Presence Server Examined

ex1Cisco has made great strides in incorporating Presence within all their Unified Communication (UC) applications. This transcends the different devices used by enterprise customers, but also provides rich Presence information exchange with any other non-Cisco Presence application that supports IETF standards.

Cisco, through their Unified Presence Server product line, supports four protocol references which allow integration of Presence within their UC application suite. It also works through API tools, and allows businesses to incorporate Presence information within their enterprise applications or Web Portals. Additionally, since it is standards-based, it allows for tight integration and control with other enterprise organizations using the concept of inter-domain Federation.

The four protocols supported in Presence Server 7.x and their functions are:

  • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology supports new voice services in the enterprise environment. SIP enhances the voice network by providing a core set of behaviors for session establishment and control that can be applied in a wide array of features and services
  • SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE) technology supports instant messaging and presence
  • Representational State Transfer (REST) interfaces provide customers and application developers the ability to extend presence to web-based business applications.
  • Cisco Unified Presence also supports presence-oriented Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

Presence Server introduces its own Instant Message (IM) Client and soft phone called Cisco Unified Personal Communicator (CUPC). The client is totally SIP-based and must use Cisco’s Presence Server in order to create and download profiles setup for corporate users. In order to use the soft phone feature, you need to create a CUPC device in Communications Manager for the client’s to register to for signaling support.

The CUPC device name does not use a MAC address as with most phones, but uses a very specific device name which is UPC{USERNAME} in all capital letters. So if my user account is janesmith, then the device name would be UPCJANESMITH. The rest of the configuration is identical to IP Communicator or any other phone device type. The actual procedures in Unified Communication Manager are:

  • Step 1: Select Device > Phone
  • Step 2: Click Add New in the Find and List Phones window
  • Step 3: Select Cisco Unified Personal Communicator
  • Step 4: Click Next
  • Step 5: Specify the soft-phone device name in the Device Name field.

Keep in mind for Step 5 that the soft-phone device name must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Derives from the username
  • Starts with UPC
  • Contains only uppercase letters, or numerals
  • Contains no more than 12 additional characters after UPC

More information concerning Presence Server or its configurations can be found at Cisco’s website.

Author: Joe Parlas

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