One of the returning requests of new features for the EVE Online API for phpBB mod is the support for OpenFire. OpenFire, previously known as WildFire and Jive Messenger, is a JAVA based Jabber server. When comparing it to ejabberd, which is the only Jabber integration currently in my mod, OpenFire clearly stands out. Its ACP is easy to use, has tons of options that can be extended by plugins if needed.
An annoyance I found however is the need to maintain an administration twice. Unlike ejabberd, OpenFire doesn’t support external authentication, meaning that each forum account that requires access to its services needs to have a local OpenFire account. As a forum account already exists, creating and maintaining an OpenFire account seems unnecessary and should be avoided.
By default OpenFire doesn’t support an automated way of creating and maintaining its accounts either. Luckily there’s an official plugin that can help us out; User Service, which can be automatically installed using the built-in plugin manager. User Service is an HTTP listener that has the ability to add/update/remove accounts and set/unset groups to an user in realtime.
In the end I think OpenFire integration will be a good step forward for my mod. Not only because of its features, but also because it has been requested a couple of times already. I really thought ejabberd was a good alternative, but looking back at the feature difference it is clear I was wrong. OpenFire, if you behave, you shall be in version 6.3.1 of my mod.