Developer Diaries: Building the Best WhatsApp Solution on The Market
With over 2 billion active users worldwide and a robust business platform, WhatsApp is taking the conversational marketing world by storm. With the ability to deftly integrate with third-party solutions and a host of exciting new features, the WhatsApp Business Platform is the platform of choice for brands who are serious about scaling their customer acquisition and ROI.
Through our subsidiary Karix, an official WhatsApp Business Service Provider, we offer enterprises the best-in-class WhatsApp marketing services. We had a conversation with VasudhaSrinivasaiah and Kishan C, two of our most prolific developers who work on the WhatsApp platform to understand what makes the platform tick.
The Journey to Tanla
“I joined Unicel in 2010, which was a subsidiary of Karix which was subsequently acquired by Tanla. Connect One – the in-house product which is now a part of Wisely, was built from scratch by my team. We work on C#, Dotnet framework 4 and 4.5. I also work on the WhatsApp and OTT platforms where we use Java and for the GUI, we use Node JS and Angular. I have been at Tanla for 11 years now.” Says Vasudha.
Kishan has been working with Karix since 2017. When speaking about his role in the company, he says “I work as a Software Development Engineer on our Rich Communication Messaging platform (WhatsApp). My primary responsibility is reviewing the code involved in the design and development of solutions for existing problems as well as feature discussions. I also mentor and help my juniors. We are a team of around 12 people with 2-3 senior engineers and the rest are juniors.”
How does the WhatsApp Platform work?
“Our WhatsApp platform is a completely sophisticated middleware platform that currently processes close to 10 million transactions per day. It is a SaaS platform where each client has some resources allocated to them to process their traffic. Certain high-traffic clients have their own clusters/deployments in the Karix-hosted middleware platforms. Clients like banks which deal with a lot of sensitive information buy the complete solution and deploy it on their premises or their network. We offer both deployment models for our WhatsApp platform – on-premise and self-hosted deployment. It is a containerized deployment, meaning it is platform agnostic and can be deployed on Windows, Linux or even Mac.” Kishan says.
He continues, talking about the details of the platform “WhatsApp messages are processed through the campaign GUI, bots, and APIs. All of these are micro-services and we have around 13-14 of them, each one having a separate set of tasks to perform. They are connected to our middleware built on Java and Spring Boot. The purpose of this interface is to perform authentication, authorization, validation, and rate-limiting or DDoS. Once the message is accepted by the interface, it passes to the next service which lists a set of tasks to be performed.
The complete platform is resilient, meaning even if one service goes down, the request is not lost. It is logged so the developer or operations team can take a look at it and resolve the particular request in case of an unforeseen event.
We were the first team to introduce continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) in the RCM platform. There is no waiting time or passing of artifacts. Everything happens on the fly – we make a commit, it gets approved, and artifacts are deployed to the production environment like clockwork.”
Our advantage over the competition
“WhatsApp is a platform which is constantly evolving, and the market is demanding. New features are constantly added, and it is important for solution providers to keep pace and evolve with the times.
We have a team of around 20 people including some employees from our partner Twixor who contribute to developing features for the WhatsApp platform. One of our greatest accomplishments has been the scalability we have introduced to the platform. We have grown the platform volume from 60-80k when I joined the team in January 2021 to 10 million per day in a few months” says Vasudha.
On a more technical note, Kishan explains what sets us apart “The scalability and lean-micro service is our biggest advantage over the competition. Our platform is built with lightweight applications and micro-services which allows us to continue processing requests even if one service goes down. This ensures the delivery of the message request from the client to the user. We run regression and integration suites which allow task tracking and help us determine the team velocity.
Earlier, we only had a 1:1 API. Recently, we introduced a bulk or multi-message API where multiple messages can be processed in a single request and sent over. Moreover, we have introduced a dedicated cluster concept for high-traffic customers which prevents disruptions in traffic. All the clusters run in parallel, and one customer’s data backlog doesn’t affect any other customer.
We also process a lot of multimedia. For this purpose, we have created a lot of optimizations. Our users can send multiple media files which we download for them and check the MD5 hash against it to ensure better deliverability and quick responses.”
What makes Tanla a great place to work for developers
“Working with cutting-edge platforms is a challenge but it offers a unique opportunity for learning. You get exposed to a lot of new technologies and new things. In my 11-year career at Tanla, I have come a long way as a developer. Our company is at the forefront of blockchain technology, and I look forward to working on and learning about these modern technologies from the experts at Tanla.” says Mary.
Kishan mentions that the ability to solve real-world problems is one of the things that made him most excited to join Karix. He is enthusiastic about new developers joining the products team.
“Product-based companies like Karix and Tanla provide an opportunity to build the complete lifecycle of a product from initial design discussions to final deployment. The entire lifecycle offers a huge opportunity for learning since are going in-depth to determine things like which database is required, which tableau structure will we need, what indexing keys will we need etc.
The stellar product line, such as our SMS platform which processes around 10 billion transactions, offers a unique learning curve that is invaluable for developers.” he says
Powered by the innovative spirit of developers like Kishan and Vasudha, our WhatsApp platform has become a major success – the cavalcade of success stories from our customers proves it. We will continue to share these insider conversations from the trenches, bringing to light the efforts of exceptional individuals that make up our family.
Until next time, keep reading!