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IBM Brings IM Together 47

An anonymous reader writes "At their Lotusphere conference, IBM announced IM interoperability with AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo!, and Google Talk, to be shipped in the next release of its Sametime enterprise IM/web conferencing product in mid-2006." The omission of Microsoft's instant messenger seemed to raise quite a few questions, however.
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IBM Brings IM Together

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  • Sametime (Score:5, Informative)

    by ender81b ( 520454 ) <<moc.aksarbeni> <ta> <dllib>> on Monday January 23, 2006 @03:30PM (#14541971) Homepage Journal
    Sametime is actually a fairly nifty little app. It's got far better integration with notes than - say messenger does with Outlook. The ability to important groups from your address book, open a chat based on an email, schedule a web based conferenced, program bots to interface with a Lotus Notes database, etc is fairly cool.

    The old version always supported an OSCAR gateway, but it's nice to have it "fully" compatible without a whole lotta effort.

    • Gaim + Meanwhile

      It's better than the current sametime app, and I would prefer that Notes would just die already. It was a great application, but I would prefer having a sane scripting language and debugging tools. It's time for IBM to make the transition to the internet.
    • I really don't like Notes, so for Sametime I use NotesBuddy made by the AlphaWorks unit. It has a slim frontend for the Notes email component so I almost never have to actually open it up.
      • I'll have to check it out, hadn't heard of that one. Unfortunately my job requires heavy Notes DB work so I'll still have to open the 'ol bugger up no matter what.
  • Already here (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ericdano ( 113424 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @03:30PM (#14541980) Homepage
    Let see, we already have all this with Trillian [] and Adium []. Why do I need IBM doing it?
    • Re:Already here (Score:2, Insightful)

      by QQoicu2 ( 797685 )
      Uhh, cuz Trillian is hideous. Personally I use gaim ported for WinXP, but GTK+ is pretty buggy with a lot of XP stuff (transparency, et al). I'm more than open to any new multi-network IM clients.
      • wrong (Score:2, Informative)

        by Kwiik ( 655591 )
        Because this is a corporate suite that also allows you to gather your co-workers together locally, without them needing to be on any other IM service. and for the record, having used this at IBM, I can tell you that you DO need accounts for all of the other services.. and, actually, MSN integration is in at IBM, it's just not going out on production for licensing reasons.
    • Re:Already here (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2006 @03:39PM (#14542077)
      Let see, we already have all this with Trillian and Adium. Why do I need IBM doing it?

      Because, as nice as those applications are, they require you to have separate accounts. is proposing an IM interopability gateway for Sametime - so you won't need a AIM or Yahoo account to talk to someone on their networks.
    • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @03:42PM (#14542108) Journal
      The point of SameTime that the summary glossed over is that it's an IM component of Lotus Notes, and is integrated with the rest of the Notes environment. Also, it's a desktop sharing tool (like WebEx). Obviously this wouldn't be news if it were just a cross-network IM client.

      SameTime is easily the nicest component in the Notes suite, although anything that doesn't make you want to smash your skull through the monitor would qualify for that honor.

      • SameTime is easily the nicest component in the Notes suite, although anything that doesn't make you want to smash your skull through the monitor would qualify for that honor.

        Spoken like a true Notes pro!

        I do agree with you, Sametime seems to be a really well designed program with really good integration - which is downright shocking considering.
      • The keynote is available at the Sametime Forum [].
        The Sametime part kicks in at page 31ish.

        Ed Brill [] also has some stuff up (including the sametime song).
    • And we have Gaim [] that's do all of the hard work and works great with various protocols.
    • Re:Already here (Score:2, Interesting)

      by raadradd ( 685683 )
      And Miranda IM [].
    • Because having choices is important. Who wrote the rule that you're only allowed to have one application per purpose per platform?
    • Programs like Trillian and GAIM are handy and work fairly well, but if you want to have your IM set up in more than one place (say at home, at work and at school), you have to set up every account you have in each location.

      A much better solution is Jabber with transports. My AIM and MSN settings and buddylists are saved on the Jabber server, and all I have to do is login to my Jabber account. Considering the multitude of Jabber clients available (open protocol for the win!), this is a much easier system f
    • Let see, we already have all this with Trillian and Adium. Why do I need IBM doing it?

      The difference is one is a client and one is a server/service. Ideally, IM will become like e-mail using standard protocols. Anyone can check any server using any client. In the beginning this was not the case, until the major players agreed to start using standards. Now you can use mutt or outlook access e-mail from AOL or Comcast using SMTP and POP hosted on Sendmail or Communigate.

      This is IBM saying that their serv

    • You need it for one reason... logging at the firewall. Any company (especially those in the financial or healthcare industries) that lets its employees chat with IM to any public IM service and doesn't log it is crazy. With a gateway, I'm sure that Lotus will give you the ability to log this at the firewall and make sure Mary from the admin department isn't sending out credit card numbers because her boss didn't give her the $.10 (US) raise that she asked for.

      Right now, there aren't any large companies t
      • That's why Jabber is such a good idea... It works very much like email, you can use any provider and communicate with any other. Companies seem to make plenty of money providing email services, so providing jabber in the same way would work too.

        So just like email, you will get free providers, value-add paid providers, your local isp providing the service, vanity domains etc... And because there's no single user database, you won't need to have a username like bert432489237489327.
    • Ofcourse Gaim, Adium and Miranda IM all use Meanwhile [] for their sametime libraries.

    • I *think* you meant [] (for Mac OS X).
      The site is about "financial, management, consulting and investment services"
  • But isn't Yahoo working on being able to talk to MSN? If so, does that make MSN compatibility moot?
    • But isn't Yahoo working on being able to talk to MSN? If so, does that make MSN compatibility moot?

      Microsoft Live Communication Server and its Public IM Connectivity [] should do this. It links LCS with Yahoo, AOL and MSN Messenger. We're about to do a pilot so I'll have more details the next time the subject comes up, but as of now it sure looks like it unifies all the biggest players with your corporate IM and a single account.

      Cost, $1-$2 per user, per month, plus servers, server licenses etc. Not free, an
  • No mention of Skype instant messaging in the article, either. As far as I know, Skype is not Jabber-compatible. I need Skype for various contacts nowadays, especially Europeans.
  • ICT? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by darkmayo ( 251580 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @03:39PM (#14542079)
    Sounds like the inhouse app that IBM people made "IBM Community Tools", Sametime backend with MSN, Yahoo, AOL functionality along with tons of really cool stuff and community building. (Skilltap for the win)

    Bit of a resource hog but it is pretty nice.

    If they are releasing this for public consumption I think it would be a good idea.

  • I like how this is going to be available on all platforms. Yahoo's own linux client, by comparison, is still stuck in the stone ages.
  • Finally some webcam support on linux maybe?
  • One of the original ideas behind Jabber was that it could unite the various IM systems together under the banner of a common protocol via the use of the transport mechanism. It seems unfortunate to me how that never really took off and instead that same work has been replicated on the client side so many times with Gaim, Trillian, Adium, etc.
    • Well client->server could be any protocol, so long as the backend server supported the jabber server to server protocol... Now that gtalk has opened up server to server, and they're planning on producing interoperability with AOL, what's the chances that AOL will implement a jabber server to server system that ties in to their proprietary backend systems?
  • The feature that got the biggest applause was ability to embed graphs and charts into IM messages. That enables a user to discuss a spreadsheet or chart with his or her buddy.
    Is this the only instant message client that has this capability? There are several that support slapping in GIFs on the fly to buddies in the chat window, but how about actual charts/graphs that aren't natively in an image format?
  • We use Sametime 3.0, and we have AIM integration. Would be nice to have Yahoo availability, though.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead