Database integration is a powerful way to connect several applications together to work in a seamless, information rich tandem. Traditionally much, if not all, common user information has been duplicated between different apps. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to be asked for one’s name, email, date of birth, and a plethora of other mundane details, ad naseum, whilst doing the simplest of things in the digital world. Nonetheless, the increased proliferation of social networks, associated tools and services they support as a platform, is beginning to shift the user-consumer paradigm towards a register-once-connect-everywhere model.
Database integration removes much of the hassle of worrying about large collections of login details, personal profiles and keeping everything synced. Many applications and services can hook into the same database, utilising its data storage and retrieval facilities without adding additional bloat to themselves or the clutter of long registration forms. The imperative of modern software is therefore to become aware of the user rapidly, offering a unique, tailored experience as quickly as possible. Apps that are successful in this regard – thrive, whilst software with a tall wall of upfront effort in front of it is bound to deter the tech savvy customer who values his time.
Amidst the chat bot extravaganza that’s occupied GChat labs for the past couple of weeks, the topic of database integration came up more than once. It was certainly a great way to enhance the Chat Robot – making it a helpful repository of company facts for visitors of the Video Chat demo – but better still, it was realised that there were, actually, very few technological barriers now on the way to putting the same dynamic functionality in the hands of GChat hosted chat owners! So the development team had drafted a plan to roll this feature out in the near future.
The idea, at least in theory, will work as follows: GChat develops an integration module for a particular API or CMS framework which can be then deployed to communicate with a live GChat hosted chat without any downtime, dynamically making new integration options available to the webmaster. The chat owner won’t have to worry about how this is accomplished. A simple link will be provided for the chat admin panel to make use of. Hence a quick two-step setup process. Video Chat will handle communication between the integration module page, hosted chat and CMS. New user accounts will be generated automatically for hosted chat use, using the CMS database. Whilst existing user accounts will be synced where needed. Members of an on-line community can then enjoy an integrated online identity between forums, chat and the main website without losing any of their preferences or having to register multiple times.
Times are changing. And GChat hosted service is keeping apace. After eliminating the database integration limits, broadening support for popular CMS systems and thoroughly testing the new dynamic integration facilities, GChat will move on to even bigger and better things. How about being able to plugin a Twitter, Googe Plus or Facebook account into your chat? That’s certainly a logical next step for Video Chat. Please standby for an official announcement as to when the new integration features will be deployed. An accurate timetable is presently being worked out so as not to clash with other ongoing development and upgrade work being carried out.