Topic Messaging on C++

Based on the publish/subscribe model, FCM topic messaging allows you to send a message to multiple devices that have opted in to a particular topic. You compose topic messages as needed, and FCM handles routing and delivering the message reliably to the right devices.

For example, users of a local weather forecasting app could opt in to a "severe weather alerts" topic and receive notifications of storms threatening specified areas. Users of a sports app could subscribe to automatic updates in live game scores for their favorite teams.

Some things to keep in mind about topics:

  • Topic messaging supports unlimited topics and subscriptions for each app.
  • Topic messaging is best suited for content such as news, weather, or other publicly available information.
  • Topic messages are optimized for throughput rather than latency. For fast, secure delivery to single devices or small groups of devices, target messages to registration tokens, not topics.
  • If you need to send messages to multiple devices per user, consider device group messaging for those use cases.

Subscribe the client app to a topic

To subscribe to a topic, call ::firebase::messaging::Subscribe from your application. This makes an asynchronous request to the FCM backend and subscribes the client to the given topic.

::firebase::messaging::Subscribe("/topics/example");

If the subscription request fails initially, FCM retries until it can subscribe to the topic successfully. Each time the app starts, FCM makes sure that all requested topics have been subscribed.

To unsubscribe, call ::firebase::messaging::Unsubscribe, and FCM unsubscribes from the topic in the background.

Manage topic subscriptions on the server

You can take advantage of Instance ID APIs to perform basic topic management tasks from the server side. Given the registration token(s) of client app instances, you can do the following:

Receive and handle topic messages

FCM delivers topic messages in the same way as other downstream messages.

By overriding the method ::firebase::messaging::Listener::OnMessage, you can perform actions based on the received message and get the message data:

void OnMessage(const ::firebase::messaging::Message& message) {
  LogMessage(TAG, "From: %s", message.from.c_str());
  LogMessage(TAG, "Message ID: %s", message.message_id.c_str());
}

Build send requests

From the server side, sending messages to a Firebase Cloud Messaging topic is very similar to sending messages to an individual device or to a user group. The app server sets the to key with a value like /topics/yourTopic. Developers can choose any topic name that matches the regular expression: "/topics/[a-zA-Z0-9-_.~%]+".

To send to combinations of multiple topics, the app server sets the condition key to a boolean condition that specifies the target topics. For example, to send messages to devices that subscribed to TopicA and either TopicB or TopicC:

'TopicA' in topics && ('TopicB' in topics || 'TopicC' in topics)

FCM first evaluates any conditions in parentheses, and then evaluates the expression from left to right. In the above expression, a user subscribed to any single topic does not receive the message. Likewise, a user who does not subscribe to TopicA does not receive the message. These combinations do receive it:

  • TopicA and TopicB
  • TopicA and TopicC

Conditions for topics support two operators per expression, and parentheses are supported.

For more detail about app server keys, see the reference information for your chosen connection server protocol, HTTP or XMPP. Examples in this page show how to send messages to topics in both HTTP and XMPP.

HTTP POST request

Send to a single topic:

https://fcm.googleapis.com/fcm/send
Content-Type:application/json
Authorization:key=AIzaSyZ-1u...0GBYzPu7Udno5aA


Send to devices subscribed to topics "dogs" or "cats":

https://fcm.googleapis.com/fcm/send
Content-Type:application/json
Authorization:key=AIzaSyZ-1u...0GBYzPu7Udno5aA


HTTP response

//Success example:
{
  "message_id": "1023456"
}

//failure example:
{
  "error": "TopicsMessageRateExceeded"
}

XMPP message

Send to a single topic:

<message id="">
  <gcm xmlns="google:mobile:data">


  </gcm>
</message>

Send to devices subscribed to topics "dogs" or "cats":

<message id="">
  <gcm xmlns="google:mobile:data">


XMPP response

//Success example:
{
  "message_id": "1023456"
}

//failure example:
{
  "error": "TopicsMessageRateExceeded"
}

Expect up to 30 seconds of delay before the FCM Connection Server returns a success or failure response to the topic send requests. Make sure to set the app server's timeout value in the request accordingly.

For the full list of message options, see the reference information for your chosen connection server protocol, HTTP or XMPP.

Next steps

Send feedback about...

Need help? Visit our support page.