Thursday Oct 31, 2013

Unified Communications Suite Ships New Version

We shipped the latest version (7.0.5.0.0) of Unified Communications Suite. The following information should get you started:

Some Changes for 7.0.5.0.0

Convergence: Version 3.0.0.0.0 enables you to use the add-on framework to add third-party services to the Convergence UI. These services include:

  • Advertising
  • Click-to-call service
  • Multinetwork IM
  • SMS (both one-way and two-way)
  • Social media applications (Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr)
  • Video and voice calling capability

For more information, see Overview of Add-on Services in Convergence.

Calendar Server: Version 7.0.4.14.0 provides a number of security enhancements, including supporting the SSL protocol for all front-end and back-end communications, and the ability to list hosts that are allowed to send iSchedule POST requests. For more information, see Securing Communications to Calendar Server Back Ends.

New Platform Support: Oracle GlassFish Server 3, Oracle Solaris 11, and Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.x are supported in this release of Communications Suite.

Friday Aug 23, 2013

How the Project Was Documented

I happened today to come across the by-now-familiar-and-classic-to-many cartoon of project management, and have to say, the "How the project was documented" panel once again had me in stitches.

The great advantage of wiki publication, which we use for Communications Suite, is the ability to get beyond that "panel" and continually improve our documentation. With that in mind, I wanted to alert our Calendar Server users that I have completed a revamp of the Calendar Server 7 Command-Line Utilities page. Not only have I described some of the options more accurately now, but I think the page is more usable as I have moved deprecated options to a separate section at the end of the page.

As usual, feel free to leave a comment if  you have a documentation related question or idea for improvement.

Friday Jul 12, 2013

Saving Time: Flip the Switch to Handle iMIP

Messaging Server 7 Update 5 and Calendar Server 7 Update 3 Combine to Process Calendar Invites

DalĂ­ Clockface by Philippe Halsman, 1953

As with any new release of software, there may be new features that don't immediately jump out at you or that fly under the radar. So here's one that might fall into that case for the Communications Suite 7 Update 4 release: you can configure Messaging Server and Calendar Server to automatically process calendar invitations from "external" users. By "external," we mean users who reside either on a different Calendar Server deployment administered by a separate group, or on an outside calendaring system, such as Exchange, Google Calendar, and so on.

Technically, what we are talking about here is configuring Messaging Server to post a calendar event received in an iMIP (iCalendar Message-Based Interoperability Protocol) message to Calendar Server by using the iSchedule protocol. That way, users don't have to do any manual processing on the external calendar invite. The Calendar Server deployment automatically processes these invitations coming from external calendar systems, and to users, handling an external calendar invite then appears just like an calendar internal invite. Time saved, users more happy, what could be better than that?

See the following documentation for more of the techie details and procedures to set up your Messaging Server 7 Update 5 deployment:


Wednesday May 22, 2013

Oracle Communications Messaging Server: Dealing with Password Expiration

Alerting Messaging Server Users that Their Password Is Expiring

Looking at the support forums today, I was reminded of the new password aging support feature in Messaging Server 7 Update 5:

Messaging Server now honors LDAP password policies. It sends an IMAP ALERT when a user's LDAP password is about to expire. Refer to Directory Server documentation for setting this up (see Oracle Identity Management documentation). You can use MeterMaid to limit the frequency of warnings.

A forum user also supplied a cheat sheet on how to update the necessary LDAP, here.

Update: More info here in this Does Messaging Server Or Convergence Support Password Aging Policy ? [ID 1474404.1] article.

Sunday May 19, 2013

Oracle Communications: Cheat Sheet Documentation

Please welcome another of my Infodev blogging comrades, Brenda, to the Oracle blogosphere. Check out her typewriter-girl-turned-into-technical-support post.

Thursday May 09, 2013

Oracle Communications Customers: What Kind of Documentation Do You Need?

Oracle Communications Customer Advisory Board (CAB) Provides Some Answers

In reading Scott Miller's Road Trip! InfoDev Goes to CAB post, I was struck by one of the answers he got to the age-old question from techwriterdom, "Just what exactly does a customer want in documentation?" Answer: More info on "operations."

In my mind, when customers talk about "operations," they mostly mean this in the context of the operations end of the business: having a document that contains common administrative tasks for their operators on the corporate help desk, who need to quickly triage and resolve "operations" issues that come up. Indeed, the idea of creating a Communications Suite "operations" guide has long been in the back of my mind.

So, let me put Scott's question out to Unified Communications Suite customers: "Just what exactly do you want in documentation?" If your answer concurs with what Scott found out at CAB, that you do want something more along the lines of "operations," perhaps we should start a dialog.

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

Source

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

Source

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.

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.

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.

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

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