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Instant Messaging Service


ISC Networking & Telecommunications is offering an Instant Messaging Service for the Penn community. Our service uses the open source OpenFire instant messaging platform, built on open standards including XMPP and XML.

An Instant Messaging service provided in house at Penn offers the following advantages:

  • Identity Assurance. Penn's IM service uses an individual's PennName as the IM identifier, and authentication is via PennKey and password. On most common IM services, there is no mapping of username or handle to an assured identity. People sign up for whateve IM handle (name) they wish, subject to availability. Parties logged into this new Penn service, on the other hand, have the assurance of PennKey authentication and the associated use of familiar PennNames, which allows users to be easily and reliably identifed.
  • Dataflow Security. IM streams are sent through a Penn operated server, providing data security and privacy that is not available through other offerings such as AOL and Google. Instant messages move only between your IM clients and the locally operated IM servers. This means that the data associated with IM for two Penn users need never be stored and handled by a third party server. All data, not merely the password, is encrypted.
  • @UPENN.EDU Addressing. IM users on other Jabber servers outside Penn (such as Google Talk) will be able to communicate with Penn users using their address.

Current Participants

IM accounts are created nightly for all customers of the following services:

IM Clients

The supported IM clients are:

Mac OS X:


Service Alerts


The Instant Messaging service will be upgraded to Openfire 3.10.2 on 11/24/2015, and will be unavailable between 7-8am.


ISC has determined that there is a TLS incompatibility between our IM server and the upcoming version release of MacOSX 10.11 El Capitan. IM users who upgrade to MacOSX 10.11 currently will *not* be able to connect to using either Adium or Messages, therefore ISC recommends that IM users do not upgrade immediately to MacOSX 10.11.


Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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