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2008

We are pleased to announce the release of Openfire 3.5.1, now with even more openness!  This release represents the first stage of the Enterprise plugin split into open source plugins.  We're very excited to be able to provide these to everyone for free, and seeing what the community does with them, both in terms of contributed code and use case scenarios.  So lets talk about some specifics.

 

New Plugins!

 

  • Monitoring: Adds support for server statistics and chat archiving and reports.

  • Fastpath: Support for managed queued chat requests, such as a support team might use.

 

These are the first two pieces of the open sourced Enterprise plugin.  Client management is coming very soon, as is clustering.  SparkWeb will also be released tomorrow as a separate product.  So you might be wondering, hey, why is there an Openfire Enterprise 3.5.1?  Well, due to the lack of all of the plugins being available right now, we've provide 3.5.1 for existing enterprise customers to make use of.  It includes some important clustering fixes though!  (as will the clustering plugin when it is release)

 

Important, Seriously, Pay Attention, Read This

 

 

If you install the Monitoring and/or Fastpath plugin, make absolute sure that you read the readme first!  There are included instructions for how to migrate your database from the Enterprise plugin to the new plugin database tables.  If you have ever run the Enterprise plugin or the old Fastpath plugin before it was integrated with Enterprise, make sure you don't forget this or you will be unhappy!

 

 

Big Connection Manager Improvements

 

The connection managers have been updated to bring HTTP binding up to date and a couple of library upgrades that include a number of improvements.  It is important to note though that the conf/manager.xml file has been updated and you will need to update yours as well.  The new http binding section that you will need to add is described here.

 

Ok Fine, Where Do I Get It?

 

You can download Openfire 3.5.1 here.

You can see the entire changelog here.

You can view the documentation for 3.5.1 here.

Plugins can be downloaded from the admin console or here.

SparkWeb Open Source

Posted by DavidSmith Champion Apr 22, 2008

Earlier today I exported our svn repository for SparkWeb and committed the intial import to the new open source repository! Instructions for getting and building the source are available. The specified item was not found.. A chat room for discussion of SparkWeb development can be found at sparkweb@conference.igniterealtime.org. I'm looking forward to seeing what the community can do!

Openfire is Lookin' Hot!

Posted by jadestorm Champion Apr 7, 2008

As you may have already seen, Openfire 3.5.0 was released today alongside it's good friend Clearspace 2.0!  We are excited to put out this release as it strolls alongside a number of new announcements, new features, and is sporting a brand new outfit in the form of a new look and feel for the admin interface.

 

Now, in light of the announcements regarding the Enterprise plugin becoming open source, you may be wondering why you can see an updated Enterprise plugin available.  We are providing this plugin for our existing enterprise customers until the separate split-up plugins are released.  Those of you waiting for the open source releases, please stay tuned!

 

For our Clearspace customers, this new version of Openfire integrates at a much more intense level than before.  Instead of simply providing presence to Clearspace, and requiring you to point both Clearspace and Openfire at something like LDAP to have the same login setup, you can now have Openfire speak directly to Clearspace.  It will pull it's users and groups, as well as pass authentication through Clearspace.  Setup is a breeze, as you have one screen of setup in Clearspace and one screen of setup in Openfire and you are done.  And we're not stopping there.  Future releases will include even more integrations between the two!

 

Is Clearspace integration the only new thing in Openfire 3.5.0?  Of course not!  We've now got the ability to disable accounts, security audit logs for admin events, easy to take advantage of invisibility, and did I mention the pretty new admin interface?  We went over a lot of these new features in a previous blog post, so I won't bore you with a complete rehash of all of them. 

 

One word of warning, due to the nature of CSS not wanting to easily refresh itself, you may need to shift-reload in your browser for the new admin console to look correct.  And don't forget to update your plugins after upgrading to 3.5.0!  Some of them are affected by API changes!  (specifically: User Search, IM Gateway, MOTD, and SIP)

 

This has been a very exciting day for us here at Jive and we hope exciting for you as well!

 

You can download Openfire 3.5.0 here.

You can see the entire changelog here.

You can view the documentation for 3.5.0 here.

Plugins can be downloaded from the admin console or here.

We're in the process of making the Openfire Enterprise module Open Source (see Matt's blog). The Enterprise module provided several areas of functionality that were available as a single plugin. A quick list:

 

Reporting - a dashboard with statistics about server load, user sessions, chats, groupchats, etc. and support for executing reports.

Chat archiving - support for tracking conversations taking place on the server. Both one-to-one and groupchat conversations can be archived.

SparkWeb client - the web-based version of the successful Spark client.

Clustering - support for running several machines hosting the same domain. Thus adding fail-over and better scalability of the server.

Client control - controls whether certain features are available or not in the Spark client (e.g. file transfer, broadcast, groupchat, etc.). Moreover, it is also possible to specify which clients can connect to the server, push new versions of the Spark client and populate rosters with groupchat bookmarks.

Fastpath - provides rich web-based click-to-chat functionality with support for requests to the best available operator in queues. It's ideal for web-based realtime helpdesks.

 

Turning a commercial product into an open source product implies more effort that one would initially estimate. Therefore, we are going to break this process in two stages. During the first stage we will offer several plugins that will include the features listed above (with the exception of clustering). Our clustering solution relies on a commercial product and will not be made Open Source. The output of the first phase will be:

 

  • Reporting and Chat transcripts plugin - this plugin will include the reporting and chat transcript functionalities

  • SparkWeb - SparkWeb will be available as a separate project and not as an Openfire plugin

  • Client Control plugin - the ability to manage clients will be available as an Openfire plugin

  • Fastpath plugin - the Fastpath application will be composed of an Openfire plugin and the WebChat plugin. The webchat.war plugin can be deployed to Openfire as a plugin or can be deployed to your application server (e.g. Tomcat) of choice.

 

The second stage of this process will include:

 

  • Reporting and chat archiving - This functionality was available as a plugin in stage one. For stage two we will evaluate making it part of the server itself.

 

Stage one is planned for April 27th, 2008. That means that two weeks from now we will have most of the functionality included in the enterprise edition available as open source plugins. No clear date has been assigned to stage two but it should take place a few months after stage one.

I'm happy to announce that we're making most of Openfire Enterprise Open Source! First, a bit of context: for the past couple of years, one way that we (Jive Software) have monetized our Open Source work on Openfire and the other projects on igniterealtime.org has been through Openfire Enterprise. Openfire Enterprise addresses the Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM) market by adding rich reporting, archiving, and control features on top of Openfire. Since we released Clearspace last year, Jive has become super-focused on social collaboration and communities. That's pretty different than the EIM market and it's become increasingly difficult for us to serve both markets with our limited resources. Instead, we want to focus our Openfire work on real-time social and collaborative features and monetize our Open Source efforts through Clearspace integrations.

 

Existing Customers

 

Discontinuing a commercial product is always a difficult decision and one of our biggest concerns is not leaving existing customers in a lurch. We'll continue to provide support for Openfire Enterprise through existing support contracts and believe that making the Enterprise components Open Source is the best possible outcome for customers given the options. We remain strongly committed to the Openfire project and are pretty excited about what's coming in the future.

 

A Few Details

 

Gato will have a follow-up blog post with a lot more details about what we're releasing as Open Source and how, but I wanted to highlight two items. Sparkweb is our flex-based web client based on XIFF and will become Open Source. The client is already very feature rich and polished, and we're actively making many code improvements to it, as it's a shared code base with the real-time client features we're building into Clearspace. Second, the clustering functionality in Enterprise will not be made Open Source. Part of the reason for this is that we use a third-party commercial library for clustering  that can't be Open-sourced.

 

Let's Go Get 'em

 

One of our hopes with this move is that the last possible objection to deploying XMPP-based instant messaging at every organization in the world is now removed. Now, everyone will have access to an open standards solution that satisfies all the needs of IT departments... for free. We think that's great news for the community and getting our technology deployed even more widely is good for Jive Software as well. We hope you'll join us in spreading the word.

XIFF 3 Beta

Posted by DavidSmith Champion Apr 2, 2008

I'm happy to announce that we've just released an initial beta of XIFF 3.0, our open source ActionScript library for building XMPP clients. Continuing along the path set by Sean and the previous developers of XIFF, we've moved to embrace ActionScript 3 and Flex, while adding significant functionality improvements at the same time. Highlights include BOSH support, VCard support, and redesigned APIs. Feedback is strongly requested; It has been quite a while since a XIFF release, and a lot of things have changed, so I will be interested to see how the community feels about the direction we've taken things.

 

Some parts of this new release are still in a transitional stage. For example, SASL support is only available for BOSH connections at the moment. As more code is generalized between the BOSH and Socket connections, this limitation will go away.

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