The SIP Sorcery Switchboard is a browser based SIP client application that is designed to provide incoming call management in much the same way as a traditional receptionist may do with a phone system. Click Switchboard Tour for a quick high level tour of the Switchboard's main features.
The Switchboard client application works in conjunction with the SIP Sorcery servers and can be thought of as a standard SIP client that can receive and forward calls. The Switchboard client is a Silverlight application that runs the same SIP stack used in the SIP Sorcery server. By handling communications between the Switchboard using SIP it means the call handling functions are highly responsive as there are no dependencies on web services or databases to manage calls. Web services are used to provide additional information on callers and to track call history but those operations are done in the background and do not slow down the Switchboard's main call handling function.
The Switchboard client application is designed to be as simple to use as possible (if you spot any areas for improvement in this regard please let us know email feedback). To get started simply start the application by clicking SIP Sorcery Switchboard and at the login prompt login with any SIP Sorcery SIP account credentials, calls will be sent to the Switchboard whenever your dialplan rings that SIP account. Once you are logged in you should see a list of any other SIP Accounts that are online.
Once you've successfully managed to login to the Switchboard there are only a few small modifications to make to your SIP Sorcery dialplan before it's fully functional.
To forward a call from your SIP Sorcery dial plan to the Switchboard is identical to forwarding a call to any other SIP Account using the sys.Dial("username@local") command. Apart from that there is an additional dial string option that can be optionally added to display a friendly name for the line the incoming call has originated on.
An example of an incoming dial plan that could be used with the Switchboard is shown below.
In the screenshot below the swln option has been set as "Main Line".
The second part of modifying your dial plan is to create new entries for some outgoing call destinations so that the Switchboard menu buttons work. There are 4 options you need to create:
An example of an outgoing dialplan snippet that could be used is shown below. The reject option does not need a special rule and pressing it will reject the incoming call with a busy response.
There are additional options that can be used for outgoing calls from the Switchboard to control the informational fields displayed in its interface:
In the screenshot below the swln option has been set as "On Hold".
Once the dial plan modifications have been made the Switchboard is ready for use. The interface is designed to be as intuitive as possible (again please email feedback if you have any suggestions for improvements) and not overwhelm with a myriad different menus.
The Switchboard has different states:
If you have a Highrise account that you use to maintain a contacts database the Switchboard can look up your callers and display their details when an incoming call arrives. When the Switchboard attempts to lookup an contact with Highrise it will try matches against the name, phone number and SIP address. Contacts generally won't have a SIP address by default but if you do have regular callers with known SIP addresses you can add it to their Highrise details as illustrated below so that the Switchboard can quickly look them up.
To get the Switchboard to attempt a Highrise lookup when an incoming call arrives you need to initiate the lookup before forwarding the call to the Switchboard. The SIP Sorcery server will do the lookup asynchronously and if it is successful it will send the details to the Switchboard when it returns. This asynchronous approach avoids a delay of up to a few seconds in processing the call while the lookup is in progress.
The parameters for the LookupHighriseContact method are:
Finally an additional parameter needs to be added to the dial string that forwards the call to the Switchboard.
Any feedback good or bad regarding the use of the Switchboard is welcome as are suggestions for improvements email feedback.
Support is available via a community forum at SIP Sorcery Switchboard forum.
The video below demonstrates a couple of calls being processed with the SIPSorcery switchboard.