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Advice on NATS, SignalR, and Socket.IO
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We are starting to work on a web-based platform aiming to connect artists (clients) and professional freelancers (service providers). In-app, timeline-based, real-time communication between users (& storing it), file transfers, and push notifications are essential core features. We are considering using Node.js, ExpressJS, React, MongoDB stack with Socket.IO & Apollo, or maybe using Real-Time Database and functionalities of Firebase.

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Replies (3)
Timothy Malstead
Junior Full Stack Developer at Freelance | 7 upvotes 路 270.9K views

I would recommend looking hard into Firebase for this project, especially if you do not have dedicated full-stack or backend members on your team.

The real time database, as you mentioned, is a great option, but I would also look into Firestore. Similar to RTDB, it adds more functions and some cool methods as well. Also, another great thing about Firebase is you have easy access to storage and dead simple auth as well.

Node.js Express MongoDB Socket.IO and Apollo are great technologies as well, and may be the better option if you do not wish to cede as much control to third parties in your application.

Overall, I say if you wish to focus more time developing your React application instead of other parts of your stack, Firebase is a great way to do that.

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Hello Noam 馃憢,

I suggest taking a look at Ably, it has all the realtime features you need and the platform is designed to guarantee critical functionality at scale.

Here is an in depth comparison between Ably and Firebase

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Hey Noam,

I would recommend you to take a look into 8base. It has features you've requested, also relation database and GraphQL API which will help you to develop rapidly.

Thanks, Ilya

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Pros of NATS
Pros of SignalR
Pros of Socket.IO
  • 20
    Fastest pub-sub system out there
  • 14
    Rock solid
  • 10
    Easy to grasp
  • 3
  • 3
    Easy, Fast, Secure
  • 1
    Robust Security Model
  • 26
    Supports .NET server
  • 17
  • 13
  • 13
    Fallback to SSE, forever frame, long polling
  • 12
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
    Open source
  • 4
    Ease of use
  • 4
  • 214
  • 143
    Event-based communication
  • 142
  • 102
    Open source
  • 102
  • 26
    Binary streaming
  • 22
    No internet dependency
  • 9
    Fallback to polling if WebSockets not supported
  • 8
    Large community
  • 5
    Ease of access and setup
  • 4
    Push notification

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of NATS
Cons of SignalR
Cons of Socket.IO
  • 1
    No Order
  • 1
    Persistence with Jetstream supported
  • 1
    No Persistence
  • 2
    Requires jQuery
  • 2
    Expertise hard to get
  • 1
    Weak iOS and Android support
  • 1
    Big differences between ASP.NET and Core versions
  • 11
    Bad documentation
  • 4
    Githubs that complement it are mostly deprecated
  • 3
    Doesn't work on React Native
  • 2
    Websocket Errors
  • 2
    Small community

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

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What is NATS?

Unlike traditional enterprise messaging systems, NATS has an always-on dial tone that does whatever it takes to remain available. This forms a great base for building modern, reliable, and scalable cloud and distributed systems.

What is SignalR?

SignalR allows bi-directional communication between server and client. Servers can now push content to connected clients instantly as it becomes available. SignalR supports Web Sockets, and falls back to other compatible techniques for older browsers. SignalR includes APIs for connection management (for instance, connect and disconnect events), grouping connections, and authorization.

What is Socket.IO?

It enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication. It works on every platform, browser or device, focusing equally on reliability and speed.

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Blog Posts

What are some alternatives to NATS, SignalR, and Socket.IO?
Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.
gRPC is a modern open source high performance RPC framework that can run in any environment. It can efficiently connect services in and across data centers with pluggable support for load balancing, tracing, health checking...
It was designed as an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport. It is useful for connections with remote locations where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is at a premium.
NSQ is a realtime distributed messaging platform designed to operate at scale, handling billions of messages per day. It promotes distributed and decentralized topologies without single points of failure, enabling fault tolerance and high availability coupled with a reliable message delivery guarantee. See features & guarantees.
RabbitMQ gives your applications a common platform to send and receive messages, and your messages a safe place to live until received.
See all alternatives