VQ Conference Manager’s “get out of jail” dial-plan tooling

VQ Conference Manager’s dial-plan tooling and functionality has been driven by customer requests for help to ensure that the Call Ids and URIs generated by VQ fit within the dial-plan of the hosting organization.

The initial requests were simple: can we make it possible to configure the prefix that’s used for each auto-generated Call Id.

That was followed by the “Auto-Increment” keyword that allowed URI and Call Id values to be generated during the LDAP Import process; some systems didn’t have LDAP/Active Directory attributes that could be used to import these values from and the delivery team were not able to get the LDAP/AD schema changed (a not uncommon situation with these types of request). The auto-increment values were of defined length; they could be prefixed or post-fixed with values which we were able to identify and therefore allow customers to change the prefixes but maintain the auto-increment values – this particular ability saved one large bank with a mid-service update to their dial-plan.

More recent ones have been more sophisticated; we added a Secondary Call Id field on the LDAP Configuration page to allow “short” Call Ids to be defined. The particular customer in question had a large user base and very high call volumes. Audio Conferencing users were complaining that the Call Id format that had been designed into the solution was user-unfriendly and they were having to enter Call Ids that were too long. We added a secondary Call id that consisted of last 5 digits of the Call Id (via an LDAP attribute transform); the change retained compatibility and also allowed users to use the short Call Ids when joining calls.

The latest change available in 3.1 (coming very soon) is another really cool one (it’s actually several):

We’ve taken the Auto-Increment concept from the LDAP Config page (to generated Call Id and URI values) and added support for it to the Space Template page. The Space Template page also supports a new Call-Id/URI Generator called “Random” that, as the name suggests, enables the generation of less easily guessed values (auto-increment always generates a value of the previous value plus one). Where this gets really cool (and massively user-friendly) is when a user comes to generate a new Call or Space based on the Space Template, the Call Id and URI values are automatically inserted. Because the auto-increment and Random keywords can be prefixed and post-fixed with additional information, the administrator can define the exact URI values that will be generated. The URIs will never clash and the user will never have to think of the value to use. VQCM will also delete the Space (and URI) after the call completes.

Moving forward, we expect to add more Generator keywords to perform specific tasks.