#20 Distribution List Chat


In the regular OCS client you can send an IM to a distribution list and that will intiate a chat session with all members of that group that are currently online (whether they are in your buddy list or not).

Any chance of similar functionality through this great Pidgin Plugin?



  • pier eleven

    pier eleven - 2009-12-02


    thanks for suggestion. I appreciate that'd be convenient to start chat that way. But there are reasons against implementing this solution in Pidgin and Sipe.

    I've experimented a bit with the feature in my test OCS 2007 R2/Exchange 2007 environment.

    1) Distribution list got expanded to individual contacts if IM session is initialized. This functionality is based on Address Book which we do not support in sipe.
    If you add distribution list to your contact list in Communicator, it will be converted to just regular contact group with all individual contacts in it. So in Pidgin you could recreate the group manually (Add group, add related contacts to it).

    2) The most problematic part is that Pidgin does not allow custom context menu to be added to contacts group. A can't add "Send IM message" menu entry to the GROUP of contacts. You may want to submit them bug/feature request about it.

  • pier eleven

    pier eleven - 2009-12-02

    For the record, there is Distribution List expansion Web Service available on OCS.
    If provided with email address of Distribution List like cosmoteam@cosmo.local, it returns its members like:

    <displayName>Alice Alisson</displayName>

    The web Service address is https://<YOUR-OCS2007>/GroupExpansion/Int/service.asmx

    Though this is not very usable from end user perspective as (s)he will likely don't know email address of Distribution List (can be figured out in Address Book in Outlook). Also the problems mentioned in the previous post persist.

  • pier eleven

    pier eleven - 2009-12-02

    There is another operation in that Web Service that by querying can return Distribution List's email by providing its Name. Ambiguity can be removed by requesting exact attribute match.

    queryString: cosmo team
    fromDialPad: False
    exactMatchAttributeList: displayName
    requestTimeout: 60
    maxResultNum: 10

    Will have as result:

    <anyType xsi:type="xsd:string">CosmoTeam@cosmo.local</anyType>

  • pomdave

    pomdave - 2009-12-03

    Thanks for your explaination, I can now see the difficulties that this action would present.

    FYI: I use the "Group IM" plugin to over come the Pidgin restriction to group IMs.

    Ideally, if this was acheviable I wouldn't necessarily want the distribution list to be created as a permanent group in my buddy list, just a simple fire and forget message or chat invite without asking for recipients approval to be added to my buddy list.
    This would also keep the distribution list membership 'fresh' rather than being a snapshot of when I created the buddy list group.



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