Friday, August 3, 2012

Lightstreamer 5.0 Colosseo is now available!

We are very thrilled to announce that the final release of Lightstreamer 5.0, codename Colosseo, is now generally available for download.

Lightstreamer 5.0 includes full support for WebSockets, a brand new JavaScript client API, impressive performance boost, and many new features.

WebSocket Support

The WebSocket protocol is a new Web standard that enables bidirectional, full-duplex communication over the Web. Lightstreamer 5.0 provides a rock-solid implementation of the WebSocket standard. Even if WebSockets are not yet universally supported by the browsers and the network infrastructure, the Stream-Sense algorithm of Lightstreamer is able to automatically choose the best transport among the many available (WS, HTTP Streaming, HTTP Long Polling, and their different flavors), for each connection. This means that real-time bidirectional communication will work smoothly in every case, even when connected via very invasive proxies and firewalls and when using older browsers (including IE 6). Among the many transports supported by Lightstreamer, there is even "polling over WebSockets"... Yes, it might sound odd, but there exist rare cases where you would prefer using polling rather than streaming even over WebSockets. For a historical perspective on Lightstreamer and WebSockets, see a previous article.

New JavaScript Client API

On the client side, a completely redesigned JavaScript API is available. The new library is much easier to use, much faster, and represents the first implementation of the Lightstreamer Unified Client API. The other client libraries will follow the same interface in the future, so that switching languages and platforms (e.g. from JavaScript to Objective-C, or from Java to .NET) will be extremely easy. The new JavaScript API, version 6, is based on AMD (Asynchronous Module Definition) and RequireJS, the de facto standard for modularization and loading of JS libraries. This implies that it is now possible to include only the objects that are actually used by your application, rather than having to include the full library. For this purpose, a generator tool is available for on-the-fly creation of custom versions of the JS library. As the resulting lib is a single file, you don’t need to include anymore a set of different JS and HTML resources as in previous versions of Lightstreamer.

There is now full support for cross-origin connections, so that in most cases you don’t have to use the same domain name for the Web server and the Lightstreamer server.

The new JS library has is compatible with "out-of-browser" JavaScript applications, resulting in the possibility of leveraging Lightstreamer inside any JavaScript-based platforms, including Node.js and PhoneGap. For example, you can now use the Lightstreamer JS API inside your Node.js application to get real-time data from Lightstreamer Server with few lines of code. Source-code examples for both Node.js and PhoneGap are included in the distribution.

The new Stream-Sense algorithm is much faster, with impressive performance boost on session start up. The connection to Lightstreamer Server will be established in a fraction of the time it took with previous versions.

A brand new logging and error management facility has been implemented in the library, as well as new ready-made widgets (a new status indicator and new data grids).

Among the other released features, we should mention the possibility of changing the max frequency of a subscription on the fly. In other words, you can subscribe to an item and change the resampling frequency without having to unsubscribe and resubscribe.

Improved Server

Even if Lightstreamer Server has a long history of successful production deployment, we keep improving the code, as this is the base of our philosophy.

With Lightstreamer Server 5.0 the performance has been boosted even more, in terms of increased scalability and reduced latency. Lightstreamer can be easily deployed in a cloud and take benefit from both horizontal and vertical scalability.

Many new features and improvements have been added, such as:
  • new support for TLS/SSL renegotiation
  • heartbeat randomization for bursty broadcast traffic
  • easier and more explicit error messages
  • new install scripts for Linux and better service support for Windows
  • automatic update check for new versions of Lightstreamer
  • new easier licenses (Lightstreamer Moderato comes with an embedded Free license, without requiring registration anymore; Lightstreamer Allegro/Presto/Vivace come with an embedded Demo license, again without requiring registration)
  • ...and much more!
Make sure you check out the detailed changelog to learn about all the changes to Lightstreamer Server and to the Client and Adapter APIs.

How to Get Lightstreamer 5.0 Colosseo

Just go the download page and choose the Lightstreamer edition to download (between Moderato and Allegro/Presto/Vivace). Then refer to the README.TXT and GETTING_STARTED.TXT notes to know how to install or upgrade the server. To use Lightstreamer Moderato, you don't need to get a license key anymore. Lightstreamer Allegro/Presto/Vivace runs in Demo mode without a license key, allowing a maximum of 20 concurrent users.

In the meantime, we keep working on new features! So expect more exciting releases soon.
(Photo courtesy of Antonio Pastorino)

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