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Currently we have an application that, upon certain events, will send notifications to users. We use SQS to handle the actual delivery of the notifications.

As an example, when a user registers an account we will create a new push notification task (put onto an SQS queue) that will send them a push notification using OneSignal.

It's been working well for us so far and notifications are delivered pretty quickly.

My question is why are websockets typically advocated as the go-to architecture for when setting up a push notification service when the above model seems like it's just as good, if not better? Am I missing something?

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OneSignal is a service that is implemented by sending notifications to Google or Apple, who in turn wait for target devices to come on line and pass on the notifications.

WebSocket is a computer communications protocol, providing full-duplex communication channels over a single TCP connection. This is a much more general architectural component, which can be used to solve a wide variety of application problems, including but not limited to notifications. Its quite possible some part of oneSignal notifications uses webSockets internally, but I don't know this.

Comparing OneSignal to Websockets is like comparing a car to an engine.

In answer to your question, you are not missing anything, you are correct to use a public service if suits your needs!

However in some situations (say a highly secure military system) people may be worried that OneSignal could be hacked, or service could be interrupted etc and so build their own.

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WebSockets is a technology that allows 2-way communication between a client and server with a single open TCP connection, whereas SQS and OneSignal are products built on top of this technology and other message delivery protocols.

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