TUTORIALS

Create a Chat App with Vue.js

Umar Elbelel

View GitHub Repo
July 6, 2021

When building a chat application, it’s often confusing and difficult in terms of what functionality you need. And when developing in-house, this task can turn into a nightmare. Fortunately, CometChat is here to provide you with all the functionalities, leaving you to focus on integration.

In this tutorial, we will explore how to build a chat application by combining the power of VueJs and CometChat’s SDK and UI kit. It will be real-time, easy to build, and we’ll use Vue as our JavaScript framework.

Here are a few things we will be covering in this tutorial:

  1. Creating CometChat account and Setting up CometChat app
  2. Creating Vue app
  3. Setting up CometChat SDK
  4. Integrating CometChat UI Kit
  5. Creating our view Components

Creating CometChat account/Setting up CometChat app

Before we start with any integration, we will need to create a CometChat account. Visit CometChat’s website and follow the instructions given below.

1. After visiting the website, click Start for free at the top right corner of the page

2. Fill the required field and submit the form to create your account.

Creating CometChat account/Setting up CometChat app
Creating CometChat account/Setting up CometChat app
Dashboard


After setting up the CometChat account, we need to create an application for us to be able to integrate with. To do that, navigate to your CometChat Pro account dashboard and click on Add New App. On the window that pops out, fill in the necessary details before clicking on Add App:

Add New App
Add New App


Once the app is created, you’ll be provided with the app credentials. We’ll specifically be using the app ID, region, and auth key to connect to CometChat’s API.

Creating Vue App

Now that you’ve created the CometChat account, we will proceed to build a new Vue.js application by using Vue CLI. Make sure npm is installed on your computer and then run the following command to install Vue CLI:

npm install -g @vue-cli

Once its done, create a new Vue.js project with:

vue create vue-chat-app

The preceding command will initiate the creation of our Vue.js project. You will be prompted with an option to choose a “default” preset or “manually select features”. Select the latter and press enter. Next, a list of feature options will be displayed; use the arrow key to move down and use the spacebar to select Babel, Router, Linter / Formatter, and hit Enter once you are done. After that, type  “y” to use history mode for the router and select ESLint with error prevention only.  Use the link if you encounter any problems.

Run the application with the command below to view the the default homepage on http://localhost:8080.

npm run serve

Creating Vue App

Setting up CometChat

Now, before we dive into push notifications and Firebase, we will set up a fully functional chat application.

To set up our CometChat SDK, run the code below.

npm install @cometchat-pro/chat --save

After installing our CometChat SDK, we will need to initialize it at the beginning of our

application. Navigate to the “App.vue” file and paste the code below,

if you take a look at the code, we have created a function initializeComet() in the method object of our file. This function handles the initializing of CometChat by calling the AppSettingsBuilder() to build our request. We will then call on the CometChat.init() and pass the built request with our APP_ID to initialize CometChat.

NOTE: Don’t forget to replace the APP_ID and REGION placeholders with your credentials.

Integrating CometChat UI Kit

To setup the CometChat UI Kit we need to first clone it to our project directory. To achieve that run the command below:

git clone https://github.com/cometchat-pro/cometchat-pro-vue-ui-kit.git

Once this is done, we copy the source folder to our source folder and rename it cometchat-ui. Next is for us to install all the needed dependency for the CometChat UI Kit, and to do that, copy the dependencies below to your package.json file.

To install these packages, run the following command:

npm install

After setting up and installing all the needed dependencies for the CometChat UI Kit, we will now be able to make use of the components to add a chat interface and logic to our application.

Creating our view components

After initializing and setting up our CometChat UI KIT, we will be having two (2) components i.e (login and chat components).

Login component

This component will handle both login and registration. To create this component, navigate to src/view and create the Login.vue file. Now, open the file and paste the below code.

On submitting the form we triggered the Login() that handles the API calls to CometChat.  Next, we will be using some functions from the CometChat SDK:

CometChat.createUser(): handles creating a user, it accept two parameters(username and AUTH_KEY).

CometChat.login(): handles authentication, it accepts our username and AUTH_KEY as parameters.

In this component, we used the two(2) functions from CometChat SDK to both create a user and authenticate a user, alongside allowing already created user to be authenticated without duplication. The image below depicts what the login page will look like:

Log In
LogIn


NOTE: Don’t forget to replace the AUTH_KEY  placeholders with your credentials.

Create Chat Component

After authenticating a user, we will be redirecting the user to the chat component which handles our chat functionality.

Navigate to src/view and create the Chat.vue component. paste the code below.

Looking at the code above, it looks very simple with no logic. This is because we are using the CometChat UI kit that handles all of our design and logic. We import:

CometChatUserListWithMessages: This component handles the display of users, their messages, and more.

We have also added a log out button for users to be able to logout. Clicking this button triggers the logout() which contains the function below from the CometChat SDK.

CometChat.logout(): This function logs out an user from CometChat.

Updating the router file

Open the router file in src/router/index.js file and replace its content with the following:

Test app

To test our application, run the following command to start it up:

npm run serve

Navigate to your browser and open http://localhost:8080 to access the application.

Test app
Test app
Test app

Summary

As seen from this tutorial, we were able to build a Vue.js application from scratch and leverage the custom UI kit made available by CometChat to easily implement the functionalities and proper user interface for our application. The CometChat UI Kit not only provides us with the chat boilerplates but also extends its functionalities by including image upload, text, video, and audio chat.

Hope you found this tutorial helpful. Don’t forget to check the official documentation of  CometChat to explore further and add more features. The complete source code for this tutorial is available on GitHub.

What Is CometChat?

The most robust suite of cloud-hosted text, voice and video solutions on the market. CometChat seamlessly integrates onto websites and apps quickly and securely, powering digital communities across the globe.

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