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Making your Apps “Chatable”

As a Software developer who create an app for clients, we might often find this in the requirement:

“able to chat with other users”

Which basically the owner want chat functionality in the app to let users talk and interact each other without the need to open other social messaging apps. This is needed to increase user’s engagement. The app needs to be “chatable”. It sounds simple and clear, but is it as easy as we expect it to be?Well, initially I thought it was quite simple. I just need to integrate my apps with Firebase or Apple Push Notifications (APNs) and display the message in ListView on Android or TableView on iOS. In any case, I can just google around and search tutorials to create chat app.

Well, initially I thought it was quite simple. I just need to integrate my apps with Firebase or Apple Push Notifications (APNs) and display the message in ListView on Android or TableView on iOS. In any case, I can just google around and search tutorials to create chat app.It turned out takes much longer to be finished, glitch and bugs that always appears, feedback that keep coming from users and whoever use our apps. While after the app being released to production and marketing start playing, the conversation volume was getting bigger, many pictures being shared, ListView and TableViewController starting to be lagging. Need more time and effort to specifically analyze what happening on that problems, whether it is client side or backend side.

It turned out takes much longer to be finished, glitch and bugs that always appears, feedback that keep coming from users and whoever use our apps. While after the app being released to production and marketing start playing, the conversation volume was getting bigger, many pictures being shared, ListView and TableViewController starting to be lagging. Need more time and effort to specifically analyze what happening on that problems, whether it is client side or backend side.At the same time, the number of users had been increasing, there were some events that trigger some spike on our servers, push notifications came late. Servers

At the same time, the number of users had been increasing, there were some events that trigger some spike on our servers, push notifications came late. Servers were hit by more than 1000 users concurrently on the peak. I found bugs everywhere and I patched it sporadically, while my apps had a spaghetti code and were difficult to maintain. I was frustrated! Now I realize that to “able to chat with other users” is not as easy as expected.

Better Solution

Finally, I discovered a better solution after searching around on any SDK to handle these specific chat functionality. There were some results on chat SDK as keywords but I was particularly interested in Qiscus SDK. It was providing all I need in chat functionality and very easy to get started with. I am getting “ready to use full UI” to be implemented in my app! Even the edge cases like reply, typing indicator, online presence are already inside the package. Nice! I can even customize the UI if I need to do so.

Qiscus in Production Application

Qiscus already have some big names on healthcare industry, education industry, fintech, etc. Hence I think it is quite safe bet to use Qiscus inside my app in production.

 

 

This article was originally written by Arif Akbarul Huda and published on his Medium.

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