Chat rooms enable multiple users to participate in conversations in which they post and access content for specific topics, including text, links, and files. Although users can all be active during a session and communicate in real time, the content of each session can be persistent, which means it continues to be available after a session ends. To enable chat rooms in Office Communications Server, deploy the Group Chatfeature. If users are enabled for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and Group Chat support is deployed, they can install and use Group Chat to provide chat room support. The Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Server supports federated user access. Using the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Administration Tool, it is possible to explicitly provision federated users for access to specific chat rooms.

Group Chat also supports instant messaging (IM) and presence. The content of IM is not persistent. Group Chat IM and presence features and functionality are the same as those provided by Communicator, except that Group Chat instant messaging does not support multiparty IM. For details about IM and presence support available to Office Communications Server users, see Instant Messaging, Presence, and Conferencing.

With Group Chat, users can:

Group Chat content can also be archived (to meet requirements such as compliance). Chat room archiving requires deployment of the Group Chat Compliance Server. Archiving of instant messages in Group Chat is available if Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is set up to support archiving. For details about archiving, see Archiving and Compliance.

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