Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 2013 Lync Dialing Rule Optimizer Updates

Since the move to use authentication in the Lync Dialing Rule Optimizer, I've been busy working behind the scenes to prepare the back-end for some cool new updates.

Back-End Changes

Firstly, I've been steadily moving away from XML for my data sources to a full-fledged SQL back-end. XML was great for the first while, but its been getting difficult to manage.  SQL offers much more robust querying, searching and sorting than XML, and opens up all kinds of possibilities for future features.  Now, changes and updates only have to be done in the database, and I don't have to touch the web pages.

Area Code Improvements

With the change to SQL for back-end databases, I've been able to drastically increase the number of area codes stored for countries like Germany.  Germany has thousands of area codes, which would overwhelm the drop-down style of listing area codes I've always done.  So for countries like Germany, you now enter the area code, and the Optimizer will show you the available cities from that area code.

Extension Extensions

You may notice additional options for extension entry than before.  Firstly, I've upped the extension limit from 10 to 20.  Secondly, I've added options to create your own rule suffixes for extension ranges.  So, if you're creating an extension range for your London, UK head office, you can assign a suffix like "HeadOffice", which will make the resulting normalization/routing rules use UK-London-20-HeadOffice, instead of the default UK-London-20-Internal-1.

You may also notice an additional checkbox column for "Single".  Sometimes, you may have users with their own DID, but maps to an internal extension that doesn't hold any relation to the DID.

For example, the company president may have a DID of +14165551234, and an internal extension of x200.  Your vice president may have a DID of +14165559876 and an extension of x201. Since there is no relationship between the DID and extension, you can't create a blanket normalization rule that will work with both of these.

With the new iteration of the Optimizer, you can easily tell the Optimizer to create individual normalization rule for each of these, simply by entering their DID and extension, and checking the box for Single.

Future updates may include a more Excel-like interface for extension entry that would allow cutting-and-pasting from Excel spreadsheets.  If you have the information already in a spreadsheet, it will make data entry MUCH simpler. 

Until then, enjoy, and if you have questions or problems, let me know.