Integrating meet.coop with a Wordpress site

Hi folks,

Outlandish are in the process of developing a wordpress product that creates a community hub to enable people to create events, resources and connect with each other (integration with Slack).

So far the integrations have been with the big players like slack and zoom, but in future we would like to be able to offer a more ethical alternative e.g. Rocket.chat and BBB
I know there is a wordpress plugin for BBB, I am wondering whether we can test this out with a meet.coop BBB instance to see exactly what it does.

On the non-technical side, is there a specific service level that would be best for this?

Thanks!

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Hi Aaron,

the Wordpress plugin should include an api secret for a test server, so you should be able to test the plugin.

At the moment BigBlueButton only has one API secret per server and no concept of API permissions. That means you would need the dedicated server service level as we can not give you the API secret of shared servers for security/privacy reasons.

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thnaks for that @hng that is very helpful.
So what is the cost for a dedicated server? I am looking at the website and elsehwere here but can;t seem to find that info! (I feel I should know where to look but don’t)

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See

And

https://wiki.meet.coop/wiki/Service_levels

Although neither seem to be explicitly clear about which require a dedicated server.

But I’m assuming perhaps the Multi-Account level does?

And, yeah, I’d say the service levels/ pricing should clearly be on the website somewhere too @osb @Graham (tagging you two as you recently learned how to update the website :slightly_smiling_face: )

If someone were willing to develop it, I imagine a complement to the meet.coop effort might be to run an HTTP reverse proxy in front of the BBB api. This small proxy service could manage it’s own subset of API keys scoped to user rooms, and this could itself communicate with the full server-level API behind the scenes with the full API key.

I’ve built things like this with argo/argo in the past, though it’s getting a bit long in the tooth by now. They don’t make a big deal with this in the docs, because it wasn’t public, but argo was a project used extensively behind the scenes at Apigee, before it was bought by Google. At one point, as I understood, all the pretty UI’s of Apigee just drove API proxies running on argo. The last couple commits seem to be from Google engineers, so this might still be the case. https://docs.apigee.com/api-platform/fundamentals/understanding-apis-and-api-proxies

I notice now that the lead maintainer of argo started contributing to a project: https://github.com/ExpressGateway/express-gateway

This might offer the same ability, but with more recent love to the codebase.

Building an API proxy like this would allow lower tiers to get the benefit of existing integrations. It would also allow prototyping an improved API authentication layer, which could later be pushed upstream into BB itself.

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OR maybe this? https://github.com/apigee-internal/microgateway

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@patcon That’s really interesting and we’ve already had discussions about this but as a long-term project. Maybe we could split that discussion into a separate thread?

@aaronhirtenstein If you need a quote please contact the product circles/sales. Probably the best way would be via mail contact@meet.coop (also tagging @osb here to get him in the loop)

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@aaronhirtenstein brought this up to Product circle members already and I promised to respond here :slight_smile:

The shortest path for us to support this, as well as Moodle and other non-Greenlight-based UI, is a custom server, which we are in the process of sorting in Streamline provisioning of custom servers.

This is essentially Collocall’s €240 per month Server plan, where you can have the server secret to put into any number of plugins you like. Meet.coop does not currently offer this, but we realize this is an important use case and we have prioritized developing it. Over the last two weeks we have made great process and I hope to land this service by October.

We haven’t discussed prices yet but it will likely be around the €300 mark, with more flexibility on server locations and support hours in comparison to Collocall’s offering. This last part is very preliminary so don’t hold me to it :slight_smile:

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Yep, important use case. I have colleagues who periodically run a solidarity economy MOOC, who are thinking about the Canvas/BBB integration.

Currently they plan to talk with Agaric about this - Agaric has this recent experience in Boston public shools @freescholar
The MOOC runs over a 12-week period. 3 x €300 = €1000 for the custom server is likely out of their range (my guess) - they run on sweat equity :slightly_frowning_face:

More anon. One step at a time - they need to talk w Agaric first. And maybe they ned to think about crowdfunding the MOOC.

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@aaronhirtenstein @freescholar @mlncn it seems you all have a common interest in this use case on integrating BBB into non-Greenlight-based platforms such as Wordpress, Canvas, Moodle, etc. Would it be helpful if we schedule a call next week to answer any questions you have around technical aspects and timeline that Meet.coop may be able to offer this service?

cc. @mikemh @osb @Yasuaki

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I think collective.tools integrate BBB and NextCloud - @petter @Andreas ? So might want to be in the chat?

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Yes we’re planning to do that but haven’t got around to it yet…

Hi folks, thanks for all the input, I’d be happy to jump on a call to look at integrations and what the current challenges and opportunities are.
This week is looking pretty stacked due to Bank Holiday but next week looks much better.

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Right now we have a server that is outsourced reliably with a friend that has shown interest in meet.coop - he has servers around the world and hosts millions of users, we are seeking people to use our instance hosted in Maine, US and share the costs of hosting. It is costing us $450 -$900 monthly for 1000 chatters and I am happy to sponsor most of that as long as it is being used. Sorry to be out of the loop lately, but I would welcome a meeting to share info and see what can happen. Eventually, we would love to host our own server, but that does not seem like a good idea unless we have enough people using it to make it worth the effort.
We are working on customizing GreenLight so anyone can add their logo, text, background colors etc as well as get some analytics. Our hosted BBB servers are connected to Canvas right now, but we will have GreenLight as an option soon. We are also working on updating the Drupal 8/9 BBB module as it only has a dev. release now.
We are using the BBB secret to integrate with Canvas and with Wordpress on a smaller BBB server running on CommunityBridge.com - this is a totally separate site/server that is good for about 100 concurrent chatters.
I should have the stats available for our hosting of the Boston Public school summer courses soon so will be able to tell how much gas we used at peak times.
@mikemh @Yasuaki @osb

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How about we have a call on September 18? I am available anytime after 2 pm CEST (8 am ET).

I think a joint call between Meet.coop, Agaric, and Outlandish could be useful. The purpose is to clarify:

  • Meet.coop current status and our Q4 roadmap
  • what each party needs and can offer
  • technical aspects of BBB relevant to our use cases

Then we can make some plans together?

I think @aaronhirtenstein @freescholar and myself are required, plus whoever y’all want to invite + hopefully one more person from Meet.cop Product team.

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Count me in this loop. I’ve an interest in how meet.coop develops and packages this capacity for integration and front-end functions. On Sep 22nd I’ll meet w @freescholar and members of Synergia Institute, discussing Canvas front-end possibilities. Good timing :slight_smile:

I’ve a sense some more widepread sharing of server capacity might be emerging? As well as developments in front-end capability, including admin analytics currently absent in Greenlight. Agenda might also include

  • identifying shortcomings in the BBB api? Other routes (eg on-server patches) that can improve access to and administration of BBB roomspace.
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I’d also like to know more. @freescholar Are you renting a BigBlueButton cluster?

I think this offer should first be discussed by tech and product circle with Agaric before we bring members/clients into the loop? Tech circle so far was quite critical of using BBB servers outside of our control from a commercial provider, so that concern would need to be resolved before we can proceed.

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Exactly. Yes, as stated before, we are renting space on a BBB server. We need to have clients before building our own servers etc. I was looking for info on that. Thank you. I do think it is important and could not find info.

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There seems to be two conversations here:

This is to clarify Meet.coop offerings and BBB capabilities, and to discover the needs of prospective User members.

Agaric also has an offer of server capacity sharing, but that is kind of a different conversation relating to an Operational member or server vendor relationship. @hng is right that the latter needs to be discussed with Tech circle. My intention is to capture what actually is the offer, and take that back to Tech circle to discuss, and potentially schedule a second meeting.

That info is something we are trying to work out internally, so is not yet available on the website.

We are actually scaling back on server fragmentation, making plans to centralize management of access and use more similar servers with identical configurations. Otherwise we will always run into the “Safari doesn’t work on this particular instance last Thursday” and we’d have no way of debugging it bc we cannot control the software running on the box or the network environment running around the box. We actually gave up some servers from contributors already, because using them is more costly on labour and reliability.

I think it’d be useful to capture what features people are finding useful in different frontends.

Depending on what “developments in front-end capability” means, we may or may not have a plan to address it. If it means running a BBB instance and give the secret to the client so they can pop into Wordpress, Moodle, then yes we have a roadmap for that. If it means software development on top of Greenlight, that is not a current focus of Meet.coop, and I don’t expect it to happen for a while.

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Is a call scheduled for this, tomorrow? Hope so - but I haven’t a time noted in my diary. @benhylau @freescholar @aaronhirtenstein