Get up and Running With Stream Chat
In this quick tutorial, we’ll look at how to create a new account for Stream Chat, and the basics of how that account works.
Registering an account
First, go to the trial registration page, and fill out the required details. (Note that your organization name can not have spaces in it.)
The chat trial lets you play around with Stream Chat APIs for 30 days, for free. If you're a small business or you're building a hobby project, you can also apply for a Maker account to keep using Stream Chat for free even beyond the trial!
After clicking Get Started, you'll land on the following success page, which contains important details for your new account.
Your organization bears the name you've provided on the previous page. You also get an app created for you by default within the organization, which has the same name initially.
Apps at Stream have API key / secret pairs that can be used to access them via clients and API calls. Your app will get a pair of these created automatically as well. (You can add more or remove existing ones later on.)
- The API key is simply an identifier for your app. This will be used by the clients to connect to the app. Since these are used on the client side, they are public and safe to share around.
- The secret, however, should always be kept private. This provides admin access to your app, and can be used to create authenticated user tokens.
From this screen, click the app name to proceed to the dashboard.
Exploring the dashboard
Here, you'll see an overview of your organization, including high-level usage information, and a list of its apps with their details (just one, for now).
As you see here, the starter app is created in the
us-east region by default. You can choose the region to use when an app is created. For the list of available regions and more details about regions in general, see Multi-region Support.
If you don't like the default generated app name, you can rename the app by clicking Options → Edit.
You can also select whether the app should be in [Production or Development mode](https://getstream.io/chat/docs/production_and_development_mode/). It's in Production mode by default, where certain destructive actions on the dashboard are disabled, so that you can't accidentally delete user data, disable permissions, or remove important configuration.
Clicking an app's name on the dashboard opens the details for that app, which by default is the Feeds overview. Click the Chat tab on the top to go to the Chat related detail pages for the app.
In this menu, you'll find the following helpful pages:
- Overview: Shows you top stats like monthly active users (MAU), message volume, max concurrent connections, number of channels in each channel type, etc. Also contains app-level settings such as webhooks, authentication, and push notifications.
- Explorer: A view of your chat application data, where you can browse your existing users, channels, and messages. Useful for debugging your environment.
- Moderation: Admin panel for flagged messages, plus a browser where you can view channels and users, with the ability to issue ban actions if needed.
- Logs: The history of API calls made for this app, can be monitored here in real time.
- Webhook & Push Logs: A list of webhooks triggered and push notifications sent out.
- Rate limits: Your applicable rate limits for each type of rate limited API call.
In this article, you've learned how to create a new account for Stream Chat, what the important identifiers and keys for your Stream apps are, and the basics of how to find your way around the dashboard.
For your next steps, check out Setting up your Chat environment with Stream CLI, which helps you create your first users and channels.
You can also get to setting up clients and sending messages now. Our client tutorials will help you with that:
Other client libraries:
- Using Webhooks to Integrate Google Calendar and React
- Build vs. Buy: Chat for Customer Support
- Activity Feed Personalization 101: Top Feed Features to Improve User Engagement
- Flutter vs React Native: The Ultimate Comparison
- How This Developer Built a Messaging App in Just 2 Hours
- Building a Chat App With ChatKit for Android