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3/6
2012
William Bell

NetCraftsmen’s Enterprise Directory Application

Brief Background

I have built custom corporate directories before using the Cisco IP Phone SDK. For those who don’t know, the IP Phone SDK contains a bunch of different ASP (Classic ASP) and JSP applications. (IIRC most of these apps were developed by Berbee. The same folks that put together the original InformaCast).

Anyway, building a new application using Classic ASP didn’t seem like a good idea. So, this time around, I built it from scratch using ASP.NET and C#. Right now the app is called the “NetCraftsmen Enterprise Directory” but we may change that.

The App

Version 1.0 (actually, it is the third or fourth version but with a complete re-write) was built with the goal of providing the following key features:

Directory Lookup Rules

The ability to provide “Directory Lookup Rules” similar to what is found in CUCM. In a later release, I may even just absorb the Directory Lookup Rules from CUCM. For now, we provide a method via a local config. The main reason I went this route is to tie the lookup rules to different tenants on the system.

Multi-tenant Support

This was a feature from 1.0. Basically, we use the IP address to determine location and then apply dial rules based on the device’s location. This can come in handy when you have different abbreviated or off net dialing rules.

In a future release, I plan on adding some features from a previous version. Specifically, the ability to have different dialing rules for intra-cluster (i.e. inter-site) dialing rules. Perhaps adding in “filters” to allow some segmentation based on “who” is calling “whom”.

Multi-Directory

In previous “versions”, I used code which leveraged LDAP. This method was essentially based on the LDAP COM+ component Cisco provides in the SDK. I also had a separate “train” (if you will) that leveraged AXL/SOAP from CUCM.

In the new app, we added a few things. First, we have built in a way to have more than one directory and each directory can have more than one source. In the “dot zero” release, the sources can be a local directory cache and a CUCM cluster (via AXL/SOAP). The app blends the two sources into one. In the future, I expect to re-add an LDAP capability (rewritten, of course). I also plan to expand the app to allow for more than one CUCM cluster.

The Wrap

There are some other little bells and whistles, but nothing mind blowing (or even all that interesting?). I am thinking I may put in a few other features and possibly approach my fellow NetCraftsmen to see if we should package this app up for general availability. Of course, it wouldn’t be the first of its kind but I think we can add some interesting features that differentiate our offering.

If you think this would be something of interest, let me know.

William Bell

William Bell

Vice President, Solutions and Products

William’s background spans an array of technical disciplines including application development, network infrastructure, protocol analysis, virtualization, and Unified Communications. Bill is certified as a CCIE Voice (CCIE #38914) and possesses a deep understanding of Cisco’s UC and Collaboration portfolio. He leads the Infrastructure Engineering team and also works with customers on architecting solutions that align with core business drivers. Bill is a regular contributor on the Cisco Support Community, a 3 time Cisco Designated VIP, and blogs on the NetCraftsmen and UC Guerrilla sites.

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Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

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Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.

 

John Cavanaugh

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John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.