Chcek-in Check-Out Presence Manager

Business Case

With Phones, Instant Messaging, and email all being mashed together, there is a missing business tool. It’'s small and simple. Check-in Check-out management from a central location. Most businesses has a sign in - sign out board. Some are old school systems such as a dry eraser board bolted next to the door. Others have some standalone software.

Unique problems.

  1. Web page, where Administrative Assistants or Receptionists can make changes an behalf of other users.

  2. When changes are made from the web manager, the users status is changed on the users Spark client.

Proposed solution.

All of the “how to” code is in the Asterisk plug-in. It could be stripped down and a checkinout plugin could be created.

I’'ve hacked a prototype in php using the jabber.class.php that changes the users presence info to all users except the user we a changing the status of. This was very easy.

The only problem is, when the user comes back from a meeting or lunch they don’'t know that they have been checked out. For the user that was remotely signed out, spark does not poll the server for their status since, spark is the place where it is set.

I notice that the Asterisk plug in changes the users status when they are on the phone.

Lets just talk about the Spark side right now.

In Spark we have a plugin that gets the info from the central system for the logged in user. We will need some logic so that we don’'t over ride the settings set by the user, unless we know we want to make the change.


If change on central server in last 2 minutes for my username then change my spark status.

If True, then change my status in spark (just like asterisk on phone does) to what ever is on the central manager server. If false don’'t do anything. The plug in could pull for changes every 2 or 5 minutes. Just like a rss reader.

I like the idea of using REST for pulling the information. This way we can very simply also pull information from calendar programs like Zimbra, Google Calendar, or dotProject if we really wanted to get fancy. But for now we could create a simple java page or php application that can be the central manager.

This is a bit rough, I was making this up in my mind and typing at the same time.

If you are interested in participating in a project like this. Please let me know. I know how to do some parts, but I’'m very busy working on a few Zimbra Zimlet Mashups and would like to share the workload or even pay someone else to do it.

Please feel free to remove this post if its not in the right section as I’'m a user/admin and not a developer, but I;ve registered for the forums so that I can reply to this post.

For what it’'s worth, I agree that this is a missing part of the whole OSS landscape. At our workplace we had hoped to use spark/wildfire to do IM and replace an basic old hacked together php app I did years ago for check-in check-out, and it works after a fashion, but the persistance of the info is tricky, when people close spark, they disappear from the list. In the end we still usw the old clunky app.

I’'d love to see this sort of functionality in openfire, consider this a vote for this bussiness case from a potential user.



The asterisk plugin works by setting the ‘‘on the phone’’ status with a higher priority than the normal statuses. I think you could do the same thing with ‘‘Checked out’’. THe normal status isn’‘t changed, it’‘s just masked by the high priority one. When they check in, the ‘‘Checked out’’ status is removed, and the normal status shows through. Now that openfire supports offline statuses, being logged out of spark shouldn’‘t be a problem either. I’'d also suggest that instead of a webpage for secretaries to use, a spark plugin could do the job.

I’d like to cast a vote for this feature. I, unfortunately, can’t help in the development as I am not a programmer.

I would like to know what kind of progress has been made on this if any. I have also seen this project although it seems pretty inactive:

There’s also a mention of it made here:


any word on progress on this?

I haven’t heard a single thing. I guess we’re the only two who would use such a feature.

Hey guys,

Wow! I never saw this thread before! I totally missed it and I love these ideas.

Some time ago we were evaluating different ways we could collect this info (in-out) in some automate mode without having to require some person doing the work. In our list was outlook integration (in fact a calendar integration) so that based on your calendar your presence would change. This solution is not perfect since you can stay in the meeting longer than planned, have your calendar outdated, etc. but it was still a good step forward.

How are you planning to collect this info? Are you requiring someone doing the work of updating the “what are you doing now” presence? Do you think that a mix of automate and manual solution would be enough and accurate? An ideal solution would be to have cell phones that could publish your geo location and also include that in your presence. So I could see where you are now and also know when your meeting is going to end.


– Gato

For Now i would like a simple “in the office” “out of the office”. The individual would mark themselves, or it could be done by the secretary.

I have 2 clients atm that would want/would use this, possibly 3.

Lets crawl before we run. At least thats how i see it.

That’s all I want too.


What about having a simple in/out board that can be modified by a secretary. Seems simple enough but I haven’t found anything like that yet. I currently can’t rely on users to update the magnetic in/out board we have but our receptonist does. Just looking for and electronic replacement that could then be viewed by remote offices.

A jabber solution deals with the latency of a WAN better than other LAN type solutions I’ve seen.


I have had sort of the same thought but I would like for to just display the last status of the person. So that way when our field guys go out to a client they can put headed to ClientA and then log off so the board will show them in that status. I know that the database at some point collects last status and the plug in for presence will display the other things. This doesn’t really give you the receptionist control that you are talking about though.


I haven’t checked this but is there a away that an admin can set the status from the admin page?