Product updates

Liveblocks 1.11: Authentication updates and Comments improvements

Today, we’re updating our authentication recommendations and making various Comments improvements. We’re also making improvements to Yjs subdocuments and introducing a way to rename your room IDs.

Picture of Chris Nicholas
Chris Nicholas
Liveblocks 1.11: Authentication updates and Comments improvements

With Liveblocks 1.11, we’re updating our authentication recommendations, in aid of helping you build scalable applications as easily as possible. This update also includes a number of small improvements and additions to Comments, refinements for Yjs subdocuments, and a way to rename your existing room IDs.

Upgrade now

Start using the new features now by updating each Liveblocks package in your project to the @latest version.

$npm install @liveblocks/client@latest @liveblocks/react@latest @liveblocks/react-comments@latest liveblocks/node@latest

There are no breaking changes in Liveblocks 1.11.

Authentication recommendations

Authentication is imperative for securing your application, and Liveblocks provides this through two different methods, allowing you to authorize and grant permissions to your users. We’ve taken some time to update our documentation, as we’d like to be crystal clear about choosing the correct authentication method for your application.


The two methods we provide are access token authentication and ID token authentication.

Access tokens

Access token authentication allows you to handle permissions yourself. It’s best for prototyping, and is great if you need only simple permissions. We always recommend using a naming pattern when granting access.

An access token granting entry to a room

If you’re using liveblocks.prepareSession in your application, that means you’re using access tokens.

ID tokens

ID token authentication allows you to set complex room permissions for different groups and users, and Liveblocks will check the permissions for you. This is best for apps that use share menus, such as those in Google Docs or Figma.

An ID token granting entry to a room

If you’re using liveblocks.identifyUser in your application, that means you’re using ID tokens.

Public key

If you’re using your public API key in production, we also recommend switching over to your secret API key instead. Your public key makes it possible for end users to access any room’s data, and if your application has permissions, this should be avoided.

// Using public API keyconst client = createClient({  publicApiKey: "pk_prod_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",});

You can tell if you’re using your public key by checking createClient in your config file. It’s still okay to use your public key on public pages that require no permissions.

Learn more

To learn more about any of our new authentication recommendations, see our rewritten authentication documentation.

Comments improvements

In Liveblocks 1.11, we’re making a number of improvements to Comments, mostly related to user experience.

Scroll into view

The default Comments components will now scroll into view, and be highlighted, when a Notification is clicked.

A comment scrolling into view when a notification is clicked.

This works by checking if the current page’s URL contains a comment’s ID hash which Notifications automatically adds for you. However, you can also use this feature yourself by manually adding the hash, for example with #cm_b26Gr7...:

Scroll into view is enabled by default, but you can disable it by passing a scrollOnLoad option to useThreads.

function Component() {  const { threads } = useThreads({ scrollOnLoad: false });  // ...}

Mark as read

The InboxNotification default component now offers a dropdown menu allowing you to mark a notification as read.

Alongside this addition, we’ve also improved the UI of the component, making it easier to use at particularly narrow widths.

Notifications example

We’ve built a minimal Notifications example for Comments which is a great starting place to learn how to add a notifications inbox to your application.

Highlights of the new notifications example’s interface.

You can find the code, and a live demo, in our examples gallery.

Yjs subdocument refinements

Liveblocks Yjs allows you to create subdocuments, which are essentially Yjs documents that are nested inside each other. We’ve refined the way subdocuments can be accessed in our @liveblocks/node package, and written a new guide that takes you through how to use them.

New methods

In this update, we’re changing liveblocks.getYjsAsBinaryUpdate and liveblocks.sendYjsBinaryUpdate to support subdocuments. These functions allow you to fetch and edit Yjs subdocuments on the server without connecting via WebSockets.

// The unique identifier (`guid`) of your subdocumentconst guid = "c4a755...";
// Get your subdocumentconst subdoc = new Y.Doc();const update = liveblocks.getYjsDocumentAsBinaryUpdate("my-room-id", { guid });Y.applyUpdate(subdoc, new Uint8Array(update));
// Make changes to your subdocument, for example:subdoc.getText("my-text").insert(0, "Hello world");
// Send the changes to Liveblocks, and other clientsconst subdocChanges = Y.encodeStateAsUpdate(subdoc);liveblocks.sendYjsBinaryUpdate("my-room-id", subdocChanges, { guid });

New guide

To learn how to use subdocuments on both client & server, and when to use them, make sure to read our detailed new guide on subdocuments.

Rename Room IDs

It’s now possible to change the ID of any existing room, a feature that is particularly helpful if you’re switching to an access token naming pattern. You can do this by using liveblocks.updateRoomId or our new update room ID REST API.

const room = await liveblocks.updateRoomId({  roomId: "my-room-id",  newRoomId: "new-room-id",});
// { type: "room", id: "new-room-id", ... }console.log(room);

To implement this, make sure to read our guide on migrating your room IDs, as we explain how to smoothly transition users that are currently connected.

Upgrade now

There are no breaking changes in this update, and you can start using the new features now. Update every Liveblocks package in your project to the @latest version to get started.

$npm install @liveblocks/client@latest @liveblocks/react@latest @liveblocks/react-comments@latest liveblocks/node@latest

If you’d like to add Comments to your application, make sure to check out our guides and examples.


Huge thanks to everyone who contributed, and specifically to Adrien Gaudon, Florent Lefebvre, Guillaume Salles, Marc Bouchenoire, Nimesh Nayaju, Olivier Foucherot for their work on Comments and Notifications. Keep checking the changelog for the full release notes—see you next time!