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.