Looking to offer enterprises more secure, compliance-conscious, interoperable and easier-to-deploy instant messaging applications, Antepo, a New York-based provider of enterprise IM infrastructure software, Monday released OPN System 4.5.
To address these key areas of concern among EIM users, the new version of the OPN platform, according to the company, offers point-and-click deployment wizards, a new compliance interface, expanded security features and other integration features.
While some in the IM market argue about the inherent benefits of competing XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) and SIMPLE (Session Initiation Protocol for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions) standards, Antepo supports both the open-source XMPP (aka, Jabber) protocol and the Microsoft- and IBM-endorsed SIMPLE protocol.
This multiprotocol support is designed to offer interoperability that allows for federated IM that is not constrained by protocol or firewall boundaries. Antepo reports that its native implementation of SIMPLE helps to ensure compatibility with systems such as IBM's Lotus Sametime and Microsoft Live Communications Server.
Maxime Seguineau, chairman and CEO of Antepo, said working with both XMPP and SIMPLE is important because there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.
On the one hand, Seguineau said, the open-source, XML-based Jabber XMPP implementation "doesn't scale, is technology-focused not business-focused, lacks tight integrating with Microsoft ecosystems, doesn't support telephony and is not secure."
On the other hand, Seguineau said, Microsoft's support for SIMPLE in Live Communications Server is misleading because LCS is proprietary and connectivity doesn't extend beyond LCS. "Also, the API offers no control over presence."
In OPN System 4.5, Antepo adds an interactive installer designed to automate deployment and configuration across multiple operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Unix. A new Windows Console is designed to offer point-and-click integration wizards for Microsoft's Active Directory and the Kerberos authentication system to dynamically synchronize buddy lists with other directory updates. The new version also integrates, Seguineau said, with SQL Server, Oracle and MYSQL databases for single sign-on authentication.
To address security and compliance requirements affecting enterprises of all sizes, OPN System 4.5 offers SQL and SMTP logging within the system. Also, a Web-based interface, called the OPN System Reviewer is designed to ensure compliance with SEC, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulations. For larger enterprises with more demanding compliance needs, 4.5 is supported by IM compliance products such as those from IMlogic and Facetime.
Security features in version 4.5 include the following, according to Antepo:
- Certificate-based end-to-end message payload encryption using the Windows Security Services interface
- Client-side proxy support for SOCKS 4, SOCKS 5 and HTTP/S
- Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) support for server-to-server communications
- An option for Kerberos-based single sign-on authentication against Windows 2000 and 2003.
Recognizing the ubiquity of Microsoft Outlook, OPN System 4.5 is now integrated into that application's toolbar for better presence management. This is designed to allow users to see real-time contact status and initiate conversations from within Outlook. Also, Antepo said, XML API allows end-user and service availability indicators to be embedded into intranet, extranet and Web pages.
OPN System 4.5 is available immediately. Pricing starts at $25 per seat.