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Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is a "communications protocol for "message-oriented middleware based on "XML (Extensible Markup Language). It enables the near-real-time exchange of structured yet "extensible data between any two or more network entities. Originally named Jabber, the protocol was developed by the Jabber open-source community in 1999 for "near real-time "instant messaging (IM), "presence information, and "contact list maintenance. Designed to be "extensible, the protocol has been used also for publish-subscribe systems, signalling for "VoIP, video, "file transfer, "gaming, the "Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as the "smart grid, and "social networking services.
Unlike most instant messaging protocols, XMPP is defined in an "open standard and uses an "open systems approach of development and application, by which anyone may implement an XMPP service and interoperate with other organizations' implementations. Because XMPP is an open protocol, implementations can be developed using any software license; although many server, client, and library implementations are distributed as "free and open-source software, numerous "freeware and "commercial software implementations also exist.
The "Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) formed an XMPP "working group in 2002 to formalize the core protocols as an IETF instant messaging and presence technology. The XMPP Working group produced four specifications (RFC 3920, RFC 3921, RFC 3922, RFC 3923), which were approved as Proposed Standards in 2004. In 2011, RFC 3920 and RFC 3921 were superseded by RFC 6120 and RFC 6121 respectively, with RFC 6122 specifying the XMPP address format. In 2015, RFC 6122 was superseded by RFC 7622. In addition to these core protocols standardized at the IETF, the "XMPP Standards Foundation (formerly the Jabber Software Foundation) is active in developing open XMPP extensions.
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"Jeremie Miller began working on the Jabber technology in 1998 and released the first version of the "jabberd server on January 4, 1999. The early Jabber community focused on open-source software, mainly the jabberd server, but its major outcome proved to be the development of the XMPP protocol.
The early Jabber "protocol, as developed in 1999 and 2000, formed the basis for XMPP as published in RFC 3920 and RFC 3921 (the primary changes during formalization by the IETF's XMPP Working Group were the addition of "TLS for channel encryption and "SASL for authentication). Note that RFC 3920 and RFC 3921 have been superseded by RFC 6120 and RFC 6121, published in 2011.
The first IM service based on XMPP was Jabber.org, which has operated continuously and offered free accounts since 1999. From 1999 until February 2006, the service used "jabberd as its server software, at which time it migrated to "ejabberd (both of which are "free software application servers). In January 2010, the service migrated to the "proprietary M-Link server software produced by Isode Ltd.
In August 2005, "Google introduced "Google Talk, a combination VoIP and IM system that uses XMPP for instant messaging and as a base for a voice and file transfer signaling protocol called "Jingle. The initial launch did not include "server-to-server communications; Google enabled that feature on January 17, 2006. Google has since added video functionality to Google Talk, also using the Jingle protocol for signaling. In May 2013, Google announced Jabber compatibility would be dropped from Google Talk for server-to-server federation, although it would retain client-to-server support.
In January 2008, AOL introduced experimental XMPP support for its "AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service, allowing AIM users to communicate using XMPP. However, in March 2008, this service was discontinued.["citation needed] As of May 2011, AOL offers limited XMPP support.
In February 2010, the social-networking site "Facebook opened up its "chat feature to third-party applications via XMPP. Some functionality was unavailable through XMPP, and support was dropped in April 2014.
Similarly, in December 2011, Microsoft released an XMPP interface to its "Microsoft Messenger service. Skype, its de facto successor, also provides limited XMPP support. However, these are not native XMPP implementations.
The XMPP network uses a "client–server architecture; clients do not talk directly to one another. The model is decentralized - anyone can run a server. By design, there is no central authoritative server as there is with services such as "AOL Instant Messenger or "Windows Live Messenger. Some confusion often arises on this point as there is a public XMPP server being run at jabber.org, to which a large number of users subscribe. However, anyone may run their own XMPP server on their own domain.
Every user on the network has a unique XMPP address, called JID (for historical reasons, XMPP addresses are often called Jabber IDs). The JID is structured like an "email address with a username and a "domain name (or "IP address) for the server where that user resides, separated by an "at sign (@), such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since a user may wish to log in from multiple locations, they may specify a resource. A resource identifies a particular client belonging to the user (for example home, work, or mobile). This may be included in the JID by appending a slash followed by the name of the resource. For example, the full JID of a user's mobile account could be email@example.com/mobile.
Each resource may have specified a numerical value called priority. Messages simply sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will go to the client with highest priority, but those sent to email@example.com/mobile will go only to the mobile client. The highest priority is the one with largest numerical value.
JIDs without a username part are also valid, and may be used for system messages and control of special features on the server. A resource remains optional for these JIDs as well.
The means to route messages based on a logical endpoint identifier - the JID, instead of by an explicit IP Address present opportunities to use XMPP as an "Overlay network implementation on top of different underlay networks.
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XMPP provides a general framework for messaging across a network, which offers a multitude of applications beyond traditional Instant Messaging (IM) and the distribution of Presence data. While several "service discovery protocols exist today (such as "zeroconf or the "Service Location Protocol), XMPP provides a solid base for the discovery of services residing locally or across a network, and the availability of these services (via presence information), as specified by XEP-0030 DISCO.
Building on its capability to support discovery across local "network domains, XMPP is well-suited for "cloud computing where virtual machines, networks, and firewalls would otherwise present obstacles to alternative service discovery and presence-based solutions. Cloud computing and storage systems rely on various forms of communication over multiple levels, including not only messaging between systems to relay state but also the migration or distribution of larger objects, such as storage or virtual machines. Along with authentication and in-transit data protection, XMPP can be applied at a variety of levels and may prove ideal as an extensible middleware or "Message Oriented Middleware (MOM) protocol. Widely known["by whom?] for its ability to exchange XML-based content natively, it has become an open platform for the exchange of other forms of content including proprietary binary streams, "Full Motion Video (FMV) content, and the transport of file-based content, via for example the "Jingle series of extensions. Here the majority of the applications have nothing to do with human communications (i.e., IM) but instead provide an open means to support "machine-to-machine or peer-to peer communications across a diverse set of networks.
The original and "native" transport protocol for XMPP is "Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), using open-ended XML streams over long-lived TCP connections.
As an alternative to the TCP transport, the XMPP community has also developed an "HTTP transport for web clients as well as users behind restricted "firewalls. In the original specification, XMPP could use HTTP in two ways: polling and binding. The polling method, now deprecated, essentially implies messages stored on a server-side database are being fetched (and posted) regularly by an XMPP client by way of HTTP 'GET' and 'POST' requests. The binding method, implemented using Bidirectional-streams Over Synchronous HTTP ("BOSH), allows servers to push messages to clients as soon as they are sent. This push model of notification is more efficient than polling, where many of the polls return no new data.
Because the client uses HTTP, most firewalls allow clients to fetch and post messages without any hindrances. Thus, in scenarios where the TCP port used by XMPP is blocked, a server can listen on the normal HTTP port and the traffic should pass without problems. Various websites let people sign into XMPP via a browser. Furthermore, there are open public servers that listen on standard http (port 80) and https (port 443) ports, and hence allow connections from behind most firewalls. However, the IANA-registered port for BOSH is actually 5280, not 80.
A perhaps more efficient transport for real-time messaging is "WebSocket, a web technology providing for bi-directional, "full-duplex communications channels over a single "TCP connection. XMPP over WebSocket binding is defined in the IETF proposed standard RFC 7395.
XMPP is implemented by a large number of clients, servers, and code libraries. These implementations are provided under a variety of software licenses.
Several large public IM services natively use XMPP, including "LiveJournal's "LJ Talk", "Nimbuzz, and "HipChat. Various hosting services, such as "DreamHost, enable hosting customers to choose XMPP services alongside more traditional web and email services. Specialized XMPP hosting services also exist in form of "cloud so that domain owners need not directly run their own XMPP servers, including "Cisco "WebEx Connect, Chrome.pl, Flosoft.biz, i-pobox.net, and hosted.im.
Some of the largest messaging providers use, or have been using, various forms of XMPP based protocols in their backend systems without necessarily exposing this fact to their end users. This includes "WhatsApp, "Gtalk and "Facebook Chat (the deprecated Facebook messaging system). Most of these deployments are built on the "free-software, "Erlang-based XMPP server called "ejabberd.
XMPP is also used in deployments of non-IM services, including smart grid systems such as "demand response applications, message-oriented middleware, and as a replacement for "SMS to provide text messaging on many "smartphone clients.
XMPP is the "de facto standard for private chat in gaming related platforms such as "Origin, "Raptr, "PlayStation, and the now discontinued "Xfire. Two notable exceptions are "Steam and "Xbox LIVE; both use their own "proprietary messaging protocols.
The "XMPP Standards Foundation or XSF (formerly the Jabber Software Foundation) is active in developing open XMPP extensions, so called XEP. However, extensions can also be defined by any individual, software project, or organization. Another example is the federation protocol in "Apache Wave, which is based on XMPP.
The XMPP extension for multi-user chat can be seen as a competitor to "Internet Relay Chat (IRC), although IRC is far simpler, has far fewer features, and is far more widely used.["citation needed]
One of the original design goals of the early Jabber open-source community was enabling users to connect to multiple instant messaging systems (especially non-XMPP systems) through a single client application. This was done through entities called transports or gateways to other instant messaging protocols, but also to protocols such as "SMS or "email. Unlike "multi-protocol clients, XMPP provides this access at the server level by communicating via special gateway services running alongside an XMPP server. Any user can "register" with one of these gateways by providing the information needed to log on to that network, and can then communicate with users of that network as though they were XMPP users. Thus, such gateways function as client proxies (the gateway authenticates on the user's behalf on the non-XMPP service). As a result, any client that fully supports XMPP can access any network with a gateway without extra code in the client, and without the need for the client to have direct access to the Internet. However, the client proxy model may violate "terms of service on the protocol used (although such terms of service are not legally enforceable in several countries) and also requires the user to send their IM username and password to the third-party site that operates the transport (which may raise privacy and security concerns).
Another type of gateway is a server-to-server gateway, which enables a non-XMPP server deployment to connect to native XMPP servers using the built in interdomain federation features of XMPP. Such server-to-server gateways are offered by several enterprise IM software products, including:
The "XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF) develops and publishes extensions to XMPP through a standards process centered on XMPP Extension Protocols (XEPs, previously known as Jabber Enhancement Proposals - JEPs). The following extensions are in especially wide use:
XMPP features such as federation across domains, publish/subscribe, authentication and its security even for mobile endpoints are being used to implement the "Internet of Things. Several XMPP extensions are part of the experimental implementation: Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) Format; Sensor Data; Provisioning; Control; Concentrators; Discovery.
The most important and most widely implemented of these specifications are:
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