WebCenter Portal Spaces – Real Time Messaging & Presence Solution.

With more social platforms enabling better forms of presence chat integration within browsers like gTalk, facebook chat etc.

I feel It’s about time WebCenter Portal:: Spaces had an improved presence and chat integration; here are some of the current solutions available from Oracle:

- Oracle Social Network (OSN) although not yet released will sit on the Oracle cloud which may not be ideal for your organisation.
OSN to me is very much like Google Wave using the AJAX/comet protocol to handle its messaging service; targeting and integrating with many Oracle Solutions.

- Oracle Instant Messaging and Presence (IMP) Provides an integrated solution that displays users online presence with the ability to chat to users online however you do need the client application installed to chat. Works with Microsoft LCS, OCS and Lync – and can be configured to work with other services like yahoo messenger and ICQ.

As a side note Beehive integration is no longer support, but if you know what your doing can get this to work is PS5. Personally I dont recommend this solution although brings you basic http/ajax chat to spaces.

- Oracle CX (OCX) I haven’t spent much time with Oracle RightNow CX but there are quite a few interesting solutions one is the Chat Cloud services providing an easy and effective way to engage a customer in the purchase process or when they need assistance solving an issue.

With that said last year I began developing my own Social Chat service for WebCenter Portal Spaces that can be used for more than just a browser chat client..

Here is a quick breakdown of features:
- Does not require beehive, presence or XMMP servers for chat – just an authorised spaces connection
- Authenticates against webcenter and lists your webcenter Connections
- Show User online status
- Can link upto multiple XMPP Servers like the Pidgin Client but within a web browser
- Private Messaging support
- Can create a chat room and collaborate with other users
- Can add users within a private chat room to connect in WebCenter (if they are not using XMPP connection)
- Can be used to pass message update notifications ie Workflow notifications from UCM direct to the user.
- I could also create a desktop application using Adobe AIR as a desktop client tool to also manage these connections.
- Mobile supported messaging as websockets are fully supported on mobile devices
- Chat application does not need to sit on spaces and can be on WebCenter Sites or Site Studio
- Notify users of application updates on WebCenter, CRM, BPM
- Send SMS Text messages to users from BPM

For those interested here is a quick overview of how I put the solution together.
I’m using the websockets protocol for messaging this allows for low latency fast connectivity with a fallback to flashsockets and comet if flash is not supported. Whats good WebSockets are part of HTML5 and are supported by all mobile browsers and the latest desktop browsers. (Currently I support IE6+ and the other main browsers as you can take this solution and integrate it with Sitestudio or Sites)

Kaazing has great articles and posts on WebSockets if you want to find out more
Why you need WebSockets in your life and not commet long polling

Sessions are set via the browser session header and stored against the active user GUID.

I use the REST API to grab the users connections list storing and doing a lookup on a noSQL database against the active GUIDs to setup online presence. The server then notifies the active connections that a connection has come online.

Messaging is handled by compressed Binary Script Object Notation (BiSON) adds that extra bit of compression over JSON and way above XML.

BiSON

At the moment messaging is to the server but plans are in place to support RTC communication when it gets released and integrated to the latest browsers this means browser to browser communication helping to save on bandwidth and improving server load.

You can read more on the RTC draft here at W3C
W3C RTC Doc

I have run some tests against Ericsson custom browser implimentation you can read and try out here if your interested in RTC for future application development.
Ericsson labs RTC custom implimentation

Fishbowls Addon: WebCenter Portal Spaces Real Time Chat – Instant Messaging and Presence – Preview

A screenshot and video preview can be seen in one of the later posts here.

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