During a recent project for a client in the Education sector, we were asked about including a video conferencing component. We knew that Amazon Web Services (AWS), our usual tool set, had a service to build this feature, so we set about building the app with Amazon Chime integration.
Our goal is to continuously improve and add new strings to our bow, so this was a perfect opportunity to get familiar with a new piece of technology. This article will talk about how we created this feature using our AWS knowledge, and what we learned along the way.
What Is Amazon Chime?
According to Amazon’s definition:
Chime is a communications service that lets you meet, chat, and place business calls inside and outside your organization, all using a single application. Developers can use the same communications infrastructure and services that power Amazon Chime, and add audio calling, video calling, and screen sharing capabilities directly to their applications.
We can see from the description that it’s similar to Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Google Meet, and Chime is even used to power the video and voice calling in Slack. The advantage for us, as we already do so much development using AWS, is that we can directly integrate the features of Chime into any app which has been created using the AWS stack.
How We Used It
Here is an overview diagram of how the Chime component of our software operates.
We used our standard user management system linked with a scheduling feature to organise lessons for groups of students, each with individual user accounts. The user management and authentication are taken care of using a system we built with AWS Cognito, which we use for many apps.
Once a video lesson has started, the tutor can mute and turn off the camera of any student, or give them permission to activate their microphone or camera using a feature we created. Anyone in the session can also share a screen with the group when needed.
Additionally, we built a video recording feature on top of the standard Chime features at the request of the client. The tutor’s screen for the whole lesson can be recorded (by the tutor only), and once complete the video is saved and archived with AWS S3. This gives students the ability to stream the lesson back at any time if they desire.
This video conferencing feature will also be used for staff meetings in groups without any students added.
Chime has proven to be a high quality, reliable video and audio communication solution. It has many more developer components which we haven’t used in this project, providing massive scope for extension and expansion in future, too.
If you already have an app which has been built using AWS technologies, especially Cognito for user management, we can easily use Amazon Chime integration to add video or text communication to your software. It is also possible for us to add our own video recording and archiving features if you require it.
To see how this can fit with your business, contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation chat.