Develop Collaboration Apps with PubNub

3 min read Oliver Carson on Apr 20, 2023
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What are Collaboration Applications?

Collaboration applications enable multiple users to interact with one another in real-time. Applications like ClassDojo and Scratchpad improve productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness by working together in virtual spaces.


These multiuser apps enable any number of users to collaborate simultaneously in documents, worksheets, and other digital workspaces by synchronizing data and delivering real-time views of projects and tasks.

Why is PubNub a Good Choice for Collaboration Applications?

Collaboration applications require updates in real-time: simultaneous user movement, drawing and whiteboard markings, text changes, project and document updates, task lists, and private/group messaging. PubNub’s secure, low latency, and reliable communication network powers thousands of customers who depend on PubNub for their real-time communication infrastructure.


ClassDojo is a virtual classroom management tool that enables teachers and families to enhance their students' learning experiences. The platform depends on PubNub's scalability and reliability to ensure that its global community of students, teachers, and families can communicate in real-time. These features include messaging between teachers and parents, an interactive dashboard for students, online presence, and an interactive learning experience to gauge student retention and progress.

Scratchpad is a workspace platform created for salespeople to efficiently access and update Salesforce. With PubNub, Scratchpad users can receive updates on metrics, shared notes, comments on records, and update users on the online status of others, all in real-time.

Check out our other customers to see how they use PubNub to power their collaboration and other industry applications.

How does PubNub Power Collaboration Apps?

PubNub takes care of the infrastructure needed for this real-time communication, so you can focus on designing your application. PubNub is structured based on the publish/subscribe model, which means that a publisher (source of data) pushes messages to subscribers (receivers of data) via live-feed data streams known as channels (topics). These subscribers are immediately notified when new messages are published.

PubNub has the following features built-in to its API and can meet the specific needs of your application.

  1. Publish: Send updates whenever user input is updated, such as text updates, emoji reactions, mouse position coordinates, files, and other complex metadata.

  2. Subscribe: Receive updates to refresh users' screens.

  3. Presence: Update the online status of users.

  4. Message Persistence: Display any missed information to offline users once they login or track project and document revisions.

  5. Mobile Push Notifications: Notify mobile users who are offline about any missed messages, project updates, or application updates.

  6. App Context: Store information about your user in one place without the need of setting up or calling your database.

  7. Access Manager: Restrict access for private conversations, channel rooms, documents, and projects for specific users.

  8. Functions: Translate messages, censor inappropriate messages, announce the arrival of new users and notify other users of mentions.

What's Next?

You’ve learned about PubNub’s key features and how you can use them to create your unique collaboration application to suit your users. Whether you’re building virtual whiteboards or classrooms for eLearning platforms or enabling multiple users to collaborate simultaneously in documents or worksheets, PubNub can deliver the real-time communication updates your platform requires, so you can focus on your unique application needs.

If you would like to learn more about how to get started building your collaborative, multi-user spaces application, take a look at our growing collection of collaboration resources:

  • Collaboration Demo: Draw with others in a collaborative app that updates in real time.

  • How-To Guide: Learn how to build collaboration applications with PubNub.

  • Tutorial: Follow this tutorial to set up and build multi user collaboration.

  • Visit Docs: Reference our documentation that includes 50+ SDKs.

If you would like more personal assistance, please reach out to us. We’ll walk you through the best way to add PubNub to your application.