As a big promoter of federation, this latest move by Google’s XMPP chat service got my attention. Free Software Foundation has noted that Google is blocking invites to be added to GoogleTalk contact list from federated XMPP partners:
“Recently, some of our members started reporting that they were no longer able to add contacts at GoogleTalk, which is the Jabber service Google provides to Gmail users. Since Google has run a fully federated Jabber service for a long time and ours is new, we investigated under the assumption the problem was on our end. Turns out, Google has started blocking invites sent from non-Google Jabber servers. Subscription requests just disappear mysteriously, confusing both users and server operators
You can read the entire article by FSF by clicking here.
Who Is Affected By the Problem?
Since Microsoft Lync 2013 has native XMPP federation capability, this affects Lync community. Our Lync team has done a quick test and noted that Lync to Gmail Chat invites seem to no longer reach Gmail users. At this time we have had other verify the below solutions are affected by the blocking:
- Lync 2013
- Lync via NextPlane
- OCS 2007 R2
- OpenFire Server
What is the precise problem?
Contact list invites from federated XMPP partners are not reaching Gmail users. (a secondary problem is that presence from Gmail to federated partners shows either offline or incorrect)
What Is a Work Around?
What you need to do for now is email the Gmail user you want to have add you to their contact list in Gmail chat and IM/P will work then.
Ongoing UPDATES on Google XMPP to Federated Partners Issues
|3/19/2013||Gmail to Federated partner XMPP presence now seems to be working; Contact list invites still seem to be blocked.|
Google notes they are taking this action to fight spam invites from certain domains. There is the possibility of having Gmail administrators add your XMPP domain added to a whitelist. (still getting details on this.)
This underscores a point: Standards alone are certainly not a guarantee that frictionless connectivity between people will occur.
How To Enable XMPP Federation to Google: Click Here