Video conferencing has become a daily part of our lives. We use it for everything from work meetings to talking with family members, and it's only getting more popular. The market for video conferencing is growing exponentially, which means that new APIs are being developed every day.
But as more people develop their own apps or services on top of existing APIs, we need to consider how they might affect your users' experiences. If you're working on an API for video conferencing, here are some video conference API best practices that will help ensure your users have a great time using it.
1. Consider the complexity of making your site compatible with different browsers
The problem with browser complexity is that it causes differences in video conferencing between browsers. For example, some browsers may not support a particular codec or frame rate. If you use this API to implement a video conference application on the web, your users will experience problems if they are using one of the affected browsers.
To solve the problem of browser complexity and make sure that your video conferencing application works flawlessly across all browsers, keep an eye out for our upcoming article on how to detect which codecs are supported by each browser and how to adjust your code accordingly!
2. Always consider the browser versioning
Browser versioning is essential for video conferencing software. You need to keep track of what browsers are supported by your API, and it's also vital for you to test your video conferencing software in different browsers. You'll need to know if any browsers have issues with how your API works and can be sure that everyone who uses your conference system has a good experience on all their devices.
Mobile devices are a huge part of video conferencing, and it's essential to ensure that your system works well with all mobile browsers. You'll also want to test on different operating systems (Mac vs Windows) as well as different versions of each OS (10.13 for MacOS, for example).
3. Consider how you might allocate bandwidth on your network
Bandwidth management is a significant concern when it comes to video conferencing APIs. Many people don't realize that bandwidth management is a significant issue for video conferencing apps as well, but it is.
Bandwidth management refers to how data is processed and delivered over the Internet. Video calls require large amounts of data to function correctly, which means that your app needs to be able to handle this traffic without slowing down or crashing under pressure from too many concurrent users and requests. This can be done through either throttling or packet loss control (PLS).
4. Don't overlook the importance of UI design
As a developer, you have the opportunity to create a fantastic user experience. This is your chance to make sure your users love using your product—and it's also one of the most challenging parts of building an app.
A good UI design will use colors, icons, and other visual cues to help users understand what they need to do in the video conference. The best way to test these designs is with a mockup tool like InVision or UXPin. These tools allow you to add animations, screen transitions, and interactive buttons to simulate how each feature works before coding it into your app!
5. Be sure your software is HIPAA-compliant
HIPAA compliance is more than just a buzzword. It’s a requirement for healthcare organizations to handle protected health information (PHI) on the web and in apps. The HIPAA Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was created to help ensure the privacy, security, and transmission of PHI across all forms of media.
With this legislation came many rules that must be followed when dealing with health data—and they can be challenging to keep track of. The good news? As long as you follow certain best practices, your video conferencing API should comply with HIPAA regulations by default!
6. Create and manage a global infrastructure for servers
With an API, you can manage servers and global infrastructure. This means you can manage your servers and global infrastructure through the API rather than using a separate dashboard. This allows for easier management—especially if you have multiple users who need access to different servers or services.
For example, if you have multiple team members using a video conferencing software like FreeConference, it's good practice to plan for traffic growth and usage spikes. You should also handle the load of your video conferencing program by identifying bottlenecks in your system.
7. Prepare for increases in usage and traffic
As you plan for traffic growth, you must consider how much of your user base might be using your video conferencing service simultaneously. If this concerns you, there are a few things you can do.
For starters, use an external load balancer to distribute requests across multiple servers. If one server gets overloaded with traffic, the load balancer will spread out its requests among available servers until everything levels out again. This is especially helpful if you're monitoring usage spikes in real-time. It prevents any server from getting overwhelmed by too many concurrent users at once (and keeps those users connected).
Next, analyze how many sessions are happening concurrently by looking at session stickiness or total active sessions over time. These metrics will tell you whether a particular group or individual user tends to use more than one session at once and when they tend to do so.
It's essential to keep track of these numbers regularly so that if your service experiences an unexpected surge in usage (or doesn't), then it won't affect either performance or stability adversely as much as it could have otherwise–and this way too!
8. HIPPA Compliance
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance is a critical consideration when building or using an API for video conferencing, especially in the context of healthcare or where users' sensitive health information may be involved. HIPAA compliance is primarily concerned with safeguarding the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI). Here are some ways that HIPAA compliance relates to video conferencing:
1. Encryption: One of the most critical aspects of HIPAA compliance is ensuring that all data is encrypted both at rest and in transit. For a video conferencing API, this means that any data being transmitted must be encrypted, so even if it were intercepted, it couldn't be read.
2. Access Control: Another important aspect of HIPAA compliance is implementing stringent access control measures. Only authorized individuals should have access to the PHI. This could mean implementing password protection, two-factor authentication, and detailed user permissions within the API.
3. Audit Trails: HIPAA also requires keeping detailed records of who accessed what data and when. This means an API must have logging mechanisms to track and store this information.
4. BAA: If a video conferencing platform is to be HIPAA compliant, it must be willing to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). This is a contract between a HIPAA-covered entity and a HIPAA business associate (BA) that protects PHI in accordance with HIPAA guidelines.
5. Data Integrity: The integrity of PHI data must be maintained. This means implementing safeguards to prevent improper alteration or destruction of PHI.
6. Data Storage: If your video conferencing API stores PHI data, it should be stored in a HIPAA-compliant server or cloud storage system, complete with all necessary security measures.
7. Training: If your video conferencing API is to be used by healthcare providers, training needs to be provided so they understand how to use it in a way that remains HIPAA compliant.
To ensure your video conference API is HIPAA compliant, you should consult with legal and cybersecurity experts who are familiar with the specific rules and regulations surrounding PHI. Also, regular audits can be an effective way to identify any potential vulnerabilities and ensure you remain compliant.
The video conferencing API is a complex and robust platform that can be used to build applications for any business. While there are many things to consider when building such an API, it’s important to remember that it should be simple enough for everyone involved in the process—from developers who will build apps using the service, to end users who want to use those apps.