UI Library Overview

UI Library makes it easy for you to build modern communications user experiences using Azure Communication Services. It gives you a library of production-ready UI components that you can drop into your applications:

Note

For detailed documentation on the Web UI Library visit the Web UI Library Storybook. There you will find additional conceptual documentation, quickstarts and examples.

  • Composites. These components are turn-key solutions that implement common communication scenarios. You can quickly add video calling or chat (currently only available over Web UI Library) experiences to your applications. Composites are open-source higher-order components built using UI components.

  • UI Components. These components are open-source building blocks that let you build custom communications experience. Components are offered for both calling and chat capabilities that can be combined to build experiences.

These UI client libraries all use Microsoft's Fluent design language and assets. Fluent UI provides a foundational layer for the UI Library and is actively used across Microsoft products.

In conjunction to the UI components, the UI Library exposes a stateful client library for calling and chat. This client is agnostic to any specific state management framework and can be integrated with common state managers like Redux or React Context. This stateful client library can be used with the UI Components to pass props and methods for the UI Components to render data. For more information, see Stateful Client Overview.

Note

The same components and composites offered in the UI Library are available in the Design Kit for Figma, so you can quickly design and prototype your calling and chat experiences.

Composites overview

Composites are higher-level components composed of UI components that deliver turn-key solutions for common communication scenarios using Azure Communication Services. Developers can easily instantiate the Composite using an Azure Communication Services access token and the required configuration attributed for call or chat.

Composite Use Cases
CallwithChatComposite Experience combining calling and chat features to allow users to start or join a call and chat thread. In the experience the user has the ability to both communicate using voice and video, as well as access to a rich chat thread where messages can be exchanged between participants. It includes support for Teams Interop.
CallComposite Calling experience that allows users to start or join a call. Inside the experience users can configure their devices, participate in the call with video, and see other participants, including those participants with video turn on. For Teams Interop is includes lobby functionality for user to wait to be admitted.
ChatComposite Chat experience where user can send and receive messages. Thread events like typing, reads, participants entering and leaving are displayed to the user as part of the chat thread.

UI Component overview

Pure UI Components that can be used by developers to compose communication experiences, from stitching video tiles into a grid to showcase remote participants, to organizing components to fit your applications specifications. UI Components support customization to give the components the right feel and look to match an applications branding and style.

Area Component Description
Calling Grid Layout Grid component to organize Video Tiles into an NxN grid
Video Tile Component that displays video stream when available and a default static component when not
Control Bar Container to organize DefaultButtons to hook up to specific call actions like mute or share screen
VideoGallery Turn-key video gallery component which dynamically changes as participants are added
Dialpad Component to support phone number input and DTMF tones.
Chat Message Thread Container that renders chat messages, system messages, and custom messages
Send Box Text input component with a discrete send button
Message Status Indicator Multi-state read receipt component to show state of sent message
Typing indicator Text component to render the participants who are actively typing on a thread
Common Participant Item Common component to render a call or chat participant including avatar and display name
Participant List Common component to render a call or chat participant list including avatar and display name

Installing Web UI Library

Stateful clients are found as part of the @azure/communication-react package.

npm i --save @azure/communication-react

What UI artifact is best for my project?

Understanding these requirements will help you choose the right client library:

  • How much customization do you desire? Azure Communication core client libraries don't have a UX and are designed so you can build whatever UX you want. UI Library components provide UI assets at the cost of reduced customization.
  • What platforms are you targeting? Different platforms have different capabilities.

Details about feature availability in the UI Library is available here, but key trade-offs are summarized below.

Client library / SDK Implementation Complexity Customization Ability Calling Chat Teams Interop
Composite Components Low Low
Base Components Medium Medium
Core client libraries High High

Composites are turn-key solutions that implement common communication scenarios. You can add video calling experiences to your applications. Composites are open-source higher-order components that developers can take advantage of to reduce development time and engineering complexity.

Composites overview

Composite Use Cases
CallComposite Calling experience that allows users to start or join a call. Inside the experience, users can configure their devices, participate in the call with video, and see other participants, including those ones with video turned on. For Teams interoperability, CallComposite includes lobby functionality so that users can wait to be admitted.

Composites scenarios

Joining a video/audio call

Users can join a call using the Teams meeting URL or they can set up an Azure Communication Services Call. This approach offers a simpler experience, just like the Teams application.

Gif animation shows the pre-meeting experience and joining experience on Android.

Pre-call experience

As a participant of the call, you can provide a name and set up a default configuration for audio and video devices. Then you're ready to jump into the call.

Screenshot shows the pre-meeting experience, a page with a message for the participant.

Call experience

The calling composite provides an end-to-end experience, optimizes development time, and focuses on clean layout.

Screenshot shows the meeting experience, with icons or video of participants.

The calling experience provides all these capabilities in one composite component, providing a clear path without complex code, which leads to faster development time.

Quality and security

Mobile composites are initialized using Azure Communication Services access tokens.

More details

If you need more details about mobile composites, see use cases.

What UI artifact is best for my project?

These requirements help you choose the right client library:

  • How much customization do you desire? Azure Communication Services core client libraries don't have a UX and are designed so you can build whatever UX you want. UI Library components provide UI assets at the cost of reduced customization.

  • What platforms are you targeting? Different platforms have different capabilities.

Here are some key trade-offs:

Client library / SDK Implementation complexity Customization ability Calling Teams interoperability
Composite Components Low Low
Core client libraries High High

For more information about feature availability in the UI Library, see UI Library use cases.

Known issues