Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LiveID Authentication Coming to the Lync Dialing Rule Optimizer

Ever since its inception, the Lync Dialing Rule Optimizer has been totally free for use by anyone. I've always just assumed that people will use the tool for good instead of evil.  But the Internet is the Internet, and lately, I've been noticing a rather large uptick in fraudulent entries being done by parties unknown.

While this hasn't had any apparent impact on usability so far, I'm trying to get in front of it by figuring out ways to stem the bleeding before the patient goes terminal. The most obvious way is to introduce authentication into the Lync Dialing Rule Optimizer.

Thanks to the fantastic assistance from Richard Brynteson at Avtex, I've been able to get Microsoft Live ID authentication working in the Optimizer.  I've designed it to be as unobtrusive as possible.  All you have to do is click the Sign in button on the top-right corner, and a popup will direct you to the Live ID sign-in page. If its your first time, you'll be asked to confirm the permissions being requested by the application.  Once logged in, you can continue as normal.  If you try to generate a ruleset without logging in, you will be blocked.

I will be capturing basic information, including first/last name, Live User ID and email address. At this time, I have no plans on what to do with this information, but anything I do with it will be strictly limited to within the realm of the Lync Dialing Rule Optimizer.

This new feature has already given me all sorts of ideas for future improvements to the Optimizer.  Things like keeping a history of the scripts run and the ability to come back to make changes to extension lists.

I've put the question regarding authentication out to the Twitter community and I got back an even split of "Yeah, go for it" and "No, don't like it".  What are your feelings on the topic?  Let me know in the comments.