Skip to main content

Version 2.8 release notes

· 10 min read
Loïc Poullain

Banner

Version 2.8 of Foal has been released! Here are the improvements that it brings.

WebSocket support and socket.io integration

As of version 2.8, Foal officially supports WebSockets, allowing you to establish two-way interactive communication between your server(s) and your clients.

The architecture includes: controllers and sub-controllers, hooks, success and error responses, message broadcasting, rooms, use from HTTP controllers, DI, error-handling, validation, unit testing, horizontal scalability, auto-reconnection, etc

Get Started

Server

npm install @foal/socket.io

services/websocket.service.ts

import { EventName, ValidatePayload, SocketIOController, WebsocketContext, WebsocketResponse } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class WebsocketController extends SocketIOController {

@EventName('create product')
@ValidatePayload({
additionalProperties: false,
properties: { name: { type: 'string' }},
required: [ 'name' ],
type: 'object'
})
async createProduct(ctx: WebsocketContext, payload: { name: string }) {
const product = new Product();
product.name = payload.name;
await product.save();

// Send a message to all clients.
ctx.socket.broadcast.emit('refresh products');
return new WebsocketResponse();
}

}

src/index.ts

// ...

async function main() {
const serviceManager = new ServiceManager();

const app = await createApp(AppController, { serviceManager });
const httpServer = http.createServer(app);

// Instanciate, init and connect websocket controllers.
await serviceManager.get(WebsocketController).attachHttpServer(httpServer);

// ...
}

Client

This example uses JavaScript code as client, but socket.io supports also many other languages (python, java, etc).

npm install socket.io-client@4
import { io } from 'socket.io-client';

const socket = io('ws://localhost:3001');

socket.on('connect', () => {

socket.emit('create product', { name: 'product 1' }, response => {
if (response.status === 'error') {
console.log(response.error);
}
});

});

socket.on('connect_error', () => {
console.log('Impossible to establish the socket.io connection');
});

socket.on('refresh products', () => {
console.log('refresh products!');
});

When using socket.io with FoalTS, the client function emit can only take one, two or three arguments.

socket.emit('event name');
socket.emit('event name', { /* payload */ });
// The acknowledgement callback must always be passed in third position.
socket.emit('event name', { /* payload */ }, response => { /* do something */ });

Architecture

Controllers and hooks

The WebSocket architecture is very similar to the HTTP architecture. They both have controllers and hooks. While HTTP controllers use paths to handle the various application endpoints, websocket controllers use event names. As with HTTP, event names can be extended with subcontrollers.

user.controller.ts

import { EventName, WebsocketContext } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class UserController {

@EventName('create')
createUser(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
// ...
}

@EventName('delete')
deleteUser(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
// ...
}

}

websocket.controller.ts

import { SocketIOController, wsController } from '@foal/socket.io';

import { UserController } from './user.controller.ts';

export class WebsocketController extends SocketIOController {
subControllers = [
wsController('users ', UserController)
];
}

Note that the event names are simply concatenated. So you have to manage the spaces between the words yourself if there are any.

Contexts

The Context and WebsocketContext classes share common properties such as the state, the user and the session.

However, unlike their HTTP version, instances of WebsocketContext do not have a request property but a socket property which is the object provided by socket.io. They also have two other attributes: the eventName and the payload of the request.

Responses

A controller method returns a response which is either a WebsocketResponse or a WebsocketErrorResponse.

If a WebsocketResponse(data) is returned, the server will return to the client an object of this form:

{
status: 'ok',
data: data
}

If it is a WebsocketErrorResponse(error), the returned object will look like this:

{
status: 'error',
error: error
}

Note that the data and error parameters are both optional.

Hooks

In the same way, Foal provides hooks for websockets. They work the same as their HTTP version except that some types are different (WebsocketContext, WebsocketResponse|WebsocketErrorResponse).

import { EventName, WebsocketContext, WebsocketErrorResponse, WebsocketHook } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class UserController {

@EventName('create')
@WebsocketHook((ctx, services) => {
if (typeof ctx.payload.name !== 'string') {
return new WebsocketErrorResponse('Invalid name type');
}
})
createUser(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
// ...
}
}
Summary table
HTTPWebsocket
@Get, @Post, etc@EventName
controllerwsController
ContextWebsocketContext
HttpResponse(s)WebsocketResponse, WebsocketErrorResponse
HookWebsocketHook
MergeHooksMergeWebsocketHooks
getHookFunction, getHookFunctionsgetWebsocketHookFunction, getWebsocketHookFunctions

Send a message

At any time, the server can send one or more messages to the client using its socket object.

Server code

import { EventName, WebsocketContext, WebsocketResponse } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class UserController {

@EventName('create')
createUser(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
ctx.socket.emit('event 1', 'first message');
ctx.socket.emit('event 1', 'second message');
return new WebsocketResponse();
}
}

Client code

socket.on('event 1', payload => {
console.log('Message: ', payload);
});

Broadcast a message

If a message is to be broadcast to all clients, you can use the broadcast property for this.

Server code

import { EventName, WebsocketContext, WebsocketResponse } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class UserController {

@EventName('create')
createUser(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
ctx.socket.broadcast.emit('event 1', 'first message');
ctx.socket.broadcast.emit('event 1', 'second message');
return new WebsocketResponse();
}
}

Client code

socket.on('event 1', payload => {
console.log('Message: ', payload);
});

Grouping clients in rooms

Socket.io uses the concept of rooms to gather clients in groups. This can be useful if you need to send a message to a particular subset of clients.

import { EventName, SocketIOController, WebsocketContext, WebsocketResponse } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class WebsocketController extends SocketIOController {

onConnection(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
ctx.socket.join('some room');
}

@EventName('event 1')
createUser(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
ctx.socket.to('some room').emit('event 2');
return new WebsocketResponse();
}

}

Accessing the socket.io server

You can access the socket.io server anywhere in your code (including your HTTP controllers) by injecting the WsServer service.

import { dependency, HttpResponseOK, Post } from '@foal/core';
import { WsServer } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class UserController {
@dependency
wsServer: WsServer;

@Post('/users')
createUser() {
// ...
this.wsServer.io.emit('refresh users');

return new HttpResponseOK();
}
}

Error-handling

Any error thrown or rejected in a websocket controller, hook or service, if not caught, is converted to a WebsocketResponseError. If the settings.debug configuration parameter is true, then the error is returned as is to the client. Otherwise, the server returns this response:

({
status: 'error',
error: {
code: 'INTERNAL_SERVER_ERROR',
message: 'An internal server error has occurred.'
}
})
Customizing the error handler

Just as its HTTP version, the SocketIOController class supports an optional handleError to override the default error handler.

import { EventName, renderWebsocketError, SocketIOController, WebsocketContext, WebsocketErrorResponse } from '@foal/socket.io';

class PermissionDenied extends Error {}

export class WebsocketController extends SocketIOController implements ISocketIOController {
@EventName('create user')
createUser() {
throw new PermissionDenied();
}

handleError(error: Error, ctx: WebsocketContext){
if (error instanceof PermissionDenied) {
return new WebsocketErrorResponse('Permission is denied');
}

return renderWebsocketError(error, ctx);
}
}

Payload Validation

Foal provides a default hook @ValidatePayload to validate the request payload. It is very similar to its HTTP version @ValidateBody.

Server code

import { EventName, SocketIOController, WebsocketContext, WebsocketResponse } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class WebsocketController extends SocketIOController {

@EventName('create product')
@ValidatePayload({
additionalProperties: false,
properties: { name: { type: 'string' }},
required: [ 'name' ],
type: 'object'
})
async createProduct(ctx: WebsocketContext, payload: { name: string }) {
const product = new Product();
product.name = payload.name;
await product.save();

// Send a message to all clients.
ctx.socket.broadcast.emit('refresh products');
return new WebsocketResponse();
}

}

Validation error response

({
status: 'error',
error: {
code: 'VALIDATION_PAYLOAD_ERROR',
payload: [
// errors
]
}
})

Unit Testing

Testing WebSocket controllers and hooks is very similar to testing their HTTP equivalent. The WebsocketContext takes three parameters.

NameTypeDescription
eventNamestringThe name of the event.
payloadanyThe request payload.
socketanyThe socket (optional). Default: {}.

Advanced

Multiple node servers

This example shows how to manage multiple node servers using a redis adapter.

npm install @socket.io/redis-adapter@7 redis@3

websocket.controller.ts

import { EventName, SocketIOController, WebsocketContext, WebsocketResponse } from '@foal/socket.io';
import { createAdapter } from '@socket.io/redis-adapter';
import { createClient } from 'redis';

export const pubClient = createClient({ url: 'redis://localhost:6379' });
export const subClient = pubClient.duplicate();

export class WebsocketController extends SocketIOController {
adapter = createAdapter(pubClient, subClient);

@EventName('create user')
createUser(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
// Broadcast an event to all clients of all servers.
ctx.socket.broadcast.emit('refresh users');
return new WebsocketResponse();
}
}

Handling connection

If you want to run some code when a Websocket connection is established (for example to join a room or forward the session), you can use the onConnection method of the SocketIOController for this.

import { SocketIOController, WebsocketContext } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class WebsocketController extends SocketIOController {

onConnection(ctx: WebsocketContext) {
// ...
}

}

The context passed in the onConnection method has an undefined payload and an empty event name.

Error-handling

Any errors thrown or rejected in the onConnection is sent back to the client. So you may need to add a try {} catch {} in some cases.

This error can be read on the client using the connect_error event listener.

socket.on("connect_error", () => {
// Do some stuff
socket.connect();
});

Custom server options

Custom options can be passed to the socket.io server as follows. The complete list of options can be found here.

import { SocketIOController } from '@foal/socket.io';

export class WebsocketController extends SocketIOController {

options = {
connectTimeout: 60000
}

}

Passing a custom database client to a session store

By default, the MongoDBStore and RedisStore create a new client to connect to their respective databases. The TypeORMStore uses the default TypeORM connection.

It is now possible to override this behavior by providing a custom client to the stores at initialization.

TypeORMStore

First example

import { dependency } from '@foal/core';
import { TypeORMStore } from '@foal/typeorm';
import { createConnection } from 'typeorm';

export class AppController {
@dependency
store: TypeORMStore;

// ...

async init() {
const connection = await createConnection('connection2');
this.store.setConnection(connection);
}
}

Second example

import { createApp, ServiceManager } from '@foal/core';
import { TypeORMStore } from '@foal/typeorm';
import { createConnection } from 'typeorm';

async function main() {
const connection = await createConnection('connection2');

const serviceManager = new ServiceManager();
serviceManager.get(TypeORMStore).setConnection(connection);

const app = await createApp(AppController, { serviceManager });

// ...
}

RedisStore

npm install redis@3

index.ts

import { createApp, ServiceManager } from '@foal/core';
import { RedisStore } from '@foal/redis';
import { createClient } from 'redis';

async function main() {
const redisClient = createClient('redis://localhost:6379');

const serviceManager = new ServiceManager();
serviceManager.get(RedisStore).setRedisClient(redisClient);

const app = await createApp(AppController, { serviceManager });

// ...
}

MongoDBStore

npm install mongodb@3

index.ts

import { createApp, ServiceManager } from '@foal/core';
import { MongoDBStore } from '@foal/mongodb';
import { MongoClient } from 'mongodb';

async function main() {
const mongoDBClient = await MongoClient.connect('mongodb://localhost:27017/db', {
useNewUrlParser: true,
useUnifiedTopology: true
});

const serviceManager = new ServiceManager();
serviceManager.get(MongoDBStore).setMongoDBClient(mongoDBClient);

const app = await createApp(AppController, { serviceManager });

// ...
}

Support for AWS S3 Server-Side Encryption

A new configuration option can be provided to the S3Disk to support server-side encryption.

Example

settings:
aws:
accessKeyId: xxx
secretAccessKey: yyy
disk:
driver: '@foal/aws-s3'
s3:
bucket: 'uploaded'
serverSideEncryption: 'AES256'
{
"settings": {
"aws": {
"accessKeyId": "xxx",
"secretAccessKey": "yyy"
},
"disk": {
"driver": "@foal/aws-s3",
"s3": {
"bucket": "uploaded",
"serverSideEncryption": "AES256"
}
}
}
}
module.exports = {
settings: {
aws: {
accessKeyId: "xxx",
secretAccessKey: "yyy"
},
disk: {
driver: "@foal/aws-s3",
s3: {
bucket: "uploaded",
serverSideEncryption: "AES256"
}
}
}
}

Share this article on

Stay up to date with the newsletter.