July 30, 2010

Why was XMPP not chosen by us. Part 1

We receive a lot of enquiries and questions regarding support of XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, www.xmpp.org) in our software that is used by Jabber and other IM systems. Today Jabber is a open/source standard that provides features and functionality for instant messaging and online collaboration with a great scalability and compatibility. And seriously, why was XMPP not chosen by us as a base client/server protocol to communicate between our instant messaging software, Bopup Communication Server and it's IM clients?

Let's us explain our vision and understanding this question. There are several important aspects we need to mention, they are related to customer's requirements and needs:

1. If a end-user wants to get an IM system that will allow to connect to existing instant messaging services and networks like MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, Google Talk etc then a Jabber-based service with appropriate gateways is a good choice to provide this.

2. If a end-user has different operating systems running on his environment including non-Windows clients then a Jabber-service is the right step because there are a big amount of XMPP-clients for different platforms on the market.

So are these all the benefits and positive sides of Jabber-based services against third-party IM platforms? Sure. But what are negative and hidden aspects?

We need to say that not of all features and functionality offered in Bopup IM software you can find in Jabber services. A lot of functionality is not supported/implemented by XMPP as well. And if you even find IM server and client for Windows that come with a required function then this can be a problem to find a non-Windows client that supports that function. Since XMPP is always extended there are many "draft" implementations and still greater functions that have been implemented by only one vendor.

So what are benefits of using XMPP-based if it provides an unique feature that is supported only by current software? Then it looks and works like a messaging software on a third-party IM protocol.

When we were deciding on supporting XMPP we knew that we will implement and add a lot of new functionality that will extend core XMPP. And those extensions will be supported only by Bopup software. So we made a decision to use our own IM protocol for communications. In the next post we will describe and explain which features and functionality in our instant messaging software differ from standard XMPP-based software. Stay connected!

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