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AOL aims Open AIM SDK at embedded Linux devices

Jun 15, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

AOL this week extended its Open AIM initiative to include support for AIM Bots, location-based services, and PC-to-PC voice calling. The updated SDK also now includes support for developers targeting Linux, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X, and Java.

Launched in March, the Open AIM initiative opens the chat network to outside developers, which is a change of strategy for AOL. “The AIM service is changing into an open and dynamic platform,” the AIM developers site says.

According to AOL, Open AIM enables companies, communities, and independent developers to create customized plugins, communications clients, and mash-ups that access AOL's global instant messaging network.

“Already, more than 45,000 developers are working with the AIM Software Development Kit (SDK) to bring their creativity and ingenuity to the 43 million Americans in the AIM community,” said Marcien Jenckes, AOL's vice president for Instant Messaging. “Today, we are extremely pleased to add AIM Bots as well as voice and location services to the Open AIM toolkit, and to invite developers on the Mac, Linux and Pocket PC platforms to get involved.”

Key enhancements in the latest update to the Open AIM SDK, as listed by AOL, include:

  • Support for AIM Bots — with the new Open AIM Bots program, one click can turn any AIM Screen Name into a bot. An AIM Bot could be created to let users send pictures or podcasts to their blogs, for example, or to maintain IM conversations with multiple users
  • Location services — new application program interfaces (APIs) have been added to the SDK to let developers build location services into clients, plugins and, in the coming weeks, Web sites
  • PC-to-PC voice functionality and multi-party voice chat — for the first time, developers can integrate robust audio features based on the open source sipXtapi SIP stack, from, into their custom AIM client applications with a single turnkey solution.
  • Wider platform support — Windows Mobile, Mac OS X, Linux, and Java are now supported.

The Open AIM kit is free for commercial applications, with some restrictions. Applications designed for mobile device deployments require licensing, as do those that use wireless telecommunications networking. Additionally, custom client usage appears to be limited to 250,000 client invocations per day, or two million per month, unless otherwise licensed. Additional details can be found in an FAQ, here.

According to AOL, applications currently being developed using the Open AIM SDK to brand and customize the instant messaging experience currently include:

  • Bandalong Entertainment's lifelike 3-D avatar-based instant messaging program for teens
  • Doppelganger's virtual lounge for music audiences
  • Super Computer International's online gaming
  • WebEx's secure, feature-rich version of AIM for businesses and at-work instant messaging users

The Open AIM SDK is available here.

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