WebRTC Solutions Featured Article

Opening WebRTC to the World

August 19, 2015

One of the things about standardization these days and the mechanisms build to help accelerate developer interest and ultimately user adoption is the reliance on the wisdom of the community. When it comes to WebRTC it is clear that a great way to keep up with industry buzz and best practices include hackathons, meet-ups, industry information portals and events such as TMC’s WebRTC World and WebRTC Conference and Expo, and obviously the work of the W3C Working group. You should add to the list the work initiated by Ericsson under OpenWebRTC initiative. 

Thanks to the good folks at Ericsson, the first version of the OpenWebRTC implementation, developed at Ericsson Research, as the name states is open source. And OpenWebRTC and Bowser were released publicly, and free, in October of 2014 to create traction and build that wise crowd.

As Ericsson says on the OpenWebRTC home page:

“OpenWebRTC is built on the belief that the WebRTC standard would transcend the pure browser environment and that native apps, implementing the same protocols and API's, would become an important part of the WebRTC ecosystem. This is especially true on mobile platforms where native app distribution is often preferred over pure Web apps. Native OpenWebRTC apps can either talk to other native apps or browsers that support WebRTC. OpenWebRTC can also provide the WebRTC-backend to web browsers.”  

“Having independent, interoperable, implementations is important for the health of any standard, and WebRTC is no exception. The ambition of OpenWebRTC is to follow the WebRTC standard closely as it continues to evolve. The bulk of the API layer is therefore implemented in JavaScript, making it super fast to modify and extend with new functionality (one such candidate is ORTC).” 

The site is worth a visit and participation as part of the community is encouraged. In fact, I have come to rely on the links from the homepage for useful information when talking to members of the WebRTC Solutions community, as this is an easy way to get information, for example, about:

  • Code which is on GitHub
  • The GSteamer multimedia framework
  • The interoperability roadmap
  • Updates on what the W3C Working Group is doing regarding their timeframes for the WebRTC definition of client-side APIs

Plus there is a lot more for WebRTC novices and pros. In fact, as part of the drill-down of the site, a good place to start might be with the blog in April that introduced the first (pre)release of OpenWebRTC 0.3.0! As noted in the blog, this is by no means intended for production-level applications, but it is a way to get your hands on the binaries of the current state of OpenWebRTC so “you can download and install them and start integrating into your applications much more quickly than before.”

WebRTC is starting to live up to the promise everyone predicted when it was first introduced even in the face of those who first saw it as over-hyped and not capable of delivering in ways that were (for lack of a better term) disruptive. One of the reasons is not just the wisdom of the crowd from it being open source, but the growth of the crowd and successful implementations for mass market services, service provider support and value-added initiatives around the world, and the growing list of enterprise use cases. 

In short, it is time to make sure you have bookmarked a host of important websites about WebRTC and certainly OpenWebRTC is one to make a favorite if you have not already done so.  

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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