pidgin – part of beehive

Internal to Oracle we are in process of updating the way that we collaborate. For years we have used jabber internally and even got a mandate that we had to use jabber for internal chats. I completely understand this. Google Talk and AIM are insecure protocols that can be snooped once you leave your firewall and both leave the firewall and come back in if you are chatting with someone in the next cube. It make sense. This week we were all given the chance to start using the IM component of the corporate Beehive rollout. We will get the mail part of it later this year because the executives and corp users are going to this now. They want to make sure it works before they roll it out to the masses. This is different from most development strategies. Have the people who can direct you to fix and issue test it for you and not let the masses or typical end users help debug the issues.

The newest component that we are testing is the IM client and server. The client is called Pidgin and information can be found at http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E10534_01/bh.100/e12034/toc.htm. Beehive information at http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E10534_01/bh.100/e05393/toc.htm. The client allows you to connect to multiple servers and unify the chat window, similar to what trillian did years ago. The nice thing about this is that it does allow me to list people in different groups and see them from different perspectives. The bad thing is that I see the same person multiple ways. I might see a co-worker on the Jabber server, on the new Beehive server, and on Google Talk. I can hide these or alias these if I want. When we shut off the internal Jabber server, it should solve a lot of these issues. I don’t mind having someone show up in my Houston list of people that I share office space and Buddies list (with their AIM account).

One of the features that I really like is the ability to annotate or add notes to the contact. If someone comes up as IheartLyleLovett I can change the label to tell me who this person really is. I can also add notes to the person as well. Things like email address, phone numbers, kids names, what we talked about last time can be added to the notes.

The note in the document http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E10534_01/bh.100/e12034/mobileclient.htm#BABIDECI that talks about an IM client on your phone is a little misleading. The previous section is talking about iPhone integration with Beehive. The next section talks about an IM client for your device. When you follow the link the IM client software is not available for the iPhone.

more later….

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