Emmanuel Ormancey (CERN)
Nearly every large organization use a tool to broadcast messages and information across the internal campus (messages like alerts announcing interruption in services or just information about upcoming events). The tool typically allows administrators (operators) to send "targeted" messages which is sent only to specific group of users or computers (for instance only those ones located in a specified building or connected to a particular computing service). CERN has a long history of such tools: CERNVMS’s SPM_quotMESSAGE command, Zephyr and the most recent NICE Alerter based on NNTP protocol. Today, the current NICE Alerter used on all Windows-based computers has to be phased out as a consequence of the NNTP stoppage at CERN. Zephyr still used on Linux workstations will probably be replaced as well. The new solution to broadcast information messages on the CERN campus will continue to provide the service based on cross-platform technologies, minimizing custom developments and relying on commercial software as much as possible. The new proposal is based on RSS for the transport protocol and will use Microsoft SharePoint as the backend for database and posting interface. The windows-based client will rely on Internet Explorer 7.0 with a custom script to trigger the notifications for new events. Linux and MacOS clients could also rely on any RSS readers to subscribe to targeted notifications. The talk will cover the architecture and implementation aspects of the new system.