Building Real-Time Boards with Angular and NestJS Using Server-Sent Events

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Building Real-Time Boards with Angular and NestJS Using Server-Sent Events

Streamline Real-Time Updates Using SSE, NestJS, and Angular

When I need to build real-time apps with Angular, most of the time I use SignalR, but a few days ago, a friend mentioned SSE. I had never heard about it or had the opportunity to hear someone mention it, so I started to find out about it and was surprised by how easy and powerful it is in some scenarios.

Server-Sent Events (SSE) allow us to send updates or a data stream to the browser via HTTP. It works through an EventSource API in JavaScript and allows us to send data from the server to the client over HTTP.

How does it work?

First, the client initiates the connection by sending an HTTP request, and the server responds with the headers text/event-stream and transfer-encoding: chunked to indicate that the connection will stay open. This setup allows the server to send events as a text stream to the client, with the properties data and an optional id.

When the client closes the tab or leaves the page, the server will automatically close the connection. It's perfect, but we can also tell the server to stop the emission.

For example, we can use SSE to send notifications from the server to the client easy, but Okay, we already know what SSE is and why to use SSE, so let's start to play with SSE with a basic real scenario.


We want to create a scoreboard to show a game streamed by the server, with an option to stop receiving updates, something like this:

The easy way is to combine Angular and NestJS, using Nx.

  • Angular: the client app to show the dasboard and connect to realtime API.

  • NestJS: allows us to create an SSE endpoint easily by using the @sse decorator.

  • Nx: allows us to configure Angular and NestJS in a single monorepo.

Ready! Let's go!

Setup The Project

First, use nx to create an empty workspace thescore by running the command npx create-nx-workspace@latest thescore. After initializing, it will ask a question about the stack, but choose none, and select the integrated monorepo type.

Why choose none? Well, because we are using nx, I prefer to install the schematics and generators manually for NestJS and Angular.

We are ready with the workspace, let's move to create the API.

The API with NextJS

First, we add the nx generator for NestJS using nx add @nx/nest and generate the API score-api by running nx g @nx/nest:app score-api.

nx add @nx/nest
nx g @nx/nest:app score-api

Next, generate the controller games by running the command nx g @nx/nest:controller src/app/controllers/games.

nx g @nx/nest:controller src/app/controllers/games
√ Where should the controller be generated? · score-api/src/app/controllers/games.ts
CREATE score-api/src/app/controllers/games.controller.ts
CREATE score-api/src/app/controllers/games.controller.spec.ts
UPDATE score-api/src/app/app.module.ts

Open the games.controller.ts, before the controller, define a type for the game score:

type GameScore = { data: { game: { lakers: number; denver: number } } };

In the GameController class, declare a subject actionSubject and an action$ Observable to stop the emission. Define the method scores with the @Sse decorator and return an Observable of GameScore.

export class GamesController {
  private actionSubject = new Subject<boolean>();
  private action$ = this.actionSubject.asObservable();

  scores(): Observable<GameScore> {

We are going to declare an initial value for our game. Using the interval observable, we will emit the game every 2 second. In the observable, we'll use the tap operator to update the game with random values to increase the score. We'll chain this with takeUntil to stop the emission when an action is emitted, and use the map operator to return the value.

The final code looks like:

  scores(): Observable<GameScore> {
    const game = {
      lakers: 0,
      denver: 0,
    return interval(2000).pipe(
      tap(() => {
        game.lakers += Math.floor(Math.random() * 4) + 1;
        game.denver += Math.floor(Math.random() * 4) + 1;
      map(() => ({ data: { game } }))

To stop the emission, create the method stopCounter with the @Post decorator and use the actionSubject to emit the value.

  stopCounter() {;

Before to start to api, open main.ts and enable cors in the app calling the method app.enableCors() in the bootstrap.

From the terminal run the Nestjs API with the command nx run score-api:serve

Open the browser and go to http://localhost:300/api.

Okay, we have the server-sent event API ready, but now it's time to use it in our Angular app! Let's get started!

Consuming Server Events in Angular

It's time to consume the event in an Angular app. We need to do the same as before but add support for Angular. Run the command nx add @nx/angular and generate the score-live Angular app by running the nx g @nx/nest:app score-api command.

$ nx add @nx/angular
$ nx g @nx/angular:app score-live

Next, create the score service to interact with the API by running the command nx g @nx/angular:service src/app/services/score.

$ nx g @nx/angular:service src/app/services/score
NX  Generating @nx/angular:service
CREATE score-live/src/app/services/score.service.spec.ts
CREATE score-live/src/app/services/score.service.ts

Before starting, to make the HTTP request to the API, we must provideHttp in app.config.

import { ApplicationConfig } from '@angular/core';
import { provideRouter } from '@angular/router';
import { appRoutes } from './app.routes';
import {provideHttpClient} from "@angular/common/http";

export const appConfig: ApplicationConfig = {
  providers: [provideRouter(appRoutes), provideHttpClient()],

Open the score.service.ts file and define the GameScore type with the following properties.

export type GameScore = {
  lakers: number;
  denver: number;

Next, add the following properties to the ScoreService class:

  • API: the URL for the API.

  • ssSource: EventSource to receive server updates.

  • http: inject the httpClient to make requests to the API.

  • scoreSubject: Subject to emit values.

  • scores$: Observable with the GameScore value, using the startWith operator to set the default value.

The code looks like this:

export class ScoreService {
  private API = 'http://localhost:3000/api/games/scores';
  private sseSource = new EventSource(`${this.API}/scores`);
  private http = inject(HttpClient);
  private scoreSubject$ = new Subject<GameScore>();
  public scores$ = this.scoreSubject$.asObservable().pipe(
      lakers: 0,
      denver: 0,

Next, define the getFeed method, bind the addEventListener event of sseSource to receive data when EventSource emits data, and use scoreSubject to emit the game scores.

Also, bind the onerror method to handle errors by displaying them in the console.

  private getFeed(): void {
    this.sseSource.addEventListener('message', (e: MessageEvent) => {
      const { game } = JSON.parse(;


    this.sseSource.onerror = () => {
      console.error('😭 sse error');

The next step is to enable the component to communicate with the service using two methods: start, which calls getFeed(), and stop, which makes a POST request to the stop API.

The final code looks like this:

  public start(): void {
  public stop(): void {`${this.API}/stop`, {});

It's time to use the data from app.component.ts. Inject the ScoreService and declare an observable gameScore$. Also, add two methods, start and stop, to begin and end the stream from the service.

export class AppComponent {
  private scoreService = inject(ScoreService);
  public gameScore$ = this.scoreService.scores$;

  public stop(): void {
  public start(): void {

In the HTML, subscribe to the gameScore$ using the async directive and bind the data within the HTML markup.

<div class="flex justify-center items-center h-screen">
  <div class="bg-gray-800 text-white p-4 rounded-lg text-center">
    <div class="flex justify-between mb-2">
      <span class="flex-grow font-bold text-yellow-500 p-4">Lakers</span>
      <span class="flex-grow font-bold text-blue-500 p-4">Nuggets</span>
    <div class="flex justify-between">
      @if (gameScore$ | async; as score) {
      <span class="text-4xl font-bold w-1/2">{{score.lakers}}</span>
      <span class="text-4xl font-bold w-1/2">{{score.denver}}</span>
    <div class="mt-4">
      <button class="bg-green-500 hover:bg-green-700 text-white font-bold py-2 px-4 rounded-full mr-2"
      <button class="bg-red-500 hover:bg-red-700 text-white font-bold py-2 px-4 rounded-full"

Save the changes, reload, and voilà! We now have our scoreboard with real-time data! 🎉

If you open the network tab, you can see the socket sending data to the client!!!


We've covered a basic overview of SSE and its straightforward implementation with NestJS, along with how to consume the event using Angular. Compared to SignalR, SSE does not support two-way binding, but we can find methods to instruct the server to stop the emission.