How to Build a Chat App in React Using Ethora Engine

Building a chat application isn’t easy as you need to tackle a lot of challenges including the server infrastructure, chat server, frontend as well as integration with your custom business logic or legacy systems. However, with Ethora engine, creating a chat and digital wallet app becomes significantly easier. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps to build a chat application using React and the Ethora engine.

What is Ethora?

Ethora is a low-code “super app” platform developed by Dappros, designed to simplify the creation and management of business applications around digital wallets, messaging, web3 and AI functionality. It provides customizable templates, smart contract integration, user management features, and supports tokenization. Ethora is compatible with various blockchain networks and legacy enterprise systems, making it a flexible choice for developers.

Prerequisites

Before we start, make sure you have the following:

  • Node.js and npm installed
  • Basic knowledge of React
  • An Ethora account (you can sign up on the Ethora platform)

Step 1: Setting Up Your React Project

First, set up your React environment. Open your terminal and create a new React project:

npx create-react-app ethora-chat-app
cd ethora-chat-app
npm start

This will set up a basic React application and start the development server.

Step 2: Installing Ethora SDK

Next, you need to install the Ethora SDK. The SDK provides the necessary tools to interact with the Ethora engine. Run the following command to install the SDK:

npm install ethora-sdk

Step 3: Configuring Ethora SDK

Create a configuration file for the Ethora SDK. This file will include your API keys and other necessary settings. In the src folder, create a new file called ethoraConfig.js:

// src/ethoraConfig.js
const ethoraConfig = {
apiKey: 'YOUR_API_KEY',
network: 'mainnet', // or 'testnet' depending on your needs
};

export default ethoraConfig;

Replace 'YOUR_API_KEY' with the API key you received when you signed up for Ethora.

Step 4: Initializing Ethora in Your React App

Now, initialize the Ethora SDK in your React application. In the src folder, create a new file called Ethora.js:

// src/Ethora.js
import { EthoraClient } from 'ethora-sdk';
import ethoraConfig from './ethoraConfig';

const ethora = new EthoraClient(ethoraConfig);

export default ethora;

Step 5: Creating the Chat Component

Next, create the chat component. This component will handle the user interface and logic for sending and receiving messages. In the src folder, create a new folder called components and inside it, create a file called Chat.js:

// src/components/Chat.js
import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react';
import ethora from '../Ethora';

const Chat = () => {
const [messages, setMessages] = useState([]);
const [newMessage, setNewMessage] = useState('');

useEffect(() => {
const fetchMessages = async () => {
const msgs = await ethora.getMessages();
setMessages(msgs);
};

fetchMessages();
}, []);

const handleSendMessage = async () => {
if (newMessage.trim()) {
await ethora.sendMessage(newMessage);
setMessages([...messages, { text: newMessage }]);
setNewMessage('');
}
};

return (
<div>
<div className="chat-window">
{messages.map((message, index) => (
<div key={index} className="message">
{message.text}
</div>
))}
</div>
<div className="chat-input">
<input
type="text"
value={newMessage}
onChange={(e) => setNewMessage(e.target.value)}
placeholder="Type your message..."
/>
<button onClick={handleSendMessage}>Send</button>
</div>
</div>
);
};

export default Chat;

Step 6: Styling the Chat Component

Add some basic styling to the chat component. In the src folder, create a new file called Chat.css:

/* src/Chat.css */
.chat-window {
height: 400px;
overflow-y: scroll;
border: 1px solid #ccc;
padding: 10px;
}

.message {
padding: 5px;
border-bottom: 1px solid #eee;
}

.chat-input {
display: flex;
margin-top: 10px;
}

.chat-input input {
flex: 1;
padding: 10px;
border: 1px solid #ccc;
}

.chat-input button {
padding: 10px;
background-color: #007bff;
color: white;
border: none;
cursor: pointer;
}

Import this CSS file into your Chat.js file:

// src/components/Chat.js
import './Chat.css';

Step 7: Integrating the Chat Component

Finally, integrate the chat component into your main application. In the src folder, modify the App.js file to include the chat component:

// src/App.js
import React from 'react';
import Chat from './components/Chat';

const App = () => {
return (
<div className="App">
<h1>Ethora Chat App</h1>
<Chat />
</div>
);
};

export default App;

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve built a basic chat application using React and the Ethora engine. This application allows users to send and receive messages in a decentralized manner, leveraging the power of blockchain technology.

To enhance your app further, consider adding features like user authentication, real-time updates, and more advanced messaging options. Ethora’s robust SDK and flexible platform make it easy to expand and scale your decentralized applications.

By following these steps, you’ve not only created a functional chat app but also gained valuable experience in using Ethora for blockchain-based applications. Happy coding!

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