Technology overview

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XMPP is an open, secure, spam-free, ad-free, decentralized alternative to consumer IM silos like AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo Instant Messenger. Under the hood, XMPP is a set of streaming XML protocols that enable any two entities on the Internet to exchange messages, presence, and other structured information in close to real time. XMPP technologies offer several key advantages:

  • Open -- the XMPP protocols are free, open, public, and easily understandable; in addition, multiple implementations exist for clients, servers, server components, and code libraries.
  • Standard -- the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has formalized the core XML streaming protocols as an approved instant messaging and presence technology under the name Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol or XMPP. The XMPP specifications were published as RFC 3920 and RFC 3921 in 2004 and updated in 2011 as RFC 6120, RFC 6121 and RFC 6122, and the XMPP Standards Foundation continues to publish many XMPP extensions.
  • Proven -- the first XMPP technologies (Jabber) were developed by Jeremie Miller in 1998 and are now quite stable; hundreds of developers are working on XMPP technologies, there are tens of thousands of XMPP servers running on the Internet today, and millions of people use XMPP for IM.
  • Decentralized -- the architecture of the XMPP network is similar to email; as a result, anyone can run their own XMPP server, enabling individuals and organizations to take control of their IM experience.
  • Secure -- any XMPP server may be isolated from the public XMPP network (e.g., on a company intranet), and robust security using SASL and TLS has been built into the core XMPP specifications.
  • Extensible -- using the power of XML namespaces, anyone can build custom functionality on top of the core protocols; to maintain interoperability, common extensions are managed by the XMPP Standards Foundation.
  • Flexible -- XMPP applications beyond IM include network management, content syndication, collaboration tools, file sharing, gaming, and remote systems monitoring.
  • Diverse -- a wide range of companies and open-source projects use the XMPP protocols to build and deploy real-time applications and services; you will never get "locked in" when you use XMPP technologies.