web-api-server-sent-events

Web API Server Sent Events

Stable version 0.1.0 (Compatible with OutSystems 11)
Published on 22 Oct by 
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web-api-server-sent-events

Web API Server Sent Events

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Server-Sent Events (SSE) is a server push technology enabling a client to receive automatic updates from a server via an HTTP connection, and describes how servers can initiate data transmission towards clients once an initial client connection has been established. They are commonly used to send message updates or continuous data streams to a browser client and designed to enhance native, cross-browser streaming through a JavaScript API called EventSource, through which a client requests a particular URL in order to receive an event stream. The Server-Sent Events EventSource API is standardized as part of HTML5 by the W3C.
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Server-sent events

Traditionally, a web page has to send a request to the server to receive new data; that is, the page requests data from the server. With server-sent events, it's possible for a server to send new data to a web page at any time, by pushing messages to the web page. These incoming messages can be treated as Events + data inside the web page.


Using server-sent events

Developing a web application that uses server-sent events is straightforward. You'll need a bit of code on the server to stream events to the front-end, but the client side code works almost identically to websockets in part of handling incoming events. This is a one-way connection, so you can't send events from a client to a server.


Receiving events from the server

The server-sent event API is contained in the EventSource interface; to open a connection to the server to begin receiving events from it, create a new EventSource object with the URL of a script that generates the events.

Warning: When not used over HTTP/2, SSE suffers from a limitation to the maximum number of open connections, which can be especially painful when opening multiple tabs, as the limit is per browser and is set to a very low number (6). The issue has been marked as "Won't fix" in Chrome and Firefox. This limit is per browser + domain, which means that you can open 6 SSE connections across all of the tabs to www.example1.com and another 6 SSE connections to www.example2.com (per Stackoverflow). When using HTTP/2, the maximum number of simultaneous HTTP streams is negotiated between the server and the client (defaults to 100). 


Sending events from the server

The server-side script that sends events needs to respond using the MIME type text/event-stream. Each notification is sent as a block of text terminated by a pair of newlines. For details on the format of the event stream, see Event stream format.

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