WebRTC is a technology not a solution

June 27, 2022

WebRTC is a building block to be used when developing solutions. Comparing it to solutions is the wrong approach.

[In this list of short articles, I’ll be going over some WebRTC related quotes and try to explain them]

How does WebRTC compare to Zoom?

What about Skype? Or FaceTime?

I’d say this is an 🍎 to 🍊 questions – you’re not comparing things that are comparable.

WebRTC is a piece of technology. A set of building blocks that you can use, like lego bricks.

In essence, you can view WebRTC in two ways:

  1. A standard specification – what goes on the network. In this mindset, the actual infrastructure pieces are yours to build (=the application/solution), and WebRTC just specifies what goes “in the wire”
  2. Open source implementation of the specification – this one is the libwebrtc library maintained by Google and embedded in Chrome. And then it is again just a piece that gets embedded inside different components, usually client-side only. And again, the solution is up to you to build with additional infrastructure pieces

Got an application you’re developing? Need communications sprinkled into it? Some voice. Maybe video. All in real time. And with browser components maybe. If that is the case, then WebRTC is the technology you’re likely to be using for it. But piecing all of that together into your application? That’s up to you. And that’s your solution.

We can then compare the solution you built to some other solution out there.

Next time people tell you “WebRTC isn’t good because it can’t do group calls” – just laugh at their faces. Because as a technology WebRTC can certainly handle group calls and large broadcasts – you’ll need to bring media servers to do that, and sweat to build your solution. The pieces of your puzzle there will include WebRTC as a technology.

Remember:

WebRTC is a technology not a solution. What you end up doing with it is what matters

👉 Looking to learn more on how to use WebRTC technology to build your solution? We’ve got WebRTC training courses just for that!


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