Add value to your app with Instant Messaging. Here’s where to start.

How can we create or improve a chat experience for your business and its customers?

Building and maintaining a chat application is a continuous process. We join our customers at many different stages, and depending on their needs, we can help in different ways. Let’s take a closer look at some examples.

Building a bespoke solution.

We can become an embedded part of the team that builds the service. This allows us to architect and build the solution together from scratch. From the very first day, we learn about the unique properties of the customer and how instant messaging helps them to achieve their goals. As a result, we can use our expertise to make sure the system is built perfectly, from the start, before any less-than-ideal decisions are made. An added benefit of this for our customers is that their team gets to see how we go about architecting and designing a best-practice system. That way, there is a natural knowledge sharing of every step in the process, so when the product is launched and in-use, your team is familiar with how to operate and maintain your system. When possible, this is the perfect option for both the organisations we work with and us.

Improving and optimising before release.

We can’t always be there from the start. Sometimes, there is a proof of concept application ready which needs improving, often because there is a technical issue that needs to be solved before the release. At this stage, it’s still possible to help design the architecture of the entire chat system. We can also deploy it to the production environment and make sure it can cope with the increasing load introduced by new users. There are a number of common problems we help solve for companies looking to optimise their chat before release.

Increasing the scalability of your chat to allow you to handle more users.

Your instant messaging is deployed and running. Your product is growing successfully. It should be a time to celebrate, but often increased adoption or use of a chat application comes with increased scalability issues. These need to be sorted fast and future-proofed to avoid giving your users a poor experience and damaging the growth you’ve worked hard to achieve.

Improving or customising your chat application.

All right, the app is deployed, and users are chatting, so far so good. How can joining forces with us make things even better? There are many reasons companies will come to us to improve an existing instant messaging solution.

Tips to avoid common mistakes when using open-source MongooseIM:

Choose your XEP, and choose wisely.

X in XMPP stands for eXtensible. This means it might not be the simplest protocol, but there’s hardly a chat feature it doesn’t cover. There is a set of core RFCs on top of which custom extensions (XEPs) are built. There are usually no issues with the core functionality that is covered in RFCs. They are adopted by many client libraries and servers. XEPs are often isolated from each other, independent from the core functionalities. They add extra features or capabilities to the core of XMPP. Here comes the biggest challenge: deciding which XEP to choose (you can find more details in our XMPP use-cases guide). From our experience, developers starting their adventure with XMPP may have a hard time finding a suitable XEP. This can sometimes accidentally lead to your choice creating difficulties or limitations. Some examples:

Reduce unknowns

When preparing for a wave of users using instant messaging functionality, we need to remember to load test. It’s very crucial to run load tests to know the capacity of your production setup. To my surprise, this is often neglected. Many people want an answer to the following simple question: “how many resources do I need to handle X number of users, sending Y messages per second”. There are too many factors and variables to accurately answer this question. To have a better idea about the capacity, you can run load tests simulating user behaviours. It usually starts with developing the scenario. After making sure that monitoring is in place, the load testing can start. Now we can learn how the system behaves and what to expect in the production environment.

Summing it up

It is very important:

  • to know what functionalities are needed and enabled on the server
  • to verify if a custom extension is already covered in a XEP
  • to only build a custom extension if necessary
  • to run load tests to find the capacity and be better prepared for the real traffic

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Erlang Solutions

Erlang Solutions

World-class solutions for issues of scale, reliability & performance. Passionate about Erlang & Elixir. MongooseIM & WombatOAM creators. Also RabbitMQ experts!