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Web Chat Survey

I’ve been looking various web chat interfaces. I’m interested in finding a solution or project that supplies a front-end based chat implementation without having to build it all from scratch.

Here are some preliminary results of my searching:

Open Source

Microsoft has built a reasonable contender with the BotFramework-WebChat repo. The theming seems a little plain right now, but consistent with Microsoft’s design language. This seems to be a larger project that somehow involves Azure (of course) to host chatbots. But it does seem to be reasonably extensive.

There are a number of examples of the UI showing features and capabilities.

Demos are nice but it is also reasonable to look into the open issues for any project to try to assess its flexibility and quality.

There questions about how to restore a conversation’s history. And some solutions in issue 365.

Software as a Service

There are a number of various solutions for web-based chat UIs. These solutions seem to justify their value by providing the UI and all of the backend messaging bus services. Using any of these services comes with additional operational risk as well.

SaaS Solution Pricing
TalkJS 250/month
Sendbird 399/month
GetStream.io 499/month