Web browsers use the http protocol and modern ones can also use websockets.
However web browsers don’t have MQTT support built in.
To publish and subscribe to an MQTT broker with a browser you will need to use a JavaSript MQTT over websockets client.
See the MQTT over websockets if you’re not familiar with MQTT over websockets.
In this tutorial I will take you through a example script that publishes messages and subscribes to topics using MQTT and websockets.
- Be downloaded from the Paho website, and put it on your local server/PC
- Simply used by inserting the following code in your web page.
Details of both methods including download links are here.
The first thing you will need to do is create a basic web page.
An outline structure is shown below:
We will now create a simple script that connects to a broker and publishes a message.
A screen shot of the script is show below:
Note: scripts used in this tutorial can be downloaded here.
Running the Script
To run the script copy it into a file called websocks.htm and double click to run it.
There is no need for a web server as it runs locally.
When you load the page a call to the MQTTconnect function is made ( bottom of the page in code above)
The MQTTconnect sets up the connection and importantly sets the onsuccess callback.
The onConnect function is called when the connection is successful.
Note: you can assign an on fail function as well but I haven’t done so to keep it short.
You can only subscribe and publish when the connection is established which is why many scripts will subscribe and publish in the onConnect function.
I have commented out the subscribe call in the above script.
To view messages you will need to enable console logging on Firefox click tools>web developer>web console.
Not much happens when you run the script and you will need the console log screen to see the output. Which I’ve shown below:
If you are running your own local broker then you will see the connection, and publish from the client as shown above:
- Don’t use document.write anywhere in the script! Always use console.log to see messages.
Publishing, Subscribing and Receiving Messages
Now we will modify the script to:
- Subscribe to a topic
- Process any received messages.
- Handle connection failures
First we modify the connect function to add callbacks for failure and message received. The modified function is shown below:
Now we create the two functions.
The onFailure function shown below logs a message and attempts a reconnect every few seconds set by the reconnecttimeout variable.:
The onMessageArrived function extracts the message and topic and logs them
Now we uncomment the subscribe call in the onConnect function to complete the changes..
Now if we run the script and simulate a failure by using the wrong port number we get the result below:
Now we run the script using the correct port and we get our published message logged to the console
In Video 2 we will create a web page application like the one below:
Which we can use for broker testing.
Using Websockets over SSL
If your broker supports websockets over SSL then you can make a simple change in the connect function (useSSL:true) to use it.
In addition you also need to use the same name for the host as is configured on the server certificate. In my case I need use steve-laptop and not the IP Address
If you use your own CA certificates the browser may give an untrusted connection dialogue which you can safely override.
Important Note: Your browser must have the CA certificate installed for this to work.
This tutorial has details on how to configure Mosquitto for websockets over SSL
Note: You can also use the external online test broker
test.mosquitto.org using port 8081.
Note: This worked OK on my Ubuntu installation that used Libwebsockets 1.7.1. It didn’t work on my Raspberry pi which uses Libwebsockets 2
- HiveMQ using the Javacript client.