Briefing: LightStreamer

Milan, Italy
+39 02 66732 224

Push technology isn't dead, it just went into retreat for a while. But these days, there's a certain attraction to a low-tech browser-based solution for streaming information without ActiveX or Java, so as to avoid security issues. Lightstreamer is one such solution.

Architecturally, Lightstreamer consists of a server that manages the client stream together with plugins for data retrieval. It supports a wide variety of data sources, including traditional databases (via triggers), and message oriented middleware. The server monitors bandwidth and client usage, and makes sure nothing is getting saturated; it can also handle multiple connections on both the front and back ends (and you can cluster servers if you need even more horsepower).

Lightstreamer lets the server update the client page on a cell-by-cell level. It uses HTML, JavaScript, the DOM, and CSS to do so. Browser compatibility is broad: IE 4+, Netscape 4+, Opera 7+, and Mozilla are all supported.

If you want to know more, the company's Web site includes a demo with simulated stock trading information, which is quite snappy on my lousy rural connection. There's also a contact form that you can use to enquire for pricing information.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.


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