by March 18, 2014 0 comments

Users depend more and more on various end devices: from stationary desktop PC over laptops to smartphones and tablets. If the access to a central messaging and groupware platform has to be secured, clients which provide the requir ed func tions on the essential end device types and involved operating systems are needed. For the producers of such solutions, platform independent clients are an important differentiating factor compared with the market leader Microsoft Exchange with its Outlook Client, which only include limited support for operating systems and end device types.

Unified Communications in a Heterogeneous Environment
CommuniGate, provider of the messaging and groupware systems of the same name, offers an entire range of client options for unified communication. The challenge is to provide all central functional systems on various end devices with different operating systems: E-mail, task management, address management, instant messaging, IP telephony, conferencing.

Pronto! Clients
CommuniGate’s client Pronto! is delivered in four models:

as Web Client on the basis of HTML
as Rich Media Web Client with Flash technique
as Desktop program
as native Mobile App

Thus, the system covers all essential application areas: the HTML Client is slim and can be used across multiple devices. The Desktop Program has been well integrated into the operating system and consists of the full range of functions. As an app, Messaging and Collaboration can be used by iOS and Android devices in a mobile manner.

Pronto! uses the XIMSS Protocol for the connection to CommuniGate Pro. Based upon approvals in the CommuniGate account of the respective user, Pronto! Client may also serve as a mail program, appointment calendar, task manager, or it transfers presence information as well as Instant Messaging chats. If the PBX Service is approved for that user, he can answer and set up telephone calls via Pronto! and make use of further telephony services such as answering machines or the forwarding of calls.

Web-Client in 3 forms
The pure HTML Client “WebUser” can be run on all established web browsers. But if its functional range is reduced, no telephony or instant messaging functions are available. However, users can make use of the central applications such as mail, calendar, addresses, tasks and even the document administration eDisc.

Because of its large functional range, the Rich Media Web-Client Pronto! depends on the existence of a Flash Player on the end device, so that it will not run on all operating systems. For telephony, users have to download an additional plug-in and install it in the browser. The Flash Client serves primarily as a supplement or an alternative to Outlook, whereas CommuniGate promotes it as a fully adequate supplement for Microsoft Client.

The newly added HTML 5 Client, which was added to CommuniGate Pro in Version 5.4 extends CommuniGate Pro by an additional client option and will presumably sooner or later replace the two older web-fronted models (HTML and Flash). So far the functional range is still limited: basically, in the current Version 1.4, only the interactive communication applications for chat and (video) telephony including the administration of the contacts are available.

The advantage of the HTML5 Client is that – in contrast to Pronto! – it is based on web standards and does not require anything else but a modern browser. This is above all of great benefit to the hosting business, as providers cannot expect that the necessary runtime environment of Adobe is available on each client. So far, CommuniGate offered only an old fashioned static HTML interface for its clientele.

Furthermore, the new dynamic web client need not consult the server for each action, but can work off many tasks locally and thus exploit the computing power of the end device in a better way. This enables a very smooth working.

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