Course12:Advanced - The Conference PBX Object

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The book about the Conference PBX Objec.

Overview

The purpose of the Conference Object Type is to provide comfortable way for users to connect to the predefined conference rooms and also to provide a voice interface for creating ad-hoc conference rooms (Operator mode).

The Conference Object works in the way that users have to call the Conference Object to connect to a conference room. The Conference Object plays announcements to guide the user to a specific conference room and asks for a PIN, in case any is configured. The announcement files must be provided, similar to the VoiceMail Object, via an HTTP Server, e.g. a Compact Flash card or Flash Drive on the innovaphone gateway.

screenshot.png Conference Object Overview



The media streams are handled by an external conference unit, usually a CONF-Interface on an innovaphone gateway. However also 3rd party conference units are supported. The handling of different media types is supported - audio, video and application sharing streams can be connected and mixed by the same or different conference units. This way it is possible to perform load balancing on multiple conference units - the Conference Object will automatically distribute the conferences and channels on multiple conference devices if possible.

screenshot.png multiple conference devices

Configuration

The configuration steps can be divided into three parts:

- preparing the announcement files for the Conference Object
- configuring the Conference Object itself
- registering the CONF-Interface on the Conference Object


The description for the announcement files and the download link are available on the Wiki fish-help.png PBX/Objects/Conference/Announcement types. The announcement files should be placed on a compact flash card or flash drive on the innovaphone gateway. The wiki article also contains the correct URL format, that must be used in the Conference Object configuration field "Announcement URL".

In addition to the usual object configuration like Long Name, extension Number and password for incoming registrations, the Conference Object configuration screen provides also the tabs for Devices, Options and the Operator mode.

On the tab 'Devices' at least one physical conference unit must be configured in order for the Conference object to provide any services to users. Usually a CONF-Interface of an innovaphone gateway can be defined here as a conference unit. In case an innovaphone CONF-Interface is used, activate 'innovaphone Device' flag.

Make sure to enable the registration of the physical device on the Conference Object by providing screenshot.png the corresponding 'Hardware Id' on the 'General' Tab.

Additional flags enable the conference device to manage different types of media. Usually, for setups with small number of channels, it is enough to enable all media types for one CONF-Interface. In case load balancing is required or some media type requires special handling (e.g. 3rd party video MCU), only specific media types can be enabled for particular conference devices.

Depending on the hardware providing the CONF-Interface, a different number of available channels can be defined under 'Number of Channels' for every particular conferencing device.

The field 'MCU Room Numbers' can be used to define specific prefix numbers for 3rd party conference units, if required. Multiple values can be configured with semicolon.

As every device registers to the Conference Object, it is possible to see the status of the registration of every device on this page. Use it for troubleshooting, check if all configured devices are properly registered to the Conference Object.

Usage

Preconfigured Conference Rooms



The preconfigured conference rooms are available after configuration on the Tab "Rooms" of the Conference Object configuration window. To reach the specific conference room, the users have to dial the number of the conference object, followed by the number of the conference room. For example, in case the extension of the Conference Object is 99 and the number of the room number is 11, the users have to dial 9911 to be connected to this room.

Operator Mode



Enables users to set up the ad-hoc conferences with specified number of channels via an IVR menu.

To reach the Operator menu, the users have to dial the number of the Conference Object followed by the "Operator number" configured on the tab "Operator" of the Conference Object configuration window. For example, in case the extension of the Conference Object is 99 and preconfigured "Operator number" is 22, the operator mode menu can be reached via 9922. In case no "Operator number" is configured, the operator mode menu can be reached via the number of the Conference Object directly.

This mode should not be mixed up with the innovaphone Operator switchboard Software.

Video and Application Sharing



The conferences based on the Conference Object functionality and the CONF-Interface are able to serve not only as audio conference bridge, but also for video and application sharing provided by the myPBX client. Since the myPBX client software uses a special proprietary protocol for the application sharing, only a CONF-Interface based MCU is capable to bridge this media type.

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