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Lightstreamer vs Twilio

This Lightstreamer vs Twilio 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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Lightstreamer

Twilio

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.

2 / 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
2.50 / 5

Getting started guides2 / 5

Information architecture and developer journey1 / 5

API reference documentation4 / 5

Readability, design and navigation1 / 5

Quality of code3 / 5

Breadth and quality of tutorials4 / 5

“Lightstreamer documentation is overall disappointing. First of all, it’s all over the place in terms of format: from GitHub READMEs to the most basic of HTML pages to PDFs. There’s even a slide deck. Resources are seldom cross-linked, which makes the docs hard to follow. The entire design of the website is from the last century. It’s aesthetically hideous, and the navigation experience is underwhelming. The only positive things are the API reference, which is quite comprehensive, and the GitHub tutorials, which are explained well.“

4.83 / 5

Getting started guides5 / 5

Information architecture and developer journey4 / 5

API reference documentation5 / 5

Readability, design and navigation5 / 5

Quality of code5 / 5

Breadth and quality of tutorials5 / 5

The documentation is quite comprehensive and well detailed, with easy access to code samples while you read through it.  There are quickstart tutorials for all the products using different SDKs. However, I feel some developers may get lost while trying to find references or while trying to navigate the various pages, especially around the API reference.

Dashboard or dev console

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Sign up for free and explore Ably's pub/sub messaging platform
4 / 5

Ease of use5 / 5

Stats and reports5 / 5

Functionality2 / 5

“Lightstreamer provides a monitoring dashboard that shows various realtime metrics and stats related to the server-side, such as connections, sessions, or throughput. The event log is pretty useful, showing successful operations/events, warnings, and errors. It’s intuitive and straightforward to use, although the UI is dull and ugly. Unfortunately, there’s no dev console or portal with more extensive functionality to allow you to create and manage resources.“

4.33 / 5

Ease of use4 / 5

Stats and reports4 / 5

Functionality5 / 5

The dev console allows you to manage and configure all things Twilio. This includes SMS, Chat, Notify, Sync, Voice, Video, etc. The stats and reports gives its users a general overview of what goes on with their account. This includes API accessed, cost, exact time of access. Besides the general overview, I like the fact that every product has its page where users can view a better breakdown of the activities. I also like that activities are being viewed in monthly ranges. This means you get a detailed report for activities in a month. This way, the report isn’t clumsy or cumbersome.

SDKs

Note: Only official SDKs were taken into account.

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

10 production-ready client SDKs

Including:

  • Android

  • iOS

  • Node.js

6 SDKs

Including:

  • C#

  • Java

  • Node.js

API structure

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

3.25 / 5

API consistency across SDKs4 / 5

Well structured4 / 5

Intuitive3 / 5

Simple2 / 5

“Lightstreamer provides APIs covering many languages, operating systems, and development platforms, such as Java, .NET, JavaScript, or iOS. There’s a separate API reference page for each SDK - a highlight in otherwise mediocre documentation. The references are pretty detailed, and the APIs are fairly well structured and consistent across SDKs. But they aren’t simple, and it takes some time to wrap your head around them. They perhaps don’t have the most intuitive naming conventions, and the code samples included are not as clear as they could be“.

5 / 5

API consistency across SDKs5 / 5

Well structured5 / 5

Intuitive5 / 5

Simple5 / 5

The Twilio API is well structured, intuitive, and consistent across all SDKs. The methods are also easy to understand.  The documentation provides different pages for each programming language and platforms, making it easy to set up on the backend server for production use with different platforms.

Lightstreamer

Twilio

"Hello world" code example
// Lightstreamer server 

// Data adapter xml file

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<adapters_conf id="HELLOWORLD">
    <metadata_provider>
        <adapter_class>com.lightstreamer.adapters.metadata.LiteralBasedProvider</adapter_class>
    </metadata_provider>
    <data_provider>
        <adapter_class>HelloWorldDataAdapter</adapter_class>
    </data_provider>
</adapters_conf>

// Package.json file for server requirements configuration

{
  "requires": true,
  "lockfileVersion": 1,
  "dependencies": {
    "lightstreamer-client-web": {
      "version": "8.0.2",
      "resolved": "https://registry.npmjs.org/lightstreamer-client-web/-/lightstreamer-client-web-8.0.2.tgz",
      "integrity": "sha512-UFEtoW+K2H+9PZNqdVGD6TqCBZNbsjC3TuZn5M1ee6D/aXlR8yzruKBXfQNdD0pgcpgpcKoMd/dyfeZxOf6EIg=="
    }
  }
}

// Lightstreamer client 

// HTML file with importing lightstreamer.min.js and require.js

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Hello World with Lightstreamer</title>
    <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/require.js/2.3.6/require.js"></script>
    <script src="lightstreamer.min.js" data-lightstreamer-ns="Ls"></script>
  </head>

  <body>
    <div data-source="lightstreamer" data-grid="hellogrid" data-item="greetings" data-field="message">loading...</div>
    <div data-source="lightstreamer" data-grid="hellogrid" data-item="greetings" data-field="timestamp">loading...</div>
// Obtain a JWT access token: https://www.twilio.com/docs/sync/identity-and-access-tokens
var token = '<your-access-token-here>';
var syncClient = new Twilio.Sync.Client(token);

// Open a Document by unique name and update its value
syncClient.document('MyDocument')
  .then(function(document) {
    // Listen to updates on the Document
    document.on('updated', function(event) {
      console.log('Received Document update event. New value:', event.value);
    });

    // Update the Document value
    var newValue = { temperature: 23 };
    return document.set(newValue);
  })
  .then(function(updateResult) {
    console.log('The Document was successfully updated', updateResult)
  })
  .catch(function(error) {
    console.error('Unexpected error', error)
  });

Lightstreamer

Twilio

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

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

Limited

Queues are supported only via the Lightstreamer JMS Extender, which connects to any third-party JMS server and makes JMS (Java Message Service) available on the Web. Any HTML page running inside a web browser and any Node.js application instantly become JMS clients, able to publish and subscribe on JMS topics and queues.

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

Limited 

The maximum message retention duration is 13 months. In October 2020, this was one of three key changes Twilio made in the way it stores message records:

1. Message log history will only be available from the last 13 months via Twilio Console and the Messages API Resource. Messages logs older than 13 months will still be accessible via the Bulk Export API, or the Bulk Export Message Log Archives in Console.

2. All Media Objects (e.g. MMS and WhatsApp message file attachments - pictures, audio, etc.) from Messages older than 13 months will be permanently deleted.

3. Deleting a Message log will also automatically remove any Media objects associated with that message.

This applies to all Twilio products.

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

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

Built-in integrations

Which popular services & systems are Lightstreamer and Twilio 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 

Depends on server capacity (Enterprise and Enterprise Ultimate packages). 

1 message/second for each subscription done by each client (community/free package).

Maximum message size 

Unknown

Maximum number of channels

Unknown

Maximum number of concurrent connections

Depends on server capacity

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 Lightstreamer and Twilio 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 Lightstreamer and Twilio 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 Lightstreamer and Twilio 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 Lightstreamer and Twilio 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/

Unknown

99.95% uptime

99.99% uptime for Twilio Services

99.99% uptime for SendGrid Services

Find out more about Twilio SLAs

Quality of Service

What QoS guarantees do Lightstreamer and Twilio 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

Limited

Lightstreamer authentication involves the usage of user & password credentials.

Token-based authentication

Which popular token-based authentication mechanisms do Lightstreamer and Twilio 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 Lightstreamer and Twilio 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 Lightstreamer and Twilio 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 Lightstreamer and Twilio 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 Lightstreamer and Twilio consist of?

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

Lightstreamer’s free package (the community edition) provides a license for one server and unlimited clients. However, the message rate is throttled at one message per second, and some features are unavailable (such as clustering or TLS support).

Not bad 

On Twilio Sync, your first 200 endpoint-hours for each month are free:

“Endpoints are unique devices or browser tabs and are counted once for each wall-clock hour during which they interact with Sync. Each unique endpoint will incur charges of at most $0.01 per calendar day.”

Users also get free access to their first 10,000 actions each month:

“Actions are defined as incoming requests from your application that read and write data. Resulting webhooks, updates to connected endpoints, and storage are included in the cost of an action.”

Pricing model

How are the Lightstreamer and Twilio pricing models calculated?

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

Lightstreamer has a complex and confusing pricing model. First, you must choose between the community edition (free) and the enterprise edition (paid). When you select enterprise, you must then opt between the Enterprise or the Enterprise Ultimate package (the latter includes all client APIs, superior message rates, and all features). On top of this, you must choose a licensing scheme, of which there are six options in total. Some examples: Perpetual Upfront per Server License, Monthly Pay-as-you-go Per Core-Hour License, Annual Upfront per Client Licence.

Once you choose a licensing scheme, you must also choose a license type, such as Demo, Evaluation, Production, or Hot-Standby.

There’s no transparency regarding cost estimation or concrete numbers (at least not on their website).

Pricing varies on what service you intend to use.

Specifically for Twilio Sync, the pay-as-you-go model is employed and pricing depends on the endpoint-hour. Here is the breakdown:

Accessing 201 and 12,000 endpoint-hours costs $0.00250/endpoint-hour

Once the 12,000 endpoint-hours threshold is crossed, users begin to pay a lesser amount. Between 12,001 and 72,000 users pay $0.00200/endpoint-hour

Find out more about Twilio Sync pricing

Enterprise package

What benefits do the Lightstreamer and Twilio enterprise packages offer?

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

Lightstreamer has an Enterprise Ultimate package that includes all client APIs (different programming languages), provides unlimited messages without throttling, and grants access to all features.

Twilio offers a Premium Support package.

Key benefits

  • Bulk Export

  • Single sign-on

  • Account Insights

  • Public Key Client Validation

Find out more about the Twilio enterprise package

Community

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Explore Ably's community support channel for our pub/sub messaging platform
2 / 5

Presence on multiple channels2 / 5

Size and activity2 / 5

“The Lightstreamer community is small. There is some activity going on on the Lightstreamer forums - usually people raising issues and asking for clarifications that arguably should have been clear from the documentation. Beyond forums, the Lightstreamer community is basically non-existent. There are only about 30 threads in total on Stack Overflow, and, although there are over 140 Lightstreamer repos on GitHub, they barely have a few stars or open issues and almost no pull requests.“

4.50 / 5

Presence on multiple channels4 / 5

Size and activity5 / 5

Twilio has moderate online presence. I could not find an online presence on Slack, but I was able to find Twilio-related engagements on Discourse and Stackoverflow. There are other recognized channels like Twilio Developer Community, and Twilio on Dev.to, where Twilio organizes hackathons and where you can find tutorials. The community there is active and generates content like new projects, articles, and answers to questions. You are likely to get or find an answer to your question, regardless of how complex it is. Twilio repositories have over one thousand stars on GitHub.

Support

What types of support options and response times do Lightstreamer and Twilio offer?

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

General support options

Email, support forums, phone, technical documentation.

Enterprise support

Lightstreamer provides 8x5 and 24x7 technical support for enterprise and enterprise ultimate packages.

Response time

Unknown

Twilio's support options include:

* Help Center

* 24/7 phone and email support (for premium customers).

Typically it takes about 1-3 hours to get support.

Disclaimer: The information presented for Lightstreamer was last updated on 7 December 2020 and on 28 February 2021 for Twilio. 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.