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MQTT Over WebSockets with JavaScript and ActiveMQ

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MQTT Over WebSockets with JavaScript and ActiveMQ

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After reading up a bit about MQTT, I decided to set up a test bed to see how it works and if it lives up to its potential. The use case was simple: I wanted to build a multi-user chat system that would use MQTT over WebSockets connected directly to an Apache ActiveMQ server.

First off, I fired up an EC2 instance with Ubuntu-13.04 and tried to apt-get ActiveMQ. It turns out, however, to use MQTT over WebSockets, you need version 5.9 of ActiveMQ, so I pulled a snapshot version of ActiveMQ. Enabling MQTT over websockets is a snap. You simply add the following configuration to your activemq.xml:

<transportConnector name="mqtt+ws" uri="ws://"/>

Next, download the Eclipse Paho MQTT client and create a web page to send traffic back and forth.

One last thing I did was install Apache HTTP on the same server as the ActiveMQ instance. I did this to avoid any potential problems with same origin policies.

At this point, I create a page that uses the MQTT client, and I can publish and subscribe to messages that will get pushed to the browser in real-time. My example is posted below (note, the AWS instance in the connect string is no longer valid, so you need to use your own server):

        <title>MQTT over websockets</title>
        <style type="text/css">
            #status {
                padding: 5px;
                display: inline-block;
            label, .label {
                display: inline-block;
                width: 100px;
            li {
                list-style: none;

                background: #fff;
                margin: 2px;
            ul {
                background: #eef;
            .disconnected {
                background-color: #f88;
            input {
                width: 400px;
            .connected {
                background-color: #8f8;

            #messagelist {
                width: 600px;
                height: 200px;
                overflow-y: scroll;
        <h1>Super simple chat</h1>
        <span class='label'>Status</span> <div id="status" class="disconnected">Pending</div>
        <form id='mainform' action="#">
            <label for="name">Name</label>
            <input id="name" name="name" type="text" width="40" value="anonymous"/> <br/>
            <label for="message">Message</label>
            <input id="message" name="message" type="text" width="200"/>
            <input id="submit" type="submit" value="go"/>

        <div id="messages"><ul id="messagelist">


    <script src="./mqttws31.js"></script>
    <script src="./jquery-1.10.2.js"></script>
    $(document).ready(function() {
        function doSubscribe() {


            var messageinput = $('#message');
            message = new Messaging.Message(messageinput.val());
            message.destinationName = "/can/"+$('#name').val();
            return false;

        function doDisconnect() {

        // Web Messaging API callbacks
        var onSuccess = function(value) {

        var onConnect = function(frame) {
            //var form = document.getElementById("example");
            //form.connected.checked= true;
        var onFailure = function(error) {

        function onConnectionLost(responseObject) {
            //var form = document.getElementById("example");
            //form.connected.checked= false;
            //if (responseObject.errorCode !== 0)

        function onMessageArrived(message) {
            $('#messagelist').prepend('<li>'+message.destinationName+ '->' +message.payloadString+'</li>');
            //var form = document.getElementById("example");
            //form.receiveMsg.value = message.payloadString;

        var client;
        var r = Math.round(Math.random()*Math.pow(10,5));
        var d = new Date().getTime();
        var cid = r.toString() + "-" + d.toString()

        client = new Messaging.Client("ec2-54-242-185-231.compute-1.amazonaws.com", 1884, cid );
        client.onConnect = onConnect;
        client.onMessageArrived = onMessageArrived;
        client.onConnectionLost = onConnectionLost;
        client.connect({onSuccess: onConnect, onFailure: onFailure});



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