I’m hopeful

More advanced provisioning

Unassigned device provisioning
So we can put devices out in the field and have them retrieving their "blank" config until a client assigns them an extension.

SMARTY style template control
in provisioning templates. eg {if}{then}{else} on variables, {for} loops etc

add extensions that are already assigned
Just don't provide the password - but provide all the other extension details - then users can more easily manage BLF settings by assigning an extension to additional lines, then you can use an {if} to see if the password exists or not - and create the correct config for a speed dial / BLF or true extension
4 people like
this idea
+1
Reply
  • Troy,

    why blank configuration? the handset without an extension assigned is useless. pls provide more details about that.

    Smarty template: could be an idea although pretty complex because it must behave consistent with all handsets from various manufacturers, and every phone has it's own set of features.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • There are several situations that need a "no extensions" configuration.

    1. Ensuring devices have current firmware, company branding and other non user-specific customisations like WiFi settings. Without being able to push out configs even to devices with no extension, we can't maintain them - generally requiring lengthy support calls or site visits.

    2. Dave moves from desk 5 to desk 10, but nobody is sitting at Dave's old desk. So, now there are two devices arguing over who is Dave's true device, because the phone at desk 5 was never told to "delete" it's extension config.

    As for smarty templating in the phone configuration - I disagree that it would be any more complex. It would however allow for more "complete" customisations of devices.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I agree with allowing for better provisioning. The system as is, is a global all the same for all users template config. This is ok, but I find that we are spending a considerable amount of time manually configuring side cars, speed dials, BLF, etc....on individual phones.

    Also, if we make customizations like this, we can no longer use the provisioning in voipnow as it will overwrite the custom config if/when we regenerate the config files for global changes. This forces us to move the config files to another location and make sure we note this so we know we have to manually change these phones if/when we find an issue with the global config. This again creates much more work.

    In order to do this your provisioining would need to be seen as a 2 layer config. You have the global config that is currently in place, but you also have the user level config which merges with the global template. You can then customize features from the user level provisioning (Speed dial, BLF, sidecar, etc....) and the phones files would be generated based on both settings and not just a global template.

    This is something that has existed in IP PBX systems for at least 9 years and I still that feature advertised in many of the systems out today. I don't feel as though it would be terribly difficult to implement into the existing system since it will really just be an add on to the existing provisioning and not really an overhaul with some GUI changes to add the screens to the user interface.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • i see this as a separate add on provisioning module , not a built in feature inside VoipNow, due to the need to support provisioning multiple manufacturers/systems. let's see the community feedback.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Why would this be a separate add on?

    This is just core provisioning functionality.

    At least initially - this would be super simple to implement. VoipNow already uses Smarty for some of it's rendering.

    I've already suggested a solution for allowing BLF / Press to dial functionality.

    It doesn't need to be (and should not be) yet another provisioning system running in tandem with the existing system.. If users don't want to use the additional functionality - they don't have to.

    It would be a minimal change to the layout of the existing templates and their use of variable names.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • 1
    This too could be an "App"... we use polycom provisioning. I feel an "App" and server would be the better way. The problem we have seen with the provisioning in the VN3 server is... limitation. There are so many options within the UC software for polycoms (I assume that it would be the same for cisco, grandstream etc) and the VN3 only has minimal variable access to the data base from provisioning... Best example... "Label".. when using the provisioning there is no where to set the "Label" on the device or the number of line keys. So you program a polycom 330... you only want one extension 0001*222 and have it on both line keys with label "Ext 222" ... it is not dynamically possible within the current methods of the VN3 provisioning... not that it would be impossible... it would just need another screen with all possible variables within the xml files of the UC software.

    We set up a TFTP at customer sites now and just modify the XML on site... set the poling for 4am on all devices... manually create an "overide" file for each mac address and then make site wide changes to the site.cfg.

    Simple... can this be done on the VN3 server? SURE but it would be more HTML/PHP programming to just read the XML files in the templates....

    We would rather us the API and have a separate "Provisioning" system... we could design and license that very easily... just takes time and some money and a real interest to use it. We have our own "Versions" of the fixes for most of the things I have read today... we want to know how many Serviceproviders/organizations/users/extensions are out in the wild ... then we can gauge whether its worth while to commercialize our solutions.

    Visit the thread I created and tell us what you need, how many you could use NOW... we need to see participation and get a better idea of how many VN3 servers are really out there! :)

    http://my.4psa.com/4psa/topics/voipno...
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I would not want to see provisioning moved outside of VoIPNow. And I would not want this to become an "app".

    Provisioning is "core" to VoIPNow. As far as I can see (and have "hacked" around to test) - the system could very easily be made far more powerful with a few very simple tweaks.

    Getting those things over the line with 4psa is what is exceedingly difficult. The philosophy seems to be that if it's not their idea there is no "use case" nor reason to develop the functionality.

    By implementing some of the options mentioned previously - you would have extensions, BLF/Status etc - all with the current (upgraded) provisioning system.

    No need for an APP, no need to call the API, and no need to use yet another interface to manage your devices. Please, please - think of our clients. Many of them struggle as it is with the functionality delivered here - telling them to log in somewhere else to manage their devices would end up in increased support calls for us, and then less renewing clients in the future.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • We use custom PHP scripts within the system for many things... I don't see how writting in modifiers to the xml or cfg pages that a device uses could be that hard. Customer Provioning PHP file?

    When you say BLF/Status... do you mean like presence to see when someone is on the phone? We use polycoms so its the "Watch buddy" where you add a contact by XXXX*YYY within the phone, it then uses a line key to show if that person is on the phone or not?

    That is easily enabled within your provisioning template. I believe the stock polycom 3.3.x version of the provisioning files that 4psa provided has that as active.

    I talked a little bit about why we use on site for bigger centres here...

    http://my.4psa.com/4psa/topics/provis...

    But the basics are simple... you could put your own custom templates up that have the over rides you require easily.

    If you want other "Dynamic" things... well thats up to 4psa as the calls they allow are limited. Static stuff though makes sense... if "presence is enabled" then it should turn on BLF/watch buddy within the extension dynamically.

    Then need to just give us more database variables that would be allowed within the provisioning.

    The reason I suggest api or "App" is that we could just hack around it our selves... from what I understand... the provisioning files for a device are stored into their own folder based on ID or MAC of the device... nothing stopping our own scripted version of the provisioning.php from adding/changing/removing info within those files too! :)

    I think I am making sense here... tell me if I have got this wrong some how.... I am the "new guy" here after all :)
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • We already heavily used custom templates.

    The problem is - we have to create a custom template for every single extension. And that's not something that a client can manage - even our more "tech savvy" ones would struggle.

    It would be super simple to implement something as I discussed earlier - whereas if you add an extension to a device - and it's already provisioned somewhere else - there is either a flag, or it leaves the password field blank so there is no risk of it being used on two devices.

    If Smarty style templating was available - you could write a simple "{if}" rule - to detect the flag or empty password - and insert the required config lines to do the BLF / status.

    I abhor using something outside of the existing templating system, we do have heavy customisations in some places - to allow phones to look up company directories etc. (which is for another post - but it's a serious short fall in functionality).
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited