We have a demand for inter office messaging and while the couple of people who use it right now use AIM we realize the possibility for abuse with this setup is quite high. We are hoping to use some sort of logging system as a deterrent.

Could you please provide recommendations on good IM logging proxies, and experience with those same setups? We wish to monitor AIM in particular.

This will need to run on FreeBSD and should not require java, if you wish to suggest an alternative solution to our problem, please feel free to do so.

Thanks, Chance


I don't actually have experience with it, but I have heard of people using ejabberd together with Bandersnatch to log messages sent via a Jabber server.

To achieve total IM logging, you would then again have to firewall users from directly accessing the servers, and snake them through your ejabberd.

The advantage of ejabberd over Openfire is that ejabberd 'only' uses erlang, and not java.

Another source claimed that IMSpector can also be used, eliminating the need for an intermediary jabber server. Small-scale setup, though, so he can't say much about performance.

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  • IMSpector is good kit - seen it used in fairly large deployments, and works especially well on the gateway. I know the developer - in fact I have contributed a handful of lines of code myself. Lawrence (Imspector guy) and I both work at SmoothWall - so if anyone's looking for a firewall with this pre-configured, both the GPL and commercial have this. – Tom Newton Jul 6 '09 at 15:20

From my experience, I would suggest setting up a Jabber/XMPP server, allow public IM protocols through that via gateways and then block all public IM traffic from your workstations. That way people will be able to get to the public IM, but only through the server you provide which will then be logged.

I specifically have experience with this setup using Openfire, which is java-based, so it fails that requirement. But there are other Jabber/XMPP servers which should provide the same setup that are not java-based.

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You say "inter-office", as long as you don't mean inter-company you might want to take Alex's suggestion with Jabber, some of the good servers out there can even backend on your existing directory as a user source.

With that you don't even need gateways.

You can make the server open for federation with other Jabber servers out there, but it's not required.

As for usage I've found that once users sign in with an already populated contact list it becomes easier for them to use the company IM for company stuff as they don't then need to ask people for their ID.

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