Has anyone written HTML interfaces to the IP Phone apps? I imagine someone with some XML experience should be able to pretty easily create a series of web pages that request and accept the XML data in the same XML forms as the Cisco phones and format that for a web interface.
I just wanted to know if anyone's done it before I go out and do it myself.
To make our applications work for multiple platforms (such as browser, Cisco IP Phone, pda, etc), we just output html for browsers, Cisco-XML for Cisco IP Phones, etc etc. You can examine the HTTP_ACCEPT value in the HTTP header as one way to differentiate devices to identify what format to use for output etc.
Alternatively, you could create a layer (ie a web page) that reads the xml output by a Cisco IP Phone xml application and converts it to html, if that is what you meant. This web page would act as a content transformation engine for Cisco XML content.
I would prefer the first method (ie design with multiplatform in mind from the start), though if you are interfacing with 3rd party applications and desire an alternative (ie html, wml etc) interface then you might have to go this way. In this case, you would have to call this 3rd party web app, supplying the expected parameters, and then transform the output of that app to html. XSLT would work well here, since the output of the 3rd party app is already xml and suitable for transformation to an alternative format (such as html).
Are you planning to implement a "content transformation"-type application?
My point is there is only a finite number of XML objects that the IP Phone will accept. I would imagine it would be easier to write an HTML-frontend for each XML object, then to re-write the original ASP for both XML and HTML output. Also, this provides the flexiblity to use other, 3rd-party XML apps written for the phone. And, more importantly to our purposes, it would (if written properly) exactly duplicate what is on the phone, regardless of who wrote the app in the first place.
Re-writing 3rd party apps isn't always feasible or desirable, I certainly agree with that! Comparitively, supporting both platforms (or other platforms) from the outset is a different issue, and is much easier to accomplish. However, if your goal is to provide an HTML front-end for 3rd party or existing Cisco IP Phone apps, then such a front end might be a good choice (and when dealing with 3rd party applications, often the only choice available).
It's all about what works best in your environment, and only you can decide that. It sounds like an interesting project!
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