GoGo V4 Mobile Push Gateway Tutorial for Realtime Apps

 

These docs are for PubNub 4.0 for Go which is our latest and greatest! For the docs of the older versions of the SDK, please check PubNub 3.0 for Go.

If you have questions about the PubNub for Go SDK, please contact us at support@pubnub.com.

 
Requires that the Push Notifications add-on is enabled for your key. How do I enable add-on features for my keys? - see https://support.pubnub.com/hc/en-us/articles/360051974791-How-do-I-enable-add-on-features-for-my-keys-

PubNub's Mobile Push Gateway feature enables developers to bridge native PubNub publishing with 3rd-party push notification services including Google Android GCM (Google Cloud Messaging)/FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging) and Apple iOS APNS (Apple Push Notification Service). The Mobile Push Gateway is a great way to make sure that you can send important data and messages out to users even when they are not active in your mobile application.

By using the Mobile Push Gateway, developers can eliminate the need for developing, configuring, and maintaining additional server-side components for 3rd-party push notification providers.

For mission critical messaging, PubNub recommends implementing PubNub native messaging functionality. PubNub native messaging is a low-latency, bi-directional notification solution that can be delivered to any mobile device, secure, access restricted, and encrypted message payloads of up to 32KB, and the ability to recover missed messages with Storage & Playback (history) APIs.

Despite the advantages of the native PubNub approach, there are cases where a developer may choose to utilize a 3rd-party notification system, for example, when migrating existing applications already utilizing 3rd-party notification systems to PubNub native messaging. On iOS, Android, and Windows applications where running in the background is not an option, the Mobile Push Gateway provides a method to send messages quickly and reliably via PubNub whether or not the application is in the foreground or background.

Native PubNub Publish and Subscribe operation dictates that when a message is published by a client on a specific channel, all clients subscribing to that channel will receive that message.

When the Mobile Push Gateway is enabled, you may associate unique mobile devices (via their device push tokens) with PubNub channel names.  Once this association is made, when a message is published to a channel that has been associated with an GCM/FCM or APNS device, all associated GCM/FCM or APNS devices will receive that message via their associated (GCM/FCM, APNS) native service.

Behind the scenes, the PubNub Mobile Push Gateway establishes an authenticated connection to GCM/FCM or APNS service providers based on your registered configuration.

Device Connected
[currently subscribed]
Device Token/ID
Registered to Channel
Device Token/ID
Not Registered to Channel
App in ForegroundApp in BackgroundApp in ForegroundApp in Background
  • Receive Publish Directly
  • Push Notification Sent
  • Receive Push Notification
    Content [no UI notification]
[Android Only]
  • Receive Publish Directly
  • Push Notification Sent
  • Push Notification Received
    [with UI Notification]

[iOS]
  • Publish Not Received*
  • Push Notification Sent
  • Push Notification Received
    [with UI Notification]
  • Receive Publish Directly
  • No Push Notification sent for this device
[Android Only]
  • Receive Publish Directly if subscribed in background
  • No Push Notification sent for this device

[iOS]
  • Publish Not Received
  • No Push Notification sent for this device
Device Disconnected
[not currently subscribed]
Device Token/ID
Registered to Channel
Device Token/ID
Not Registered to Channel
App in ForegroundApp in BackgroundApp in ForegroundApp in Background
  • Publish Not Received
  • Push Notification Sent
  • Receive Push Notification
    Content [no UI notification]
  • Publish Not Received
  • Push Notification Sent
  • Push Notification Received
    [with UI Notification]
  • Publish Not Received
  • No Push Notification sent for this device
  • Publish Not Received
  • No Push Notification sent for this device

* If the app has background permissions the realtime messages will be received and push notifications may not be necessary unless the app is not running at all. For this, developers should actually mute the push notification within didReceiveRemoteNotification delegate instead of muting the realtime message from PubNub.

 

FCM is just a rebranding of GCM and there is no function difference to handle it in PubNub. The PubNub server's still expect a pn_gcm as part of the payload.

Please check this link to migrate an existing GCM client app on Android to Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM).

Before you can use PubNub Mobile Push Gateway with GCM/FCM, you must first setup your GCM/FCM configuration.
  1. Create a Firebase Project - https://console.firebase.google.com
  2. Click Add Firebase to your Android app and follow the steps there
  3. Go to Project settings (Click the gear icon at the top left, next to Project overview)
  4. Click the Cloud messaging tab and find the Server key there
  5. Once you've obtained the API Key, login to the Admin Portal, and scroll down to Push Notifications → Google Cloud Messaging and click on Add to add your API Key.
https://firebase.google.com/docs/cloud-messaging/server provides general information about the Google-side of this process.

NOTE: This section of the documentation is included for APNS Certificate legacy use only. While PubNub continues to support legacy certificate configurations, all new APNS use must be token based. See below "Push APNS HTTP/2 support" section.

Follow this for valid APNS provisioning on iOS as of iOS 9 and Xcode 7

  1. Open Keychain Access on your Mac.

  2. In top bar of Finder, select Keychain Access > Certificate Assistant > Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority.

    Certificate Authority

  3. Fill in your email address and name on the following screen. Make sure to leave the CA email address blank and select Saved to disk.

    Certificate Information

  4. Click continue and save to desktop

    Certificate Assistant

  5. First open your Xcode project and navigate to general settings and build information for your project. Click on Capabilities

    General Settings

  6. Toggle the switch for Push Notifications to On

    Switch for Push Notifications

  7. Now we need to add your Push Certificate to your Apple Developer Account on the Developer Portal. Go to this address: https://developer.apple.com/account/

  8. On the left, under Identifiers, click on App IDs. Then select your app, which should be prepended with something along the lines of Xcode iOS App ID [bundle identifier]. Open this and click Edit at the bottom

    Bundle Identifier

     

    Bundle Identifier ID

  9. Now scroll down and make sure to select the box for Push Notifications and click Create Certificate...

    Create Certificate

  10. The next page brings up a dialog explaining the earlier steps in this tutorial, which we already completed. Click Continue

    Add iOS Certificate

  11. Now upload the certificate you saved to your desktop in Step 4

    Upload CSR File

  12. Your screen should look like this. Click Generate to move on

    Generate Certificate

  13. Now click Download to get that newly created certificate

    Download Certificate

  14. Open the newly downloaded certificate in Keychain Access. It should open in this program automatically if you double click it to open.

  15. Export the certificate (click on My Certificates in the left side bar of Keychain Access). Then right click on the certificate matching the name of your app, and click on Export.

    Keychain Access

  16. Save to desktop as my_cert.p12 (must be in .p12 format)

    Save to Desktop

  17. Now convert the certificate to my_cert.pem in preparation for uploading to PubNub with the following command:

    
          openssl pkcs12 -in my_cert.p12 -out my_cert.pem -nodes -clcerts
          
  18. Verify the cert was created correctly by running one of the following commands (depending on whether you are working with a development or production certificate):

    
          # For Development Certs
          openssl s_client -connect
            gateway.sandbox.push.apple.com:2195 -cert
            my_cert.pem -key my_cert.pem
    
          # For Production Certs
          openssl s_client -connect gateway.push.apple.com:2195
            -cert my_cert.pem -key my_cert.pem
  19. Upload the valid certificate to PubNub via https://admin.pubnub.com. Select your App on the Apps screen.

    Uploading Certificate

  20. Select your keys from the next screen.

  21. In the key options screen, upload my_cert.pem (make sure to select whether it is Development or Production). Note it is best practices to use a different set of PubNub keys for Production and Development.

    Mobile Push Portal

Visit Apple APNS docs to learn more about APNS and how it works.
For specific information on how to pull GCM/FCM and APNs IDs, as well as how to configure your devices to receive Mobile Gateway Messages, please see our detailed Android, Objective-C, Swift, and .NET Mobile Gateway guides.
 
These examples show how to provision GCM/FCM devices using the push type PNPushTypeGCM. To provision APNS devices use the push type PNPushTypeAPNS.
AddPushNotificationsOnChannels and its variant methods associate a channel to a registration token.
pn.AddPushNotificationsOnChannels().
		Channels([]string{"ch1"}).
		DeviceIDForPush("device_id").
		PushType(pubnub.PNPushTypeGCM).
		Execute()
RemovePushNotificationsFromChannels and its variant methods associate a channel to a registration token.
pn.RemovePushNotificationsFromChannels().
		Channels([]string{"ch"}).
		DeviceIDForPush("device_id").
		PushType(pubnub.PNPushTypeGCM).
		Execute()
ListPushProvisions lists channels registered to device token.
pn.ListPushProvisions().
		DeviceIDForPush("device_id").
		PushType(pubnub.PNPushTypeGCM).
		Execute()
The equivalent method calls are also available via our Android, Objective-C, Swift, and .NET Mobile Gateway guides.
PubNub SDKs natively support associating device/registration tokens to channel names. To achieve this, they use a REST wrapper to add, remove, and list device registration IDs by channel.
 

Apple Push Notification Service (APNs) HTTP/2 REST API Resources

NOTE: Certificate-based APNS usage is managed using the REST API resources documented in the "Provisioning devices with channel names - REST Request" section below. This section documents token-based APNs usage.

Provisioning devices with channel names - REST Request

http://ps.pndsn.com/v2/push/sub-key/<SUB_KEY>/devices-apns2/<REG_ID>?<OPERATION>=<CHANNEL_LIST>&environment=<ENVIRONMENT>&topic=<TOPIC>
ParameterTypeRequiredDescription
OPERATION AND CHANNEL_LIST
OPERATION is one of addlist or removeCHANNEL_LIST is a comma separated string of channels.
Optional
If not specified, defaults to the the list operation.
SUB_KEY
String
Yes
This is your PN API SubscribeKey.
REG_ID
String
Yes
The device registraton ID.
ENVIRONMENT
ENVIRONMENT is one of development or production.
Yes
Denotes the environment of the mobile application
TOPICStringYesDenotes the Bundle ID of the mobile application
http://ps.pndsn.com/v2/push/sub-key/<SUB_KEY>/devices-apns2/<REG_ID>/remove?environment=<ENVIRONMENT>&topic=<TOPIC>
ParameterTypeRequiredDescription
SUB_KEY
String
Yes
This is your PN API SubscribeKey.
REG_ID
String
Yes
The device registraton ID.
ENVIRONMENT
ENVIRONMENT is one of development or production.
Yes
Denotes the environment of the mobile application
TOPICStringYesDenotes the Bundle ID of the mobile application
The following serves as a REST request reference for adding, removing, and listing associated devices and channels. Whenever possible, use the native method call available in the SDK, instead of manually issuing the REST call.

http://ps.pndsn.com/v1/push/sub-key/<SUB_KEY>/devices/<REG_ID>?<OPERATION>=<CHANNEL_LIST>&type=<TYPE>
ParameterTypeRequiredDescription
OPERATION AND CHANNEL_LIST
OPERATION is one of add, list or remove. CHANNEL_LIST is a comma separated string of channels.
Optional
If not specified, defaults to the the list operation.
SUB_KEY
String
Yes
This is your PN API SubscribeKey.
REG_ID
string
Yes
The device registraton ID.
TYPE
TYPE is one of gcm or apns.
Optional
If no type specified, server will default to apns (for backwards compatibility)


[1, "Modified Channels"]
  • On success returns a 200 JSON Array of [1, "Modified Channels"].
  • On error returns 403 for PAM errors. Any status code other than 200 or 403 should be handled as fatal and retried at your discretion.

http://ps.pndsn.com/v1/push/sub-key/demo/devices/ALICE?type=gcm | apns &add=myCH

http://ps.pndsn.com/v1/push/sub-key/demo/devices/ALICE?type=gcm | apns &add=news,sports

http://ps.pndsn.com/v1/push/sub-key/demo/devices/ALICE?type=gcm | apns 

http://ps.pndsn.com/v1/push/sub-key/demo/devices/ALICE?type=gcm | apns &remove=myCH

http://ps.pndsn.com/v1/push/sub-key/demo/devices/ALICE/remove?type=gcm | apns 
Using a stock trading app use-case as an example, you may wish to send this stock alert to your users:

	{
		"name": "Fitchwitz Technology",
		"snapshot": {
			"last": 40.52,
			"volume": "3495345",
			"change": ["+4.02","+7.45%"]
		},
		"ticker": {
			"newsflash": [
				"Fitchwitz antivirals in the total number of shares being sold in the public offering have exercised in full.",
				"The offering price of all their option to purchase an additional zillion shares of its common stock is sweet.",
				"Offering is expected to occur today announced public offering when 100 shares went byebye."
			],
			"url": "http://FitchwitzTech.com/fooz"
		}
	}
This message is received, in its entirety, to all native PubNub client subscribers.
To make it properly formatted for receipt via GCM/FCM, we must add a pn_gcm.data attribute to it, like so:

{
    "name": "Fitchwitz Technology",
    "pn_gcm": {
        "data": {
            "title_for_mobile": "Fitchwitz Technology",
            "summary_for_mobile": [ "Fitchwitz antivirals... more info at http://FitchwitzTech.com/fooz" ]
        }
    },
    "snapshot": {
        "last": 40.52,
        "volume": "3495345",
        "change": ["+4.02","+7.45%"]
    },
    "ticker": {
        "newsflash": [
            "Fitchwitz antivirals in the total number of shares being sold in the public offering have exercised in full.",
            "The offering price of all their option to purchase an additional zillion shares of its common stock is sweet.",
            "Offering is expected to occur today announced public offering the offering when 100 shares went byebye."
        ],
        "url": "http://FitchwitzTech.com/fooz"
    }
}
 
pn_gcm.data must contain a dictionary of keys and values. pn_gcm.data cannot be a string, int, or array.

Tokens

Sending push notifications involves use of the publish API coupled with specific data passed into that API call as part of the message payload. APNS 2 Push data, containing both configuration data used for connecting and sending data as well as the actual notification data sent to the target devices, is set in the pn_apns property of the publish message payload. This property contains the following data:

PropertyDescriptionRequired?
apsSet of keys possible to be passed in based on Apple documentation, here. This represents the actual push notification.Yes
pn_pushArray of PubNub push configurations. Intended for supporting migration from APNS 1 to APNS 2 as well as future functionality. Most implementations will have a single pn_push object in this arrayYes
{arbitrary properties}Developer-chosen properties that are desired to be past to the target device application but not part of the actual Push notification displayed.No

Each pn_push configuration contains the following data:

PropertyDescriptionRequired?
collapse_idoptional apns collapse id, defined here.No
expirationoptional expiration time in RFC 3339 format, defined here.No
targetsArray of target applications to which the push notification will be sent. Properties defined below.Yes
versionMust be supplied as "v2".Yes

Each target object contains the following data:

Notopic
PropertyDescriptionRequired?
environmentEither development or production.Yes
excluded_devicesArray of device ids, passed as strings 
topicBundle ID for the application.Yes

For each target object, if the topic is not provided, the push notificiation will faill with a 400 status code, {"reason":"MissingTopic"} response from APNS.

For each target object, if the topic is not valid, the push notificiation will faill with a 400 status code, {"reason":"TopicDisallowed"} response from APNS.

Examples

Basic

{
        "pn_apns": {
             "aps": {
                  "alert": "hello world"
            },
            "pn_push": [
                {
                    "targets": [
                        {
                            "environment": "production",
                            "topic": "BUNDLE_ID_FOR_APP_1"
                        }
                    ],
                    "version": "v2"
                }
            ]
        }
    } 
    

Advanced

{
      "pn_apns": {
          "aps": {
              "alert": "hello world"
          },
          "pn_push": [
              {
                "collapse_id": "1312414asdaqr124",
                "expiration": "2020-01-01 00:00:00.00Z",
                  "targets": [
                      {
                          "environment": "production",
                          "topic": "BUNDLE_ID_FOR_APP_1"
                      },
                      {
                        "environment": "production",
                        "topic": "BUNDLE_ID_FOR_APP_2"
                    }
                  ],
                  "version": "v2"
              }
          ],
          "custom_data_a": "important_string",
          "custom_data_a": {
            "important_string": true
          }
      }
  }
  
 
PubNub will support both Regular and VOIP push notifications using one PubNub key set (pub/sub keys) with a single Push Token File, however, you each device must register for for each push type on separate channels.

For example, a device will obtain two different push tokens, one for each push type (Regular and VOIP). The device will then use the Regular push token to register for Regular push notifications on channel "abc" and use the VOIP push token to register VOIP push notifications on channel "abc_voip" (channel naming standards are up to you).

The device can register on multiple channels for each type, but they must be all of one type or the other. You may not register for push on the same channel for both push types. The reason is that when PubNub forward the push notification request onto APNS for a message published to a given channel, Apple will not permit the same message to be sent to two different push types (two different push token types).

Furthermore, you should not attempt to send the same message to both channels with the objective of sending the the same message as both Regular and VOIP push types.

Certificates

To make it properly formatted for receipt via APNS, we must add a pn_apns attribute to it, like so:

{
	"name" : "Fitchwitz Technology",
	"pn_apns" : {
		"aps" : {
			"alert" : "Fitchwitz Technology",
            "badge": 2,
            "summary_for_mobile": "Fitchwitz antivirals... more info at http://FitchwitzTech.com/fooz"
        }
    },
    "snapshot" : {
        "last" : 40.52,
        "volume" : "3495345",
        "change" : ["+4.02","+7.45%"]
    },
    "ticker" : {
        "newsflash" : [
	        "Fitchwitz antivirals in the total number of shares being sold in the public offering have exercised in full.",
	        "The offering price of all their option to purchase an additional zillion shares of its common stock is sweet.",
	        "Offering is expected to occur today announced public offering the offering when 100 shares went byebye."
        ],
        "url" : "http://FitchwitzTech.com/fooz"
    }
}
 
pn_apns must contain a dictionary of valid keys and values. pn_apns must begin with a sole aps child key, and cannot be a string, int, or array. For more info on proper formatting of your pn_apns payload, see Apple's reference.
After making these modifications to our message payload, upon publishing, this message will still be received in its entirety by all native PubNub client subscribers (including any pn_gcm and pn_apns contents), however, any devices registered to receive messages on the published channel via GCM/FCM and APNs will only receive the content contained within pn_gcm or pn_apns, respectively.
The following examples show how to publish to GCM/FCM and APNS devices with the PubNub Go V4 client:
 Always set the UUID to uniquely identify the user or device that connects to PubNub. This UUID should be persisted, and should remain unchanged for the lifetime of the user or the device. Not setting the UUID can significantly impact your billing if your account uses the Monthly Active Users (MAUs) based pricing model, and can also lead to unexpected behavior if you have Presence enabled.
msg := map[string]interface{}{
        "pn_apns":"<apple payload>",
        "pn_gcm", "<google payload>",
    }

response, status, err := pn.Publish().
        Channel("my_channel").Message(msg).Execute()

if err != nil {
    // Request processing failed.
    // Handle message publish error
}
 
fmt.Println(response, status, err)
The JSON message published by the above looks would be:
{
    "pn_apns": {
        "aps" : {
            "alert": "hi",
            "badge": 2,
            "sound": "melody"
        },
        "c" : "3"
    },
    "pn_gcm": {
        "data" : {
            "a" : "1"
        }
    },
    "b" : "2"
}
payload := map[string]interface{}{
        "pn_apns": map[string]interface{}{
            "aps": map[string]interface{}{
                "alert": "hi",
                "badge": 2,
                "sound": "melody",
            },
    },
    "pn_gcm": map[string]interface{}{
        "c": "1",
        },
        "b": "2",
}
response, status, err := pn.Publish().
    Channel("my_channel").Message(payload).Execute()

if err != nil {
    // Request processing failed.
    // Handle message publish error
}
fmt.Println(response, status, err)
Publishing using the above referenced dictionary structure, or via the literal JSON snippet, both have the same effect.

If you are interested in sending unique messages on a per-Mobile Gateway type in a single publish, just include all or some additional endpoint key (pn_apns, pn_gcm ) in your message.

Native PubNub devices will receive the ENTIRE message payload, but 3rd-Party endpoints by type will only receive the data encapsulated in their associated endpoint key.

In the below example:

  • Associated APNS devices will receive only the data within the pn_apns key.
  • Associated GCM/FCM devices will receive only the data within the pn_gcm key.
  • Native PubNub subscribers will receive the entire object literal, including the pn_apns, pn_gcm, and full_gamekeys.

    {
        "pn_apns" : {
            "aps" : {
                "alert" : "Game update 49ers touchdown",
                "badge" : 2
            },
            "teams" : ["49ers", "raiders"],
            "score" : [7, 0]
        },
        "pn_gcm": {
            "data" : {
                "summary" : "Game update 49ers touchdown",
                "teams" : ["49ers", "raiders"],
                "score" : [7, 0],
                "lastplay" : "5yd run up the middle"
            }
        },
        "full_game" : {
            "date" : "2014.05.20",
            "foobar" : "Data that is not pertinent to devices"
        }
    }

For any given published message, you may include any combination of pn_* and non-pn_* keys and data.

Yes, you can set an expiration time when publishing a push notification via APNS. Timeouts are measured in seconds (default is 3600, or 1 hour) and are set via the top level key of pn_ttl. For example, to set the timeout to 60 seconds (1 minute):


    {
        "pn_apns" : {
            "aps" : {
                "alert" : "You got mail."
            }
        },
        "pn_ttl" : 60
    }

Note that Apple will only queue a single message per device/app. For example, if you send 10 push notifications to a device that's powered off, then all notifications besides the last one are discarded, regardless of TTL.

Sometimes it is desirable to exclude a device from a group push notification. For example if a user has multiple devices registered to same channel and wants to send a group push notification he/she may want to not receive the same push on own devices. We support the pn_exceptions parameter in the payload to handle this. The pn_exceptions parameter accepts "device push tokens" (the same token used to register the device for push messages).


    {
        "pn_apns" : {
            "aps" : {
                "alert" : {
                    "body" : "hello"
                }
            },
            "pn_exceptions" : [
                "da284603e1e96ac453541cd1942659808a69c09fb1dbb2e3c11aba6cdcaec642"
            ]
        }
    }

    {
        "pn_apns" : {
            "aps" : {
                "alert" : {
                    "body" : "hello"
                }
            },
            "pn_exceptions" : [
                "5821e49019f3554872c3897dd800367bf803aa28871699b0e5960fba203446e9",
                "da284603e1e96ac453541cd1942659808a69c09fb1dbb2e3c11aba6cdcaec642"
            ]
        }
    }

    {
        "pn_gcm" : {
            "alert" : "hello",
            "pn_exceptions" : [
                "2643d955c7f2506e55f225b56da7eb8676cced80de93df51aad7569ee833b92f"
            ]
        }
    }
Inform customers of unregistered/inactive push devices via a webhook (similar to presence webhooks).
The following events will trigger the webhook. All errors should trigger immediately after a push (except for feedback which can happen after 5 minutes of a push).
  • Feedback -­ Apple feedback service ­- PubNub push server polls the feedback server after 5 minutes of a push to get list of inactive/uninstalled devices.
  • Remove - Invalid token error -­ Usually indicates when a sandbox token is used in production or vice versa.
  • Update -­ Canonical ID -­ The device has multiple tokens (old and new), replace the old token with new token.
  • Remove - NotRegistered - App was uninstalled or no longer configured for push notifications.

	HTTP POST
	Content­Type: application/json
	{
		"sub_key" : <sub­key>,
		"action" : <action contains extra details about how the device was removed ­ see events section>
		"device" : <device token>,
		"platform" : "apns|gcm",
		"timestamp" : <unix timestamp (utc) when the device was removed>
	}
An APNS device was uninstalled from feedback.

	{
		"sub_key" : "sub­c­e0d8405a­b823­11e2­89ba­02ee2ddab7fe",
		"action" : "feedback",
		"device" :"904181a3fc8bfaf95cc40551d81b5b8d0bd1d42c38b1e496648132a555325e8c",
		"platform" : "apns",
		"timestamp" : 1444241230
	}
A GCM/FCM device was updated from old token APA91bEgK4D to new token ta28zYhV.

	{
		"sub_key" : "sub­c­4745b1e4­19ba­11e4­bbbf­02ee2ddab7fe",
		"action" : "update",
		"old_device": "APA91bEgK4D"
		"device" : "ta28zYhV"
		"platform" : "gcm",
		"timestamp" : 1441230130
	}
 
If a device has been registered to receive Mobile Push Gateway messages via GCM/FCM or APNs, and is also running a native PubNub Android, iOS, or Windows client SDK, and is natively subscribed to the same associated channel via the native PubNub client SDK, it will receive the message twice -- once via the Mobile Push Gateway, and once via the native PubNub client SDK. You will need to manually add logic to de-duplicate in this case.

If you are experiencing issues publishing to devices via the PubNub Mobile Gateway, the following are debug techniques that may help narrow down the issue. Each of them circumvents PubNub's Mobile Push Gateway logic to ensure that your device push tokens, applications, and registration/certificates are configured correctly.

If the following scripts are not working for you, then PubNub isn't a variable in the cause of the issue -- successful results with the below scripts script is a pre-requisite for PubNub Mobile Gatway logic to work.  Regardless if its a PubNub issue or not, we're always happy to help!  By getting us the results of the following tests when opening a support ticket, it may save a lot time isolating the root cause of your issue.

Use this script to publish a message to APNS, completely circumventing PubNub infrastructure. It requires an APNS certificate and an iOS device token.

Use the following curl command to publish a message to GCM/FCM, completely circumventing PubNub infrastructure. It requires a registration ID. Taken from Google's GCM/FCM page.


    curl --header "Authorization: key=<API_KEY>" \
        --header Content-Type:"application/json" \
        https://gcm-http.googleapis.com/gcm/send \
        -d "{\"registration_ids\":[\"ABC\"]}"

You have implemented mobile push notifications into your PubNub application but now you are having some troubles. Maybe it's missing messages on client devices, getting duplicate messages, getting messages meant for another user/device. Whatever it is, we will provide the best tools and techniques for finding the root cause and resolving, or at least just getting all the necessary data points to send to PubNub Support to assist with troubleshooting.

You can do some high level debugging using the channel's -pndebug channel and checking to see if the device is still registered to the channel. Messages from -pndebug come from the APNS and GCM/FCM services (from Apple and Google, not PubNub). Here are the steps:

  1. Use the PubNub Debug Console to subscribe to the channel's -pndebug channel. If the channel you are publishing to is foo, then subscribe to foo-pndebug. Make sure you use the right pub/sub keys.
  2. Add 'pn_debug':true to your message payload at the top level.
    
        {
            "pn_gcm": {
                "data": {
                    "message": "hello"
                }
            },
            "pn_apns": {
                "aps": {
                    "alert": "hello"
                }
            },
            "pn_debug": true
        }
  3. Publish the message to channel foo, not to the channel's -pndebug channel. You can publish from your client or server application or from another instance of Debug Console (again, make sure you use the same pub/sub keys). You should see useful error messages in the Debug Console where you are subscribing to foo-pndebug, if there are any problems with the push message registration.

The following message shows how many devices successfully received the push notification that were registered for push messages on the target channel for each push service.

Devices found for push notification apns: 2 gcm: 

The following messages are examples of the types of messages that GCM/FCM and APNS push services can send back to PubNub's mobile push notification gateway servers.


    gcm Error: InvalidRegistration Devices: null
    gcm WARNING error: NotRegistered, sub_key: sub-c-..., channel: my_channel, reg_id: APA91bHRRxfHHB_T0AVojoJx..., timetoken: 14567269547473296
    apns INFO Certificate for sub-c-... valid (expiration: Sep 14 08:58:26 2016 GMT)
    apns ERROR Error on APNS send for subkey sub-c-... / channel gone_fishing / device 2a0a6234ffdb85df6624cf0546...: invalid token

All of the above messages can be sent to your server using PubNub's Mobile Push Gateway web hooks. A web hook is a URL (that you can have us configure on your keys) to a REST endpoint on your server. As messages come back to PubNub from the mobile push notification services, PubNub will relay them onto your REST endpoint for you to log and process as you require. Contact PubNub Support to request this configuration for your keys.

You can also check to see if the device is still registered to the channel after you publish the push notification using a simple REST URL in the browser.

  1. http://ps.pndsn.com/v1/push/sub-key/your_sub_key/devices/device_reg_token?type=push_type
  • where push_type is either gcm or apns
  • and device_reg_token is the device's registration token

This will return all channels the device is still registered for push notification for the push type provided.

Example of response:

["demo","demo1","demo2"]

If that list comes back empty then there was likely a device registration token issue (invalid token or device not registered, for example). This might happen because the device token was reported as invalid by the push notification services (APNS or GCM/FCM) and PubNub in turn unregisters that device token from all channels. But the -pndebug channel should reveal the reason for this to you.

Most times it is not PubNub that is causing the push notification issues. Often it is an invalid registration token (APNS or GCM/FCM) or a device with two valid registration tokens (yes, it can actually happen) or the push service cert or key is no longer valid. Testing push notifications without PubNub getting involved is the best way to eliminate, or hone in on, the area of probable fault.

There are a few good online tools for testing GCM/FCM push notifications and one native Mac app.

For APNS, you can run a simple Python script that uses your push certificate (.pem file) to verify that the certificate is valid. And optionally, you can specify a device registration token to which test push notifications will be sent. See our knowledge base article, How Do I Test My PEM Key, for full details.

For more rich UI/UX tools, you can find APNS test apps for the Mac (in the App Store) as well as online web apps:

See also:

  1. Apple Doc Troubleshooting Push Notifications

For additional platform and endpoint information, please see our detailed Android, Objective-C, Swift, and .NET Mobile Gateway guides.