Azure SignalR Service for ASP.NET – All you need to know.

ASP.NET developers now have an open-source library to integrate a feature in their web applications in real-time. Now before we go ahead to see how Azure SignalR Service helps the developer perform enhancements in their web applications in real-time, let’s see what exactly we mean to say through the term – Real-time web applications.

Real-time web applications are one where the transmission of information between the clients and the server takes place instantly. Meaning that clients need not wait before being updated with a change in the piece of software code. To be precise, real-time applications are where developers have server-side code push content to the clients connected at the time of its occurrence.

Easily Integrate Features & Real-Time Functionality within Your Web Apps

And this is what SignalR does for the asp.net developers. Embedding the same would help the development companies to integrate broadcasting functionality within their web applications. In the absence of such a library, there is a need to re-establish communication between client and server for every request raised for the HTTP connections. However, SignalR entails a persistent connection between the client and the server along with RPC (Remote Procedure Calls) to reach the client’s browser in real-time.

So, SignalR is definitely a better choice for developers seeking a way to integrate real-time communication within their apps.

Communication Models – SignalR

  • Persistent Connection

    SignalR is one of those libraries which prefer incorporating the persistent connection API. As evident, SignalR exposed low-level communication protocol and such an API help developers’ access the same easily and effectively. The given API is seen to work with a direct messaging format and does not entail the model of remote invocation.

  • Hubs

    Writing a high-level API written over the API of PersistentConnection enables the server and the client to communicate and connect with each other directly, i.e. call each other methods. Further, having a hub allow sharing strong parameters to the class methods thereby enabling model binding.

Microsoft.Azure.SignalR.AspNet v1.0.0 – The Newest Version of SignalR, as Released

Microsoft announced the support preview for ASP.NET in 2018, at Ignite. Sooner, Microsoft made an announcement on the release of 1.0.0 version of service SDK with ASP.NET support! The above support would come as part of the preview version of SDK for the developers to build applications using ASP.NET SignalR.

As a fully managed service of Azure Platform, Azure SignalR Service enables real-time messaging. Such a platform bell scale application of ASP.NET Core SignalR. However, SignalR Service has been built on the platform of SignalR for ASP.NET Core 2.0, and not compatible with the platform of ASP.NET SignalR. Meaning that there is a need to modify the code so as to turn the applications of ASP.NET SignalR compatible with SignalR Service. Further, there is a need for ASP.NET support for service SDK.

Use Cases of Azure SignalR Service

  • Cross-Platform Chat

    To boost the development of high-performing and reliable chat applications.

FLOW

  • The app of Webchat connects to the SignalR Service and would then receive a token.
  • User can first log into the app surpassing the multi-factor authentication; and only after the same is passed, the user can get hold of the SignalR endpoint and bearer token.
  • Using the above-generated token and endpoint, users can draft a connection with SignalR Service.
  • Instant Broadcasting on Serverless Architecture

OVERVIEW

To aid the one-to-many communication in real-time backed up by updates using the serverless code.

FLOW

  • A client can pull the content of the web app from blob storage
  • The endpoint and SignalR token received by Web app
  • The user now connects to the web app
  • The connection then triggers the event of the database via Functions
  • Data pushed by functions into SignalR Service
  • And this is then pushed to the client
  • Real-time Web Dashboard

To securely manage, control and monitor data streamed from an array of devices connected to the Internet.

FLOW

  • Web app first draws a connection with the SignalR Service and then receives a token
  • Next, the user connects to the web app and gets hold of the token and the SignalR endpoint
  • Now, the user can connect to the SignalR Service
  • Next, the data is sent both to the user and the SignalR service from a real-time source.

Architecture – Azure SignalR Service

For applications that are, self-hosted on SignalR, communication starts with the application server listening to request made by the clients’ for drawing a connection. The server monitors and further manages all client connections. Using the SignalR Service, the server of the application first responds to the request of the client and then, redirects the same clients to the SignalR Service in order to set up a consistent communication between the client and the server.

Benefits of Using the Azure SignalR Service for ASP. Net Applications

  • To quickly and easily draft communication in real-time for web application

Using the service of Azure SignalR, ASP.Net developers have the ease to integrate real-time communications within the web application.

  • Focus on the core business and not just infrastructure management

Using Azure SignalR, developers eliminate the need to sit back to provision and further maintain servers needed to add real-time features in their solution. As evident, SignalR Service is completely managed, thereby making it easy for them to make their application compatible with real-time communication. Developers need not stay concerned about the scalability, hosting, load balancing, etc!

  • To the Driven maximum advantage of the entire range of Azure services

Azure has a lot to offer. Integrating the same, developers can deploy features of Azure App Service, Azure Storage, Azure Functions, Azure Analytics, Azure Active Directory, Azure Storage, IoT, Power BI, Machine Learning, Cognitive Services, etc.

To sum up, SignalR Services have tremendous benefits with the major one being the compatibility with real-time client-server engagement. So when used appropriately, it can help the ASP.NET developers to enhance and upgrade their applications and improve overall productivity.

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