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Activerse to ship Ding and Ding Switchboard

The messaging software maker is set to roll out the complete public version of its Java-based collaboration package, a messaging "buddy list" client application that lets users know who is online.

    Messaging software maker Activerse is set to roll out the complete public version of its Java-based collaboration package, Ding and Ding Switchboard.

    Due to ship to the public in January, the collaboration suite is a messaging "buddy list" client application that lets users know who is online and available. It also supports HTML messaging and LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol) with chat features, file and URL transfer, and live bulletins. Priced at $625 for a 25-client pack, the Ding Switchboard system is currently in beta. For noncommercial customers the package is free, the company said.

    Ding Switchboards are online access managers that reside on private or corporate servers. Multiple Ding Switchboards work together like Web servers, utilizing a common protocol to create a network with no single point of failure.

    With collaboration suites now on the market, "if the central server goes down, the whole system fails," said Kelly Looney, vice president of marketing for Activerse. With Ding, there is "no dependence on a central server."

    Ding clients use the switchboards to authenticate users and connect them to their work or social groups over the Web regardless of their location. Once connected, the client allows users to communicate "peer-to-peer," providing security and preventing server bottlenecks, according to the company.

    Looney argues that with regular email, users are accessible to anyone at anytime. Messages pile up and mailboxes are constantly clogged with junk email, or SPAM, limiting the effectiveness of the communications system. However, "with Ding, users can manage who has access to them. There is more control," she added.

    The public release of Ding Switchboard follows Activerse's recent decision to join Microsoft and 40 other companies in endorsing an open, standard protocol for "buddy lists" applications.