Today, companies rarely build an entire application from scratch. The availability of an Application Programming Interface, or API, allows developers to incorporate various ready-made functions into their software, relieving them of the effort of having to code these features from scratch. Appointment schedulers, online-payment facilities, maps and location finders are all examples of popular third-party integrations. APIs, sets of code that enable the transmission of data between two separate applications, have opened up the world of possibility app developers. Ready-to-use third party software means they can now effortlessly enrich applications, by integrating a range of features, to create a truly engaging user experience.
Chat API, in particular, has become increasingly popular because of the ease and convenience it creates for adding real-time communication to any digital application. No need for costly in-house development of a chat solution. Now a product team can integrate voice, video, and chat functionality with pre-made software. While we discuss the benefits of real-time communication in another blog, here we highlight the advantages of using third party chat APIs to create this functionality.
For online businesses, there are many reasons to opt for third party integrations rather than build from scratch. Let’s look at a few of those benefits more closely.
Although chat API varies in quality and complexity, it’s easy to find one that can meet your specific use case requirements. The software can comprise both basic and advanced features including 1-on-1, private group, and public group chat, typing indicator, message archive, profanity filters, file sharing and push notifications. With all this functionality at your fingertips, why spend enormous resources re-inventing the wheel. Furthermore, it’s possible to find a chat API that permits customization so that you can select only the features that you need and configure them in accordance with your business goals and use case.
By integrating a pre-built feature rather than building it yourself, considerable time needed for design and development is saved. Of course third-party software still needs to be integrated and configured, but an API is usually accompanied by a SDK (Software Development Kit) with code samples, code libraries, a debugger, and documentation which supports the integration process. This means a chat solution can be developed in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months. When it comes to time, using an API is more efficient.
Third-Party API vendors provide a scalable back-end infrastructure to support the growth of your application as your daily traffic and number of active users increases. Also, many third party services offer a range of SDKs and APIs compatible with different operating systems including iOS, android, and web. This means that your chat solution can be made available on a number of devices without its performance being compromised.
Like any other software developer, API providers regularly update their products. If you are using an API, one of the great things is that any updates that the provider released will be applied to your product, too. You only need to set up the automatic check for updates, and that’s it. Besides, all updates released by the API provider will go through all the required tests and can be used easily and safely.
Streamlining the app development process by using pre-built software, will inevitably lower your cost base. Less development hours means a smaller initial cost to get your application up-and running. If you want to make your app available on multiple devices, you don’t need to pay your development team to do multiple coding, just select the appropriate SDKs from your software provider. Although you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to license the software, you will save on costs related to maintaining and updating software, because again, these will be provided by the third party service.
A proficient chat API that creates seamless real-time communication works to satisfy and even exceed user expectations. Relying on a trusted third party provider leaves you confident that the integrated features will perform faultlessly. In addition, using pre-made software, also frees up your development team to focus their efforts on your app’s core functionality and client side features, so that they can make it truly awesome.
APIs bring additional functionality which increases the value proposition of your business. For your users, the complete package of services you offer becomes more valuable when it is enhanced with effective third-party software. Moreover, as previously noted, a ready-to-use API saves you time and resources to develop extra features that will make your app even better. All this means that with third-party APIs you are getting added value and competitive advantages at a lower cost.
QuickBlox offers robust and versatile API and SDKs allowing quick and easy integration of full-featured chat functionality in your online service. Create an engaging in-app chat experience using our software:
Our enterprise-grade software has been used to build messaging apps for countless use cases. Browse our API documentation and contact us now for a detailed discussion of how to add custom real-time messaging features to your online service.