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Friday July 25th, 2014

Instant Messaging

The OIT Instant Messaging service offers a secure mechanism for collaborating with other members of the UCI community.

Instant Messaging is a real time communications tool. It allows people to communicate one-to-one or in groups without the delays and overhead of email. Most instant messaging applications consist mainly of a roster (a.k.a. "buddy list") window, and smaller windows for each one-to-one chat and conference room.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages to OIT Instant Messaging?

This service has several benefits not present in commercial instant messaging offerings:

What software do I need?

Your desktop or laptop system may already have the software you need to get going. Check the links in the "Software Configuration" inset (left) for information about your particular system. Once you have installed and configured the necessary software, you simply login using your UCInetID.

What is my instant messaging address?

Your instant messaging address, or JabberID, is the same as your campus email address: UCInetID@uci.edu

How do I create an account?

Your account is created the first time you login.

Are my messages secure?

All communications between the client software on your computer and the instant messaging server are encrypted. Clients must connect with either SSL or TLS encryption.

Does the server keep a copy of my messages?

OIT Instant Messaging does not retain individual messages once they have been transmitted to the recipient. Your use of Instant Messaging is protected by the University of California’s Electronic Communications Policy, which generally prohibits monitoring of your electronic communications without your consent. You may set up your software to keep a local transcript of your message.

What happens if I send a message to someone who is not currently online?

If your correspondent isn't online at the moment, the OIT Instant Messaging server will temporarily store the message and forward it when the other person logs on.

Are chat rooms available?

You can create a chat room with your client software. If you happen to know the name of an existing chat room, use your software’s “join chat room” feature.

Can I send messages to other instant messaging services?

OIT Instant Messaging can communicate with other XMPP/Jabber systems in the .edu or .gov domains. Other sites will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with business need.

May I use a nickname, or alias?

Some XMPP/Jabber clients allow the use of nicknames, wherein you appear to your correspondents as your nickname (instead of your JabberID, UCInetID@uci.edu). OIT Instant Messaging ignores nicknames in one-to-one chat sessions.

Nicknames are currently observed in chatrooms. OIT's goal is for only UCInetID-based JabberIDs to be displayed in all communications.

What technology provides this service?

OIT Instant Messaging is an implementation of the open-standard XMPP/Jabber protocol, using the open-source Openfire.