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A. R. Live Support: XML Based Customer Support Chat Solution

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4.58/5 (22 votes)
16 Dec 2008CPOL2 min read 142.6K   5.4K   81   84
Customer Support chat solution build using ASP.NET(2.0) with C# and XML as a database.
ChooseChannel.jpg

UserWindow.jpg

AgentResponse.jpg

Introduction

I have checked out a lot of chat solutions and all of then were database driven. These applications fail as soon as the database is down and in live systems, this scenario is not unknown. So, I decided to build a Chat Solution that should be database independent. So, XML is the best replacement.

This is my first article and A. R. Live Support is the first solution I have developed using XML.

Background

A. R. Live Support is an online chat software, developed in ASP.NET(2.0) and XML. It is easy to use and facilitates 1-o-1 live communication between customers and executives. It is a flexible live chat software that provides the customer support with a click.

The main features are:

  1. Built with HTML, JavaScript, XML, C#, using Ajax techniques
  2. NO DATABASE: No need for a database (since it is XML based)
  3. No Flashing: Based on advanced Ajax techniques, the chat screen refreshes every second(this can be customized), and changes on the screen do not require a screen refresh
  4. NO ACTIVEX or PLUGINS, etc. - because it is not Java based, the user does not need to install plugins, or have Java components on the machine. A combination of JavaScript, XML and C# ASP.NET makes this possible.
  5. NO MEMORY STORAGE for messages, users; everything gets stored in XML files. This feature allows several chat rooms and even chat applications to run on the same server.
  6. EASY TO INSTALL - Just unzip a *.zip file on the server, create a virtual directory, and the chat is ready.
  7. ANY MAJOR BROWSER OK - Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla Firefox, Opera

Code Walkthrough

  1. I will start from a code that will be used to call the Server repeatedly for fetching the most recent information:

    C#
    function InitializeTimer()
    {
        // Set the length of the timer,
        // in seconds. Your choice
        secs = 2;
        StopTheClock();
        StartTheTimer();
    }
    function StopTheClock()
    {
        if(timerRunning)
            clearTimeout(timerID);
        timerRunning = false
    }
    function StartTheTimer()
    {
        if (secs==0)
        {
            StopTheClock();
    	ajax_MakeAnAJAXGetCall();
            //Generate a Postback to the server
            InitializeTimer();
            // Start the timer again
        }
        else
        {
            secs = secs - 1;
            timerRunning = true;
            timerID = self.setTimeout("StartTheTimer()", delay);
        }
    }
    
    //AJAX Function
    function makeRequest()
    {
    	var xmlHttpRequest = null;
    	/*
    	* For Firefox, Mozilla, Safari
    	*/	
    	if (window.XMLHttpRequest)
    	{
    		xmlHttpRequest = new XMLHttpRequest();
    	}
    	/*
    	* For Microsoft Internet Explorer
    	*/
    	else if (typeof ActiveXObject != "undefined")
    	{
    		xmlHttpRequest = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
    	}
    	return xmlHttpRequest;
    }//END of Function makeRequest
    
    function ajax_MakeAnAJAXGetCall()
    {
    	ajaxObj = makeRequest();
    	//alert('HELLO');
    	if (ajaxObj != null)
    	{
    		var dt = new Date();		
    		var URL = serverURL;
    		URL += '?id=' + document.getElementById('lblID').innerHTML + 
    			'&dt1=' + dt.getHours()+ '&dt2=' + dt.getMinutes();
    		//alert(URL);
    		StopTheClock();
    		ajaxObj.open("GET", URL, true);
    		ajaxObj.onreadystatechange = ajax_CallBack;
    		ajaxObj.send(null);
    	}
    	else
    	{
    		
    	}	
    	return false;
    }
    
    function OpenPop(strId)
    {
        window.open('execChatWindow.aspx?id=' + strId,'','width=520,height=490');
    }
    
    function ContactServer()
    {
    	ajax_MakeAnAJAXGetCall(); //THis makes Ajax call to run 
    }
  2. Server side code to fetch the messages for User/Executive:

    C#
    string strResult = string.Empty;
    try
    {
      string chatId = Request.QueryString["cid"].ToString();
      string strXML = chatId + ".XML";  
      strResult = clsChatMessages.getUnReadMessages(Request.PhysicalApplicationPath, 
    		strXML,Request.QueryString["id"].ToString(), true);
    }
    finally
    {
    
    }

Points of Interest

  1. Chat is fully customizable, i.e. there are a lot of interesting settings in web.config.
  2. Initially it does not provide any reporting, but that can be generated using XML files.

History

  • 09-Nov-2008
    • Initial post of article
  • 18-Nov-2008
    • Selection of Departments for the Chat
    • [Bug Fix] in chat allocation
  • 16-Dec-2008
    • Chat Transfer between Executives
    • Password Encryption [RSA]

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionMalicious code block Pin
moupriya35-Dec-11 11:02
moupriya35-Dec-11 11:02 
Questiondepartmen Pin
tolga agim13-Nov-11 12:39
tolga agim13-Nov-11 12:39 
AnswerRe: departmen Pin
Aman Bhullar21-Nov-11 6:17
Aman Bhullar21-Nov-11 6:17 
Questioncan you upload class file also. instead of dll Pin
ktoby16-Jul-11 10:18
ktoby16-Jul-11 10:18 
GeneralHi Pin
davidcandia30-Apr-11 11:36
davidcandia30-Apr-11 11:36 
GeneralRe: Hi Pin
Aman Bhullar17-May-11 6:07
Aman Bhullar17-May-11 6:07 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
bahmandb29-Apr-11 9:26
bahmandb29-Apr-11 9:26 
Generalfull solution Pin
amr rabie17-Apr-11 12:04
amr rabie17-Apr-11 12:04 
i want full solution
GeneralRe: full solution Pin
Aman Bhullar25-Apr-11 6:00
Aman Bhullar25-Apr-11 6:00 
GeneralRegarding the flow of this application Pin
Member 390017229-Dec-10 3:14
Member 390017229-Dec-10 3:14 
GeneralRe: Regarding the flow of this application Pin
Rohit_kakria3-Feb-11 1:12
Rohit_kakria3-Feb-11 1:12 
GeneralRe: Regarding the flow of this application Pin
Aman Bhullar3-Feb-11 4:34
Aman Bhullar3-Feb-11 4:34 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
Pablo Castillo16-Aug-10 8:32
Pablo Castillo16-Aug-10 8:32 
GeneralSecurity Awareness PinPopular
bokohut3-Dec-09 6:44
bokohut3-Dec-09 6:44 
GeneralRe: Security Awareness Pin
theripevessel14-Jan-10 8:40
theripevessel14-Jan-10 8:40 
QuestionNew Improvements? Pin
rodusa200729-Sep-09 18:09
rodusa200729-Sep-09 18:09 
AnswerRe: New Improvements? Pin
Aman Bhullar30-Sep-09 5:24
Aman Bhullar30-Sep-09 5:24 
GeneralNeed to implement chat on asp.net project Pin
Mongezi110-Sep-09 0:04
Mongezi110-Sep-09 0:04 
GeneralRe: Need to implement chat on asp.net project Pin
Aman Bhullar10-Sep-09 6:11
Aman Bhullar10-Sep-09 6:11 
QuestionWhat if u want to chat with ur friends Pin
vaah24-Jul-09 8:05
vaah24-Jul-09 8:05 
AnswerRe: What if u want to chat with ur friends Pin
Aman Bhullar27-Jul-09 5:30
Aman Bhullar27-Jul-09 5:30 
GeneralRe: What if u want to chat with ur friends Pin
vaah27-Jul-09 5:35
vaah27-Jul-09 5:35 
GeneralRe: What if u want to chat with ur friends Pin
Aman Bhullar28-Jul-09 5:41
Aman Bhullar28-Jul-09 5:41 
QuestionMessage is showing arlivesupport Pin
Rohit_kakria26-Jun-09 2:25
Rohit_kakria26-Jun-09 2:25 
AnswerRe: Message is showing arlivesupport Pin
Rohit_kakria26-Jun-09 22:37
Rohit_kakria26-Jun-09 22:37 

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