VOSS Adaptations: VOSS-4-UC API Subscriber
Keith Bareham, Director Solutions Engineering, VOSS Solutions
VOSS-4-UC has the capability to manage user and subscriber services through a variety of tools. These include the advanced subscriber page, quick add subscriber, phone management, and other CUCM direct access methods which can be made available in the menus.
API integration is possible by accessing the various functions through the REST API provided by VOSS-4-UC. It should be noted that all functions in VOSS-4-UC are accessible via the APIs by default, because APIs are automatically created as part of the development of any new feature.
When embarking on an API integration, choices must be made around which APIs to use for each function required. For example, when integrating with a customer portal to allow customer admins to add new users, there are a number of APIs that may be used.
- Reading or creating E164 number inventory
- Reading or creating internal number inventory
- Mapping E164 numbers to internal numbers
- Creating a subscriber - Adding services for the user such as phones, SNR, voicemail etc., which could be accessed individually or via the subscriber API, or quick add subscriber
The challenge is that the VOSS-4-UC portal must orchestrate the access to these APIs ensuring the correct sequencing, dependency resolution and backout in the case of failure. Portal developers typically are not UC experts and may not have the experience or portal capabilities to integrate easily at this UC level.
VOSS-4-UC offers an adaptation capability where specific utilities and functionality can be added without the need for core software development. This capability has been used to create API-friendly functions that move the integration for a lower level UC integration to a business level integration. In this case, a single API call can be placed from the portal to VOSS-4-UC requesting services for a new user. Included in the API call is a user service package name that identifies the service suite required by the user. This service package can contain any configuration of UC services, and is likely to be one of a set of service offerings published by the service provider. These service offerings may align with billable services, providing clear tariff points for customers and billing systems.
The single API call can cause VOSS-4-UC to create a user with various services based on package choice, add LDAP entry, and provide automatic backout in the case of failure. The role of the portal becomes more of a user interface tailored to the Service Provider, capable of capturing user data and passing that data to VOSS-4-UC via the API. All UC orchestration and backout functionality remains within VOSS-4-UC, with a simple status returned for each request. In this way, portal developers are able to leverage their strength in presentation, consistent look and feel and usability, while VOSS-4-UC provides the orchestration capabilities.
Whilst this blog post addresses the use case of adding users, orchestration can be offered for any multi-step operation in VOSS-4-UC, consolidating the steps into a single API with simplified input.
As a result, customer admins can quickly add service for a new user by accessing the Service Provider portal and navigating to a page dedicated to this activity. The presentation of this functionality is then aligned with management of other services which may have been purchased, giving improved usability through a common user experience.
Service Providers can quickly develop portal integrations, offering new operations to end customer admins. This removes the need for service desk requests into the Service Provider, reducing operational costs. End user experience is improved through instant fulfillment of requests.
For more information about VOSS Adaptations, please contact us.