Thursday, April 10, 2008

Helping Control Buddy Lists

We continually hear from customers about the need to help manage, migrate, and centrally update buddy lists within their Enterprise. Four years ago, we developed the Sametime Buddy List Administrator as a way to help push out 'bots' that companies created using our bot application builder.

Over the years, we've adapted the product to support some of the most common issues that we hear from our customers:
How to migrate users after a merger, organizational change, or directory conversion
How to rename people
How to remove people
How to pre-populate a team with a custom buddy list
How to make all of these changes without stopping the Sametime server

Of course, working with the Sametime buddy list storage architecture hasn't been easy, but it has been a learning process. We've learned the finer details of vpuserinfo.nsf as well as all of the Sametime tool kits. In the process, we've also created an indexing database to help us quickly locate all of the references for a person across all buddy lists. So, for instance, before we rename a user, we locate all references for the person using our buddy list indexing database.

We are always eager to hear other ideas for buddy list management and administration. Based on the feedback that we hear from our customers, the need to centrally manage and administer Sametime buddy lists is dramatically increasing.