Do you want to create your own chat experience for your customers? Then this post is for you! Read on to learn how you can embed Stream Chat to build your own white-label chat application.
•January 27th 2020
Cloud messaging is a service that enables developers to send messages between servers and client applications. With cloud messaging, developers leverage the infrastructure of a reliable cloud messaging provider such as Stream to deliver messages and notifications to their platform users. Cloud messaging includes downstream messages from servers to client applications and upstream messages from client applications to servers.
Stream is an enterprise-grade feed and messaging API provider. With Stream, developers can deploy scalable feeds and chat messaging with a 99.999% uptime SLA guarantee.
In this article, we look at the various reasons to use a service like Stream Chat to build a white-label chat platform for cloud messaging.
What Is a White-Label Chat?
White-label chat is considered to be any chat solution provided by a chat vendor that doesn’t show the vendor’s logo, domain, or any other type of vendor-specific branding. For instance, a developer can build a chat application without revealing the service provider that powers the chat behind the scenes.
This gives you full control over the user experience and scalability of your platform, which is excellent for enterprise companies. Building chat applications in this way has many advantages over building them from scratch, like pricing, ease of deployments, faster integration, and more.
Stream Chat offers a straightforward and fair pricing model for access to its APIs. This generally reduces the cost needed for a team of developers to build a custom chat solution. It also allows companies with a set budget to build and test out their ideas quickly before committing substantial resources to a more sophisticated solution, thereby reducing the barrier to entry for innovative applications in the chat space.
Ease of Integration
Stream Chat provides both a chat API as well as reusable component libraries, which enable developers to build chat and messaging applications quickly. Integrating and building chat applications with Stream Chat typically takes days to weeks (depending on how complicated your integration is) compared to building a custom or "homegrown" solution which involves integrating with other chat API providers, which would take months.
Ease of Deployments
Deploying applications powered by Stream Chat is no different than deploying your everyday application. Stream makes it easy to integrate with your frontend framework of choice by providing several libraries on npm and the backend through various libraries and packages available for a multitude of languages.
Netlify and Zeit are two primary services for deploying static frontend applications. If you’ve built a chat application using Stream Chat, you can quickly deploy to any hosting provider in just a few clicks, saving you hours of complex DevOps compared to using other solutions. For example, you can deploy your chat application to Netlify in five easy steps:
- Push your application to a Git provider (GitHub, GitLab, etc.)
- Create a Netlify account if you don’t have one.
- Click on “new site from git”
- Select your project from the list of projects
- Click Deploy
Once you are done with the steps, you are provided with a link to your new site, or you can choose to add a custom domain for your application- it is as simple as that!
Every full-fledged application has to have some backend portion to provide functionality for use-cases such as user authentication. Similarly, to build a messaging solution with Stream Chat, you’d need to build a backend layer to implement different functionality into the application, such as user token generation.
Once development is complete, you can deploy your application on platforms like Heroku, which make deployments less tedious. Other services like Digital Ocean can also be used but would require more advanced knowledge.
There are many white-label messaging solutions in the space; however, Stream Chat has proven to be the easiest to use from my point of view, with over 500 million monthly requests. Stream Chat also offers a free 28-day trial with no commitment, during which you will have access to everything.
In this article, we explored various reasons to use Stream Chat for building cloud messaging solutions. The benefits go beyond just pricing or ease of use.
Developing on the Stream infrastructure enables you to be productive from day one by focusing on what matters most in your application (getting it ready and stable for your users).
To learn more, Stream provides tutorials and demo applications of the several types of chat experiences you can build using the Stream Chat API – these can be found here. You can also read the API docs here.
Happy chatting! 🗯️