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Are you missing Users photos in your Sametime Proxy Web Chat?

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As many know, I really like the Sametime Proxy that came available with Sametime 8.5.x, I'm not a fan of the name mind you, but this blog post isn't about that.   I see lots of companies that deploy the Sametime Proxy and then use the mobile and web clients and then ask the question "Where are the user photos?", I'm sure you've seen this  

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Many companies had gone through the process of importing user photos into their LDAP/AD/Domino directory specifically so they could have user photos in their Sametime client, yet the Sametime Proxy server doesn't proxy the images, the Sametime Proxy server requires that the users images be accessible via a URL, which in turn is accessible by the users web client, so it must be a public URL if the web client us used outside the firewall.

So let's say you already have your photos of users accessible via a URL, how do you enable that for the Sametime Web Client?  You need to do the following:
1. Connect to your Sametime Community Server, as in connect to the machine with remote desktop etc. to be able to access files etc. on it.
2. Locate the file UserInfoConfig.xml typically located in the domino program directory, example: Lotus\Domino\
3. Open the UserInfoConfig.xml with your preferred text editor, and in the <details> section add the following additional Detail.

<Detail Id="PhotoURL" FieldName="PhotoURL" Type="text/plain"/>

DO NOT remove any other settings you may have in there, this does not replace the photo Detail, leave that as it is.  People often get confused here, easily done as the documentation is so weak, and start modifying the settings on the Sametime System Consoles business card settings, don't they don't relate to the image that the Sametime Proxy uses, but to the image the Sametime Connect client uses.
4. Save the xml file.
5. If your Sametime Community Server is currently running, shut it down, and restart it. If it was already shutdown, start it up.

So what have you just done?  Well you've told the Sametime Community server that the URL location for a users photo is stored in the field PhotoURL in your LDAP directory.  If it was not in PhotoURL but another LDAP field you would change the FieldName to be the LDAP field that it is stored in.  

Now the URL stored in the PhotoURL should contain the text representation of the URL where the users photo is, for example my PhotoURL field on our LDAP server contains:
http://webchat.epilio.com/STLDAPImage/servlet/Image?username=ctyler@epilio.com

If you start a Sametime chat in the Sametime Proxy client now, If the PhotoURL resolves to an image, you should see a photo for a user in the client

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So what then if you had taken the step of storing your photos in your LDAP directory, how can you now get those accessible as URL?  Well that's the reason for this post, we have a new tool, if I was IBM I'd call it something like LDAP Photo Proxy, just so you can get even more confused when you're talking about WAS Proxies, Sametime proxies and reverse proxies.  Even I'm not that mean, right now it doesn't have a name, but it really is an LDAP Photo Proxy.  It installs on your Sametime Proxy server, and provides a means to access your LDAP server photo fields as a URL.  The LDAP directory will need to have the PhotoURL record updated for each user to point at their relevant URL, which if you're using Domino is easily done with a Domino agent, or any other LDAP directory, using a tool such as LDAPMODIFY.

So the URL above http://webchat.epilio.com/STLDAPImage/servlet/Image?username=ctyler@epilio.com is actually my photo being served up from my Domino LDAP directory via the servlet running on the Sametime Proxy server, the directory source could easily be Active Directory as LDAP, or some other LDAP source.  The LDAP directory used, doesn't even have to be the same LDAP directory you use for Sametime, as long as the unique identifier for the user is resolvable.

Is this something that interests you? Do you find yourself in this situation with your Sametime Proxy photos in your company?  If so, we're looking for a handful of companies to test it in their environment.  If you're interested, please drop us an email at info@epilio.com.  To install it, you'll need admin access to your Sametime System Console.

Comments

Gravatar Image1 - That handsome man picture looks a little old Carl. Emoticon

Gravatar Image2 - DoinG it the IBM way Art. How long have these folks been used now?
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Gravatar Image4 - I've sent you an email, would you mind to check it out and reply soon when you read it. thank's for you writing.

Gravatar Image5 - I am glad to find this article, and i am interested when you talking about LDAP Proxy Software. I've sent you an email asking you about this problem. Would you mind to read and reply soon when you read it. Thank's

Gravatar Image6 - Why I can't change any fields/attributes in sametime administration website.Please help.

Gravatar Image7 - Buddhika,

That question is way too vague to even figure out how to answer it. You need to put more effort into describing your problem for me to put any effort in to trying to figure out an answer.

Carl

Gravatar Image8 - i have uploaded profile pic in active directory and image stored as binary in thumbnailPhoto attribute.
However i am unable to change the attribute name in the business card setup in sametime administration console.

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