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New Member

Rasterization

I'm a little confused. I was reading thru other posts and noticed someone was printing to fax. I have been working with both NEC's NTAC and Active Voice (Cisco) with a problem with Rasterization. They keep telling me that it only supports three types of files, but how are people printing to fax drivers? I have a customer that is ready to throw Active Fax out the window because they can't attach .doc .xls, and other types of files into e mail. Is there some other form of operation they can use to send these files thru Lightning Fax? Also, a guy from Cisco was here and said the RightFax works great. Is that true, and will it be supported and support all types of MSOffice extensions??<br><br>Thanks,<br>David<br><br>

3 REPLIES
Anonymous
N/A

Re: Rasterization

Ok… couple of points here.

First, you CAN adjust the registry to let us pass other file types through… that’s us (i.e. Unity) stripping off attatchments when you forward an email through to be faxed, not the fax server. You’ll get the same behavior if you’re using any other 3rd party fax server.

The reason we did this was to ensure the fax got sent… some fax servers (most actually) will fail the entire fax if any one of the attachments is “illegal”. So we went with what we knew would be supported across the boards and list the names of the attatchemnets we removed at the bottom of the fax. Another reason we did this was if you’re running ActiveFax on the same box with Unity, there’s no way we want you rendering Word or Excel or whatever types of documents on our box since this just NAILS the CPU and impedes our ability to handle calls.

If you’re running the fax server off our box (ActiveFax two box or some 3rd party fax server) you can adjust the registry to allow other types of extensions through. If you do this and the fax server is on our box, don’t call and complain when you start getting folks screaming about how slow the voice processing is going!

Every fax server does the rendering a little differently… some of them ship a 3rd party WYSIWYG tool to render just about any type of file (Fax Sr., Faxination) and other rely on OLE and actually using an application installed on the fax server box to “print” the document to a TIF file (LightningFax, RightFax, others). Some use both methods… This requires you have a licensed copy of Excel installed on the fax server doing the rendering if you want to fax out an XLS spread sheet for instance. This is very CPU intensive, but it produces better looking TIFs than you typical generic WYSIWYG tool.

And yes, RightFax is a supported 3rd party fax server (i.e. it should work “out of the box”). To clarify, we can support ANY fax server that has a unique message class on it’s messages they punch into the user’s mailbox and supports the “[FAX:Name@delivery number]” outbound sending format for it Exchange fax gateway (almost all fax servers we’ve seen support this). You just have to add the message class in question to the registry and you’re ready to rock.

And yes… RightFax is a good fax server. Definitely one of the better ones I tested. It’s got a nice scaling model that lets you do rendering off box and distribute inbound/outbound faxing activity across multiple servers, weight tasks etc… one of the easier one’s to set up and get working with Exchange. I can be big and say that now that I’m part of Cisco…


Jeff Lindborg
Unity Product Architect/Answer Monkey
Cisco Systems
jlindborg@activevoice.com
http://www.AnswerMonkey.net (new page for Unity support tools and scripts)

New Member

Re: Rasterization

I think I made a booboo on my reply.

I think I understand. Someone already walked me thru the registration changes. I installed office, and adobe on the NEAXMAIL. It seems to work fine until someone comes along and tries to send something else. i.e. An excel file with macros in it. The CPU does not get nailed. "The box seems to have enought horsepower to handle it." ActiveFax "Lightning Fax" is on the same box as voice mail. Granted I only have two fax ports and 15 users on fax currently, but the customer has ordered a 2 to 6 port upgrade.

Would you recommend
1. changing to rightfax
2. move lightning fax to the level 1 server that came with the system. Celeron 400 w/256 RAM. "We changed the NEAXMAIL to a PIII 1.0Gig w/512 RAM.
3. let the customer return it and get something on his own.

Thanks,

David

Anonymous
N/A

Re: Rasterization

Be aware, it doesn't matter how many users/ports you have running fax... it only takes one really big, nasty rasterization job to cripple the system. Trust me... I've seen this in the lab many times.

I would definitely move the fax server off box. If they want a more robust fax server (i.e. they want LCR, multiple custom cover pages, PTF client access etc...) they should get a different fax server or buy a fully licensed LightningFax box (the ActiveFax version is "hobbled" to reduce it's cost). If they just need basic faxing, keep the AF system but move it to a two box configuration. Then you can go wild with the rasterization stuff that's allowed without having to worry about hurting your voice mail server performance.



Jeff Lindborg
Unity Product Architect/Answer Monkey
Cisco Systems
jlindborg@activevoice.com
http://www.AnswerMonkey.net (new page for Unity support tools and scripts)

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