Mobile app development market is growing at a high speed and it seems it will never stop doing so. Mobile applications are used for almost every task by end users. The app development industry is discovering new methods and techniques to use apps as a savior. Almost every industry including healthcare, automobile, retail, real estate, information technology, social media, communication, entertainment, etc.
Did you know that Whatsapp is the most downloaded and used mobile application around the globe? It has 1.5 billion monthly active users. Source: Statista. That is a huge number of users.
Whatsapp was introduced in the year 2009. 70% of Whatsapp users are active on a daily basis. Source: Paymill. It is estimated that there will be 25.6 million users in the United States of America till the year 2021. Statista.
There are some other names in this industry that are also doing great in messaging; Wechat, Line, Hike, etc.
Mobile chat applications when introduced, used to convey messages only. We mean text messages. Later technology-enabled sharing of images and later videos.
Now end users can share documents, images, videos, audios, all in HD! Users can easily share data that occupies a lot of memory. These mobile chat applications offer a real-time transmission of data with the help of internet from sender to receiver. Users can send bulk messages too. Also, group chatting is enabled.
Web-based live chat applications are developing their capabilities every day. These messages are transmitted using messaging protocols. There are hundreds of messaging protocols.
Clients connect to the internet and establish a session. This internet router identifies the clients and permits them for the current session. This router dispatches these messages to the target person using the attached URIs.
From so many messaging protocols, the two most used protocols are XMPP and Websockets. The question that arises here is which one to use? In this articles, we are going to share information about what are these messaging protocols? Which one to use? Their pros and cons. So let us begin.
These 2 messaging protocols define five key elements which are Rules, Syntax, Semantics, Synchronization, and Error recovery method.
By using XMPP or WebSockets, mobile app developers need not have a concern about purchasing any cloud storage space to save the client’s data. All the data is saved locally on the user’s devices. The servers act as an intermediate between the chat participants.
The long form of XMPP is Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. It is originally referred to as Jabber. When it comes to building a real-time mobile chat application, XMPP is the choice of the majority of mobile app developers.
The major reason behind this is that XMPP is open source, and extensible. Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol offer their own cloud system and have no limit for chat participants. I.e. any number of chat participants can communicate using this messaging protocol.
Google talk and Whatsapp are the two most famous mobile chat applications built on Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). XMPP was even used in earlier versions of Facebook. To work with XMPP, you will need developers who work on Java, C or Erlang.
Also, you will need Jabber server for message delivery system setup. One more server is needed to manage concurrent processes. Finally, a database that stores all the data instead of storing it in the user’s device.
XML is used by XMPP to exchange clients data between client and server. In XMPP, a basic unit of communication is called as Stanza. Three stanzas are required in XMPP. The first type of stanza is called message which is used to exchange messages.
Another stanza is Presence. This is used to exchange online as well as subscription status. Third and the last stanza is info or query; which is used to dynamic settings of communication which is controlled all over the server.
How does XMPP process the actual communication? It assigns a unique XMPP address. This XMPP address consists of an IP address, Domain name, and username to all end users who are chatting. A secure transport layer such as TCP/IP or HTTP is used to bind this data.
Pros of XMPP
- Decentralized architecture – This decentralized architecture of XMPP allows users are allowed to start their own dedicated servers. There is no need of having a common central server.
- Open to all – Anyone can use XMPP and there is no major maintainer.
- Security – Since XMPP allows end users to set up a separate storage server, the security of data transmission is supplied primarily. These servers can have their own encryption and security standards.
- Flexibility –XMPP is not used for messaging only but also in other areas, including network administration, for instance.
Cons of XMPP
- There is no default way of ensuring message delivery
- The major con of XMPP is the redundancy of the transmitted data
- Around 60% of all data exchanged by the protocol is the presence data stanza. It generated excess traffic.
- Another con is the weak scalability of the protocol. It becomes problematic to create chat rooms and data publishing.
- Developers need to use additional third-party protocols for file transfer since XMPP uses XML.
- The speed is slower.
It is generated to build full duplex interaction between client and server. It transmits data in real time with a TCP connection. How does it work? The client sends an HTTP request to the server.
If the request is valid, the server sends a unique identifier in the header. Later, the original HTTP connection is replaced with a WebSocket connection. Now the client can exchange data in real time. WebSockets is centralized. It uses the server API to establish communication.
Pros of WebSockets
- It enables high-speed data exchange. It is used in instant messaging.
- There is no limit for user sessions on a single app.
- Developers can create the cross-domain applications.
- UTF-8 encoding.
Cons of WebSockets
- Poor security
- No default way to delay the message delivery
- Websockets is incompatible with a telnet client
Both the protocols have their own advantages and disadvantages. It depends on the clients; what type of app they want to build.
If you too want to develop a chat application, hire app development company.