Connection Context

Users are connected to a topic by connections that can become active or inactive. Activation of the connections is handled by a connection context. By default, ComponentConnectionContext activates the connections when at least one of the connected UI components are attached to the UI, and inactivates when they are detached. You may need to have different behavior in specific cases.

In addition to managing connection state, a context also handles synchronization of data change events delivered to application code.

You can create your own connection context by implementing the ConnectionContext interface, or use one of the provided implementations. A SystemConnectionContext is currently available, in addition to the ComponentConnectionContext, which is the default that is used implicitly.

You can then pass the context to the collaboration manager’s constructor or to openTopicConnection() as follows:

// Use to create a message manager
messageManager = new MessageManager(
    connectionContext, localUser, topicId, collaborationEngine);

// Use to open a topic connection
registration = collaborationEngine.openTopicConnection(
    connectionContext, topicId, localUser, connectionActivationCallback);

Component Connection Context

ComponentConnectionContext implements a connection context based on the attached state of a set of component instances. It activates the topic connection whenever the target component is attached and deactivates it when the component is detached. All attached components must belong to the same UI instance, and this UI instance is used to dispatch actions using its access() method.

ComponentConnectionContext is used internally by all high-level components such as CollaborationAvatarGroup and by shorthand methods and constructors that take a component instance instead of the context.

The following example illustrates how to create a Collaboration Manager and how to open a connection to a topic inside a component. In this case, the component (this) is passed as the first parameter. Internally, a ComponentConnectionContext is created in each call, so the connection becomes active when the component is attached and is deactivated when it is detached.

// The ComponentConnectionContext is implicitly created
// when passing a component (this) as the first argument.
messageManager = new MessageManager(this, localUser, topicId);
presenceManager = new PresenceManager(this, localUser, topicId);
registration = collaborationEngine.openTopicConnection(
    this, topicId, localUser, connectionActivationCallback);

You can also pass it to the collaboration manager’s constructor or to openTopicConnection() as follows:

ComponentConnectionContext context =
    new ComponentConnectionContext(this);

// In this case the CollaborationEngine instance
// also needs to be supplied.
messageManager = new MessageManager(context, localUser,
    topicId, CollaborationEngine.getInstance());

registration = collaborationEngine.openTopicConnection(
    context, topicId, localUser, connectionActivationCallback);

System Connection Context

SystemConnectionContext is a connection context that is always active. This context is intended to be used in situations that are not directly associated with a UI, such as from a background thread or when integrating with external services.

You can acquire an instance with SystemConnectionContext.getInstance() after a VaadinService is initialized. In other situations, you can use CollaborationEngine.getSystemContext() or create a new context instance using the constructor.

SystemConnectionContext context = collaborationEngine.getSystemContext();

In the following example, an asynchronous job uses a SystemConnectionContext to send a system message:

public void runAsynchronously(CollaborationEngine collaborationEngine) { 1
    UserInfo systemUser = new UserInfo("system user");

    ConnectionContext context = collaborationEngine.getSystemContext(); 2

    MessageManager messageManager =
        new MessageManager(context, systemUser, topicId, collaborationEngine); 3

        .submit("The system is shutting down")
        .whenComplete((v,t) -> messageManager.close()); 4

  1. The asynchronous function uses Spring’s @Async annotation. It needs to receive the CollaborationEngine as a parameter, as CollaborationEngine.getInstance() would throw an exception when running in a background thread.

    For example, the following would fail:

    collaborationEngine = CollaborationEngine.getInstance(); // Throws an exception
  2. The SystemConnectionContext is acquired through CollaborationEngine.getSystemContext().

  3. It is then used to create a MessageManager that is activated immediately.

  4. The message is sent and the MessageManager is immediately closed.