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How to C# Chat Server

The basic function of the Chat Server here is to listen to the incoming request from Clients, and when the Server got a message , it Broadcast the message to all the Clients currently connected to the Chat Server .

In the previous section C# Multi Threaded Socket Program we saw a Multithreaded Server Socket Program communicate with more than one Clients at the same time .

The C# Chat Server Program has two sections.

1. Chat Server

2. C# Chat Client

Chat Server

csharp-chat-server

The Chat Server here is a C# Console Based Application and is listen to the PORT 8888 for the connection request from clients . When the server got a connection request, it add the name of the Client into a clientsList ( Here it is a Hashtable ) and create a new thread for communicate with the Server .

  clientsList.Add(dataFromClient, clientSocket);

When the Server gets a message from any client , it select all the Clients from the clientsList and send the message ( Broadcast ) to all Clients ( ie we can say Broadcast ) in the clientsList . So all Client can see the message of each others and they can communicate through Server.

  broadcast(dataFromClient, clNo, true);

The client list we implemented as a HashTable . The clientsList stores the Client Name ( ie here the first message from Client ) and create an instance of the Client Socket .

When a Client connected to Server , the Server create a new Thread for communication . Here we implement a Class handleClient for handling Client as a separate Thread . The Class handleClient has a function doChat() is handling the communication between the Server side Client.

  handleClinet client = new handleClinet();
  client.startClient(clientSocket, dataFromClient, clientsList);

When Server gets a message from any of the connected Chat Client , the Server Broadcast the message to all Clients. Here we implement a function broadcast for sending messages to all Clients .

Create a new C# Console Based Application and put the following source code into the Project.




using System;
using System.Threading;
using System.Net.Sockets;
using System.Text;
using System.Collections;

namespace ConsoleApplication1
{
    class Program
    {
        public static Hashtable clientsList = new Hashtable(); 

        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            TcpListener serverSocket = new TcpListener(8888);
            TcpClient clientSocket = default(TcpClient);
            int counter = 0;

            serverSocket.Start();
            Console.WriteLine ("Chat Server Started ....");
            counter = 0;
            while ((true))
            {
                counter += 1;
                clientSocket = serverSocket.AcceptTcpClient();

                byte[] bytesFrom = new byte[10025];
                string dataFromClient = null;

                NetworkStream networkStream = clientSocket.GetStream();
                networkStream.Read(bytesFrom, 0, (int)clientSocket.ReceiveBufferSize);
                dataFromClient = System.Text.Encoding.ASCII.GetString(bytesFrom);
                dataFromClient = dataFromClient.Substring(0, dataFromClient.IndexOf("$"));

                clientsList.Add(dataFromClient, clientSocket);

                broadcast(dataFromClient + " Joined ", dataFromClient, false);

                Console.WriteLine(dataFromClient + " Joined chat room ");
                handleClinet client = new handleClinet();
                client.startClient(clientSocket, dataFromClient, clientsList);
            }

            clientSocket.Close();
            serverSocket.Stop();
            Console.WriteLine("exit");
            Console.ReadLine();
        }

        public static  void broadcast(string msg, string uName, bool flag)
        {
            foreach (DictionaryEntry Item in clientsList)
            {
                TcpClient broadcastSocket;
                broadcastSocket = (TcpClient)Item.Value;
                NetworkStream broadcastStream = broadcastSocket.GetStream();
                Byte[] broadcastBytes = null;

                if (flag == true)
                {
                    broadcastBytes = Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(uName + " says : " + msg);
                }
                else
                {
                    broadcastBytes = Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(msg);
                }

                broadcastStream.Write(broadcastBytes, 0, broadcastBytes.Length);
                broadcastStream.Flush();
            }
        }  //end broadcast function
    }//end Main class


    public class handleClinet
    {
        TcpClient clientSocket;
        string clNo;
        Hashtable clientsList;

        public void startClient(TcpClient inClientSocket, string clineNo, Hashtable cList)
        {
            this.clientSocket = inClientSocket;
            this.clNo = clineNo;
            this.clientsList = cList;
            Thread ctThread = new Thread(doChat);
            ctThread.Start();
        }

        private void doChat()
        {
            int requestCount = 0;
            byte[] bytesFrom = new byte[10025];
            string dataFromClient = null;
            Byte[] sendBytes = null;
            string serverResponse = null;
            string rCount = null;
            requestCount = 0;

            while ((true))
            {
                try
                {
                    requestCount = requestCount + 1;
                    NetworkStream networkStream = clientSocket.GetStream();
                    networkStream.Read(bytesFrom, 0, (int)clientSocket.ReceiveBufferSize);
                    dataFromClient = System.Text.Encoding.ASCII.GetString(bytesFrom);
                    dataFromClient = dataFromClient.Substring(0, dataFromClient.IndexOf("$"));
                    Console.WriteLine("From client - " + clNo + " : " + dataFromClient);
                    rCount = Convert.ToString(requestCount);

                    Program.broadcast (dataFromClient, clNo, true);
                }
                catch (Exception ex)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine(ex.ToString());
                }
            }//end while
        }//end doChat
    } //end class handleClinet
}//end namespace

The C# Chat Server Program has two sections.
1. Chat Server

2. C# Chat Client

How to run Chat Server program ?

Create the C# Chat Server and C# Chat Client are two separate C# projects and compile and build the program. Open a DOS prompt and run the Server Program first and then run the Client program .

In the Client program, Enter a Chat name and click " Connect to Server " button . Then you can see the message in the Server program User "Joined Chat Room" . Similarly you can connect more than one Clients at the same time and start chatting each other. If you plan to run more than one client, it is better to copy the .exe file in separate folders and run from the .exe file.





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