Build vs. Buy

If you're weighing the option of building in house against the value of buying an in-app chat or real-time solution, you’ve come to the right place.

 BuildWhy does it matter?
Developers needed 1-2
It’s important that your developers have the freedom to build what’s strategic for your business, rather than expected and baseline features—like chat. By tying up your developers’ time on basic features rather than innovative ones, all you’re left with is opportunity costs and potential lost revenue.
Time to Market 2 months
6 months
Time is money; and by creating your real-time infrastructure on your own, the days and even weeks you and your development team spend building can add up quickly.
Cost to market ~$24,000
A lower cost to market means more money to allocate elsewhere. Building real-time functionality yourself comes with many technical requirements and associated needs from global servers for hosting communication, balancers for managing traffic, marshallers for managing spikes in concurrency, and more.
Customization Yes
PubNub offers even the most unique customization for niche use cases. Our platform of SDKs and chat components work as a set of building blocks for your Virtual Spaces without sacrificing any of the flexibility, reliability, or customization as you build.
Complete control over features and functionality.
Prebuilt doesn’t necessarily mean lack of customization. Through PubNub, development can be easier, and you’ll have the ability to add advanced features and customization in less time—like profanity filtering, video integration, presence indicators, and more.
Scalability PubNub has no concurrency or channel limits
- so you are rewarded for your growth.
Additional resources, time, and cost commitment to scale
If you choose to build in house, make sure you understand the scope of what you want in your platform. Do you have available funds if your project grows in scope? And will you have the ability to host, run, maintain, and scale your service moving forward? These questions are an important part of knowing whether building in house is a feasible and smart option.
Reliability 99.999% uptime SLA
& less than 100ms latency globally. This means there will be no need to worry about delays, outages, or maintaining these statistics as your user base expands.
Constant maintenance
Reliability is not just making sure your chat doesn’t go down, it’s also ensuring that your core infrastructure is stable. Reliability will require global replication, automatic fail safes, reliable message delivery, and other capabilities that all need to be architected, developed, tested, and deployed.
Monitoring and Maintenence Included with PubNub
Continued savings on maintenance and optimization with access to a support network, customer success agents, and detailed documentation for all components.
Additional costs
In-house building will require dedicated SREs to monitor the service, set up monitoring tools, solve technical issues, and consistently monitor the backend. Additionally, there will need to be a plan to react when things go down.
Maintaining and orchestrating a data stream network is an entire job on its own. This includes making sure software and versions are always current, compatible, and tested with hardware you’re running on.
Security Included with PubNub
PubNub insures security through: encryption, localized data storage, authorization schemes, attack prevention, and legislation/compliance.
Additional costs
Additional time and costs to make sure your in-house build is secure.
Security is paramount, no matter what type of real-time app you’re developing. Message, transaction, and data streaming information must be kept private from end-to-end. To ensure this, your real-time infrastructure must include various encryption and access control options to manage all data.
Interactive Features Functions
There are functions available to seamlessly add to your PubNub-built app, like push notifications, geolocation tracking, data streaming, and reactions that all work to improve engagement.
Build out
Additional features are possible with a large development team.
There is a lot more to chat once you start to build out all the components, like channel logic, emojis, threads, read receipts, and more. Building, operating, and maintaining these additional features seamlessly in house, alongside chat, would take a heavy lift—even from a massive dev team.
WebSocket server costs Included with PubNub
These costs are handled by PubNub, so you don’t have to. At PubNub, we can change the underlying protocol with no changes to your application.
Additional costs
Building in-house will require spending money on a server such as Amazon, Softlayer, Joyent, Azure, or Rackspace. There can also be additional costs associated with researching new protocols and implementing them.
Server costs are important to consider in your decision, especially if you plan to scale out your infrastructure. The costs and maintenance requirements will need to be scaled out as well, which can increase server costs