I founded Weavy around a simple goal: to help developers improve their apps by giving them access to the collaboration features that keep their users happy and engaged. As you may have seen me point out here or there, this goal has been a guiding principle for every decision I’ve made as a leader.
My hope above all is that with our new UI Kit, experienced React developers will be able to create robust, cross-platform chat applications that leverages the flexibility of Kendo UI.
Early in 2020, I and my team of developers in Malmö decided to take this goal to the next level with the public release of our Drop-In UI. Drop-In UI was in my humble opinion the fastest way for any developer to add in-app chat, feeds, and document collaboration to their app. We did this by removing the burden of developing a fully functional front-end UI for these features, giving developers tried and true design elements that could easily fit into the design language of their app. But even the best make mistakes, and my team eagerly awaited feedback from the developer community.
They say ask and you shall receive, and we certainly received our fair share of responses. Understandably, this feedback included more options for customization, more ways to add functionality that makes the user experience more seamless, and most importantly, a way to move more of the front-end rendering from the server-side to the client-side. Many of our developers, themselves coming from an Open Source background, expressed a desire to submit changes and work in tandem with our in-house developers.
Two incredibly long years later our team is proud to announce the release of a brand new, fully functional UI Kit that combines our Conversational API with the Kendo UI for React Library. By accessing our Repo on GitHub, any KendoReact developer can build and deploy a fully functional chat app faster than ever before. Just like our In-App Chat, we’re giving developers the ability to use our new UI Kit at no cost, ever.
KendoReact, a product of Progress, is a React component library with over 100 React components for developers and designers. KendoReact has a vibrant community of developers that numbers in the millions. Because of previous work, my team has done with KendoReact and other Progress products I felt this was a natural fit for Weavy and an easy way to add a huge amount of value for developers at no additional cost.
My hope above all is that with our new UI Kit, experienced React developers will be able to create a robust, cross-platform chat application that leverages the flexibility of Kendo UI.
For developers with an existing KendoReact app, this gives them the tools to add in-app chat that matches the styling of their app with very little additional work. The sheer volume of customization options available in Kendo UI means being able to style chat features to match any use case, and the authentication features of Weavy’s conversation API means never having to compromise the security of the original app.
The KendoReact UI Kit is being released completely Open Source under the MIT license.
Here’s my best explanation of what that means for those of you who haven’t spent your life navigating the hairy world of software licenses: anyone accessing the UI kit is granted permission to use, copy, modify, merge, or publish it however they like. The best part is any changes can be submitted to us to be merged into subsequent updates to the UI kit. I can’t wait to learn from the developer community and see what improvements emerge, and I’m very excited to share those improvements with the developers everywhere.
This marks a significant milestone in our company history, not only as another step in our ongoing relationship with the KendoReact community but as what I hope to be the first of many steps in engaging with the Open Source community.