Hi Cisco Team,
Firstly let me just congratulate you on the release of CCA 3.1 and what a FINE release it is
So let the fun begin...
Was bored on the weekend so I decided to give this thing a good once over, and finished it of this morning by checking its ability to work with 3.0.1 based configurations, and I must say, CCA 3.1 performed exceptionally well, and was pleasantly surprised by a number of things.
- The new Icon, whilst not a functional thing, cosmetics is always a good thing the new Icon looks the part and I quite like it, no more confusion between CCA and CNA as they both shared similar Icons
- The Speed of it... WOW!!!! This new version loads up in half the time of version 3.0.1, uses up about 40% less memory on first load up which is a pretty good sight to see
- Discovery process is vastly improved, the speed is much better and you can start working pretty much in half the time as the previous version, no more having ot get a coffer whilst waiting for it to discover everything to be able to work in a safe environment without causing issues with CCA
- Loading up the User information is brilliant and exceptionally fast, WELL DONE team, that is just an awesome sight to see again
- Good touch with the customization of the ephone-templates much needed addition, 10 templates is a good amount
- Assignment of templates on a per phone basis... EXCELLENT!!! previously this could only be done via CLI and CCA would at times remove this configuration randomly, so this is a welcomed addition
- Bilingual phones.. Great addition team, great addition
- New Call Back Rule....... Oh stop it, your spoiling us, a very long awaited feature and very much welcome \0/ **Celebrates** you have no idea how much this frustrated installers/engineers like myself and customers alike not to be able to redial on a missed call, it is an absolute pain to have to train a group on how to press edit and add the steering digit in, they just give you this dumb founded look as to why such a complexity in doing such a simple function... I am cheering on the inside on this one
- New Scripts look good, have done any tests with them as of yet, but I am sure many people will be happy to see them
- Voice Mail Zero Out Option... Not to spoil the review, but ABOUT TIME this is yet again a very much welcomed feature and long awaited
- Manual DTMF configuration for SIP trunk is a great addition, again removes the need of trying to do this on the CLI, a big thanks to the team for this one
- Unlocking the Meet-Me from the outside world, a great feature but I have always been a little worried about this, I guess it will serve its purpose to a wider audience
- In-bound Caller ID... Happy to see this however Software Pack 8.1 has issues with this on an IOS level, so I am assuming this is in preparation to 8.2 coming out soon
- Local Directory Support... WooooooooooooooooooooHoooooooooooooooo!!!! I was toasting to this on the weekend
- Disable DHCP server... YOU BEAUTY!!! Another welcomed addition, Fantastic Team
- Crash Information gathering, this is just awesomeness it is helpful as removing the flash card or tftp can be a pain in the butt
- Back Ground (Desktop Pictures) management is fantastic, again another huge thanks for this
- Addition of the 300 series switches for management, if the ESW range is being replaced by these switches then we needed the ability to use CCA to management them
CCA is starting to take good form, it is edging close to be in competition with its fellow WEB GUI, given that in the past if we engineers needed to do remote work we had SSH or via Port Forwarding web access to the GUI, we are still not quite there yet with CCA, and when you can get VPN access and for CCA to work with it, you have a partial replacement, but still a long way away from reaching that goal. None-The-Less, 3.1 provides a good insight into the road map of its development, and so far it is clear that the design team is listening to the community at large, it is evident that our collective opinions/thoughts are being looked at and this can only serve to make CCA a more well received configuration tool, especially with those who are still quite adamant that it cannot serve as a replacement for the WEB GUI or CLI.
- No ability to turn call waiting beeps of, this still needs to be done via the CLI. If it is in CCA 3.1 it is hidden, I spent at least 30 minutes looking through every user based section trying to find a way to do this
- Topology still does not quite save properly, it is fine until you add a new device and then it goes all over the place again, not crucial but annoying none-the-less, and Bonjour devices do not save in the position you put them, in particular printers they are the worst culprits
- Inability to apply IDLE screen service URL's, this is a major request given that Cisco is now being looked at for Hotel based environments, being able to push information to the phones via the service URL to idle screens is a great feature, this can only be achieved via CLI and not sure if this will be removed in SWP-8.2
- Inability to convert the Topology to PDF format still
- Missing ability to print out call flow topology once the system has completed the Telephony Wizard, this is a powerful feature and Cisco really needs to introduce this in its next version
- Lack of SCC configuration management, this was a much needed feature given the issues that are being faced by engineers, this is an absolute must for the next release, or even better on a maintenance release
- IOS not letting the user add another List.xml file, which means you can only place custom images onto one phone at a time, it will throw up an at you advising you that this is already being served, which is in fact not being served, a bug that must have been missed in the QA process
- The link to download the SSL software is broken, when you click on it to takes you to a site that displays the following error "The download process was interrupted.Please restart the download process. If you continue to see this message, contact Cisco support at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not many CONS can be listed at this stage, the major issues that were outstanding in CCA 3.0.1 still have to be put through their paces and this can only be done (In theory) on the same systems that this issue was happening.
To be put to the test in round 2 of testing:
- Bulk user modifications: Version 3.0.1 had a nasty issue of randomly deleting user configuration or not properly applying the request and at time disabling that users details in the system
- CCA Correctly applying Park Slot configuration without having to restart the whole system, on all installs that required Park Slots after the fact, this issue is prevalent and at each of those installation the only way to get Park Slots working was to restart the whole system once the configuration was applied
- Brand New build from scratch, I have quite a few installs coming up soon and I hope to be able to do them on SWP-8.2 and CCA 3.1
The Wrap Up:
All up there was about 6-8 hours spent looking over this, and overall this is a good release and it has the HUGE thumbs up, no where near as many features as what I thought it would have, and given that Cisco do not seem to publicly show what is on the road map I suspect that there will be some with shared disappointment and others who have been hanging out for some of these very much needed features with shared excitement.
Who knows maybe the next release of CCA will be a huge surprise and it will be a Xmas present wrapped up with all sorts of goodies, the real compliment would be having a well defined and workable Office Manager that is vastly improved and will work hand in hand with the latest CCA, but alas that is another issue entirely.
All-in-All my hat goes of to the Cisco Team, a job well done and I am looking forward with a renewed energy for the next release of CCA, by the time we have exhausted this versions capabilities we should be ready for the next big surprise...