Is this suitable for my needs?

Basically just looking if Openfire is something that I can start learning and use for my needs. I want to have a website with a panel of people available to chat. A visitor could create an account and then start a one on one chat with one of these panelists.

I see that there is the ability to do ‘rooms’ with Openfire, just wondering if it can be modified to work as one on one chats instead. Overall from the view of the panelists, I want them to be able to log into a website and have tabs across the top of the screen where they can view all incoming chats in an organized manner. I know how I want to code all that already from a visual standpoint, but just wondering if I can use Openfire for the backbone of my chat interface.

Anyone have experience with this or do something similar in the past?

You have to realize that Openfire, and most other XMPP server are actually servers on their own. You can certainly code a web interface to use the chat facilities of Openfire (both 1 to 1 and multi-user), but it is not an embedded solution.

Your web application will be a client interacting with the XMPP server (Openfire) in the same way that Spark or Pidgin or any other XMPP client will. Thus the server should not be your real concern, although Openfire is a good choice as it is pretty easy to set up and administer.

The real issue for you will be what client library you would use to create such a client. There are many available in all the popular languages.

I agree with Robin, that you don’t have to modify Openfire itself as it should work fine as a message routing base/server. You should instead build on top of it. There is a plugin called Fastpath Service which works on top of Openfire and is designed for support sites. It receives incoming messages and routes them between workgroups and agents. You can try modifying the Fastpath or building something similar for those panelists. Also you should know that you will have to be able to install java and Openfire itself on a server.

Thank you both. I really appreciate it! I am going to get a test server installed and see what I can do. I think you both gave me a great starting place to go from. I appreciate it!