By eWeek Editors  |  Posted 2002-07-08 Print this article Print


Collaboration and messaging is a very volatile field, producing new technology that is being adopted at furious rates.

One of the hottest messaging areas is instant messaging, and open source is very important here. IT managers should definitely be following the Jabber project, a set of XML-based protocols for real-time messaging and presence notification. Another interesting open-source IM system is Gale (, which is looking to add security to IM using OpenSSL.

Using gateways, Jabber users can communicate with IM users on AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, The Microsoft Network Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger networks.

Unfortunately, because vendors such as America Online Inc. are protective of their IM networks, interoperability will always be a concern (at least until an IM standard is published and all parties adhere to it).

In future releases, we expect that advance collaboration features such as whiteboarding will be added to these open-source systems, making them more competitive with collaboration tools such as IBMs Lotus Software divisions Sametime Real-Time collaboration software.

Another open-source collaboration project that IT managers should keep an eye on is the Sun Microsystems Inc.-backed Project Jxta, which defines a protocol set that will allow the creation of advanced peer-to-peer applications.

Jxtas protocols cover important procedures such as peer discovery, memberships and end point routing. Using Jxta, users will be able to collaborate, find resources and communicate securely over public networks using a wide variety of hardware, from cell phones to servers. —Henry Baltazar


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