Notification System Architecture

Evaluating Pull and Push Notification Delivery Methods in Notification System Architecture

Sanjeev Kumar
January 26, 2024
Explore the differences between Pull and Push methods in notification systems, and learn about their advantages, disadvantages, and various use cases. Discover which approach works best for specific scenarios by evaluating bandwidth, real-time responsiveness, scalability, and resource management.

Effective notification delivery plays a significant role in user engagement across modern applications. When developing robust notification systems architecture, choosing between Pull-Based and Push-Based approaches is crucial. This article offers an extensive review of these two notification delivery methods, discussing their pros and cons.

Pull-Based Approach

The Pull-Based Approach necessitates active user requests for updates. Users, at regular intervals, initiate queries to the server to retrieve new messages. While conceptually straightforward, this approach introduces complexities related to bandwidth usage and server resource allocation due to continual user queries. Consequently, it aligns better with applications with lower real-time demands or predictable update schedules within the notification system architecture.

Implementation Challenges

While seemingly straightforward, the Pull-Based Approach introduces noteworthy challenges:

Bandwidth Consumption and Server Load:

  • Users repeatedly fetching updates lead to increased bandwidth usage.
  • Frequent database queries may strain server resources, impacting overall system performance.

Use Cases and Considerations

Understanding scenarios where the Pull-Based Approach is suitable is crucial:


  • Ideal for applications with lower real-time demands.
  • Where periodic updates align with user expectations and application requirements.


  • Strategies to minimize bandwidth consumption, such as optimizing data transfer.
  • Balancing server load for optimal performance through efficient database query handling.

Push-Based Approach

The Push-Based Approach centers around the server proactively pushing notifications to users. A key element of this method is the use of payload to update the database and message queue, shaping the foundation of the notification system architecture.

Asynchronous Message Push

This method ensures real-time delivery without relying on periodic user checks:

Eliminating Polling:

  • Pushing messages asynchronously eliminates the need for users to poll the server actively.
  • Enhances real-time responsiveness, providing a seamless user experience.

Offline User Handling:

  • Messages are stored in temporary storage for offline users.
  • Defined expiry time for stored messages, ensuring efficient handling of messages for users with intermittent connectivity.

Comparison and Decision Factors

Bandwidth and Database Load

Pull Approach:

  • Higher bandwidth consumption due to repeated user queries.
  • Potential impact on server load, necessitating careful resource management.

Push Approach:

  • Optimized bandwidth usage as messages are pushed proactively.
  • Reduced strain on the server, contributing to a more scalable and efficient system.

Real-time Responsiveness

Pull Approach

  • Limited real-time responsiveness, with users actively checking for updates.
  • Potential delays in message delivery based on periodic user queries.

Push Approach

  • Instantaneous delivery enhances real-time user experience.
  • Eliminates the need for periodic checks, ensuring timely and seamless notifications.

Scalability and Resource Efficiency

Pull Approach:

  • Challenges in scaling with a growing user base.
  • Resource efficiency concerns, particularly with an increasing number of simultaneous user queries.

Push Approach:

  • Scalable architecture supporting a large number of users seamlessly.
  • Resource-efficient notification delivery, providing a more sustainable and responsive system.


Deciding upon the ideal notification delivery method hinges on numerous context-specific factors pertinent to individual applications. Thoroughly comprehending the benefits and drawbacks associated with Pull and Push approaches empowers developers to craft efficient and captivating notification systems tailored to distinct objectives and audiences. Additionally, consider other aspects—such as cross-platform compatibility (operating system, platform, browser), target demographics, and desired conversion metrics—to ensure successful implementation. Instead of building a complex notification system, use one architected by experts, SuprSend, your own notification infrastructure.

Written by:
Sanjeev Kumar
Engineering, SuprSend

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Implement a powerful stack for your notifications

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.