I have checked out a lot of chat solutions and all of then were database driven. These applications fail as soon as the database is down and in live systems, this scenario is not unknown. So, I decided to build a Chat Solution that should be database independent. So, XML is the best replacement.
This is my first article and A. R. Live Support is the first solution I have developed using XML.
A. R. Live Support is an online chat software, developed in ASP.NET(2.0) and XML. It is easy to use and facilitates 1-o-1 live communication between customers and executives. It is a flexible live chat software that provides the customer support with a click.
The main features are:
- NO DATABASE: No need for a database (since it is XML based)
- No Flashing: Based on advanced Ajax techniques, the chat screen refreshes every second(this can be customized), and changes on the screen do not require a screen refresh
- NO MEMORY STORAGE for messages, users; everything gets stored in XML files. This feature allows several chat rooms and even chat applications to run on the same server.
- EASY TO INSTALL - Just unzip a *.zip file on the server, create a virtual directory, and the chat is ready.
- ANY MAJOR BROWSER OK - Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla Firefox, Opera
I will start from a code that will be used to call the Server repeatedly for fetching the most recent information:
secs = 2;
timerRunning = false
secs = secs - 1;
timerRunning = true;
timerID = self.setTimeout("StartTheTimer()", delay);
var xmlHttpRequest = null;
xmlHttpRequest = new XMLHttpRequest();
else if (typeof ActiveXObject != "undefined")
xmlHttpRequest = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
ajaxObj = makeRequest();
if (ajaxObj != null)
var dt = new Date();
var URL = serverURL;
URL += '?id=' + document.getElementById('lblID').innerHTML +
'&dt1=' + dt.getHours()+ '&dt2=' + dt.getMinutes();
ajaxObj.open("GET", URL, true);
ajaxObj.onreadystatechange = ajax_CallBack;
window.open('execChatWindow.aspx?id=' + strId,'','width=520,height=490');
Server side code to fetch the messages for User/Executive:
string strResult = string.Empty;
string chatId = Request.QueryString["cid"].ToString();
string strXML = chatId + ".XML";
strResult = clsChatMessages.getUnReadMessages(Request.PhysicalApplicationPath,
Points of Interest
- Chat is fully customizable, i.e. there are a lot of interesting settings in web.config.
- Initially it does not provide any reporting, but that can be generated using XML files.
- Selection of Departments for the Chat
- [Bug Fix] in chat allocation
- Chat Transfer between Executives
- Password Encryption [RSA]