Knowledgebase
Talking Communities Help Desk > Talking Communities Help Desk > Knowledgebase

Search help:


Integration Opportunities

Solution

Created June 2015

There are several levels of integrating Talking Communities Web Conferencing technology into your web pages. One way is to provide links to access the default login pages where individuals provide their username and password. However, if your environment is one where individuals register and become members, you would likely want them to enter Web Conference rooms without providing their username and password again. The Talking Communities technology is well suited for this approach.

This tutorial will discuss the aspects required to fully integrate the technology into other web sites and applications. To set the stage, we will first briefly look at how the default login pages and scripts function. 

 

A Brief Overview

A database is used to hold the values for different room configuration settings such as the Moderator PasswordRoom Title, Home Page URL, and so on. The Room Administrator sets these values using the Room Administration utility.

A room login URL is provided to log into rooms. Parameter values in the Room Configuration database are used to specify how the room login page is displayed and to specify the room login approach used. 

One approach is to launch the plugin and have the plugin request the username and password. With this approach individuals click the link to enter the room. They provide the username and password  and press the Log On button to enter the room. This is the only approach available for MAC and iPhone/iPAD users.

Another approach is to request the username and password on the first page. With this approach, individuals provide the username and password and press the Join Now button. The username and password values are assembled into a string along with the other parameters, and are sent to the plugin when it is launched.

The non-moderator (or user) password is optional. The Room Administrator specifies if a password is required, and whether or not the password field is visible or hidden when a password is required  If it is to be visible and the password is not required, individuals MUST leave the password field completely empty. If the password field is to be hidden when a non-moderator password is not required, the password field will not be seen. A new link for moderators will be shown, allowing the moderator to provide his/her username and password. 

There is a link on the room login page Windows users will utilize to download and install the plugin. A Windows administration password is required to install the plugin. MAC and iPhone/iPAD users download and install the tcConference app from the Apple Store. 

The Room Administrator may configure the room to use JAVA to launch the Windows plugin. When this approach is enabled, individuals using Windows click on the link to enter room. They provide the username and password and click Log On. In this case the plugin is downloaded and installed every time. JAVA MUST  be installed and enabled. The advantage of this approach is: a) avoids the need for the user to download and manually install the plugin, and b) may provide a way to work-around security issues - e.g. the need for individuals using Windows to be Windows' administrators in order to install the plugin. 

Integration

Basically there are several areas to consider:  

  1. Creating a custom login script(s) to seamlessly bring individuals into rooms
  2. Retrieving needed parameters values
  3. Adding room entry buttons to websites
  4. Installation considerations 

 

Creating a Custom Login Script

Creating a "custom" login script is relatively straightforward. Some knowledge of scripting languages is required. We use a browser protocol that is added when you download and install the plugin/app. The example below illustrates the string that is created and passed to the browser protocol. In this case the values are retrieved from PHP (scripting). The variables password, room and username are self-explanatory - other is the server domain or IP address. The last three are only useful with Windows - br specifies the co-browser location (left, right, top) - rt is the title and rl is the URL for the logo location. If these values are not provided, the values are taken from the room configuration database.

 The following code provides an example of the code required to send the parameter list to the plugin. The remainder of the script will used to gather the necessary values.

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="Javascript">

     var str = 'tc5://'

     + '&password=' + '<?php echo $password;?'>

     + '&room=' + ' <?php echo $roomid;?'

     + '&username=' + ' <?php echo $username;?'>

     +  '&other=74.208.96.53'

     + '&br='

     + '&rt='

     + '&rl='

     + '&/';

      document.location = str;

<SCRIPT> 

 

The following example illustrates the coding required to launch the plugin when using JAVA on Windows. Using JAVA is an option available only with Windows.  The remainder of the script will used to gather the necessary values.

 

<APPLET name="WebConferenceLauncher" CODE="WebConferenceLauncher" MAYSCRIPT

CODEBASE="http://www.conference321.com/masteradmin" 

ARCHIVE="WebConferenceLauncher.jar" 

LANGUAGE=JAVASCRIPT

     width="100" height="50">

     <PARAM NAME="password" VALUE=&lt? echo $password;?">

     <PARAM NAME="room" VALUE="&lt?echo $rid;?">

     <PARAM NAME="username" VALUE="&lt?echo $username;?">

     <PARAM NAME="other" VALUE="74.208.96.53">

     <PARAM NAME="autorun" VALUE="255">

     </APPLET>

 

Providing Parameter Values

Identifying sources for parameter values may present some challenges and perhaps may require modifications to existing environments. It may not be necessary to complete "everything" initially but rather to take some simple steps and not to try "boiling the ocean"

The simplest option is to provide a custom login script to enhance the default scripts. In this case you would use a form requesting the username, password and other information and then use these values to construct the string sent to the browser protocol.The imputed data should be validated.

Perhaps the most likely opportunity is to provide an approach to fully integrate the conference rooms into some other environment - for example individuals are logged into a membership system and wish to enter rooms with a click of a button. It is highly probable the members' information, or access to that information, is available in global variables. Therefore, for example, if you could use the same member name for the name used to enter room you would use that information as the username. If you can't use that name you will need to provide another field to hold the room login name. This would require modification to the membership application.

There is other information you may want to consider including such details on which members will be moderators in specific rooms. Initially, to keep it simple, you may have everybody entering the room from the membership system enter the room as non-moderators - and moderators will have an alternate way to come into the rooms. The moderator or non-moderator status is determined by the password.

 

Items to Consider

Individuals need to download and install a plugin/App to enter rooms. Therefore the instructions to do that must be provided. For MAC and iPhone/iPAD devices they would download and install the tcConference app from the Apple Store. For Windows you need to provide a link to: http://conference321.com/masteradmin/webconferenceplugin.exe for the Windows plugin. The Windows plugin can be installed only by individuals with Windows Administration privileges or by using a Windows Administrator password. You would also need to set up a way to manage updates to the plugin/app.

While the co-browser is the browser used in the rooms, the co-browser does use plugins and settings maintained by Internet Explorer on Windows and by Safari on MACs.

http://talkingcommunities.com/helpdesk/knowledgebase.php?article=109 discusses this further.

We do provide an API (Application Programming Interface) to provide access to some of the room configuration elements. This may prove useful in the future. For example, rather than hard coding values for passwords you could use the API to gather that information from the room configuration database. This would simplify system maintenance - when it hard coded you would have to change the password in two places when the passwords are changed. 

Integration Example

http://www.talkingcommunities.com/communities/1102/ provides a simple  integration example. If you login as joeuser with a password of pass357 you will see a list of rooms on the left side. If you click on any of those links you will enter that room. You can only be logged in to one room at a time.

 
Was this article helpful? yes / no
Article details
Article ID: 110
Category: Advanced
Date added: 2015-06-07 15:12:18
Views: 579
Rating (Votes): Article rated 3.1/5.0 (27)

 
« Go back

 
Powered by Help Desk Software HESK, brought to you by SysAid