31 January, 2023

How to Build Web Chat Application in 2022 (Step by Step Guide)

build web chat application

If you’re curious about how to create a simple web-based chat application in java for your users but not sure where to start, this is the article for you.

In this tutorial, I will walk you through the complete process of building a web chat app in simple steps. Throughout this guide, I’ll use a Plain text editor to create our web app and add the chat features using MirrorFly’s chat SDKs. In addition,

I’ve recommended compatible versions of web browsers that will be able to operate our build chat app.

Recommended Browser Versions

  • Edge 13 or above
  • Chrome 16 or higher
  • Firefox 11 or above
  • Safari 7 or above

Moving ahead, you’ll learn:

How to create web-based chat application (easy steps)

  • Download the chat SDKs 
  • Add the chat features to the app
  • Connect the Chat SDKs to the Server
  • Send and receive messages via your own web chat app

Sounds good? Let’s get started!

1. SDK Authentication

The first step in creating a web chat app using third-party APIs is to make sure that the server is able to authenticate the SDKs.

For this authentication to take place, we need a license key that helps the MirrorFly server know that your app can be trusted to integrate the SDKs.

Let’s get the License key by performing the following steps:

  • Go to the MirrorFly Console Page – https://console.mirrorfly.com/register
  • On this page, we’ll need to create a MirrorFly account by registering as a user.
  • We’ll have to fill in the required details like name, contact details, and organization details and click on the Signup button to complete the registration process
  • Now, we’ll be taken to our MirrorFly account page where we’ll find our profile’s overview page.
  • Under the ‘Application Info’ section, we can find the ‘License Key’ needed for the integration process
 
You Build It, You Run It, You Love It

2. SDK Integration

Once we’ve acquired the License Key, we’ll step into the SDK integration process.

For the SDK integration, download the Javascript SDK in the Download SDK section of the MirrorFly Account.

Next, we’ll need to extract the files and import the SDK files into your development environment.

After importing the SDK files, include the script file into your index.html

<script src="./index.js"></script>
<script src="./socket.io.js"></script>

Chat SDK Integration using React

  • If you are looking to add the chat features using React, follow the below steps:
  • Include the script file into your index.html
<script src="./index.js"></script>
<script src="./socket.io.js"></script>
  • In the Project root, create a new file SDK.js and continue to paste the below code
const SDK = window.SDK;
export default SDK;
  • Next, we’ll need to import the SDK into the app
import SDK from "./SDK";

Chat SDK Integration using React Native

If you plan on integrating the Chat SDK using React Native, you must ensure that the peer-dependencies with specific versions mentioned below are installed

  • react-native – Any version
  • react-native-get-random-values – must use version above or equal to version 1.7.1
  • @react-native-async-storage/async-storage – Any version
  • Now, extract all the files from the dist folder and copy them
  • Inside our project, create a new folder and paste all the files
  • Next, export the SDK objects by creating a file SDK.js

Finally, import the SDKs using the below code:

import './index';
const SDK = window.SDK;
export default SDK;

Chat SDK Integration Using Angular

  • Extract the SDK files from the downloaded folder
  • Copy them and paste them in a new folder created within the Project’s root folder.
  • Open your angular.json
  • Navigate to build > options > scripts
  • Add the relative file paths of the downloaded JS files in the array of scripts
  • In the root component, add the below code (into Root component’s ngOnInit)
declare var SDK: any;
  • Finally, initialize the angular SDK initialization

3. Initialization of the Chat SDKs

  • When there are changes in the connection status of the client’s app, a certain set of data must be responsive to carry out the initialization process
  • In the licensekey param, paste the license key acquired from the MirrorFly account.
  • To pass the data, use the below method:
const initializeObj = {
  apiBaseUrl: `API_URL`,
  licenseKey: `LICENSE_KEY`,
  isTrialLicenseKey: `TRIAL_MODE`,
  callbackListeners: {},
};
await SDK.initializeSDK(initializeObj);

Sandbox Details

function connectionListener(response) {
  if (response.status === "CONNECTED") {
	console.log("Connection Established");
  } else if (response.status === "DISCONNECTED") {
	console.log("Disconnected");
  }
}

const initializeObj = {
  apiBaseUrl: "https://api-preprod-sandbox.mirrorfly.com/api/v1",
  licenseKey: "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
  isTrialLicenseKey: true,
  callbackListeners: {
	connectionListener
  },
};
await SDK.initializeSDK(initializeObj);

Example Response

{
  "statusCode": 200,
  "message": "Success"
}

In order to send or receive messages via the app, we need to connect a user to the server. Obtain a user name and password and proceed with the below method:

4. User Registration

await SDK.register(`USER_IDENTIFIER`);

Sample Response:

{
  statusCode: 200,
  message: "Success",
  data: {
	username: "123456789",
	password: "987654321"
  }
}

Connect the SDK to MirrorFly Server

Make use of the credentials acquired during the above user registration process

When the connection is established successfully, a response message: statusCode of 200 will appear. Otherwise, an execution error message will pop up

await SDK.connect(`USERNAME`, `PASSWORD`);

5. Send Message From Your Web Chat App

Use the below method to send a message to another user via our chat app

await SDK.sendTextMessage(`TO_USER_JID`, `MESSAGE_BODY`);

6. Receive Message From Your Web Chat App

Implement the messageListener function that will trigger whenever a new message is received on our web app. To execute the reception of messages, we need to call the below method

function messageListener(response) {
  console.log("Message Listener", response);
}

Conclusion

If you’ve come all way long to the end of this article – I must appreciate your perseverance to learn  how to create a web chat application We’ve come across the complete process of adding chat features to a web app that can work on all compatible browsers. This indeed will create an interaction-rich experience for your users and multiply the conversion rate of your brand.

As exciting as I was to write this article, I hope you also had a great time learning all the details on how to create a simple web based chat application project. Since we’ve covered only the basic communication features in this article, I would urge you to check out other interesting features here.

Wish to meet you soon with yet another great insight. Until then, I wish the best to you! 

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Frequently Asked Question

How long does it take to build a chat app?

The timeframe required to build a chat app depends on whether you are building it from scratch or use 3rd party APIs. When you build an app with minimal features, it would take approximately 3-6 months, while a complex app takes around 9-12 months. On the other hand, an app can be built in less than 30 minutes when you develop it using pre-built APIs.

Which technology is best for chat applications?

Websockets are the technology used for sending and securing messages between servers and user devices when building chat apps. Apart from this, developers use Javascript as the backend technology along with Java and Kotlin for Android apps. For iOS apps, they highly prefer to use Swift and Objective C as the building tech stacks.

Does a chat app need a server?

Yes, a chat app requires a server to push new messages from sender to receiver, retain messages in the channel when the recipient is not available and deliver them right when the user returns online. In addition, the server will also listen for new messages and allows encryption protocols to cipher the data in transit and delivery.

What are the objectives of a chat application?

The main purpose of a chat app is to enable users to easily send and receive messages to each other, from anywhere, and on any device. It connects users instantaneously and protects their messaging privacy with strong encryption protocols. This way, chat apps act as a highly reliable tool for communication, for both personal and business purposes. 

14 Comments

  1. kavya Reply

    We are going to develop an messaging APP and launch it on iOS/Android. The feature of this APP is to let the users chat with the influencers using video, voice, and text messages. Now we are evaluating the suitable and professional video chat solution that can support us not only in providing stable online video/text chat functions but also can maintain the cloud server and customer support as well. Therefore, I have some questions and would like to confirm with you. 1. What are your billing standard and paying methods? 2. Can we pay monthly and pay only what we use? 3. Once we start to integrate the element chat SDK, do you have technical contact for us to consult problems? 4. Is there any additional fee that we have to pay? Or any other things that we should know in advance? Looking forward to hearing from you, thank you.

  2. Lussia Reply

    I am learning web development. I want to use messaging SDK for my chat app with following requirement 1-1 & group chat ,language translation,file and doc sharing ,whiteboard features .let me know MirrorFLy Chat SDK afford above features.looking forward your response

  3. Neha Reply

    We have an ios and an andriod application and we need a messaging sdk with an affordable price. Could you please tell us your prices, and is it possible to integrate it with a translation API.

  4. ravi Reply

    Hi team, very interesting write up. Thanks for sharing. I want to develop chat app (something like whatsapp) but with added modern chat features (maybe kets say first one in market). Ill reveal that later but how much dies it cost to develop that chat app itself) and i’m looking for readymade chat SDK

  5. Lina Reply

    Hi, we are building a team communication application and we are looking for a chat provider for 100k users of our app. What is the approx. pricing for 100k users operated by MirrorFly? Looking forward to hear from you.

  6. Abzal Reply

    Hello. I would like to know more about your team communcation web chat solution. I wanna make p2p team messenger app with help of MirrorFly messaging API.share your pricing list ASAP

  7. poorni Reply

    we at settleking looking for Chat API to be integrated with our app to provide messaging feature for our users. I would like to discuss regrading license cost, Support in case of failure, SLA ,etc. kindly get back to me

  8. james Reply

    I am creating a chat app and I would like more information about your chat API for end-to-end encryption for instant messaging

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Hello! It’s great to know that you are planning to build a chat app for your team. Yes, when
      you integrate MirrorFly SDKs as mentioned in this article, it creates an interactive and secure environment where your employees can connect and converse with each other. The group chat feature allows your employees to make official discussions, share important documents, react to messages instantly and stay informed about updates and announcements. Since the APIs and SDKs are built with security encryption protocols, you can stay confident about the security of messages sent or received within your organization.

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Not at all! Building chat apps is not hard these days with pre-built and robust SDKs like MirrorFly. All you need to do is just integrate the chat features that suit your business and take them live instantly . Since these APIs and SDKs come with built-in chat and security features, you will also not require huge resources for scaling your app.

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Hello! glad to know that you are interested in building a web chat app. To start off, you’ll first need to plan the development approach: Build from scratch or Integrate pre-built APIs & SDKs. Next, you’ll need to be aware of the Websocket technology to set up persistent connections between the client and the server. Only when you are clear about Websockets, you’ll be able to choose the techstacks needed for your app development. I would recommend you to learn more about Node.js, a javascript resource that works perfectly well with Websockets.

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