Microsoft previews Azure service for building WebSocket applications


Microsoft is previewing Azure Web PubSub, an Azure cloud service for building real-time web applications using the WebSocket protocol for two-way communication.

Unveiled April 29, Azure Web PubSub enables developers to use WebSockets and a publish-subscribe pattern to build real-time web applications such as live monitoring dashboards, real-time location on maps, and cross-platform live chats.

Microsoft said Azure Web PubSub is meant to spare developers from significant infrastructure investment, setup, and maintenance tasks, allowing them to focus on user experiences. Implementing a WebSocket-based real-time experience would otherwise require a developer to set up infrastructure to handle client connections, establish mechanisms for on-demand scaling, and ensure business SLA requirements are met.

Furthermore, real-time scenarios often need high-frequency data flows and large volumes of concurrent connections between the client and server, Microsoft said. The Azure Web PubSub service supports large-scale client connections and highly available architectures, letting developers focus on application logic for real-time connected experiences.

To get started with Azure Web PubSub, developers can go to Native WebSocket is supported along with languages including C#, Java, and Python, via WebSocket APIs. The service also supports the subprotocol, enabling clients to use publish-subscribe without routing data between the service and back-end server code.

Azure Web PubSub is integrated with Azure Functions for building serverless applications in C#, JavaScript, Python, and Java. For example, developers could use Azure Functions to process location data from IoT devices and then use Azure Web PubSub to broadcast location data to dashboard clients and visualize real-time location information.