Monday, May 21, 2012

Identifying Cisco IP Phone Models for Custom Directory

Earlier this year I decided to develop a web application (NetCraftsmen Enterprise Directory - NED) that could provide a multi-tenant and multi-source corporate directory feature for the Cisco Unified Communication Manager (CUCM) telephony environment. I have written custom corporate directory apps before using the Cisco IP Phone SDK. 

This time around, I decided to start from scratch. I also decided to use C# and the ASP.NET framework. So, I am immersed in a learning curve - which is really where I like to be. I thought that periodically I could throw a tidbit of information in this blog. Whether that information is about C#, ASP.NET, or just Cisco-isms.

In the current installment, I am going to provide a very simple example for determining what model of phone is connecting to a web application. Turns out, this is pretty important to create a robust corporate directory application for Cisco IP Phones.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Redundancy Considerations and Cisco IP Phone Services

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) and, more specifically, Cisco IP Phones support application extensibility by leveraging web server applications and the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Anyone who has used Extension Mobility, Corporate Directory, Missed Calls, Received Calls, and other similar apps on a Cisco IP phone has witnessed a XML application in action. 

Users of these standard applications and the numerous other productivity applications optimized to leverage the Cisco IP Phone XML capabilities have grown to expect these applications to be 100% available. A common question I field from customers and one I have seen on the Cisco Support Forums from time to time is: "how to make these web-based applications redundant?".

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Querying Fast Dials Using SQL Queries in CUCM

We suffered a lapse in our weekly series on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) SQL Queries. Getting back on track, I wanted to take a spin off of the installment I presented on querying speed dials and dive into a related CUCM feature: Fast Dials and its partner in crime Personal Address Book (PAB).

I typically leverage this query when doing upgrades for people. I also query this data when customers feel they need to do some sort of house cleaning. Fast Dials have this uncanny way of being forgotten. I can see why. Anyway, on with the show...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hot Toys 1/6th Scale Dark Knight

One of the main focal points for this blog is to talk about topics around design, implementation, and operation of UC and Collaboration technologies. But that isn't all that I do. I also collect 1/6th scale action figures. Specifically Hot Toys Marvel characters (with some Dark Knight thrown in - the only DC series I like). Yeah, it's nerdy but "I am what I am and that's all that I am".

Anyway, a few weeks ago my wife and I were hanging out and talking about a new macro lens she was testing (she's a professional photographer) and we decided to snap a few shots. I figured I might as well go ahead and post a couple here. First round goes to the Dark Knight.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Gorilla Got a Brand New Bag

It has been a couple of weeks since I put up a blog. I had a couple of work distractions come up, I was out in San Jose for the ATA conference, I took the CCIE-V (written), and I was working with a designer on a logo for my "online brand". I have also spent a decent amount of time tweaking blogger templates to give my blog a facelift incorporating the new logo. I am still tweaking but version "2.0" is online and I plan to stick with it for a few months.

I am pretty happy with the new look and wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to Luci Morreale at Ladderback Design ( Luci was the creative force behind the newly branded logo. Needless to say I definitely (and shamelessly) recommend Luci and Ladderback to anyone who is looking to update their brand, logo, or online identity. Luci was very adept at extracting the essence of my abstract (and sometimes warped) ideas and giving them substance.

If you like the logo, let me know via comments! If you don't, you can still comment but don't be surprised if I quietly click "delete". Yeah, that's how I roll!

Thanks for reading. If you have time, post a comment!