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Linking Instant Messaging to publish/subscribe messaging

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013520D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Instant Messaging is a very popular and increasingly ubiquitous means of sending spontaneous messages to people's computer desktops. Publish/Subscribe and message broker technology are emerging as an elegant way to decouple data sources from data sinks in an asynchronous manner which in many ways parallels the Instant Messaging paradigm.

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Linking Instant Messaging to publish/subscribe messaging

Instant Messaging is a very popular and increasingly ubiquitous means of sending spontaneous messages to people's computer desktops. Publish/Subscribe and message broker technology are emerging as an elegant way to decouple data sources from data sinks in an asynchronous manner which in many ways parallels the Instant Messaging paradigm.

     This invention proposes a mechanism for linking a pub/sub system to an Instant Messaging system, thus enabling a whole range of applications requiring asynchronous notification to a specific user.

     This invention describes a "bridge" between an Instant Messaging system and a publish/subscriber message broker system. It describes the mechanics of a workable system.

     An Instant Messaging "Bot" is a software program which appears to be an online user of an Instant Messaging system. It can send and receive messages like a human user, but of course all of its interactions are programmatically driven by the logic of the Bot in response to external stimuli, either from outside the Instant Messaging system, or from the content of messages sent to it by other Instant Messaging users.

     The "pub/sub Bot", then is a gateway between an Instant Messaging system and a publish/subscribe system.

     The Bot appears online as a user, say "pubsub bot", and can receive typed text messages from other users. It recognises three keywords at the start of a message: "subscribe", "unsubscribe", and "publish". Subscribe and unsubscribe messages include one or more publish/subscribe topics which are to be subscribed or unsubscribed from, and a publish message contains a topic name and the text of a message to be published on that topic.

     There are two modes of operation for the pub/sub bot in the way it interacts with the publish/subscribe broker. It can either have a single connection, or multiple connections - one for each Instant Messaging user who is interacting with the pub/sub system. Different applications will dictate the need for one or the other of these approaches. In particular, in the case when Instant Messaging users wish to publish messages to the pub/sub system, it is likely to be desirable that the messages appear to originate from that user, rather from the "anonymous" pub/sub Bot.

     In the case where the pub/sub Bot connects as a particular user, then the Instant Messaging side of the Bot will also understand verbs for a user to set their username/password/etc in order for the Bot to connect to the pub/sub broker as that user.

     The pub/sub Bot sends subscriptions to topics over to the pub/sub broker, and listens...