MindLink Product Features


This page focuses on the features you should start thinking about early on in your deployment. Most of these will have configuration and deployment implications that may impact your planning and deployment decisions, so it is important to be aware of the functionality before going through the process.

Most of the standard features and preferences available in the products won't be mentioned on this page as there is no need to factor them into the early stages of your deployment.

NOTE: Do not try to configure your deployment(s) using this page, it is only an overview. Configuration informaion is provided later in the process


Contents

Featured across products

MindLink Anywhere

MindLink Mobile

MindLink API


Multiple Products

The configuration of these features will be covered in the Install & Configure section, so don't start making any changes until you have finished working through Planning & Prerequisites.

These features are available on more than one MindLink Product. If the functionality does not apply to all products then the applicable ones will be secified in brackets.


Disable IM/Group Chat (Global)

Disable Chat Modality

Global
The Management tool contains two global settings : Disable IM or Disable Group Chat. This prevents all MLA users from utilising IM or Group Chat respectively. When a modality is disabled a user will log on and only have access to the enabled modality. With IM disabled the user will see no contacts or multiparty functionality, only chat rooms, and with Group chat disabled the opposite applies.

At least one of the chat modalities must be enabled, so disabling one automatically prevents the other from also beign disabled.


Multiple persistent chat pools

Users can connect to multiple persistent chat pools. This allows users to join any chatrooms that are in the located on any of the specified persistent chat pools There are multiple ways user can connect to persistent chat pools. These include:

  • Explicit connection
  • Auto provisioning connection

Explicit

Explicit conections involve specifying specific chat pools in the management tool. Only users within those specified persistent chat pools can login. A single chatpool can be specified in the Default Persistent Chat pool endpoint address field. Multiple chat pools are specified by clicking the Connect to multiple Persistent Chat pools checkbox. Entries added in the table can be removed by pressing the Delete key.

Auto provision

Auto provisioned connections allow users to login as any user located on the configured persistent chat pools on the server. The user does not need to specify any of the configured chat pools to login as users located on them.




A MindLink Anywhere deployment will include several features that are enabled/disabled depending on your requirements and use cases. This page will cover the main features of the MindLink Anywhere client so that you can understand them and to know if you wish to deploy with them enabled or disabled.

These Product pages only cover the features you should begin thinking about early on in your deployment, so more minor functionality or built-in features and preferences won't be included


  • Accessibility
  • Audio calling
  • Custom Header & Footer
  • Custom URLs
  • Profile Pictures
  • Translation


Accessibility

Unlike other features on this page, Accessibility is always available and is not something that is enabled/disabled in a configuration. Instead you will need to think about your own users and environment and consider what level of support they require to utilise web-based clients such as MindLink Anywhere.

Most notably a screen reader, which is not something MindLink supply, may be required for those with visual impairments. The sections of our client have been designed to allow the best results with these screen readers, ensuring content is narratable and that alt text is provided for images, etc. However, for the screen reader programme itself a 3rd party solution is required.

Keyboard navigation is also available using shortcut keys. No prerequisite software is needed to utilise this, but knowing if this is something you will need in advance will help you plan around these requirements.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Many keyboard shortcuts have been introduces to allow keyboard navigation through the client. Providing enhancements to users and allowing more dynamicchoices for moving through the client, accessibility changes provide new strategies for all users. The functionality is especially valuable for users with disabilities, who may struggle with conventional mouse & Keyboard navigation, allowing more choices for how to utilise the client.

There are two types of shortcut
1) shift focus: these shortcuts quickly move to a section of the client.
C : Chat
H : History Search
S : Search groups and contacts

Note: to deselect the currently selected region use SHIFT+ESC This will ensure your input is used as a shortkut key and isn't perceived as a text input (e.g. if you have the Search groups and contacts field selected)

2) Move focus: These keys allow movement through regions of the client. The dock is a key place for this
Arrow keys : up and down move one item up and down in the selection.
Enter : Select the currently highlighted item
PgUp / PgDn : move 10 items up or down the list. Good for rapid dock scrolling.

Screen Reader

Text-to-speech screen readers have been factored into the MindLink interface. Each element can be narrated as the user navigates through, either using a mouse or with keyboard navigation.

Note : MindLink do not supply a screen reader, so this must be sourced externally.


Audio Calling

Audio calling allows users to initiate voice calls in 1-2-1 conversations and Multiparty chats. Support for a call between users on MLA and users on the native Skype client is included.

1-2-1 Conversations are directly between two users. During a conversation, or without even starting an exchange, a user can click the call icon from the dock menu or the top of the active conversation to ring the other user. The receiver will encounter a ringing dock notification that they can answer or decline.

Multiparty calling works as more of an opt-in call. A running multiparty shows the call icon when audio calls are enabled, with users being able to join at will. Other users will not get a ringing notification in this case, but the members list will update to show which users are on a call (along with their microphone's mute state)
It is important to know that these multiparty calls are compatible with Skype conferences, meaning a skype meeting can begin and users connect to the call. Users on MindLink Anywhere can be invited on creation or later into the meeting and will be able to join the call by clicking the icon.

For a detailed overview of the technical details and browser compatibility see the latest MLA Technical Overview document. This can be found on the Release Notes page or within the downloadable Installer.zip package on www.mindlinksoft.com/persistent-chat-web-application


A header and footer section can be configured in the MindLink Anywhere client. This banner shows at the top and bottom of the client respectively.

Custom Header

The header shows at the top of the client.

  • A URL will need to be given, in full (https://www.website.com)

  • The height of the footer will need to be set, in pixels.

For the header I have set this docs site as the URL with a height of 50 pixels. This gives the header bar room to show while not including the page content. Group Chat Automatic Translation

The footer shows at the bottom of the client.

  • A URL will need to be given, in full (https://www.website.com)

  • The height of the footer will need to be set, in pixels.

For the footer I have also set this docs site as the URL, but have given it 200 Pixels to display. This means I could navigate docs.mindlinksoft.com while using MindLink, albeit restricted on viewing space.
Group Chat Automatic Translation


Custom URL

Three custom URL fields can be configured in MindLink Anywhere. The first will replace existing content with the newly configured URL content, while the other two each introduce a new icon that routes to the URL of chocie.

Custom homepage URL:

This replaces the default MindLink homepage that is accessed by clicking the MindLink icon in the top-left. The URL of choice will be opened within the application, in the central active conversation window. This behaviour is the same as the default homepage, and simply replaces the content that is shown.

Group Chat Automatic Translation

In this example I have set the URL to our website https://www.mindlinksoft.com

When a valid URL is provded a new icon will show in the taskbar. Clicking this icon opens the configured link in a new tab.

Group Chat Automatic Translation

It is designed for a custom help page.

Group management URL:

When a valid URL is provded a new icon will show in the top of the dock. Clicking this icon opens the configured link in a new tab.

Group Chat Automatic Translation

It is designed for a quick-access link to the group management site.


Disable IM/Group Chat (Allow user to disable...)

Disable Modality

User Preference
In the management tool, when both chat modalitites are enabled, there are additional options to allow optional disabling of each chat modality. This gives control to the users on the authentication screen by allowing them to disable either chat modality themselves. This will only apply to their account, and can be changed any time they visite the logon page. When a user disabled Group Chat they wont get notified for messages in chat rooms, and wont show as a member of the room to other users. When a user disabled IM they wont be reachable by 1-2-1 communication, but will show as an active member of their chat rooms.

Disable Chat


File transfer in IM conversations

File transfer is enabled in Group Chat unless you explicitely disable it for the chat room. In contrast, IM conversations only allow file transfer if you enable the functionality through the Management Center.

Files are uploaded and entered as message content, appearing in a similar format to URL links. A file can be uploaded and sent on its own, or you can enter other message content before and/or after it. Disable Chat

Files are formatted as a clickable regex that will download the file when clicked. Images and GIFs will render within the conversation with the file name clickable to open in a new tab. The image/gif can be downloaded File transfer allows users to send messages in IM conversations. This includes both images and text files.

Add-ins

Prerequisites - To configure add-ins an add-in will need to be created and assigned to a chat room in the active directory. The required commands to do this can be found here: New persistent chat addin, Set Persistent chat addin.

Enabling add-ins in the management tool will regquire rewrite rules to be added. The left column requires a regular experession and the right column will require a URL template.

Addin

The configured add-in will now display under the message input in the chat rooms that have the add-ins configured. The add-ins can be interacted with and can be resized by hovering and clicking above the addin and adjusting the size as neccessary.

Addin Desktop View


Group Aliases

This feature must be anabled in the management tool. It connects to a Database to record the alias changes.

When enabled, per-room aliases can be set in chat rooms. This will replace the user name with a custom name up to 50 charaters. The user's actual name will show below their alias name in smaller, grey text.

Aliases make it easy for users to assign roles, categories or other identifiers to their sender name. For example I may set my alias to "Team A - Frank" // "Team B - Jennifer." Alternatively, I may just set my alias to my first name to remove my last name for simplicity.


Profile Pictures

Profile Pictures are user images that display as part of their profile. They can be shown in the dock, the active conversation and the livestream. A user will also see their own profile picture in the top-right of the taskbar.

Disable Chat

The MindLink Anywhere client provides several client preferences for where these profile pictures will be shown.

Configure Through Native Lync/Skype client

When a user sets a profile picture in the Native Lync/Skype client the change should be reflected in the MindLink client.

Configure through Active Directory

Profile pictures can be added, changed and removed directly through the Active Directory.

One approach to this is to leverage the PowerShell commands to make changes to active directory users.

Configure Through Exchange

If a user has an exchange mailbox, profile pictures can be added, changed or removed through Exchange.

Users can add, change or remove profile pictures through the MindLink client itself. This functionality must be enabled in the management tool first [Lync 2013 only] and allows a user to make changes from their contact card. When configured, a 'Upload photo' button will be showin in the contact card.

Disable Chat


Message Translation

Message translation allows in-app translation of messages, built into the interface.

Messages can be translated manually - per message - or a chat room can be set to automatically translate all incoming messages.

Tranlsated messages are now cached

Setting Target Language

For the best results, the language preference should be set to your local language. By default this will be set to English, but you can change to any of the supported languages from the logon page.

Group Chat Automatic Translation

Once set, the translation service will target this language. When a translation is carried out the message content will be converted from its source language into the target language. If the message is already in the target language no change will be made.

Manually translating messages

Each message will show a translation icon when hovering over it. Pressing this icon will translate the message into your target language.

Group Chat Automatic Translation

  • If the message is already in the target language the icon will be removed.

  • If the message is translated from another language into the target language a toggle icon will be added to allow manual switching between languages.

Group Chat Automatic Translation

Automatically Translating Messages

When enabled, any new messages (New incoming message or loading message(s) from history) will be translated to the target language. Messages that are already loaded will not be translated automatically.

Enable automatic translation messages in Group Chat Group Chat Automatic Translation

Enable automatic translation messages in IM IM Automatic Translation

When enabled the icon will turn green

IM Automatic Translation

These preferences are applied on a per-room basis allowing some rooms and conversations to automatically translate while others are kept manual.

IM Automatic Translation To turn off automatic translation simply click the icon again.

Viewing Translations

The translation functionality varies depending on which view the message content is displayed in.

Does Translate :
  • IM Conversations

  • Multiparties

  • Group Chat

  • Livestream
    The Livestream supports translation and even includes a manual translate icon and language toggle. Messages translated in an active conversation - manually or automatically - are also translated in the livestream, though the language toggle is mutually exclusive.

  • Filters Messages received in the @Mymentions filter support translation.

  • Stories
    Story content supports translation and the story view inclides a language toggle, though not a translate icon.

Does Not Translate:
  • Search History
    Text in the history search results will remain as it was sent. Translation does not apply.

  • Dock The dock message snippet remains as the message was sent.

  • Plain URL links :
    URL links do not get touched by the translation functionality to ensure they correctly route to the desired address.

  • Custom URLs
    A custom URL allows a plain URL link to be formatted as custom text. With message translation, the custom text supports translaiton while the underlying link remains untouched to ensure correct pathing.

  • Hashtags, Room Links & Mentions These do not translate as they are dependant on the format they are in - Usernames and room names dont translate so neither do their correlating links; Hashtags are created and used for a specific purpose and remain in the same format to preserve their intention.




A MindLink Mobile deployment will include several features that are enabled/disabled depending on your requirements and use cases. This section will cover the main features of the MindLink Mobile client so that you can understand them and to know if you wish to deploy with them enabled or disabled.


Disable IM/Group Chat (Allow user to disable...)

Disable Chat Modality

User Preference
In the management tool, when both chat modalitites are enabled, there are additional options to allow optional disabling of each chat modality. This gives control to the users on the authentication screen by allowing them to disable either chat modality themselves. This will only apply to their account, and can be changed any time they visite the logon page. When a user disabled Group Chat they wont get notified for messages in chat rooms, and wont show as a member of the room to other users. When a user disabled IM they wont be reachable by 1-2-1 communication, but will show as an active member of their chat rooms.


File transfer in IM conversations

File transfer allows users to send messages in IM conversations. This includes both images and text files.

The icon is found in the icon tray of the active conversation. Selecting it opens the File browser window. From here an image, video or document can be selected and uploaded into the chat.



The MindLink API is more of a package-product, meaning it comes with functionality that your bots decide to use or not use depending on the requirements. Functionality here is not so "For my deployment I want X or Y" and is instead "This bot needs to do X." at which point you utilise X. Unlike the other products you don't need to enable X first, you just need to configure the management center and start working with your integrations.

The Management Center section later covers the process of setting up and configuring the API.