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Frequently Asked Questions for OUIM Clients

Topic: Frequently Asked Questions for OUIM Clients
Audience: Faculty and Staff
Creation Date: 07-31-2009
Author: Zachary Wincek
Revision Date: 11-08-2019
Revision Author: Jacques Breaux, Austin Daniell

Oakland University (OU) University Technology Services (UTS) provides an internal instant-messaging service (OUIM) that requires a client to access it. The service is available only to faculty and staff. OUIM utilizes the XMPP protocol, sometimes referred to as Jabber, in order to send messages to clients. Individuals in a communications group may utilize the internal instant-messaging service by connecting to the OUIM server with an XMPP client. A coordinator for the group will review and sign the service level agreement (SLA). This document addresses common questions that are posed about the service.

  1. What is Instant-Messaging?

  2. What are my credentials for logging into the OUIM service?

    • Your credentials are your NetID and corresponding password.

      The format of NetID can change per client. Such as using your oakland email address for the Swift client.

  3. Where is the OUIM service available?

    • You can connect wherever you have a connection to the Internet; viz., the service works on campus and off campus.

  4. What XMPP clients are supported by the OUIM service?

    • The Helpdesk supports the Spark, Pidgin, Adium, and Swift IM clients. Additional information on connecting and logging is contained in the “Instructions for OUIM Clients” document at Instructions_For_OUIM_Clients.

  5. Does the OUIM service log conversations?

    • No, it does not log, copy, or archive any conversations. XMPP clients can locally log conversations. Note that any logs, records, and archives are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), warrant, subpoena, and other legal requests. Logging is a setting of the XMPP client where supported and a preference of the customer. Additional information on connecting and logging is contained in the “Instructions for OUIM Clients” document at Instructions_For_OUIM_Clients.

  6. Is the OUIM service secure?

    • XMPP connections to the OUIM server are secured during transit via TLS. This is enforced by requiring all clients that connect to use TLS.

  7. Does the OUIM service store and forward messages to offline customers so that they will receive the messages when they log into the service?

    • No, the service does not cache offline messages; it bounces the messages back to the sender.

  8. What are the rules governing the usage of the OUIM service?

  9. Am I able to see all the customers that have access to the OUIM service?

    • No, it supports hidden groups. Furthermore, XMPP clients often hide disconnected and inactive XMPP clients per the settings of the customer.

  10. How can I simultaneously communicate with multiple customers?

    • Most XMPP clients support multiple simultaneous conversations, which display each one-to-one conversation in a separate tab, as well as conference rooms that allow multiple customers to be a part of the same conversation. The OUIM service supports multiple simultaneous connections and conference rooms(see: MUC).

  11. What additional permissions does the administrator of a group have?

    • The administrator role of a group is intended to be utilized for a role-based administration system, which will be implemented in a future version of the OUIM service. Currently, the person(s) in this role controls the visibility of the group they administrate to other groups and can add people to the group via a UTS ticket.

  12. Am I able to send a file to another customer through the OUIM service?

    • Most of the Helpdesk supported XMPP clients have the ability to send a file to another connected customer through the OUIM service. In particular this does not apply to users of the Swift client version 2.0 or prior. Other File transfer services are supplied by OU such as Oakshare at https://files.oakland.edu/ ,Shares at \\shares.oakland.edu\, Google Drive at https://webmail.oakland.edu/, and Webmail powered by Google at https://webmail.oakland.edu/ . Of the mentioned File Transfer methods only Shares and Oakshare are considered secure.

  13. Do any XMPP clients exist that allow me to connect to the other instant messaging networks?

    • Of the XMPP clients that the Helpdesk supports, Pidgin and Adium are able to connect to other instant messaging networks with the AIM, AOL, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, GroupWise, ICQ, IRC, LiveJournal, Lotus Sametime, MobileMe, Napster, Novell GroupWise, SILC, SIMPLE, SIP/SIMPLE, SNPP, Sametime, Twitter, XMPP, and Zephyr protocols. While many other XMPP clients exist, the Helpdesk does not support them. The list of supported XMPP clients is in the “Instructions for OUIM Clients” document at Instructions_For_OUIM_Clients.

  14. Am I able either to share control of my computer, to converse with other customers via Internet telephony (VOIP), or to have video sent from a webcam?

    • No, the OUIM service supports only text over XMPP or file transfers.

For further help, please email <helpdesk@oakland.edu>, visit us at 202 Kresge Library or call (248)370-4357 Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm.