BeeJiveIM – Chat Client for multiple protocols

Have been testing a different method of desktop collaboration and communication. For some years I have been using Jabber for chat purposes with in my company’s secure network. I have an account at Jabber.org and also my company has its own Jabber service. I was introduced to a chat client for my iPad called BeeJiveIM which can support many chat protocols – but amoung these is XMPP which is the communications protocol that is the basis of Jabber. You can read more about this by visiting Jabber.org.

I downloaded the BeeJiveIM app for my iPad and was able to configure my jabber.org account with great ease. I was the able to add some contacts from the jabber.org world and start to communicate. I was very interested to note that I could also add contacts from my companies jabber server simply by adding their jabber account details in this format @. This means that when connected to the Jabber.org server I can initiatite conversations with my work colleagues as well as my jabber.org friends.

This means that my jabber.org account has the capability to setup conversations with my corporate colleagues who are seemingly on a different Jabber service.

This was very exciting as I have the prospect of communicating with jabber contacts on either the public service jabber.org and my company’s “privately hosted” service. This is very convenient. It is a bit like being able to logon to a MSM account and converse with another user on GoogleTalk!

So on my iPad I have one jabber account – jimbuchan@jabber.org – but I really wanted to have the option of having my corporate identity along with my corporate contacts database on my iPad. There was no option to setup a company jabber account Jabber account – so I did some googling and discovered that the jabber protocol XMPP uses a firewall port redirect to find the appropriate jabber service for a given account.

I connected the iPad to my company network and setup a new account with my company account details which are @. The account was recognised and my buddy list came up on the screen so I am now connected to my company network and able to communicate with colleagues using my corporate identity. My status information is also picked up from my companies presence server – so if I pickup the phone to make a call, all my buddies know I am on the phone.

From previous experience, I knew that it is possible to connect my company’s Jabber Service from outwith the company network. So I connected my iPad to the internet ( no VPN configured ) and tried my company Jabber account and it worked.

So I can now access my company jabber service from outwith my company’s secure network. This is very flexible and most useful – so now I can when on the move maintain Jabber Conversations with both my company and non company contacts using my company Jabber account and associated identity.

This was a very interesting afternoon of experimentation.