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Create Engaging Experiences with the Zoom Apps SDK

Developers! Transform virtual meeting experiences or extend your existing web app with the Zoom Apps SDK, available today.
6 min read

Updated on July 14, 2022

Published on June 21, 2022

Create Engaging Experiences With The Zoom Apps SDK

Since the launch of Zoom Apps almost one year ago, over 100 Zoom Apps have been published that make Zoom Meetings more productive, engaging, and fun. Today with the launch of the Zoom Apps SDK, we’re opening the program to all developers. 

With the Zoom Apps JavaScript software development kit (SDK), you can create new apps and games that transform the meeting experience or extend your existing web app. Zoom Apps are an opportunity for developers to reach Zoom customers, and users can discover and add new apps within the same client they use every day.

With the Zoom Apps SDK, companies like DocuSign, Zendesk, Fathom, and Warmly have been able to create engaging experiences within Zoom Meetings, and in the Zoom desktop window for asynchronous collaboration.

Benefits of building with the Zoom Apps SDK

Increase the reach of your app 

Building with the Zoom Apps SDK enables you to tap into Zoom’s global and diverse audience by listing your app on the Zoom App Marketplace, the chosen platform for half a million businesses. Users can discover Zoom Apps in the Zoom Meeting client by browsing and searching app listings right where they are, and even add them on the fly during a meeting.

“Zoom has been an amazing partner and platform for Fathom. Not only is the opportunity to build on the Zoom Apps SDK massive, but the Zoom App Marketplace is a great way to get our app in front of new customers. It's also really amazing how accessible the Zoom team is to app developers like ourselves. They’re constantly listening and evolving the platform. The bet to build exclusively on Zoom was a big one, but I’m so glad that we did.”

Richard White, CEO & founder of Fathom

Extend your app’s capabilities

Now, you can develop even more collaborative experiences across Zoom Meetings with the Zoom Apps SDK. Foster engagement and creativity with our collaborative tools and Breakout Rooms. 

With Collaborate Mode, the screen-sharing model can be interactive; participants instantly see the host’s app view, along with an invite so they can preview the app experience before joining. You can also incorporate Zoom Apps into Breakout Rooms, allowing your Zoom meeting participants to break into smaller groups for focused discussions or tight-knit collaboration.

"The Zoom Apps SDK provides a flexible, robust development environment and continues to provide innovative ways to integrate with the Zoom platform. We look forward to continuing to invest in new innovations for DocuSign eSignature for Zoom, to enable customers to collaborate in new ways in the Anywhere Economy."

Tony Ramoutar, Senior Product Manager, Integrations, DocuSign

Create engaging experiences

With the Zoom Apps SDK, you can develop experiences for customers both within and outside of Zoom Meetings. Using client features and APIs from the developer platform, Zoom Apps go beyond web apps to provide engaging and productive solutions. 

“Zendesk powers billions of conversations, connecting more than 100,000 brands with hundreds of millions of customers. With Zendesk for Zoom Apps, users can deliver better, more engaging service with full customer context from Zendesk at their fingertips.”

Tim Marsden, Senior Director, Technology Alliances, Zendesk

Adapting a Web App

Zoom Apps runs an embedded browser in the Zoom client, where web apps run as webviews. Adapting or extending an existing web application is relatively simple. Industry-standard OAuth enables a developer to connect accounts and provide user-level authentication and authorization. 

The Zoom Apps SDK is a JavaScript SDK that provides access to client features such as setting the Virtual Background, and data. At a minimum, it uses a method to get the meeting context, with identifiers for the user and meeting. These identifiers can be used with a comprehensive set of API endpoints from the Zoom Developer Platform, including REST APIs and Webhooks to enrich the app experience. 

Building for Zoom Apps

A set of Reference Apps have been published to GitHub under the OSD-compliant MIT Open Source License to provide developers a fast start for building a Zoom App. The basic reference app is a web application with OAuth to customize the Virtual Background.

The Collaborate Mode reference app enables rapid development of a real-time collaborative meeting application or multi-player game. Collaborate Mode opens a web app for all meeting participants, including support for guest users who aren’t signed in to the app. Try this frictionless experience in meeting apps like AskAway, Coda, Funtivity, Miro, and MURAL

Accessing client features using the SDK affords a variety of use cases. For example, apps that manage users across Breakout Rooms support virtual collaborative spaces with Welo and event attendee networking with twine. Apps can also customize Virtual Backgrounds like Pexels and Pledge and Virtual Foregrounds like Warmly.

“Warmly has hugely benefited from the Zoom Apps SDK. We love how flexible the APIs are and the ability to really customize the Zoom meeting experience. Whether it's building on webinars, meetings, breakout rooms, or chat - there’s an opportunity for you! Plus, the Zoom Apps Fund encourages growth. We’re honored to be a Zoom portfolio company.”

Max Greenwald, CEO of Warmly

There are also other capabilities of the Zoom Developer Platform that can be leveraged for Zoom Apps. For example, AI Notetaker by Fathom uses the Meeting SDK to create a meeting bot that, once enabled by a user, accesses raw audio and video feeds of individual participants for high-quality transcription and highlights.

Get started with the Zoom Apps SDK

Start building with the Zoom Apps SDK in four simple steps:

  1. Build your app: Utilize the Zoom Apps SDK to develop and customize your app.
  2. Complete the submission checklist: Before submitting your app for review, ensure you have completed everything in the Submission Requirements. The checklist covers marketing, privacy, legal, support, and technical information.
  3. Submit the app for review: All apps submitted for publication undergo a thorough review, including functional and usability testing, and security and compliance review.
  4. Publish on App Marketplace: Once published, your app will be discoverable and available for installation to users through an embeddable button.

Businesses are modernizing their operations faster than ever through new applications and technologies, and developers have found themselves at the forefront of these transformations. To help developers continue to be the catalyst for these transformations, and to innovate and create, we’re always working to grow the Zoom Developer Platform

"The ability to leverage APIs to enable application integration and innovation is a critical digital transformation need," says Irwin Lazar, President and Principal Analyst at Metrigy. "More than 84% of IT professionals in our research say that API availability is important for employee and customer engagement use cases. General availability of the Zoom Apps SDK will make it easier, and faster, for developers to deliver business benefits through a variety of ways."

For more info on getting started with the Zoom Apps SDK, please check out the documentation

Zoom Apps SDK - Build Zoom Apps that run in Zoom | Product Hunt

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