Recommendations for an Open Source locally hosted Group Chat solution....

I have come to end of my tether with Lync Group Chat from Microsoft. It is unreliable, and won't allow the easy exchange of .dss dictation files.

We just need a solution that allows me to create a clean enough looking chat room (has to be internal, no online solutions because of our policies and rules we have to abide to) that everyone can join, and then files can freely be exchanged. If it cost a small amount but there was a free trial we could run as proof of concept, that would be fine.

I've been Googling away, but haven't found anything but a bunch of online service, which would do exactly what we want, but we can't go that route. To give an idea though, I like the look of the offering at , but it has to be something that isn't a SaaS like this.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.....

thanks :)
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Kruno DžoićSystem EngineerCommented:
We have used Spark Chat.

However, Lync seems to be a better program all around.
bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys.

Thanks for both your speedy posts. I'm starting to look at a trial of Softros now.

As for Spark, we already have that (although choose to use Pidgin as our main IM client now) along with the Jabber based OpenFire server. The problem is that whilst OpenFire / Spark can do conference / chat rooms, it can't do any file exchange. A real shame, and reading on the web, there is no easy plug-in or the like to add this functionality (or this would be an absolute winner).

Many thanks for your posts, will be coming back....
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Em ManCommented:
Spark for me.

Proven and Tested in our Environment.
bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
Hey taga - Spark / OpenFire is awesome for general IM (we've used it for 3+ years), but as mentioned doesn't fit the bill in this instance, as the conferencing side of things doesn't support file exchange between users. To illustrate the point, take a look at the post here I found, asked by a guy wanting to do what I was needing: Ultimately, the answer is I'd have to program this file sharing function myself, which I don't have the skill or time to do.

Unfortunately Softros doesn't do what is needed - it's more of an IM type app, where a file can only easily be transferred to one person at a time. I didn't see any chat room like concepts in there, but thanks for the recommendation.

So any other thoughts out there at all? I've possibly worked out a work-around to Lync Group Chat that sort of resolves our barrier to using it, but it would be nice to get a purer solution that was open source if possible.

Thanks for your input in trying to help :)

Em ManCommented:
Lets see if some experts can suggest other open source apps.
bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
I'm all ears :) Cheers
madunix (Fadi SODAH)Chief Information Security Officer Commented:
bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
Hey Madunix.

Thanks for your post. If you read above though, we're already using Ignite's OpenFire & Spark solutions (in fact, we now use Pidgin as the client). Their chat room is great for coms, but no scope for file exchange, which is the whole point of what I'm trying to achieve. According to everything I've read, this might be possible as a self developed add-on, but I don't have the knowledge or skill for that.

At present, it looks like the only workable solutions are proprietory, and I'm having to find work arounds with our Lync Server Group Chat system, which can exchange 'known' file types.

Thanks for your effort anyway :)
bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
Hi guys.

Thanks for your efforts, but it would seem no-one knows of a group chat type server, which allows easy file exchange as part of the conversational process. I note, from reading some articles, that file exchange is not included as part of the group chat style function on Jabber / XMPP servers. I hope this chances, but for now it seems there is no standard.

I managed to get Lync Group Chat working, and users just have to convert their DSS files to MP3 (via an easy right click app), then other users can easily open them. At present, I see no alternative way.

Thanks for your efforts - I just don't think Open Source has anything than can quite do this at present.....


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bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
I've accepted my own solution, as sadly at present it looks like nothing in the Open Source community allows for a group chat / conference style system, that allows file exchange. Out and out chat works great, but the common Jabber / XMPP protocol doesn't appear to offer anything at this time. Many suggested OpenFire / Spark, but we are already running these products, and I know file exchange isn't possible in a conference room. The only way I could do this was using Microsoft Lync Group Chat...... Thanks :)
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