If you have worked with ECC custom integrations for any length of time, you have build a library of solutions to work with. Most recently you have discovered that a 32 bit application like ECC, running on a 64 bit Windows 2008 or 2012 server needs a 32 bit OBDC driver! When you click on Data Sources in Windows, you are shocked to notice that none of the ECC database connectors are showing under the DSN tab in the OBDC data source administrator. You then go to add a driver for that new MySQL application your client wants and install and test it connects OK. Then you log into Contact Center Director and notice that the OBDC connector does not show up in the list of external database connections. WTF? Well this turns out to be a Microsoft issue, but you have to find a solution anyway! So you learn to ignore the normal Data Source Administrator installation procedure. Find the correct OBDC driver and download it to C:\Windows\SysWOW64 for example C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32. (Much thanks to Tyler and Mark at ShoreTel TAC for this insight). Clicking on this will bring up the 32 bit version of the OBDC Source Administrator and you will find that DSN now displays both your new connector and the existing ECC connectors!
Version 9 of ECC has some changes that you need to be aware of, most notable of which is the lack of support for POP email mail connectors. IMAP is now your only option. If you are going to create ShoreTel ECC Email connectors you will need to get the co-operation of the client IT department, most of which go nuts when you tell them that you want to turn this protocol on in their Exchange sever. If you are using Microsoft Office 365 you have other challenges. If you want to add CHAT then you will also need to get IT to provide you a Tomcat server! In a deployment with an ShoreTel iPBX, ECC and IRCC server and just cant bring myself to tell the client they need yet another instance of MySQL on yet another server! To overcome some of these challenges and to make my life as a deployment engineer a bit more predictable, I have developed my own solution!
If I work with a client that is going to deploy ShoreTel ECC using CHAT, Email and also expects to do some SQL data dips, I prefer to provide my swiss army knife solution. We created a Linux appliance that supports a number of required integration components that we can fully control without relying on the client IT organization. The small 19”rack mounted appliance houses the following:
(a) Our favorite distribution of Linux;
(b) MySQL Server and Postgresql Server;
(c) Apache Server;
(d) TomCat Server;
(e) Mercury Mail:
(f) VPN, SSH and FTP servers;
(g) Webmin and phpmyadmin admin tools;
(h) php, perl and some other development tools
(I) A library of network assessment and monitoring tools;
MySQL and PostgreSQL are absolutely necessary for doing any type of external “look up” and route functions. ShoreTel does not provide ‘root’ access to the MySQL instances running on the other three servers, so you have to do something! Unless you want to jerk around with the clients IT organization or database team, we recommend you roll your own. Likewise with email. Just setup Mercury Mail to handle your ECC email accounts and be done with it. It will cost you another C and MX record, but so what. Most of our ECC applications need a web sever and rather than deal with TAC on what is and what is unsupported on a ShoreTel server running Microsoft IIS, just use Apache and be done with it! To do CHAT on ShoreTel ECC you will need a Tomcat server as well. For less money than will be wasted on professional service hours chasing other folks around so you can do you work, this is a great solution for ShoreTel ECC integrations, email and Chat! (Since we do have root access to the vmware image ShoreTel provides for the conference server, that might also be an option. We will take a look and update you later – DrVoIP).