Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Active Directory integration with CIC

I wanted to know more about this so I sent a mail to the vendor:

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Florijn
Subject: Integration between your product CIC and AD

In your product whitepaper you are stating that your product integrates with MS Active Directory. Can you give me some more info on that subject. A tight integration is an essential requirement for my company. I need to know in more detail how this integration is performed.

I received the following answer:

Thank you in showing interest in our product. Please find the following information regarding Directory Integration:
The Interaction Center platform runs in a Windows 2000 or 2003 domainenvironment. The Interaction Center Platform requires a great deal of configuration information regarding users, workgroups, queues, and other items. Instead of creating its own proprietary store of such configurationinformation, the Interaction Center Platform leverages the considerable power of enterprise directories that support the LDAP standard.

LDAP stands for lightweight directory access protocol and is employed by virtually every major enterprise directory including Microsoft ActiveDirectory, Novell NDS/e-Directory, and iPlanet Directory Server. Instead of maintaining its own list of users with their phone numbers,access rights, etc., the Interaction Center Platform makes use of information already stored in a given enterprise directory. It even extends the chosen directory by adding specific attributes (e.g., phone extension, skills, etc.) that it requires. Similarly, the Interaction Center Platform uses the chosen directory as the repository for information about workgroups (e.g., members, access rights), queues, phone lines, reports, and other concepts. This use of an enterprise directory for the storage of information has a number of important advantages, including:
* Location independence - The same configuration information isavailable from any server running components of the Interaction CenterPlatform. For example, an employee based in New York can travel to the Los Angeles office, log into the corporate communications system, and have exactly the same rights and capabilities.
* Scalability - Enterprise directories such as those from Microsoft,Novell, and Sun can easily scale to handle hundreds of thousands or evenmillions of users and other objects.
* Replication - Popular directory products such as those mentioned above have builtin replication capabilities that allow them to copy critical information to different machines to increase reliability and performance. If one server is temporarily unavailable, the Interaction Center Platform can access directory information stored in another server.Reliance on an enterprise directory is increasingly viewed as a requirement for welldesigned software. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Institute of backup trauma

Very funny movie by John Cleese. Viral marketing campaign by LiveVault for their Disk to Disk based backup solution.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

XML Standards for "global" Customer Information Management

Fitting over 200 countries into a unified format is no easy task. Countries have
very different address formats. Some use street names for addressing, others don't.
Some use island names, others don't. The format must allow for all these different types of addresses while at the same time provide a consistent and easy to use format.

There are different ways to model data, including hierarchical, relational and object-oriented. Address data is hierarchical in nature (a country has cities, a city has streets and a street has premises) so a hierarchical model is the most natural fit.

The international standard XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is well suited to represent hierarchical data and has therefore been adopted for the actual implementation of the data model.

This specification is designed to describe the address elements, not be specific about the formatting and presentation of the address. However, formatting at the higher -composite- levels is preserved since these are either a single string value or an ordered list of multiple strings. This is only considered a side effect at this time; there is no detailed specification of how to handle and preserve white space in these strings. In the Netherlands for example, it is customary to use double spacing between postal code and town on a single line, but naturally this only works with fixed-width fonts. New lines are made explicit by only defining composite elements at line-level."


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