End of Life for Twilio Programmable Video - Upgrade to VideoSDKLearn More

How to Set up and Configure Spring WebSocket?

Learn how to set up and configure Spring WebSocket for real-time communication in your Java applications.

Introduction to Spring WebSocket

WebSockets represent a significant advancement in web technology, enabling real-time, bidirectional communication between a client and a server. Unlike traditional HTTP requests, which are unidirectional and require a new connection for each request, WebSockets maintain an open connection, allowing data to flow freely between the client and server. This makes WebSockets an ideal solution for applications that require real-time updates, such as chat applications, live notifications, and gaming.
Spring Framework, a widely-used framework for building enterprise applications in Java, provides robust support for WebSocket communication. By leveraging Spring WebSocket, developers can easily integrate WebSocket capabilities into their Spring-based applications, enabling real-time features with minimal setup and configuration. In this article, we'll explore how to get started with Spring WebSocket, implement a step-by-step guide for setting up WebSocket communication, and address common challenges and best practices.

Step-by-Step Implementation Guide

Before diving into the implementation of WebSocket using Spring, ensure that you have a basic understanding of Java and the Spring Framework. If you're new to these technologies, consider reviewing some introductory materials or tutorials.
To begin, we'll set up a Spring Boot project. Spring Boot simplifies the setup and development of Spring applications with its convention-over-configuration approach. You can create a new Spring Boot project using Spring Initializr (

https://start.spring.io/

) or your preferred IDE.

Step 1: Adding Dependencies

First, you need to add the necessary dependencies to your pom.xml (for Maven) or build.gradle (for Gradle) file. These dependencies include Spring WebSocket and Spring Boot Starter Web.

For Maven

XML

1<dependencies>
2    <dependency>
3        <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
4        <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId>
5    </dependency>
6    <dependency>
7        <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
8        <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-websocket</artifactId>
9    </dependency>
10</dependencies>

For Gradle

Gradle

1dependencies {
2    implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-web'
3    implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-websocket'
4}

Step 2: Configuring WebSocket in Spring

Next, create a configuration class to enable WebSocket support in your Spring application. This class should be annotated with @Configuration and @EnableWebSocket.

Java

1import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
2import org.springframework.web.socket.config.annotation.EnableWebSocket;
3import org.springframework.web.socket.config.annotation.WebSocketConfigurer;
4import org.springframework.web.socket.config.annotation.WebSocketHandlerRegistry;
5
6@Configuration
7@EnableWebSocket
8public class WebSocketConfig implements WebSocketConfigurer {
9
10    @Override
11    public void registerWebSocketHandlers(WebSocketHandlerRegistry registry) {
12        registry.addHandler(new MyWebSocketHandler(), "/websocket-endpoint")
13                .setAllowedOrigins("*");
14    }
15}

Step 3: Creating WebSocket Endpoint

Define a WebSocket endpoint by creating a handler class. This class should implement WebSocketHandler or extend TextWebSocketHandler.

Java

1import org.springframework.web.socket.TextMessage;
2import org.springframework.web.socket.WebSocketSession;
3import org.springframework.web.socket.handler.TextWebSocketHandler;
4
5public class MyWebSocketHandler extends TextWebSocketHandler {
6
7    @Override
8    protected void handleTextMessage(WebSocketSession session, TextMessage message) throws Exception {
9        String payload = message.getPayload();
10        // Handle the received message
11        session.sendMessage(new TextMessage("Echo: " + payload));
12    }
13}

Step 4: Handling WebSocket Messages

Implement message handling methods in your handler class. The handleTextMessage method is called when a text message is received.

Java

1@Override
2protected void handleTextMessage(WebSocketSession session, TextMessage message) throws Exception {
3    String payload = message.getPayload();
4    // Process the message
5    session.sendMessage(new TextMessage("Received: " + payload));
6}

Step 5: Broadcasting Messages

To broadcast messages to all connected clients, maintain a list of active sessions and iterate over them to send messages.

Java

1import java.util.List;
2import java.util.concurrent.CopyOnWriteArrayList;
3
4public class MyWebSocketHandler extends TextWebSocketHandler {
5    private final List<WebSocketSession> sessions = new CopyOnWriteArrayList<>();
6
7    @Override
8    public void afterConnectionEstablished(WebSocketSession session) throws Exception {
9        sessions.add(session);
10    }
11
12    @Override
13    public void afterConnectionClosed(WebSocketSession session, CloseStatus status) throws Exception {
14        sessions.remove(session);
15    }
16
17    public void broadcast(String message) {
18        for (WebSocketSession session : sessions) {
19            try {
20                session.sendMessage(new TextMessage(message));
21            } catch (IOException e) {
22                e.printStackTrace();
23            }
24        }
25    }
26}

Step 6: Securing WebSocket Connections

Implement security measures to ensure secure WebSocket connections. Use Spring Security to authenticate and authorize WebSocket connections.

Java

1import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
2import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.builders.HttpSecurity;
3import org.springframework.security.config.annotation.web.configuration.WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter;
4
5@Configuration
6public class WebSecurityConfig extends WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter {
7
8    @Override
9    protected void configure(HttpSecurity http) throws Exception {
10        http
11            .authorizeRequests()
12                .antMatchers("/websocket-endpoint").authenticated()
13                .and()
14            .formLogin()
15                .and()
16            .logout();
17    }
18}

Get Free 10,000 Minutes Every Months

No credit card required to start.

Code Snippets and Practical Examples

Here are some practical code snippets for each step discussed:

Adding Dependencies

XML

1<dependency>
2    <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
3    <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-websocket</artifactId>
4</dependency>

WebSocket Configuration

Java

1@Configuration
2@EnableWebSocket
3public class WebSocketConfig implements WebSocketConfigurer {
4    @Override
5    public void registerWebSocketHandlers(WebSocketHandlerRegistry registry) {
6        registry.addHandler(new MyWebSocketHandler(), "/websocket-endpoint").setAllowedOrigins("*");
7    }
8}

WebSocket Handler

Java

1public class MyWebSocketHandler extends TextWebSocketHandler {
2    @Override
3    protected void handleTextMessage(WebSocketSession session, TextMessage message) throws Exception {
4        String payload = message.getPayload();
5        session.sendMessage(new TextMessage("Echo: " + payload));
6    }
7}

Broadcasting Messages

Java

1public void broadcast(String message) {
2    for (WebSocketSession session : sessions) {
3        try {
4            session.sendMessage(new TextMessage(message));
5        } catch (IOException e) {
6            e.printStackTrace();
7        }
8    }
9}

Securing WebSocket Connections

Java

1@Override
2protected void configure(HttpSecurity http) throws Exception {
3    http
4        .authorizeRequests()
5            .antMatchers("/websocket-endpoint").authenticated()
6            .and()
7        .formLogin()
8            .and()
9        .logout();
10}
This section covers all essential steps to implement WebSocket communication in a Spring application, providing both the necessary theoretical background and practical examples to help you get started.

Conclusion

In this article, we explored the powerful capabilities of Spring WebSocket, enabling real-time, bidirectional communication for modern web applications. By following the step-by-step implementation guide, you should now have a foundational understanding of how to set up and configure WebSockets in a Spring Boot application, handle messages, broadcast updates, and secure your WebSocket connections. This integration enhances your application's interactivity and responsiveness, providing a seamless user experience.

Want to level-up your learning? Subscribe now

Subscribe to our newsletter for more tech based insights

FAQ