Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Impressions - CS14 Release Candidate

I installed the release candidate of CS14 in my "lab" yesterday.  My "lab" is a single Standard Edition server in our production OCS R2 environment with a few hardy volunteers to try it out.  This release is very polished, and has several little UI improvements that go a long way to make it easier to do common things.

Everything worked just as it should with little fuss.  One thing I absolutely love is the new web client.  Its a very slick Silverlight-based app and is leaps and bounds beyond Live Meeting in terms of usability.  Now, any browser than can run Silverlight can participate in web conferences.  The web client is built in to the base front-end server install so no more dedicated CWA server required.  I've already shown this to several clients and they can't wait to put it in.

The only thing that I didn't see (and I put in a request for) was the ability to test Enterprise Telephony routes from end-to-end.  The test cases you can enter allow you to test normalization rules and routes to make sure everything routes as expected.  However, it doesn't show the effects of any trunk-level translation rules you might be using. 

For instance, my Dialing Rule Optimizer website provides end-to-end routing and trunk translation rules that will route and convert E.164 phone numbers to numbers that conform to the local PSTN dialing requirements for a given area (ie. Don't use 1 for local calls).  Ideally, the Test Cases would show you the number it will send to the next hop gateway, but it doesn't.  It shows you the normalized number and the route it will take, but it doesn't show you the effects of any trunk translation rules.  You have to look at your gateway logs to find out.  To me, this seems like a very simple addition to an otherwise very useful tool.  With any luck, it might make it into the final release if this post finds its way to the right people.

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