Socket.IO – How to use Socket.IO in React using Node.js – Part 1

Sometimes developers get confused about the implementation of the Socket.IO. In many of the cases, developers know the definition but they are struggling with the implementation. So Today we decided to give you a brief explanation of the socket integration and show you how to use Socket.IO in React using Node.js.

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What is Socket.IO

Socket.IO is the popular javascript library which helps us to create a real time web application. With the help of it, we can manage the real time bi-directional communication between two applications. In other words, we can establish the real time communication between web clients and servers using Socket.IO.

We planned to divide this article into three parts.

In this article, we’ll discuss the implementation flow only.

Implementation Flow

To create a socket application, we have to implement the socket in both server and client applications. From one end we’ll emit the message and at the other end we’ll listen to the message to display on the screen.

In this example, we’ll establish the socket connection and receive the random string from the server via socket. Also provide the button to connect/disconnect the socket connection.

Divide the whole application in two parts

  1. Node.js Application (Backend)
  2. ReactJS Application (Frontend)

1. Node.js Application (Backend)

At the backend side we have to work on the below points.

  • Create a server using express – We’ll create a server in Node.js using express framework.
  • Install dependency of Socket – To implement socket in Node.js, we have to install socket.io npm package. In our example, It’ll help us to connect the react application.
  • Create an event for client subscription – We have to create an event which will be used in react application to subscribe to the function.
  • Emit the message after subscription – After successful subscription, we have to emit the message to the other end.

2. ReactJS Application (Frontend)

Follow below points to create the socket application at frontend side in React JS.

  • Setup react application – First we’ll setup the react application using create-react-app.
  • Install socket dependency – To work with socket, we need to install socket.io-client npm package in react application.
  • Subscribe to the socket event – On successful socket connection, we need to subscribe to the socket event to listen to the message. We have to emit an event to subscribe and then listen to the message.
  • Handle the response message coming via socket – Once we subscribe to the event, immediately we’ll start listening and read the message coming via socket to display on screen.

That’s it for today.

In the next article, We’ll implement socket in node.js and then implement the socket in react application.

Thank you for reading. Happy Coding!

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