SheppTech Chat and OAuth

Well folks, we’re at it again! I’ve been busy these past few days and sacrificing a bit of sleep to bring yet another feature. Now, we have an integrated live chat on the website, and it is available to anyone that visits us. If you read the prior post by SheppTech about HTTPS, you’ll be interested to know that this new chat feature is not only hosted by us, but it is also configured with SSL. This means that any correspondence between visitors and the SheppTech support team will be secure, and confidential. We have a few more details to hash out on the business side of things, but we welcome any and all to visit and chat about tech, security, or our programs. We would be more than happy to discuss troubleshooting, or even arrange for a consultation if it cannot be handled over chat.

I want to tell you a little more about the chat feature. I found a self hosted platform called Rocket.Chat, which is similar to Slack. It is an amazing tool for collaboration. It is easy to share links, files, chat, and even video conferencing! I hope to use it as a tool for the education programs so that teachers and students can collaborate even outside of the classroom. The server is configured with SSL, as I mentioned, but it applies not only to the live chat, but to the native chat as well. It is accessible through the web, and has native apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. To use the chat, users need to create a login, but I am working hard to enable single sign on using a technology known as OAuth for all our applications. This means that SheppTech Academy, SheppTech Chat, and would all use the same login credentials. That is convenient for us from an account management standpoint, but it is also convenient for our users and students as well since you won’t need to remember multiple sign ons to use our programs.

As a caveat, I want to let you all know that the platform is still in its infancy. I am working hard to engineer a configuration that is easy to use, and maintainable, so it will be a work in progress until I get everything running the way I want it. For now, login to the chat is limited due to our ability to abide by the new laws that will be going into effect in the near future. We have a huge focus on security at SheppTech, but with that comes the need to follow rules and regulations along the way. This will give us more to talk about as we move forward! For now, it is important to let everyone know that we currently maintain all of the data collected on our platforms in house. Eventually, I may need to move everything to the cloud, but we will see how quickly we grow. If it is possible to afford a facility that allows for expansion, that will be our priority.

Stay tuned everyone! There is a lot more to come, and we are only just getting started! Walk beside us on our journey, and together we will learn and grow. I think the next feature I’ll be working on is The Pack. I don’t have the details worked out yet, so I won’t spoil any secrets yet, but soon you’ll be able to sign up and subscribe so that you can stay tuned. Until then, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram soon to be followed by LinkedIn as well! Thank you for reading, and as always, see ya next time!

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