3 min readUpdated Dec 15, 2022

Developer inspiration: live features showcase with Ably examples

To ensure a great user experience, whether that’s attending a live virtual event, chatting with friends or collaborating on a document, you need to ensure that the core realtime works in any situation and that you provide a feature-rich application.

Disruption, downtime or lags result in poor realtime user experiences. Avoiding them is complicated, and here’s just three reasons why:

  • The nature of a live experience means that it’s not always possible to predict how and when users will join, which can make capacity planning difficult.
  • As user numbers grow, maintaining performance and dependability of infrastructure gets more complex.
  • If users join over intermittent networks, managing messages when connections drop must also be considered.

There are more challenges associated with building a realtime infrastructure at scale, and you can read about them, and about how building realtime applications on a serverless WebSockets platform such as Ably solves them, in this article. But, as I said in the beginning, having a reliable realtime core is not the full story.

Users today expect a rich, immersive experience with features that help them collaborate and engage online. Take the chat use case. When we are in a chat room with friends, we want to see who is online, when someone is typing a message, and also to react to messages with emojis. Whilst these features are not core to the experience, they can greatly enhance the application and increase user engagement. Adding these features to your Ably application is now effortless, thanks to our easy to use APIs such as Presence, History and Message Interactions.

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Enriched realtime functionality - simple examples

Here are some examples that take a minute to read and will give you an idea as to the types of things you can now easily add to your Ably applications. These examples can be used to enhance a wide variety of core realtime applications such as chat, multi-user virtual spaces and more:

Each example includes information on which Ably features you will need to use, along with a handy checklist to help you start building. You can also try our demos for the Emoji Reactions and Avatar Stack in multiple tabs or with a friend.

This list is just for inspiration, there are many more things you can build with Ably. Check out our GitHub repo to see how these examples work, and feel free to contribute or share your own realtime examples with the community too. Organisations of all sizes are benefiting from the power of Ably and are building solutions such as live BI dashboards, collaborative presentation software and live B2B chat. What will you build?

We will release more examples in the future, which you can access on the Examples page.

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