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New Release: Real-time Collaboration 1.0 publicly available in the Cloud

Joe Robinson

October 6th, 2021

Written by

Joe Robinson


News & Updates

Since TinyMCE first released its rich text editor, the project has been on an ongoing mission to save developers the headache of producing complicated in-house solutions. 

In support of that mission, the recent release of TinyMCE 5.9 brings with it the public availability  of the Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) 1.0 plugin – a communication solution that allows end users to collaboratively work together, within the TinyMCE rich text editor (currently only to our Cloud users).

This new plugin not only provides end-to-end encryption for all your collaborative sessions, it also saves you the time, resource and energy it would take to configure your own collaborative application. Instead, you can install the plug-in and get started straight away! RTC Cloud 1.0 scales from 1 to 10,000 users to match your applications growing community. By using RTC Cloud 1.0, you are guaranteed a well-maintained plugin – updates are automatically applied to TinyMCE instances configured with Tiny Cloud. 

This article covers the highlights of the plugin with other, more detailed posts to follow in future articles – including a play-along installation video. 

Real-Time Collaboration features

The collaboration features within the new plugin include:

  • The ability for two or more TinyMCE users to collaborate on the same content, at the same time. This is called a collaboration (or collaborative) session.
  • Collaborative sessions are triggered when a person enters a document that has RTC enabled, and starts writing.
  • The feature includes end-to-end encryption, which is provided by a local encryption key with a JSON Web Token (JWT). TinyMCE Cloud does not read or identify any data within your collaborative session, and does not identify any data or user information. TinyMCE detects only a “presence API” during a collaborative session. This is a non-identifying value that represents presence, or absence – essentially, whether a user is in a collaborative session or not.
  • RTC Cloud 1.0 is the only plugin for a rich text editor with end-to-end encryption.
  • You can launch your application or project to market faster with the RTC plugin. There’s no need to set aside years of development time to install it. You only need 2 - 4 weeks and one developer’s work to build a collaborative tool.

You can set up a JWT in a few steps with your TinyMCE account. This is the first step to setting up end-to-end encryption for the RTC plugin. Log into your TinyMCE account, or sign up for a free TinyMCE account, and click on JWT Keys. From this menu, you can enter a key description and length, and then automatically generate the key.

However, there are some limitations on the collaboration sessions, depending on your TinyMCE Cloud plan. You can check the TinyMCE pricing FAQs to find out more. 

Real-Time Collaboration configuration options

Apart from ensuring that your application provides end-to-end security in collaboration sessions, you can adjust the behavior of RTC plugin, and change the user experience. Some essential adjustments to the user experience include displaying a message to users if the collaborative session they’re in has been disconnected, and displaying team member user-names so they can identify each other:

Include a disconnection message: Configure the rtc_server_disconnected option in your tiny.init script to display an error message to users when the collaboration session is disrupted. This configuration comes with a suggested message built in. You can adjust the contents of the message to match your application user experience needs.

Show presence and information within a collaborative session: To show more user information when two or more users are in a collaboration session, you can configure the rtc_user_details_provider object. But this option can display more than just names. You can configure an object in your JavaScript, along with the rtc_client_connected callback to aid in implementing external UIs showing how many users are currently connected in your collaborative sessions.

Find out more about the options for users within a collaborative session in the RTC documentation. Specifically, check out the documentation on using the rtc_server_disconnected option for editor upgrades. Contact us if you have any inquiries about configuring RTC and the end-to-end encryption available.

Compatible plugins,browsers and plans

The following TinyMCE plugins can be included in your configuration, to enhance how your users work when running TinyMCE RTC Cloud 1.0:

  • PowerPaste 
  • Emoticons
  • Image (except for image captions)
  • Advanced List
  • Link (except for the rel_list option)
  • MoxieManager

Here’s the complete list of plug-ins compatible with RTC 1.0, in our documentation.

Currently, Real-Time Collaboration 1.0 supports the latest desktop versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari. However,  RTC is currently not available on mobile devices, or through Self-hosted plans.

RTC considerations

There are some considerations to check before integrating Real-time Collaboration into a demo or project:

Do not load content into a TinyMCE project that’s been created using one of the plugins not yet supported. The following are popular plugins not supported until further iterations are completed:

  • AtMentions
  • Comments
  • Link checker
  • Paste
  • Imagetools
  • Media
  • Tables
  • Media embed
  • Checklist
  • Preview
  • Table of Contents
  • Anchor

Contact us if you have any inquiries about specific plugins not yet compatible with RTC.

If a document built in an RTC session is updated outside of a TinyMCE rich text editor instance that does not have RTC enabled, your application will need to generate a new document id, and distribute it out to your users who worked on the document.

The Real-Time Collaboration 1.0 plugin is currently not supported in Hybrid mode, and is not recommended.

Check our documentation on integration considerations, and on troubleshooting to find out more.

Final considerations

Sign up for a free API key, if you haven’t already, to start exploring and using the Real-Time Collaboration plugin in the Cloud. The RTC plugin is the only RTC functionality in a rich text editor with end-to-end encryption. It’s free to get started with RTC, and you can Contact us if you have any further questions on setting up the new plugin.

Tiny ReleasesCollaboration
byJoe Robinson

Technical and creative writer, editor, and a TinyMCE advocate. An enthusiast for teamwork, open source software projects, and baking. Can often be found puzzling over obscure history, cryptic words, and lucid writing.

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