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Thread: Zimbra IM and XMPP

  1. #1
    batfastad is offline Elite Member
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    Default Zimbra IM and XMPP

    Hi everyone

    I'm planning a 12 user migration from MS SBS 2003 to Zimbra... I cannot wait to get rid of Exchange. And with the release of v6 I've already decided that Zimbra is "the one".

    I've got some specific questions about the Zimbra IM and the various access methods available.
    I understand that the Zimbra IM server is fully XMPP compliant, meaning I should be able to our server using Pidgin or other XMPP clients (after some searching it seems people have managed to do this successfully).
    I'm currently trying to decide whether to use Zimbra's IM server or use something like OpenFire. There doesn't seem to be much in the User Guide about customising Zimbra's IM server, but it is marked as a beta feature so it's to be expected.

    1) When users chat using Pidgin or another client rather than through the AJAX interface, are chats saved in the users' "Chats" folder?
    Or does that only happen if they use the AJAX interface?
    That would be a major benefit of using Zimbra's IM server rather than something like OpenFire so people can access their chat logs through their Zimbra account.

    2) Is it possible to disable access to the Zimbra IM server though the AJAX interface and only allow XMPP access using dedicated clients?

    3) Is it possible to have everyone on the server automatically added to your XMPP buddy list?

    4) Does Zimbra support XMPP over encrypted/SSL connections? In fact I'm not even sure if Pidgin supports that but it would be great to set everyone up so all communications between them and the server are encrypted.

    5) Is it be possible to disable Zimbra's IM server but still have all the IM features of the AJAX interface available but connected to a different server, eg: OpenFire?
    So basically the Zimbra chat features in the AJAX interface allow you to connect to external XMPP servers? That would save having to install an XMPP client on everyone's machines.

    6) Being able to show users presence information through the AJAX interface would be excellent and I realise it can already do that with Zimbra's built-in IM server. But could it do that with an external XMPP server?
    I was also looking to try writing a Zimlet which adds a new tab to the AJAX interface to list all our GAL users and their presence status, replacing the Zimbra "chat" if possible. Obviously for companies with many users you would want GAL filtering/search options.

    7) Can OpenFire be installed on the same machine as a Zimbra installation, without virtualisation? So installed directly under the same host OS as Zimbra?
    I understand that OpenFire is java-based so didn't know if it would conflict with Zimbra.

    Cheers, Ben

  2. #2
    Klug's Avatar
    Klug is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    1) When users chat using Pidgin or another client rather than through the AJAX interface, are chats saved in the users' "Chats" folder?
    The Chats folder doesn't appear when the IM is off anyway...

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    2) Is it possible to disable access to the Zimbra IM server though the AJAX interface and only allow XMPP access using dedicated clients?
    I've just tried it : disabled "Messenger" for my account and see what is happening.
    The IM disappears in the ZWC but I still can log in with XMPP.
    However, I have not restarted ZCS, I'll try that later.

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    3) Is it possible to have everyone on the server automatically added to your XMPP buddy list?
    Add all internal users to the buddy list - how?
    Look at the bug, there's a link to the wiki with a script.

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    4) Does Zimbra support XMPP over encrypted/SSL connections? In fact I'm not even sure if Pidgin supports that but it would be great to set everyone up so all communications between them and the server are encrypted.
    Both do (port 5223).

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    5) Is it be possible to disable Zimbra's IM server but still have all the IM features of the AJAX interface available but connected to a different server, eg: OpenFire?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    6) Being able to show users presence information through the AJAX interface would be excellent and I realise it can already do that with Zimbra's built-in IM server. But could it do that with an external XMPP server?
    I don't know.
    But as you can not get the ZWC IM to connect to another XMPP server...

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    7) Can OpenFire be installed on the same machine as a Zimbra installation, without virtualisation? So installed directly under the same host OS as Zimbra?
    I understand that OpenFire is java-based so didn't know if it would conflict with Zimbra.
    I don't know either.

  3. #3
    batfastad is offline Elite Member
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    Hi Klug

    Thanks for the reply. Looks like it might be easier to just stick with the Zimbra IM feature in this case with only 12 users in our organisation.
    Thanks for the link to the script to add users automatically to buddy lists.

    Some further (hopefully quick) questions:
    1) If using Zimbra's IM server but you use Pidgin rather than the AJAX UI, do chats get saved in the "chats" folder?

    2) Zimbra toaster. Does it allow you to control your Zimbra IM status?
    It would be awesome if it detected when a user was idle then away and could update their Zimbra XMPP status. Or let a user override the status.
    At the moment I believe the Zimbra IM through the AJAX UI only detects idle when in the Zimbra UI... but could be wrong on that.

    I've just had a read through the Zimbra Forum France Zimbra Roadmap PDF document and it looks like there's going to be some work done on thr Zimbra IM features this year for Zimbra v7 which will be great.

    Cheers, Ben

  4. #4
    Klug's Avatar
    Klug is offline Moderator
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    Hi Ben,

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    1) If using Zimbra's IM server but you use Pidgin rather than the AJAX UI, do chats get saved in the "chats" folder?
    On my test server, I have IM enabled but never logged in through in the ZWC, only with pidgin.
    There's no "Chats" folder (because I never logged in the IM) in the ZWC.

    I think you should do some tests on this, just to be sure.

    I know there are also some scripts arround (linux scripts mainly but maybe you can adapt them for Win32) that takes the local IM logs and upload them (imap) to the messenging server.

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    2) Zimbra toaster. Does it allow you to control your Zimbra IM status?
    Nope. And it's EOL anyway (going "open source" to be a community project).

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    It would be awesome if it detected when a user was idle then away and could update their Zimbra XMPP status. Or let a user override the status.
    At the moment I believe the Zimbra IM through the AJAX UI only detects idle when in the Zimbra UI... but could be wrong on that.
    You should talk about this with the developper of Zimbra Notifier.

    Quote Originally Posted by batfastad View Post
    I've just had a read through the Zimbra Forum France Zimbra Roadmap PDF document and it looks like there's going to be some work done on thr Zimbra IM features this year for Zimbra v7 which will be great.
    This is gonna be great too : Bug 41857 – Create a zimlet that integrates the Meebo Bar

    Maybe you should wait 6.0.5 and do tests arround Meebo...

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