Integrating Telephony Services Into.NET Applications WHITEPAPER

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1 Integrating Telephony Services Into.NET Applications WHITEPAPER

2 Inova IT d.o.o. Svetozarevska ulica Maribor Slovenia 2007 Inova IT d.o.o. All rights reserved. Inova IT d.o.o. reserves the right to follow a policy of continuous product improvement, consequently product specifications may change without notice. Inova IT and SIP Objects.NET are trademarks of Inova IT d.o.o. All other products, company names, logos, and services are the trademarks of the respective holders.

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Although the telecommunications and IT industries have been converging for more than a decade, software developers have had limited access to telecom networks and capabilities. Specialized computer-telephony integration protocols are too complex and inflexible to properly link telephony services into enterprise business applications. As such, integrating person-to-person calling, conferencing, and call routing capabilities such as find me-follow me into applications has always been the preserve of specialized developers. As organizations continually attempt to increase the efficiency of their business processes through superior communications, the inability to easily tie communications services into the fabric of daily operational processes has emerged as a serious obstacle to business profitability. With the advent of next-generation IP communications, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and Web services, these barriers to interconnectivity are being deconstructed. IT and communications systems now share a common language. However, developers are still faced with a lack of easy-touse development tools to take advantage of this new interconnection capability. In particular, developers using Microsoft s.net Framework are challenged by the lack of tools to discover and incorporate telephony services into their business applications. SIP Objects.NET from Inova IT fills this void. SIP Objects.NET allows developers using Microsoft s.net framework to gain simple and flexible access to telephony networks. Developers can easily incorporate telephony services into their.net projects by using SIP Objects.NET and its support of visual modeling tools and common development environments, such as Microsoft s Visual Studio.NET. And, by leveraging technologies like Avaya s award-winning SIP Application Server, SIP Objects.NET enables developers to access a wide variety of enterprise or traditional carrier networks. With SIP Objects.NET, adding voice, video and conferencing functionality into.net applications has now become a straightforward exercise. Business applications can now be readily adapted to trigger communications programmatically, dramatically increasing the efficiency of business processes. It s about time. Page - 4 -

4 IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATIONS IN BUSINESS PROCESSES Every organization has its business processes in place in order to operate. Many of these processes dictate communication activities in order to approve a particular task or to initiate a subsequent activity. In processes that involve communication activities, an inability to successfully communicate reduces the efficiency of the entire business process. With inefficient communication, business deals are lost, workforce productivity suffers, and operating costs stay high. Salespeople don t get informed about new prices, inhibiting their ability to close sales. Customers don t get their questions answered expeditiously, leading to lower customer satisfaction. Production managers don t learn about part shortages, creating manufacturing delays. To increase process efficiency, the right information has to be brought to the right people at the right time. In order to help achieve this objective, organizations have implemented information technology systems to automate common business processes. For example, enterprise resource planning and sales automation systems have dramatically increased process efficiency. However, these systems still fall victim to the bottlenecks imposed by communication lapses. Even automated business processes are delayed by an inability to communicate at the right time with key process stakeholders. Removing these communication bottlenecks has become an area of focus for many enterprise application and communications systems vendors. Capabilities such as programmatic notification based on monitored events are now becoming common features of many enterprise applications. The next stage is to automatically connect live people in real time, either through direct connections or through sophisticated routing capabilities that can find key stakeholders on their most convenient device. For this stage to be reached, development tools capable of facilitating access to real-time communication services are required. Enter SIP Objects.NET. Page - 5 -

5 DEVELOPING WITH SIP OBJECTS.NET What Is SIP Objects.NET? SIP Objects.NET is a framework that provides developers who choose to use Microsoft s.net framework for application development with simple access to telecommunications services. These services include person to person calling, multimedia conferencing, audio file delivery, call notification, and call handling. SIP Objects.NET can be used to inject these telephony services into a variety of.net applications, ranging from Windows Forms applications to ASP.NET applications. The design itself can occur either through an object-oriented, easy-to-use API or through visual tools and components, all of which are included within SIP Objects.NET. Further, since SIP Objects.NET leverages standard.net development tools, languages, and environments like Microsoft s Visual Studio.NET, C# or Visual Basic,.NET developers can master SIP Objects.NET without investing significant cycles in training. SIP Objects.NET is built on top of Avaya s award-winning SIP Application Server (SIP A/S), which Avaya obtained through the acquisition of Ubiquity Software in early Avaya s SIP A/S exposes telephony services through an add-on module known as Open Web Services (OWS) 1. SIP Objects.NET effectively wraps these telephony services in order to provide a.net-centric view of these services. It is this view that enables faster, easier, and native.net development of composite applications that include telephony services. 1 Open Web Services (OWS) from Avaya is an implementation of call control aspects of the Parlay X 2.0 specification. The Parlay X 2.0 specification has been defined jointly by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Parlay Group, and the Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP). OWS is implemented as a group of Service Components within Avaya s SIP SOA development environment for the SIP Application Server. OWS are exposed using Web Services Description Language (WSDL), in the same way as other Internet capabilities are exposed within an overall Web Services architecture. SIP Objects.NET Telephony Services Using SIP Objects.NET, developers can integrate a range of telephony services into their applications. These telephony services are described in detail below. Third Party Call The Third Party Call service enables a developer to initiate a voice call connection between two phones. Through the Third Party Call interface, a developer can set up a phone call between two arbitrary individuals from any.net program, including a Windows Forms application, an ASP.NET Web page, or even a Windows Service. Page - 6 -

6 Let s see how two users, Joe and Matt, can use the Third Party Call service. An application uses SIP Objects.NET to establish a call between Joe and Matt. Joe s phone rings first and when he picks up, Matt s phone starts to ring. When Matt answers the call, he gets connected to Joe. Below is the code that connects two parties into a call. Using the SIP Objects.NET application programming interface a person to person call is programmed with only three lines of code, two of which are required only for configuration. Only one line of code is needed to make the actual call. Gateway gateway = new Gateway("http://ows_gw/parlayx_threepcc/ThirdPartyCall", null, null, null, null); ThirdPartyCall call = new ThirdPartyCall(gateway); "tel: "); Multimedia Conference The OWS Multimedia Conference service provides the means to set up a conference call. The SIP Objects.NET Multimedia Conference interface provides a simple means to provision the conference. Programmatically, a developer can create a new conference, invite people to the conference call, remove people from the call, and set each person s audio properties. Let s consider the following example. Isaac, Mary, Peter, Joe and Matt need to be connected into a conference call. The application creates the conference using SIP Objects.NET and the Multimedia Conference service. After the conference session is created, the application invites the users to the conference. Each user sees this invite as an incoming call and, upon answering the call, is added to the conference. The code snippet below displays how the conference call gets set up using the application programming interface. Page - 7 -

7 Gateway gateway = new Gateway(null, null, null, null, "http://ows_gw/parlayx_conference/multimediaconference"); MultimediaConference conference = new MultimediaConference(gateway); conference.createconference("confcall", 8, 60, null, null, null); Participant joe = new Participant(conference, conference.inviteparticipant(joe); Participant matt = new Participant(conference, conference.inviteparticipant(matt); Participant peter = new Participant(conference, conference.inviteparticipant(peter); Audio Call The Audio Call service is used to establish a call to a person, and then play a pre-recorded audio message. With the Audio Call interface of SIP Objects.NET, a developer not only can set up such audio calls programmatically, but also can receive status changes to the call through standard.net events. Let s consider the following example. Joe is a user of the Audio Call Service. The application sets up an audio call to Joe through SIP Objects.NET. Joe s phone rings and once he answers, he gets connected into a call with a media server that plays an audio message. Again, it only takes one line of code to create the actual call. Gateway gateway = new Gateway(null, "http://ows_gw/parlayx_audiocall/audiocall", null, null, null); AudioCall call = new AudioCall(gateway); " null); Call Notifications The Call Notification service can be used to notify applications of call events. The Call Notification interface provides two types of notification events to an application. Call Notification events notify the application about call requests or call failures. Call Direction events provide a mechanism for an application to respond with instructions on how such calls are to be handled. Handling options include connecting a call to the requested destination, ending the call, or routing the call to another destination. Page - 8 -

8 The figure above shows how the Call Notifications service works. Let s assume that Mary calls Matt on his office phone to no avail. When Matt doesn t answer the phone, the application routes the call to his mobile phone. Matt answers the call on his mobile phone and Mary doesn t notice the difference since the call was routed transparently. The code snippet below shows how to create such an application: private void Initialize() { Gateway gateway = new Gateway(null, "mymachine", null, null, null); gateway.callnotification.notifybusy += new CallNotificationEventHandler(OnNotifyBusy); gateway.callnotification.handlenoanswer = new CallDirectionEventHandler(OnHandleNoAnswer); } void OnNotifyBusy(object sender, CallNotificationEventArgs e) { // e.callingparty tried to call e.calledparty but he was busy } Action OnHandleNoAnswer(object sender, CallNotificationEventArgs e) { return new } Call Handling The Call Handling service provides a mechanism for an application to specify how incoming calls are to be handled for a specific number. SIP Objects.NET provides a Call Handling interface through which the user can programmatically set rules to determine how an incoming call should be handled. Calls to a number from a particular callee can be accepted, blocked, forwarded to a different destination, handled by a voice system, or left to be connected to the original destination. Page - 9 -

9 The figure above shows how the Call Handling service works. The application uses SIP Objects.NET to set call handling rules for Peter. These rules specify that all calls to Peter from Mary on his office phone should be routed to a media server which plays an audio message informing these callers that Peter is on vacation. But the rules also specify that if Isaac calls, he should be routed to Peter s vacation phone. When Mary dials Peter s office number, the media server picks up the call and plays the audio message. When Isaac calls, he gets redirected to Peter s phone in his vacation house. The code snippet below shows how to configure this type of a rule: Gateway gateway = new Gateway(null, null, "http://ows_gw/parlayx_call_handling_rule_mgmt/callhandling", null, null); CallHandlingRules rules = new CallHandlingRules(); rules.voiceinteractioncontent = new VoiceInteractionAudio( "http://owsgateway/im_on_vacation.wav"); rules); The (rapid) visual approach Developers have a choice regarding how to integrate the telephony services into applications. As demonstrated above, developers can easily perform such operations with a few lines of code by using the SIP Objects.NET API. Or, they can use pre-packaged telephony components and Call Designer, a tool that supports a visual design of applications. Developers can assemble the telephony components into an application by a simple drag and drop method during design. Call Designer extends the design visualization by providing telephony workflow processes and thus enabling the entire application business logic to be visually modeled using workflows. Components SIP Objects.NET provides a variety of fully-integrated.net components. By using these components, developers need not write a single line of code to add telecommunication functionality to an application. Injecting telephony services is as simple as dragging a component from the toolbox and dropping it onto the design canvas. The process of configuration and fine-tuning can be performed during the design phase through using a set of wizards built into SIP Objects.NET, through Visual Studio.NET property configuration, or through the code itself. Developers can use the SIP Objects.NET components both in Windows Forms and ASP.NET applications to develop Web pages or desktop applications that utilize telephony services. Call Designer and Workflows Traditional application development often requires documenting the process with the use of workflows. These workflows are then provided to the developers in order to write application code. SIP Objects.NET Call Designer combines these steps into one simple operation. SIP Objects.NET Call Designer enables developers or architects to visually construct the flow of an application using a set of telecom-specific activities. Call Designer is built on top of Microsoft s Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) 2, which is a technology for defining, executing, and managing workflows. By combining standard activities from WF and telecom activities from SIP Objects.NET, developers can visually design custom telecom applications without having to write a single line of code. In addition to achieving development cost reductions, modeling applications using workflows Page

10 has a number of operational advantages, including life-cycle management, state management, and simple application provisioning based on user interfaces. 2 WF is a technology packaged within Microsoft s.net Framework 3.0. While WF will be available natively in the Windows Vista operating system, it has also been backported to the Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server operating systems. The.NET Framework 3.0 "workflow runtime" provides common facilities for running and managing the workflows and can be hosted in any CLR application domain. A new XML-based language named XAML is commonly used for declaring the structure of a workflow. However, the workflow may also be expressed in code using any.nettargeted language, such as C#. By using Call Designer, standard activities and telecom activities can be linked together through a standard workflow modeling process. While the business process is being modeled, application code is automatically generated in accordance with the specified workflow, enabling real application code generation during design time. For example, the workflow on the right represents a simple click-to-dial application. This application enables two types of users, trial users and registered users, to launch a telephone call with different use parameters. Trial users are allowed to talk for a fixed period of time, after which the call automatically terminates. Registered users (presumably those who have an account with a service provider) can talk freely and get billed for the elapsed call time. Such workflows can be created in a matter of minutes with SIP Objects.NET. Workflows, like the click-to-dial workflow on the right, can be integrated into different applications, including ASP.NET Web pages, Web services or desktop applications. More about SIP The underlying protocol for creating and manipulating calls and sessions using SIP Objects.NET and Avaya s SIP A/S is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). SIP is increasingly used in telephone networks around the world, specifically in nextgeneration networks based on Internet Protocol (IP). If we want to create telephone calls and other types of real time communication using SIP, we need a way to form addresses and identify users. In SIP, users are identified by a SIP URL. SIP addresses have a format similar to s, built of user and domain parts delimited by an at symbol, so that SIP addresses typically look like: This above address is only useful if the caller and callee are both using SIP-enabled telephones. There are an increasing number of SIP telephones available, including many softphones that run as an application on a PC. Since most people don t use SIP phones yet, we need a way to answer a SIP call on a regular telephone, like a cell phone or an office desk phone. To do this we need a gateway that understands SIP on one side and the protocols of the regular telephone network (public switched telephone network, or PSTN) on the other side. There are several types of devices that can perform this gateway function. Common examples include an IP-PBX, a IP router with TDM telephone cards installed, or a SIP trunk to a service provider. Page

11 APPLICATION IDEAS WITH SIP OBJECTS.NET SIP Objects.NET enables a variety of applications. Here are five examples of these applications. Click to Dial Click to Dial is an application that uses the Third Party Call service to set up a call between two people. A great example is an application (i.e. Microsoft Outlook) add-in that would set up a call between you and the sender of the . You could also enable person-to-person calling from an intranet or from a contact management system. An intelligently integrated click-to-dial function can prove to be both a time and money saver when setting up calls. Alerts When you re on the move, it is difficult to check your calendar, get appointment reminders, check high-priority , and retrieve stock quotes or other information. By incorporating the Audio Call service into an application, you could be automatically called on your mobile phone to be notified of such events. An alerts application could similarly monitor your calendar and call you an hour before a meeting. Such an application could also monitor your inbox, your RSS feeds, or your stock portfolio. Click to Conference Click to Conference enables a click-to-dial application to connect more than two people into a conference. Imagine a Microsoft Outlook add-in that can set up a conference call from a meeting you have scheduled in your Outlook s calendar. With only one click, all the attendees for the meeting can be connected into a call. An application that leverages the Multimedia Conference service within SIP Objects.NET can enable this functionality. Find Me Follow Me A Find Me-Follow Me application that utilizes the Call Notification service could route incoming calls to different locations as set up by a user. For example, if you do not answer on your office phone, then calls can be routed to your mobile phone. If you do not answer on your mobile phone, the call can be routed to your home telephone. You can set different call routing rules for different callers, thereby filtering out unwanted calls from your home telephone. The routing is handled automatically and is transparent to the caller. Do Not Disturb Let s assume you do not wish to answer any calls when you re in a meeting. A Do Not Disturb application that utilizes the Call Handling service can route your calls to a media server that will play an audio message to the caller explaining that you cannot be disturbed. The application could also save the caller s address so you could simply call him back using the Click-to-Dial application. Page

12 CONCLUSION Although the telecommunication and IT industries have been converging for more than a decade, software developers have had limited access to telecom networks and capabilities. Specialized computer-telephony integration protocols are too complex and inflexible to properly integrate realtime communications into business applications. With the advent of next-generation IP communications and Web services, these barriers have been removed. SIP Objects.NET leverages these innovations by allowing developers to access real-time telephony networks through a flexible, easy to use development tool. Adding voice, video and conference call functionality to your.net applications has never been simpler. Features and Benefits Accelerated Development SIP Objects.NET simplifies the development of telecom applications by providing: A.NET oriented API that enables the use of convenience constructors, iterators and many other native.net constructs An event-driven programming model with an under-the-hood intelligent polling engine which minimizes network traffic and optimizes performance An embedded Web server that translates callbacks from the gateway into native.net events without writing a single callback Web service Workflow based development that allows visual modeling of applications using telecom-specific WF activities Benefits Familiar tools enable rapid development of new applications and low entry costs Accelerated time-to-market and ROI, and lowered TCO through reuse of existing.net skills and software Service-oriented development and workflow support enables service reuse and service composition Open standard APIs mean applications stay independent of the telecom network Deployed and tested on Ubiquity s Open Web Services and SIP Application Server Page

13 About Inova IT Inova IT is a software development company based in Maribor, Slovenia that specializes in CTI application development and systems integration. Inova IT is committed to providing cutting-edge tools and applications that drive the next generation converged communications. As a quality-driven organization, Inova IT utilizes advanced IT and network technologies in order to deliver innovative products and solutions to our enterprise and service provider customers. Our products interconnect the telephony and IT domains by integrating SIP, SOA, and Web services technologies. Inova IT s flagship products, SIP Objects.NET and SIP Servelts.NET, offer the first significant SIP-based telecom application creation environment for the.net community. Together, these applications bridge the gap between.net and telephony application development by utilizing SIP as a converged application protocol. SIP Objects.NET is designed to easily enable unified communications, allowing telecom functionality to be added to.net applications in just a few lines of code and with the aid of visual tooling and workflow technologies. SIP Servlets.NET complements SIP Objects.NET by offering a granular and more flexible SIP Servlet-based development environment within.net. Both products offer Visual Studio.NET integration. Inova IT also offers professional services to customers who wish to leverage our CTI knowledge and cross platform expertise in both Microsoft and Java technologies. Page

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