Jun
07
2009
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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

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Apr
02
2009
5

How to configure a Polycom SoundPoint IP phone for Asterisk on Fedora 10

In my opinion the best IP business phones on the market are made by Polycom. Anyone that knows anything about the VoIP Industry knows that!  High quality Polycom desk phones combined with Asterisk are a great combination of quality/price. So to that end we’re doing this lab.

Polycom employs several methods of provisioning the SIP phones.  For general configuration Sound Point IP have an excellent built web GUI,  but for multiple phones Polycom has an XML based system as well.  Every Sound Point IP can be provisioned based on MAC address.  Polycom’s provisioning method makes use of TFTP, FTP, or HTTP to deliver firmware updates and individual phone settings.

The goals of this post:

– Configure FTP server for Polycom firmware and configuration

– Configure Asterisk SIP extension

– deploy firmware and XML configuration files to Polycom SoundPoint IP 501 SIP phone

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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.

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