Riot – Instant Messaging – as it should be

riot
Riot – Instant Messaging

A solid solution for corporate instant messaging and chats has become essential in many areas of working life. In addition, it is important to be able to participate in conversations without a platform barrier. Extensions like instant telephony or video chat complement a solution in a pleasant way!

Direct messages
Riot – a great Matrix Synapse client

Matrix Synapse – a good baseline

As a basis for the Riot Chat Service, the solution is based on the Matrix Synapse service, which is published under the Apache Open Source License and can therefore be operated by anyone. The underlying concept of the service is a distributed approach with Federation. This means that anyone who wants to run his own chat server can connect it to others, thus creating a large independent network.

Group chat and video telephony

Direct messaging and group chats are amongst the core functions of Riot. Audio and video telephony 1:1 are also included. If needed Jitsi is used for group video. Here the integration is seamless and you can participate in conferences via Riot Client, Jitsi Client or WebRTC.

communication paths
multiple communication ways

integrations
many integrations

Riot integrations

The Riot system offers many extensions that allow you to integrate other systems into the chat environment. If the offered solutions are not sufficient, you can even use open interfaces (REST) to extend the system, for example to integrate an internal monitoring tool or the Atlassian tools. Integrations for other platforms, such as Slack, are also possible with the tool. Other bridges, such as those to Facebook or WhatsApp can be very interesting for the user.

Encrypted communication

Matrix Synapse and as well as Riot offer the possibility to encrypt chatrooms (direct or group). The messages are encrypted end-to-end. The verification of new chat partners or programs is done comfortably within the application by means of emojis, which are compared.

emoji verification
Verification of chat peers
app stores
Available on app stores
Clients
Clients

Instant Messaging Clients

For easy handling there are numerous client programs available. In addition to the WebClient, which is started via browser, there are also apps available for the desktop operation systems Windows, macOS, Linux as well as the mobile operating systems Android and iOS. There are also 3rd party apps that integrate the functions available (e.g. Rambox).

Communities

With communities you can create your own workspaces within Riot to keep the overview. Not only members of your own matrix server can be invited to these communities, but also – as in other areas of Riot – external chat partners.

Communities
Setup

Setup and installation

Setting up and operating Riot as well as Matrix Synapse is very flexible since different types of deployment are possible. Either as a hosted variant, which then runs on the Internet with an provider or on your own server. We settled for the second option and use a docker based Ansible Playbook for configuration and installation. Here, in addition to the settings, the option is also provided to set up components that are not part of the core of the solution on the server.

Summary and forecast

We have made very good experiences with Riot and the Matrix Synapse Server. Not only were we able to use features that are charged as premium features by other providers (like video telephony and unlimited chat rooms and histories), but we were also able to integrate our own tools like Icinga2 or the Atlassian Toolchain. It is important for us that data from our systems does not pass indiscriminately through the servers of others on the net, but that we retain the data sovereignty which is a given with Riot.

Author: Nico Hoffmann

Nico is the founder of Honicon GmbH and has been professionally involved with information technology, Atlassian tools and processes for more than 20 years. In addition to the management, he advises clients in all disciplines and supports his colleagues in word and deed. In his free time he plays with his children and is a member of the voluntary fire brigade.