User manual

The ITMZ provides a messaging service to students and employees of the University of Rostock. With the messaging service it is possible to exchange information in groups or individually. The chat service is an open source software, which is completely run on the university's own servers. 

The service supports the sending of files, pictures and videos. Access is via web interface or the desktop and mobile clients freely available from the software manufacturer. 

It is a complex chat software with a wide range of functions. Please understand that we only document elementary basics in this user manual. 
The official English documentation can be found here

Contact

Albert-Einstein-Straße 22
18059 Rostock

 

Josephin Tschakste
Tel.: +49 381 498-5347

chat.support(at)uni-rostock.de

 

1. Login

The login to the chat server of the University of Rostock is done in the browser at https://chat.uni-rostock.de with the university login data (user identification and the corresponding password).
After successful registration you will automatically be directed to the start page of the chat service and can use the service.

2. First Steps

After successful registration you will be redirected to the homepage. On this you have three areas
1. status area
2. discussion area
3. chat area

1. status area

In this area you can search for people and groups, start new messages, change online status and make profile settings. The Home button takes you to the home page.

Profile

Profile

With a click on the profile you can change your current online status and get to further profile settings under "My Account".
There are four status indicators to choose from: online, absent, busy and invisible. In the menu and for other chat persons the current status is displayed as a colored dot.
With the option "Invisible" the online status can be hidden from other users.

The own status can be specified in more detail with "Edit Status" (e.g. Online in HomeOffice).

Under "My account" you can access further profile settings. There you can specify a profile picture, a timeout value for the out of office status, notification settings, message settings, and sound settings. 

 

Magnifying glass

Magnifying glass

The magnifying glass symbol stands for the search of users or public channels.
The easiest way to find channels is to use a #.
To search for users, enter their name.

 

globe

globe

The globe shows you the entire user/group directory.

 

sort option

sort option

With the sort option, you can sort your chats by alphabet or activity.
Furthermore you have the possibility to change the view mode.

 

Pen

Pen

Use the pen icon to start new channels, direct messages and conversations.

 

2. Discussion area

Channels are publicly accessible group chats. They have a prefixed # in their name. 
Private channels can be recognized by a lock symbol. They serve as a communication space for selected users. Private channels are managed by the moderator. 
Direct messages are chats between exactly two people. 

 

3. chat area

In the chat area you can see the chat history in the channel or direct chat and write messages.
While writing messages you have the possibility to add emojis and format the messages. 
The chat area has many functions and controls, which we will explain in more detail in the corresponding section.

 

3. Controls Chat Area

In the lower part of the chat area there is an input field for writing your own text messages. The following formatting options are available for these messages.

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Crossed out
  • single line code
  • multiline code

You can also add emojis to your message or upload files from your computer, start a video message or voice recording. 
Creating video & voice messages is only possible if your PC has a webcam and microphone.

 

Above the chat area there is another menu with various controls. The functions only affect the respective channel.

 

video call

video call

In an individual chat, as well as in the group chats, a video call can be started with the participants from the chat service. 
For more information on starting a video chat, see section 4 Video call.

 

discussions

discussions

The two speech bubbles show previous discussions in the right column.

 

Threads

Threads

All discussion contributions of the current channel are listed hierarchically.

 

Search messages

Search messages

With the magnifying glass symbol you can search through all messages in the channel. Only messages that contain the search text are displayed.

 

members

members

It shows all members of this channel. The colored dots in front of the names indicate the status of the members. By selecting a name, a direct conversation with this person can be made.

 

Attachements

Attachements

All uploaded files are listed under the paper clip icon.

 

room information

room information

It contains a description of the channel and above it is possible to leave the channel.

 

More

More

The following additional functions can be used via the symbol with the three dots.

  • Notification settings: Settings for notifications and message counter
  • Mentions: Shows all messages in which you are mentioned.
  • Favorite news: Shows all messages you have marked as favorites.
  • Pinned messages: Shows all pinned messages. 
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Shows possible key combinations for faster working in the chat.

News interactions

The following options are available for each received and written message.

  • Add reaction: You can use an emoji to react to a message.
  • Reply with thread: A thread is created for replies. 
  • Start a conversation: Create a conversation (a subchannel) with the user.
  • Do not follow any more: You switch the notifications on/off
  • Quote: A citation of this message is created.
  • Get link: A link to this message will be created.
  • Copy: Copies the text to the clipboard.
  • Edit: The own written message can be edited.
  • Favorite: The message is marked as favorite.
  • Show this message in the chat: The message is highlighted.
  • Report: The message is reported.
  • Delete: Deletes the own written message.

4. Video call

Using the Big Blue Button video conference system, it is possible to start a video conference with the participants of a group chat or even an individual chat from the chat service. 
To do this, click on the telephone receiver symbol and then select "Start Meeting".
Afterwards you will be asked how you would like to join the conference (with microphone or only as listener).
You will be taken directly to the chat area of Big Blue Button. To view the participants and the presentation of the video conference click on the account icon in the upper left corner of the video conference window. 
There you can switch the sound on/off, switch the webcam on/off and switch the presentation on/off. 
Furthermore, you can upload a presentation and present it to the participants and mark and show it. 

 

Please note that the integration of the video conferencing system is still in beta status on the part of the software manufacturer and problems could occur in the interaction between the two services.

 

Starting a Videoconference
Select how to join the videoconference
Start the conference in the BBB chat - switch to account icon
Presentation and video conference view

5. Export of Chats

The message history in the chat service is regularly deleted automatically after 30 days, as this service is intended for direct exchange or in a group.
However, it is possible to export the message history. However, these are displayed anonymously. 
To export the messages, go to your profile > Profile settings > My data.
There you can choose between an export in HTML or JSON.
This export takes a little time. As soon as the export is complete, you will receive a link to download the data in a ZIP archive by e-mail. 
The ZIP archive contains the various chats, as well as an "assets" folder containing the sent data such as images.

 

Export of data in the profile settings
The exported data as HTML files

There is another possibility to export single chatrooms or single messages. 
Stand in the chat room (both channels and individual chats) from which you want to export messages and select the "..." button within the room. icon inside the room.
There you will be offered the option "Export Messages". A menu will then open on the right side of the chat. 

Here you can choose whether you want to export individual messages (send via email) or the entire history within a certain time period (export as file). 

Send via Email

If you choose the export method "Send via Email" you have to select single messages from the chat which you want to export. Then fill in the field "To user" to whom you want to send the export, for example yourself. If necessary you can change the subject of the email. After you have clicked on "Send" you will receive an e-mail containing the exported messages.

 

Export as File

If you select the export method "Export as File" you can specify a time period from which the messages should be exported. Then select the output format between HTML or JSON and choose Export. You will receive an e-mail with a download link to the exported data.