Chat& was developed with a unique architecture to provide live video chat from its inception. In comparison, competing platforms were developed to support predominantly text based chat. As a hosted service, Chat& is able to add additional capacity and new features quickly and efficiently. This enables clients to scale quickly without disruption to their operations. It also provides a relatively short development and implementation cycle. As a SaaS provider, Chat& focuses on the development of tightly integrated software design and network architecture. Significant resources have been dedicated to designing software and network architecture based on the fundamental principles of security, reliability and scalability. Chat& supports its clients through a secure, scalable server infrastructure. In North America, the primary servers are hosted in a fully-secured, top-tier, third-party server center and are supported by a top-tier backup server facility. The network, hardware and software are designed to accommodate clients’ demands for secure, high-quality 24-hour per day/seven-day per week service.
Chat& software is designed for ease of use and lowest possible bandwidth requirements, and suitability with all web browsers. Clients install only the Chat& Agent Console (Windows or Java-based) on their operators’ workstations. Visitors to client websites require only a standard Web browser and do not need to download software from Chat& in order to interact with client operators or to access the Chat& services.
Chat& software design is also based on open standards whose standard protocols facilitate integration with client legacy and third-party systems. Representative examples include:
- XML (Extensible Mark-up Language)
- HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language)
- SQL (Structured Query Language)
- HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
- FLASH / FLEX / ADOBE LCCS
The software was built in modules to enable other services and functions. All user content is converted and stored into a variable rich-media format. The platform stores session-based variable on the server. User sessions access the core management system (CMS) on the server to handle each connection and module. The CMS is updated and synchronized during each session to ensure high performance. Speed and performance are priorities within the operating environment and Chat& was developed to manage user sessions locally, resulting in a very fast connection, regardless of bandwidth.
By using server-side methods, the platform offers more security and uniformity for the user experience. The user experience is therefore facilitated by the end user by manipulating objects within the client side player.
An administrative tool set provides ease of control for account access. The system manages client and individual user accounts and related permissions.
Chat& has integrated its software with a scalable and reliable network architecture. Increasing network capacity does not require new hardware for each new Chat& client. This network architecture is hosted in collocation facilities with redundant network connections, servers and other infrastructure, enabling superior availability.
Standard server application and load balancing are used across the servers in the network architecture to provide scalable service to meet variable customer demand. Chat& uses standard web tools to monitor its servers. These tools provide notification of system conditions across the entire network and across variety of metrics such as bandwidth. Monitoring is done 24/7 every day of the year.
The backup server infrastructure is housed at separate locations and provides primary hosting facilities with effective disaster recovery capability. For increased security, advanced firewall architecture and industry leading encryption standards are used. Clients may further encrypt their sensitive data using more advanced encryption algorithms.[/tab] [/tabs]