I've been looking for a professional chat solution for months. I didn't want a Java client based chat, because Java still is slow on some client computers and the Java chats around are mainly technical solutions, completly missing a nice and easy interface.
I found a couple of nice chats using php+mysql as backend and Flash as client. Having a Flash client immediatly sounded great because of the good-looking interface you could have, and php+mysql sounded good because I could really integrate the chat in my portal.
The portal got bigger and bigger, and the same did the number of visitors and chatters, but the php+mysql backend couldn't stand anymore the weight of the chat. The overhead of the approach was clear: over a certain number of chatter, the server simply was so slow you nearly couldn't browse the site.
I finally found 123 Flash Chat. That IS the solution. Java server and flash client. You can't have better. The Java server sits on the server and handles without any problem much more connection than the previous solutions. The Flash client is cool and easy for every user. And I even get some basic way to interface the server with my portal, so I can post how many persons are in the chat in realtime.
The only big problem I noticed passing from the php&mysql to 123 Flash Chat is that a 30% of my users were cut out, because they used to connect from offices and companies LAN that only allows them to connect to port 80 on remote servers, for browsing purposes.
With 123 Flash Chat version 3.0 I finally solved also this problem. I binded the server to port 80 and 1024 of a dedicated IP. This way most of the persons with a basic firewall are able to connect to the chat server.
Virgola Net s.r.l.
Webmaster of MilanoTonight