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Oracle® Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle WebCenter Spaces
11g Release 1 (11.1.1.5.0)

Part Number E10149-09
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62 Working with the Instant Messaging and Presence Service (IMP)

This chapter describes how to use the features provided through the Instant Messaging and Presence (IMP) service. The IMP service lets you see the presence status of other authenticated application users. It provides instant access to interaction options, such as instant messages and mails. Additionally, if enterprise presence is unavailable, you can connect to a 3rd-party network presence service, such as Yahoo! Messenger.

This chapter includes the following sections:

Audience

This chapter is intended for authenticated users who want to view, create, and manage instant messaging and presence. It also is intended for WebCenter Spaces administrators with the Application-Manage Configuration permission and individual Space moderators who want to configure instant messaging and presence within their Spaces. For more information, see Section 52.2.1.2, "Understanding Permissions and Permission Models in a Space."

Note:

Tasks discussed in this chapter are not available if the IMP service is not enabled in the current Space.

62.1 What You Should Know About the IMP Service

The IMP service enables you to observe the presence status of other authenticated users (online, offline, busy, or away) and provides instant access to interaction options, such as instant messages (IM) and mail. Any WebCenter service that has a user name can integrate with the IMP service; for example, Discussions, Documents, or Mail. Wherever a user is indicated, for example as the author of a document in the document library, you can see an icon (Figure 62-1) depicting the presence state of that user.

Figure 62-1 The Presence Icon for Online Users

Presence icon, online

If you hover your mouse over the Presence icon, a tooltip displays the current status message for that user, if available. If the user has not provided a status message, or the message cannot be retrieved, then the tooltip displays the presence state of the user (online, offline, busy, or away).

Note:

There is no idle status. In the case of extended user inactivity, the status still displays as online.

Additionally, you can click the Presence icon to invoke a context menu (Figure 62-2).

Figure 62-2 The Presence Icon Context Menu

Presence icon context menu

From the context menu you can:

Note:

The options that display on the context menu depend on what services are available to your WebCenter Spaces application, how those services are configured, and which services are supported by the back-end presence server. For example, the Phone Conference option is supported by Oracle WebLogic Communications Services (OWLCS) only.

62.2 Identifying Your Preferred Instant Messaging Provider

If Oracle WebCenter presence is not available (for example, if your enterprise uses a Jabber/XMPP presence server or has federated presence servers with users distributed across identity management systems), you can connect to a public network presence service.

Out-of-the-box, WebCenter supports Yahoo! Messenger on network presence. However, the network presence model can be extended to include other providers, such as ICQ.

To enable network presence:

  1. Click the Preferences link at the top of the application.

  2. Click Presence to open the Presence Preferences pane.

  3. Enter the IM address for the presence status and a display name (Figure 62-3).

    Figure 62-3 The Presence Preferences Pane

    Presence Preferences panel in Preferences dialog
  4. Click OK to save your change and exit the Preferences dialog.

Presence tags for that user shows their network presence, either online (Figure 62-4) or offline (Figure 62-5).

Figure 62-4 Yahoo Presence Icon - Online

Description of Figure 62-4 follows
Description of "Figure 62-4 Yahoo Presence Icon - Online"

Figure 62-5 Yahoo Presence Icon - Offline

Description of Figure 62-5 follows
Description of "Figure 62-5 Yahoo Presence Icon - Offline"

62.3 Configuring Network Presence

To set your presence to Yahoo! Messenger:

  1. Click the Preferences link at the top of the application.

  2. Click Presence to open the Presence Preferences pane.

  3. Enter your Yahoo! Messenger ID and a display name for yourself (Figure 62-3).

    Figure 62-6 The Presence Preferences Pane

    Presence Preferences panel in Preferences dialog
  4. Click OK to save your change and exit the Preferences dialog.

To revert back to your enterprise presence, when you are back on your network, simply remove this information from Presence Preferences.

Note:

To send instant messages to an online user on Yahoo! Messenger, you also must have Yahoo! Messenger installed.

62.4 Working with IMP Service Features

Many WebCenter task flows include a presence capability that enables you to make contact with other users from within the context of what you want to contact them about. For example, if you see a post in a discussion topic and want to contact the author of that post, you can do so directly from the Discussions task flow.

This section includes the following subsections:

62.4.1 Viewing the Status of Other Users

Many task flows support on-the-spot communication with other users. That is, wherever a task flow includes a Presence icon (Figure 62-1), you can start an instant chat or send a mail to the user associated with the icon.

The way you communicate with another user depends upon their availability. For example, if the user is online, then you could send an instant message to make immediate contact. However, if the user is offline or busy, then sending a mail is probably a better option.

Additionally, users can provide further information about their status by providing status messages. If such a status message exists for a user, hovering over the Presence icon displays that message as a tooltip. The status message enables you to make an even more informed decision about how to make contact. If there is no status message for the user, then the presence state is displayed in the tooltip instead (online, offline, busy, or away).

To view the current presence status or status message of a user, simply hover the mouse over the Presence icon next to the user's name.

Note:

The presence state of the user is held in a cache with a default expiry time of 60 seconds. As a result, the Presence icon may not reflect the actual status of the user if the status has changed between the initial retrieval and the cache expiry time.

Table 62-1 describes the presence state each Presence icon indicates.

Table 62-1 Presence Icon Presence States

Presence Icon State

Green circle; user is available

Associated user is online.

Red circle with thick white line (no entry); user is busy

Associated user is online, but busy. Please do not disturb.

Clock; user is away

Associated user is still connected but away from the computer.

Greyed out icon with cross; user is offline

Error indicator. This icon appears against the name of the current logged-in user, meaning the user has not provided required credentails to log on to the presence server.


62.4.2 Sending a Mail Message from the Presence Icon Menu

Wherever you see a Presence icon, you can send a mail message to its associated user.

To send a mail message:

  1. Locate a Presence icon (Figure 62-1) for the person you want to contact.

    For example, you can find Presence icons associated with documents and discussion topics, and anywhere a task flow is configured to support IMP.

  2. Click the Presence icon associated with the user you want to contact.

    For example, in Figure 62-7 the Presence icon is associated with the user monty.

    Figure 62-7 The Presence Icon Associated with the User monty

    Presence icon associated with user monty
  3. From the menu, choose Send Mail.

    You may be presented with a login window. If so, then enter your user name and password for your mail application. If your preferences are set up to deliver your login credentials automatically, you can start your message right away. For more information about login credentials and preferences, see Chapter 35, "Setting Your Personal Preferences."

  4. Compose your message and click Send (Figure 62-8).

    Figure 62-8 Sending Mail Using the IMP Service

    The New Message dialog box

62.4.3 Sending an Instant Message from the Presence Icon Menu

Wherever you see a Presence icon, you can send an instant message to its associated user.

Before you can send an instant message, you must install the appropriate chat client (and only that client) on your local computer. The client must be configured to connect to the back-end presence server.

  • If the back-end presence server is Microsoft Live Communications Server (LCS) 2005, then install Microsoft Communicator.

  • If the back-end presence server is Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, then install Microsoft Communicator.

  • If the back-end presence server is Oracle WebLogic Communications Server (OWLCS), then install Oracle Communicator.

Contact your administrator if you are not sure which client to install or how to connect to the presence server.

To send an instant message:

  1. Locate a Presence icon (Figure 62-1) for the person you want to contact.

    For example, you can find Presence icons associated with documents and discussion topics, and anywhere a task flow is configured to support IMP.

  2. Click the Presence icon associated with the user you want to contact.

    For example, in Figure 62-9 the Presence icon is associated with the user monty.

    Figure 62-9 The Presence Icon Associated with the User monty

    Presence icon associated with user monty
  3. From the menu, choose Send Instant Message.

    WebCenter invokes your instant messaging client, and starts a chat session with the selected user.

62.4.4 Initiating a Phone Conference from the Presence Icon Menu

If you are using Oracle WebLogic Communications Server (OWLCS) as the presence server, then wherever you see a Presence icon, you can initiate a phone conference with its associated user.

To initiate a phone conference:

  1. Locate a Presence icon (Figure 62-1) for the person you want to contact.

    For example, you can find Presence icons associated with documents and discussion topics, and anywhere a task flow is configured to support IMP.

  2. Click the Presence icon associated with the user you want to contact.

    For example, in Figure 62-10 the Presence icon is associated with the user monty.

    Figure 62-10 The Presence Icon Associated with the User monty

    Presence icon associated with user monty
  3. From the menu, choose Start Phone Conference.

    OWLCS places a call to you and then to the target user, using the phone numbers specified in the user profiles.

Notes:

  • This functionality requires the Third Party Call Center (TPCC) Service. Refer to OWLCS Documentation for more information.

  • If you encounter an error when initiating a phone conference with other WebCenter users, ensure that user names are lowercase.