IP Phone Application - Attendance tracker

Unanswered Question
Feb 28th, 2007

Hi,

I am doing a university assignment and am looking at developing an XML application for a 7940 /7960 or 7970 phone which allows teachers to enter students as being absent or present at the beginning of each class. I haven't written XML before, but I have a basic overview of how call manager and IP phones work. I'm still establishing whether this project would be too complex for me to do, or whether it's a feasible idea.

It was suggested that I can use LDAP/XML to access the active directory and write files to it for Teacher/class/student to then write back to on absent/present. This brings about a lot of other questions as to how would the data be gathered for report writing at the end of the semester, how it should then be displayed (ie: table with students & dates absent & percentage) and who would enter the data initially to build the classes. I'm also not an AD expert, so i'm not really sure how well this would work under AD, and if infact i'm going to be allowed to touch the colleges AD implementation.

Does this sound like a do-able assignment? is this even possible to do? Are there any other ways of doing this? or would this be the best way? I've been trying to research how to integrate Cisco ip phone/XML implementation with AD, but haven't found anything definitive, are there any good documents/sources available?

Also.. I can't access the http://www.aptigen.net website that a few people on the forums have mentioned, are there any other simular sorts of applications to emulate the IP phone & development?

Thanks & appreciate any feedback you can supply for me :)

- Carly

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carlytolson Thu, 03/01/2007 - 14:31

Change of plans.. they're using a proprietary database with ODBC.. guess it's back to square 1! :)

stephan.steiner Fri, 03/02/2007 - 00:40

Don't you mean exchange? AD holds user data, but a user's mailbox (emails, contacts, calendar) is in exchange.

If that's it, get the Exchange SDK and have a look at the technologies available - there are various and I suggest you pick the one you are most familiar with.

It also depend on which version of Exchange is going to be used and if an upgrade to 2007 is planned in the near future (2007 obsoletes some APIs).

The phone part of this app is just presentation - imho peanuts compared to the backend part you have to implement.

Questions about Exchange development are best sent to the microsoft newsgroup on exchange development.

msabir Mon, 03/05/2007 - 11:39

Check out PhoneTop K-12 from AAC Inc. They got the award for Best in Class for K-12. The product does just what you described.

carlytolson Tue, 03/06/2007 - 19:53

Thanks for your responses, PhoneTop K-12 is quite simular to what we are planning to implement, although ours may be more basic.

I've had a little more information from my teacher now, we will have to send & pull data from their current attendance tracking system, using ODBC. We are still confirming though which database system the program is using. Then we can determine which programming language we should use to interface from XML to the database (I think that's how it works?) so maybe C or VB or java etc..

So I guess I still have a lot of research to do!

msabir Wed, 03/07/2007 - 06:29

In PhoneTop K-12, they can pull information from any backend Student Information System that has an ODBC interface (and most of them do). It comes with Wizards to help you map the fields between back-end system and PhoneTop database.

As far as your project is concerned, you can develop it in Java or .NET. Both can get you what you want, choose the one you are more comfortable with. You can use ODBC/JDBC to get the data from backend student information system and then use .aspx pages (in .NET) or Servlet/JSP (in Java) to create the front end of the application for IP phones.

paulindublin Sun, 04/01/2007 - 12:12

Hi Carly, Aptigen are now gone but Ciplets is your best bet to create this application: www.ciplets.com

We did these kind of applications for our education suite and you can create a class registration application in a few hours using Ciplets.

Hope this helps.

Paul

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