Introduction to Connect apps

The Connect apps allow users to join conferences (Virtual Meeting Rooms, Virtual Auditoriums and so on) within the Pexip Infinity deployment.

In addition to sharing audio and video, Connect app users can also control the conference, view presentations, share content, and exchange chat messages with other conference participants. The Connect app can also be used in conjunction with the Infinity Gateway to make person-to-person calls, or join conferences hosted on other platforms, such as Skype for Business meetings.

All Connect apps can make calls to Pexip Infinity services. The Connect desktop app can also register to Pexip Infinity in order to receive calls and use directory services.

Connect apps are available for almost any device:

  • The Connect web app is included as part of all Pexip Infinity deployments. It is used to access Pexip Infinity services from all of the major web browsers.
  • The Connect desktop app is an installable client, supported on Windows, OS X, and Linux.
  • The Connect mobile apps are available for Android and iOS devices.

All Connect apps are available for free with the Pexip Infinity platform (although, as with any other endpoint, you must still have a license with sufficient call capacity before you can place calls).

See Comparison of Connect app and other video endpoints for a comparison of how the conference experience differs between Connect app users and participants using other types of endpoints.

Which Connect apps should I use in my deployment?

The Connect apps all offer identical conference join and control features, and have the same high-quality video experience. You can use a combination of some or all Connect apps within your deployment, depending on your requirements. In general, we recommend the following:

  • Users connecting from outside your organization and who do not have their own video device should generally use the Connect web app to access VMRs. This means that they won't need to download or install anything in order to access meetings, but will still have the same high-quality user experience and functionality of participants using the Connect desktop app.

    You'll need to make sure that at least one Conferencing Node is accessible externally, and you'll also need to set up appropriate DNS records for connections from both inside and outside your network.

  • Users connecting from inside your organization should also use the Connect web app, unless you want them to be able to register to receive incoming calls — in which case they need to use the Connect desktop app.

  • The Connect desktop app should be used if you want to take advantage of the additional registration (to receive incoming calls) and internal directory service features. Administrators can also set up Call Routing Rules that apply to registered devices only, meaning that you can permit registered Connect desktop app users to make calls that Connect web app users cannot.

    If you are deploying the Connect desktop app in your environment, we recommend that you make use of provisioning, and you'll also need to set up appropriate DNS records.

  • The Connect mobile app is aimed at users who want to be able to control a conference and view presentations while in a meeting using a video device that does not support those features — for example, a video conferencing endpoint in a meeting room.
  • The Connect mobile app can also be used to join a meetings as an audio or video participants, but because of the nature of mobile devices this may result in intensive battery use.

Making calls from Connect apps

For a Connect app to make a call, it must be able to connect to a Conferencing Node that can route that call on its behalf.

The Connect web app connects directly to a Conferencing Node or Reverse Proxy (via the host's FQDN or IP address). When a call is placed from the Connect web app, it is treated as an incoming call request by the Conferencing Node, and routed accordingly. For more information, see Service precedence. All other Connect apps typically use DNS SRV records to find a Conferencing Node to connect to.

You must ensure that your deployment has appropriate internal and external DNS configured to allow Connect apps located inside and outside your internal network to resolve the Conferencing Node address successfully. The actual address Connect apps use when attempting to locate a host Conferencing Node depends on the domain being called and the app's own configuration. For more information, see Setting up DNS records and firewalls for Connect app connectivity.

Receiving calls to Connect apps

For a Connect app to receive a call, it must register with a Conferencing Node. The client's Registration Host setting specifies the domain, FQDN or IP address of the Conferencing Node that it should register to; therefore, you must ensure that the address used is reachable from the client from the internal or external network as appropriate, and that any FQDNs can be resolved via DNS lookups. For more information, see Registering and provisioning the Connect desktop app.

Currently, only the Connect desktop app can register to a Conferencing Node.

Branding the Connect apps

The branding and styling of the Connect web apps and Connect desktop app can be customized. This changes the look and feel of the Connect app regardless of which service is being accessed. See Customizing and branding the Connect apps for more information.

Enabling and disabling use of Connect apps

Access to conferences from all Connect apps is enabled by default. If you do not want users to access conferences within your deployment from Connect apps, you can disable this functionality.

To disable or re-enable this functionality:

  1. Go to Platform > Global settings.
  2. From within the Connectivity section:

    1. Deselect or select Enable support for Pexip Infinity Connect and Mobile App. This controls access from all Connect apps and third-party clients using the client APIs.
    2. When Enable support for Pexip Infinity Connect and Mobile App is selected, you must also ensure that Enable WebRTC is selected.

When access is disabled, users attempting to use Connect apps to access a conference or make a call are presented with the message Call Failed: Disabled (you can customize the Connect apps to change the wording of this message if required).