Bimoid personal messenger: problems with settings and updates. What enterprise messenger can be an alternative to this office chat?

  1. A brief review on Bimoid local messenger
  2. Bimoid messenger problems
    1. Version 2.0 and message database loss
    2. Bimoid Admin Panel, a short review on its problems
    3. You don’t need to view history on the server, do you?
    4. Buggy common contact list
    5. Issues with offline messages and files
    6. How to register a new user?
    7. Windows, windows, more windows
    8. Connection failures
    9. No conferences and calls
    10. Blacklist for IP, but where is the white one?
    11. No system for rights and restrictions
    12. Managing users on the Bimoid server
  3. Comparison of Bimoid and MyChat messenger
  4. Recommendation on moving to MyChat

1. A brief review on Bimoid local messenger

Bimoid — is a project development of the QIP program but on the new base. The client-server technology, own server, client application (that is similar to well-known QIP (Quiet Internet Pager), message encryption, open OBIMP protocol. In general, it is a quite interesting idea.

We can’t disagree that it’s cool to get a messenger of the QIP level in your company with own server and not depend on someone. All the correspondence is under your control, and everything is secure. If you have “white” IP, you can connect affiliates to the corporate chat over the Internet. No third-party people, everything is strict to the business.

But if the first years the messenger development were based on the enthusiasm with 5-6 releases in a year, after version release on July 2013 the development stopped.

The official forum is abandoned (with more than 5 thousand messages), the website is still working,no Help page.

2. Problems with Bimoid messenger

Most of the problems of this quite good messenger for teamwork collaboration are from the fact that Bimoid is an unfinished product that was abandoned on a half of a development way. The developer made it free initially but with closed source texts (not open source) because of components and code base that can’t be open due to the license agreement.

It looks like the development stopped when no resources or developer interest left. All office messenger users were sentenced to stay alone with all questions.

Now they have to choose between staying with what they have and looking for a reliable product with the same or better functions than Bimoid.

2.1. Version 2.0 and message database loss

We found the Bimoid server 2.0 setup file over the Internet (not on the official website!). In this setup file the SQLite database is used with the converter of old database to a new format:

Bimoid messenger converter

Apart from SQLite the MySQL, PostgreSQL and MS SQL Server are supported.

It works, but during the process of database conversion from the previous version all message history was not transferred and got lost.

Message history is present in the old version. But if you move to version 2.0 — you will lose it.

However, the client application was not updated, so it is unnecessary to move to the new version — no special features were added for the server (except the fact that the number of server connection failures became smaller).

2.2. Bimoid Admin Panel, a quick look on its problems

Later, I will be describing Admin Panel version 2.0, because it looks almost like 1.0.48 visually.

New Admin Panel is way better than the old one, but still uncomfortable in use as it was before. All actions are performed as “choose a menu item”, “press the button for request or download”, “wait, view data”, “repeat all again”.

It’s a disaster because there is no interactivity. An administrator presses the button and wants to see the result immediately. But in the Bimoid Admin Panel, you will feel like a person, who is forced to enter console commands on the keyboard for any actions and press the Enter button every time. Welcome to DOS.

We understand that it was made to decrease the server load, but the absence of normal, convenient, interactive Admin Panel console — is a giant minus to the Bimoid messenger karma. Just try how does it feel to manage at least one hundred users in this “Bimoid Admin”.

Another important disadvantage of the Bimoid server management is that this is a Windows application. It needs to be installed or taken everywhere with you on a flash drive. Good Admin Panel must work in a browser, in any operating system, as it presented in MyChat.An administrator does not always have a notebook or computer with Windows, but Linux, Android or Mac can be found everywhere.

2.3. You don’t need to view history on the server, do you?

This is not a joke and here is why. All history is stored on the server, in the database. The company security service or your chief may need it sometimes.

In the new version of the Bimoid server you have an opportunity to request a message history:

Requesting a message history in Bimoid Admin Panel


Choosing a user to view message history in Bimoid Admin Panel

And here is the bonus. You must know the user’s name. No smart search, drop-down lists, sorting or masks — you have to enter the full user’s name. But you can’t memorize logins of all, for example, 1000 registered users!

You will face such approaches everywhere in Bimoid Admin Panel. If someone considers this comfortable, then this person is stuck in the XX century.

Such tool is inconvenient in use, to put it mildly.

2.4. Buggy common contact list

You can create a tree-like common contact list. This is useful and comfortable — you reproduce the company structure, group all people by departments and get rid of making contact lists manually. It is also easy for new employees to find those co-workers that they barely know.

Moreover, you can make a multi-level nesting which is useful for big enterprises. But for some reason, those lists differ from each other for each user!

Moreover, you can make a multi-level nesting which is useful for big enterprises. But for some reason, those lists differ from each other for each user!

Common contact list of the office chat

In other words, one user has the regular tree with nesting, another one — flat list with root unit.

The common contact list is not updated automatically:

Updating the common contact list in Bimoid

It means that you edit it on the server manually by entering each user, but he is not shown in the client. All clients and the server must be restarted to show changes in client applications.

Creation of a new common contact list is another painful thing to do. As usual, you have to know all user accounts and “draw” a tree-like common list one by one manually, or copy from the tool for viewing users and then add them to contacts:

Creating the common contact list in Bimoid

2.5. Issues with offline messages and files

You can send an offline-message but can’t say for sure if it is sent but not received or read. An offline file can’t be sent at all, despite the existence of the file server:

Sending a file to offline user

Well, you can transfer files, but only if your interlocutor is online.

However, you can send a file from the common contact list but it still won’t be sent:

Sending a file from the common contact list

Somehow it is also possible to send messages to yourself!

Sending a message to yourself in Bimoid

Also, it is impossible to send files to several people simultaneously:

Sending a file to several people in Bimoid

2.6. How to register a new user?

After new user registration, you can’t enter under his account immediately because you have to switch to the login window first and enter the email by default.

Registering a new user in Bimoid messenger

Such an approach is still bearable because on the server of version 1.xx it was impossible to create accounts in the client but on the server only.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t configure the transparent authorizations in Bimoid to let users connect to the server without typing logins and passwords as in MyChat corporate messenger, because there is no guide for it. Perhaps, this function is present, but we couldn’t find it even though the simple import of users from the domains does exist.

Here is the interesting moment. The user’s nickname is given during the registration — this is a necessary field. But in the profile the nickname is shown as “unspecified”:

User's nickname in Bimoid

2.7. Windows, windows, more windows

The main window of Bimoid messenger

Bimoid windows are opened on the background, because, by default, the main window is always “stay on top” of all windows in the systems.

Quite often you will get this (the message history preview is on the background):

Viewing message history on the background of the main window

It can be configured, but later it will be uncomfortable because the application is divided into several windows: separate contact list and separate conversations. This is the QIP legacy, which interface template was used for the Bimoid messenger.

2.8. Connection failures

Sometimes, under unclear circumstances, the client stops connection to the server. But the server is working — the Admin Panel connects to it and works. Bimoid consists of three services: the core, Admin Panel, and file proxy. So, perhaps<, the server’s core is “crashes” or “hangs”.

During the client connection attempt the following window shows:

Connection attempt to the Bimoid server

It’s not very clear what the purpose of such a long time-out is. The client application carries doubtful protection from DDOS attacks on the server.

Connection attempts of the client applications are not recorded to the text log — it can be done by the manual restart of the “Bimoid Server” service. We couldn’t find out the reason for such server behavior.

2.9. No conferences and calls

Unfortunately, Bimoid Messenger does not have multi-user conferences. It means that you will have only instant messages for private communication one on one and notification sending about important events for your employees. That’s all.

No calls. You can’t make voice or video calls as in MyChat or Skype for Business.

2.10. Blacklist for IP, but where is the white one?

Blocking by IP addresses (blacklist) are present on the server:

Blacklist for IP on the Bimoid Server

No “whitelist” where you can specify only those addresses, masks or ranges that are allowed for user connections.

It is also impossible to limit the usage of Admin Panel from the specified addresses. The “black” list stores everything with no division by application types or connections.

You can enter the Admin Panel by the special key — it is a regular text string with a password that is stored in a file next to the server in an open form. Besides the fact that this is an unsafe approach, it also shows that the server does not have separation by the level of administrator rights. All administrators are root users with full rights. If you have access — do what you want.

You can’t give the limited rights to your HR specialist to fill user accounts or other rights for the network engineer to track connection problems and failures. You will have to do all of these by yourself or trust all company administrators that have the different experience.

2.11. No system for rights and restrictions

Bimoid users have equal rights. You can’t divide them into groups to limit the file transfer, configure communication by groups of people, or give special access to the services of the corporate chat. p>

In other words — no system for user rights. You have a peer-to-peer chat where all users can do anything. For such public messengers as ICQ, Skype or Telegram it’s acceptable, for corporate messenger — it’s not.

2.12. Managing users on the Bimoid server

This is a disaster. As it was mentioned before, the editing of existing users is complicated because you must remember their nicknames:

User management in Bimoid Server Admin Panel

The selection from the ready list is impossible. The account editing is a search of a needs field in a flat table — no filters, no sorting, and no data division by logic groups:

Editing user accounts in Bimoid chat program

3. Comparison of Bimoid and MyChat messenger

Take into the consideration three main facts:

  1. The Bimoid development and support stopped in 2013. You will have to solve any problems by yourself. No support, documentation, or fixing bugs.
  2. Bimoid works in Windows OS only. It has the old version for Android 1.4. No clients for Linux, macOS, and WEB.

In the table below we compared basic functions of Bimoid version (server), (client) and MyChat 7.0 (free version) on June 20, 2018.

Installation, uninstallation and update system
1.1 Installer Yes Yes
1.2 Uninstaller Yes Yes
1.3 Automatic Installation No Yes
1.4 Automatic updating system No Yes
1.5 Automatic updating and saving of all the data when installing the latest version over the old one No new versions Yes
1.6 Portable version No Yes
Network settings
2.1 Work in large networks Yes Yes
2.2 Work in complex networks and via the Internet Yes Yes
2.3 Guaranteed message delivery Yes Yes
2.4 Work in terminal sessions Yes Yes
2.5 Traffic encryption OpenSSL OpenSSL
2.6 Work in very bad networks (satellite connection, "long" pings) No Yes
Default functions
3.1 Private messages Yes Yes
3.2 Text conferences No Yes
3.3 Notifications with a return receipt No Yes
3.4 Common Bulletin board No Yes
3.5 File transfer Yes Yes
3.6 Images transfer No Yes
3.7 Automatic backlight for links in a text Yes Yes
3.8 Messages history view Yes Yes
3.9 Event sound notificaton Yes Yes
3.10 Personal contact list No Yes
3.11 Sending messages and files to offline users No Yes
3.12 Graphic smileys Yes Yes
3.13 Voice calls No Yes
3.14 Video calls No Yes
3.15 Screen sharing No Yes
Active Directory integration
4.1 MSI package to deploy users via Group Policy No Yes
4.2 User transparent authorization No Yes
4.3 Importing users from the Windows domain Yes, limited Yes
4.4 Support for any amount of various domains No, only elementary user import Yes
4.5 Collaboration between common and domain users Unknown Yes
Appearance configuration
5.1 GUI languages Yes Yes, UNICODE
5.2 Appearance customization Yes Yes
5.3 Font changing Yes Yes
6.1 Centralized configuration of user rights and restrictions No Yes
6.2 User Groups No Yes
6.3 IP, MAC filters Only IP blacklist Yes
6.4 Anti-spam and anti-flood filters No Yes
6.5 User management system Yes Yes, WEB interface
6.6 Detailed reference information about users (Full name, email, phone numbers, date of birth, photo, etc.) Yes Yes
Operating systems
7.1 Windows Yes Yes
7.2 Android Yes Yes
7.3 Linux No Yes
7.4 Mac No Yes
7.5 WEB No Yes
Additional abilities
8.1 User network status "free", "busy", "away" Yes Yes
8.2 Scripting language tow write simple programs which extend chat abilities No Yes
8.3 Integration with external services No Yes (1С, phpBB, REST, php, C#, Delphi, Python etc.)
8.4 User search system Yes Yes
8.5 Tree-like contact list that is common for the whole network with an unlimited nesting level Yes Yes
8.6 Account manager for several users who work on the same program Yes Yes
8.7 User ignore system Yes Yes
8.8 Plug-in system to extend program abilities No Yes
8.9 Company department list No Yes
8.10 Company work position list with the sorting "superiors from above" in the contact list No Yes
8.11 Built-in forum No Yes
8.12 Task management No Yes, Kanban
8.13 Website chat No Yes
8.14 Distrib Maker No Yes
Technical support
9.1 Built-in help system No Yes
9.2 Community support forum Does not work Yes
9.3 Developers support via email No Yes
9.4 Additional reference information, articles about the program use on the website, blog, etc. No Yes
9.5 Developers support via Skype, Viber, Telegram, WhatsApp No Yes

4. Recommendation on moving to MyChat

Bimoid was a perspective project with interesting abilities and good, well-developed client application. Unfortunately, because the development of this intra-corporate messenger has stopped, it’s very risky to recommend this software to use. There is no support for existing users.

The main advantage of this product is that it’s free. Disadvantages —no support, no updates, no error fixing.

For companies with less than 20 users it will be easy to move from Bimoid to MyChat because the standard license of MyChat is free with insignificant limitations (what is the difference between commercial and free MyChat versions?).

For bigger enterprises with more than 20 users, you should compare prices of MyChat closest competitors such as Skype for business, or Slack.

The MyChat license agreement is quite loyal. One online user costs $6. Starting from the date of purchase you get one year of free updates and then you can choose whether to pay $2 per user or stay on the existing license for an unlimited amount of time

MyChat has a long development history since 2004. New versions are released 5-6 times a year.

Take advantage of the speed and quality of the MyChat official support forum. Our team is always ready to help you!

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