Jul
16
2010
1

Resample MP3’s for Polycom Ringtones with Audacity

A customer of VoiceIP Solutions sent me this useful tutorial for re-sampling Polycom Ringtones.   If you have an MP3 you like, it can be re-sampled for use with a Polycom IP SIP phone!  The procedure is pretty straight forward, Install Audacity with yum or your favorite package manager, re-sample the track, then edit the proper Polycom Soundpoint boot files.

Goals of this Post:

– Install Audacity Digital Audio Editor
– Convert a MP3 to Polycom compatible track
– Enable custom special Ringtone on Polycom Soundpoint IP SIP phone

(more…)

Jun
28
2009
1

Polycom 501 XML configuration file Example

This file is named by the MAC address of your Polycom SoundPoint IP SIP phone followed by, ‘-phone.cfg’.  In your FTP folder you would have a file for each phone – I have a single phone.  It’s MAC is ‘0004F202734B’; so my phones configuration file would be named, ‘0004f202734b-phone.cfg’.  I believe there are other conventions for naming this file as well.

The example below was used to connect my phone with a VoiceIP Solutions Asterisk PBX.  This example shows just a fraction of the many possible features in this line.  For my purposes, I defined the Asterisk server IP address, and it’s SIP credentials.  I also added the NTP server.  The ‘mwi’ tag refers to ‘message waiting information’, here I set the mailbox(s) I’m subscribing to and the extension to check voicemail.   My Asterisk voicemail menu is extension ‘299’.

0004f202734b-phone.cfg:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ standalone=”yes”?>
<!– Example Per-phone Configuration File –>
<!– $RCSfile: phone1.cfg,v $  $Revision: 1.104.2.2 $ –>
<phone1>
<reg
reg.1.displayName=”5555″
reg.1.address=”5555″
reg.1.auth.userId=”5555″
reg.1.auth.password=”2005″
reg.1.server.1.address=”192.168.1.254″
tcpIpApp.sntp.address=”pool.ntp.org”
tcpIpApp.sntp.gmtOffset=”-33600″
>
<mwi
msg.mwi.1.subscribe=”5555″
msg.mwi.1.callBackMode=”contact”
msg.mwi.1.callBack=”299″
>
</phone1>

Jun
27
2009
4

SOLVED: ProFTP will not start after install on Fedora 11

I was working on a project for VoiceIP Solutions yesterday and I required a FTP server to provision some Polycom Soundpoint IP phones. So I did my usual ‘yum install proftpd’ , followed by ‘service proftpd start’, but the service failed to start. So after some poking around – checking user assignment for that process and permissions I found nothing. So I decided to invoke the server from the command line with the ‘-t’ to check for errors:

[root@mattcom1 log]# proftpd -t
Checking syntax of configuration file
– warning: unable to determine IP address of ‘mattcom1’
– error: no valid servers configured
– Fatal: error processing configuration file ‘/etc/proftpd.conf’

The error told me right away that the issue was my ‘/etc/hosts’ file. My server name ‘mattcom1’ was not found in that file. Even though both the Network manager and Network configuration tools showed a hostname, there was actually nothing added to the ‘/etc/hosts’ file. watch out for this one!

Jun
07
2009
--

How to Configure Linux ODBC Connections for MS SQL

Last week at work(VoiceIP Solutions) I did some research for Asterisk PBX integration with Microsoft CRM.  The customer likes open source Asterisk because of the cost savings, but they requires screen pop-ups, and click to dial from their Customer Relationship Management software.  So while my manager worked on the TAPI middleware, I was charged with figuring out how to connect to the MS SQL database.  This article was prompted by a desire to connect an Asterisk PBX to MS SQL, but the tutorial applies to Apache, Postfix, CRM, PHP or any Linux app that needs to do a remote query.  Also, while the focus of this article is aimed at MS SQL the same steps(with a few tweaks) can be used for connecting to Postgre, Sybase, MySQL, etc…

I’m a lot more famalier with MySQL & PostgreSQL, but MS SQL I haven’t touched since I had the silly notion about 10 years ago to become a Windows 2000 MCSE.  Incidently, I never did take the exams, because I was a broke student at the time and I was becoming increasingly interested in Linux and Cisco.

The logical choice is to use the UNIX ODBC driver.  ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity.  ODBC is a well documented set of API’s that is available on many platforms.  However, their are subtle differences in it’s implentation and the protocols that run at application layer.  In other words ODBC is encapsulated when making calls to a database over a network (in this case, the TDS protocol).

I did some googling and found a number of incomplete tutorials for connecting Linux to MS SQL.  This article is intended to clarify some common configuration errors and will present you with example files.  For my demonstration I’m running Fedora 10 with the latest updates as of this writing.  This article assumes you have a working MS SQL datebase with the proper user permissions in mixed mode.  I put this one in bold because it stumped the MCSE database guy for a while.

Again, I want to point out I’m not a Microsoft DBA and will likely not be able to help you on that side of the configuration.  Also, there are many versions of SQL out there and the syntax to pull data differs slightly from one version to the next.  So you may need to do a little research to make the proper pulls.

The Goals of this Post:

– install ODBC and TDS on Fedora 10

– verify TDS can login into MS SQL server

– configure odbcinst.ini, odbc.ini and freetds.conf configuration files

(more…)

Apr
08
2009
2

Install Queuemetrics Call Center software for Asterisk on Fedora 10


What makes Asterisk so great is the growing ecosystem of 3rd party software.  For call centers based on Asterisk PBX, the best on the market is Queuemetrics.  This solution allows for over 150 different statistics to be collected.  Here is just a few:

Number of calls
Total call length
Average call length
Average call waiting
Number of unanswered calls
Average time before disconnection
Area code
Number of calls
Total calling time
Average time per call (for taken calls)
Average wait per call
Average position at disconnection (for lost calls)
Number of available agents
Total agent time
Average agent time
Minimum/ maximum agent session duration
Agent availability

If by now you are not convinced take a look at the complete list; you can check out Loway’s site and Queuemetrics here.  I have personally helped setup several commercial call centers(while working for VoiceIP Solutions) with this software and I am impressed at the value and support for our customers purchase.  So today we are going to set up a basic Queuemetrics installation; we will not be covering the Asterisk portion.  Nothing fancy here, but I can get you started.

The goal of this post:

– install Queuemetrics

(more…)

Mar
23
2009
12

Asterisk Appliance AA50 firmware upgrade

I got an Asterisk Appliance from VoiceIP Solutions for the purpose of writing up some labs.  I just got my hands on the unit and the first thing we are a going to do is upgrade the firmware.  I’m going to start by plugging my laptop’s ethernet into the LAN port on the Asterisk Appliance.

The unit I’m working with is AA50.  You can only get the firmware by registering with Digium.  Which is inconvenient.  Not a very open policy for an open source product.  In any case you must obtain the current AA50 uImage-1.3.0.1 image for browser upload.  Which I won’t lie… it is not easy.  There is a clearly marked drop down for documentation on the Digium support page.  I easily found the PDF, but there was no link to the firmware.  I ended up using their built-in search bar to find a page with a link to the AA50 firmware. I then accidentally downloaded the CD ISO image first.  I did eventually find and download the firmware.  I logged into the appliance and chose the update tab.

(more…)

Mar
19
2009
4

VoiceIP Solutions offers Asterisk PHP GUI for large scale deployments



VoiceIP Solutions
is a Asterisk ‘consulting & deployment’ company in Seattle Washington.  They deploy Asterisk solutions for businesses of all sizes.  From small offices to universities and call centers.  They have sites deployed all over the United States, but mostly on the West Coast.  I’ve been following them for some time; I guess they started deploying Asterisk before 1.2 was released.  I talked to one of their sales rep’s(I think his name was Liam) about the business and wondered if they had done any development work?  He told me that they had done some PHP work for managing larger installs and proceeded to direct me to one of there engineer/developers.

(more…)