Screen Pop ~ Unified Communications Demo

I’ve just completed a simple demo of screen pop functionality that I’ve written using Microsoft’s Unified Communications APIs.  If you want to try a copy, contact me. 

Overview
  
The Call Assistant is an application that determines who an inbound call is from and then brings up a screen of data associated with that person to assist the receiver of the call. The types of screens that will pop up depend on the rights granted to the user by administrators but it could include one or many types of screens depending on the type of business the user deals with.
 
Using the Application
 
After installing the app, a user can run it by clicking it’s shortcut or by clicking C:\Program Files\Insource Technology\CallAssistant\CallAssistant.exe in windows explorer.  A login screen will pop up.

This application uses the login from Microsoft Communicator if the user is signed in and chooses default credentials.  It is possible, however, to use the Call Assistant without Communicator running or when Communicator is logged in under some other userid. In this mode, the Call Assistant presence beans will not be active nor have call out functionality associated with them.  This mode of entering different credentials is useful if working somewhere without Communicator or for testing when OCS login is different from the Windows login.
 
Once logged in the user will see the status window.

The Type dropdown shows which types of screens a user has permissions to see – HR, Accounting, Sales…Currently only HR screens are available. At this point the Call Assistant is running and waiting for a call. The window can be closed but the phone icon in the system tray shows that it continues to run in the background.
 
To exit the application, right-click the phone icon in the sysem tray and choose Exit.  To bring the status window back up again you can double-click the icon. 
 
When the user gets call, the Call Assistant will pop up a screen associated with the caller assuming that person can be identified. For example. if a non-employee were to call into someone with the HR screen configured, nothing would pop up.  If the user is configured to see screen pops for Sales contacts and an employee calls in, nothing would pop up.  Here’s an example of a HR screen pop.  Note that the content fields are dumbed down for demo purposes:
 

Depending on the back-end data source, the data shown on these screens can be editable. A database would be preferrable. This example uses an Excel spreadsheet for a data source.  The screen pop can be closed any time. 
 
Note that the main call status window tracks past callers. For this demo we are not saving this data but the contact “beans” have complete OCS functionality:

Technical Stuff
 
Technically speaking the majority of this application is written using th Microsoft Unified Communications Client SDK. Extra features were added on by using the Communicator Automation API to support presence easily and to provide call out functionality. Let me know if you have any questions…
-BU
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