Spring Boot + WebSocket With STOMP Tutorial

In previous article we learn on how to create a simple broadcast application using Spring Boot and plain WebSocket. In this article, we will create similar application not only using WebSocket, but adding STOMP on top of it.

STOMP

Simple Text Oriented Messaging Protocol (STOMP), is a simple text-based protocol, designed for working with message-oriented middleware (MOM). Any STOMP client can communicate with any STOMP message broker and be interoperable among languages and platforms.

So, why using STOMP if we are already using WebSocket? Or vice-versa, why using WebSocket if we are using STOMP?

  • STOMP describes the message format exchanged between clients and servers. On another hand, WebSocket is nothing but a communication protocol.
  • You can't "just use" STOMP to communicate with a server or a message broker. You have to use a transport to send those STOMP messages, one of them is WebSocket.
  • STOMP doesn't take care of the WebSocket handshake, in fact, it's not aware of it at all. We can use STOMP on top of another transport protocol (example: HTTP) and see no difference from the STOMP perspective.
  • Feature like to send a message only to users who are subscribed to a particular topic, or to send a message to a particular user is harder to implement with plain WebSocket, but STOMP has all this features, since it's designed to interact with message broker.

Let's start dig into the project. We still use the same project that we created in previous article. The Spring Boot's main entry point also still WebSocketExampleApplication.

Create a DTO

Since we will exchanging messages in JSON format, we need to a data transfer object (DTO) class. The DTO class is ChatMessage:

ChatMessage.java
package com.dariawan.websocket.dto;

import com.dariawan.websocket.util.StringUtils;
import lombok.Getter;
import lombok.Setter;

@Getter
@Setter
public class ChatMessage {
    
    private String from;
    private String text;
    private String recipient;
    private String time;

    public ChatMessage() {
        
    }
    
    public ChatMessage(String from, String text, String recipient) {
        this.from = from;
        this.text = text;
        this.recipient = recipient;
        this.time = StringUtils.getCurrentTimeStamp();
    }
}
                    

We are using lombok for setter and getter. StringUtils is our small utility class:

StringUtils.java
package com.dariawan.websocket.util;

import java.time.LocalDateTime;
import java.time.format.DateTimeFormatter;

public class StringUtils {
    
    private static final String TIME_FORMATTER= "HH:mm:ss";
    
    public static String getCurrentTimeStamp() {
        DateTimeFormatter formatter = DateTimeFormatter.ofPattern(TIME_FORMATTER);
        return LocalDateTime.now().format(formatter);
    }
}
                    

Create Controller Class

WebSocketBroadcastController is our controller for this sample:

WebSocketBroadcastController.java
package com.dariawan.websocket.controller;

import com.dariawan.websocket.dto.ChatMessage;
import org.springframework.messaging.handler.annotation.MessageMapping;
import org.springframework.messaging.handler.annotation.SendTo;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;

@Controller
public class WebSocketBroadcastController {

    @GetMapping("/stomp-broadcast")
    public String getWebSocketBroadcast() {
        return "stomp-broadcast";
    }
    
    @MessageMapping("/broadcast")
    @SendTo("/topic/messages")
    public ChatMessage send(ChatMessage chatMessage) throws Exception {
        return new ChatMessage(chatMessage.getFrom(), chatMessage.getText(), "ALL");
    }
}
                    

Function getWebSocketBroadcast() will return the name of html template, stomp-broadcast.html that will be rendered by Thymeleaf engine. We will revisit this later. But let's focus on function send(ChatMessage). This is will relate to our configuration later in next section.

Handling WebSocket requests happens in a similar way to normal HTTP requests, but we are not using @RequestMapping or @GetMapping , but @SubscribeMapping and @MessageMapping depending on the case. We are using @MessageMapping to map messages headed for the /broadcast . Check application destination prefixes in configuration section below.

@SendTo indicates that the return value of a message-handling method should be sent as a Message to the specified destination, which in our case is /topic/broadcast. Check about enable a simple message broker for subscription in configuration section below.

So in above example, function send(ChatMessage) will converted messages that headed to /broadcast endpoint (to be precise: /app/broadcast), convert it to new ChatMessage and send to /topic/messages, so all subscribers for /topic/messages will receive this broadcast message.

WebSocket Configuration for STOMP Messaging

Configure Spring to enable WebSocket and STOMP messaging by creating WebSocketMessageBrokerConfig:

WebSocketMessageBrokerConfig.java
package com.dariawan.websocket.config;

import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.messaging.simp.config.MessageBrokerRegistry;
import org.springframework.web.socket.config.annotation.EnableWebSocketMessageBroker;
import org.springframework.web.socket.config.annotation.StompEndpointRegistry;
import org.springframework.web.socket.config.annotation.WebSocketMessageBrokerConfigurer;

@Configuration
@EnableWebSocketMessageBroker
public class WebSocketMessageBrokerConfig implements WebSocketMessageBrokerConfigurer {

    @Override
    public void configureMessageBroker(MessageBrokerRegistry config) {
        config.enableSimpleBroker("/topic");
        config.setApplicationDestinationPrefixes("/app");
    }

    @Override
    public void registerStompEndpoints(StompEndpointRegistry registry) {
        registry.addEndpoint("/broadcast");
    }
}
                    

Let's check several items in WebSocketMessageBrokerConfig:

  • Annotate with @Configuration to indicate that this is a Spring configuration class.
  • Annotate with @EnableWebSocketMessageBroker to enables WebSocket message handling, backed by a message broker.
  • Enable a simple message broker and configure destination prefix(es). Simple broker means a simple in-memory broker, and in our example the destination prefix is /topic. The client app will subscribe messages at endpoints starting with these configured prefix(es), in our example: /topic/broadcast.
  • Set application destination prefixes, in our sample is /app. The client will send messages at this endpoint. For example, if client sends message at /app/broadcast, the endpoint configured at /broadcast in the spring controller will be invoked.
  • Enable STOMP support by register STOMP endpoint at /broadcast. This is the endpoint used by clients to connect to STOMP.

HTML Template (and JavaScript Client)

Now time to go back to stomp-broadcast.html. Here the content of this html:

stomp-broadcast.html
<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html xmlns:th="http://www.thymeleaf.org">
    <head>
        <title>WebSocket With STOMP Broadcast Example</title>
        <th:block th:include="fragments/common.html :: headerfiles"></th:block>        
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="container">
            <div class="py-5 text-center">
                <a href="/"><h2>WebSocket</h2></a>
                <p class="lead">WebSocket Broadcast - with STOMP</p>
            </div>
            <div class="row">
                <div class="col-md-6">
                    <div class="mb-3">
                        <div class="input-group">
                            <input type="text" id="from" class="form-control" placeholder="Choose a nickname"/>
                            <div class="btn-group">
                                <button type="button" id="connect" class="btn btn-sm btn-outline-secondary" onclick="connect()">Connect</button>
                            <button type="button" id="disconnect" class="btn btn-sm btn-outline-secondary" onclick="disconnect()" disabled>Disconnect</button>
                            </div>                        
                        </div>
                    </div>
                    <div class="mb-3">
                        <div class="input-group" id="sendmessage" style="display: none;">
                            <input type="text" id="message" class="form-control" placeholder="Message">
                            <div class="input-group-append">
                                <button id="send" class="btn btn-primary" onclick="send()">Send</button>
                            </div>
                        </div>
                    </div>
                </div>
                <div class="col-md-6">
                    <div id="content"></div>
                    <div>
                        <span class="float-right">
                            <button id="clear" class="btn btn-primary" onclick="clearBroadcast()" style="display: none;">Clear</button>
                        </span>
                    </div>                    
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>

        <footer th:insert="fragments/common.html :: footer"></footer>
        
        <script th:src="@{/webjars/stomp-websocket/2.3.3-1/stomp.js}" type="text/javascript"></script>
        <script type="text/javascript">
            var stompClient = null;
            var userName = $("#from").val();
            
            function setConnected(connected) {
                $("#from").prop("disabled", connected);
                $("#connect").prop("disabled", connected);
                $("#disconnect").prop("disabled", !connected);
                if (connected) {
                    $("#sendmessage").show();
                } else {
                    $("#sendmessage").hide();
                }
            }
            
            function connect() {
                userName = $("#from").val();
                if (userName == null || userName === "") {
                    alert('Please input a nickname!');
                    return;
                }
                 /*<![CDATA[*/
                var url = /*[['ws://'+${#httpServletRequest.serverName}+':'+${#httpServletRequest.serverPort}[email protected]{/broadcast}]]*/ 'ws://localhost:8080/broadcast';
                /*]]>*/
                stompClient = Stomp.client(url);
                stompClient.connect({}, function () {
                    stompClient.subscribe('/topic/broadcast', function (output) {
                        showBroadcastMessage(createTextNode(JSON.parse(output.body)));
                    });
                    
                    sendConnection(' connected to server');                
                    setConnected(true);
                }, function (err) {
                    alert('error' + err);
                });                
            }

            function disconnect() {
                if (stompClient != null) {
                    sendConnection(' disconnected from server'); 
                    
                    stompClient.disconnect(function() {
                        console.log('disconnected...');
                        setConnected(false);
                    });                    
                }                
            }
            
            function sendConnection(message) {
                var text = userName + message;
                sendBroadcast({'from': 'server', 'text': text});
            }
                    
            function sendBroadcast(json) {
                stompClient.send("/app/broadcast", {}, JSON.stringify(json));
            }
            
            function send() {
                var text = $("#message").val();
                sendBroadcast({'from': userName, 'text': text});
                $("#message").val("");
            }

            function createTextNode(messageObj) {
                return '<div class="row alert alert-info"><div class="col-md-8">' +
                        messageObj.text +
                        '</div><div class="col-md-4 text-right"><small>[<b>' +
                        messageObj.from +
                        '</b> ' +
                        messageObj.time + 
                        ']</small>' +
                        '</div></div>';
            }
            
            function showBroadcastMessage(message) {
                $("#content").html($("#content").html() + message);
                $("#clear").show();
            }
            
            function clearBroadcast() {
                $("#content").html("");
                $("#clear").hide();
            }
        </script>
    </body>
</html>
                    

Notice on how we include stomp.js from webjars:

<script th:src="@{/webjars/stomp-websocket/2.3.3-1/stomp.js}" type="text/javascript"></script>

You can get this jar by declare it as dependency in your Maven's pom.xml:

<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.webjars/stomp-websocket --> <dependency> <groupId>org.webjars</groupId> <artifactId>stomp-websocket</artifactId> <version>2.3.3-1</version> </dependency>

And you sure easily able to identify, on how to make a STOMP connection via javascript (stomp.js). Here the snippet:

stompClient = Stomp.client(url); stompClient.connect({}, function () { stompClient.subscribe('/topic/broadcast', function (output) { // what happen if we got message? }); ... }, function (err) { // what happen if error occurs? });

Running the Application

Let's run our application, and open http://localhost:8080/stomp-broadcast in the browser. Here a screen shot of the application that we completed in this tutorial:

http://localhost:8080/stomp-broadcast

http://localhost:8080/stomp-broadcast

Let's check the connection when make connection by clicking "Connect" button. Request headers:

Host: localhost:8080 User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:72.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/72.0 Accept: */* Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5 Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate Sec-WebSocket-Version: 13 Origin: http://localhost:8080 Sec-WebSocket-Protocol: v10.stomp, v11.stomp Sec-WebSocket-Extensions: permessage-deflate Sec-WebSocket-Key: 0566sTUvnNECJ7dWhLLr7g== Connection: keep-alive, Upgrade Pragma: no-cache Cache-Control: no-cache Upgrade: websocket

And the Response Headers:

HTTP/1.1 101 Upgrade: websocket Connection: upgrade, keep-alive Sec-WebSocket-Accept: x9YEV1lGVGHmwbdMq4DZi55HC4M= Sec-WebSocket-Protocol: v10.stomp Sec-WebSocket-Extensions: permessage-deflate Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2020 17:12:56 GMT Keep-Alive: timeout=60

We can see that stomp used in Sec-WebSocket-Protocol. And here the messages that happen when "Connect" button is clicked (from Mozilla):

Firefox Web Developer - Network - Messages

Firefox Web Developer - Network - Messages

Based on our code flow, we can see on how the client make connection, and subscribe to /topic/broadcast after connected, send a message, and receive the message (broadcast).


References: