Elarian SDKs, Tools and Best Practices Workshop Chuka

Elarian Community

Thursday, August 12, 2021, 5:30 AM – 2:30 PM UTC


Fin Tech
Health Tech

About this event

Elarian provides infrastructure for building reactive, scalable applications fast. At its core, Elarian is a customer data and automation platform. It helps you organize and work with your customer data, even as you perform basic actions such as sending messages or handling payments; this data encompasses communications, payments, and activities generated from sources such as websites and mobile apps.

We titled the Elarian workshop ``Elarian SDKs, Tools and Best Practices" to help engineers build solutions with Elarian SDKs seamlessly !". As the title suggests, the objective is to introduce attendees to Elarian SDKs: JavaScript, Java, Scala, Python, PHP, .Net, Ruby & Go. This is designed to empower developers in building solutions in: 

Data Hierarchy

The root owner of data in Elarian is an organization, which is identified by a unique orgId. Engagement data within an organization can then be contextualized further using applications identified by a unique appId. An example of this would be a survey application or a loyalty program application, all within the same organization.

While establishing a connection to Elarian, an appId is required to indicate which application should be used to contextualize the following engagement data.

Customer Data Management

Elarian provides several constructs to help you organize your customer data. The broad categories of supported customer data are Identity Data, Metadata, and App Data.

Identity Data

Identity Data refers to data that allows your application to identify one customer or groups of customers. At the moment, there are four primary pieces of identity data, and these are customerNumber, customerId, secondaryId, and tags.


Metadata allows you to store arbitrary data about your customer in a key-value map associated with a unique customer. The data can be in either string or binary format, which allows you to serialize complex objects and associate them with the customer. Examples of metadata could be a user's address, language preference, or gender.

App Data

App Data allows you to store arbitrary data to help determine the state of a user for a specific application. Using the survey application as an example, you could use app data to store what question you're currently waiting for the user to answer. App data can also be in string or binary format.

A customer can have multiple instances of app data linked to them, e.g., the survey app data and the loyalty program app data. The appId passed while establishing a connection determines the instance of the customer's app data that will be made available. Another way to think about this is establishing connections to different databases, only that the database (app data) stores information for a single customer.

Engagement Automation

Elarian allows you to initiate requests to customers and handle notifications from customers through communication or payment providers. In line with the customer being the unit of abstraction, all data that a customer generates is stored in the customer's perspective, making it easy for your application to build a better profile of the customer's behavior.


Elarian accepts a sendMessage command, where you specify the customerNumber, channelNumber, and the message to send. Elarian supports messaging across various channels, namely, SMS, Voice, Ussd, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Email.


Elarian provides a rich infrastructure for managing payments. We provide functionality for storing money into purses owned by organizations or wallets owned by customers. You can create as many purses or wallets as you need.

Elarian then allows you to initiate payments through different providers (MNOs, Banks, etc.) and process received payments that come in from those providers.

Customer Activity

Elarian allows you to track customer activity data from various sources such as mobile or web applications. This customer activity data helps you build an even richer profile of your customer's behavior. You can then correlate this activity data to your customer's messaging and payment data to make intelligent engagement decisions.

A simple e-commerce example might be tracking a customer's abandonment of their shopping cart and sending them a reminder on SMS or WhatsApp to buy the products before getting out of stock.


  • An instance of Elarian signup (integrated with each other)
  • Accounts for each team/organization to log in and create an app
  • Download and Install SDK(s) you will use
  • Join Slack to ask questions beforehand if necessary.
  • For IoT Demos  attendees may need to have a credit-card verified Heroku account (You just need $1 in your debit card for verification)


1. Team Breakouts

Break out attendees into different teams. A team of 5 to 8 members. Each member is required to have:

  • Login instructions to the instance/API they will be working on
  • Ensure everyone in your team is signed up and you have added them to your team
  • Assign modules that each team member will build
  • *(Virtual) Join your team room

2. SDKs Overview (90 mins)

  • Explain the purpose of each SDK.
  • Give a preview of how to create a team in each SDK (At least 2)
  • Each team to discuss 2 or 3 use cases.
  • Each team to document the discussion.

Where possible each member will be from a different company/organization. That is ok. Ask them to share their stories from their existing roles at their companies. I suggest picking shared understanding and managed dependencies as the two attributes.

If you are working through Step 4 and Step 5 of this workshop (optional), you should also suggest each team have a developer familiar with cloning GitHub/BitBucket repositories and writing basic JS/HTML code.

3. Project Poster (60 minutes)

In this section, we will be providing three strategic objectives for all teams. Each team will be responsible for coming up with a new feature for existing Elarian Products, or a new product. The feature or product should align with any one of the strategic objectives provided.

  • Building Elarian CDP solutions using JavaScript
  • Communication (USSD/SMS/Voice/Telegram/WhatsApp/Messenger)
  • Customer Insights/Habits/Data points solutions
  • IoT integration and data processing

Each team is responsible for coming up with a new feature or product that aligns with either Analytics or Communication or Customer Insights/Habits/Data points or IoT.

We will use a document to brainstorm:

  • What are we doing?
  • Why will a customer want this?

The team will create a Trello page or Google Doc, and answer the above questions in the "Ready to make it" section of the project poster.

4. Tracking message insights in Elarian(60 minutes)

Everything from this section is optional. If you would like to end the workshop here, get each team to present their Project. Limit it to 3 minutes per team.

If you would like to continue, follow on.

Each team will create a story point on Elarian, that is linked to the Project you are building or the customer data model you will be building a solution on Google Docs.

5. Code in GitHub/GitLab/BitBucket and deploy in Docker/Automated CI/Travis CI/Bamboo (40 minutes)

Note: This section needs additional setup.

Developers in each team will clone the repository, and create a JS/HTML page to market their new feature or product. Upon commit, the repository is built and deployed to an accessible web server or an S3 bucket.

6. Demonstration and Wrap-up

At the end of Step 3 or Step 5, each team demonstrates their published JS solutions, or simply reads out their project poster section answering the key questions of what they are doing, and why will a customer want this.

7. Next steps (Rewards and follow-up)

Rewarding outstanding attendees who built stable MVPs, 

An outstanding team that explored scalable solutions 

Note: Carry a laptop


  • Exclusive Knowledge
  • Exclusive Swag
  • Networking

To ensure we host a safe event please adhere to the following:

  • We will limit our attendees for now  (NB: Those who have
  • RSVP'd on this platform will be prioritized.
  • Provide your own mask and have it throughout at the venue
  • The temperature will be scanned before admission.
  • Social distance will be observed (1 meter apart) throughout the event.

See you then.


  • Anthony Kiplimo

    Africa's Talking

    Developer Relations

  • Crispin Kipruto

    Africa's Talking

    Software Engineer

  • Michael Kimathi

    Africa's Talking

    Head of Developer Community Africa


  • Michael Kimathi

    Africa's Talking

    Head of Developer Community Africa

Featured Attendees

  • Dennis Gathuna


  • Michael Kimathi



5:30 AMRegistrations and Introductions
6:00 AMTeam Breakouts
6:30 AMSDKs Overview
8:00 AMBreak
8:15 AMProject Poster
9:15 AMTracking message insights in Elarian
10:15 AMLunch Break
11:00 AMCode in GitHub/GitLab/BitBucket and deploy in Docker/Automated CI/Travis CI/Bamboo
1:00 PMDemonstration and Wrap-up
1:45 PMNext steps (Rewards and follow-up)

Global sponsor

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