SipExchange System Administration Howto

This section describes the operations the administrator can perform the the SipExchange portal.

Table of Contents

Conventions followed in this document

  1. We have used the term “directory” to specify a file location. This is a common Unix convention. In the Windows environment, the term “folder” is used to mean the same thing.
  2. We have used the Unix directory naming convention in this document. In the Unix environment, a directory hierarchy is specified by the “/” separator. In the Windows environment, the “\” separator is used. In addition, Unix systems do not use drive letters as in Windows. If you are using Windows, you will need to modify the commands accordingly. For example, if we stated $JIPLET_HOME/bin and you are using Windows, it may translate to C:\jiplet-standalone\bin.
  3. We have used $SIPEXCHANGE_HOME or similar names to specify variables. While installing/configuring, you will need to replace these variables with the actual value. For example, in this document, the variable $SIPEXCHANGE_HOME has been used to specify the directory where the SipExchange code binary is unpackaged. We have commonly used the following variables:
    1. $JAVA_HOME – directory where the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed.
    2. $SIPEXCHANGE_HOME – directory where the SipExchange software is unpacked.
    3. $JBOSS_HOME – directory where JBOSS is installed.
    4. $HOST – host name/IP address of the system where the jiplet container is installed.
    5. $RUN – the JBOSS run mode (default, minimal, all, etc.)
  4. Commands are specified using bold. You need to enter the command by typing/pasting the command and pressing the Enter/Return key. Although in the Unix world this may seem natural, in the Windows environment, lots of users are lost when it comes to entering a command. Also, the prompts “#” or “C:\>” are shown, do not enter them.

The SipExchange Portal

SipExchange provides a portal site from where system administrators and subscribers can access routine operations on the system. When an user logs in to the portal, based on the role of the user (administrator or subscriber), different sets of portlets are presented to the user. The SipExchange portlets runs on the Jboss Portal. The Jboss Portal runs on the Jboss application server and provides portal functions as defined by JSR 168 and JSR 286.

From the SipExchange administration portlet, administrators can create domains, subscribers, view reports, etc. In addition, the administrator can customize the look and feel of the portal, introduce additional portlets, etc. using standard portal features provided by the Jboss Portal. For more details on these operations, please refer to the Jboss Portal documentation.

From the portlets, the subscribers can personalize the calling features that are assigned to them.

System administrator accounts

To administer SipExchange, you will need an user account.  When you install SipExchange,  a default system administrator account is automatically created.
The account information is as follows:

User name: admin
Password: a1b2c3d4

 

Please change the password as soon as you login for the first time. If you do not change password, other users who knows how SipExchange works will be able to login to the system with the well-known password.

Do not provide your routine system administrators with Unix/Windows login to the SipExchange servers. This is a security risk. The login and password for your system accounts must only be given to very experienced system administrators.

Logging in to SipExchange Portal for system administration

To access the SipExchange Portal, use the Firefox or Internet Explorer browser and open the URL:

http://SIPEXCHANGE-SERVER:8080/portal

 

Replace the SIPEXCHANGE-SERVER with the host name or IP address of the server where SipExchange is installed.

The system will display the portal front page. Until you login, you don’t have access to the administrator or subscriber operations. To login to the portal, click on the login link on the top right corner of the screen. The SipExchange portal uses SSL for securing the communication between the browser and the server. The portal switches to secure communications when the user logs in and when the user accesses  any of the SipExchange portlets. When you click on the login link, the system will prompt you to accept the site certificate. The digital certificate is required for secure SSL communication.If you have installed the certificate that came with the SipExchange package, you will receive warnings to the effect “Unable to verify the identity of CafeSip.org”. This is because we have made up the certificate ourselves and it was not issued by a certificate authority like Verisign. You may also get others warning stating that the certificate was issued for cafesip.org but you are using a different host name and that the certificate has expired. Please disregard these warnings and accept the certificate to continue. It is recommended that you install a valid certificate as explained in the installation howto. The way the certificate information and the warning messages are displayed is different depending on the browser you are using.  For example, Internet Explorer 7 blocks the secure content by default and the bar appears near the top of the content panel from where you can unblock the content to see the login dialog box.

The system will display a login screen. Login to the system with your system administrator user id and password. Once you enter a valid user id and password, you will see the portlets that are used to administer the SipExchange system.

SipExchange comes with two portlets for system administration. Namely:

  1. SipExchange Console: lets you provision domains, subscribers and monitor the status among other things. You can access this portlet from the “SipExchange” tab of the portal once logged in as an administrator.
  2. Jiplet Console: lets you manage the underlying the jiplet platform.  You can access this portlet from the “Platform” tab of the portal once logged in as an administrator.

In this section, we will be describing the operations of the SipExchange Console. To find out more about the Jiplet Console, please click here.

Top-level menu

Once you open the SipExchange Console, you can access most of the system functions from the top-level menu bar once you have logged in. The following screen-shot shows the top-level menu. You can click on of the menu items and a drop down menu will appear. Click on one of the menu items to perform an operation. The top-level menu is available from all the screens.

User interface concepts

SipExchange Console screens use similar icons and conventions for all the screens. Therefore, if you understand how to use one operation, you can easily follow the other sections.  Here are some of the conventions:

Displaying a list of something

The SipExchange Console displays lists in a consistent manner. An example of a list is a listing of domains configured for the system. When you perform a search, the list is also used to display the results. The following is a screen-shot of a subscriber list:

This list displays the subscribers meeting a certain search criteria.  The right-most column displays icons for all the operations possible on the subscriber. You can click on one of these icons to perform an operation on the subscriber. For example, by clicking on the “x” icon, you will be able to delete the subscriber. The table header also allows you some of the same operations and additional operations. The “+” icon is used to create a new subscriber.

Icons used in the SipExchange Console

The following table explains the conventions for the icons used in the SipExchange Console. When you place your mouse over an icon, most SipConsole icons will display a tool-tip providing more information about the operation.

Icon Operation
Add an element. For example, if you are displaying a domain list, use this icon to add a new domain.
Delete the selected element.
Edit the selected element.
View details of the selected element.
Run the previous operation again (reload).

Operations

There are two types of operations that you can perform from SipExchange Console.  Namely:

  1. Administer the system.
  2. View reports.

System administration

The operations you can perform are:

  1. Create, modify and delete administrators. You can also change the password for the system administrators from here.
  2. Create, modify and delete roles. Each SipExchange subscriber has one or more roles associated with the user id. The roles define a privilege level for every user. The default role for all subscribers is “subscriber” and this role is required to register with the SipExchange server. The role “subscriber” is created by default. So, you do not have to do any administration here.
  3. Create, modify and delete domains. You have to create at least one domain. Create a domain by entering the domain name, a description and the domain administrator’s email. When connected on the Internet and users from another domain make a call to a subscriber belonging to this domain, the domain name must resolve to host name/IP address of the SipExchange server. SipExchange allows you to create more than one domain and assign subscribers to the domains.
  4. Create, modify, delete and search for subscribers. Create subscribers by entering their user name, password, domain, role and other optional information. You must enter an email address for a subscriber if you want the subscriber to get notified by email on changes to the account. Note that the subscriber’s SIP address will be sip:user@domain where user is the user name you entered and domain is the domain for the user.
  5. Provision domain and subscriber-level features to a domain or subscriber respectively. This aspect is explained in more details in the Feature Management section.
  6. Delete old call detail records (CDR). The system does not automatically delete CDRs that were generated. You can delete CDRs that you no longer require from here to reuse the disk space.
  7. Add or remove system parameters. Using system parameters, you can modify the default behavior of the system. You add a parameter by entering a name and value. Note that the parameter names are case sensitive and must be entered exactly the way it is specified. The following system parameters are currently supported:
    • sipexchange.no.answer.duration : How long does the SipExchange server ring a subscriber’s phone before giving up and sending a “NOT AVAILABLE” response to the calling party. If you don’t specify this parameter, the duration is 60 seconds. You can change this by entering a numerical value in seconds.
    • sipServerHost: For more details read the description for the email templates.
    • sipServerPort: For more details read the description for the email templates.
    • sipServerTransport: For more details read the description for the email templates.
    • sipexUrl: For more details read the description for the email templates.

View reports

The operations you can perform are:

  1. Search for users who are currently logged in to the system (registered with the SipExchange server) and find out their locations.
  2. Search for CDRs and delete old CDR records.

Configure email templates

You can customize the emails that are being sent by the system to the subscribers. To learn more about this advanced topic, please refer to the document that explains how to use the email templates.

Additional Portal administration operations

As mentioned above, SipExchange portlets runs on the Jboss Portal. The Jboss Portal is a highly configurable system and, as an administrator, you can completely modify the look and feel of the portal. When you install SipExchange, it lays out the portlets in pages in a certain manner but you can remove or rearrange the portlets in any way you want. In addition, you can add your own portlets. You can also add your own portlets without any software development by using the Content Management System (CMS) portlet and other general-purpose portlets that Jboss comes with by default. The users of the portal can also use the dashboard feature to customize the layout and look and feel. Using the dashboard, users can also add and arrange the portlets in the dashboard.

Please refer to the Jboss documentation for details on how to setup the Jboss portal.

Please note that we have disabled the user administration portlets that comes with Jboss because SipExchange comes with its own role management and subscriber & administrator user account management operations that are accessible from the SipExchange console. Since a subscriber is identified by his/her user id and the domain instead of the user id alone, the SipExchange portal users cannot be provisioned from the Jboss user administration portlets.

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