3 min read
on Oct 29, 2014
Stream Controller enables developers to subscribe to thousands of channels on a single connection, while granting permissions at a group level.

PubNub Data Streams is a powerful tool for streaming data to any number of devices, anywhere on Earth. It just got a lot more powerful, as today we’re pleased to announce the release of Stream Controller for clustering data streams.

What is Stream Controller?

Stream Controller enables you to subscribe to thousands of channels on a single connection. You can now manage channel subscriptions centrally with additional security, enabling powerful new design patterns for data streams.

Our original Multiplexing feature still allows subscription to 50 data streams on a single connection with just a comma-separated list of channels.

With Channel Groups, you can cluster as many as 2,000 individual channels, allowing a device to subscribe to a Channel Group rather than the individual channels. Combining these Channel Groups with Simple Multiplexing, and you can group even more channels on a single connection.

This means that you can cluster up to 20,000 channels per subscribe, and grant permissions at a group level, rather than per channel. With single method calls, you can now add a group of channels to a single Channel Group quickly and easily.

Stream Controller gives you massive flexibility in how your data streams are distributed. The added dimension of grouping channels enables broader manipulations, as well as tighter control and security of your data over the network.

When Would You Use Stream Controller?

To put it simply, when you’re building an application that requires maintaining a large number of channels.

For example, a financial services company may create an app whereby their users can subscribe to industry-related stock updates in a single stream. For example, stocks may be grouped as Healthcare, Technology, and Energy categories. For each of these groupings, users of their app can simply subscribe to all Healthcare-related stocks (as defined by the financial services company) instead of individual stocks. Because the Channel Group is defined at the server-level, when a new healthcare stock comes on to the stock market, it can be automatically added to the group and the instantly available to the subscribed user.

Using Stream Controller

Users can now subscribe to up to 2,000 channels per channel group, 10 channel groups per subscribe. Management of these channel groups is done by a server component, and clients need to only supply the Channel Group ID during subscribe.

Stream Controller goes hand-in-hand with PubNub Access Manager. PAM permissions for Channel Groups can be defined at a sub-key level, a user (auth) level, or a combination of the two.

We recommend using Stream Controller whenever you need to separate the maintenance of Channel Groups from the action of publishing and subscribing to channels. It makes building apps that require many channels easier to organize, because app users can subscribe to a more dynamic grouping of multiple channels.

Easy to Use

Using Stream Controller makes maintaining a large number of channels easy. PubNub maintains state of the channels within the group. Additionally, authorization is seamless, as permissions can be granted at a group level rather than individual channel level.

Getting Started

First sign up for a free PubNub account. To get started with Stream Controller, enable the Stream Controller realtime service in the PubNub Developer portal. Check out our Stream Controller documentation to get going fast.

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