Technology Glossary

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  • Cache

    Caching is the act of storing data or information for faster processing in the future. The cache will save pieces of information to preserve personal preferences or settings for future reference to increase the User Experience.
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  • Cassandra

    Cassandra is a non-relational (NoSQL) database that can handle large data sets and access many simultaneous users. Cassandra handles data across multiple commodity servers to maintain quick responses and avoid failure points.
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  • Channel Type

    The channel type defines the configurations and permissions (e.g., Livestream, Messaging, etc.).
  • Chat API

    Use real-time chat and Messaging APIs to outsource comprehensive chat features without managing data or storage internally.
  • CaaS is a software service that allows developers to integrate real-time chat and messaging into existing apps and websites.
  • Chat Channel (Chat Room)

    A Chat Channel uses asynchronous data transfers to send messages from each user to a specific channel. That channel can hold many users and display messages in real-time.
  • Chat Widget

    A chat widget is a ready-to-use, customizable chat window on a website. Chat widgets can host chatbot technology and enable users to converse with it.
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  • Chatbot

    A chatbot is a software tool that developers can add to existing chat applications. Chatbots enhance the user experience by quickly answering questions or routing users to other professionals who can help provide customer support.
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  • Client

    A client acts as the intermediary device between a user and a server. The client will send requests through a browser or application and display the response sent back by the server.
  • Cloud

    Cloud computing is the ability for many users to access server data remotely simultaneously. Users can send and receive requests via website or web application through the client-server relationship without physically interacting with the server.
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  • Comet (Programming)

    Comet is a web application design paradigm that describes a continuous, two-way interaction between a server and a web browser using native HTTP methods.
  • Component

    A software component is a modular service that you can access independently through a larger application. Components can be organized throughout the file structure of an application or imported from a third-party provider.
  • Compose

    The Jetpack Compose Chat Messaging SDK is built on a low-level chat client and provides modular, customizable Compose UI components that you can easily drop into your app. You can also make API calls directly by using the client to add custom functionality.
  • Concurrent Connections

    Concurrent connections reflect the number of WebSocket connections on your chat app at the same time.
  • Conversational Channel

    A conversational channel is a place where users can converse. Examples include a website, real-time chat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Kik, etc.

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  • Dashboard

    A dashboard houses primary app data, permissions options, billing info, and usage analytics data collected through your chat app. It also provides moderation controls.
  • Database

    A database is a storage center for information, traditionally defined as relational or non-relational (NoSQL). Databases read and write data from external sites or applications, providing users remote access over the internet.
  • Dedicated Stack

    A dedicated stack is an independent physical or cloud server that is devoted to a single tenant. Many healthcare and financial organizations use dedicated stacks to isolate sensitive data from unauthorized users for security purposes.
  • Dialogflow

    Dialogflow is an AI system designed to understand user inputs such as text or speech and provide relevant information in response. Dialogflow can respond to users with text or synthetic speech to enhance the user experience.

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  • Edge Computing

    Edge computing is a strategy implemented by placing (or utilizing) physical servers in various locations. The closer a client is to the server, the faster the client will receive a response. Edge computing directly impacts bandwidth costs, download speeds, latency, and performance.
  • Emoticons and Gifs

    Custom emojis are a fun way to bring more life and customizability to your apps. They're available in some of the most popular apps, such as Slack, Discord, and Twitch. However, iOS SDK doesn't provide straight forward support for custom emojis out of the box. Streamoji is a custom emoji rendering library for iOS. It supports GIF, images, and unicode. It loads from URLs or local assets. Caching is taken care of and performance is fast.
  • End-to-end Encryption (E2EE)

    End-to-end encryption is a communication system where only the communicating users can read messages sent and received within the encrypted channel.
  • Error Code

    Every API request that describes the error messages returns HTTP status codes.
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  • Event

    An event is an update sent to the client from the API to keep the client up to date. Examples of events are new messages, new user images, or a new member joining a channel.
  • Explainable AI

    Explainable AI is an AI service whose outputs can be explained, and all processes and machine learning are accessible to be analyzed.

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  • Fan-Out

    Fan-out is a messaging pattern where messages are broadcast in a one-to-many arrangement. A basic example of this pattern can be seen in the functionality of a Publish/Subscribe messaging system, as Pub/Sub implies the ability to route messages from a single sender to multiple receivers.
  • FAST API

    FastAPI is an API framework written in Python for GET and POST requests. These requests follow OpenAPI convention and simplify the development process. JSON Web Tokens are pre-loaded in FastAPI and create unique user tokens based on UUID, email, and password.
  • Feed API

    Use Feed APIs to outsource comprehensive feed features without having to manage data or storage internally.
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

    FTP is the standard protocol between client and server. The client will send a request to the server using a specified URL. Clients make requests via browser or application and can have methods such as GET or POST and information within the body. The URI path defines where the server is located and sends all data associated with the request. Once the server receives the request, it gets a response with a status code.
  • Filters

    Use filters when returning results with query endpoints. You can query using the custom fields you've defined on the object you are querying, as well as built-in fields.
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  • Flag

    If a user sees or receives an inappropriate message, they can flag that message. The chat moderator is then notified of the content that has been flagged for their review and can make a judgment on what action to take next based on the contents of the chat.
  • Flutter

    The Flutter Chat Messaging SDK includes both a low-level SDK and reusable UI components bundled together in a simple sample app. Build a fully functioning Flutter mobile chat app with support for rich messages, reactions, threads, image uploads and videos.
  • Function as a Service (FaaS)

    Functions can be outsourced and added to production code by executing functionality at an edge server. Add FaaS as microservices or simple functions within microservices.
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  • Gaming Interface

    A gaming interface allows users to interact with game functionality. Users can navigate through the game console and make selections or choices based on the options through the UI.
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  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

    GDPR is a law maintained by the European Union to protect user-information stored electronically. The scope of GDPR extends to the transfer of data in or out of the EU as well.
  • Geocoding

    Geocoding (also known as forward geocoding to distinguish it from reverse geocoding) is the process of converting addresses (e.g. a house number, street name, zip code), into geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude).
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  • Geolocation API

    A Geolocation API is a communication interface between a client device or application (client-side), and an application or service (server-side) that identifies and returns information about the client’s geographical location.
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  • GET Request

    GET is a common method used in HTTP requests to retrieve data from a server.

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  • In-app Messaging

    In-app messaging is real-time messaging within an app or web application. In-app messaging allows users to communicate 1:1 for private chat and larger group chats with multiple users.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    IaaS providers manage datacenter infrastructure, offering optimal scalability and financial flexibility. Developers only pay for the storage needed and never worry about performance as the company grows or changes, alleviating the hassle of managing physical servers or other data storage systems.
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  • iOS/Swift

    The iOS Chat SDK is highly flexible, customizable and optimized for performance.
  • IP Messaging

    IP Messaging describes the general use of TCP/IP (the Internet protocol) to provide messaging capabilities to web and mobile applications.
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  • Language Translation

    Chat messages can be translated on-demand or automatically, this allows users speaking different languages on the same channel. The source language is inferred from the user language or detected automatically by analyzing its text.
  • Latency

    Latency is the delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction for its transfer.
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  • Limit

    A limit is a parameter that sets a cap on the number of results that will return from an endpoint.
  • Live Stream

    Live Streaming is the ability for users to observe different forms of media in real-time. As a source uploads content, users simultaneously receive packets of information without saving vast amounts of data. They can watch live videos or listen to music seamlessly without overloading local data storage.

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  • Non-Relational Database

    Non-relational databases do not organize information by tables. These databases can use various indexing methods and can be a faster alternative since queries don’t require referencing multiple tables to find information. Data can be arranged “side-by-side” and allow for organizational flexibility.

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  • Open Graph (OG) Protocol

    Open Graph protocol facilitates developer simplicity by providing a universal protocol for cross-platform use. We can define the title, type, image, and URL with metadata, thus creating a graph object based on the information provided. Each entity within the page can function the same way, significantly minimizing repetition.
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  • Options

    In addition to filtering and sorting, options are another tool to organize and filter data with query channels. Examples include watching the channel and limiting the number of channels or messages returned.
  • Owner

    Traditional default chat configuration provides elevated permissions to the owner of a channel, message, or user. For example, you can delete your message or update your name or profile.

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  • PCI DSS Compliance

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a strict compliance measure any company that accepts, processes, stores, or transmits cardholder data (CHD) must meet.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    A digital environment that reads and executes code. As the platform runs the code, an interface will display the returned information or response.
  • POST Request

    POST is a common method used in HTTP requests to write data to a server when submitting forms or uploading large files.
  • PostgreSQL

    Postgres is a relational database that can store, access, and manipulate object data. You can reference objects in Postgres by using queries, as well as data relationships. Relationships are defined by a foreign ID that points directly to the ID of another object.
  • Pre-Active Moderation

    Pre-active moderation prevents harmful content from ever reaching or impacting other users; technology rather than human moderators accomplish this. Platforms can employ blocklists to identify offensive language in message drafts and stop them from being sent. AI-based, real-time pre-active moderation checks messages for harmful content and asks the sender to change or remove the harmful content before sending the message. This type of moderation prevents unsavory interactions but can disrupt a user's experience if not implemented correctly. Pre-active chat moderation is difficult to implement with manual workflows due to the real-time nature of chat. This method of moderation is typically automated and can follow two approaches.
  • Privacy Shield Certification (PSC)

    The Department of Commerce oversees PSC and affirms compliance with Privacy Shield Standards annually.
  • Private Channel

    A private channel is only visible to its participants and will decrease channel synchronization time at client start.
  • Private Cloud

    A private cloud is a separation of organizations using cloud computing across one or multiple servers. Build the cloud to access specific services or information that authorized users can only view. Within the organization, you can make a further logical separation for sensitive information.
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  • Programming Algorithm

    A programming algorithm is a set of directions for a specific function within computing. Optimize algorithm outputs for performance based on specified inputs.
  • Programming Framework

    A programming framework is a flexible system that allows for software development in specific programming languages. Frameworks come with base functionality that can be added to or modified to meet the application’s needs.
  • Programming Language

    A programming language is nearly identical to a spoken language. In programming, language is a way to arrange text to develop software. Various languages use different syntax for methods, functions, and data types. Many programming languages are derived from older or outdated versions, so there can also be similarities between languages.
  • Protected Health Information (PHI)

    PHI is enforced under HIPAA by the Department of Public Health. It identifies certain patient information as protected by law and to only be viewed by authorized parties during medical consultations.
  • Public Channel

    Channels are used for conversations between users. A public channel is seen and can be joined by non-members. Additionally, the public channel, along with its members and messages, is visible to every client endpoint in a given service SID. This means that synchronizing channels lists on client start may take more time when you have a large number of public channels.
  • Publish/Subscribe (Pub/Sub)

    Publish-Subscribe is a software design pattern that describes the flow of messages between applications, devices, or services in terms of a publisher-to-subscriber relationship.
  • Push Notification

    Use push notifications to alert users that they have new or updated information. Traditionally, users can customize their push notification settings to alert specific events like messages or status updates. Once data is updated, open WebSockets will automatically push a notification to the user without needing to manually request updates from the server.

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  • Query

    A query is a request for data or information from a database table or combination of tables.
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  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    RAM is live or “working” data and can be accessed immediately from any physical location within your computer. The information can be read or written in any order and “accessed randomly.”
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  • React Native

    The React Native Chat SDK makes it easy to build in-app chat like iMessage, Telegram or Slack. Stream's React Native SDK is feature packed with rich messages (URL previews, user mentions, chat commands), reactions, threading, image & file uploading, and videos.
  • Reactive Moderation

    Reactive moderation responds to harmful content after users share it on a platform. This method typically relies on human moderators to monitor chat channels, and user reports to be actioned by moderators or administrators of the forum. Reactive moderation can also include user-to-user moderation, empowering users to prevent or remove inappropriate content created by other users. For instance, users can mute others who are spamming their inboxes, or they can flag a message for administrative review that they believe breaks the community guidelines.
  • Real-Time Chat

    Real-time chat is a messaging service for applications that allow users to communicate in real-time.
  • Real-Time Computing

    Real-time data is information sent live from one source to another. An event will trigger a response and must guarantee that response within a specified timeframe, otherwise known as a “deadline.”
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  • Real-Time Messaging Protocol

    RTMP or Real Time Messaging Protocol is a proprietary system that is utilized for streaming live video feeds to devices running Flash.
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  • Redis

    Redis is an in-memory database that parses Rapid Access Memory (RAM) for faster response times. By caching data in RAM, data is available instantaneously instead of disk storage, where information needs to be retrieved first.
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  • Regional Setting

    The regional setting indicates the location of your chat app on the AWS infrastructure. Selecting the correct place for your app is critical; otherwise you might experience latency issues. You should also align your customer base with your regional setting.
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  • A relational database stores object-based information and uses associations to pass data along.
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  • Representational State Transfer (REST)

    REST is a formatting convention used for reading, writing, and updating objects. Developers that follow this convention refer to routes “RESTful.” Developers use this as a way to simplify readability when multiple individuals are writing to the same codebase.
  • RocksDB

    RocksDB is a high-performance database using key-value pairs for faster data writing and storage. RocksDB focuses on applications that require low-latency access to data, such as real-time messaging queues or graph queries.
  • Role

    Roles determine the permissions of end-users and staff members at the application level. Examples of roles are Admin, Guest, User, Anonymous, etc.

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  • Server

    A server is a physical or cloud storage system for functionality for other devices. The term comes from the idea that information is being “served” to its client. The server will receive some requests from the client and return a response.
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  • Serverless Computing

    Outsourced computing services provide developers with production-ready tools to optimize applications. These services include Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Functions as a Service (FaaS). Cloud services can provide engineers with a fast, flexible alternative to in-house development.
  • Shadowban

    Instead of a default ban, you can shadowban users from a channel, set of channels, or an entire app. When a user is shadowbanned, they will still be allowed to post messages, but any message sent during the shadowban will only be visible to the message's author and invisible to other users of the app.
  • SignalR

    Microsoft ASP.NET developed SignalR, a software library that utilizes traditional HTTP connections that allow real-time connectivity between server and clients.
  • Silent Message

    When you want to send a system, administrative, or transactional message, you may not always want to instantly alert the user or change the unread message count on a conversation. Silent Messages can be sent to a recipient without an “unread” notification appearing on their end.
  • Slash Commands

    Slash commands get their name due to the “slash” added before the command is used. Slash commands are associated with a web service and designed to make an HTTP request to the service provider.
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  • Smart Notification

    Smart Notifications is a relatively new concept used to describe the various techniques designed to make real-time, push-style messaging (such as Push Notifications) more relevant, useful, and appropriate for individual users.
  • SMS (Short Message Service)

    SMS (Short Message Service) is a way to send short, 160-character text messages from one mobile device to another over the cellular telephone network.
  • Social Messaging

    Social messaging is an application or platform that allows users to chat independently or in groups. You can utilize social messaging as chat messaging or feeds delivered to clients in real-time.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

    SaaS is an outsourced option for developers who want to use services like Chat or Feeds but may not have the resources to build the functionality themselves. SaaS is offered on a term basis, and subscribers commonly have several plan options depending on what features they’re looking for. SaaS is a lightweight option as opposed to storing data on servers managed by the SaaS provider. SaaS can be an excellent solution for developers looking to provide their users a feature-rich experience without extending time to market.
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  • Software Development Kit (SDK)

    SDKs are created for developers to quickly and easily integrate services into their existing applications. SDKs are custom-built and offered for specific platforms and frameworks. These kits can consist of infrastructure services as well as front-end kits for UI development.
  • Sort

    Sort is a parameter you can apply to queries. The sort function increases query options and flexibility. You can sort by field and direction or sort using multiple options. You can sort by parameters like last_updated or unread_count.
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  • Support

    Support is typically a team of engineers focused on customer success and helping with any integration blockers or questions you may have.
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  • URL Enrichment

    When enabled, messages containing URLs will be enriched automatically with image and text related to the message.
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  • URL Unfurling

    URL unfurling is the complete breakdown of a URL into independent segments. You can repurpose these segments as Open Graph objects for simplified development techniques.
  • User

    Users are unique visitors to your chat app.
  • User Engagement

    User engagement is the measurement of how a user spends their time on a site. Improved user engagement will keep users engaged longer and increase time spent on the site or application.
  • User Experience (UX)

    User experience is determined by the design and logic of an app. User experience can be leveraged to drive conversions or point users towards a specific page.
  • User Generated Conent (UGC)

    User-generated content (also known as UGC or consumer-generated content) is original, brand-specific content created by customers and published on social media or other channels. UGC comes in many forms, including images, videos, reviews, a testimonial, or even a podcast.
  • User Permissions

    The five default channel types (commerce, gaming, messaging, livestream, and team) come with different default permission policies preconfigured to best fit one use-case. For example, one of the default permission policies for the 'messaging' channel type "only allows users with a moderator or admin role to ban another user".
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  • User Presence

    User presence allows you to show when a user was last active and if they are online right now. Whenever you read a user the data will look like this: The online field indicates if the user is online. The status field stores text indicating the current user status.
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  • Watcher

    A watcher is a user who subscribes to updates on a channel (new messages, etc.). Being a watcher doesn't imply membership; for example, a non-member can watch a Livestream channel-type and is considered a watcher.
  • Webhook

    A webhook is a service that can be built into an application to run when triggered by an event or update in real-time. These services run behind the scenes and call external applications built, maintained, and operated by third-party providers.
  • Websocket

    Websockets facilitate ongoing communication between a client and server without requiring users to request updates. This communication protocol uses event-driven notifications and allows users to communicate in real-time.

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  • XMPP

    XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) is an open-source, decentralized messaging protocol born from Jabber, an early real-time chat protocol.