XMPP

March 22, 2021
Initially called the Jabber protocol, Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) refers to an open-source communication protocol designed for contact list management, message-oriented middleware, contact list maintenance, and Instant Messaging (IM).

It’s built upon XML (Extensible Markup Language) and offers functionality beyond typical Instant Messaging. XMPP’s architecture is similar to that of email. Popularized in 2003, the Standard has been extended in terms of features over the years and is responsible for applications such as Whatsapp.

Features

Security and Encryption

XMPP uses technologies and cryptography mechanisms such as Off-the-record Messaging (OTR) to ensure the highest levels of security.

Multi-User chat

XMPP uses Multi-User Chat (MUC) to support instances of multiple users.

Peer-to-peer Sessions

Machine-to-machine messaging (peer-to-peer) is made possible by the use of an extension referred to as Jingle.

Service Discovery

XMPP provides local or distant discovery services, despite there being other protocols such as Service Location Protocol.

How It Works

The working mechanism of XMPP is based on the following components:

Stable TCP Connections

TCP connections are persistent, hence no need to create connections each time messages are sent. However, some new XMPP connections can use Web sockets with or TLS encryption.

Client-Server Architecture

XMPP communicates by transmitting small, structured data packets between clients through intermediary servers. Each user has a unique identifier, usually similar to an email used for route identification and routing purposes.

Decentralized Hosting

With XMPP, anyone can maintain and run their own servers since it’s centralized. Its operation mechanism is similar to that of email; meaning clients don’t share data directly, but through servers as intermediaries.

Benefits For Using XMPP

  • It is stable and reliable.
  • Multi-language support including Java#, C++, Ruby, Pearl, and many others.
  • It is open-source and provides users with the flexibility to build any client based on their requirements.
  • Offers trustworthy delivery.
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