What are websockets?

19 March 2021 • 2 minutes

Written by Hayden Steel

image for 'What are websockets?'

In this blog, we walk you through websocket basics and some examples of websockets used in the Codebots Platform.

Websockets are a web based communication protocol that allow for persistent bi-directional communication between a client and a server. They are widely supported by browsers and webservers, and enable web applications to provide interactive and real time experiences. Websockets are used across many real time messenging applications, like Slack, as well as in collaborative editing tools, games, and other web applications that require frequent and fast bi-directional communication.

Websockets in the Codebots Platform.

At Codebots we use websockets in a few places across our Platform to enable some interactive experiences. One place we use websockets is in the Build process. This is where the bots write out thousands of lines of source code to your git repository. Our build process can take a few minutes for bigger projects, and involves several steps including:

As shown in the gif below, our progress bar, live console, and visualisation (Fireworks) for the Build process helps to keep the user informed of the progess during a build. This is all implemented through the use of websockets, with our Build service communicating directly with the users browser in real time!

Platform Fireworks websocket example

A second example of websocket usage on the Codebots Platform is in the Entity diagram. Here, we use websockets to enable multiple users to manipulate the diagram concurrently; meaning they can see each other’s changes live! Websockets are used to send the following information for any users connected to the same diagram:

Platform concurrent diagramming

Websockets and Codebots projects.

Codebots currently has two bots, SpringBot and C#Bot, which both assist in creating full stack applications with a Spring Boot backend and a C# .Net Core backend respectively. Both these server-side languages have good support for websockets (or an abstraction over websockets) out of the box.

Hayden Steel

Written by Hayden Steel

Full-stack Developer

When Hayden isn’t working on the Codebots platform, he is usually heading to Bunker (our local coffee shop) for his daily brew.