Wednesday May 08, 2013

Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 4: Rolling Out a New Release


We shipped the latest version (7 Update 4) of Unified Communications Suite. The following information should get you started:

Specifically, if you are interested in the Messaging Server 7 Update 5 (Patch 28) component of this release, the following new documentation will be useful:

The big change for Messaging Server in this release is the ability to have a Unified Configuration. Note that it is not required to use Unified Configuration when installing or upgrading to Messaging Server 7 Update 5. I recommend starting with Overview of Messaging Server Unified Configuration to get up to speed on what this change represents. I will be posting more about Unified Configuration going forward.

Additionally, we have published the following comprehensive security summary for Messaging Server:

* (I can't get enough of these photos of artist Al Weiwei's Forever Bicycles exhibit.)

Monday Apr 29, 2013

Unified Communications Suite: Upcoming Training Opportunities

Learn How to Administer UCS, Troubleshoot Messaging Server, and Customize Convergence

The following info comes my way via Jim Vonick, thanks Jim!

Do you need to learn how to install, configure and administer Oracle Communications Unified Communication Suite?  Training is available through Oracle University in a Live Virtual Class format, which offers live instructor-led training with labs delivered over the Internet. 

Classes are currently scheduled for the following courses:

Upcoming Classes: Starting June 3 and August 12

Upcoming Class: Starting August 28

See a list of all Oracle Communications classes at

Friday Apr 19, 2013

Why Wikis Are Great: UCS Calendar Server Administration Guide Reorganization

Want Documentation Convenience? Try a Wiki.

As a technical writer, I have to say, wikis can sure be convenient at times. Just this week, I was served up a major documentation request: reorganize the Calendar Server 7 Administration Guide, which meant moving sections around, creating new topic links, and so on. Typical writer handy man stuff.

In other writing environments, this could take a while, and then, even after doing the work, you'd have to navigate through a publication process to push the changes to your external repository, which itself, might not even be allowed off-release cycle, so to speak.

In any case, have a look at the newly revamped Calendar Server 7 Administration Guide. I have changed the logical flow somewhat and included a more expanded table of contents. Hopefully, this new arrangement is a better convenience. Still not finding what you are looking for? As always, drop a line or leave a comment here on this blog.

Friday Apr 12, 2013

Installing the Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 3 Stack: Not Just Solaris But Linux Too


Now Available: UCS 7.3 Linux Instructions for a Single Host Deployment

Piggybacking on my last post, Installing the Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 3 Stack, I just wanted to alert the UCS community  that I have published the same set of instructions (the single host deployment example, in UCS parlance) for Linux now. To reiterate, if you need to create a Comms deployment, for say, evaluation or proof-of-concept purposes, these documents are the best place to start. For those of you who were waiting for the Linux flavor of this doc, your wait is now over.

Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

Installing the Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 3 Stack


Looking to Create a UCS 7.3 POC Deployment? Stack it All on a Single Host.

If you need to create a Comms deployment, for say, evaluation or proof-of-concept purposes, the best place to go is the Single Host Deployment Example.

This doc "describes how to install Communications Suite 7 Update 3 software on one computer for a functioning deployment. This document is intended for any evaluator, system administrator, or installation technician who wants to install and evaluate the services delivered by these components."

It really takes all the guesswork out of deciding what configuration parameters to configure across the component products to get everything working. However, take note: This example deployment is not intended  for production purposes, and should be used for evaluation and for training purposes only.

Nevertheless, if you are new to the product, this is definitely the place I would recommend to start.

Monday Apr 01, 2013

Unified Communications Suite Summit 2013

Reconnecting with Comms

The UCS group gathered last week at our Santa Clara office for our annual Comms Summit. For me, it was a great opportunity to reconnect with Comms co-workers across all disciplines and geographies, and to participate in interactive sessions on the product.

My boss and I did a preso on knowing the audience that you are writing for, which got me thinking about how to use the wiki to provide some "role-based" views of the information. For example, say you are new to UCS and you are looking for product overview and capability type information. What you want to see is different from say what a current user of the product might want. The current user might want a view that is weighted towards administration and troubleshooting. A third user, for example, a developer, might want a view that provides easy access to API and customization information.

But, before charging ahead on seeing what it would take to get the wiki to do this, I got some other feedback: that some folks still appreciate just the PDF view of documentation. This audience (especially implementors) wants a standard spreadsheet of titles, such as Installation Guide, Administration Guide, and so forth, with the ability to see the title either in HTML (in our case, Wiki), or to download a PDF.

So, What's The Takeaway?

For the traditional PDF view, we do already cover the bases. You can use the Home2 view of the documentation to access the high-level doc titles by current release and product, and get a PDF.

What about those of you who want more of a role-based view of the documentation? My first suggestion would be to provide some education on how to better search for what you want. Right now, my number one recommendation is to use this Google Custom Search Engine (GCSE) that I put together:

Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite Documentation Search

The next step would be for me to try and do some doc rearchitecting to utilize the power of the wiki to carve out some distinct, separate role-based views. It occurs to me that a quick-and-dirty way of providing some role-based views would be to utilize the Confluence label feature and the content-by-label macro, to assemble some index-like pages.

 So, as a UCS user, let me know if this is something that you would like to see. As always, either drop me a line or leave a comment.

Friday Mar 22, 2013

Unified Communications Suite: Top Player Second Year in a Row

Analysis of the Market for Messaging Platforms for Service Providers Shows Oracle Is Tops

Leading analyst firm, The Radicati Group, Inc., has ranked Unified Communications Suite the Top Player in the service provider messaging platforms market for the second year in a row in its "Message Platforms for Service Providers - Market Quadrant 2012" report. Read the full report here:

Tuesday Mar 19, 2013

Email Phishing Casting Ever Longer Lines

Think Spam Has Gone Away? Guess Again.

Osterman has another well-written post up, this time about the enhanced phishing technique referred to as "longline phishing." The term comes from commercial longline fishing, in which "...a main line of up to several miles in length contains hundreds or thousands of short lines with hooks, each loaded with their own bait." Email longline phishing tries to accomplish something similar by using high volumes, highly customized messages, and  zero-day exploits that bypass existing anti-virus methodologies. As Osterman says:

"The genius behind the longline phishing attack is that a) volumes of any one message are extremely low, which makes recognition of these attacks difficult; b) overall volumes of messages received per potential victim are also low, often not triggering conventional anti-spam or anti-malware defenses; c) the attacks exploit vulnerabilities for which no defense is yet available; and d) botnets are used to distribute the attack across a wide range of sending IP addresses – one such attack, designed “Letter.htm” by Proofpoint, found in excess of 25,000 unique senders IPs in use."

Longline phishing is also particularly effective because "the perpetrators will compromise legitimate Web sites to distribute malware in order to gain higher clickthrough rates from potential victims."

Now, for you long-time savvy Unified Communications Suite administrators, this comes as no news. (Indeed, see my post from 2009: Email Phishing: Still a Big Problem.) But perhaps it has been a while since you have looked at your anti-spam setup and techniques, so as a reminder, I'll point you to the document, Protecting Against Spammers who Compromise Messaging Server User Accounts, for best practices on combating this issue.

And go read Osterman's entire article, it's worth it.

Bonus: I updated the Unified Communications Suite wiki tag cloud so that if you look under either antispam or spam, you can see at a glance all the related documentation on this topic.

Sunday Mar 17, 2013

Towards a Better UCS: Collaboration Helps Everyone

Using the Unified Communications Suite Documentation Wiki to Share Knowledge

Just wanted to remind the UCS community that not only can you use the documentation wiki to leave feedback and questions about the UCS documentation, you can also use it to share your knowledge.

Case in point, and of specific interest to Indexing and Search Service users: Thanks to JimKlimov for contributing his script to automatically provision and remove ISS indexes. As Jim himself posted, "Hope this helps someone else." 'Nuff said.

Note: You do need an Oracle ID to be able to log in to the wiki to add comments.

Tuesday Mar 12, 2013

No Joke: All the Communications Suite Release Notes You Ever Wanted

Keeping Track of Unified Communications Suite Release Notes in a Single Location

I sometimes forget about how easy it is to manufacture a new wiki view of the Unified Communications Suite documentation. While looking for something today, I came across the Communications Suite Release Notes Across All Releases page. I remembered back to when I first created this page, thinking what a great idea: having an easy way to access the release notes for each Unified Communications Suite component product by release, all at once. No clicking around from page to page or wiki space to wiki space. 

Making this view is a breeze: underneath the covers, it consists of a one-line macro per wiki space that says, grab the pages tagged (labeled) "releasenotes" and display. That's it.

So not only is this a useful page, in wiki-land, it's very easy to cobble together, saving both me, the writer, time in creating it, and you (the reader) time in getting what you need. No joke: a release notes win-win.

Friday Mar 08, 2013

Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 3: Go Get it!

We shipped the latest version (7 Update 3) of Unified Communications Suite today. This should get you started:

Saturday Mar 02, 2013

What Scott Says

Welcome to another one of my Infodev blogging comrades, Scott Miller. Here.

Friday Mar 01, 2013

UCS Documentation: Not Letting a Good Idea Go to Waste

Does Documentation Need to Zip It?

Owen over at the Ops Center blog had a nice idea. He put together and uploaded a zip file of all the documentation for Ops Center, so that if you are operating at a dark site, or without Internet access, you can have a portable version of the docs.

I don't have enough personal experience with the UCS audience to say if you'd like this as well, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to pose the question.

Is this something the Unified Communications Suite community would be interested in having for the UCS documentation? If so, leave a comment and let us know. It's certainly a good idea that I don't want to go to waste if it would prove valuable for UCS.

3/22/13 Update: Based on feedback that I received, you can download a zip file of all the UCS 7.3 documentation (PDF format) here.

Wednesday Feb 27, 2013

Unified Communications Suite: Creating Custom Applications Using ENS

Choosing the Correct Event Notification Service Documentation

Recently we received an inquiry through the software forums about creating custom applications for Messaging Server dealing with message notifications. This started a conversation about the ENS documentation that I would like to clarify.

Sidebar: Event Notification Services, ENS, is the underlying publish-and-subscribe service available in Messaging Server. ENS provides a server and APIs for publishers and subscribers. A publisher makes an event available to the notification service. A subscriber tells the notification service that it wants to receive notifications of a specific event.

Going forward with Messaging Server 7 Update 4, you should be using the ENS C API as the simplest and most stable way to interact with events provided by Messaging Server. The ENS C API is documented in the Current Event Notification Service C API Reference page.

And so we come to a source of confusion. The documentation for the older style API is still available on the Communications Suite wiki, and so if you search for say, "ENS API," you are likely to find it. I would link to it, but I really don't want to send anyone there. Indeed, that page will be removed shortly so as to not cause confusion anymore. Just to reiterate, use the ENS C API as documented in Current Event Notification Service C API Reference.

I hope this helps move beyond the "clear as mud" situation that we sometimes find ourselves in.

Wednesday Feb 20, 2013

Unified Communications Suite: Tuning in to the Sound of a Well Performing Deployment

Getting Started with Unified Communications Suite Performance Tuning

Making sure that your Communications Suite deployment is performing at its best is an ongoing mission. Fortunately, we have a solid starting point: Communications Suite Tuning and Best Practices

In this document, you'll find "...various tuning hints, tips, and current best practices for Communications Suite in an effort to simplify the process of improving Communications Suite performance and to avoid known issues."

There are three basic sections to this content:

  • General, for high-level monitoring concerns
  • Operating Systems, for specific items to check by platform
  • Component Products, with tips for each component of the Communications Suite stack               Source

Furthermore, some components have more detailed information that is collected on component-specific pages. And finally, still more performance tuning content on other topics is also gathered on the wiki. See the wiki's tuning label page for a look at all the performance tuning information that is available.


Reporting about Unified Communications Suite Documentation, including news, Comms 101, documentation updates, and tips and tricks.


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