Benefits of integrating pre-built features
In 2021, you are going to be hard-pressed to find a software product that has been built from scratch. Sure, most products are designed unique and intended to provide a unique service but the uniqueness more often than not rests on a solid foundation built from ready-made blocks. Each app is, in fact, a certain set of features and, in most cases, these features have already been built before.
Today, the most optimal way of building software is to create the most significant features that comprise the core of your product on your own and then to enhance them with verified and time-tested features that you need to create a complete user experience.
For example, if you are building a delivery app for your local community, you will build your marketplace platform where customers can order deliveries. At the same time, if you want to add a map to track deliveries and build routes, there is no need to build it from scratch. Google Maps has done it already and is happy to provide it to everyone else. Similarly, if you are designing a local touristic platform, you will invest in creating some unique content to attract the tourists but do you really need to build your own hotel availability and booking feature when there is Booking.com?
There are hundreds of such common features that can be integrated into other products – maps, calculators, calendars, payment gateways, social networks, communication features. Using pre-built features can significantly improve your software development process bringing a number of valuable benefits.
How to integrate pre-built features
The most common method of integrating pre-built features in your software product is through using APIs and SDKs. Both allow enhancing the app with additional functionality, however, the basic principles are different.
APIs are designed to build a bridge between your app and a service that you wish to integrate. Using an API usually requires a significant amount of coding. SDKs, on the other hand, are intended to build a feature or even a complete app from a set of blocks and corresponding tools. Implementing a feature from an SDK is usually less time- and resource-consuming as it requires much less coding.
If you are deciding whether to use an API or SDK, you can find more information in this comparison.
Benefits of using pre-built features
The most obvious benefit of using ready-made features in your software product is shorter time-to-market. Integrating pre-built components saves time and allows you to roll out the finished product earlier.
Another benefit related to the previous one is the increased opportunities for innovation. When the development team reuses features and components built by others, they have more time and resources to fine-tune their own product, add useful features, improve user experience and performance.
Better component interaction is also worth mentioning. APIs and SDKs are built for a particular platform and contain all the necessary integrations needed to create seamless systems.
If you implement additional features via an API or SDK, you are often getting effective security, too. The APIs and SDKs are created with security in mind and are thoroughly tested to provide the necessary level of protection to users and the apps that implement them.
When some features of your application are integrated as third-party services, regular updates are easier and smoother. The API provider runs updates on their schedule and issues hotfixes as necessary. Of course, this includes the data and content that your users are getting via a third-party service. You can rely on it to always be up to date.
The last but definitely not the least is the improved customer satisfaction. When you use pre-built services, you are offering your customers features that are, on the one hand, effective and properly tested and, on the other hand, familiar and intuitive. By adding a pre-built feature, you let users focus on your core functionality without being distracted by learning to get started with auxiliary things.
How to identify that you can use pre-built features
Include the analysis of potential APIs and SDKs in your project planning. Most probably, you will find that you can use a service by another provider. Depending on the industry you are working in and the services you provide, your choice of third-party features may be quite wide. For example, if you are in e-commerce, you might want to include a payment gateway. If you offer a fitness app, look at the available calorie counters together with product databases. If you run a delivery app, a taxi aggregator, or a service marketplace, you will benefit from a map and a calendar.
Businesses working in such industries as healthcare, education, finance, as well as enterprise-sized companies in any sector of the economy should think of including a comprehensive communication feature in their software systems. Adding a communication suite with a live chat, a video and audio calling function, a file-sharing option will enhance your app or enterprise system by providing a reliable channel of communication both within the company and with external customers.
This is a perfect use case for third-party software. Instead of writing your own communication product from scratch, choose a reliable API or SDK provider and get a secure and effective messaging app in a quicker and less expensive way.
Add communication features with QuickBlox
If you are thinking of enhancing your software product with quality communication features or building a communication app, we recommend you consider using QuickBlox API or SDK. By integrating QuickBlox pre-built communication services, you will get a robust messaging and calling app with a number of useful features:
- Online chat with presence indicators, typing indicators, and moderation options
- Online chat rooms allowing to create secure group communication spaces
- Video calls
- Audio calls
- File sharing supporting multiple content and media formats, from text documents to video and image files
- Cross-platform development ensuring that your app will run with the same high performance on any device and in any browser
In addition, the communication API by QuickBlox can be supplied in a white-label format allowing you to add your custom branding and make the communication app a member of your corporate software family.
How to start using QuickBlox API and SDK in your app?
We recommend that you start with browsing the QuickBlox documentation describing the products QuickBlox offers for different platforms. For more information about the QuickBlox communication apps and their features, ways of implementing them in your applications, and customization options, contact us, and our professional engineers will be happy to help.