The WebSockets technology promises to fill a niche in web applications by enabling browsers and servers to exchange messages with high frequency, low latency and low bandwith requirements in full duplex mode. The WebSocket protocol is an IETF standard, the WebSocket API is almost standardized by the W3C, and the JSR-356 will deliver a Java API in Java EE 7. There are already implementations in node.js and in a number of Servlet containers and Java frameworks. The time is as good as ever to start digging into it and there is so much to consider — from getting familiar with the protocol and the API, to sorting through the choices on the browser and on the server side, practical challenges with browser support and network issues, and so on. Furthermore, WebSockets offer a messaging-style architecture that’s in sharp contrast to the RESTful architectures that connect the web today, so learning where to draw the line will be essential.
Gunnar Hillert is a member of technical staff (MTS) at SpringSource, a division of VMware, Inc. He is a committer of the Spring Integration project and also contributes to the Cloud Foundry project.
A native of Berlin, Germany, Gunnar has been living in Atlanta for the past 10 years. He enjoys developing web applications but also has a background in business integration. He graduated in 2002 from the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Berlin in applied computer science after defending his thesis.
If not playing with and learning the latest and greatest technologies, Gunnar is an avid gardener specializing in anything sub-tropical such as bananas, palm trees and bamboo. Furthermore, Gunnar has been learning Spanish for the past three years. He and his wife Alysa have one daughter and a son and are raising both tri-lingually (English, German, Spanish). As time permits, Gunnar blogs at: http://blog.hillert.com/