Friday Feb 15, 2013

Oracle Communications Messaging Server: Managing Storage Requirements

Oracle Communications Messaging Server and Tiered Storage

For those of you who missed this great information that we published over a year ago, I highly recommend that you have a look: Messaging Server and Tiered Storage Overview. Even if you were aware of this content, it's worth reviewing again, not only for a recap of how the Messaging Server message store operates, but to understand store performance characteristics, and how to plan for and allocate store partitions across your storage devices. Whether you are an ISP or enterprise, this content is a must read.

Wednesday Feb 13, 2013

Email: Moving From Business Intelligence to Intelligent Business


I have to quote Michael Osterman again, this time from his article Using the Intelligence Locked away in Email:

For most organizations, the largest single source of information about what’s going on in their business is the collection of user mailboxes and email archives...This rich source of content can provide valuable business intelligence to decision makers, but few extract even a fraction of the valuable content contained therein.

So if you are using our Messaging Server, for starters, you should also be using our Indexing and Search Service product. It only makes your business that more intelligent.

Wednesday Feb 06, 2013

You Can't Beat Free Stuff

My Oracle Communications blogging comrade Leif Lourie is giving away free knowledge. Check it out.

Tuesday Feb 05, 2013

The Demise of Email Has Been Prematurely Reported


In 2009, I found many claims on the demise of email. Back then, my own, for-what-it-was-worth opinion was "no way." Perhaps that was a knee-jerk reaction on my part, or perhaps it was a statement that arose out of my own use and dependance upon email and I needed to deny the rise of social networks. Well, it now appears that those reports were perhaps just a bit exaggerated. According to Michael Osterman of Osterman Research, email is alive as ever, in fact, email use is up. Today he writes (emphasis mine):

In the 2009 to 2011 timeframe, there were a number of articles in the trade and popular press about the demise of corporate and personal email.  Many believed that email use would dwindle as younger people entered the workforce, those weaned on social media and text messaging.  Email was for the “grups” (you’re welcome, original Star Trek fans), while newer forms of communication would replace it.

Maybe someday, but not now.  We just completed a survey with corporate email users to determine if that was the case.  What we found is that 42% of email users are employing email more today than they were 12 months ago, while only 10% are using it less.  The remainder are using email at about the same level they were a year ago.

Our research also found that email continues to be the dominant communication tool used in the workplace.

Moreover, I completely agree with his statement that one of the reasons that email remains and grows in popularity is that it serves as a:

...repository of emails, contacts, files and other information that acts as something of a flat-file database in which we can store content that is easily searchable.

This Is Where Indexing and Search Service for Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite Comes In

If you are like me, you not only need the ability to search the subjects and bodies of your email message, you need the ability to search your email attachments. Indeed, more and more, my email inbox has become my go-to storehouse of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs, and so on. So finding data, and finding it fast, is where email inboxes need to go.

Which brings me to Oracle's Indexing and Search Service product. If you haven't heard by now, Indexing and Search Service enables you to quickly search and view your email attachments. Here are some cool facts about Indexing and Search Service:

  • Integrated with our Messaging Server and Convergence products, enabling nearly instantaneous results from complex searches such as cross-folder searches.
  • Because it is deployed as a separate service, the actual search effort is offloaded from Messaging Server.
  • Any IMAP client that can communicate with Messaging Server can take advantage of this powerful search service.

Rather than go on in more detail, refer to the following Indexing and Search Service blog posts and documentation links for more information.

Thursday Jan 31, 2013

New Blog: Oracle Communications Documentation and Curriculum

My manager and other members of the team have started a new blog--the Oracle Communications Documentation and Curriculum blog-- to talk about content creation and getting some real-world feedback to help improve that content. Check it out when you get the chance.

Oracle Hosts CalConnect XXVI

Cool. CalConnect XXVI, consisting of CalConnect Interoperability Test Events, and a CalConnect Roundtable Technical Conference (Members Meeting), is going on right now at Oracle.

Friday Jan 25, 2013

Unified Communications Suite: Wiki Documentation Changes

As longtime UCS-ers know, we have been providing wiki docs for many years now. One of the benefits of wiki docs is that writers can and do update content more frequently than with a static documentation environment. While this means that documentation issues get addressed more readily, it could also present a small problem in knowing when a doc (aka wiki page) has been updated. In addition, you might want to know not only that the page changed but how can you easily spot that change? Was the change cosmetic or substantive? And so on.

In the interest of making this knowledge a bit easier to come by, and to highlight the continuing work that the UCS InfoDev team is putting into our documentation, here are a few ways in which you can determine when a doc has been updated:

    • Look at the page history.
      On any page, from the Tools menu, select Page History. You then see a list of versions, dates, who made the change, and (hopefully) a comment on what was changed. For example, here is the page history for the Calendar Server 7 Administration Guide.
    • Once you are on the Page History page, you can compare versions. Click the check boxes beside the versions you want to compare then click the Compare selected versions button.
    • A quick and easy way to see what pages have changed recently is to choose Pages from the Browse menu, then select Recently Updated. You see a list of recently changed pages for the entire wiki space. This list is convenient in that you also get a view change link that takes you to a Page Comparison page, showing the changes.
    • If you have a standard Oracle ID, you can "watch" a page and be automatically notified by email when a change occurs.
      To watch a page:
      1. Log in to
      2. Go to the page that you want to watch.
      3. Click the Tools drop down menu and select Watch.
        When we make a change to the page, sends you an email.
    So there you have it. You now have all the info you need to stay up-to-date on our CommSuite wiki changes.

      Friday Jan 18, 2013

      Communications Suite Documentation: Wiki Structure

      From time to time, I get questions on how to find a particular piece of documentation on the Unified Communications Suite documentation wiki. So I thought it would be useful to give an explanation of our wiki structure and how to approach, at least on one basic level, looking for a particular document.

      In a nutshell, we have structured the Communications Suite documentation into two information buckets: "release-specific" content (Release Notes, New Features (formerly What's New), Installation Guides, and Upgrade Guides); and "non-release specific" content (Administration Guides, Developer Guides, Customization Guides, Tuning Guides, and the like). Release-specific content is always located on its own wiki space (in effect, its own web site), whereas the non-release specific content is always on the same "home" wiki space. In terms of URLs, what you have is this:

      Non-release Specific Content
      Release Specific Content
      and so on...

      Thus, for each new Communications Suite release, such as Communications Suite 7 Update 2, we publish the aforementioned release-specific content on its own wiki space. The thought here is that customers appreciate having everything they need to install or upgrade a particular release in one location, and don't have to click around to get what they need. Nor do they want to be encumbered by other extraneous content that only gets in the way of the installation or upgrade process.

      Notice that the release specific content URLs follow the naming convention CommSuite<v>U<n>, where <v> is the major version and <n> is the update. So knowing that, if, for example, you wanted the release specific documentation for Communications Suite 6 Update 2, you now understand that you would use the following URL: Simple, eh?

      On the other hand, when dealing with say, administration information, we made the decision to not publish a release-specific Administration Guide for each new Communications Suite version. This is different from other typical publishing environments, where you would expect a new Administration Guide to be published for each new release, even if little to nothing changed. Instead, in the Communications Suite world, you always go to the same guide (you don't have to look around for version x update y of the guide), whose URL remains the same. For example, the Calendar Server Administration Guide is located at

      So, how do you know if a change was made to a product feature and in what release, you ask? We use a versioning panel to indicate the introduction of a new feature, or a change to an existing feature. Here is an example from the Calendar Server Administration Guide:

      So, to summarize:

      • If you want release notes, and installation and upgrade information, go to the release-specific wiki for the release that you need.
      • For all other content, including administration, customization, developer, and tuning information, go to the "home" (non-release specific) wiki.
      One more note: The home Comms wiki space always has links to the current release specific documentation in the right-hand "Guides" panel. So that's another place to start looking for release notes, installation, and upgrade information.

      Sunday Dec 09, 2012

      Communications Suite: New Patches Available

      Two new patches for the following Unified Communications Suite component products are now available:

      • Calendar Server 6.3 patch 53
      • Connector for Outlook 7.3 Update 1 patch 17

      Download details:

      Reminder: As a workaround to learning about new Communications Suite patches, you can use the Confluence watch feature to monitor the Communications Suite Component Patches page. When new patches are available, this page is updated with that information. You then receive an email message that this page has been updated. The watch feature is available under the Tools menu when you are logged in to

      Thursday Nov 08, 2012

      UCS Documentation: Home1 or Home2? You Decide.

      How you go about finding information can be a very personal affair. We each have our own style of locating content, we each have our particular bent. But when it comes to getting started finding technical information, sometimes the simplest ways are best, especially if you are relatively new to a product or technology, and you just need to get going quickly with that Installation Guide or those Release Notes.

      With that in mind, I recently created an alternative home page for the Unified Communications Suite documentation. You can now have your Home2, in addition to the original, more wiki-fied Home1. I would recommend Home2 for those who are used to, and are more comfortable with, the spreadsheet-like view of manuals: here you'll find those familiar titles and the option to either view on the wiki or download the equivalent PDF file. Once you get familiar with what guides are available for the UCS component products, then move on to the Home1 layout, and start using some of the more advanced techniques for finding content in a wiki.

      Either way, you should be able to locate the "thing" you are looking for.

      Friday Oct 19, 2012

      Oracle Communications Calendar Server: Upgrading to Version 7 Update 3

      It's been some time since I have posted an entry. Now, with the release of Oracle Communications Calendar Server 7 Update 3, it seems high time to jump start this blog again.

      To begin with, check out what's new in this release:

      The upgrade is a bit more complicated than normal, as you must first apply some new schema elements to your Directory Server(s). To do so, you need to get the comm_dssetup 6.4 patch, patch the comm_dssetup script, and then run the patched comm_dssetup against your Directory Server(s) instances. In addition, if you are using the nsUniqueId attribute as your deployment's unique identifier, you'll want to change that to the new davUniqueId attribute. Consult the Upgrade Procedure for details, as well as DaBrain's blog, before forging ahead with this upgrade.

      Additional quick links:

      Wednesday Feb 22, 2012

      Unified Communications Suite: GlassFish Patch Issue with Convergence

      Update for Convergence deployments: There are known issues when Convergence is deployed with GlassFish Enterprise Server 2.1.1 Patch 15. Therefore, do not to use this particular GlassFish patch.

      Update, 2/29: See the Convergence Release Notes for more information.

      Friday Oct 14, 2011

      Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 2 Ships

      In case you hadn't heard, Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite has released its latest version, 7 Update 2, and it's available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud.

      Highlights for this release include the following:

      • Oracle Communications Calendar Server
        • Support for Oracle DB 11g release 2.
        • Outlook connectivity offered via Outlook Connector has been enhanced to support Calendar Server 7 Update 2 (through the WCAPbis protocol).
        • Support for both Apple iCal and Microsoft Exchange Style Delegation models enables users to share their calendars and delegate calendar management to others.
        • Support for certificate based authentication for use in secure environments, as well as support for virus scanning of attachments included with events and appointments.
      • Oracle Communications Instant Messaging Server
        • Support for external IM networks, including real time Instant Messaging and Presence connectivity, for Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Google, and Facebook.
        • Federation with SIP/SIMPLE based IM networks.
      • Indexing and Search Service for Unified Communications Suite has been enhanced to deliver a more highly available and reliable service.

      Here's a set of links to get you started:

      Tuesday Apr 26, 2011

      Calendar Server for CALDAV Clients 7 Update 1: New Patch Available

      Oracle Communications Calendar Server for CALDAV Clients 7 Update 1 has shipped a new patch (patch 3). The patch IDs by platform are:
      • Solaris: 142785-03
      • Solaris x86: 142786-03
      • Red Hat Linux: 142787-03

      To obtain patches:

      1. Log in to
      2. Select the Patches and Updates tab.
      3. Type the patch id in the search box and Search for the patch.
        Selecting the patch will take you to the patch information page.
      4. Click the Download button.

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


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