The ability to simplify the development of real-time Web applications, not only saves development teams time and money, but also helps businesses offer the customer support features that online consumers are, increasingly, coming to expect.
Radar, the newest push notification framework from Zendesk, simplifies the development of real-time Web functionality such as live chat, presence detection and data change notifications.
"For the past year, we’ve worked hard to integrate Radar into our infrastructure as an extensible back-end to support push messaging and other real-time functionality,” said Morten Primdahl, Zendesk CTO. “In addition to supporting chat applications, Radar also exposes an elegant API for building apps that use messaging, data change notifications, and user presence.”
Radar facilitates real-time requests through Node.js and a real-time transport library (engine.io) to service requests.
According to DeVaris Brown, technology evangelist at Zendesk, Radar's main point is that it adds a lot of functionality that is necessary for building typical real time features into an existing application.
The presence detection and data change notifications that are present in Radar aid in a business’s customer service on the Web in the following ways (according to Brown):
Presence detection helps with writing social features, where it is important to know if a customer service agent is online, or a customer is available for chatting. At Zendesk, Radar's presence features are used for tracking things such as agents available for chats and agents available to receive phone calls, as well as what tickets an agent is looking at or working on.
Data change notifications help with all kinds of features, where someone in an organization makes a change - such as a ticket update, or a setting change - and other people need to be quickly notified of this. For example, when multiple people are looking at a customer service ticket and one of them posts an update, the other customer service agents receive a notification about this.
In regard to using this framework to increase ROI, Brown said, “This comes down to being able to benefit from the higher level API that allows a business to write new real-time functionality faster, and from the scalability features that Radar supports which enable the business to grow their real-time messaging capacity quickly. In addition to saving engineering and infrastructure effort in building these features, consumers expect elegant interactions with products and services that deliver timely and relevant information. Using a framework such as Radar is not only a smart technology choice, but it enables the development of features that would not be possible otherwise.”