
  • Lua
  • iOS
  • Titanium Appcelerator
  • Windows Phone
  • node.js
  • Objective-C
  • PHP
  • Python
  • C/C++
  • Ruby
  • Silverlight
  • ActionScript
  • REST API
  • Pub/Sub
  • Presence
  • built-in security (authentication and authorization)
  • multiplexing (through the use of channels)
  • HTML5 real-time enabled templating engine (xRTML)
Subscribe
JavaScript (client)
var RealtimeClient = RealtimeFactory.createClient();
RealtimeClient.connect('[YOUR_APPLICATION_KEY]', '[USER_TOKEN]');

RealtimeClient.onConnected = function (theClient) {               
    theClient.subscribe('my-channel', true,
        function (theClient, channel, msg) {
            console.log("Received message:", msg);
        });                                
};    
Publish
JavaScript (client)
var RealtimeClient = RealtimeFactory.createClient();
RealtimeClient.connect('[YOUR_APPLICATION_KEY]', '[USER_TOKEN]');

RealtimeClient.onConnected = function (theClient) {               
    theClient.send('my-channel', 'Hello World');                                
};
PHP
$URL = 'http://ortc-developers.realtime.co/server/2.1';
$AK = '[YOUR_APPLICATION_KEY]';
$PK = '[YOUR_APPLICATION_PRIVATE_KEY]';
$TK = '[USER_TOKEN]'; // not necessary if private key is used

$rt = new Realtime( $URL, $AK, $PK, $TK );
$result = $rt->send("my-channel", "Hello World", $response);

Tambur.io

Tambur.io provides your business with a simple messaging API to build scalable realtime web and mobile apps.

  • Realtime messaging
  • HTTP/REST
  • SSL
  • Websockets
  • Comet
  • Streams
  • Modes
  • Broadcast
  • Unicast
  • Authcast
  • Presence
  • Direct Messaging
  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • Java
  • .Net
  • Erlang
  • JavaScript
Subscribe
JavaScript (client)
var connection = new tambur.Connection("API_KEY", "APP_ID");
var stream = connection.get_stream("my_stream");
stream.onmessage = function(msg){
    // handle message
};    
Publish
Python (client)
tambur = Tambur(api_key='API_KEY', app_id='APP_ID', secret='SECRET')
tambur.publish('my_stream', 'some message')
Modes

Streams can operate in one or several modes. As an example a stream can enable the 'Authentication' mode and therefore receive messages that target an authenticated receiver. Besides the 'Authentication' mode Tambur.io supports a 'Direct Messaging' mode that allows the subscribers of a stream to communicate directly among each other, as well as a 'Presence' mode that automatically publishes presence status of all the stream subscribers.

Authentication Mode (JavaScript)
stream.enable_auth("AuthToken");
stream.onauth = function(msg) {
    // handle authenticated message
};
Direct Messaging Mode (JavaScript)
stream.enable_direct("MyUserName", "DirectToken");
stream.ondirect = function(msg) {
    var sender = msg[0];
    var content = msg[1];
    /* reply back */
    stream.direct_msg(sender, "thanks for the message!");
};
Presence Mode (JavaScript)
stream.enable_presence("MyUserName", "PresenceToken");
stream.onpresence = function(notification) {
    var user = notification[0];
    var status = notification[1];
    if (status === "up") {
        // subscriber has joined the stream 
    } else {
        // subscriber has left the stream  
    }
};

WebSync on-demand (by FrozenMountain)

  • Comet
  • Real-Time Client Push
  • Real-Time messaging
  • Real-Time data

Data Synchronisation, Persistence, Full Stack

Firebase

A scalable real-time backend for your web app. Build apps really fast without the hassle of managing servers

  • iOS
  • Java / Android
  • JavaScript
  • WebSockets
  • BaaS (Backend as a Service)

Acquired by Google. Still active.

JavaScript (client)
var dataRef = new Firebase( 'https://my-app.firebaseio.com/' );

dataRef.push( { name: '@leggetter', text: 'Yo from FOWA!' } );

dataRef.on( 'child_added', function(snapshot) {
  // Add the data
} );

dataRef.on( 'child_changed', function(snapshot) {
  // Update the data
} );

dataRef.on( 'child_removed', function(snapshot) {
  // Remove the data
} );

Google Drive Realtime API

Add Realtime collaboration to your app Give your users the power of Google Docs–style collaboration. All JavaScript. No server. No sweat.

Meteor

Meteor is a set of new technologies for building top-quality web apps in a fraction of the time, whether you're an expert developer or just getting started.

  • Node.js
  • fullstack
  • HTTP Streaming
  • HTTP Long-polling
  • WebSockets

Not to be confused with the original Meteor Comet server

Realtime.co Cloud Storage

The Realtime.co Cloud Storage is a highly-scalable backend-as-a-service based on Amazon DynamoDB. Built-in real-time notifications keep data synchronized between users (web and mobile).

  • BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service)
  • Real-time data sync
  • JavaScript
  • iOS
  • Android (Java)
  • Node.js
  • NoSQL
  • DynamoDB
  • HTTP Streaming
  • HTTP Long-polling
  • WebSockets
  • Mobile Push Notifications for iOS and Android (APNS and GCM)
JavaScript (client)
var credentials = {
    applicationKey: "[YOUR_APPLICATION_KEY]",
    authenticationToken: "[USER_TOKEN]"
}

var storageRef = Realtime.Storage.create(credentials);
var tableRef = storageRef.table("chat-messages");

var chat-msg = {
    chatid : "My chat room",
    timestamp : +new Date(),
    text : "Hello World",
    nickname : "Beavis"
};

tableRef.push(chat-msg, function() {
    // item successfully committed to database    
});

tableRef.on("put", function(item) {
    // item was added to the database table
});

tableRef.on("update", function(item) {
    // item was updated at the database table
});

tableRef.on("delete", function(item) {
    // item was removed from the database table
});

simperium

Simperium is a service for developers to move data everywhere it's needed, instantly and automatically.

Messaging: with focus on delivery to servers

Superfeedr

  • RSS
  • PubSubHubbub

DataSift

  • Social Media data
  • RSS
  • HTTP Streaming

Other

Echo

Self Hosted Realtime Services

Prosody

Prosody is a modern flexible communications server for Jabber/XMPP written in Lua. It aims to be easy to set up and configure, and light on resources. For developers it aims to be easy to extend and give a flexible system on which to rapidly develop added functionality, or prototype new protocols.

  • Jabber
  • XMPP
  • Lua
  • BOSH

Centrifuge

Simple real-time messaging in web applications. Centrifuge built on top of Python's asynchronous Tornado server/framework. It has admin web interface, Javascript client to communicate from web browser, HTTP API and client to communicate from web application backend code.

  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • WebSockets
  • SockJS
  • HTTP-fallback
  • Presence
  • Event/Message history
  • PubSub

Spike-Engine

Spike-Engine allows quick and painless creation of real-time web services in .NET. Spike-Engine focuses on latency, bandwith and perfomance and has been designed and proven to be robust and reliable. The technology has been tested in production environment with thousands of simultaneous connections and used to build reliable game and application servers.

  • RPC
  • Automatic Client Stub Generation
  • WebSockets
  • Fallback Support
  • Cross-Domain Support
  • Comet
  • Long-Polling
  • PubSub
  • HTTP
  • .NET
  • Flash
  • FlashSockets
  • SPML / SECP
  • HTTP Tunneling
  • Security
  • Cross-Platform
  • Monitoring

SignalR

  • WebSockets
  • Long-polling
  • ASP.NET
  • IIS
  • PubSub
  • RMI

Mojolicious

A modern Perl web framework built from the ground-up as a nonblocking web server, including built-in support for web sockets.

  • Full nonblocking web server
  • WebSockets
  • Perl

Alchemy Websockets

An extremely efficient C# WebSocket server for .NET projects.

  • WebSockets
  • .NET
  • C#

SockJS

SockJS is a browser JavaScript library that provides a WebSocket-like object. SockJS gives you a coherent, cross-browser, Javascript API which creates a low latency, full duplex, cross-domain communication channel between the browser and the web server.

  • WebSockets
  • Fallback-support
  • HTTP Streaming
  • HTTP Polling
  • JSONP Polling
  • Cross Domain support
  • EventSource

socket.io

Socket.IO aims to make realtime apps possible in every browser and mobile device, blurring the differences between the different transport mechanisms. It's care-free realtime 100% in JavaScript.

  • WebSockets
  • Fallback-support
  • Flash Socket
  • HTTP Long-Polling
  • node.js
  • Cross Domain Support

SocketCluster

A highly scalable realtime environment for Node.js SocketCluster is a new kind of engine which sits between Node.js and your code to provide you with a resilient, scalable, realtime architecture.

With SC, you can build systems that make use of all CPU cores on a machine/instance. This removes the limitations of having to run your Node.js code as a single thread.

SC also gives you the flexibility to scale up and scale out easily and at your own pace.

  • Node.js

Firehose.io

Firehose is a minimally invasive way of building realtime web apps without complex protocols or rewriting your app from scratch. Its a dirt simple pub/sub server that keeps client-side Javascript models in synch with the server code via WebSockets or HTTP long polling.

  • WebSockets
  • HTTP Long-Polling
  • Ruby

Thunder Push

Thunderpush is a Tornado and SockJS based push service. It provides a Beaconpush (beaconpush.com) inspired HTTP API and client.

  • SockJS
  • Python

Cramp

  • WebSockets
  • Server Sent Events
  • EventSource
  • Ruby

phpDaemon

Asynchronous server-side framework for Web and network applications implemented in PHP using libevent. phpDaemon can handle thousands of simultaneous connections

  • PHP

Nugget

A web socket server implemented in c#.

The goal of the projects is to create an easy way to start using HTML5 web sockets in .NET web applications.

  • C#
  • .NET

SuperWebSocket, a .NET WebSocket server

  • WebSockets,
  • .NET

webbit

An event-based WebSocket and HTTP server in Java

  • Java

Fleck

Fleck is a WebSocket server implementation in C#. Fleck requires no inheritance, container, or additional references.

  • WebSockets
  • .NET

Persevere

  • Comet
  • PubSub

Migratory

  • Comet
  • WebSockets

Meteor

  • Comet
  • Perl

Beacon Push

  • WebSockets
  • Comet
  • Fallback-support
  • Real-Time Client Push
  • Real-time messaging
  • Real-Time Data
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • node.js
  • REST API

LightStreamer

  • Comet
  • WebSockets

Jetty

  • WebSockets
  • HTTP Streaming

Ratchet

A PHP 5.3 (PSR-0 compliant) component library for serving/consuming sockets and building socket based applications. Build up your application (like Lego!) through simple interfaces using the decorator and command patterns. Re-use your application without changing any of its code just by wrapping it in a different protocol.

  • PHP
  • WebSockets

BrainSocket

A Laravel package that allows you to get up and running with real-time event-driven PHP apps using WebSockets.

  • Laravel
  • WebSockets
  • PHP

WebSockets and Joomla

  • PHP
  • WebSockets
  • Joomla

Atmosphere

  • Comet
  • WebSockets
  • Scala
  • Groovy
  • Java

erlycomet

  • Comet

cometD

  • Comet

Pokein

  • Comet
  • ASP.NET
  • Mono

APE Project

  • WebSockets
  • Comet

StreamHub

Caplin System's Liberator

  • Comet
  • WebSockets
  • Fallback-support
  • PubSub

ICEfaces

Kaazing

  • WebSockets
  • Fallback-support

FAYE

  • Real-Time messaging
  • Bayeux
  • node.js
  • Ruby

XSockets

  • WebSockets
  • .NET
  • Fallback-support
  • ### Tornado

Tornado is a Python web framework and asynchronous networking library, originally developed at FriendFeed. By using non-blocking network I/O, Tornado can scale to tens of thousands of open connections, making it ideal for long polling, WebSockets, and other applications that require a long-lived connection to each user.

Represents a core building block of many other realtime web servers.

misultin

  • WebSockets
  • Erlang

Cowboy

  • WebSockets
  • Erlang

YAWS (Yet Another Web Server)

  • WebSockets
  • HTTP Long-Polling
  • HTTP Streaming
  • Erlang

juggernaut deprecated

  • WebSockets
  • Comet
  • Fallback-support
  • node.js

PHP WebSocket

  • PHP
  • WebSockets

apache-websocket

WebSocket module for Apache

  • PHP
  • WebSockets
  • Apache

jwebsocket

  • Java
  • WebSockets

Goliath

  • Ruby
  • Asynchronous
  • non-blocking
  • HTTP Streaming

ws4py

  • Python
  • WebSockets
  • Server
  • Client

SocketTornad.IO

Implementation of the Socket.IO Websocket emulation protocol in Python on top of the non-blocking Tornado Web Framework.

  • Python
  • WebSockets
  • Server
  • Client

erlang_websocket

  • Erlang
  • WebSockets
  • Server

Slanger

Slanger is an open source server implementation of the Pusher protocol written in Ruby.

  • Ruby
  • WebSockets
  • Server

em-websocket

EventMachine based, async, Ruby WebSocket server.

  • Ruby
  • WebSockets
  • Server

Java-WebSocket

This repository contains a barebones WebSocket server and client implementation written in 100% Java. The underlying classes are implemented using the Java ServerSocketChannel and SocketChannel classes, which allows for a non-blocking event-driven model (similar to the WebSocket API for web browsers).

  • Java
  • WebSockets
  • Server
  • Client

Autobahn WebSocket

Autobahn provides Open-Source client and server implementations of WebSocket and WAMP.

  • WebSockets
  • Java
  • Android

libwebsockets

C Websockets Server Library

  • C
  • WebSockets
  • Server

ArduinoWebsocketServer

This library implements a Websocket server running on an Arduino

  • WebSockets
  • Server
  • Arduino

nowjs

  • node.js

Doesn't appear to be actively maintained any more and the website is down.

WebSocket Client Libraries

JavaScript - Flash Socket Fallback

ActionScript

.NET

Silverlight

Silverlight WebSocket client - prototype

Java

C++

Ruby

Python

Objective-C