Thursday Sep 02, 2010

Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 1 Is Here

We're releasing Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 1 (formerly Sun Java Communications Suite) today. Want to get started? Here's what you need:

  1. Get up to speed on new features and late breaking news:
  2. Understand how to install a new deployment or upgrade an existing one:
  3. Download the Communications Suite 7 Update 1 (and dependent software) bits:

Other documentation, such as administration, customization, and reference information, has also been updated for the release on the main CommSuite wiki space.


Tuesday Jan 19, 2010

Communications Suite 7: Installing the VMware Image

The Communications Suite 7 VMware image is a simple and portable method for demonstrating Communications Suite 7 features without the overhead of installation and configuration. This VMware image is intended only for demonstration or evaluation purposes and not for production use.

To download the Communications Suite 7 VMware image, go to: https://cds.sun.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/CDS-CDS_SMI-Site/en_US/-/USD/ViewProductDetail-Start?ProductRef=VICOMMS-007-99H9@CDS-CDS_SMI

You can also view the Communications Suite 7 VMware tutorial:

More information is available here: http://wikis.sun.com/display/CommSuite/Using+the+Sun+Java+Communications+Suite+VMware+Image

Friday Jan 08, 2010

Dealing with Communications Suite 7 & 32-bit Anti-Spam and Virus Plug-ins

Read about your options in dealing with 32-bit AS/AV plug-ins and Communications Suite 7, which is now a native 64-bit application:

Communications Suite 7 32-bit Anti-Spam and Virus Plug-ins

Thursday Nov 19, 2009

Install the Stack: Communications Suite 7 Single Host Deployment Example

We've updated the Single Host Deployment Example for Communications Suite 7. This example describes how to install the entire Sun Java Communications Suite 7 software "stack" 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.

This example describes how to install and configure the following components:

  • Sun Java System Messaging Server 7 Update 3
  • Sun Java System Calendar Server 6.3
  • Sun Java System Calendar Server 7
  • Sun Java System Instant Messaging 8 Update 2
  • Sun Java System Directory Server 6.3.1
  • GlassFish Enterprise Server 2.1 Patch 2 with HADB support
  • Delegated Administrator 7
  • Sun Convergence 1 Update 3
  • Sun Java Indexing and Search Service 1
Give the example a whirl.

Friday Nov 13, 2009

Convergence and Mail Quota

Good summary here for Convergence and setting mail quotas.

Picking daBrain's Brain: Comms 7 Installation on RHEL5

daBrain is up to it again, this time detailing his installation of the complete Communications Suite 7 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

Have a read, it's an enlightening experience.

Wednesday Nov 11, 2009

Communications Suite Wiki: Controlled Access Area

Just a heads up, in case you get the following messaging when trying to access a page on the Communications Suite wiki:

Controlled Access Area

You cannot view this page

Page level restrictions have been applied that limit access to this page.

Though this message sounds like we are control freaks, it's just to alert you the page is not publicly available. In general, we want our Wiki documentation to be as open and available as possible. But in some cases, where we are working on updating or improving documentation, we will restrict access until that work is done.

As always, if any readers are looking for information that you cannot find, or if you have any Comms documentation-related questions, feel free to drop us a line and we'll do our best to help you out.


Friday Oct 09, 2009

Sun Convergence: Viewing and Searching Attachments

Hat Tip Bill A.

Attachment View in Convergence

This is very cool. Click for larger image The new update to Sun Convergence, Convergence 1 Update 3 (shipping as part of Communications Suite 7), in conjunction with our new Indexing and Search Service 1 product, presents users with a grid of attachments in their email. (Click image at left for larger view.) In a nutshell, here's how all this functionality comes together:

- The ISS server "collects" all the attachments across all a user's email.
- The Convergence client displays a new virtual folder, “Attachments," in the folder tree for this collection.
- Convergence presents the attachments in three views. (This image shows the grid view.)
- Users can search the attachment list by filtering mechanisms (see below).
- Operations for viewing the message the attachment belongs to and creating a message with a selected attachment are available.
- Note: If ISS is not deployed, this feature is not presented.

Filter View of Attachments in Convergence

Click for larger image Here's a view of the Convergence Filter Attachments (click image at right for larger view). You can filter your search based on the sender of the attachment, a date range when you received the attachment, or the type of file that you are searching. This image is showing how to filter by sender.

In the filtered view, you still have the capability for viewing the message the attachment belongs to and creating a message with a selected attachment.

Film Strip View of Attachments in Convergence

Click for larger image As the image to the left shows (click for larger view), you can also view attachments in film strip mode. The film strip is displayed on right-hand side, you can arrow or mouse down, select one by one, and the selection is displayed in the middle of the Convergence UI.

Convergence also supplies a slideshow view, which takes over the entire browser. Controls are displayed at the bottom for navigating through attachments left and right, as well viewing them on a timed basis (that is, using a timer to view them).

Searching Attachments By Using ISS

When you do a search from the attachments grid, one choice is to search by body. By using ISS, you get to have a fast body search, which is more than just a body search, your attachments are searched as well. And if you're like me, I have tons of attachments in email that I'm constantly looking for. Attachments can be in a variety of formats such as PDF; Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Visio; StarOffice/Open Office; HTML; and more.

Thursday Oct 08, 2009

Calendar Server 7 Installation Experience

Interesting write-up by one of our TSC engineers, who just completed a Comms 7 Installation. Focus of the writeup is on our new product, Calendar Server 7.

Note: The single host deployment example (for SPARC), referenced in the above blog entry, is not yet publicly available. There is, however, this document for Red Hat Linux, that is available.

Monday Oct 05, 2009

Communications Suite: Hooking Up Comms & Apple

Did you know that you can use your Apple iPhone and iPod touch to work with Communications Suite products, including syncing your email, calendar, and contacts?

The two ways to connect your Apple iPhone and iPod touch to access Communications Suite 6 services (including Messaging Server 7 and Calendar Server 6.3) are by using:

  1. Native Apple applications
  2. NotifyLink Gateway

Each solution has pros and cons, as this article describes.

Accessing Calendar Server. Starting with Calendar 7, you can use Apple's CalDAV client, as long as you are using OS 3.0. See Configuring CalDAV Clients for Calendar Server 7. If you are not using OS 3.0, you can use a CalDAV client on a personal computer to access the CalDAV server, download data to the personal computer, then connect your iPhone to the personal computer and sync it through iTunes.


Friday Oct 02, 2009

Sun Java Indexing and Search Service: Time to Have the Talk

Hat Tip Jeff A.

Looking to get the most out of your email inbox? Then you'll want to have at look at Sun Java Indexing and Search Service 1, shipping as part of the newly released Sun Java Communications Suite 7.

The Email Inbox, Your De Facto Database: So Search Is Your De Facto Navigation

Companies and enterprises all over know the hard facts: their data sets are growing at an exponential rate. Thus, one of their most important business needs is finding data. Enter Search as the de facto method of navigating large amounts of data. And with email becoming personal data stores for all kinds of info--text, video, spreadsheets, presentations--searching inboxes becomes an all important activity. Search makes navigation easier. Saved searches can become virtual folders. And with Indexing and Search Service, you make all of that data available and accessible that right now, is either stuffed away in one of hundreds of folders or attached to an email and so not able to participate in searches.

Architecture Overview


ISS Key Capabilities

  • Open search interface
    • Standards-based RESTful web service supporting JSON; search feeds available via RSS/ATOM
    • You are not limited to the client connections supported out-of-the-box
  • Real-time indexing of content
    • Sun Java System Messaging Server generates events that trigger updates of ISS indexes
  • Built for both vertical and horizontal scalability
  • Supports a variety of data types out of the box, including OpenOffice, MS Office, PDF, JPEG, HTML, XML, plain text, vCard
  • Attachment thumbnail images generated and can be returned in search results.

 ISS Benefits

  • Multi-folder search is fast
  • Integration with Sun Java System Messaging Server means faster search without any change in user behavior
  • Expensive body search operations are offloaded from the messaging server
  • Context-aware search means that the content is searched, not the markup
  • Great variety of search facilities: fuzzy, near, and wildcard searches, search by attachment type.

What Clients Can You Use?

  • Convergence 1 Update 3
    • Integrated with attachment view
  • IMAP Server
    • Sophisticated searches that are completed very quickly
    • Search inside attachments, search based on date or sender, and so on
  • Arbitrary client
    • Consumes RESTful web services

For More Information

See the Indexing and Search Service Documentation.

Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

Communications Suite 7: Installation Tips

Hat Tip David L.

I attended a webinar today on the Communications Suite 7 installer. Passing along some notes.

Installation Is a Two-Step Process

Remember that in the Comms world, "installation" consists of installing the software bits and then configuring them. The Communications Suite installer only lays down the software bits. It does not configure them. Each individual Communications Suite component product has its own configurator that you then run. We wanted to separate these two steps for robustness, as configuration is where the majority of the work actually occurs in a Comms installation.

32-Bit Versus 64-Bit

In Communications Suite 7 and going forward, Messaging Server on Solaris (SPARC and x86) is only available in 64-bit. Messaging Server is only in 32-bit for Red Hat Linux (no 64-bit support yet, this is forthcoming, but no timeframe). Also, Messaging Server has dropped support for Solaris OS 9, Solaris OS 10 32-bit, and Red Hat Linux 3.

Installation for Power Users

Power users: You can use --OSversionOverride switch to install some Communications Suite component products on Solaris OS 9 or other dropped platforms. See http://wikis.sun.com/display/CommSuite7/commpkg+-+General+Syntax+and+Commands for more information. Note that you will only see the products that are runable on that OS platform. For example, you wouldn't see Indexing and Search Service 1 nor Calendar Server 7 on Red Hat Linux 4 32-bit, because those two new component products are not officially supported on that platform. On Solaris OS 9 SPARC, the Communications Suite installer would not show you you Messaging Server 7 Update 3. And so on.

Where's Communications Express 6.3?

Going forward, Communications Express is deprecated in favor of Convergence, so you will not see it in the Communications Suite 7 installer. Communications Express is still supported. If you are looking to install Communications Express now, I guess you'd need to get the Communications Suite 6 Update 2 bits.

New Component Products

Brand new in this release: Calendar Server 7 (our CalDAV product), and Indexing and Search Service 1 (gives you the ability to index and then search your email attachments). Note that you'll continue to see Calendar Server 6.3 in the Communications Suite 7 installer, as Calendar Server 7 is not yet supported by Convergence. Also of interest. You can have a coexistent deployment of Calendar Server 7 and Calendar  6.3. See http://wikis.sun.com/display/CommSuite/Creating+a+Calendar+Server+6+and+Calendar+Server+7+Coexistent+Deployment for more information.

Calendar Server 7 uses MySQL as its backend, and the Communications Suite installer treats it as a shared component. The CI checks if there is an existing MySQL version but will not upgrade or uninstall MySQL. If that's your case, you'll need to refer to the MySQL docs on how to upgrade or uninstall.

Installing Just a Calendar Server 7 Back End

It's a bit tricky, but doable: See http://wikis.sun.com/display/CommSuite7/Communications+Suite+7+Installation+Scenario+-+Calendar+Server+7 for more information. Basically, you preface the Calendar Server 7 component with a tilde (~) to just install its dependent component products, which in this case is just MySQL.

Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

Communications Suite 7 Has Landed

Get the Communications Suite 7 software. Find out What's New in Communications Suite 7. Start a Communications Suite 7 installation.

And read JimP's tribute to Comms.

Update:

Product info here.

Don't want to read, okay, watch the following video:

Monday Sep 28, 2009

Communications Suite 7 On the Horizon

The next update to Sun Java Communications Suite is getting close to shipping. Communications Suite 7 includes both new products and feature enhancements to existing products. Here's a quick look at what's new:


What's New in Sun Convergence 1 Update 3

Convergence 1 Update 3 includes the following changes and new features:

  • POP Access to External Email
  • Sender Identities
  • Single Click Creation of Events
  • Attachment Search
  • Autocomplete Addresses from Corporate Directory
  • Multiple Select in Address Book
  • Support for Internet Explorer 8
  • Single Click Selection of all Messages
  • Exporting Selected Entries from Address Book
  • Toolbar Changes
  • Address Book Notifications
  • Group-wise Listing of Configuration Parameters
  • Support for Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server 2.1
  • Anti-Spam Functionality

What's New in Messaging Server 7 Update 3

Messaging Server 7 Update 3 includes the following changes and new features:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Support
  • Elimination of setuid binaries from Messaging Server pipe_master and l_master
  • Running the Directory Server Setup Script ( comm_dssetup.pl) Required

What's New in Calendar Server 7

Calendar Server 7 includes the following new features:

CalDAV Support

Calendar Server 7 provides support for the calendaring extension to WebDAV as defined in RFC 4791. The CalDAV draft extends the basic HTTP and WebDAV commands to enable all the functionality required for calendaring and scheduling activities. Included in Calendar Server 7 is support for the following:

  • PUT, POST, GET, MULTIGET, REPORT, HEAD, OPTIONS, PROPFIND, and PROPPATCH methods
  • MKCALENDAR method, for creating multiple calendars per user
  • Enhanced query reports, to both return recurring events and tasks in expanded form (in UTC), and to return only requested properties or parameters

iCal Support

Calendar Server 7 supports the iCalendar data format as defined in RFC2445bis. The following components are supported:

  • VEVENT
  • VTODO
  • VFREEBUSY
  • VTIMEZONE
  • VALARM

Recurring rules and exceptions are also supported.

Authentication

Calendar Server 7 supports basic HTTP authentication and authentication over SSL. With HTTP authentication you can do the following:

  • Restrict access to authenticated users only
  • Provide userid and password and execute commands on a calendar

Scheduling Support

Calendar Server 7 supports scheduling as defined in Version 04 of the CalDAV Scheduling draft. This specification defines explicit scheduling, where invitations and replies are placed in the recipient's inbox. It is then the client's responsibility to view and move them to the appropriate calendars. The latest version of the draft, which defines implicit scheduling, will be implemented in a future release.

The following list provides more information about scheduling support in Calendar Server 7:

  • Free-busy queries on attendees.
  • Calendar-outbox and calendar-inbox for every user, as well as the ability to use the POST command for invitations and replies.
  • iTIP and iMIP protocols, as defined in RFC 2446 and RFC2447. Invitation emails are sent out for recipients without accounts on the calendar server, with all event details.
  • iSchedule protocol, which enables Calendar Server to act as a client and perform scheduling with servers from other products that support iSchedule.

WebDAV Sync

Calendar Server 7 supports WebDAV Sync, an extension of the WebDAV protocol as described in the WebDAV Sync draft. WebDAV Sync defines a protocol for an HTTP client to query an overview of the data changes on the HTTP server. The result is that clients can efficiently synchronize their local data cache with the server.

Free-Busy Servlet

Calendar Server 7 provides a free-busy servlet to enable non-CalDAV clients to at least check users' freebusy information by using the upcoming free-busy-read URL standard. This standard is compatible with the free-busy URLs used by Calendar Server 6.0 through Calendar Server 6.3.

Installation and Configuration

You install Calendar Server software by using the Communications Suite installer. You then configure a Calendar Server instance by using the init-config configurator, which makes configuration settings for your Directory Server, GlassFish Enterprise Server, and Calendar Server (DAV server) hosts. In addition, Sun Service Tags are used solely to identify Sun products to Sun. Sun uses service tag information to better support you. Registration data is only collected when your system administrator requests gear discovery. Calendar Server 7 enables you to use the Service Tag Facility on Solaris OS 10.

Logging Service

The Calendar Server 7 logging service is a multilevel, configurable, logging module to help capture activity or debugging issues.

Notifications

Calendar Server 7 provides Java Message Service (JMS) notifications and email notifications for database changes and event or task email alarms. You can configure the server to produce JMS notifications for every database change and every alarm. If you choose, you can write your own subscribers to these notifications. In addition, Calendar Server 7 provides a subscriber program, which you can configure, that consumes the JMS notifications and sends email for database changes and email alarms.

Admin Servlet

Calendar Server 7 contains an admin servlet, providing a web interface with which you view and even delete contents in your collections. You can also use the admin servlet to import iCal data to specific calendar collections.

Administrative Utilities

By using the davadmin command, you can perform the following tasks:

  • Obtain server version information
  • Read and modify the server configuration
  • Obtain, modify, or delete information about user collections and resources

You can use Jconsole to perform these tasks.

Calendar Server 7 also provides database utilities to back up and restore calendar collections.

Administrators Group

A predefined Admin group in LDAP is created during initial configuration, to which you can can add users for proxy login and management of any user account. The default administrator user added during initial configuration is calmaster.

LDAP Integration

Calendar Server 7 uses Directory Server with the latest Communications Suite schema to store and manage user information in its LDAP database. Support includes:

  • Capability of obtaining principal information from LDAP
  • Capability of matching principals to their calendar collections
  • Use of LDAP information for auto-creation of basic calendars on login or invitation
  • Use of LDAP caching for faster lookup results
  • Use of LDAP rollover support to use a backup LDAP server if primary LDAP server is not available

Collection tag or ctag

Calendar Server 7 supports "Calendar Collection Entity Tag (CTag)," an extension to CalDAV that provides a fast way for a client to determine if the contents of a calendar collection have changed.

Support for Multiple Back-end and Front-end Servers to Achieve Horizontal Scalability

The Calendar Server 7 architecture enables you to deploy multiple front-end calendar servers and multiple back-end mySQL database servers to achieve horizontal scalability. See Calendar Server Logical Architecture for more information.

Hosted Domains

Like the rest the the Communications Suite products, Calendar Server 7 supports virtual domains, also called hosted domains, which is the ability to support users in more than one domain, on a single deployment. A default domain is configured during the initial configuration.

What's New in Calendar Server 6.3

This version of Calendar Server 6.3 includes bug fixes only.

What's New in Indexing and Search Service 1

Indexing and Search Service 1 includes the following new features:

Index

  • Rapid Indexing of Existing Email: Email messages in a user's mailbox can be indexed. During this operation content is tagged in various ways to enable sophisticated searches.
  • Real-time Indexing: As email messages are received, sent, and moved to various folders, the index is updated in real-time. This reduces to near zero the chances of a false search result based on stale index information.

Search

  • Attachment Search: Users can search the body of attachments for keywords or phrases. Attachments can be in a variety of formats such as PDF; Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Visio; StarOffice/Open Office; HTML; and more.
  • Body Search: Users can search the body of a message for any relevant content. With Indexing and Search Service, body search includes search of supported attachment types as well as the plain text body of a message.
  • Search Integration with Sun Convergence: Indexing and Search Service integrates with Convergence through its existing search interface. Body searches are much faster and more powerful because they now not only search message text but also attachment contents.
  • Search Integration with Messaging Server: Other email clients can leverage improved body search and expanded attachment body search by using Messaging Server's IMAP search integration with Indexing and Search Service. The underlying search mechanism is transparent to a Messaging Server client.
  • RESTful Search Web Service API: Based on the OpenSearch 1.1 specification, the RESTful Search Web Service API provides RSS 2.0, Atom 1.0 or JSON format output. This interface is used by Messaging Server when it redirects IMAP SEARCH requests to Indexing and Search Service and by the sample search user interface. It can also be used by developers to mash up their email search results with other applications if desired.

Indexing and Search Service and Convergence

ISS integrates with Convergence through its existing search interface, that is, Convergence continues to execute searches by using the compact WMAP protocol with the mshttpd daemon. The mshttpd daemon continues to service these requests by using the IMAP protocol. Messaging Server integrates with ISS through an enhanced IMAP SEARCH functionality, and a subset of these search requests (particularly, body searches) go to ISS for fulfillment. Messaging Server consumes the ISS output and reformats it for the email client.

The result is that no changes are needed to Convergence or Thunderbird clients because ISS integrates with Messaging Server rather than the end-client.

The long-term plan for integrating Convergence and Thunderbird (through a plug-in) with ISS will be to have the clients communicate directly with ISS directly by using ISS's RESTful web service for search.

What's New in Instant Messaging 8 Update 2

Instant Messaging 8 Update 2 includes the following changes and new features:

  • Using Shoal for Automatic Discovery of Peer Servers in a Pool
  • Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

What's New in Delegated Administrator 7

Delegated Administrator 7 includes the following changes and new features:

Provisioning for Calendar Server Users

Delegated Administrator 7 now supports Calendar Server 6.x and Calendar Server 7 provisioning.

What's New in Connector for Outlook 7.3 Update 1

This version of Connector for Outlook 7.3 Update 1 includes the following new features:

  • Viewing Quota and Size Information
  • Saving File Attachments in Optimized Mode

Wednesday Sep 23, 2009

Calendar Server 7: A Look at Sun's Upcoming CalDAV Release

Hat Tip DougG

It might not be widely known at this point, but Sun has been a leader in the CalDAV community, and our investments are about to pay off with the upcoming shipment of Calendar Server 7, included in the Communications Suite 7 release.

Sun is firmly committed to making CalDAV our calendaring protocol of choice. Sun has been very active in the CalConnect community to make sure that our CalDAV service interacts with other vendors and their services. Project Aries has been the name of Sun's CalDAV effort, and for the past year, we've enabled customers to get a taste of our technology through a hosted preview.

Why the need anyways for a CalDAV server?

The challenge in the calendaring space has always been about getting everyone to agree on a standard protocol that enables data to be exchanged between a calendar client and a calendar server, regardless of vendor. To date, we've been using the iCalendar data format for calendar and task data, as specified in RFC 2445. The good news has been that Sun and others have used this common data format. The bad news with this approach has been that, lacking a standard protocol, you end up using one big file to store all your calendar events. Reading calendar info may be fine, but making changes is not. Because your calendar database is essentially one big flat file, the only way a change can be made is for the client to upload a new version of a user's entire calendar data file and overwrite the copy on the server. That's a lot of data to move, for example, when all you have to do is push out a meeting change of one hour. The situation worsens if multiple users want to update a calendar. The last user to overwrite the copy on the server wins and changes other people have made are lost.

Having a real calendar access protocol would solve these problems and provide other nice features, such as calendar sharing, change logs, and free/busy lookups. The first attempt at such a protocol came in 1999 with the creation of the Calendar Access Protocol (CAP). WCAP, or Web Calendar Access Protocol, is an implementation of CAP over HTTP. Sun Java System Calendar Server 6.3 uses this protocol. Unfortunately, timing is everything. When the dot-com bubble burst, work on WCAP fizzled out. The result: Vendors went back to using their proprietary protocols.

Luckily, the situation did not remain the same. Though it took awhile, a new idea emerged to extend the WebDAV protocol to provide calendar specific support. The result was CalDAV and is documented in RFC 4791.

Of course, having an open protocol buys you nothing if vendors do not implement it in popular products. That is a big reason why CAP didn't take off. Fortunately, CalDAV seems to have gained enough momentum to stick around, as envinced by the CalConnect industry consortium, whose charter is to make sure CalDAV implementations work together and are widely adopted.

Yes, calendaring "nirvana" might still be a long way off, but we are getting closer with Calendar Server 7.

For more information on Calendar Server 7, see the following pages:

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

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