1.3.1 • Public • Published

Universal API for realtime services. Integrate once and easily switch between Socket.io and PubNub.

Provides handy methods for rooms, users, message history, and information about connected user.

Supported realtime services:



Install via NPM.

npm install rltm --save

Include library via require.

const rltm = require('rltm');


Install via bower or NPM

npm install rltm --save
bower install rltm --save

Include library in HTML.

<script src="./bower_components/web/rltm.js"></script>


Both the NodeJS and web libraries are configured with the rltm variable.

let user = rltm({
    service: 'pubnub',
    config: {
        // ...
  • service is the name of the realtime service to use (pubnub or socketio)
  • config is a Javascript object with a config for that service.

PubNub or Socket.io

Set Up With Socket.io

Socket.io is an open source websocket framework. To use socket.io, you'll run your own socket.io server on the back end.

Set Up With PubNub

PubNub is a hosted realtime solution that doesn't require you to run or maintain any servers.



Every user connected to rltm.js has two properties:

  1. uuid - a unique way to identify this user
  2. state - data associated with this user

You can provide these as parameters during initialization.

let user = rltm({
    service: 'socketio', 
    config: {
        endpoint: 'http://localhost:9000',
        uuid: 'MY_UNIQUE_ID',
        state: {admin: true}


Realtime communication happens over rooms. rooms are like chat rooms, everybody in a room receives events sent by every other user.

A user can join a room by using the join() method and supplying a room identifier. users who provide the same identifier will be able to communicate with each other.

room = user.join('room-name');

This returns a room object which we can use to communicate with other users.

Join Event

A room can subscribe to the join event to find out when other users join the room.

room.on('join', (uuid, state) => {
    console.log('user with uuid', uuid, 'joined with state', state);


Message Event

When another user sends a message to the room, it will trigger the message event. The room can subscribe to that event with the on() method.

room.on('message', (uuid, data) => {
    console.log('message received from uuid', uuid, 'with data', data);


To send a message to the entire room, use the message() method. Returns a promise.

room.message({hello: world}).then(() => {
    console.log('message published');

Online Users

Here Now

A room can get a list of other users who have in the room by using the here() method. Returns a promise.

room.here().then((users) => {
    console.log('users online', users);

Successful responses will return a object of users who are currently connected to the room. The keys are the user's uuids and the values are their current state.

    uuid1: {
        username: 'ianjennings'
    uuid2: {
        username: 'stephenblum'

Leave Event

A room can subscribe to the leave event to find out when a user leaves.

room.on('leave', (uuid) => {
    console.log('user with uuid', uuid, 'has left');

A user can manually leave a room by using the leave() method. Returns a promise.

room.leave().then(() => {
    console.log('left the room.');

This will fire the leave event.


If a user gets disconnected without leaving the room, the disconnect event will fire.

room.on('disconnect', (uuid) => {
    console.log('user with uuid', uuid, 'has disconnected');

Set User State

A user state can be updated at any time by using the state() method. Supply the new state as the only parameter. Return a promise.

room.state({idle: true}).then(() => {
    console.log('state set');

This will fire the state event which you can subscribe to with the room.on() method. When fired you will get the uuid of the user and the new state.

room.on('state', (uuid, state) => {
    console.log('user with uuid', uuid, 'was given state', state);

Get Old Messages

A user can retrieve previously published messages in the room by using the history() method. Returns a promise.

room.history().then((history) => {
    console.log('got array of all messages in channel', history);

It will return the last 100 messages as an array of objects containing the uuid and data of every message. The array is sorted newest to oldest.

        uuid: uuid2, 
        data: { 
            sentTime: '2pm',
            text: 'boy howdy' 
        uuid: uuid1, 
        data: { 
            sentTime: '1pm',
            text: 'hello there' 


Tests are run with mocha and chai.

npm install mocha -g
npm install chai -g

Set environment variable CLIENT to test either service.

env CLIENT=pubnub mocha
env CLIENT=socketio mocha

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npm i rltm

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  • client-engineering-bot
  • stephenlb
  • pubnub-admin
  • ianjennings