Product Review: .netLIVEHELP 1.1
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by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Features and Recommendations

The main feature of the product is that it supports an unlimited number of operators, departments and client chats. You have the ability to configure operating hours for each day. Moreover, the product automatically transfers chat requests to the next available operator if the concerned operator is not available at that point of time. Customers can leave a message if there are no operators available to attend to the chat session. With the help of the product, administrators can configure an automatic logout such that the operator is automatically logged out after a fixed number of missed chats to ensure that future chats are not routed to the non responsive operator. Some of the other interesting features are the implementation of a load balancing algorithm, advanced statistics and display of chat image buttons.

The product ships with an advanced AJAX based chat interface and support browsers such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, Netscape, Opera and Safari, including down level browsers. It ensures that a functional chat interface is rendered for those clients using older browsers that do not support new AJAX features. A nice feature of the product is that it has the ability to print or e-mail chat transcripts. One of the interesting features of the product is that the operator console displays a tray icon to indicate status and the balloon tool tip for notifying new chat requests. Moreover, the console will be dropped to the tray automatically as soon as you click the Minimize button and, hence, it will reduce the taskbar space. Version 1.1 of the product comes with custom data exchange support as well.

The product generates alerts with sound and flashing windows when a new chat request is made so that operators can quickly attend to the chat session. Moreover, you can easily change the status message of the end user chat image using the operator console (Settings | System Settings | Missed Tab). I, however, found that the status message doe not update properly with the customized message. I hope the vendor will pay attention to this factor during the release of the next version of the product.

The product provides a facility for an administrator to view a summary of all operators along with the corresponding chat status count and also integrates nicely with .netCART shopping cart. In addition to integrating with .netCART, there is a data exchange API provided so you can modify in real-time data in your own web application. Also operators can manage images and files and can respond to missed chats through e-mail from within the product. You can explore a list of all the core features of the product at http://www.dotnetlivehelp.com/features.aspx.

The vendor provides excellent support through e-mail and also through live chat which is itself the product. The documentation for the product can be downloaded from http://www.dotnetlivehelp.com/dotnetlivehelp.chm. Although the documentation is not comprehensive, it provides sufficient information to work with the product. I feel that the vendor should provide more information regarding customizing the product.


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