WhatsApp is the most sought after messaging application that has revolutionized the messaging app market. Several attempts have been made in vain to clone WhatsApp as a chat app, but none of them yielded the result. Despite introducing similar functionalities, no chat app has ever been able to topple WhatsApp’s supremacy as a chat app.
In order to build a WhatsApp like chat app, one should have a detailed understanding of its functioning mechanism and technicalities.
How Whatsapp Messaging App is Working Technically?
WhatsApp uses Ejabberd (XMPP) server which facilitates instant message transfer between two or many users on a real-time basis. High reliability and sustainability even under peak traffic the reason why WhatsApp developers chose Ejabberd above anything else.
ERLANG is the programming language used to code WhatsApp. Code restructuring and some important changes were made to the Ejabberd server to achieve optimal server performance.
Further, Erlang is agile to adapting to instant updates and hot fixes. This is what helps WhatsApp to quickly push the changes to live implementation without requiring restarts.
1. Insights on data transfer in WhatsApp
WhatsApp manages over 50 billion messages a day. The key to smooth data processing lies with the message queue length. The length of the message queue of all the processes associated with a node is monitored.
In case of multimedia messages, contents (audio, video, or image) are uploaded into a HTTP server and are linked with the content and then sent to the receiving node (receiver) in the form of a thumbnail. Based on the user’s preference the content can either be viewed or discarded.
2. Protocol used by WhatsApp
The primary protocol in use is XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol).DSL ensures network security and also helps in preventing private data transfer.
As and when message is sent, it is queued on the server. The message waits in the queue until the recipient reconnects to receive the message. As and when a message is delivered the sender gets notified by a double check mark near the message. After the delivery the messages are instantly deleted from the server memory.
This instant deletion from server memory helps WhatsApp keep its resources to a bare minimum.
Additionally, Whatsapp uses HTML5 WebSockets which communication technology which facilitates two-way communication.
3. Registration process of WhatsApp
Users can register for WhatsApp by entering their mobile number. On entering the number, the user will be sent a OTP which once verified by the device will initiate the user to the chat screen.
4. Database management
Mnesia DB handles the heavy-duty task of database management. Mnesia is a multiuser distributed DBMS which also happens to be the default DB of ERLANG. Mnesia helps achieve quicker request responses, thereby improving the overall efficiency.
FreeBSD is the OS upon which WhatsApp is built. Improvising on the ERLANG based applications and optimizing FreeBSD, WhatsApp is able to achieve better performance. For storing multimedia files, the app uses an exclusive web server YAWS.
Build a Whatsapp like Messaging App with Contus Fly
Having discussed the technicalities of WhatsApp it is time to shift gears over analyzing the possibilities of creating a whatsApp alternative. There are plenty of secure messaging app in the market that appear to be perfect WhatsApp clones. The reality is many of the attempts of building WhatsApp like apps are failing because they do not follow the technical aspects.
Well, if we take such apps as an example, it might be quite difficult to understand as they are completely built products. Instead a ready made solution that can help in creating a WhatsApp clone app would be a better learning material.
Contus Fly is a framework that catalyses the build a chat platform. Contus Fly can be used to develop WhatsApp clone app for Android, iOS and Website platforms as it has the SDK ready for these widely preferred mobile operating systems. Since native coding has been used by Contus Fly to achieve better speed, it can be handy in developing a WhatsApp like native app.
Framework & Architecture of Contus Fly
Ejabberd, the open source Jabber server has been customized by Contus Fly to improve operational efficiency. The XMPP protocol has also been customized to speedup signing in and re-signing in sessions. To protect the app from DDOS attacks and to prevent account spoofing, this mobile chat app solution has been encrypted with HMAC.
Mnesia and MySQL
For data storing, Contus Fly makes use of both Mnesia and MySQL. While Mnesia is used to maintain user login sessions, MySQL contributes in maintaining the user details, right from account credentials to other personal data.
Chat logs are a key for instant messaging applications. In order to save chat history between several nodes, Contus Fly has deployed . This database offers a good read write speed thus helping users to retrieve chat logs as and when they need.
Amazon S3 bucket
Multimedia messages including audio, image, video are saved in Amazon S3 bucket. Registration for the app usage can be done in multiple ways including mobile number, email, user name password and social login.
WebRTC is a source code that is used to build real-time communication (RTC) in browsers and mobile app. Contus Fly has inbuilt WebRTC that allows its users to have VOIP (voice over the internet protocol) voice/video calls in their messaging app
Contus Fly offers a 3 layered security flow – end-to-end encryption, HMAC authenticated screening, and online/offline verification protocol; that ensures the data transmitted within the chat app is secure.
As and when a user triggers a message, the chat SDK sends a request to the Ejabbered server. In return the server checks for the availability of the recipient and if available, the delivery request is sent to the recipients SDK and then delivered. If the recipient is offline, the data is stored in the Ejabbered as message will be queued in the server.
Contus Fly Features
- Group Chat
- Offline Messages
- Push Notifications
- Social Integrations
- Sync and Store
- Voice & Video Calling
- Video Conferencing
- Multimedia Sharing
- Easy Screen Sharing
- Fully Searchable
- End to End Security
Uses Cases of Contus Fly
1. Build Your Own Chat App:
Contus Fly is a instant messaging solution that can be customised according to the needs of the user. The customizations are highly flexible and can be made both initially or even after the app is launched.
2. Chat API:
Chat API provides users the access to infrastructure of server. This enables any website or app to be integrated with a messaging solution that performs without any hassles and is highly scalable.
3. Messaging SDK:
SDK is an instant messaging framework that enables the app built with it to work on specific VOD platforms. Contus Fly’s SDK has been built in an enterprise grade making it compatible on android, iOS and windows.
4. In-app Messaging:
A source to connect with your customers goes a long way. In-app messaging and push notifications initiates a direct conversation with app visitors and assists in providing accurate product explanation and suggestions.