As I stated in my last blog, SignalR does not work for every application. As Dan Hill, one of the technologists at Amadeus Consulting, stated, “Lawnmowers are great, but we would never drive to work on them.” If it isn’t a magic tool that does it all, why am I so excited about SignalR? Because the web is all about interaction. Whether it is for personal or professional use, people interact with each other in a meaningful fashion. SignalR now gives us the ability to have these interactions in real time, and there are some great examples of how useful it can be.
First, let’s look at SignalR’s potential as a SCRUM tool. What if everyone involved in the SCRUM is located in different office buildings, states, or even countries? In the past, each user would need to download some sort of app that all the users would go to for things like voting on task time and resource allocation. With SignalR, the need for an additional app is eliminated. The users just discuss line items in real time, saving on unnecessary steps and making the process more time efficient. It also creates the ability to have a real time discussion instead of messages being sent to different members via an app.
So SignalR has the potential to be a great internal business tool, what about an external business tool? Think about the last time you used any type of kiosk. How much time did you spend standing in front of the kiosk waiting for it to process your information? Because interactions with almost any type of kiosk require a few rounds of entering information (think ATM or bicycle rental), you can spend more time then you want to waiting at the kiosk. With SignalR, information transfer is happening in real time, decreasing the time of each transfer which can add up to a significant amount of time.
Along with kiosks for personal use, think bigger picture: kiosks for commercial use. I am sure you have seen the truck weigh-in stations along the highway. When a truck pulls in, the driver enters information that is sent to a person overseeing the station. That person then verifies the truck driver information and sends back an “ok” to weigh-in. The scale information is then transferred back to the person overseeing the station who gives the “ok” to the driver to continue on. There is a time lag between all these information transfers since the systems have been programmed to update at predetermined times. SignalR would eliminate all these time lags. It may seem that this would only save a few minutes at the most, but if you think of all the trucks on the highways going through weigh stations, you can imagine the overall implications.
Last, but certainly not least, is the IM example I used in my last blog. SignalR would make instant messaging as “instant” as a telephone conversation.