Managing chat rooms

A chat room is a virtual place where users gather to discuss their common interests. You can have an unlimited number of chat rooms.

Chat room types

Chat offers several types of chat rooms. The types are cumulative, meaning that a chat room can be of more than one type, while inheriting the properties of all the selected types.

You select a type when creating a new room or editing an existing one.

Similarly to most objects throughout the system, a chat room can be made available on all websites in a particular instance of the system, or its usage can be limited to a specific site. This property needs to be specified before you create a chat room, by selecting (global) or a desired site, in the Site list.

Public and private rooms

A public chat room can be seen in the list of rooms and joined by anyone. Contrary to that, joining a private room requires an invitation from a user who is an administrator of that particular room. This parameter can be turned on or off anytime on the chat room editing page, by enabling or clearing the Is private check box.

Anonymous access

Governed by the Allow anonymous check box on the chat room editing page, this property determines whether an anonymous user can join the room. A chat user is considered anonymous when she is not logged in to the site via a user name and password.

One-on-one chat

This type of room is automatically created when a user requests chat with another user by clicking her name in the list of on-line users.

Support chat

Support chat is a special type of chat room where customer support personnel can talk to site visitors. Requests for support can be accessed in the administration interface, provided you have the appropriate permission. You can create a room of this type by enabling the Is support check box on the room editing page. For more information about this feature, refer to the Support chat chapter.

Working with chat rooms

You can manage chat rooms in the Chat application. On the Chat rooms tab, you can see the list of existing rooms. The page lists all types of rooms, including rooms that accommodate one-on-one chat and support rooms.

Creating chat rooms

To create a new chat room, select whether you want it to be global (i.e., available on all sites) or bound to a specific site, then click New chat room.

The New chat room form offers a set of properties that the new room can have:

  • Display name - the name that will be displayed in the user interface and in the list of rooms on the live site.
  • Description - text which will be displayed alongside the display name of the room in both the user interface and the live site.
  • Private - property that indicates whether users will need an invitation in order to join the room.
  • Entrance password - string of characters which the users will be prompted to enter when trying to join the room.
  • Allow anonymous - check-box that determines whether users which are not logged in to the site will have access to the room.
  • Is support - setting that allows to receive notifications about new messages and chat in the room through the administration interface, thus enabling customer support from a single location. You can find more information in Using support chat.

To create the room, click Save.

Room actions

The list of chat rooms provides buttons for room management in the Actions column.

  • Edit - opens the room editing page, where you can adjust room properties and manage users that are joined in the room, as well as messages posted in the room.
  • Disable - renders a room unavailable to the live site users and disallows them to send any messages to the room.
  • Enable - re-enables a disabled room.
  • Delete - schedules a room for deletion. Rooms are not deleted immediately, but rather disabled and flagged as scheduled to deletion. A scheduled task will delete the room after a certain amount of time. Nevertheless, the room won’t be accessible by any user.

The Edit () button takes you to the room editing form.

  • On the General tab, you can modify the room’s properties.
  • The Password tab allows you to set, change or clear the room’s password.

Managing chat room users

The Users tab of the chat room editing interface allows management of users who are present in a room. You can kick users, add users to the room and assign them administrator rights.

The tab features a list of users that are currently present in the chat room and users that have elevated rights for the room. Off-line users with no special permissions do not appear on the list.

Adding users to chat rooms

To add a user to a room, click Add user. Then click Select to bring up a dialog listing users registered on the current site. Click a user to select them.

Before adding the user to the room, you need to assign them certain permissions. For this purpose, the Admin level list offers the following options:

  • None - the user won’t have any special permission.
  • Join - the user will receive permission to join the room, but no special management rights. This option is available only in private rooms.
  • Admin - the user will receive rights to administer the room. A room administrator can adjust the properties of the room, moderate messages and manage users present in that room.

User actions

The following action buttons are available in the list of room users.

  • Edit - allows to modify the user’s permissions and properties.
  • Kick - removes the user from the room.
  • Revoke access - available only in private rooms, removes the user’s right to join the room.

The Edit () button takes you to the Editing admin rights page. On this page, you can change the permissions the user has.

You can click the user’s name to display a dialog that allows you to change the user’s chat nickname. In that dialog, you can click Edit to modify the user’s settings, similarly to the interface located in the Users application.