Ask anyone who owns a smart phone, just how many different messaging applications they have on their phone. You'll get numerous answers, but a vast majority will say they have two or more. We all have friends who are sticklers for using a specific messaging platform whether it be Slack, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or just SMS. But maybe we rather not clutter our devices with multiple messaging applications, that's where Pydgn comes into play.
What it does
Pydgn allows users to communicate across multiple platforms. Users simply register with our service via a designated bot on their messaging platform of choice, and can communicate with other Pydgn users. If you'd like to talk to someone who uses Telegram but you only use Messenger, just send a Pydgn their way and you'll be able to communicate effortlessly.
How we built it
Pydgn is built on the power of Microsoft Azure's Bot framework. The framework gives Pydgn its key functionality that allows users to communicate across applications. In addition to the bot framework twilio is used to allow for users to register via SMS, meaning they don't even need a messaging application of choice besides their very own text messaging app on their phone.
Pydgn's backend infrastructure is built off the Google Cloud Platform which allows the application to handle requests of any size and quantity. We've used MongoDB as our database of choice thanks to the JSON structure making it easy to pass data between the application and the database. MongoDB provides Pydgn with all the functionality it needs and none that it doesn't.
Challenges we ran into
At any hackathon, challenges are not an uncommon occurence. Upon building the application we ran into a few different issues. First off, we'd never built using Microsoft's Azure service especially using C#. Not a single member on our team knew C# when starting this hackathon, yet we were able to quickly grasp the knowledge necessary and put out a great product.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to take something that was merely an idea two days ago, and build it into a fully functioning application. It wasn't just about building an app, but it was about building an app that has a practical use case and uses some of the newest technologies.
What we learned
You'll be surprised what you can get done in a matter of 36 hours. Just because you haven't used something before, or are even familiar with a technology doesn't mean it's impossible to build with it.
What's next for Pydgn
We're not too sure, we love the idea and might pursue it further. Ideally we'd love to move away from chatbots and build our own backend infrastructure that would treat inter-application communication similarly to SMS amongst different cellphone carriers, simply taking requests and directing them directly to the destination.