Minimalistic Publish/Subscribe for SockJS and sockjs-erlang
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Minimalistic Publish/Subscribe for SockJS and sockjs-erlang


  • No history or persistance, for realtime messaging only
  • No manual channel creation, if nobody is subscribed - message just discards

Public API

sps:subscribe(Channel, Conn).
sps:unsubscribe(Channel, Conn).
sps:publish(Channel, Message).
  • Channel - arbitrary binary string
  • Conn and Message - as in SockJS


  • On each node application starts 24 managers (locally registered gen_servers with predefined names) under 1 supervisor.
  • Binary channels are mapped to respective manager with hash function (zlib:crc2/2).
  • On subscribe/unsubscribe Conn is passed to local manager to be stored in ETS table. Each channel has it's own unnamed table. Table ids are looked up via private ETS master-table.
  • On publish Message is broadcasted to respective manager on each connected erlang node with gen_server:abcast/2. Manager determines table id for channel and spawns short-lived process that will JSON-encode it and broadcast to all connections in channel ETS table. If this process stumbles upon dead connection it removes it.
  • Optional deflate message support (in sps:subscribe/3 specify third argument, Deflate, as true). To decode on client side you need to apply base64:decode followed by zlib inflate.


  • RabbitMQ - separate message passing service with advanced features like clustering, persistance and acknowledgements. Recommended if messages are important and shouldn't be lost.
  • Distributed Pub/Sub - simple publish/subscribe with message history and asynchronous replication between Erlang nodes.
  • sockjs-multiplex - part of sockjs-erlang that can do something similar with predefined channels and customized handlers, only within one Erlang node.