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Method for Supporting Queries on Instant Messaging Sessions Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022400D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-12

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This article provides a mechanism to enable a user to query his/her past IM sessions. Most IM systems allow the user to save chat sessions locally. This article describes a way to aggregate IM data saved at multiple client devices to support the above queries. To enable this, the IM server keeps track of client devices (e.g. PCs, laptops, cell phones, PDAs, etc) its users have used in past. This information could be a tuple that includes userid, machine-type, machine-address, IM-session-start-time, and IM-session-end-time. Using this mechanism, a user can query his/her past IM sessions to access important information from one device when the information was actually sent to another device. For example, a user can access username/password that was sent to a work machine, from a lab machine. As another example, a user can use this mechanism to create an answering machine service for IMs. A user can delegate one device as his/her main device and always login to the IM server from this device. Irrespective of whether the user is actually at this device, all IMs will be delivered to this device. The user can then login from other devices to check for any delivered IMs that have not been seen earlier.