Websockets for event-driven Laravel apps.

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Language: PHP

v1.0.0 2013-10-31 19:36 UTC


NOTE: BrainSocket is ideal for heavier front-end development (think single page javascript apps etc). We are currently working on integrating PUSH notifications into the next release.

WebSockets for realtime event-driven Laravel apps.

This Laravel 4 package provides an Artisan command to setup and run a WebSocket server with Ratchet inside of a Laravel app.

Lets begin by installing this package through Composer. Edit your Laravel project's composer.json file and add the require brainboxlabs/brain-socket:

    "require": {
        "brainboxlabs/brain-socket": "v1.0.0"

Note: make sure and check for updated dependencies but the list above is what has been tested at the time of this writing.

Once the package and all of its dependencies have been installed we need to add the BrainSocketServiceProvider to our app/config/app.php file.

Add this line:

'providers' => array(

to the end of the providers array in the config file.

There is also an optional but recommended Facade you should add to the aliases array in the app/config/app.php file.

'aliases' => array(
    'BrainSocket'     => 'BrainSocket\BrainSocketFacade',

Next open terminal and cd into your Laravel project directory.

run php artisan list and confirm you see the brainsocket: command in the list of commands. It should look like this:

Available commands:

Once you have confirmed the list, run the following command to start the WebSocket server:

php artisan brainsocket:start

Note: The websocket server runs on port 8080 by default. You can change this with the optional --port=port_number on the end of the artisan command.

php artisan brainsocket:start --port=8081

At this point you should see a message in the terminal saying the websocket has been started on the selected port. Terminal will be locked down / unusable at this point, to stop the WebSocket server hit ctrl+c in the terminal.

Note: Any changes to your laravel app / code while the ws server is running are not taken into account. You need to restart the ws server to see any of your changes.

Lets stop the ws server now by hitting ctrl+c in the terminal.

Next in your app/ folder create a file called events.php

Lets add the following code to events.php:

    return BrainSocket::message('generic.event',array('message'=>'A message from a generic event fired in Laravel!'));

    return BrainSocket::success(array('There was a Laravel App Success Event!'));

    return BrainSocket::error(array('There was a Laravel App Error!'));

Note: The $client_data parameter passed into the event listener is a POPO (Plain Old PHP Object) with all of the data passed from the client side.

Note: The app.success and app.error events are not required but are helper events for dealing with flash messaging.

Now in app/start/global.php add the following line at the end of the file:

require app_path().'/filters.php';
require app_path().'/events.php';

Great! Now we have a few events to test out on the client side. Run the artisan command php artisan brainsocket:start to start the ws server again.

To make things easier we have created a simple js helper that allows us to interact with our new ws server a bit easier. It's not required but it handles some minor formatting tasks in the background so you don't have to and pairs nicely with our BrainSocket Facade.

Head over to to grab it.