Chat Overview

The Chat API allows users to communicate via text embedded directly within the application. The main entry point to the Chat API is the ChatService. The ChatService can be obtained from the domain using the chat() method.

const chatService = domain.chat();

Convergence provides a few different constructs depending on the particular type of chat your application might need:

  • Chat Rooms are analogous to an old-school IRC or web-based chat room. Presence is per-session rather than per-user. You join one and listen to events. If you're not currently joined, you won't receive any events.
  • Chat Channels are analogous to a channel in Slack. When you join a channel, you are a "member" of that channel for its lifetime, regardless of if you are currently connected (online) or not.
  • Direct Chats are analagous to "Direct Messages" in Slack, which can be between two or more named users. Members cannot be added or removed after the Chat is created.

Comparison matrix

Chat construct Per-session or user?1 Membership options Online-dependent members?2
ChatRoom session public-only yes
ChatChannel user public or private no
DirectChat user fixed 3 no

Chat Info

Users may wish to obtain information about the particular chat, such as the current members or the timestamp of the most recent event. This information can be obtained from the room via several methods.

chatService.join('myRoomID').then(room => {
  console.log(room.info().members; // ChatMember[]
  console.log(room.info().members[0].user.username()); // jimbob
  console.log(room.info().lastEventTime) // "Wed Sep 04 2019 14:42:11 GMT-0600 (Mountain Daylight Time)"

  room.getHistory({
    offset: room.info().lastEventNumber,
    limit: 25,
    eventFilter: ["message"]
  }).then(events => {
    events.filter(event => event.type === "message").forEach(event => {
      this.appendMessage(event);
    });
  });
});

Permissions

In most chat scenarios, there is a hierarchy of users that determines who has the appropriate permissions to do what. For instance, you probably only want a Chat's creator to be able to delete it. Therefore it's essential to set the permissions of a chat after it is created:

chatService.create('myRoomId').then(chatId => {
  const permissionManager = chatService.permissions(chatId);
  ...
});

See Permissions for further information and examples.

1. See here for the distinction between users and sessions.
2. Whereas room.info().members() will return all members for a ChatChannel and DirectChat, it will only return a ChatRoom's currently-online members.
3. Direct chats have a fixed membership, in that the members specified at the time of creation cannot be changed.

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