Combining Teamwork Services: Sameroom Project
In the past few years, there has been an explosive increase in the number of messengers and services for team work - Slack, HipChat, Gitter, Kato - you can list for a long time (here there is a small comparison of such services).
Each of these products has its own strengths, but one drawback is that they are all isolated from each other and, choosing one of the systems, users cannot contact users of competing services (the option of using several services in parallel is not considered to be obviously unrealistic). The creators of the Sameroom project decided to rectify this situation.
The problem is isolation
The market for teamwork tools is growing rapidly, almost every month new interesting projects appear, but there is a reason why such diversity creates problems for users: this is the isolation of such systems.
If one of the teams inside the enterprise uses the Slack messenger, and the other uses IRC, then if there is a need for contact between the representatives of these two teams, they will need to use some third service, in which everyone is sitting (for example, email or Skype). Is it necessary to prove that this is very inconvenient?
Honestly, the current situation recalls the prehistoric times when, for example, there was no possibility of integrating Microsoft Mail and Lotus Notes. In 2015, such isolation of popular platforms looks at least strange.
The new project Sameroom project is designed to help users of different communication services communicate with each other.
How it works
Currently, 7 platforms are available for integration: IRC, Campfire, HipChat, Flowdock, Slack, Gitter and the Kato.im messenger we created .
The essence of Sameroom’s work is to create a “pipe” (hereinafter without quotes) from a certain room of one platform to a certain room of another (or the same) platform. Through such a pipe, messages published in each of the two rooms connected by it are sent to another room.
Thus, users of Slack or Gitter can communicate with colleagues who prefer Kato or HipChat.
Details related to authorship of messages transmitted through Sameroom, features of notifications about them, and others are described on the project FAQ page .
There are two ways to create pipes - directly, if you have access to two commands, or by creating a "portal". A portal is a link to a room or channel through which anyone can create a pipe to it from their chat. Thus, it is possible to connect not rigidly two teams, but any number of them. In the process of creating a portal, it is possible to specify who will pay for the pipes - the owner of the portal, or the creators of the pipes.
A separate issue is the cost of using such a unifying service. The creators of Sameroom have provided several options for its use. For example, 30 messages per hour through the pipe can be sent for free (the counter is reset at the beginning of each hour) - this mode is suitable to just try how it works. In most cases, this bandwidth is clearly insufficient, so there are paid pipes that send an unlimited number of messages.
The price of the minimum paid plan is $ 9 per month - for this money the user gets the opportunity to use up to 3 active paid pipes at the same time.
There are also plans that allow the simultaneous use of up to 40 active paid pipes (Pro plan for $ 49 per month) and up to 500 active paid pipes (Enterprise plan for $ 399 per month).
An important point: the user of the minimum paid plan can create dozens of paid pipes, but most of them he will have to deactivate, leaving a maximum of 3 of them active. Otherwise, all of his pipes will forward no more than 30 messages per hour.
In addition, Sameroom has an internal currency called roomcoin. Each of these virtual coins has a nominal value in paid pipes - the lucky ones who manage to get such a currency can significantly save.
As it became known to the Kato team, the immediate plans of the creators of Sameroom are working on expanding the list of platforms for integration and fixing possible errors and problems. We invited one of the team members to Habr (@sameroom), so you can ask him all the questions in the comments to this topic.