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My company compliance department requires all online communication to be controlled and logged with timestamps. Control includes user authentication and channel control. Additionally, persistent chat is highly desired (i.e. new people joining should see chat history). We have third-party programs to monitor aim and gtalk, but lack a convenient mechanism for online multi-user chat.

Considering our requirements, I thought running a private intranet IRC server would be perfect. Timestamped logs could be handled by bots in each channel. Channels themselves can be password protected to control access.

I'm uncertain about the user authentication and persistent chat parts. It would be great if we could leverage a network information service (NIS) server, but I'm not sure how to do so. Regarding persistent chat, would a bouncer (BNC) (wiki) be a good approach?

Any advice regarding multi-user online communication (does not have to be IRC) would be greatly appreciated.

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migrated from May 5 '11 at 14:13

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers. is an XMPP server with the features you need I think. – fvu May 5 '11 at 14:02

IRC isn't really a very secure protocol - its plain text for most part (you absolutely should use SSL) and well, while hackerish, i suspect jabber/xmpp would be an easier sell to PHBs - Google uses it, as does facebook and other places.

in addition to wide industry support Jabber is probably a better bet simply cause its built around modern ideas of instant messaging - it does both group and user to user chat, many servers also support LDAP authentication, or you could use the built in user management system.

The aforementioned openfire is probably one of the best bets - its built around enterprise needs.

Openarchive or the commercial version of openfire should be able to handle message logging on server side if you went for openfire.

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