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WebRTC Specialist ToxBox Introduces Session Diagnostic Tool

August 05, 2015

In many ways WebRTC is still in its early maturation stages. The level of innovation across the emerging WebRTC ecosystems continues to accelerate, and is proving to be a great thing to watch.  A recent example of this comes with the introduction by Tokbox, part of Telefónica Digital, a division of Telefónica S.A., continuing to push the envelope to improve WebRTC functionality so that it is both carrier and enterprise grade as solutions get developed and deployed.  In fact, an example of this comes with the recent introduction on the company’s blog of the availability of its new session diagnostic tool, Inspector.  

For those not familiar with Tokbox, a brief introduction is in order. The company develops and operates OpenTok, a WebRTC cloud platform for adding the complete portfolio of WebRTC functionality—real-time video, voice, messaging and mobile app support to any organizations’ website—using simple to use APIs. 

The new session diagnostic tool is something that developers are going to like. As Meeta Dash, Developer, New Products & Features, Tokbox says in the blog concerning the introduction of Inspector:  “It provides you with a high-level OpenTok session summary at a stream and user level to help pinpoint errors, failures, and quality issues. Our main goal? To simplify your post-session debugging.” In other words, it provides a rich set of information so that you literally can learn from mistakes and errors, which after all is how WebRTC will become carrier and enterprise safe as well as more operator and developer friendly.

Image via Shutterstock

Capabilities of Inspector, used by TokBox’s own engineering team to debug OpenTok sessions, will now be available to developers through what is described as an easy to use interface. It will provide visibility on critical session-level metrics including:

  • Bit-rate, latency and packet loss graphs at user and stream level
  • Event Logs (Detailed list and description of all session events)
  • User Logs (Information such as location, SDK, browser and client)
  • Error Logs (Details of all errors encountered, time of error and impacted end-users)

Why all of this is such a benefit is enabling visualization not just of session-level issues but their cause so that problems can be quickly fixed.  In fact, this new capability will enable the determination of whether an issue was caused by an end-user error, application error, network problem or the OpenTok platform. 

There is an old adage that basically says you can fix what you don’t know is a problem. Hence, having visibility is key. This is especially true since WebRTC sessions are in real-time and the expectation based on its use for critical interactions, and ultimately its success, will be that it will be reliable, i.e., debugged. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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