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Oracle® Fusion Middleware User's Guide for Oracle WebCenter Portal: Spaces
11g Release 1 (11.1.1.7.0)

Part Number E10149-12
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64 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 administrators in Spaces 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 54.2.1.2, "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.

64.1 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 Portal 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 64-1) depicting the presence state of that user.

Figure 64-1 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 64-2).

Figure 64-2 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 application, how those services are configured, and which services are supported by the back-end presence server.

64.2 Identifying Your Preferred Instant Messaging Provider

The IMP service requires a back-end presence server. WebCenter Portal is certified with Microsoft Office Live Communications Server (LCS) 2005, Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, and Microsoft Lync 2010. When 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 Portal supports Yahoo! Messenger on network presence. However, the network presence model can be extended to include other providers, such as ICQ. To do so, you must build a presence network agent (PNA) that understands how to process each user's presence from a certain URL.

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 64-3).

    Note:

    PNAs run on the IM address. The IMP service consults all registered PNAs to see if one can handle this IM address. If so, then it delegates to the respective agent. If you register a new PNA where you identify every user presence with the domain mydomain.com, then your PNA handles the presence for user IM addresses like XYZ@mydomain.com.

    Figure 64-3 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 64-4) or offline (Figure 64-5).

Figure 64-4 Yahoo Presence Icon - Online

Description of Figure 64-4 follows
Description of "Figure 64-4 Yahoo Presence Icon - Online"

Figure 64-5 Yahoo Presence Icon - Offline

Description of Figure 64-5 follows
Description of "Figure 64-5 Yahoo Presence Icon - Offline"

64.3 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 64-6).

    Figure 64-6 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.

64.4 Working with IMP Service Features

Many 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:

64.4.1 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 64-1), 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 64-1 describes the presence state each Presence icon indicates.

Table 64-1 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

Associated user is offline.


64.4.2 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 64-1) 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. The available options pop up, as in Figure 64-7.

    Figure 64-7 The Presence Icon

    Presence icon associated with user monty
  3. From the menu, select 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 38, "Setting Your Personal Preferences."

  4. Compose your message and click Send.

64.4.3 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. To use Microsoft Live Communications Server (LCS) 2005, Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, or Microsoft Lync 2010, install the Microsoft 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 64-1) 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. The available options pop up, as in Figure 64-8.

    Figure 64-8 The Presence Icon Options

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

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