Rainbow (software)

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Developer(s)Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
Initial release23 September 2016; 7 years ago (2016-09-23)
Stable release
Operating systemWindows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android
Platformcloud based
TypeCollaboration platform

Rainbow is a proprietary business communication platform developed by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE).

It is a unified communication and collaboration platform as a service that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and an API hub that offers development and integration into other applications and IoT devices. It can be used on top of on premise installed ALE PBXs.

Rainbow is competitor of other colaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Slack or WebEx.


The first stable release is available from 23.09.2016[1] and was mainly used for internal testing. The first global offer was launched on 29.11.2016[2]. This offer contained a free version of the Rainbow software. The Enterprise business model was announced for 2017[3]. From the beginning, the architecture of Rainbow is a communication platform as a service. In the next development steps an API hub was added which was announced as one of the most interesting APIs in 2017 by ProgrammableWeb[4]

In May 2018 Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise acquired the austrian company SipWise[5]. A softswitch functionality will be implemented into Rainbow with the help of the SIPWise technology. The number of users reached more than a million beginning of 2019[6]



Bubbles are project groups with a persistent chat functionality and the possibility to exchange files. Guest can join through a specific URL or invitation sent by the bubble administrator or owner. Via a bubble it is also possible to do web and video conferencing. Conferences can be scheduled or created ad-hoc and users visiting the channel will be able to see that a meeting is currently in progress. Rainbow also has a plugin for Microsoft Outlook to do direct calls or create bubbles from mail participants.


Information can be distributed via channels. These channels can be created by any user with the creation right and are used to distribute business content inside or outside a company. The use is somewhat similar to Facebook Pages.


  • Instant messaging
  • Voice over IP (VoIP)
  • Video conferencing inside a bubble.

Rainbow supports public switched telephone network (PSTN) via a connection to an ALE or third party PBX.


Rainbow mainly used WebRTC and XMPP technologies. The connection to PBXs is done via proprietary protocols and CSTA.

Security and data privacy

Rainbow is a cloudbased business service that owns the ISO27001 certification and fullfills GDPR compliancy. As the service is spread over several datacenters all over the world, the users and customers data is located only in local datacenters.


Open source

There are a number of free and open-source software alternatives or protocols to Rainbow that can be self-hosted, such as:

  • Internet Relay Chat (IRC)
  • Jitsi
  • Keybase (open-source client with proprietary server)
  • Mattermost
  • Matrix (client:Riot)
  • Wire
  • XMPP
  • Zulip


Other alternatives having a similar business model to Rainbow are:

  • Flock
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Hangout Chats
  • Symphony Communication
  • Slack
  • Trillian
  • Workplace by Facebook
  • Discord
  • Glip
  • Cisco Webex Teams
  • JetBrains Space
  • Yahoo Together (now defunct)

In the media



  1. "Openrainbow Production Note".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Rainbow Global Launch".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "TechTarget analysis".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Programmable Web".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "SIPWise".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise's Move to the Cloud by Jon Arnold". Enterprise Management 360.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External Link

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