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Azure SignalR Service vs Sendbird

This Azure SignalR Service vs Sendbird comparison was created based on reviews from developers and our best attempts to perform analysis by looking at documentation and other publicly available resources.

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Azure SignalR Service

Sendbird

Getting started and developer experience

Time to "hello world"

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Ratings were given based on the average amount of time it takes to sign up to a new account and publish the first message.

4 / 5

5 = <30 min
4 = 30 min - 1 h
3 = 1-2 h
2 = 2-4 h
1 = 4+ h

View code example
4 / 5

5 = <30 min
4 = 30 min - 1 h
3 = 1-2 h
2 = 2-4 h
1 = 4+ h

View code example

Demos / Tutorials

A selection of online demos and tutorials so you can test and see the code in action.

Explore Ably's tutorials for our pub/sub messaging platform

Documentation

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Explore Ably's documentation for our pub/sub messaging platform
3.67 / 5

Getting started guides5 / 5

Information architecture and developer journey4 / 5

API reference documentation3 / 5

Readability, design and navigation3 / 5

Quality of code5 / 5

Breadth and quality of tutorials2 / 5

“The existing documentation is largely OK, most things are explained clearly, and the information is structured logically. Sometimes you may come across pages that were clearly written fast, so the quality of writing may not always be great. There are quickstarts in about seven languages, which is always nice to see, and there’s a diversity of handy how-to guides. Now, for the less positive things. First of all, the API reference seems to be a relatively short page on GitHub and nothing more. Secondly, there are only two tutorials embedded in the docs - and they both focus on building a chat room. More tutorials and more use cases, please! The UI is minimalistic. While sometimes this is a good thing, in this case, it just makes the SignalR documentation (and indeed the product) look and feel like an unimportant or second-hand solution.”

4.33 / 5

Getting started guides4 / 5

Information architecture and developer journey4 / 5

API reference documentation4 / 5

Readability, design and navigation5 / 5

Quality of code5 / 5

Breadth and quality of tutorials4 / 5

The documentation is comprehensive, detailed, and clear, with sample projects. It's easily navigable, and the written and video tutorials are in-depth, but there could be more of them. The different products that make up the Sendbird platform are clearly separated (e.g. Chat, Calls, UIKit, etc) before introducing the SDKs and API. This gives users an overview of the products before diving into its documentation. Each product has API reference documentation. The key functionalities of that product are listed out for easy access. Generally, in terms of comprehensiveness, readability, navigation, ease of use, and code quality, the documentation is very solid.

Dashboard or dev console

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Sign up for free and explore Ably's pub/sub messaging platform
4.33 / 5

Ease of use4 / 5

Stats and reports4 / 5

Functionality5 / 5

“The Azure portal is intuitive and pretty easy to use. It provides diverse functionality that allows you to view, create, and manage all the resources you need, such as SingalR instances and connection keys. Among other things, you can also control IAM roles, set up integrations and alerts, and view various logs and metrics, such as the number of connections. More contextual help such as tooltips would be nice, as it’s sometimes unclear what some settings can do."

5 / 5

Ease of use5 / 5

Stats and reports5 / 5

Functionality5 / 5

The dashboard allows you to create and manage applications. It also enables you to see all the stats and reports you need about monthly and daily active users, and peak concurrent connections. It also enables you to create and manage chat channels and make calls, making it easy to test. It has a slick design and is quite intuitive to use, and it’s divided into five features; overview, users, settings, calls, chat.  It also has moderation tools that you can use to protect your conversations directly from your dashboard.

SDKs

Note: Only official SDKs were taken into account.

Explore Ably's 25+ SDKs for our pub/sub messaging platform

4 SDKs

Including:

  • .NET

  • Java

  • JavaScript

5 SDKs

Including:

  • Android

  • iOS

  • JavaScript

API structure

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

4 / 5

API consistency across SDKs4 / 5

Well structured4 / 5

Intuitive4 / 5

Simple4 / 5

“The API structure is decently consistent, intuitive, and simple across most SDKs. The Python SDK is a bit obscure, especially when you want to make use of Azure Functions. The entire API reference documentation seems to be available only on GitHub (perhaps not the best platform), and there’s not much API documentation in general. There is a Swagger spec, though, which makes testing the API easier.”

5 / 5

API consistency across SDKs5 / 5

Well structured5 / 5

Intuitive5 / 5

Simple5 / 5

The API is pretty straightforward, consistent across SDKs, it’s also intuitive and easy to use provided you read the documentation. I found it easy to figure out what to do without a lot of help. I find the methods simple, easy to remember and easy to understand.

Azure SignalR Service

Sendbird

"Hello world" code example
// CREATE A HUB

public class ChatHub : Hub
{
    public Task SendMessage(string user, string message)
    {
        return Clients.All.SendAsync("ReceiveMessage", user, message);
    }
}

// SEND MESSAGES TO CLIENTS

public Task SendMessage(string user, string message)
{
    return Clients.All.SendAsync("ReceiveMessage", user, message);
}

public Task SendMessageToCaller(string user, string message)
{
    return Clients.Caller.SendAsync("ReceiveMessage", user, message);
}

public Task SendMessageToGroup(string user, string message)
{
    return Clients.Group("SignalR Users").SendAsync("ReceiveMessage", user, message);
}

// CLIENT CONNECTING TO HUB

using System;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using System.Windows;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.SignalR.Client;

namespace SignalRChatClient
{
    public partial class MainWindow : Window
    {
        HubConnection connection;
        public MainWindow()
        {
            InitializeComponent();

            connection = new HubConnectionBuilder()
                .WithUrl("http://localhost:53353/ChatHub")
                .Build();

            connection.Closed += async (error) =>
            {
                await Task.Delay(new Random().Next(0,5) * 1000);
                await connection.StartAsync();
            };
        }

        private async void connectButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        {
            connection.On<string, string>("ReceiveMessage", (user, message) =>
            {
                this.Dispatcher.Invoke(() =>
                {
                   var newMessage = $"{user}: {message}";
                   messagesList.Items.Add(newMessage);
                });
            });

            try
            {
                await connection.StartAsync();
                messagesList.Items.Add("Connection started");
                connectButton.IsEnabled = false;
                sendButton.IsEnabled = true;
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                messagesList.Items.Add(ex.Message);
            }
        }

        private async void sendButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        {
            try
            {
                await connection.InvokeAsync("SendMessage", 
                    userTextBox.Text, messageTextBox.Text);
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {                
                messagesList.Items.Add(ex.Message);                
            }
        }
    }
}

// RECEIVE MESSAGES FROM HUB

connection.On<string, string>("ReceiveMessage", (user, message) =>
{
    this.Dispatcher.Invoke(() =>
    {
       var newMessage = $"{user}: {message}";
       messagesList.Items.Add(newMessage);
    });
});
const SendBird = require('sendbird');
// Initialize SendBird instance to use APIs in your app.
var sb = new SendBird({appId: APP_ID});


// Connect to user
sb.connect(USER_ID, function(user, error) {
if (error) {
console.log(error);
}
console.log(user)
// The user is connected to Sendbird server.      
});


sb.OpenChannel.createChannel(function(openChannel, error) {
if (error) {
console.log(error);
}
// An open channel is successfully created.
    openChannel.enter(function(response, error) {
if (error) {
console.log(error);    
}


// The current user successfully enters the open channel and can chat with other users in the channel by using APIs.
        openChannel.sendUserMessage('hello-world', null, null, function(message, error) {
if (err) {
console.log(err);    
}
            console.log('message', message);
// The message is successfully sent to the channel.
        });
    });
}); 


// Receive message
var channelHandler = new sb.ChannelHandler();


channelHandler.onMessageReceived = function(channel, message) {
    // message received
};

Azure SignalR Service

Sendbird

Realtime features

Pub/Sub messaging

Pub/Sub is a design pattern that lets any number of publishers (producers) push messages to channels (also known as topics). Multiple subscribers (consumers) can subscribe to a channel to consume published messages.

Explore Ably's pub/sub messaging implementation

Limited

You can use Azure SignalR in combination with backplanes such as Redis or Event Grid, which support the pub/sub model. Azure SignalR service is essentially a proxy for client-server communication and does not provide pub/sub capabilities by itself.

Message queues

A message queue is a form of asynchronous service-to-service communication. Messages are stored on a queue until they are processed. Note that each message is only consumed by one subscriber (consumer).

Explore Ably's message queues implementation

Presence

Presence enables you to track the online and offline status of devices and end-users in real time and to store their state. Essential for chat apps and multiplayer games.

Explore Ably's presence implementation

Message history

Message history provides a means to retrieve previously published messages. For this to be possible, message data must be stored (persisted) somewhere.

Explore Ably's message history implementation

Connection state recovery (stream resume)

In the case of unreliable network conditions, clients may suddenly disconnect.Connection state recovery ensures that when they reconnect, the data stream resumes exactly where it left off.

Explore Ably' s connection state recovery implementation

Guaranteed message ordering

Ordering ensures that messages are delivered to consumers in the same order that producers publish them.

Explore Ably' s guaranteed message ordering implementation

Exactly-once semantics

Exactly-once is a system-wide data integrity guarantee that ensures each message is delivered to consumers exactly-once.

Explore Ably' s idempotent publishing implementation

Message delta compression

Message delta compression enables you to only send the changes from the previous message to subscribers each time there’s an update, instead of the entire message. Useful for use cases where there is a significant degree of similarity between successive messages.

Explore Ably' s message delta compression implementation

Native push notifications

Native push notifications can be used to deliver messages even when clients are offline. Useful for geolocation updates or news alerts.

Explore Ably's push notifications implementation

Webhooks

Webhooks provide a mechanism to get messages and other types of events (such as clients entering or leaving channels) pushed to your servers over HTTP.

Explore Ably's webhooks implementation

Limited

You can send webhooks to Azure SignalR Service via bindings for Azure Functions. However, SignalR Service can only consume webhooks, but it cannot send webhooks to other systems.

Serverless functions

A serverless function is essentially an isolated, single-purpose piece of code that is only executed when it’ triggered by an event. For example, you can use serverless functions to send a welcome message to clients when they become present on chat channels.

Note that serverless functions are usually fully managed by cloud vendors.

Explore Ably's serverless functions implementation

Limited

Can only trigger Azure Functions. Azure SignalR Service doesn’t have in-built support for other serverless platforms, such as AWS Lambda or Google Cloud Functions.

Built-in integrations

Which popular services & systems are Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird integrated with?

Explore Ably's library of integrations

Webhooks

  • Custom
  • IFTTT
  • Zapier

Serverless functions

  • AWS Lambda
  • Cloudflare Workers
  • Google Cloud Functions
  • Microsoft Azure Functions

Streaming

  • Apache Kafka
  • Apache Pulsar
  • Amazon Kinesis
  • Amazon SQS
  • RabbitMQ
  • AMQP

Webhooks

  • Custom
  • IFTTT
  • Zapier

Serverless functions

  • AWS Lambda
  • Cloudflare Workers
  • Google Cloud Functions
  • Microsoft Azure Functions

Streaming

  • Apache Kafka
  • Apache Pulsar
  • Amazon Kinesis
  • Amazon SQS
  • RabbitMQ
  • AMQP

Known limits and constraints

Find out practical limits, such as the maximum message size, or the maximum number of concurrent connections.

Explore the practical limits of the Ably pub/sub messaging platform

Throughput 

Unknown

Maximum message size

No size limit. Large messages are split into smaller chunks (max 2 KB), transmitted separately, and reassembled on the consumer side.   

Maximum number of units

100 SignalR Service units (sub-instances) per instance (applies to the Standard tier).

Maximum number of concurrent connections

1000/unit (applies to the Standard tier)

Publisher throughput

Unknown

Maximum message size

Unknown

Maximum number of topics

Unknown

Maximum number of connections

Unknown

Supported development platforms, languages, open protocols and cloud models

Development platforms & operating systems

Which popular development platforms and operating systems do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird support via official SDKs?

Explore the development platforms supported by Ably
  • Android
  • Java / JVM
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • iPadOS
  • tvOS
  • watchOS
  • Mono
  • .NET
  • Android
  • Java / JVM
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • iPadOS
  • tvOS
  • watchOS
  • Mono
  • .NET

Languages

Which popular programming languages do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird support via offical SDKs?

Explore the programming languages supported by Ably
  • JavaScript
  • Node.js
  • TypeScript
  • Java
  • Objective-C
  • Swift
  • Go
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Flutter
  • Clojure
  • Scala
  • JavaScript
  • Node.js
  • TypeScript
  • Java
  • Objective-C
  • Swift
  • Go
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Flutter
  • Clojure
  • Scala

Open protocols

Which popular open protocols do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird support?

Explore the open protocols supported by Ably
  • WebSocket
  • HTTP / REST
  • AMQP
  • MQTT
  • STOMP
  • SSE
  • Webhooks
  • WebSocket
  • HTTP / REST
  • AMQP
  • MQTT
  • STOMP
  • SSE
  • Webhooks

Cloud models

Which popular cloud models do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird support?

  • Self-hosted
  • Cloud-managed
  • Serverless
  • Globally-distributed
  • Self-hosted
  • Cloud-managed
  • Serverless
  • Globally-distributed
Global and reliable edge service

Edge messaging network with latency-based routing

Latency-based routing ensures that clients are always routed to the nearest datacenter and point of presence.

Explore Ably's routing mechanism that mitigates network and DNS issues

Multi-region data replication (message durability)

Multi-region data replication (storage) protects against single points of failure and ensures message data durability.

Learn how Ably ensures message durability

Uptime SLAs

Here’s what the most common SLAs amount to in terms of downtime over a calendar year:

99.999% SLA = 5m 15s downtime per year

99.99% SLA = 52m 35s downtime per year

99.95% SLA = 4h 22m 58s downtime per year

99.9% SLA = 8h 45m 56s downtime per year

99% SLA = 3d 15h 39m 29s downtime per year

Source: https://uptime.is/

99.9%

Unknown

Quality of Service

What QoS guarantees do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird provide natively?

Explore Ably's availability and uptime guarantees for our pub/sub messaging platform
  • Multi-region data replication (storage)
  • Exactly-once semantics
  • Guaranteed message ordering
  • Connection state recovery (stream resume)
  • Multi-region data replication (storage)
  • Exactly-once semantics
  • Guaranteed message ordering
  • Connection state recovery (stream resume)
Security

API key authentication

The simplest way to authenticate. Involves using private API keys that you can usually create and edit via a dashboard. Recommended to be used server-side, as private API keys shouldn’t be shared with untrusted parties.

Explore Ably's implementation of API key authentication

Token-based authentication

Which popular token-based authentication mechanisms do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird support?

Note that token-based authentication is usually the recommended strategy on the client-side as it provides more fine-grained access control and limits the risk of credentials being compromised.

Explore Ably's implementation of token-based authentication
  • Ephemeral tokens
  • JWTs
  • Ephemeral tokens
  • JWTs

Configurable rules and permissions

Which types of configurable rules and permissions do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird support?

Explore Ably's configurable rules and permissions
  • API keys rules and permissions
  • Operation rules and permissions
  • Admin rights
  • API keys rules and permissions
  • Operation rules and permissions
  • Admin rights

Message encryption

Which types of message encryption do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird support?

Explore Ably's message encryption mechanisms
  • Encrypted at rest
  • Encrypted in transit
  • Message payload encryption
  • Encrypted at rest
  • Encrypted in transit
  • Message payload encryption

Formal certifications

Which formal certifications are Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird compliant with?

Explore Ably's security and compliance for our pub/sub messaging platform
  • SOC 2 TYPE I
  • SOC 2 Type II
  • HIPAA
  • ISO 27001
  • EU GDPR
  • SOC 2 TYPE I
  • SOC 2 Type II
  • HIPAA
  • ISO 27001
  • EU GDPR
Pricing & Support

Free package

What do the free packages offered by Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird consist of?

Explore Ably's free package for our pub/sub messaging platform

The Free plan includes one free Azure SignalR Service unit, which has a cap of 20.000 messages per day and can sustain 20 concurrent connections.

No free package

Pricing model

How are the Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird pricing models calculated?

Explore Ably's pricing model for our pub/sub messaging platform

In addition to the Free plan mentioned above, Azure SignalR Service comes with a Standard plan that has the following costs:

- $ 1.61 price per unit per day

- $1 per million messages (first million free)

Pricing is divided into two categories: Sendbird Chat and Sendbird Calls.

Sendbird Chat is $399/month

Enterprise package

What benefits do the Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird enterprise packages offer?

Explore Ably's enterprise package for our pub/sub messaging platform

There is no Azure SignalR Service-specific enterprise package.

Sendbird offers a Premium Support package called Sendbird Desk.

You’ll need to fill out a form to get started.

Community

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Explore Ably's community support channel for our pub/sub messaging platform
3.50 / 5

Presence on multiple channels4 / 5

Size and activity3 / 5

“Azure SignalR Service has community engagement on various different channels, such as Stack Overflow, Gitter, Microsoft & ASP .NET Forums, or GitHub. The community doesn’t seem to be very large. As an example, if you look at the ASP.NET SignalR forum, you will notice there aren’t all that many conversation threads. However, as a plus, most questions do have at least a reply. GitHub also seems to have some activity around troubleshooting issues.”

3 / 5

Presence on multiple channels3 / 5

Size and activity3 / 5

Sendbird has tiny but growing community presence on a few channels such as StackOverflow (less active) and their website (more active), with a fair number of users and engagement (but a small number of tutorials). Stackoverflow has some answered questions.

Support

What types of support options and response times do Azure SignalR Service and Sendbird offer?

Explore Ably's support options for our pub/sub messaging platform

General support options 

Email, support ticket, phone, technical documentation, community support (e.g. forums or StackOverflow). 

Enterprise support

The Professional Direct (ProDirect) plan includes 24/7 support, a Support API (to create & manage support tickets programmatically), and operational & architectural guidance from delivery managers.

Response time

Within 8 business hours for Developer customers

Between 1 and 8 hours initial response time (depending on severity) for Standard and ProDirect customers

General support options

Email, support ticket, technical documentation, community support (e.g. forums or Stack Overflow). 

Enterprise support

Sendbird offers an enterprise package, which includes 24/7 phone, email, and chat access via Slack (with extra payment), access to customer success manager and quarterly business review

Response time

< 24 hours for general guidance queries

< 3 hours for key functionality impaired in production(only applies to L1, L2 and L3).

Disclaimer: The information presented for Azure SignalR Service was last updated on 5 November 2020 and on 28 February 2021 for Sendbird. It is possible that some details may now be out of date. If you think that’s the case, please let us know so we can update them. In any case, you should not rely solely on the information presented here and must check with each provider before deciding to integrate or buy any of these two solutions.