Implementing server-sent events for real-time streaming updates

Server-sent events (SSE) is a technology that enables real-time streaming updates from the server to the client. It allows the server to push data to the client over a single HTTP connection, providing a lightweight and efficient mechanism for real-time notifications and updates.

In this article, we will explore how to implement server-sent events using the Spring Web Flux framework. Spring Web Flux is a reactive web framework that provides non-blocking, event-driven programming for building scalable and resilient web applications.

Setting up the project

Before we dive into implementing server-sent events, let's set up a basic Spring Web Flux project.

  1. Create a new Spring Boot project using your preferred IDE or command-line tool.
  2. Add the necessary dependencies for Spring Web Flux and reactive streams to your pom.xml or build.gradle file.
  3. Set up a basic controller with a route for receiving and sending events.

Implementing SSE endpoint

To implement server-sent events, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new controller class and annotate it with @RestController.
  2. Define a route for your SSE endpoint using the @GetMapping annotation.
  3. Add the MediaType.TEXT_EVENT_STREAM_VALUE as the produces attribute on the endpoint to indicate that SSE will be used to stream events.
  4. Define a method in the controller to handle SSE requests.
  5. In the method body, create an Flux stream that emits the events you want to send to the client.
  6. Use the ServerSentEvent class from Spring Web Flux to wrap each event and send it to the client.

Here's an example of how the code might look like:

public class SSEController {

    @GetMapping(value = "/events", produces = MediaType.TEXT_EVENT_STREAM_VALUE)
    public Flux<ServerSentEvent<String>> streamEvents() {
        return Flux.interval(Duration.ofSeconds(1))
                .map(sequence -> ServerSentEvent.<String>builder()
                        .data("Event " + sequence)

In this example, we use a Flux.interval to emit events every second. Each event is wrapped in a ServerSentEvent object, which allows you to specify additional attributes like the event ID and event data.

Consuming SSE events on the client side

With the SSE endpoint implemented, you can now consume the streamed events on the client side. SSE is supported by most modern web browsers out of the box, making it easy to work with.

To consume SSE events, follow these steps:

  1. Open a connection to the SSE endpoint using JavaScript's EventSource API.
  2. Register event listeners to handle different event types, errors, and connection state changes.
  3. Process the received events in the event listeners and update the UI accordingly.

Here's an example of how to consume SSE events using JavaScript:

const eventSource = new EventSource('/events');

eventSource.addEventListener('message', event => {
    const eventData = JSON.parse(;
    // Update UI or perform other operations using the received event data

eventSource.addEventListener('error', error => {
    console.error('Error occurred:', error);

eventSource.addEventListener('open', () => {
    console.log('Connection opened');

eventSource.addEventListener('closed', () => {
    console.log('Connection closed');

In this example, we register event listeners for message, error, open, and closed events. The message event listener processes the received event data and updates the UI accordingly.


Server-sent events provide a simple and efficient way to implement real-time streaming updates in web applications. By leveraging Spring Web Flux, you can easily implement SSE endpoints that push events to clients in a reactive and non-blocking manner.

In this article, we explored how to implement server-sent events using Spring Web Flux and consume them on the client side using JavaScript. Feel free to experiment with different event sources and data formats to create dynamic and real-time applications.

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