130 Lotus Instant Messaging/Web Conferencing (Sametime): Building Sametime-Enabled Applications
remaining major accounting firms and auditors are recommending that all
electronic communications be auditable.
While less ominous than a barrage of government regulations, the move towards
corporate responsibility has a tendency to trickle down the organization and has
caused many IT organizations to implement new archiving rules, including
maintaining IM transcripts. In the public sector, open meeting and so-called
“sunshine” laws that require open records of local and state governments (in the
United States) are also being extended to IM and e-mail messages, in effect
making them public record. Of course, in order to be a public record, there must
be a record kept (a transcript, in the case of IM).
5.1.4 Appropriate use review
Last but not least, we use a quite sanitary term for Big Brother. It is true that in
many organizations, IM traffic and e-mail are being monitored for the purpose of
identifying inappropriate use of company resources. Without passing judgment
on the practices, it is fair to say that companies have varying levels of rights (and
responsibilities) to ensure that the use of instant messaging is legal, appropriate,
and business oriented. Privacy laws in some regions of the world provide more
protection for individuals, however, the pressures of regulations and competition
also cause companies to have a need to protect their own interests, especially in
matters that (were records not kept) would cause them and their shareholders
Now that we have outlined some of the reasons for IM chat recording with
Sametime, let us discuss how it is implemented.
5.2 Developer considerations
Sametime chat logging can be enabled on two types of Sametime text
One-to-one instant messages
N-way chats and meetings (IM component)
The Sametime server implements two methods for processing chats. Basic,
one-to-one IMs are connected by the servers, and at that point the servers act
simply as routers for encrypted (by default) messages. N-way chats implement a
mechanism called a
Place, (which is described in detail in 8.1.1, “What are
Places and why use them?” on page 184) to exchange messages among
multiple participants. Either type of message traffic can be intercepted by a chat
recorder built using the Chat Recorder SPI. Although the Sametime Connect
client allows users to chat with AOL Instant Messenger users (AIM), you cannot
Chapter 5. Chat Logging/DDA Toolkit 131
build a chat logger to capture these with the Chat Logging SPI. This is due to the
fact that the service is server-based, and AIM chats are client-based.
There are two modes of chat logging available: strict and relaxed. Strict logging
requires that a message be successfully logged in order to continue the chat
session. If an error is encountered, the chat session is terminated. Relaxed
logging logs all the messages it encounters, with or without errors, always
allowing chat to continue even if logging fails. All servers in a multiple server
environment must be set to run in the same mode.
5.2.2 Distributed environments
As multiple Sametime servers can coexist and work together in an organization,
chat logging follows specific rules on which server is chosen to intercept the chat
and record it. For an N-way chat or meeting, the chat is logged on the server
handling the Place. This could be one of many servers. For a simple instant
message session, the chats are logged on the home server of the user accepting
the invitation to chat (recipient).
In a distributed environment, all Sametime servers should be configured to either
have chat logging enabled or not. If this is not the case, some chats will be
logged and some will not, and the appearance of transcripts will be arbitrary.
5.2.3 Synchronous and asynchronous implementations
A chat logging DLL can be implemented asynchronously (message is sent
regardless of its logged state) or synchronously (message is not sent until it is
logged successfully). Sametime provides the Chat Logging SPI sample for
synchronous implementation. You can develop your own chat logging DLL with
More developer considerations can be found in the Sametime 3.0 Directory and
Database Access Toolkit Developer’s Guide (see 2.2.1, “Sametime Software
Note: The Chat Recorder SPI only allows the server to capture chat traffic,
and not entire meetings. There is a separate facility for recording meetings in
the Sametime meeting setup options.
Note: Chats logged in synchronous mode slow performance of the Sametime
instant messages, because chats must be successfully logged before being
forwarded to the recipient.