The MessageBroker WebSocket Subprotocol

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Last updated 2013-02-15 (latest revision 2012-08-14)
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The WebSocket protocol [I-D.ietf-hybi-thewebsocketprotocol] provides a subprotocol extension facility. The MessageBroker WebSocket Subprotocol (MBWS) is a WebSocket Subprotocol used by messaging clients to send messages to, and receive messages from an internet message broker (herein called a message broker). A message broker is a messaging intermediary that queues messages sent by its clients for asynchronous delivery to its clients. Messages are addressed to message-broker-specific address names. Clients send messages to addresses and consume messages from addresses. Clients do not send messages directly to other clients. Message brokers provide a range of functionality that is outside the scope of MBWS. Typically an internet message broker provides a REST API for working with this functionality; such as configuring client credentials; setting client access controls; configuring address routing; etc. MBWS limits its scope to the definition of a WebSocket subprotocol that provides a full duplex, reliable message transport protocol between message brokers and their clients; and, between message brokers. Since reliable message transport is often independent of a broker's particular features, MBWS can be used as the message transport protocol for a wide range of message brokers. The MBWS subprotocol defines a binary message frame and a text message frame. Both types of frame carry the same protocol; however, the protocol bindings differ slightly. The binary frame is a WebSocket binary message that contains an MBWS binary header followed by a binary message body. The text frame is a WebSocket UTF-8 text message that contains an MBWS text header followed by a text message body.


Mark Hapner (
Clebert Suconic (

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