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Home > Products > Instant Messaging Server > FAQs

What's the difference between a Chat Server and an Instant Messaging Server?

Both offers are available from 12Planet. They are both server type of software intended to be installed on your own server machine. A server type of software can be seen as a central engine that runs on a machine to provide Internet services (ex: a web server software provides web sites hosting. Users visit a web site though a client software called web browser, such as Internet Explorer).

A Chat Server makes hosting of named chat rooms possible. A chat room is a space where users can talk together (example: thematic rooms such as "sports", "movies"). The client application for the chat server is a Java chat applet.

An Instant Messaging server lets you to create a private instant messaging network, providing buddy list management services, similar to what's offered by MSN, AOL or Yahoo. With 12Planet Instant Messaging server, the instant messaging network is fully yours and is not based on or connected to any public networks. The client application for the instant messaging server is called a messenger and displays a live list of contacts. Double clicking on a contact starts a chat session with this person.

To summarize, a chat server provides community chat rooms where people will meet and talk other people, an instant messaging server manages personal contact lists from there one can launch one to one chats with a particular user.

So which software should I use? Below is a list of classic use of both applications:

Community chat rooms: Chat Server (ex: 12Planet Chat Server)

Online live support, live help, customer service: Chat Server (ex: eLiveService)

Celebrity chats, chat events, interview chat: Chat Server (ex: 12Planet Conference Server)

Private Intranet chat: Chat Server or Instant Messaging Server

Private Intranet/Internet/Extranet messenger: Instant Messaging Server

How well does 12Planet Instant Messaging Server perform?

12Planet Instant Messaging Server is very fast and extremely stable.

Our tests show it's probably the fastest commercial Java Real-time Server on the market with a network capacity of 6000 messages per second. More importantly, 12Planet Instant Messaging Server software is extremely stable enabling maintenance free continuous service for months. This is one of the reasons why most of our customers who have done a thorough comparative testing against competitors select 12Planet.

What are the system requirements for running 12Planet Instant Messaging software?

On the client side all major browsers are supported (Netscape 4.0 or above, IE4.0 or above), no install, no plugin needed. On the server side, the minimum requirements are:

Operating System: Solaris, Linux, Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003, other Unix (AIX, HP-UX, MacOSX)
Processor: Pentium II 300 MHz or equivalent or higher
Memory: 128 MB RAM
Hard Drive: 30 MB free disk space
SUN JDK 1.2.x or superior:
Database: optional (mySql, Oracle, SQL server compatible)

Can I customize the look and feel of the messenger software?

We provide several options for customizing the look and feel:

  • using the applet parameters, you can change colors, hide or show some components
  • using the skin module, you can redefine a skin to change the look of the applet completely without programming
  • modifying the source code of the applet, we license also the Java source code of the messenger client, you can modify the look and feel and even the behavior with Java programming.

What are the basic steps to install the messenger server software?

Here are the steps:

  • find a Linux/Solaris/Windows2000 machine on which you have the rights to install a Java server software. Usually a dedicated server.
  • make sure there is a Java VM installed, if not install one. The Java VM is free and can be downloaded from
  • install 12Planet Instant Messaging Server, which takes up about 5 minutes
  • start the messenger server, you are all set if you use the standard setup
  • open http://server_ip_of_your_server:8090/ to access online demos, wizards and administration consoles
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