Microsoft Previews Azure Web PubSub
Written by Alex Denham   
Thursday, 06 May 2021

Microsoft has announced the preview of the Azure Web PubSub service, a way to build real-time web applications with WebSockets.

WebSocket is a protocol that provides bidirectional full-duplex communication over HTTP through a single TCP/IP socket connection. WebSocket is widely used for developing real-time web interactions.  Azure Web PubSub lets developers use WebSockets and the publish-subscribe pattern to build real-time web applications.

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The Azure Web PubSub service is fully managed and handles hosting, scalability, and load balancing.It provides built-in support for large-scale client connections and highly available architectures, according to Microsoft.

The Azure Web PubSub service supports native WebSocket and programming languages including C#, Python, and Java through WebSocket APIs.

In addition to the raw WebSocket support, the service also supports the json.webpubsub.azure.v1 subprotocol, which means clients can publish-subscribe effectively without routing data between service and backend server code. The example given is of a cross-platform live chatting app where the backend server code (a Web App or Function) may need to parse the client message for natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and other AI-enabled functionalities. Action events such as read receipt, however, don’t have to be routed through the Web App or Function, so the client would send the events to targets directly through the Azure Web PubSub service using the subprotocol.

The service is also natively integrated with Azure Functions and can be used to build serverless applications in C#, JavaScript, Python, and Java using WebSockets. Such serverless apps for real-time applications using Azure Functions and Azure Web PubSub service can be written using less code, require less infrastructure, and save on costs.

The new service is available using a free tier that can be used with one unit and applications with up to 20 connections per unit and 20,000 messages per unit per day.

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More Information

Azure Web PubSub 

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