Fresh off the Wire, May 2022

Fresh Faces, New Content, Still the OG of Software-Defined Telecom

Technical Writer

Renae Sowald

A Grand Opening for Our Newest Products

Last month, we introduced you to a new way to RELAY with the latest version of our Realtime API and the most recent feature updates to Programmable Video Conferences. If April was the soft launch for these new products, May was the Grand Opening month. The RELAY Realtime API is now live, and Programmable Video Conferences are polished and ready to shine with new product information pages and demos.

Making the Most of Programmable Video Conferences

We have slowly introduced Programmable Video Conferences over the last couple of months, so it is already a well-known product, but this bundle of resources represents SignalWire’s high-level goal of making telecommunications products that will revolutionize the industry with customization capabilities and accessibility.

If you need a refresher, Programmable Video Conferences offer you many videoconferencing features without doing any coding yourself. You can:

  • Set optional start and end times for the video conference.

  • Set the video quality (720p-1080p).

  • Choose the maximum number of simultaneous participants with video and audio turned on (20-300).

  • Toggle automatic recording on and off.

  • Customize the colors and UI controls to match your branding.

  • View participant lists.

  • Generate invite links to join the conference even before it’s embedded.

  • Turn on “Live Previews” for participants to sample the activity in the conference before joining.

With just this basic functionality, one of our copywriters with zero coding experience embedded a video conference into a WordPress website and even used Google Mediapipe to blur backgrounds. But unlike standard "embeddable" products that limit your customization options to their prebuilt UI features, Programmable Video Conferences empower you to write your own code around the embeds and create new features or build entirely new capabilities around them. Such as:

  • Leveraging other companies’ APIs to integrate new features (like user auth/SSO with Auth0, pay gates with Stripe, contact forms, lead-gen forms, etc.).

  • Sending data to and from third-party apps (like CRMs, LMS, e-commerce back-ends, EMRs).

  • Integrating real-time natural language processing and machine vision capabilities.

  • Customizing the UI.

  • Whatever you can imagine and build with code!

Check out our resources on this fantastic new product, and please share them with anyone who would benefit from using this service. It is so easy and customizable that they won’t be disappointed.

Complete Integration of RELAY Realtime SDK

Like Programmable Video Conferences, this is a big deal! The RELAY Realtime SDK now offers Video, Voice, Messaging, Tasks, and Chat API endpoints. What we call RELAY is the engine that drives SignalWire, and by making it all accessible from one place, we can make the usage of our services a consistent, clean, and unified journey. Thanks to our hard-won experience, the new API feels much easier to use. And thanks to the unification it brings, it will become easier for customers to make the most of our services.

Deprecating the previous Node.js SDK

Until now, we've had two SDKs: an old v2 Node.js SDK, which handled Calling, Messaging, and Tasks, and the v3 Realtime SDK, which handled Video and Chat. Merging all these features into the v3 SDK will deprecate the old v2 Node.js SDK. V2 will still work, but if you are just starting out with Messaging or Voice services, you should begin building with the RELAY Realtime SDK. If you are already using v2, you should consider upgrading if possible, so that you can take advantage of our most seamless development process yet.

Here are a few resources to get familiar with the Realtime API:

New to the Developer Portal

We have also been busy on the developer portal adding content, editing, and reorganizing. While these changes are more subtle than the changes to the Realtime API and Programmable Video Conferences, the goal is the same: to improve the user experience with intuitive navigation, robust examples, and accurate information. Here are a few example changes:

  • Guides (like Buying a Phone Number and the Status Callbacks Overview) that are common to Messaging and Voice have been moved to the Phone Numbers category.

  • Recipes (which offer copyable code snippets) are now marked with a 📌 in their title so they are easy to find.

  • New JavaScript sections have been added to existing guides, such as Sending a Recording URL via SMS to demonstrate using the newest version of the Realtime API.

More New Guides

Let's Talk About Toll-Free Numbers

As of May 15, 2022, newly purchased Toll-Free numbers do not have Messaging capabilities enabled by default. To enable messaging, customers should visit the SignalWire Toll-Free Verification page for a no-cost verification process. Any account with existing Toll-Free numbers being used for messaging will have until September 30, 2022 to go through this verification step for those numbers. Toll-Free numbers that are not verified after that date will no longer be able to send messages, so be sure to verify those numbers!

Roadmap: What’s Ahead?

  • Programmable Video Conferences will include:
    • Integrated Chat

    • PSTN and SIP connectivity

    • WordPress plugin capabilities

    • RTMP outputs

  • We will be upgrading the SignalWire Space experience by showing platform tiers and a new beta UI.

  • We will publish a sample app and guide to integrating Stripe pay-gates with Programmable Video Conferences.

These features are planned for the next 30 days, but release dates are subject to change, so keep an eye out for our next Product Summary to see what has moved from vision to reality!