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SCC Advanced Client - Instant Messaging and Presence federation

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[toc:faq]

Overview and Key Features

With the CallConnector Advanced Client users can view presence status and send instant messages to their colleagues at work and to external contacts on compatible IM servers. All CallConnector users are automatically enabled for presence and internal instant messaging.

The CallConnector also provides administrator-controlled access to external instant messaging and presence federation with compatible Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) IM servers, such as WebEx Connect, Google Talk, and Facebook. When an external account is added to the client, it downloads the contact lists from the IM Server, displays presence status and provides the ability to send instant messages to colleagues and partners outside the business.

AdvancedClient_im_1.jpg

Figure 1: Instant Message Conversation Window showing two IM conversations and Escalation Toolbar

Key features of Smart CallConnector Instant Messaging

  • CallConnector users can chat using instant messages to internal users and external buddies
  • View the presence and telephone status in the IM Conversation Window
  • View when someone is typing
  • Send emoticons and change the font size, color, and type
  • Send documents and files instantly to the other party
  • Add additional parties to create a multi-person group chat session
  • Escalate an instant message conversation to a voice call
  • Send plain-text and (limited) HTML text messages
  • Displays avatar and photo images of the other party
  • All IM conversations are logged and archived on the CallConnector Server
  • View history of IM conversations and click to get details
  • Click on URL or Email link in the chat session to launch the browser or mail window.

External IM and Presence

The Advanced Client can also become IM client for external XMPP IM Servers allowing the user to download their external IM contacts or buddies and chat with them. Two configuration settings are required to enable external IM features:

  • The external IM Servers must be setup in the CallConnector Server. This allows the administrator to determine which IM Services are available to the CallConnector users.
  • Each user needs to add their IM account details (user name and password) in their Advanced Client. Multiple accounts can be added on each IM Server. For example, users can add business IM accounts to chat with their colleagues and partners and personal IM accounts for family.

Once the accounts are setup, the list of buddies with their presence status and away messages, is displayed in the CallConnector Personal directory. The buddies are grouped by each IM server account.

Difference between the Internal and External IM and presence

The configuration requirements and some of the feature differences between internal and external IM/Presence are summarized in the table below.

Directory Features

Internal IM/Presence

External IM/Presence

IM Servers Setup

Automatic,   Default

Google   Talk, Facebook setup; additional service need to configured

User accounts configuration

Automatic with   CallConnector User accounts setup

User’s need to setup   their IM accounts in client

Presence States

Available,   Busy, Away, Unavailable

IM   Server dependent

Location and Telephone Status

Work, Home, Vacation and   Business Travel

Not Available

Away Message

User   defined and “In a meeting” for Outlook meeting synchronization

User   defined, IM Server Dependent

Multiple Numbers

Yes

Not Available

Contact Email, SMS etc Addresses

Yes (if   configured)

Not   Available

File Transfer

Yes

IM Server dependent;   dependent on remote client. See Constraints and Limitations section for   further details

Emote Icon support

Yes

Generally   yes

Click to Dial

Yes

No

Click to Send

Yes

IM-yes, other addresses IM Server dependent

Group Chat

Yes

IM Server dependent

Avatars

Yes

Yes

Table 1: Features differences between Internal and External IM/Presence

Notifications and Alerts

Several alert options are available to notify the user of new instant messages. These include:

  • Flashing state of the task bar IM Conversation item
  • Change of background color in the IM Conversation window, when there are multiple conversations.
  • Presentation of the conversation window to the top (if enabled)
  • Notification popup window with sender name and first few words of the message
  • Audio alert for incoming message (if configured)

AdvancedClient_im_2.JPG

Figure 2: Instant Message Notification window

Group Chat

In group chat, each IM message is sent to all the members in the chat session. The CallConnector supports internal group chat between the CallConnector users and external group chat for external contacts only. The two groups cannot be mixed. The CallConnector supports ad-hoc chat sessions in that the sessions are not persistent and terminate when the last user exits.

Feature notes for Group Chat:

  • File transfers and escalations are not supported in group chat sessions.
  • The CallConnector IM Server propagates the IM messages to all the chat members.
  • Chat session is not moderated; any member can add additional parties

AdvancedClient_im_3.JPG

Figure 3: Group Chat window showing multi-party instant messaging

Preference Options for Instant messaging and IM federation

A number a preference options affect instant messaging and presence federation. These are:

  • Always Show Conversation Window at Top: If this option is checked, then the new instant message always pops ups over all the existing windows applications.
  • Options for Invitation: User can set preference for automatically accepting the invitation requests or denying them or being prompted.
  • External IM Accounts: Users must setup their IM accounts from Preference->IM Accounts. They may setup multiple accounts on a server or several accounts on multiple servers.
  • IM Notification message:  Users can also turn on/off the popup incoming IM popup notification and the related alert sound from the Preference->Notifications.
  • IM Alert:  Users can also turn the alert sound on/off for incoming IM messages and select the audio tone that played for the alert from Preference->Sounds
  • Publish Presence and Away Message to the External IM Accounts: Users can also turn on/off the popup availability notification and the related alert sound from the Preference->Notifications and Preference-Sounds.

IM History Log

All internal and external IM messages are saved on the CallConnector Server. User can view their past IM sessions and the details of the messages exchanged from the Log window. Note -- the IM logs are deleted after the administrator defined period. To archive the IM messages, these would need to be backed up and saved.

How does it work?

Internal IM

The CallConnector internal instant messaging uses a peer-to-peer XML over SIP protocol for message transport. Each CallConnector client registers with the CallConnector SIPServer. To start an IM session, an Invite is sent to the SIPServer to locate the recipient party, and then SIP-Notify messages are used to exchange the chat data. Firewalls and network topology (non-NAT addressing) must allow the CallConnector clients to send and receive these SIP messages.

External IM

The CallConnector client retrieves the user account and IM Server connection information from the CallConnector Server and establishes connection to these external IM Server using standard XMPP protocol. The supported features are negotiated during startup. External IM is server-based in that the CallConnector client only sends and receives messages from the IM Server.  Firewalls must allow the CallConnector clients to connect to the external IM Servers.

Additional notes:

  1. External IM: All data is stored in external IM Server
  2. External IM: Uses XMPP protocol, port 5222
  3. Internal IM: Group chat rooms and avatars are stored in the CallConnector IM Server
  4. Internal IM: Uses SIP protocol for transportation, used XMPP-like protocol for communication

Configuration/Setup Requirements

The configuration requirements for the Internal and External IM Servers are described below.

Internal IM

  • Configuration is setup by default
  • IM is available to all CallConnector Users.
  • Requires user accounts to be setup in the CallConnector Server. (Note- restart the server after add/update/delete of users)
  • Requires non-NATed network topology
  • Firewall must allow CallConnector client to send and receive IM messages

External IM

The CallConnector External IM Service requires configuration on the CallConnector Server, on External IM Server, and in the Advanced Client:

On the CallConnector Server, External IM requires

  • IM Service to be configured in the Server (Gtalk and Facebook services are configured by default)
  • To add a new server, enter a descriptive name, host URL, DNS Domain name, port and the Encryption Option (Always, When Available, Legacy SSL, or None). See figure below.

AdvancedClient_im_4.JPG

Figure 4: Setting up an IM Service on the CallConnector Server

On CallConnector Advanced Client:

  • Add your IM account on each available IM Servers:
  • To add a new account, from Preferences->IM Accounts, click on Add, select the IM Service, enter a descriptive name for the account and then the account user name and password.  See figure below.

AdvancedClient_im_5.JPG

Figure 5: Setting up IM Account on the Advanced Client

How to setup a facebook IM account?

Note that Facebook IM account is different from facebook standard/normal account.

  • Log in to your Facebook account as usual (using your email and password)
  • Go to Accounts -> Account Settings
  • In Settings panel of Account Settings page, check Username section 
  • If you see something like this “Your username  abc”, then “abc” is your XMPP IM username that you can use in Advanced Client
  • If you don’t see your username, click on “change” button to set a username to use (Note: you can change username multiple times).

Note: setting/changing username does not have effect right away; usually it takes a day or sometimes several days to have effect. Until then, you cannot use it to login using Advanced Client.

Constraints and Limitations

The following are additional notes on the feature constraints and limitations:

  • Group chat only support ad-hoc chat rooms
  • Group chat cannot be done between external and internal users (either external users only, or internal users only)
  • All external Group Chats are hosted in Gtalk server.
  • External file transfer – can send files to the clients which follow Google’s implementation of the XMPP Jingle extension ONLY
  • External file transfer negotiation sends “iq” messages which requires external IM server to support custom “iq” messages in order to work. (Facebook server does not support this)
  • Connections might be dropped sometimes if doing file transfer with external IM accounts
  • Avatar only supports following image types: png, jpeg 
  • Internal IM: Does not support user account to log in to multiple PC at the same time. This will have undefined behavior
  • Internal IM: offline message is not supported. Messages sent to offline user will be lost
  • Copy and paste complex HTML text from other sources does not reserve HTML format correctly

Commonly encountered issues and Troubleshooting tips

  • Don’t receive internal IM messages

Check if you log in to multiple PCs using the same UCC user account. Logout and exit all other UCC applications that are using the same UCC user account.

  • Fail to send files

Check if Advanced Client is blocked by any Firewall/Security applications

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I send Instant Messages to everyone on my directory?

Answer: No – instant message can be sent only to the CallConnector users in the Corporate directory and to the external buddies in the personal directory.

How do I start an IM conversation?

Answer: IM conversations can be started from all the CallConnector Windows as well as from within Outlook and Internet Explorer. They can be started  from the directory, from the Action menu and right-click menu. IM can also be charted from the Toolbar in Outlook and from the notification windows.

Can I send an Instant Message to someone who is not logged in?

Answer: Internal IM requires the user to be logged in. External IM depends on the IM Server – some servers save the messages for later delivery.

How can I send a message to someone who is not logged in?

Answer: Internal IM requires the user to be logged in. External IM depends on the IM Server – some servers save the message for later delivery.

If someone sends me a data file, is it automatically saved?

Answer: No – you have to accept and authorize each file transmission request. You can specify the save location of the file.

When on a one-to-one IM conversation, and there is a need to include other parties, can we do this?

Answer: Yes – you can include additional members in to the IM conversation by clicking on the Group Chat button.

Can I have multiple IM conversations going on at the same time? Can I be on a call as well?

Answer: Yes – each session is accessed through its tab.

Can I add all my IM accounts and chat using the CallConnector?

Answer: It depends on the IM Services that have been enabled by your administrator and if your external IM accounts are on compatible IM Servers. CallConnector supports only XMPP Servers.

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