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Websocket Protocol: Typical Usage

The websocket protocol is used to enhance the experience of websites users by making content dynamic. But above and beyond that great advance many other usages have been found for the websocket protocol such as chat applications, games, and immediate push updates. These are not the only legitimate usages of the protocol. It is commonly used to allow microservices to communicate with each other and for machines to communicate in machine to machine communication.

Let’s have a look at some of these common usages.

Telemetry Data Streams

Financial exchanges provide a view into their data, often via a website, but also in desktop applications, and nearly all of the exchanges offering this service, use websocket to provide the live financial data streams.

Almost everything that you see, that has a live data element to it, is transported over the websocket protocol. The changing data that traders see in the graphs and tables displayed on their terminals are supported with data from a websocket feed.

Financial Market Trades

Financial market trades are executed over the websocket protocol because it’s so efficient and lightweight, and this is very important as milliseconds can count when executing trades against an exchange.

Highly Responsive User Interfaces

Website users want the User Interfaces (UI) that they use to be very responsive and asynchronous. They want to make a change and see that change reflected immediately, they don’t want to have to wait.

All of us have become accustomed to this in desktop applications and it’s now what we demand from browser-based applications. Websocket make it possible to design and deploy natural and fluid user experiences.

Reactive APIs

Reactive APIs often have a websocket element that backs up the asynchronicity of these types of APIs. They handle the interactively behind the responsive UIs and execution over the websocket protocol.

Chat applications

Chat applications, like the one we are going to build in this tutorial, use websockets behind the scenes to deliver messages to users. The user of the websocket protocol is not restricted to use on website chat applications it can also drive the technology behind mobile phone chat apps and the chat apps that often accompany social media site.

Online Games

Online games have grown in popularity and so has the demand from players for a smoother and more interactive experience. Games use websocket to keep track of your play and if you are playing with others, to keep your screen updated in real-time.

Push Notification

Push notification is a good example of using the always open connection that is inherent in the websocket protocol. In fact, this is the technology behind the push notifications on many mobile phone apps.

Real-time Dashboard

Real-time dashboards and network applications benefit from websocket technology by keeping the screen update with current data. In fact, any application, web-based or otherwise, that needs data quickly and efficiently can make good use of websocket.

Java EE Websocket Course

If you like to know how to develop with the Java EE Websocket API then you might like to take my Websocket Programming for Java EE course on In this course, you will learn how to build a sophisticated chat application that uses every aspect of the websocket API. The course teaches you how to configure a websocket endpoint, how to hook into the websocket lifecycles callbacks, how to manage websocket sessions, how to configure messages handlers and encoders, to use the Java EE websocket client API, and build a JSF frontend (with HTML/JavaScript).

Test Drive the Course

You can take advantage of a free trial to and test drive all my courses. They are

Further Reading

Here is some article that you might be interested in reading.

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