Audio/Video Conferencing with Openfire

We’ve been using Openfire for departmental instant messaging for some time now, which is described on their site as…

“a cross-platform real-time collaboration server based on the XMPP (Jabber) protocol.”.

It’s been working quite well for us using their Spark client as well as using the Pidgin client.  My boss saw that there is a video conferencing plugin for Openfire and thought that it could be quite useful for a number of purposes.

The one he was looking at was one that uses WebRTC for the audio/video piece in the browser, though the plug-in is still under development and is only able to utilize Chrome browser.  So I happened upon the Redfire plug-in for Openfire that describes itself as

“Redfire is a plugin for Openfire that embeds the Red5 RTMP server, Cumulus RTMFP server and modified Phono SDK to provide audio/video streaming tools for XMPP application development.”.

So the plug-in has a lot going on in the backend to make things happen.  Installation of the plug-in is as simple as unzipping the war file into the Openfire plugins directory of the Openfire server and restarting the service.

After I restarted the Openfire server I was scratching my head for a while over a number of errors that were thrown up in the console, such as “SLF4J: Class path contains multiple SLF4J bindings”.

After poking at it for a while I figured out it was actually running even with the errors.

So opening http://our_server:7070/redfire brought up the Redfire testing screen which allowed us to play around a little and confirm things were working as expected.  At the bottom of this page there is a link to download the Spark plug-in to get it to work seamlessly with Spark.  When someone initiates a video conference to a Pidgin client it will display a URL to click on to join the conference, still working on a way to initiate a video conference from Pidgin.

Some of the clients that we rolled this out to had issues with bringing up local audio/video, a quick update of Flash and all was well with the world.

Long story short, Openfire server with the Redfire plug-in makes for a nice little Instant Messaging / Audio / Video Conferencing server.  Oh, did I also mention you can connect it to a VOIP gateway to make external calls.

Steve

 

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