We have deployed Sametime some year hence in the company. Now it was time to upgrade its functionality and click to call just sounded as the right one. Not only it removes the need for you to browse company directory for telephone number of a person you want to call (you just do that from Sametime), but it also is able to display outside caller information, if you have their information in Server Directory Catalog (sdc.nsf) database.

I will try to cover configuration and deployment of Cisco Click To Call plug-in for Sametime integrated client. Beware, this plug-in will only work with Cisco telephones and Cisco Call Manager.

Step 1 – Configure Cisco Click to Call plug-in

Cisco Click to Call plug-in is available at Cisco site. Unfortunately it is not free, until you reach certain level of partnership or something like that. For this current post, I’ll assume you have access to the download site.

You only need plug-in for Sametime Client. Server plug-in enables you click to conference, which can connect Sametime to WebEx if I remember correctly.

Extract the plug-in in your directory and go to ciscocfg. Click only executable there (ciscocfg.exe) and select update site which is located at CiscoPCAPWithLotusST_7.1.1.952\UpdateSite directory. A GUI window opens. Fill in required data. Don’t forget about dialing rules, as they may be key to resolving caller identity. Templates for dialing rules can be found at templates directory.

When you are done, go to File->Save All. This will configure your update site.

Step 2 – Create Eclipse Update Site

First, if you already have Eclipse update site on your system, you can skip this step.

The easiest was to create Eclipse Update Site is to use Notes 8.x integrated template. Go to File->Application->New, enter required data, and check Show advanced templates check-box. Be sure you selected your server for template list. Select Eclipse update site and click OK. When processing finishes, you will have your update site.

Step 3 – Create Widget catalog database

Again, if you already have a widget catalog database deployed, you do not need to read this.

For those of you, setting the catalog database for the first time, the process is very similar to creating Eclipse update site described in Step 2. Just pick another template, which is called Widget catalog.

Step 4 – Deploying the plug-in (sort of)

Now that you have your plug-in configured and your update site and widget catalog created, you can proceed with deployment.

What you need to do now is to import your plug-in to your update site database. This is a simple step. Just open your update site database and select Import local update site from view actions. A dialog pops up. All you need to do is to point the location to your site.xml file in the plug-in directory on your hard drive and select OK. If all goes well, you should have an update site imported in about a minute.

If you are only using Sametime Connect clients in your environment, all you need to do now, is go to your Sametime server Administration via web and enter URL of the update site to Sametime update site URL field in your Sametime policy document (can be default policy). All updates located in this update site will be automatically installed to clients at next start up (or about a minute later). Save the document and restart your Sametime server. That’s it, you are done.

Unfortunately, for us, working with environments with integrated Sametime clients, this is only beginning of the road. We took care of Sametime Connect clients and now it is time to do the same for integrated clients. I don’t know what was a reason behind it, but setting an update site just won’t cut it.

Step 5 – Creating a widget from your plug-in

To deploy an update/plug-in for integrated Sametime client, you need to create a widget from your update site. This is specially interesting and fiddly step, as you will have to manually create your own extension.xml file. Widgets, you see, don’t know how to use update sites directly. Extension.xml file is an adapter. BTW, you can name the file as you want, as long as it has correct format. Below is source of my extension file (marked attributes are changeable).

  • PalleteItem id, InstallFeature and Feature id must be the same as ID of a plug-in in update site.
  • PalleteItem title, InstallFeature description and name are totally up to you
  • Feature version must correspond to the value of the field Version in update site document.
  • you should use nrpc (for some odd reason http didn’t work). Link can be obtain by going to actions menu of your update site database and select ShowURLs…

Go to your widget catalog database, create New widget, type in some custom data and import created extension.xml file. Save the document and you should have a widget, ready to deploy.

Tip: don’t forget to specify Widget category. We will go into details later. For now, just trust me.

Step 6 – Auto-install the plug-in

With widget created, it would be nice to auto deploy it. Good news is, that you can do that via Notes policy’s Desktop settings. Bad news is, it doesn’t work for everyone. Not quite sure why, but I have a hunch it has to do with people being logged in when policy was deployed.

The principle of this article is not to teach you how to create a policy. That is pretty straightforward. Let’s just look at your Desktop settings. You have a tab called Widgets. There you specify your server name (this must be a full qualified domain name, despite what help says) and category of widgets you want users to install. And here is the fiddly part. Forget to specify category and plug-in will not be deployed automatically. You can save other defaults or tinker with them, but beware that disallowing people to display My Widgets sidebar will bite you later on with users that didn’t get the plug-in auto installed. Save the setting document, include it in your Policy and deploy it.

Step 7 – Manually install the plug-in

Despite all your best efforts to automate the process, you will still have to do this for some users. Nothing fiddly there. just go to File->Preferences->Widgets, select Show widget toolbar and the my widgets sidebar panel and click OK. My widgets sidebar should now appear on the right. Right click on it and select Catalog->Update. This will force an update of user’s local widget catalog (which is created automatically) and thus trigger plug-in installation.

Step 8 – User input

I am positive that someone at Lotus had a good reason to notify a user about your intention to install the plug-in. However, there are two things wrong with this:

  1. It gives a user an option to prevent plug-in to install, even though, the policy demands it.
  2. Do not install option is selected by default.

This not only causes you more work (as you at least have to write an installation e-mail), but actually forces a user to think he/she did something he/she shouldn’t do.

When plug-in installs, user will have to reboot Notes client for changes to take effect.

Watch out for…

  1. There is no plug-in for Linux environment
  2. For some reason, plug-in installs well for Mac clients, but we had a case where suddenly, Lotus would consume all available resources on the machine and demand a hard reboot. Killing processes didn’t help.

Conclusion

In this article, I tried to present you with solution as to installing Cisco Click-to-call plug-in for Lotus Sametime. There are many fiddly steps you need to take, some of them unfortunately unnecessary. However, follow it, and you will successfully deploy Cisco Click-to-call functionality with your Sametime clients.