OpenVidu 2.16.0: Network Quality API, S3 recording and much more

New features

Network quality API (OpenVidu Pro)

One of the most important elements in real-time WebRTC connections is the network. It can have a huge impact in the quality of the media streams being transmitted. Usually we have control over the quality of the server-side network, but we don’t have any guarantee about the network of the clients. For that reason, it is especially important to monitor and to be able to warn about network problems to our end users.

Image for post
Image for post

S3 recording storage (OpenVidu Pro)

OpenVidu Pro can be configured to upload recordings to an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket instead of storing them in local storage.

Image for post
Image for post
  • Launching an OpenVidu Pro cluster configured to use an already populated S3 bucket will make the existing recordings accessible and manageable from the new cluster.
  • You can upload to the same S3 bucket from different OpenVidu Pro clusters.

Improved REST API for managing participant roles

Token API has been replaced with Connection API. This helps harmonizing and unifying the server entities of OpenVidu, as you can see in the renovated REST API documentation. This change also brings many new functionalities

  • In OpenVidu Pro you can also modify the properties of an existing Connection object. This means that you can change on the fly the role of a participant (from SUBSCRIBER to PUBLISHER, for example) and you can also manage fine-grained INDIVIDUAL recording (see next point).
  • Now OpenVidu Java Client and OpenVidu Node Client can also be used to publish IP cameras.

Manual allocation of sessions in your Media Nodes (OpenVidu Pro)

For some particular use cases, the automatic session distribution algorithm based on CPU load of Media Nodes may not be enough. Now you can force the specific Media Node where a session must be allocated. This gives you much more control. Check it out here.

Selecting streams to be recorded (OpenVidu Pro)

Let’s assume the following scenario: your application offers webinar-type video meetings, where a main speaker addresses an audience that can intervene from time to time. And you are recording these sessions. So far, any video stream published into the session would be recorded, so you couldn’t specify to record only the main speaker. Now in OpenVidu Pro you can choose which specific participants must be recorded. See how here. Not only that, with this new feature you can also start and stop the recording of one stream as many times as you want, for the very same session recording process! In our example, the main speaker could be the only participant recorded, and also only at certain specific times.

Health check (OpenVidu Pro)

OpenVidu Pro offers a new health check REST API endpoint. Check it out in the documentation: GET openvidu/api/health

New monitoring dashboards (OpenVidu Pro)

We have substantially improved the collection of information from OpenVidu Pro clusters, and there are available new Kibana dashboards to help you monitor and analyse your deployments:

Image for post
Image for post
New Monitoring OpenVidu Server Pro Node dahsboard. With it you can check in detail the status of your master node

Support for external Elastic stacks (OpenVidu Pro)

Now you can tell OpenVidu Pro to send all of the monitoring information to your own Elasticsearch service. This is in fact the recommended option for a production OpenVidu Pro deployment. If you combine it with S3 recording (in case your product uses the recording feature), you can turn your cluster on and off at will, without worrying about data persistence. See how here: Configuring an external stack.

Kibana security integration (OpenVidu Pro)

We have improved the Kibana access, which is now secured with the Elastic user management system. This is the most natural and logical way of dealing with Kibana users, of course. Learn how to add new users to your Elastic stack here: Create a fine-grained user.

Image for post
Image for post
Kibana access in OpenVidu Pro is now using the actual user management system of the platform, instead of the ugly, less secure Basic Auth proxy protection.

Automatic deletion of Elastic documents (OpenVidu Pro)

Some users have reported unexpected failures and strange behaviors in OpenVidu Pro clusters that eventually turned out to be caused by nearly full hard drives. OpenVidu Pro clusters are constantly generating data, and after some weeks disks can be filled up to dangerous points. Now by default any data older than 15 days will be automatically cleaned up, so these problems never arise. You can of course change this property in your .env configuration file to any number of days to accommodate it to your specific use case (OPENVIDU_PRO_ELASTICSEARCH_MAX_DAYS_DELETE=15). And this is also compatible with the new external Elastic stack option!

New configuration parameter for IP cameras

IP cameras can now be further configured with parameter networkCache. This allows changing the default buffer size that will be used when receiving from remote RTSP streams. The default 2000 ms can be to restrictive for certain use cases, and latency can be greatly improved if the conditions allow it. Check this new parameter here.

Change environment variables of Media Nodes (OpenVidu Pro)

Now you can update any environment variable of your Media Nodes directly from the .envconfiguration file of your OpenVidu Server Pro Node. This configuration will be broadcasted to all Media Nodes on startup. For example, changing the log level of Kurento in your Media Nodes is now as easy as this.

OpenVidu iOS native application

OpenVidu has offered support for mobile platforms for a long time. First we focused on the most popular cross-platform frameworks, first with Ionic and then with React Native. Finally in Android we implemented a sample tutorial to be used as a template for your own custom Android app. Now we are happy to introduce the same concept for iOS: openvidu-ios. These are the features of this application:

  • Implementing OpenVidu RPC protocol
  • Mute / Unmute video
  • Mute / Unmute audio
  • Toggle speaker / headset
  • Subscribe / unsubscribe stream
Image for post
Image for post
openvidu-ios app in action

OpenVidu Call improvements

Our flagship OpenVidu application keeps getting better. Here is the list of all improvements in 2.16.0:

  • Joining sessions with no input devices is now possible. Besides, if the video device is already in use, it will be disabled and the user will be able to connect to the session only by using the microphone.
  • Muted participants are now present. Users with video muted disappeared from the layout making it difficult to know who is in the room. Now they will show with small black video.
  • Automatic chat scroll when new messages are received.
  • Video icons have been replaced by a unique icon which it will show an action menu.
  • The chat notification did not appear in fullscreen mode. This is fixed now.
  • Removed jQuery with the aim of decreasing the bundle size (200KBs). The awesome animation layout is now a simple plain CSS effect.
  • Some capture avatar bugs have been fixed.
  • If you are using the WebComponent you can hide the footer with a new field of ovSettings object (see footer property).

New documented tutorials

Take a look to the documentation of our new tutorials:

  • openvidu-ipcameras: do you want to publish an IP camera into an OpenVidu session? Then check out this tutorial.

Kurento 6.15.0 release

OpenVidu 2.16.0 uses under the hood the brand new Kurento 6.15.0. This version of the media server brings lots of new features, improvements and bug and security fixes. You can read all of them in Kurento Release Notes.

Bug fixes

openvidu-browser

  • Bundled size cut almost in half! From 626 KB to 361 KB (488)
  • Fixed iPad Pro and Ionic devices support bug.

openvidu-java-client

  • Fixed possible NullPointer exception when fetching Session information when IP cameras are present.

openvidu-react-native

  • Updated internal react-native-webrtc to version 1.84.0.
  • Crash initializing an only audio publisher, fixed now.

Recording

  • Setting recording names with slashes and other special characters could result in unexpected errors. Now recording names must be alphanumeric strings or an error is returned.
  • Fixed rare exception when starting and stopping multiple recordings for the same session in a row.
  • Fixed exception when stopping COMPOSED_QUICK_START recordings in heavy loaded systems.
  • Fixed recordingStatusChanged event to started, that sometimes could be fired too soon, breaking the following rule of documentation: This means the associated video(s) already exists and its size is greater than 0. This is now fixed.

IP cameras

  • IP Cameras with user info IPs (those IPs with Basic Auth formatted in the URL as rtsp://user:pass@domain.com) where being assigned an ID including the credentials. This is now fixed.

OpenVidu Server CE

  • OpenVidu Secret property (OPENVIDU_SECRET) could introduce critical failures in COMPOSED recording and in the internal RedisDB for TURN server if special characters were being used (such as #, ?, /, …). Now OPENVIDU_SECRET must comply with an alphanumeric format (plus characters- and _) that easily prevents these failures.
  • Some TURN connections were not being successfully established under some restrictive network conditions in CE deployments. Now they do.

OpenVidu Server Pro

  • Some threads were not being properly closed on programmatic restart, causing duplicated calls in certain processes such as session garbage collector. This is now fixed.

Breaking changes

Consider the following points when upgrading to OpenVidu 2.16.0:

  1. If you are publishing IP cameras: now in REST API method POST /api/sessions/<SESSION_ID>/connection, the default value of body request property type has changed from IPCAM to WEBRTC. If you were publishing an IP camera and not providing “type” property, now you must explicitly do so, with value “IPCAM”.
  2. For OpenVidu Pro, the Elastic stack credential parameters have been renamed from KIBANA_USER and KIBANA_PASSWORD to ELASTICSEARCH_USERNAME and ELASTICSEARCH_PASSWORD. You must transfer the values from the old .env configuration file to the new one, from the old parameters to the new ones. This is also noted in the official upgrading instructions.
  3. If you are using REST API to control openvidu-server (no Java or Node clients): REST API paths have been updated to unify all of them under the same parent path. Now every OpenVidu REST API operation will be located under path /openvidu/. For example, what before was: POST /api/sessions/<SESSION_ID>/connection now is POST /openvidu/api/sessions/<SESSION_ID>/connection . This is very good news: now OpenVidu has a single entrypoint from a single base path, greatly simplifying the configuration of API Gateways. New REST API is well documented in here.

Stay tuned for next iterations! You can follow us on Twitter and a Star in GitHub is always welcome :)

Written by

Easy videoconference in your web or mobile app

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store