Jabber offers an interesting
wrinkle on IM"> As a framework application, Jabber XCP offers companies a flexible platform for delivering IM- and presence-aware applications. Overall, we liked the IM experience Jabber XCP provides, including its default options for indicating presence, which are broader than those in competing enterprise IM clients, and its ability to customize the Jabber IM client. As a framework for user productivity, Jabber offers an interesting wrinkle on IM: the ability to create shared ad hoc or permanent "rooms" for hosting group text conferencing sessions. We could set up the Messenger client to monitor those rooms for presence and messaging events, such as when a person joins or a certain word appears in a conference. We liked this feature because it could provide options to companies looking for ways to better tap an individuals knowledge in situations where responsiveness can make a difference, such as a customer call center application.Because Jabber XCP relies heavily on XML as the core to communications, seeing how the product works and making modifications can be relatively straightforward. For example, customizing the clients look and feel essentially involves making changes to three XML files. Unfortunately, changing server settings is not as easy as it should be: Management is done exclusively via scripts and editing files. This is a major drawback because manually editing files can lead to errors that could affect the servers performance.Jabber XCP has hooks for linking a server in one organization to a Jabber server in another. However, the servers must be visible to each other, and users must know the domain resolvable address of users at the other end, such as user@ jabber.company.com. XMPP traffic traveling between servers is encrypted, as is traffic between clients and the server. Platform support is good. The server runs on Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Linux, Solaris, and Microsofts Windows Server 2000 and 2003. Besides the Windows-based client, there is the Jabber WebClient. Supporting the WebClient will likely cost more because it requires companies to run a third-party Web server. Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at email@example.com.