Is it Possible to Turn iChat Server into a Website Chat Server?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by macsrules, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. macsrules macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    I am looking to add an Online Chat Feature to my website. I want something like what ebay has, crucial has and many others have. Here is a company that sells the service I want

    However, I am running my own mac server so I know that I can set this service up for free with some help. The two options I have found so far are:

    1. Since I am running Mac OS X, it has ichat server but it is only for intranet as far as I can tell.

    I want to be able to have a chat server running and a button on my site that when someone clicks it pulls up a web browser client for them to use to chat with me through the browser.

    Do they make plug-ins or add-ons for iChat Server that allow the implementation of this service relatively simple?

    2. The other option I have been looking at is Openfire

    Again, I have the same problem as iChat server. Is there something built out there in the open source community that will let me build a chat client right into my website and communicate with an openfire server so that any one that clicks on a link on one of my pages it would pull up a browser client and allow them to talk through the web browser?

    Thanks for your help in advance,
  2. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    (disclaimer: I work for Jive, the company that makes Openfire. In fact... I work on embedded-in-web-page chat clients on the Openfire team. Previously I did the Mac prefpane and installer for Openfire. So I'm about as biased as it's possible to be on this)

    JWChat + Openfire is a decent solution now. There may or may not be future things more directly related to what I'm working on, but please keep an eye on the igniterealtime blog. ;)
  3. tradingbrowsers macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    ** Please note, I work for Activa Live ( but I will try my best not to be biased. **

    Providing Website support through your internal iChat server would actually be a massive task, as that would mean all communication would have to flow through your Internet connection and your server. Keeping a persistent chat server connection alive on commercial broadband ISP is more complicated than it sounds. Also, remember to factore in the value of your time.

    The tip Catfish Man offers is a good solution actually, provided, still, you want to put the necessary time and effort into it.

    A SaaS solution like Activa Live Chat has its benefits though. First, in this case, when you consider the time and effort to attempt something like this, the price for such a service is cheap, cheap, cheap. The work is already done for you, it's 100% Mac compatible, and since it's on-demand, it's available no matter where you go in the world.
  4. macsrules thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    Wow, I got lucky. Two of the three companies that I mentioned had representatives answer the questions.

    1. Catfish_Man I looked at JWChat and thought that I might be able to get it to do what I wanted. Since you work for Openfire and say it will work, I am going to take a much closer look at the software and what it would take to get it customized and running.

    2.tradingbrowsers Yes, I think you guys have an awesome product and for big companies that are established the cost per seat is peanuts compared to the benefits. I am starting my company in about two months and have been spending the time getting my infrastructure in place. That and trying to learn as much as possible. For me one seat would be enough starting off so maybe Activa Live is the way I will go, However, if I can set something up that is comparable and free that gives me more control, I would rather go that route. Either way, If I can't, I am sure that I will go with Activa Live.

    I want to say thanks for the help from both of you. I really appreciate it.

  5. tradingbrowsers macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    You're welcome - any way you go, sounds adventurous of course! Good luck!

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