MatriX Screencast #2 published

The 2nd screencast has been published. This tutorial covers the following:

  • installation of a local Openfire XMPP server
  • configuration of the server
  • creating user accounts
  • starting XMPP client development on the local server

More screencasts and tutorials for other XMPP server software is coming.

MatriX XMPP SDK Screencast 2

This tutorial shows how to install you own local Openfire XMPP server for development with the MatriX XMPP SDK

MatriX XMPP SDK Screencast 1

This tutorial shows how to get started with the MatriX XMPP SDK

NuGet package available

Some of our customers asked for NuGet packages. The roadmap of our development is heavily impacted by our customer requests. We are always receptive to your criticism, ideas and praise

When you prefer NuGet for managing your references then you can start using it for MatriX as well now.

You can find the MatriX NuGet package here:

MatriX Screencast #1 published

We have published the first MatriX screencast. This small tutorial shows you howto download and install the MatriX XMPP SDK. And howto login with the MiniClient example using your Gmail Id.

You an find the screencasts here. More screencasts are coming soon…

Await MatriX

C# 5.0 brought us the great new Async and Await feature. It helps to avoid bottlenecks when it comes to performance or to improve the responsiveness of UI applications.

Both of them were never a problem in MatriX, because its completely asynchronous internal. We helped GUI developers a lot by handling all multi threading and invoking to GUI threads inside of MatriX.

But the traditional techniques for writing asynchronous code based on callbacks can be complicated, difficult to maintain, hard to debug, error prone, and often ends in the callback hell.

Here is an for requesting a vcard with the new async await API

var viq = new VcardIq { To = "", Type = IqType.get };
var vcardResult = await xmppClient.IqFilter.SendIqAsync(viq);

Here is a more complex example of creating a MUC room containing the following steps.

  • request our reserved nickname
  • create the room with the requested nickname
  • request the room configuration
  • submit the room configuration

With the old async callback based API this simple task requires you to setup multiple callbacks or listen to multiple events. This splits your code in many different functions, or you use many inline lambdas. Error handling gets complicated and the control flow is hard to follow.

So look at the code with the new async await API. It looks like simple synchronous code. Easy to read with simple try/catch error handling, fully asynchronous. The compiler is doing all the complicated work for us.

    Jid roomJid = "";
    var nick = await mucManager.DiscoverReservedNicknameAsync(roomJid);
    var createResult = await mucManager.CreateRoomAsync(roomJid, nick);
    // check from createResult if the room requires configuration
    if (createResult.Error != null 
        && createResult.Error.Condition == ErrorCondition.ItemNotFound)
        var roomConfig = await mucManager.RequestRoomConfigurationAsync(roomJid);
        var data = ProcessRoomConfig(roomConfig);
        var submitResult = await mucManager.SubmitRoomConfigurationAsync(roomJid, data);  
catch (TimeoutException ex)
     // handle exceptions here
catch (Exception ex)
     // handle exceptions here

Many of our customers are tied to older .NET versions and not able to use the latest and greatest features. This is the reason why we will offer separate builds for .NET 4.5 with the async API extensions, and .NET 3.5 builds.

We will upload new .NET 4.5 builds soon, so stay tuned. If you can’t await then contact us directly ;-)

Excellent SDK and support

I recently started using the MatriX SDK for a web-based chat in ASP.NET. I use it in combination with OpenFire and so far it seems like an excellent SDK that I will most likely buy and keep using.

They also give very good support via their forums. I had a problem with my implementation and they helped me identify the problem and fix it. They respond very fast to my forum posts and give useful information.

Gilian Keulens, Obec Software Engineering B.V.

MatriX for WinRT released

Now with the availability of Windows 8 and the first Windows 8 devices we have released the WinRT version of MatriX to the public.

The API and supported features are nearly the same as in all our other MatriX editions.

Start to use the power of XMPP in your WinRT apps now!!

The WinRT version can be downloaded from here:
Download MatriX for WinRT

Research and Development

Matrix library is very awesome. We have already used it without a problem until now. The API is very great and very extensible. You can use the library even without looking at the documentation. Another great thing is the customer support, it’s awesome. Definitely a great library in .NET world.

Welly Tambunan, PT Petrolink Services R&D

Web clients with MatriX and SignalR

Persistent realtime connections for ASP.NET in code behind to the web browser were hard to implement in the past. There hasn’t been a ASP.NET component for this for a while.

With SignalR there is an asynchronous realtime signaling library for ASP.NET now that a team at Microsoft is working on. Using SignalR its pretty easy to build real-time web applications.

Using SignalR and MatriX its very easy to write scalable XMPP web applications with a very small amount of JavaScript code.

Let’s get started:

Create a new ASP.NET MVC web application project first. Then install SignalR using the NuGet Package Console with the following command:

install-package SignalR

This will add SignalR with all required references to the new project we just created.

Now we create a Hub for MatriX. Hubs are a higher level framework API to exchange different messages between server (code behind) and client (web browser) bidirectional in realtime.

We First implement the IConnected and IDisconnect interfaces to the Hub. Our Hub has a static Dictionary for all XmppClients instances. Whenever a new client connects to the bidirectional realtime channel of SignalR we create a new XmppClient instance for it, setup the event handlers and add the client to the dictionary. When a browser disconnects from SignalR we disconnect all event handlers and remove the XmppClient from the dictionary.

public class MatrixHub : Hub, IConnected, IDisconnect
    private static readonly Dictionary<string, XmppClient> XmppClients = new Dictionary<string, XmppClient>();

    public Task Disconnect()
        if (XmppClients.ContainsKey(Context.ConnectionId))
            var xmppClient = XmppClients[Context.ConnectionId];

            xmppClient.OnReceiveXml -= xmppClient_OnReceiveXml;
            xmppClient.OnSendXml -= xmppClient_OnSendXml;
            xmppClient.OnMessage -= xmppClient_OnMessage;


        return Clients.leave(Context.ConnectionId, DateTime.Now.ToString());

    public Task Connect()
        if (!XmppClients.ContainsKey(Context.ConnectionId))
            var xmppClient = new XmppClient();

            xmppClient.OnReceiveXml += xmppClient_OnReceiveXml;
            xmppClient.OnSendXml += xmppClient_OnSendXml;       
            xmppClient.OnMessage += xmppClient_OnMessage;
            XmppClients.Add(Context.ConnectionId, xmppClient);

        return Clients.joined(Context.ConnectionId, DateTime.Now.ToString());

    public Task Reconnect(IEnumerable<string> groups)
        return Clients.rejoined(Context.ConnectionId, DateTime.Now.ToString());

Now we add a Open and Close function to our Hub which can be executed from the webpage via JavaScript. The JavaScript passes the username, password and XMPP domain as a string to the Open function.

Context.ConnectionId is the Id of the JavaScript client calling this Hub. We use this ids for our XmppClient dictionary and need it to lookup the correct XmppClient instance from the dictionary. After retrieving the XmppClient instance we set Username, Password and XmppDomain. Then we call Open() and MatriX starts to login to the XMPP server with the given credentials.

The same applies to the Close function. We first lookup the correct XmppClient and then call Close on it to close the XMPP stream.

public void Open(String username, String password, String xmppDomain)
    XmppClient xmppClient = XmppClients[Context.ConnectionId];
    xmppClient.Username = username;
    xmppClient.Password = password;
    xmppClient.XmppDomain = xmppDomain;


public void Close()
    XmppClient xmppClient = XmppClients[Context.ConnectionId];

Now we implement the OnSendXml and OnReceiveXml handlers we subscribed to in the Connect Task. This is server side C# code telling the client to call sendXml() and receiveXml() JavaScript functions.

Clients is a dynamic object of SignalR. Clients[Context.ConnectionId] gets the correct client and executes the function on this single client only.

void xmppClient_OnSendXml(object sender, Matrix.TextEventArgs e)
    var text = HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(String.Format("Send: {0}", e.Text));

void xmppClient_OnReceiveXml(object sender, Matrix.TextEventArgs e)
    var text = HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(String.Format("Recv: {0}", e.Text));

The last step before we goto our JavaScript is the OnMessage function. SignalR can also send complex objects. So lets create a simple Message class to send the message properties as an object to our JavaScript. The Message class has 2 simple String properties. Body for the Text of the message and From for the full Jid of the sender.

public class Message
    public string Body;
    public string From;

Whenever MatriX receives a message in the OnMessage handler we raise the callback onMessage in our JavaScript and pass a new instance of the Message object we just created.

void xmppClient_OnMessage(object sender, MessageEventArgs e)
           new Message
           		From = e.Message.From,
           		Body = e.Message.Body

The backend and code behind stuff is done now. Now we have to add JavaScript to our web page to setup the SignalR connection.

First we have to include some JavaScript files. We need jquery, the signalR script and the hubs which get created dynamically by SignalR on the server.

<script src="@Url.Content("~/Scripts/jquery-1.6.4.js")" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="@Url.Content("~/Scripts/jquery.signalR-0.5.2.js")" type="text/javascript"></script> 
<script src="@Url.Content("~/signalr/hubs")" type="text/javascript"></script>

The following code shows how to create our MatriX Hub in JavaScript and connect it to the SignalR server. matrixHub is defined in the dynamically created JavaScript file we added before.

<script type="text/javascript">
    $(function () {
        var matrixHub = $.connection.matrixHub;
		// TODO, callbacks and hub invoker

Now we add the JavaScript code which gets executed when we press the Login and Logout buttons on our wegpage.

The Login button executes the Open function in our C# Hub and passes username, password and XmppDomain. The Logout button executes the Close function without any parameters.

This is all that has to be done to execute a Hub function from JavaScript in realtime.

$("#loginButton").click(function () {

$("#logoutButton").click(function () {

The last pieces which are missing are the JavaScript functions we execute form the Hub to send data to the webpage from the server.

The sendXml and readXml callbacks append the Xml debug to a div. The onMessage callbacks appends a incoming message to a div.

// signalR callback for outgoing xml debug
matrixHub.sendXml = function (message) {
    $("#log").append("<span class='log send'>" + message + "</span><br/>");

// signalR callback for incoming xml debug
matrixHub.receiveXml = function (message) {
    $("#log").append("<span class='log recv'>" + message + "</span><br/>");

matrixHub.onMessage = function (msg) {
            "<span class='from'>" + msg.From + ":</span>" +
            "<span class='message'>" + msg.Body + "</span>" +

SignalR can also send data to all connected clients or a group of clients, but we don’t need these features.

SignalR handles all the connection stuff for the client and the server automatically for us, and keeps the connection always alive. It chooses the right connection technique for your browser and scales on the server with modern async and await techniques.

Under the hood SignalR is using the same techology as BOSH. On the web server MatriX connects to the XMPP server directly over the default TCP transport. This means you can connect to any XMPP server including Google Talk, Facebook or Windows Live Messenger without using a BOSH proxy from your web page.

The complete example is included in the latest MatriX download.

This post refers to a SinalR version 0.5.x. There were many incompatible API changes in SignalR, so many stuff in this post in not compatible with the current SingalR versions.
The example included in the MatriX download should be always up to date.