Nontraditional Uses of BlackBerry CPaaS: Creative Apps for Enterprise

BBM Enterprise SDK

Earlier this year, we released the BBM Enterprise SDK to encourage developers and entrepreneurs to embed our ready-made communications platform into their apps with ease. On top of the secured voice, video, and messaging that the SDK is now famous for, pioneers of this platform have been using it to integrate very non-traditional communication features into their apps. This blog will showcase some of these creative use cases and demonstrate the wide range of applications that can be easily deployed using BlackBerry’s secured real-time communication platform.

Location Sharing

Tracking the location of a fleet of drones and vehicles in real time? Or how about tracking the delivery of a parcel to its location, completely and securely from end to end? The BBM Enterprise SDK delivers the APIs and public sample code that work together to simplify and accelerate the app development process for these uses cases and many more!

In our Location Sharing Sample, you can take advantage of customizable message payloads to define messages that include the user’s current location. The application then parses incoming messages, and renders the participant’s location as data points on a map. For example, the JSON payload for a custom message that includes location info might look something like:

“chatMessage”: {
                     “chatId”: “1”,
                     “messageId”: “22”,
                     “timestamp”: 309873090861,
                     “state”: “Delivered”,
                     “stateIsPartial”: true,
                     “senderUri”: “bbmpim://user/id/22”,
                     “tag”: “Location”,
                     “data”: {
                        “Location”: {
                        “altitude”: “3”,
                        “longitude”: “43.517186”,
                        “latitude”: “-80.513692”
                                 },
                      },
}

The Tag property allows developers to abstract the payload beyond a simple text message. The key details of this payload are in bold, and show that this message is specifically tagged as containing location data, while the customized information is contained in the data field of the JSON text. Behind the scenes (and without having to display the UI for a typical chat messaging application), the app utilizes the APIs for sending and receiving a “chatMessage”, and overlays the contained information as location pins on a map. Check out the sample app in action below, which was demoed recently in a webinar about the BBM Enterprise SDK:

Whiteboard

In this sample app, users can draw pictures together on a shared canvas. Not only is this a fun application to play around with, but it offers a valuable enterprise solution for anyone that requires real-time collaboration on shared documents (for example, engineers collaborating on blueprints in real time, or doctors highlighting information on an MRI or X-Ray for a remotely located patient).

Once again, we define a customizable message, but this time we send raw binary data of the user’s ‘brush strokes’, and parse this data to construct the writing on top of a shared image. Thus, this JSON payload might look something like:

“chatMessage”: {

                                                “chatId”: “1”,

                                                “messageId”: “22”,

                                                “timestamp”: 309873090861,

                                                “state”: “Delivered”,

                                                “stateIsPartial”: true,

                                                “senderUri”: “bbmpim://user/id/22”,

                                                “tag”: “Whiteboard”,

                                                “data”: {

“Whiteboard”: “WDRPBw2291….cWpE9”

                                                },

}

As shown above, this message is tagged as a ‘Whiteboard’ message, and the custom data for this message contains the raw binary data to draw pixels onto the screen. Even though we’re utilizing a secure communications platform via the BBM Enterprise SDK, this application’s UI is radically different (and completely flexible) than other embedded communication platforms. Check out this sample in action, which was demoed in the same webinar mentioned earlier:

Chat Bot

Whether it’s administrative tasks, booking appointments, customer service, or AI super users – there are endless use cases for bots in modern enterprise and consumer applications.

Using a third party bot, or your own JavaScript bot running on Node.js, or a bot that is built with the upcoming web versions of the BBM Enterprise SDK (click to request early access to our BBM Enterprise JavaScript SDK), you can add capable automatons to your chats and engage with them securely. Check out the video below for a simple example of integrating chat bots into your apps:

Conclusion

To sum up, BlackBerry has empowered developers with an incredibly secure and flexible tool to easily embed a wide range of real time communication features into their applications. In the vast landscape of work and consumer apps, users don’t want even more apps bloating their devices. Instead, they prefer that more features are built into what they already use, and are more likely to retain new apps that have more features to discover. The BBM Enterprise SDK helps companies evolve towards this goal. Voice, video, and chat are clearly only the beginning of what this platform is capable of, and we are very excited to see what new and creative features developers discover using the BBM Enterprise SDK, our bonafide BlackBerry CPaaS.

Get started today by visiting the BBM Enterprise SDK developer portal.

 

About Jeff J.

As a part of the Enterprise Solutions Team, I work to bring the latest BlackBerry software and security features to life on the Android platform.

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