WebRTC For Beginners

Contents:

  1. Part 1: Introduction to WebRTC and creating the signaling server
  2. Part 2: Understanding the MediaDevices API and getting access to the user’s media devices
  3. Part 3: Creating the peers and sending/receiving media
  4. Part 4: Sharing and sending the user’s display and changing tracks
  5. Part 5: Data Channels basics
  6. Part 6: Android native peer
  7. Part 7: iOS native peer
  8. Part 8: Where to go from here



Part 1: Introduction to WebRTC and creating the signaling server

Hello, due to finding not too much information regarding WebRTC I have decided to create a tutorial. Hopefully it is helpful to anyone looking into trying out WebRTC.

While WebRTC is not a new technology it is constantly evolving. I will try to update this as new changes occur.

WebRTC is short for (Web Real-Time Communication), and allows Peers to send/receive media/data via P2P.

Before we dive into the fun parts, we need to set up a Signaling server so that the peers can initially communicate, the protocol for this can be anything but it usually ends up being WebSockets. It’s also possible after the initial signaling is complete to use Data Channels, which we will leave until later.

With that being said, let’s start on creating the signaling server.
The signaling server can be any language, but for simplicity’s sake I will be using JavaScript and Nodejs.
Since WebRTC does not work on insecure addresses we will also need to provide a self signed certificate. (Don’t used self signed if you’re planning to take it to production.)

Requirements:

  • A Computer (obviously)
  • Nodejs

IDE can be anything of your choice. I generally prefer Vim, since I’m always using the terminal.
Well then let’s get started!

First create a directory for the server and initialize the application.

mkdir signal-server && cd signal-server
# Also make a directory for the src files
mkdir src
npm init -y

This will create the package.json file, next we need to install the modules needed.

npm i ws #WebSocket server
npm i nanoid #Used to create a unique id
npm i express #Used to serve static pages

The WebSocket module can be anything but for simplicity’s sake I decided to use the ws module.

Next we need to create a self signed certificate in order to handle https connections.

mkdir ssl && cd ssl
openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout cert.key -out cert.pem

Next we will create the code for the server, create a new file called “server.js” in the src folder.
Now open it up in your preferred IDE, let’s get started!
First we import the modules that we will use.

const express = require('express');
const  createServer  = require('https');
const  readFileSync  = require('fs');
const  nanoid  = require('nanoid');
const  resolve  = require('path');
const  WebSocketServer, OPEN  = require('ws');

We will be creating two https servers, one for the web socket and the other to serve static pages. Since we don’t want to write the same thing twice let’s make a helper function.

const createHttpsServer = () => 
  return createServer(
    cert: readFileSync(resolve(__dirname, './../ssl/cert.pem')),
    key: readFileSync(resolve(__dirname, './../ssl/cert.key'))
  );
;

The helper function creates a https server using the certificate and key we created earlier.

Next we create the web socket server and the server to serve our static files.

const appServer = createHttpsServer().listen(3000);


app.use(express.static(resolve(__dirname, './../public')));


const wsServer = createHttpsServer();
const wss = new WebSocketServer( server: wsServer );

Next we listen for any web socket connections and handle them. Don’t worry about the functions we haven’t defined yet, they we will be defined later.

wss.on('connection', (socket) => 
  console.log('new connection');

  socket.on('message', (data) => 
    console.log('socket::message data=%s', data);

    try 
      const jsonMessage = JSON.parse(data);
      handleJsonMessage(socket, jsonMessage);
     catch (error) 
      console.error('failed to handle onmessage', error);
    
  );


  socket.once('close', () => 
    console.log('socket::close');
  );
); 

Above we listen for any connections, once a connection is established we listen for any messages that come through and parse them into JSON.

Now we can define the function to handle parsed JSON messages.

const handleJsonMessage = (socket, jsonMessage) => 
  switch (jsonMessage.action) 
    case 'start':
      socket.id = nanoid();
      emitMessage(socket,  action: 'start', id: socket.id ); 
      break;
    default: 
      // Default we will just relay the message to the peer
      if (!jsonMessage.data.remoteId) return;

      const remotePeerSocket = getSocketById(jsonMessage.data.remoteId);

      if (!remotePeerSocket) 
        return console.log('failed to find remote socket with id', jsonMessage.data.remoteId);
      

      // delete/edit the remoteId depending if the action is offer or not
      if (jsonMessage.action !== 'offer') 
        delete jsonMessage.data.remoteId;
       else 
        jsonMessage.data.remoteId = socket.id;
      

      emitMessage(remotePeerSocket, jsonMessage);
  
;

Here we get the action from the parsed JSON, if the action is “start” we give the socket a unique ID and send it back to the client.
Anything else we get the socket of the other peer and just relay the message to them.
If the action is not “offer” we delete the remote id as it is not needed anymore. If the action is “offer” we “switch” the remote id to the other party in order to receive an answer.

Next we will create the two helper functions that are missing.

const emitMessage = (socket, jsonMessage) => 
  if (socket.readyState === OPEN) 
    socket.send(JSON.stringify(jsonMessage));
  
;

// Helper to get socket via id
const getSocketById = (socketId) =>
  Array.from(wss.clients).find((client => client.id === socketId));

emitMessage simply sends a message to a socket if it is in open state.
getSocketById simply returns a socket based on the socket id. (Unique id we defined with nanoid)

Finally let’s start up the web socket server and start listening.

wsServer.listen(8888);
console.log('app server listening on port 3000');
console.log('wss server listening on port 8888');

That’s the signaling server sorted.
Now let’s see if it starts!

node src/server.js

# This should print the following output
app server listening on port 3000
wss server listening on port 8888

If you get the above output that means the signaling server is ready to go!

In the next part we will go into getting the user’s media devices (Camera and Mic) and the constraints we can use to do so.
Hope to see you in the next part!

Source Code: https://github.com/ethand91/webrtc-tutorial

Bonus: Things to consider:

  • The current signaling server only handles 1 to 1, how could you make it so it support up to 4 clients?
  • It also only supports 1 call, how could you make it support multiple?

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Tried and Tested Top 10 Video Calling API



Want to integrate the secure & fastest Video calling API to your application & website? Here is the top Video calling APIs that will drive the business traffic!

To improve productivity and connectivity, A video calling feature can be integrated into any Web browser and mobile application with RTC via APIs . In this modernized world, Technology enhanced communication has already taken Place and will surely Upgrade in the Future. The use of mobile gadgets has surged at a rapid pace. The world is growing to step into the digital world where everything is accessible with just a few easy clicks through Video calling API. Behind the triumph of any company, there is a huge increase in digitalization. Now all of us prefer virtual communication not willingly but rather than giving a physical appearance. After the Covid Booster shot , Virtual seems better.
There are many prestigious organizations working on the aspect of virtual communication. The internet is flooded with so many video calling applications. These kits are developed by the software development kits that help us to communicate with the clients, corporates, and families. Because of these tools, Virtual meets becomes easy and efficient without any lags.



Here in the article, we have mentioned some effective approaches towards the Top 10 video calling API.

Why is the popularity of video calling API increasing?

The entire world has started adopting virtual activities for distant communication. If you notice, you can clearly find how students choose virtual or digital classrooms and how the healthcare industry is choosing virtual patient care assistance.
Overall, the whole market is looking to turn their business into digital hype. The video calling API has been experiencing a huge hike in Capitalism. Choosing the right method of communication depends on features of SDK. Here in the below section, we bring some of the best tools that help to leverage your business smartly with digital communication.



The best top 10 video calling API popular in the market:



1.Video SDK

The Video SDK is the driving option that makes video conferencing efficient in every possible way to explore the world of digital communication. This tool allows you to explore how the video SDK creates an impact on engagement. This tool allows the video calls to be integrated within 10 minutes along with the VideoSDK pre-built feature like whiteboards, Q&A, and polls. This video conferencing API tool supports unlimited private channels by integrating with advanced video streaming possibilities.

Video SDK provides you best API to embed video/chat in your applications. It offers Improve video engagement with reliable video conferencing running in minutes. Support of platforms like JavaScript , React JS, React native android, flutter ,iOS. It enables the opportunity to integrate real time communication SDK.



Features of Video SDK

  • Easy to integrate prebuilt live streaming SDK with 5000 participant support.
  • Real-time communication SDK with 10,000 minutes free every month.
  • It just requires 10 minutes to integrate explicit code.
  • A cost-effective tool with long term solution.
  • Unlimited channels with enhanced video quality.
  • UI support & auto-scalable parallel rooms.



2.Agora

This tool works to build a new future with the help of a real-time communication channel. The company is based on real-time communication that develops SDKs and APIs. This tool works on the engagement for the users by delivering the video call service with real-time voice and messaging, live streaming products. The company is working towards building real-time connections in the virtual world.
With Agora video conferencing API, anyone can engage by embedding the vivid voice and video application. It provides the SDKs along with the building blocks to enable the possibility of adopting the real-time engagement possibilities. The tool offers video call, voice call, interactive live streaming, recording.



Features of Agora.io APIs

  • The tool offers an intelligent network that will help to
    connect automatically in real-time analysis.
  • Select the efficient routing path with 200+ data centers.
  • Enterprise support Platforms.
  • Minimal Battery Consumption.
  • It can withstand even the sudden spike in traffic.
  • Extensive API selection with customizable UI extension.



3.ZujoNow

This company is developing its products on cutting-edge technologies. The company delivers the products to its clients based on the video conferencing tool with effective scalability. It delivers customizable SDKs to clients. The video conferencing API company is popularly dealing with the products like on-demand videos, live streaming, and real-time communication.
This is a well-crafted platform that is helping educators and other related industries. The company delivers an end-to-end solution that enables easy integration with real-time communication, on-demand video, and a content delivery network.



Features of zujo now APIs:

  • Provide inbuilt support to the healthcare, edtech, and dating business.
  • Deliver interacting experience with chatting, voice & video calling.
  • Get zero lags while connecting.
  • Low latency support with real-time video streaming encoding.



4.Daily.co

This is the real-time video and audio SDK developer platform that focuses on the clients. Best scalable video conferencing API. The platform is developing the global infrastructure solution to deliver the people throughout the world. With Daily.co, anyone can add live audio and video experience to the products along with the prebuilt user interface & creating custom layouts. This tool helps to build calls for any device with the quality video feature of 1080p HD video and screen sharing. Daily.co also supports the flexible recording options with transcriptions.



Features of Daily.co APIs:

  • It leaves the video call UI entirely up to you.
  • Automatic bandwidth and switching between group sessions.
  • Easy to use options with pre-built API.
  • Automatic tuning of video Quality.
  • Global infrastructure with HD RTMP streaming.



5.Enablex.io

This video solution tool helps build the HD-enabled videos application on different platforms. The tool supports Web applications, iOS and android platforms. This tool supports amazing APIs and SDKs that deliver one-to-one video chats along with the option of group video calls. Here one can get an extensive video chat experience for the users. Get the live interactive broadcast feature to broadcast varieties of content through the devices directly on the social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and other channels. The tool works on developing communication APIs that focus on providing real-time solutions.



Features of Enablex.io APIs:

  • Get advanced features like Breakout channels (rooms),
    Background blurring features.
  • One-time payment with upfront solution.
  • Customizable functionality with endless features.
  • Get end to end encryption.
  • Get customizable UI with tangible layouts.
  • Up to 100 for video meetings and 1000 for webinar mode.



6.Mirrorfly

MirrorFly is another audio and video calling API and SDK provider that offers a solution to both large and small-scale organizations. This is the versatile messaging solution working as the market’s prime product. The tool is highly customizable as compared to any other. It goes perfectly with iOS, Android, and Web Applications. With this, anyone can get the absolute chat-app solution that provides a design-enriched UI/UX. Here you can get the intuitive build with a plethora of other features. This is embedded with WebRTC that enables HD quality video interaction along with the VoIP feature that gives a dynamic voice experience.



Features of Mirrorfly APIs:

  • Real time language translation.
  • Get a 100% customizable solution.
  • Private 1 to 1 chat with offline messages.
  • Interactive Live Broadcasting with SIP calling feature.
  • Push to Talk feature with VoIP calling facility.
  • A versatile messaging solution with endless feature.



7.Twilio

The platforms develop video application tools that are fully customized and scalable. This is completely flexible for usage. This tool constructs the applications and the connectivity that builds up capitalism . It allows chats, video, and programmable chats based on real-time communication with scalability and video calling API. This is a perfect fit for enterprises from small to wide. This helps the organization to engage its users in every step of the journey. This is a flexible API for any channel which has built-in intelligence with global infrastructure support. This single platform comes with flexible APIs for any channel, global infrastructure, built-in intelligence, and many more.



Features of Twilio APIs:

  • It gives free trial credits for video groups and video P2P .
  • Cloud recording facility with workflow integration.
  • 24 hours support through the mail and chat.
  • Get endless features with an intuitive interface.



8.Cometchat

This platform is designed for providing the APIs and SDKs for the unlimited solution to a variety of industries. The platform supports a solution to various healthcare organizations, dating, the healthcare community, and social media integration. It also delivers the features like on-demand videos and live streaming and the complete authority to the users for customizing their Whitelabel. Cometchat, the video conferencing API, supports varieties of languages and solutions like voice and video calling, scalable in-app messaging, and cross-platform compatibility. This tool supports medium to large-scale organizations. The best part of the platform is It has WebRTC-enabled HD video and voice calling capabilities. They also offer the free-of-cost service that holds limited options to small-scale organizations.



Features of Cometchat APIs:

  • One-on-one text chat along with group chat facility.
  • Voice calling & video calling, conferencing tools.
  • Type and Read indicators with online Presence Indicators.
  • Drag & drop chat widgets.
  • Build a completely custom UPI & workflow.
  • Autoscaling & white label feature with message translation.



9.PubNub

This is considered one of the best in-app chats that deliver the features of real-time chat engagement. The tool offers extensive functionality, full control, and customization without the time and expense of building in-house. With this, anyone can get complete outsourcing to the clients. It delivers the features and functionalities like custom chat, in-class integrations, functionality, and Chat UI support. This is specially built for conferences, virtual conversations, meetings, and enterprise entities. Get a one-stop platform & receive top-quality integration features.



Features of PubNub APIs:

  • Get transfer the metadata pre-call facility.
  • Receive extensive plugins in one platform.
  • WebRTC signaling along with an end to end encryption.
  • Get push notifications with complete messaging broadcasting solutions.
  • Integrate, migrate & launch quickly.
  • Open-source UI kit.



10.Sinch

Sinch is another API that manages different APIs through messaging and calling facilities. Through this, anyone can receive the services like video calling, SMS verification, voice calls, and other engagement platforms. Varieties of industries receive an extensive solution from this, which includes health, telecommunications, retail, media and entertainment, and more. Through this, a lot of operators get opportunities for monetizing the wholesale and getting rid of the frauds and other activities. This video conferencing API offers an instant messaging SDK and API to the iOS, Android, and Web Applications. It gives complete freedom to the users for customization and supports SIP, VoIP, and PSTN.



Features of sinch APIs :

  • It offers high Quality video.
  • Get Personalized Messaging with Voice Calling service.
  • Live Broadcasting.
  • Personalized communication with advanced setup.
  • 600+ operators connections globally.
  • Amazing easy & intuitive interface with the endless possibilities.



Final Words

Even so, there are handful of good articles and video tutorials on internet. Most of the video conferencing API companies have effectively made effective changes in their features and will definitely upgrade in future so that they can deal with clients all across the world.
In this era, organizations need such video calling API platforms to drive their business with ease. This article will provide insight into the best video calling API platforms that support various industries with one click .


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How MoleculerJS Powers Dyte!

Microservices enable organizations to be more agile and build highly scalable applications. We, at Dyte, take advantage of MoleculerJS to connect our different microservices and APIs.

In this blog post, we will be talking about how we structure all of our services around Moleculer and use it to collect critical insights and metrics to debug and optimize our infrastructure to serve millions of minutes of #livevideo calls every month.

We would love to hear from you especially about what frameworks and tools you use to manage your microservices.

Read the blog here!


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