Tuesday Sep 21, 2010

Oracle Communications Calendar Server(s) - Which One For You?

Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite (formerly Sun Java Communications Suite) has been providing calendaring services for many years. What might have flown under the radar is that the latest version, known first as Calendar Server 7 and then rebranded to Oracle Communications Calendar Server for CALDAV Clients, supports the CalDAV protocol, the calendar access protocol standard. By supporting the CalDAV protocol, Calendar Server 7 enables you to use CalDAV-enabled devices, like the Apple iPhone, as your calendar client.

What this also means is that Communications Suite actually currently contains two calendar servers: the original, Sun Java System Calendar Server 6 (now rebranded to Oracle Communications Calendar Server), and the new, updated version, Calendar Server 7/OCCS for CALDAV Clients. So, when it comes to making your deployment choice, which calendar is best for you?

If you are performing a fresh, greenfield installation of Communications Suite, and you plan on using only CalDAV clients, or the Convergence 2 web client, deploy Calendar Server 7 (the current version is 7 Update 1). The Convergence 2 web client, as of the Communications Suite 7 Update 1 release, is now integrated with Calendar Server 7 Update 1.

If you have an existing Calendar Server 6.3 deployment, you can use the OCCS for CALDAV Clients migration utility to migrate your data to the new format used by Calendar Server 7 Update 1.

If you have an existing deployment depending upon Connector for Microsoft Outlook clients, you'll need to continue to use the older calendar product, SJS Calendar Server/OCCS 6.3. Eventually, you want to deploy the new OCCS for CALDAV Clients, as Calendar Server 6.3 has been deprecated.  However, to support Connector for Microsoft Outlook, Connector needs to come out with support for the WCAPbis protocol. OCCS for CALDAV Clients includes WCAPbis support as of the current release (7 Update 1). Now we have to wait for Connector to do the same.

For more information, see the following documentation:


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.


Wednesday Jul 07, 2010

Communications Suite: Long Time No Blog

Not much to say of  late, except that we're hard at work on the next Communications Suite release. At last here is something worth blogging: Our support engineers have pulled together a great page of tuning tips and tricks to help you prevent a lot of problems with your Communications Suite deployment. Have a look:

Communications Suite Tuning and Best Practices

Tuesday Mar 16, 2010

Searching the Communications Suite Information, or You Can't Always Get What You Want

I still hear all too often that while the Communications Suite wiki is chock full of information, it is sometimes hard to find things.

My initial reaction is, have you read Finding What You Are Looking For? You just might get what you need.

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

Wednesday Dec 02, 2009

Communications Suite: Just the Faqs, Ma'am

Reminder: If all you want are the Technical FAQs for Communications Suite, we've collected them here. And are continuously adding to them, so you might want to check back from time to time for new content.

Indeed, since these FAQs are on our documentation wiki, you can add to this collection yourself, to help out the community. Many of you already have.

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.

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 Wiki: Seek and Ye Shall Find

I wanted to address an issue that comes up from time to time with documentation for anything: how do you find what you are looking for? And do it quickly? The wikis.sun.com model provides a number of ways to get to information:

  • You can browse by page, label, and recent updates.
  • You can use the global search, for all wiki spaces, or the site-specific search, which we provide on every page of our Communications Suite wiki sites.
  • Yes, you can still google for information, but my recommendation is to use the wikis.sun.com specific ways of getting to the information. Indeed, I find the wikis.sun.com search to be quite fast and effective in finding what I'm looking for.
I put together a summary of the various ways to find the information you are seeking. Give it a read: Finding What You Are Looking For

 I do realize that as a writer of this information, I'm at an advantage, knowing where everything is. It is my job to make it easy for the community to also know where everything is. So leave a comment if you have suggestions for how to improve our wiki docs model, especially if you are having difficulty locating particular information.

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.

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

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