Advanced features: call park and XSI cluster support.
In the following months, we worked to strengthen our solution by adding other features, like the possibility to switch between users’ scopes: enterprise, group, or custom directory. This means we can now monitor and control users belonging to a given enterprise, group, or custom directory. Another cool improvement was supporting overlapping dial plan scenarios. This was important since BroadWorks installations are most likely to request this kind of support. Finally, we added two key features: multiple XSI connections support and connection resilience. From that moment, you could set up more connections to different XSI servers, all working simultaneously. The last feature, i.e., connection resilience, was particularly challenging. We had to put in place a re-connection mechanism tailored to the XSI event channel specifications. A vital feature to minimize the downtime if an event channel connection was to be lost! By the way, we also added functionalities to other UCX Suite applications, like the Advanced Queueing, which was evolved to support SIP URI addresses, as requested by BroadWorks.
All these features were already included in the Summer Release 2020, adding basic support to BroadWorks via a native XSI connector. Yet, we felt that some key features were still missing to give BroadWorks users the complete Imagicle experience: call park and XSI cluster support. These have been the main goal for the forthcoming 2021 Winter Release.
The call park functionality was left aside in the first moment because of the differences concerning the CUCM world. In BroadWorks, each user has a single associated park line, which can be used to park a single call at a time. This is quite limiting. To overcome this limitation, BroadWorks offers a feature called Group Call Park (GCP). Enabling this feature allows defining a set of users (within a BroadWorks group) to share their park lines. This increases the total number of parkable calls within a GCP to the number of users belonging to the park group.
The question was, which feature should we support? Well, why not both of them? Initially, we targeted the GCP feature alone. It seemed the most powerful choice and it was natively multi-tenant. However, during the development, we figured out that the best thing to do was to support both. And boy, we did it!
The Winter Release 2021 will offer complete call park integration from the Attendant Console. GCP users will be able to park and retrieve calls from any user belonging to their park group. On the other hand, for simple users, the UC suite will automatically revert to a simple call park.
A maximum flexibility solution that finds no match in other commercial applications.
XSI cluster support.
The other major topic for the winter release was adding support to XSI clusters.
BroadWorks installations typically consist of a cluster of servers in high availability configuration. To adapt to this scenario, we had to introduce a fail-over mechanism. Starting from Winter 2021, you will be able to configure a list of endpoints for every XSI connection. This list will be interpreted as an ordered ring. Every time connection is lost with one server, the Suite will try to connect to the following one, with no service restart required. This minimizes downtime and ensures a prompt reaction to connection issues.
BroadWorks connections can be managed through a set of provided REST APIs for integration with third-party provisioning systems.