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WebRTC and More: Making Unified Communications and Collaboration Easier

April 02, 2015

In trying to stay current about insights into WebRTC and keep WebRTC Solutions Community members as up to speed as possible, I literally scan the world for insights and information.  And as we get ready to celebrate Passover and Easter there are two links that are worth sharing for your consideration and hopefully enlightenment. 

  • Peering Through the WebRTC Fog with SocketPeer. This is posted on the popular Mozilla Hacks site by contributor Potch.
  • BYO collaborative tool (who needs VoIP phones).  A team effort commissioned by WebRTC Solutions Community host Oracle Communications that resides on Networks Asia’s site.

Both of these are nice holiday weekend reading items.  A glimpse at them should be enticement to spend some quality time with each.

Peering for those technically inclined

It is a challenge to know where to start with getting a great handle on WebRTC, but Potch does a nice job if you have technical chops.  Starting with what WebRTC “abstracts away” Potch does as promised, e.g., walks the reader through the all important steps for peering.  The beauty of WebRTC is its promises of easy-to-use, and if Apple ever agrees and Microsoft speeds up its acceptance, universal interoperability for real-time multiple media interactions. 

In fact, the nice thing about the post is Potch’s post is his pitch for SocketPeer, a library he and colleague Chris Van have put together that is a combination of WebSockets and RTCPeerConnection.  As Potch says, “This node.js library abstracts away the common pattern of using WebSockets as a signaling server to instantiate a DataChannel over WebRTC. The WebSocket server will also serve as a fallback message relay if the peers cannot establish a peer-to-peer connection.”

There is lots of advice here on precisely what to do. The author admits this is a work in progress and is inviting feedback so give it a whirl and let him know what you think.

Getting to next generation UC and collaboration

As noted, the second posting was a team effort by the Networks Asia Special Projects Team as commissioned by Oracle Communications.  Unlike the previous item, this is not a how to guide but rather a thoughtful view of the interoperability challenges that have plagued acceleration of UC adoption and thoughts about how emerging solutions overcome the complexities and can make seamless, multi-vendor interoperability a reality. 

Without stealing the authors’ thunder, it is safe to say that making the complexity of integrating various vendor communications and collaboration systems and services (including cloud-based and mobile ones) so they are seamlessly interoperable and secure simple is not easy.  However, just because it is hard does not mean that it cannot be done and made transparent to the user.  It can be done. This includes integration and incorporation of WebRTC, VoIP, SIP trunking, UCaaS services, etc.  In fact, this level of integration and interoperability as the authors emphasize is at the heart of Oracles’ Unified Communications and Collaboration solution.  

It is becoming increasingly clear that the reason WebRTC in particular is attracting so much attention in the developer community is because of its appreciated role as a tool for helping finally achieve a level of multi-vendor interoperability that has constrained UC adoption and the associated use of other collaboration tools for what in Internet time seems like an eternity.  That is not hype, it is something to consider if not celebrate this holiday season. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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