Instant Messaging and Presence (XMPP) for sipXecs
What is the idea?
For sipXecs release 4.2 we are working on the integration of the Openfire XMPP server. The idea is to closely link SIP with XMPP and provide a solution that is tightly integrated. This will add a couple of core capabilities to sipXecs:
- sipXecs will become an Enterprise IM and Presence server, similar to what Microsoft OCS offers, but fully standards based and using XMPP
- sipXecs services will become IM enabled. This can mean a lot of things and opens a host of new possibilities. A few examples:
- A user's presence is federated between the IM world and the telephony world. A user's IM status will show 'on the phone'
- dynamic presence based call routing is possible. If you set a custom presence message that includes a phone number, the find-me / follow-me rules are dynamically changed to include that phone number
- Dynamic audio conference control is possible via IM. The user will see entry and exit messages of participants from the personal conference bridge. The user is able to moderate the conference issuing commands via IM such as lock, mute, isolate, kick. The user can do a roll call to see who is on the bridge
- IM group chat can easily be extended into an audio conference. The user has both a personal audio bridge and a personal chat room.
- When a new voicemail arrives the user gets an IM notification
- When a call comes in, the user gets a pop up with Caller ID information
- A personal agent allows directory lookup as well as call initiation (IM to call) using an IM client
- Federation with other public IM services is possible, such as Yahoo, AIM, MSN, but also Facebook, MySpace and Samteime. Buddies from such public systems show up as regular buddies in my corporate IM client. Group chat is possible between all buddies
There are many more things that will be possible. The list above should give you an idea.
The Openfire server is integrated fully into sipXecs and sipXconfig. There is a new server role called Instant Messaging. The Openfire server can be run on the same hardware as other components of sipXecs or a dedicated server can be commissioned. Installation is plug & play like any other sipXecs components and Openfire is fully centrally managed from sipXecs.
Operational procedures are integrated. This includes installation, backup & restore, log level setting, log retrieval, software upgrades and patch management, database management, security certificate management, as well as the management of the domain name and DNS settings and test.
The Openfire admin console is no longer needed. All relevant capabilities are integrated into sipXecs / sipXconfig. When a user is created in sipXecs, an additional field is available to specify the desired IM ID and IM name. This information is automatically proliferated, together with respective user group settings.
For both voice, video and IM sipXecs supports the Counterpath Bria client. Bria is a powerful client that once XMPP is enabled on the sipXecs side will have lots of additional capabilities. It is fully plug & play managed for bulk provisioning by sipXecs.
For IM / presence only any XMPP based client should work. Namely Pidgin or also the Openfire Spark client. There is a long list of XMPP clients. Please note: Presence of your phone state (on the phone, etc.), is only supported if the phone supports dialogue events.For more information, see XMPP and Presence - How does this work?
*NOTE: At this time, there are issues with the Spark client and SRV lookups. Until the client is fixed by www.igniterealtime.org, it is suggested to use version 2.5.8.
The 2.5.8 client can be found here:
sipXecs enables federation with other public IM systems using the Kraken plugin into Openfire enabling server side (not client side) federation. Pure XMPP clients, such as the Counterpath Bria softphone, are able to see all buddies from any system, monitor their presence, start IM conversation or participate in group chat sessions. Message archiving, often used for compliance, works for all sessions.