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Chapter 32. Integrating with SMS and IM > Understanding IM - Pg. 818

818 Chapter 32. Integrating with SMS and IM IN THIS CHAPTER Understanding IM 924 Defining IM gateways 926 Creating your first IM application 929 Creating interactive applications 935 Understanding SMS 938 Defining SMS gateways 941 Generating SMS messages 943 Responding to SMS messages 943 Extending your application even further 945 This chapter will expand on your knowledge of gateways and introduce you to two specific gateways, the SMS and IM gateways. While these gateways behave in very similar manner to other ColdFusion gateways, they do have some particularly interesting features that can help you build some excep- tionally cool applications. For instance, let's take the humble helpdesk every company has. They are there to help you out with computer problems. Typically every helpdesk is busy and every user thinks that their problem is the most important and should be fixed first. Many helpdesks have a ticketing system that allows users to log an issue and track the status of the issue. The normal helpdesk workflow looks something like this: User logs issue, helpdesk agent receives issue, agent fixes issue, agent returns to desk, agent receives new issue. Unless the staff is a little more demanding. In that case they will log the issue and immediately walk around to the helpdesk area to find that they are all out and assume (incorrectly) that they are on an extended lunch break. What if we could extend the reach of our helpdesk and allow helpdesk agents to 'see' the state of the helpdesk from the intranet, grab new tasks from their mobile phones, close tickets from an IM client and never have to go back to their desk between tasks? Now your Web application has broken out of the browser and is now available anywhere. Over the course of this chapter we will build a very simple helpdesk application that does this exactly. This chapter assumes that you have an understanding of how gateways behave and that you have read chapter 31 on gateways. Understanding IM Instant messaging or IM as it is more commonly called is something that many users of the internet take for granted. It is the simple ability to send a message instantly to another user. Like SMS it doesn't sound like much but there is a lot going on behind the scenes.