CHAT is EPOS' user interface to EPOS-CM. CHAT uses ECM and the EPOSDB-API to access the EPOSDB and handle workspaces, subsystems, messages and components.

How good is CHAT:

: User Interface
: Versioning support
: Cooperation support
: Stability
: Speed
: Overall

CHAT has a graphical user interface and the following commands from ECM is supported: Note that versioning is done when creating and committing workspaces (see CoV).

A CHAT user guide can be found here.

CHAT has also good support cooperation support between workspaces. The cooperation support can be divided into three parts:

CHAT Message and notification Support

There are two kinds of messages supported by CHAT:

User generated messages

CHAT let the user easy send, reply, store and delete User messages. A User message is not the same as an email. User messages are sent to workspaces rather than users. This is done because different users can be assign to different workspaces at a given time.
Normally User messages will be shown in a message browser in the CHAT main window. CHAT allows also the user send messages that demand an answer from the receiver. A such message will pop up a requester window in the receivers working environment and ask him/her to answer by pushing a button. Such messages can be used to negotiate in conflicts.

System notifications

System notifications are sent when a user do something with a workspace, component or a subsystem. System notifications are also intelligent and can detect possible write/write conflicts (update conflicts) between workspaces. The system notifications will be shown in the CHAT main window. The user can self choose what system notifications to see, by choosing them from the following list: The system notifications will only be sent to the involving workspaces. CHAT has also a subscribe facility that allows users connected to one workspace, look at system notifications concerning other workspaces. The system notification types shown in italics can received if subscribed. The user must then specify what component or workspace (or both) s(he) is interested in.
The subscribed system notifications are shown in a system notification browser.

CHAT Information Support

CHAT let the user easy achieve information about workspaces, components and relations. By using the workspace browser, the user can check if somebody is connected to chosen workspace, if any components are checked out, when the workspace was created and by whom and what ambitions is used. By using the component browser, the user can see if a component is checked out for read, if a component is checked out for updating or if a component is not checked out at all. It is also possible to see if a component is a primary component or a derived component. CHAT let also the user get information about how component are related.

Update Conflict Handling Support

CHAT will warn the user about a update conflict through, system notification. If however a real update conflict arises, CHAT will help the user to solve this update conflict smooth.
If a user A commits his/her workspace and components in the parent workspace has been checked out for updating, since A checked the out his/her component, a update conflict has arisen. CHAT will then point out what component are in conflict, and automatically call a merge tool to merge changes on this components. When all the components needed to be merge are merged, the workspace is committed. If user A aborts the merging process, (s)he will not be allowed to commit the workspace.

CHAT has also a built in synchronise facility that synchronise workspaces. In a synchronise-process the user first choose what workspace(s) to synchronise. CHAT will then automatically present the components needed to be merged. A synchronisation request will then be sent to the involving workspace(s) and ask the percipients if the want to synchronise the conflicting components. If they agree, the conflicting components will be copied over to the synchronisation responsible (see figure below).


It is also possible to review components in CHAT. The review sequence is the same as in the synchronisation sequence, but the component to review is copied over to the reviewers at the Review Request.