SockJS is a Javascript library that provides a WebSocket-like object, allows you to create real-time, low-latency, full duplex and cross-domain communication. SockJS tries to use WebSocket in the background if the browser supports so the syntax is very similar to WebSocket object.

This post demonstrate a simple chat example using SockJS with NodeJS server. For other kinds of server, you can find it on the SockJS Github page

SockJS include 2 parts, client-side SockJS and server-side SockJS. You need both for your application to run properly.

Server-side SockJS

The SockJS server will listen for all connection on port 9999 (you can change to whatever you want). Every time a client send a chat message to the server, it will broadcast to all other clients.

Create a new folder sockjs-server for your SockJS server. Create a file name server.js. First, you need to load all the required dependencies. Add this to your server.js file.

// Required packages
var http = require('http');
var sockjs = require('sockjs');

You also need an object to hold a list of all connected clients

// Clients list
var clients = {};

This function is used to broadcast message to all clients

// Broadcast to all clients
function broadcast(message){
  // iterate through each client in clients object
  for (var client in clients){
    // send the message to that client

Create a sockjs server like this

// create sockjs server
var echo = sockjs.createServer();

// on new connection event
echo.on('connection', function(conn) {

  // add this client to clients object
  clients[] = conn;

  // on receive new data from client event
  conn.on('data', function(message) {

  // on connection close event
  conn.on('close', function() {
    delete clients[];

Create an http server and integrate sockjs inside that, listening on port 9999. The client will need to connect to http://localhost:9999/echo (as specifiec in the prefix configuration).

// Create an http server
var server = http.createServer();

// Integrate SockJS and listen on /echo
echo.installHandlers(server, {prefix:'/echo'});

// Start server
server.listen(9999, '');

You can download the file server.js from this link.

Open Terminal, change to sockjs-server folder and issue these commands to run the server

$ cd sockjs-server
$ npm install sockjs
$ node server.js
SockJS v0.3.9 bound to "/echo"

Client-side SockJS

Create another folder sockjs-client for client-side chat application. Make a new file index.html with the content like this

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8"/>
    <title>Sock chat</title>
    <textarea id="chat-content" style="width:500px;height:300px"></textarea><br/>
    <input type="text" id="username" placeholder="Choose username"/>
    <input type="text" id="message" placeholder="Enter chat message"/>
    <input type="button" value="Send" onclick="sendMessage()"/>

    <script src=""></script>
    <script src=""></script>
    <script src="index.js" ></script>

Create another index.js file for the JS code. First, you need to create a connection to http://localhost:9999/echo.

// Create a connection to http://localhost:9999/echo
var sock = new SockJS('http://localhost:9999/echo');

// Open the connection
sock.onopen = function() {

// On connection close
sock.onclose = function() {

When receive message from the server, show it in the textarea

// On receive message from server
sock.onmessage = function(e) {
  // Get the content
  var content = JSON.parse(;

  // Append the text to text area (using jQuery)
  $('#chat-content').val(function(i, text){
    return text + 'User ' + content.username + ': ' + content.message + '\n';

This function is for handling Send button click event

// Function for sending the message to server
function sendMessage(){
  // Get the content from the textbox
  var message = $('#message').val();
  var username = $('#username').val();

  // The object to send
  var send = {
    message: message,
    username: username

  // Send it now

These are the link for index.html and index.js.

To run the chat application, simply open index.html file in 2 browser windows, enter the username, chat message and then click Send button.

Demo Image

SockJS chat