Instant Messaging

Instant Messaging

Microsoft Exchange 2000 Instant Messaging Service offers a fast and simple way for users on a TCP/IP network to participate in live, or real-time, conversations—just as they do on a telephone or in a chat room. Instant messages are received immediately at the recipient's desktop, regardless of what application the recipient may be using. Instant Messaging complements e-mail the same way the telephone complements postal mail; however, unlike e-mail messages, instant messages are as immediate and interactive as a face-to-face conversation.

Instant Messaging also allows users to track each other's presence information.

For help with specific tasks, see How To.

For general background information, see Concepts.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How does Instant Messaging differ from e-mail?

Perhaps the most apparent difference between Instant Messaging and e-mail service is that instant messages are just that: instant. Instant Messaging servers pass messages immediately to the recipient just as a router forwards packets from one network to another. E-mail messages, on the other hand, must be stored on one or more servers—however briefly—as they make their way to their destination. For more information, refer to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Planning and Installation.  

I've used the Net Send command; doesn't Instant Messaging do the same thing?

Only in the most basic sense. As with Instant Messaging, you can use Net Send to send a message to someone on the network. However, Net Send has no way of determining presence information: whether that user is at his or her computer to receive the message. Furthermore, Net Send is strictly a LAN-based messaging utility, which means that you can use it only to send messages on a Windows network. You cannot use it to communicate with users over the Internet. 

What is presence information?

Presence information identifies and communicates the status of a user on the Instant Messaging network. Users can be online, out of the office, busy, and so on. Some status indicators, such as Busy and Away From Computer, essentially convey the same information as the away notification in a chat room or the Do Not Disturb icon in a NetMeeting conference. 

What addresses are used for Instant Messaging?

An Instant Messaging address is usually the user's e-mail address, for example, someone@microsoft.comMore...

What server software do I need to install for Instant Messaging?

You need a Microsoft Windows 2000 server running Exchange 2000 Server and Internet Information Services (IIS). Although you typically install Instant Messaging on a member server, you can also install it on a domain controller. For more information, refer to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Planning and Installation

What client software do users need?

To send and receive instant messages, users must install an Instant Messaging client, such as MSN Messenger. Microsoft also provides solutions for other client platforms such as Outlook 2000. For more information on Microsoft clients for Instant Messaging, refer to More...

Can users send and receive instant messages while traveling?

Yes. Using the Instant Messaging client on a laptop computer, travelers can connect to their Instant Messaging home server over a dial-up connection to their corporate network. 

Can I deploy Instant Messaging on a network that has a firewall?

Yes. When you do, you must indicate which IP addresses are behind the firewall so Instant Messaging routers can determine which addresses are local and which are external. More...

What is the difference between an Instant Messaging home server and an Instant Messaging router?

The Instant Messaging home server and router are the two types of virtual servers on an Instant Messaging network. The home server hosts Instant Messaging user accounts and is the computer through which users send and receive instant messages and communicate presence information. The Instant Messaging router forwards or redirects messages and presence information to home servers on the network. More...