Mattermost Peer-to-Peer Forum

Built-in WebRTC video and audio calls removed in v5.6 in favor of open source plugins


#1

Currently, Mattermost supports a beta version of built-in one-on-one video and audio calling based on a WebRTC integration.

We are now discontinuing the development of this WebRTC integration and plan to remove this feature in Mattermost v5.6.

Why?

The built-in integration was intended to be a prototype for community development. Since then, we have shifted focus towards open-source integrations and plugins, with several available for video conferencing in our marketplace. Current options include:

  1. Zoom plugin enables users to start and join voice, video and screensharing meetings using either Zoom’s self-hosted private cloud or on-prem solutions, or its vendor-hosted SaaS solution. The plugin is installed by default on all Mattermost servers.
  2. BigBlueButton plugin for one-on-one video and audio calling, video conferencing and screenshare, created by Blindside Networks, available in Beta. A test install is provided to try out the feature on a Mattermost install. For production use, you can self-host a server running BigBlueButton, or reach out to Blindside Networks about hosting it for you.
  3. Kopano Web Meetings plugin for one-on-one video and audio calling, based on the WebRTC protocol, available in Alpha. The plugin is in active development with calls with multiple users and other user experience improvements planned.

For up-to-date video and audio calling solutions, see our documentation.

Moreover, support for other 3rd party video, audio and screensharing solutions via plugins is planned. A plugin for WebEx is currently in development by the Mattermost community, with updates posted in the WebEx Plugin community channel.

Why not keep the built-in integration while supporting open-source plugins?

We have found plugins to be a much more effective way to build an ecosystem of available video conferencing integrations. Given our current focus on open-source integrations, the Mattermost team is not able to prioritize development or testing on improving the built-in integration despite reports of challenges using the WebRTC built in integration.

Our prioritization is to ensure integrations are of the highest quality and provide options for which video conferencing tool is best for each organization using Mattermost.

Have feedback?

If anyone has feedback or concerns about the removal, we would love to hear it - please comment below!


#2

I think the big question is.

When are we going to see plugins working on mobile clients?

Is it even possible? Considering the framework they are development on.

I agree voice and video chat are not the core of this app but without plugin support on mobile clients and have features design only for plugins, then we have a big issue.

Cheers


#3

Great question.

Plugin support on mobile clients is planned. We are exploring different options, and plan to dive into a deeper investigation in the near term.

Moreover, the built-in WebRTC video and audio calling wasn’t in fact supported on mobile.

Hence our focus on plugin support which will help towards a wider ecosystem of video conferencing plugins, including on the mobile clients.


How to start WebRTC?
#4

Is it planned to extract actual WebRTC code from Mattermost to create a plugin? For small deployments, this solution is quite enough: a good trade-off between functionalities and deployment complexity.

For the moment, I was unable to locate such plugin.


#5

@gbonnefille Thank you for the good question.

Is it planned to extract actual WebRTC code from Mattermost to create a plugin?

It’s something we’ve considered, but haven’t planned for yet. The Kopano Web Meetings plugin linked above mimics our original WebRTC implementation in terms of code and functionality.

If the community is open to extracting the code to create a plugin, let us know! We’d be happy to work with you to make that happen.