Welcome!

Open Source Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Rich Waidmann, Vormetric Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: WebRTC, Java, Open Source, Web 2.0, Video, Open Web, Cloud Expo

WebRTC: Blog Post

Building Video Calling with PubNub and WebRTC

Learning about video codecs, signaling, and presence is just the beginning when it comes to implementation

Building video calling apps is no small task. Learning about video codecs, signaling, and presence is just the beginning when it comes to implementation. At PubNub, we have partnered our technology with WebRTC to make integration fast and easy to build video chat software. Out of the box, our WebRTC Framework will power audio, video, and data communication between two browsers.

Want to get an idea of what it'll look like when you're finished? Take a look at our live, working demo and code walk through, or watch the video below, or keep reading.

Get Started by Installing the PubNub WebRTC SDK
The first step to building your own video calling app is to install both PubNub and our WebRTC SDK. To install both of these, first download the WebRTC SDK to your local project somewhere. Then include both libraries:

<script src="http://cdn.pubnub.com/pubnub.min.js"></script>

<script src="http://pubnub.github.io/webrtc/webrtc-beta-pubnub.js"></script>

Getting a List of Users to Call
The PubNub library comes with the functionality to see what users come online and offline with our Presence feature. To start, enable this functionality by visiting our Developer's Portal and enabling Presence on your API key. This will allow your clients to start receiving join and leave events.

In our application, every user is subscribed to one channel. This means every user can see all the other users that are currently connected. This is done easily by using a channel named "phonebook":

pubnub.subscribe({
channel: ‘phonebook',
callback: function (message) {
// Do nothing in our callback
},
presence: function (data) {
if (data.action === "join" && data.uuid != myUuid) {
var parts = data.uuid.split(‘-');
var newUser = newUserTemplate({
name: parts[1]
id: parts[0]
});
userList.append(newUser);
} else if (data.action === "leave" and data.uuid != myUuid) {
var parts = data.uuid.split(‘-');<
var item = userList.find("li[data user=\"" + parts[0] + "\"]");
item.remove();}

});

Currently the user data is stored in the data attributes of the element itself. This makes it easy to work with as a prototype, but could be extended to an AngularJS scope or Backbone Collection easily.

Get the User Media
The first step in any WebRTC application is to get the stream from the user's webcam. Luckily, the browser provides an easy-to-use way of getting this stream. The code for doing this uses the getUserMedia API:

function gotStream(stream) {

document.querySelector(‘#self-call-video').src = URL.createObjectURL(stream);

myStream = stream; // Save the stream for later use

};

navigator.webkitGetUserMedia({ audio: true, video: true}, gotStream);

Note here that the stream is stored for use in publishing to a WebRTC peer connection. When you make this call the user will have to allow your application to use the webcam. The callback will not be called until this has been done, so it may be good to notify the user that they need to allow this before moving on.

Calling a User with PubNub WebRTC
Once your application has the user stream you can now publish that stream to another user. Since the RTCPeerConnection requires you to publish your stream before the connection is made, the library provides methods for both subscribing and listening for new connections. The code below will take care of both cases and allow a completed call to be made:

function publishStream(uuid) {

pubnub.publish({

user: uuid,

stream: myStream

});


pubnub.subscribe({

user: uuid,

stream: function (data, event) {

document.querySelector(‘#call-video').src = URL.createObjectUrl(event.stream);

},

disconnect: function (uuid, pc) {

document.querySelector("#call-video").src = "";

$(document).trigger("call:end");

}

});

};


pubnub.onNewConnection(function (uuid) {

if (myStream != null) {

publishStream(uuid);

}

});


pubnub.subscribe({

channel: ‘answer',

callback: function (data) {

if (data.caller == myUuid) {

publishStream(data.callee);

}

}

});

This will take care of all the use cases when calling another user:

  1. The user has called us and we want to react immediately to the call
  2. We are calling another user by publishing our stream to them
  3. We want to subscribe to another user before they call

Hanging Up a WebRTC Call
Hanging up the call is as simple as closing the peer connection. The other user tries to reconnect for a few seconds and then recognizes the call is dropped after that. The library provides an interface for both cases:

function hangUp() {

pubnub.closeConnection(currentCall, function () {

$(document).trigger("call:end");

}

};


pubnub.subscribe({

// ... Other subscribe code here

disconnect: function (uuid, peerConnection) {

hangUp();

// React to the disconnect

}

});

Using Other Logins
Our demo also allows you to log in with any Google+ account. Since our users are identified by a unique user ID, this ID can be anything the developers provide. In this use case, we provide the unique user ID provided by the Google+ API.

Unfortunately this just gives us an ID for each user, so if we want to tell the user who is currently available for chat they will just see the numerical representation of each user. The way we get around this limitation is by including the user name in each unique user ID. Our user names now look like "1234567-John Doe". Now we can call String.split(‘-') to get the name and the ID separated so we can show the human-readable form to the user.

WebRTC Calling In-Browser Is Amazing
Now we can take this seemingly complex application and simplify the time to develop this so even one person can build it. The most amazing thing about this is that it is scalable from the beginning. Using the PubNub network allows your application to scale on a global level.

The RTCPeerConnection also abstracts away much of the complexity that deals with codecs and setting up a peer connection. We at PubNub hope to see a whole new wave of communication applications on the web! Check out the demo of our video calling application here.

More Stories By Dan Ristic

Dan Ristic is Developer Evangelist and Front End Engineer at PubNub. Dan is crazy about user interface development and has been programming on the web for five years. He grew up in Chicago and studied engineering at the University of Advancing Technology in Phoenix, AZ.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
“The age of the Internet of Things is upon us,” stated Thomas Svensson, senior vice-president and general manager EMEA, ThingWorx, “and working with forward-thinking companies, such as Elisa, enables us to deploy our leading technology so that customers can profit from complete, end-to-end solutions.” ThingWorx, a PTC® (Nasdaq: PTC) business and Internet of Things (IoT) platform provider, announced on Monday that Elisa, Finnish provider of mobile and fixed broadband subscriptions, will deploy ThingWorx® platform technology to enable a new Elisa IoT service in Finland and Estonia.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that prevent them from doing so. The Company is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges thro...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Recurring revenue models are great for driving new business in every market sector, but they are complex and need to be effectively managed to maximize profits. How you handle the range of options for pricing, co-terming and proration will ultimately determine the fate of your bottom line. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder at Aria Systems, session examined: How time impacts recurring revenue How to effectively handle customer plan changes The range of pricing and packaging options to consider
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.