Optimize Your Communications By Reducing Complexity

August 4, 2021 // Product

The Law of Conservation of Complexity (aka Tesler’s Law) states that “every application has an inherent amount of irreducible complexity. The only question is: who will have to deal with it-- the user, the application developer, or the platform developer.”

Because some degree of complexity is unavoidable, the question is not how to eradicate the complexity, but instead how to reduce it and where it should live. While it might seem obvious that the user shouldn’t be forced to deal with the complexity, it’s not quite that cut and dry. There are some situations where the user is better suited to deal with certain areas of complexity, and other situations where the user should bear no responsibility, and all complexity should be handled by either the application developer or the platform.

What’s Different About Architecting Communications Applications?

A communications application must carry out all of the regular functions of a software application, but in addition to reading, querying, and writing data, it must also be able to deliver calls and SMS/MMS via an entirely different tech stack. Additionally, some applications must be able to scale up or down at a moment’s notice to account for the delivery of mass notifications in the case of an emergency or any other situation where calls or messages must be sent out to thousands of people at once.

With the understanding that complexity cannot be completely eliminated comes the decision of where the complexity will live and who will have to deal with it. In certain situations, it might make the most sense for the user to take on some of this complexity, but in most cases complexity should not be left for the user. As a rule of thumb, if your application developer or platform aren’t explicitly dealing with the complexity in the layers that you’re building, your user is. Be kind to the user, whenever and wherever possible.

Luckily, the right Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) allows you to offload much of the complexity to the platform, meaning it is not a burden for your users or for your developers.

Four Areas of Complexity

In communications applications, there are four common areas where complexity can arise. Understanding these complexities and how to uniquely deal with each one will lead to more sound architecture, a reduction in workload for your developers, and a faster and higher performing communications application.

  1. Failure States // It’s impossible to design a software system that never fails. Things will fail. It’s going to happen. The goal is to understand the failure states and design for reliability and resiliency. Choose a CPaaS that is developer friendly and allows your team to reduce failure states.Your dev team and your users will thank you.
  2. Scaling // Scaling can be very challenging, but in order for your communications to perform, many applications must be able to scale gracefully at a moment’s notice. Performing regular load tests can help you understand where problems will occur when you are under load and give you the opportunity to address the issues before they impact your users and your business.
  3. State Management // In order to avoid “callback hell” -- a term for the challenges caused by nested callbacks (and chatty APIs) -- it’s important to choose a communications platform that reduces chattiness so that your team can avoid building a multi-threaded state machine, if at all possible.
  4. Synchronicity (Latency) // Latency can cause all kinds of issues in communications applications. The way your CPaaS API is designed determines the amount of requests your servers need to handle, ultimately leading to either a higher or lower chance of latency impacting the user experience.

For a far more detailed overview of the four areas of complexity, download our free whitepaper “Reducing Complexity In Communications Applications.”

Why Choose Voxology?

Market leaders choose Voxology as their telecommunications backbone because we make communications easy. We provide your developers with building blocks and an easy-to-use API designed to reduce chattiness and promote reliable and scalable communications.

Maximize and modernize your entire communications infrastructure with our voice and messaging services that include our personalized support, documentation, and getting started guides. Let us provide everything your team needs to build the features your customers are looking for, including:

  • Call Control // Provide seemingly endless optionality on your call flows via the Voice API.
  • Automated Message Delivery // Use our SMS API to send alerts, reminders, and notifications.
  • Media Stream // Analyze the audio of phone calls and provide real-time insights using your own AI algorithms.
  • CRM Integration // Enable and log more customer communication.
  • SMS/MMS // Enable text messaging on your toll-free and local phone numbers.
  • Logging // Provide call and message logs to your customers to see when, how often, and how long communication interactions took place through the application.
  • Phone Number Information Lookups // Get instant access to the information behind a phone number like caller id name, carrier, line type, etc.
  • Disaster Recovery // Set an inbound failover destination should your network go down.

Want to learn more about how Voxology can optimize your communications architecture?

Download The Whitepaper