Engineering

Building a Real-Time Notification System with Golang and WebSockets

Anjali Arya
June 2, 2024
Discover how to build a real-time notification system using Golang and WebSockets, with a focus on low-latency communication and real-time updates
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Building a real-time notification system requires a combination of technologies that can handle high volumes of data and provide low-latency communication. In this article, we'll explore how to build a real-time notification system using Golang and WebSockets.

Architecture Overview

Our notification system will consist of the following components:

  1. API Server: A Golang server that exposes an API for triggering notifications.
  2. WebSockets Server: A Golang server that handles WebSocket connections and broadcasts notifications to connected clients.
  3. Database: A database that stores notification data and provides real-time updates.

Setting up the Environment

  1. Install Go: Ensure you have Go installed on your system.
  2. Install WebSocket library: Install the github.com/gorilla/websocket library for handling WebSocket connections.
  3. Create a new Go project: Initialize a new Go project and install the required dependencies.

Implementing the API Server

  1. Set up an HTTP server: Use the net/http package to create an HTTP server.
  2. Define the notification API: Create an endpoint that accepts notification requests and stores them in the database.
  3. Store notifications in the database: Use a database like PostgreSQL or MySQL to store notification data.
 
    package main

    import (
        "database/sql"
        "encoding/json"
        "fmt"
        "net/http"
        "time"

        _ "github.com/lib/pq"
    )

    type Notification struct {
        ID        int    `json:"id"`
        Message   string `json:"message"`
        Timestamp time.Time `json:"timestamp"`
    }

    func main() {
        db, err := sql.Open("postgres", "user:password@localhost/notification_db")
        if err != nil {
            fmt.Println(err)
            return
        }
        defer db.Close()

        http.HandleFunc("/notify", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
            var notification Notification
            err := json.NewDecoder(r.Body).Decode(¬ification)
            if err != nil {
                http.Error(w, err.Error(), http.StatusBadRequest)
                return
            }
            // Store notification in the database
            _, err = db.Exec("INSERT INTO notifications (message, timestamp) VALUES ($1, $2)", notification.Message, notification.Timestamp)
            if err != nil {
                http.Error(w, err.Error(), http.StatusInternalServerError)
                return
            }
            w.WriteHeader(http.StatusCreated)
        })

        http.ListenAndServe(":8080", nil)
    }

    

Implementing the WebSockets Server

  1. Set up a WebSocket server: Use the gorilla/websocket library to create a WebSocket server.
  2. Handle WebSocket connections: Implement a function to handle WebSocket connections and broadcast notifications to connected clients.
 
    package main

    import (
        "github.com/gorilla/websocket"
        "log"
    )

    var upgrader = websocket.Upgrader{
        ReadBufferSize:  1024,
        WriteBufferSize: 1024,
    }

    func main() {
        http.HandleFunc("/ws", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
            conn, err := upgrader.Upgrade(w, r, nil)
            if err != nil {
                log.Println(err)
                return
            }
            defer conn.Close()

            for {
                message, err := conn.ReadJSON()
                if err != nil {
                    log.Println(err)
                    return
                }
                // Broadcast the message to all connected clients
                for conn := range connections {
                    conn.WriteJSON(message)
                }
            }
        })
    }

    

Connecting Clients

  1. Create a WebSocket client: Use a WebSocket client library like github.com/gorilla/websocket to connect to the WebSocket server.
  2. Handle WebSocket messages: Implement a function to handle WebSocket messages and display them to the user.
 
    package main

    import (
        "github.com/gorilla/websocket"
        "log"
    )

    var conn *websocket.Conn

    func ma
    in() {
        conn, err := websocket.Dial("ws://localhost:8080/ws", "", nil)
        if err != nil {
            log.Println(err)
            return
        }
        defer conn.Close()

        for {
            message, err := conn.ReadJSON()
            if err != nil {
                log.Println(err)
                return
            }
            // Display the message to the user
            fmt.Println(message)
        }
    }

    

Scalability and Performance

  1. Use a load balancer: Use a load balancer to distribute incoming traffic across multiple instances of the API server and WebSocket server.
  2. Use a message queue: Use a message queue like RabbitMQ or Apache Kafka to handle high volumes of notifications and provide low-latency communication.
  3. Monitor and optimize performance: Use tools like Prometheus and Grafana to monitor and optimize the performance of the notification system.

By leveraging Golang and WebSockets, you can build a real-time notification system that provides low-latency communication and handles high volumes of data. Remember to implement error handling, logging, and monitoring to ensure the stability and performance of your notification system.

Written by:
Anjali Arya
Product & Analytics, SuprSend
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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