Archive for the ‘API’ Category

Elena Gorman

Algolia extends HipChat to customer support

By Elena Gorman | 4 months ago | 6 Comments

This is a guest post by Gaetan Gachet, Head of Business Development at Algolia.  

Algolia is a software editor that provides an instant search API, optimized for database search and navigation. Algolia removes the technical hassle of implementing and configuring meaningful and performant search as you type on web and mobile apps. They are the guys behind Hacker News’ search

Algolia uses HipChat's API to provide real-time website support

The bottom right “Chat with us” button checks if Algolia employees are online and then creates a public guest room for real-time support

Algolia’s first steps with HipChat

As a young company, iterations happen so often and have such a strong impact that we need to make sure everyone, from the developers to the sales guys, has the same level of information at any given time. HipChat  lets us do that.

Our first extension of HipChat was to implement public chat rooms to track notifications from our GitHub repository to know what is happening on our website. We see notifications for every GitHub commit, deployment and various bugs on our website. We then began tracking deal flow as well. Now the whole company gets notified whenever a new user signs in or converts.

This has been tremendous for the daily life of our team. Nobody gets left behind and everyone can share his input, even on topics he is not directly involved in.

How one specific need pushed us to think out of the box!

As we matured we realized that the technical nature of our product, a simplified API for real-time search, required greater customer support. We feared losing potential customers along their journey because we weren’t answering their immediate questions or recognizing unidentified friction.

To overcome this, we needed an outstanding live support process to assist existing customers and first-time visitors on our website. The obvious choice was to go with a live support solution but we wanted a solution that could integrate with HipChat.

“Specifically, we did not want to separate our customer support from our internal communication and notification processes. We didn’t find any solution that would do that, so we built it, using HipChat’s API!”

Also, public chat rooms are not limited to a single user. This is very helpful on our end for multi-level/multi-topic support. For instance, we can have our CTO and Business Dev team members answering questions in the same chat room.

This is also true on our customers’ end. As long as they are logged in their Algolia account, anyone on their side can access the chat room. It makes live support a lot easier and allows us to efficiently tackle all the problems in one conversation.

HipChat is particularly well suited for our developer-focused support. We can easily share screenshots and code examples. These developers often use HipChat in their own work environment and they are very comfortable using it.

How Algolia’s HipChat based live support works…

“HipChat’s API let us build a public-facing HipChat room on our website with 50 lines of Ruby and 100 lines of html/JavaScript”

See the code here

Whenever a user hits this button, we use HipChat’s API to check if  anyone on our team is available.

If no one is available, HipChat requests an email for support

If none of Algolia’s employees are online, the raised popup just invites the user to send us an email

If one of us is online, we create a chat room using the API and display it for the user directly on the website.

Algolia uses HipChat for real-time customer support

On our end, every time a user wants to start a conversation, we use HipChat’s API to notify our team (the admin) that someone wants to chat. We only select “Available” accounts connected from the desktop HipChat client.

Everyone who is available gets notified like this:

The HipChat API creates a public room and @mentions every available user to provide support

Algolia’s available team members are @mentioned by name in a new chat room

 

We also offer a “full-screen” mode so that the user can keep chatting with us while using our website. We just split the page in two parts using HTML iframes.

Algolia customers can chat in real-time via HipChat even when they are logged into their Algolia account

Finally, we have set up a daily job that deletes temporary rooms created during the day. This job also backs up the conversations on Dropbox for later usage.

Oh one more thing: because Guest Access is free, it costs us nothing more than our existing HipChat plan!

Jeff Park

Revamped Bitbucket Integration with HipChat Add-Ons

By Jeff Park | 9 months ago | 10 Comments

Good news!  HipChat Add-ons, which includes our rewritten REST API, Atlassian Connect support, and Marketplace installation, is now live to the public.

To demonstrate the usefulness of add-ons, Don Brown, our resident API expert, rewrote the Bitbucket integration into a one-click add-on experience.

The old Bitbucket integration involved two tabs, multiple copy-paste steps, broken link navigating, and lots of clicking. It took, at a minimum, eighteen steps.

With the new Bitbucket add-on, we’ve lowered it down to six:

  1. Visit HipChat and login
  2. Click on “Rooms” tab
  3. Click on desired room
  4. Click on “Add-ons”
  5. Find Bitbucket addon, and click “Install”
  6. Type the repository name, and click “Add”

No more copy/paste of obscure links, tokens, or IDs.  No documentation to read.

This plugin is installable by any room owner and does not need any account admin privileges, so if you own a HipChat room, you can set it up yourself.

For those who don’t know Bitbucket, be sure to check it out. Unlimited private Git and Mercurial repositories, issue tracking, code review, and more.

Garret Heaton

Set your room’s topic using the API

By Garret Heaton | 2 years ago | 2 Comments

There’s a new rooms/topic method in our HTTP API that allows you to change a room’s topic. Use it to display important metrics, server health, who’s on-call, how many open support tickets you have, when your next release is, or whatever else you’d find helpful.

The hipchat Ruby gem and PHP library are already updated to support this new method. Enjoy!

Garret Heaton

A simple but powerful change to our messaging API

By Garret Heaton | 2 years ago | 12 Comments

Two of the most beloved HipChat features have always been @mentions and our inline previews for images and links from services like Twitter, YouTube, and GitHub. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to take advantage of this awesome functionality when using our rooms/message API, but that changes today! You can now choose to have your API messages treated just like your own messages by setting the message_format=text argument. The default value is html which lets you do your own lightweight HTML formatting instead.

This is a powerful change because you now have a way for your automated tools to notify people (even if they’re offline);

as well as send in helpful links like Tweets so your team is aware of the latest happenings;

Oh, and as you may have noticed, we’ve added gray as a background color option since it looks a lot nicer for this type of data.

Check the API documentation for full details. Enjoy!

Garret Heaton

New API feature: Chat history access

By Garret Heaton | 4 years ago | 0 Comments

You’ve always been able to send messages to HipChat rooms via the API but now you can read them back out as well. Just use the new rooms/history method.

Note that this isn’t a streaming API and that there is a delay of about a minute before sent messages will be available using this method. If you are hoping to build a bot or some other real-time interaction drop us a note and let us know that you’d like to help test our upcoming XMPP support.