Integration Pros and Cons for Zoom and GoToMeeting
Comparing the API functionality, ease of integration, and developer support for online meeting tools Zoom and GoToMeetingGoToMeeting Integration Capabilities
With the adoption of online meeting tools accelerated due to the pandemic, businesses are inquiring about using those tools for their customers, and integrating them within their existing software platforms. Recently, our software development team completed software projects integrating both Zoom and GoToMeeting. During the process, we learned about the API offerings, working with their support, and determining what can and cannot be done through their development APIs. This is a post focused for developers on the API integrations, not the features of each tool. If you are looking for a costs and features comparison, check out G2 or Capterra.
The goal of this article is to point out the pros and cons of each platform, and to help developers understand the differences between the two platforms from an integration standpoint.
Development Tools and Requirements:
Both of these projects were developed with Microsoft.NET, and utilized the C# programming language. They are both web based applications, and utilize the latest .NET framework. The end goal was also similar. Both applications required users to schedule, configure, and manage virtual meetings directly through the application without having to login to the virtual meeting platform. For each of the tools, we have broken down the integrations into 5 aspects: API Tools, Ease of Use, Features, Support, and SSO.
GoToMeeting Integration Capabilities
We started integrating an application with GoToMeeting because it was the preferred virtual meeting application for our client. They have been using it for years, but saw a need to make it even easier for their clients by integrating it into their customer portal.
They have an API per product (Meetings, Webinar, Training, etc.). We integrated with the Meetings API. They supported trying out API calls via the documentation. They have a .NET SDK, and we used that to integrate with their API. The value of using an SDK rather than calling the API directly is having to spend less time writing code, since the code is written for you in the SDK. In order to use the API, you have to create an app in their developer center.
Ease of Use
Integrating with the .NET SDK was difficult. There were few examples and little documentation on the SDK itself. The API was better documented. The biggest challenge was if an error occurred using the SDK, it did not describe what the error was. The largest chunk of time spent integrating with GoToMeeting was troubleshooting what was wrong with our calls in the SDK.
Meetings has a limited range of features. Our business requirements were fairly simple though. We wanted the ability to schedule meetings in the future, and they supported that option. Other features they have are scheduling instant meetings, changing how people can connect to the meeting, like phone or video chat, adding a password, and scheduling recurring meetings. At least via the API there was not much more you could customize for the meeting.
They have documentation for their API endpoints. The documentation was useful and helped with integrating with the SDK. From the styling, my guess is they used Swagger to autogenerate the API documentation. It was descriptive enough to use, but it contained very little insight on how the fields are validated.
They support SSO, but we did not use it. Using it would require the user to have to log into GoToMeeting to make API calls. Our business requirements required the user not having to log in to GoToMeeting, so we used a different approach. The other option is direct login, which is how we did it. The difference here is we store the account username and password securely with the configuration and log into the API for the user, so they do not have to.
Zoom Integration Capabilities
We started integrating with Zoom for a client after they researched 3 platforms, and determined Zoom best fit their needs. API integration was a must for this client.
Zoom has a very extensive API supporting many of their different features, but for our business requirements we integrated with the Meetings and Users API. Like GoToMeeting, in order to access the API, you had to create an app in their marketplace. Their API supported trying out API calls, which was helpful. One very interesting tool they have is the ability to automatically generate code in whatever language you are working with. Unfortunately, this tool was not very useful for C# since it did not autogenerate the request body and response body models as classes. They did not have a .NET SDK.
Ease of Use
Since they did not have a .NET SDK, we had to write the code ourselves to connect to the API. Writing the model classes was a little time consuming since their models are fairly in-depth, but there was significantly less troubleshooting and debugging compared to integrating with the GoToMeeting SDK.
Zoom has a wide range of features, far too many to cover in this article. Our business requirements for integrating with Zoom were a little different. We wanted to automatically register certain users, so they have a unique URL to attend the meeting, in addition to other minor features like muting participants as they join. Zoom supported these capabilities and much more. In fact, there are so many options it can be a little bit overwhelming.
They have documentation for their API endpoints. Their API documentation was very descriptive, especially regarding the valid values of the body parameters.
They support SSO, but we did not use it. Instead, they allow creating a JWT token with a Client ID and Client Secret generated from the app in the marketplace. This does not require storing sensitive data like usernames and passwords.
Pros and Cons of GoToMeeting and Zoom Developer Integrations
Overall, both platforms have an API, and allowed for integrations with 3rd party software. Both of the platforms met our client’s requirements from an integration standpoint, although our client’s requirements were not terribly complex.
- API endpoints are more simple.
- Good API documentation.
- Has a .NET SDK, so less time writing code.
- Very customizable.
- Easy authentication.
- Great API documentation.
While each platform was able to meet our needs, we found the following items to be lacking
- .NET SDK was not very well documented and was difficult to integrate with.
- More cumbersome authentication process.
- Limited customizability.
- No .NET SDK or NuGet package.
- Requires more dev work to integrate with.
Conclusion of Zoom and GoToMeeting from a developer perspective
The integration with each platform met our client’s requirements. With most software projects, now that we have completed the first phase of our integration, our clients are asking for more features and capabilities. We will continue to develop features for integrating both with Zoom and GoToMeeting, and update this document accordingly.
Capitol Tech Solutions is a digital agency that builds software solutions that helps businesses optimize their operations using the Microsoft.NET platform. Our team of developers is standing by for your project, so contact us today to get your project started.
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