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Apigee in the World of Push Providers

Aug 07, 2013

Previously, we talked about the evolution of push notifications, including how to use Apigee to deliver them in five simple steps. Now, we’d like to specifically discuss Apigee’s role within the push messaging infrastructure.

What is the difference between what app services providers do and what Apigee does?

App service providers like Apple APNs and Google GCM route messages, while Apigee simplifies the differences between platforms to add more elegant routing. Apigee eliminates the need for you (the developer) to remember universally unique identifiers (UUIDs) for devices, which allows you to target app users or user groups more effectively.

It’s like IP vs. DNS!

One way to think about it is to consider the differences between IP and DNS. When a cryptic IP address maps to a domain name like Apigee.com it’s easier to remember. In general terms, Apigee allows you to create relationships between devices (UUIDs) and app users. That way you can send pushes to groups of app users simultaneously.

Using multiple push service providers = complexity

Typically, when you interface with push providers, you do both a certificate and an OAuth API key exchange. This is a hassle, especially when a service provider announces a new push notification with another authentication layer. This means you’d have to constantly update and maintain code or lose your connection to users. Using Apigee takes away the need for writing code, maintaining code, and for making sure it scales.

Apigee setup is simple

Just step through a wizard and upload a certificate to send and receive pushes in minutes.

Apigee message delivery is consistent

You don’t have to worry about a thing, including network downtime. Apigee consistently delivers messages to push service providers so that your push notifications arrive on time.

Apigee messaging is scalable

Scaling up push notifications is complicated from the service infrastructure perspective. For example, Apple APNs requires you to keep a socket running consistently, which is tricky when you are sending a few million messages in a few seconds. Similarly, if you were to email a few million people, you would have to think about whitelisting, email servers, etc. That’s why Apigee takes great care to secure the data you need to interface with provider services, ensuring that connections to these services are maintained and messages are delivered consistently.

Push provides a direct channel to your users

As an app developer, you know the value of communicating with you user base (and beyond). Using the three Rs of messaging (recruit, retain, and reengage). For example, you recruit users by sending notifications to people you want to use your app, you retain active users by sending updates to keep them engaged, and you reengage inactive users by letting them know about improvements and bug fixes.

Push notifications allow you to actively engage with customers because of the direct window into their phone but this makes them tricky to handle.

Next, we’ll explore different use cases and best practices for sending push notifications.

If you’d like to join the conversation, we'd love to hear from you on App Craft, a list for app makers—ask questions, share your perspective, or show what you’re building to the group!

Or try push notifications on Apigee today, with 10M free push notifications forever! And, if you need help, check out the Apigee Forum.

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