How XMPP (Jabber) Can Do So Much More Than IM

Matt Tucker (XMPP guru at Jive, one of the XMPP Standards Foundation members involved in setting the standards for XMPP, and my boss :-) ) has been spending a lot of time thinking about how the technology industry can benefit from XMPP beyond just as an instant messaging protocol. XMPP is the protocol used by Google’s GTalk IM and most recently AOL has been experimenting with XMPP. Matt’s post on Jive Talks today about how XMPP is the future for cloud services starts to outline some of his thoughts about how XMPP can be used in many other areas:

There’s a new firestorm brewing in web services architectures. Cloud services are being talked up as a fundamental shift in web architecture that promises to move us from interconnected silos to a collaborative network of services whose sum is greater than its parts. The problem is that the protocols powering current cloud services; SOAP and a few other assorted HTTP-based protocols are all one way information exchanges. Therefore cloud services aren’t real-time, won’t scale, and often can’t clear the firewall. So, it’s time we blow up those barriers and come to Jesus about the protocol that will fuel the SaaS models of tomorrow–that solution is XMPP (also called Jabber) . Never heard of it? In just a couple of years Google, Apple, AOL, IBM, Livejournal and Jive have all jumped on board.

Fixing the polling and scaling problems with XMPP as Tivo has done is compelling, but the built-in presence functionality also offers tantalizing possibilities. Presence includes basic availability information, but is extensible and can also include things like geo-location. Imagine cloud services taking different actions based on where the client is connecting from.

More people, us included, will make the shift to XMPP, which will provide the missing evidence to create momentum toward a tipping point. In fact, I’m happy to announce that Clearspace 2.0 will include a feature that’s powered by an XMPP-based cloud service. We’ll be publishing a series of blog entries in the near future to discuss how we built it.

Quoted from Jive Talks

I think it is about time we moved beyond the old model of polling and into new, more efficient paradigms. As we come to expect real time, always available tools on the web, we should be thinking about using real time collaboration technologies (like XMPP).

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