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Dynamic Conference Rooms

Discussion in 'Add-On Install Instructions' started by someguysname, May 10, 2008.

  1. Is there a way to build a frontend for conference rooms (meet-me) so that the user can call in and input the room they want to join, enter a pin, and then be placed in that room or told it is an invalid room? I've looked at the IVR menu, but that would mean I would have to setup an option every time I created a room, which I dont really want to do.

    Is there someway to to this with piaf?
  2. andygee New Member

    I'm currently doing exactly what you say is a pain because I could not find a better way to do it. I would certainly be interested in a way to do it better. I wish there was a web front end that I could let my end users request conferences and it automagically set them up for them. Right now I have just setup 30 conferences and I rotate through them when asked, by the time they get back to the 1st one they will have forgotten that I had given that out previously.

    Andy
  3. Fortel Guru

    Have you guys checked out the latest web meetme3? Tom has an install script for it.

    It takes some tweaking to get it working correctly, but it does provide a powerful web interface which will build conference rooms, notify participants via email, etc... It's really good.
  4. andygee New Member

    Do the rooms work like dialing a extension for external callers? That's the reason I've been doing the IVR is because the conference extensions don't work when calling from external.

    Andy
  5. Kevinr New Member

    Andy,

    If you create a [from-pstn-custom] context in the extensions_custom.conf file, you can add include => ext-meetme to it. Then people can dial your conference rooms from the outside, assuming of course you have DIDs for them.

    Kevin
  6. TomS Guru

    I have the same problem

    I need to have access through the IVR or directly to the extension/conference (e.g.8000, 8001, etc.).
    I have been setting up an IVR option each time and it is a pain. I do not have DIDs for all events in the system, only lines that are shared by incoming traffic. I am not able to enter 8000 as an extension in the IVR but the standard extensions do work. Is there a way to relate an extension for outside access?
    Thanks
    TomS
  7. Fortel Guru

    Web Meetme will create the conference room numbers for you when a new conference is scheduled. It will then email the participants the details, including conference name, date and time, conference number and password.

    To access the conference, users can dial into the IVR and select the appropriate option. You'll need to create a miscellaneous destination that points to the Meetme application's feature code.

    It does work well, but does take a bit of time to get the pieces all working...

    Peter
  8. I did it using the inbound routes page. I put the conference room number in the "DID Number" (say 216) under "Edit Incoming route" on the inbound route I created just for sending people to this room. Then under the "Set Destination" I just choose whatever conference room I want it to go to. They dont even have to match, you can look for 216 and send it to conference room 8000 if you want to. 216 doesnt even have to exist....

    I am using asterisk behind a cisco call manager, so things might be a little different for me. Anyone on the cisco system can dial 88 and then whatever extension they want on the asterisk box. So for example when they dial 88216, call manager strips the 88 and sends 216, so they are actually dialing my conference room number 216...it matches on the incoming route DID Number, and then goes to my conference room where it asks for the password. This allows me to setup an oustide number thats inbound to the call manager, then send it to 88216 so the outside world can reach the conference room on the asterisk box. Everyone that is going to my asterisk box is going through the call manager, so I can use the inbound routes....anyone "native" to the asterisk box just dials the room number....

    But this only gives me one conference room from the oustide...thats why I want to just send them to a frontend to input a room.
  9. jroper Guru

    Hi

    I had a conversation with an A2Billing customer yesterday who pointed out some extra features with Meetme, I never realised existed. I have not extensively tested this, but initial indications are good.

    See here: http://www.voip-info.org/wiki-Asterisk cmd MeetMe

    Conferences can be dynamically built on the fly with the "D" switch, or if you don't need a PIN, use "d"

    In extensions_custom.conf, just under the from-internal-custom context at the top of the file, add a line that looks like this:-

    exten => 1233,1,MeetMe(,MD,)


    In meetme.conf add the following line

    conf => 1233

    Now send everyone an email that you want in your conference with a conference number and a PIN - make up the conference number, any number you like, and make up the pin. Lets say you want the conference number to be 290964 and the pin to be 123.

    At the appointed time, pickup the phone and ring 1233, you will be prompted for a conference number, type 290964, and your pin 123, and you will join the conference. All other participants will hear a similar message, and will join you.

    Thus you can create a conference with any number and any PIN, at anytime, dynamically.

    You can add other options t to the meetme application as required.

    The only challenge is to ensure that the meetme number you chose is unique across all the conferences that are in use at the time.

    Joe
  10. grrrr, why did you change the title of my thread? I've looked at dynamic rooms already...this isnt going to work for me...

    I was ok with everything up until this point:

    This is true ONLY if the conference doesnt already exist. If it does then you are going to drop right in the middle of someone else's conference...unless there is a PIN on the existing room, then you just get an error...and still arent in a room of your own, specifically the one you;ve already emailed to your business contacts.

    Because of this:

    If the meeting room you've emailed to all of your business contacts is already in use and/or has a PIN, you are going to look pretty foolish. Or am I missing something in there?

    Until there is a more fool-proof way of doing it dynamically I want to retain complete control of the creation of these rooms whenever someone wants to hold a conference and then get them to select it when they dial in. Yes, I realize there will be more work on our dept, but *we* will get it right, and they will have a better experience.

    Sorry for my frustration, but I'm having a real hard time finding anything on checking for the existence of a conference room and then sending someone to it.
  11. What I'm looking for is more along the lines of this:

    exten => 999,1, Greet User
    exten => 999,2, ask for conference room
    exten => 999,3, check for existence of room
    exten => 999,4, if room doesnt exist tell them then goto 2
    exten => 999,5, otherwise send them to conference room where meet-me takes over and asks for pin
  12. jroper Guru

    Hi

    Did not change the title of your thread.

    I did not say that the solution was perfect.

    You said you were happy with my methodology right up to the point where there is a possibility of a person joining the wrong room.

    The likelyhood of someone creating two rooms of the same number which are active at the same time is slight, and the probability gets smaller the larger the number used, and you can force the length of the number in the dial plan.

    However slight, the problem still exists, therefore If you know who the initiators of the conference are going to be, then can you give them each a number.

    The conference room number which is sent out to the participants is then based on the initiators number + the date and time.

    Thus if I have conference number 218, and we were going to have a conference today (14th) at 13:00hrs, the conference number could be 218141300

    Later in the day, I want another conference, so I create a conference with 218141400

    If you are creating a conference at 13:00 as well, your number would be 216141300.

    In this way, the conferences should be unique, and the danger of the attendee hitting the wrong conference should be reduced to nothing.

    You could probably do some more dial plan stuff to ensure that the number was valid for the 14th and that the time was right for the conference number, within limits.

    The other way of controlling the conference, and I'm assuming that your conference administrators/intitators are internal to your company, e.g. have an internal extension, or have DISA access, is to get each conference participator to ring you at the appointed time on your extension, and transfer them into the conference room yourself. These conference rooms can be fixed, or pre-created or created on the fly using the D or d switch.

    You can stop the participants talking behind your back until you arrive, using the A and w switches, and a different entry point for the conference admin.



    Joe
  13. wardmundy Nerd Uno

    I changed the name of the thread because the idea was to educate folks on how to set up dynamic conference rooms.

    If you've got to send people a conference number anyway, are the people not sufficiently capable to also enter a password??

    Call me crazy but... unless you're just trading baseball scores, I can't imagine setting up conferences without any security other than the conference room number. What keeps anyone from just dropping by to see what you're talking about. Oooops, typo. Wrong conference room. Sorry.
  14. *NOT* having a password was only one of the scenarios. It doesnt do me any good to email business associates a room number only to have that room be taken and secured with a PIN when it's time for my conference to start.

    I wouldnt necessarily call you crazy, but a room about baseball scores without a PIN isnt completely out of the question where I work. I work in preK-12 education...and I know my people. It wouldnt be any kind of stretch for them to spell the school mascot for their room thinking it would be cool....along with every other teacher/principle/coach/student who might be needing a room for whatever reason. Yes, they might even do this just so someone can "drop by" and listen in. That would really screw things up when business associate "A" drops into their room.

    So anyway...this leaves too many things to go wrong for my taste. I need some help writing a frontend for it...a discussion about dynamic rooms isnt really going to help me so I guess I will try wading through the asterisk commands and piece something together.
  15. undrhil New Member

    This sounds more like a "train the personnel" issue, rather than a software issue. The bottom line is that the software *does* do what you want, but you have to make sure that the people creating the conferences do their part correctly. I don't see how this is a really big problem. Unless you have people who are simply troublemakers, just tell them that each room number created is logged with their extension number at the time the conference is created. This will eliminate people from just randomly creating rooms.

    I liked the idea about giving each user a number (supposedly their extension) and telling them to create their conference based on that number and the time and date of the conference. This solution (coupled with my suggestion above) should eliminate the possibility of someone "accidentally" dropping in on a call. Coupled with them choosing their own PIN at the time of the conference also means that someone won't "accidentally" be able to guess it without wasting time.

    Just make sure the end-users know how to use the software. There's no need for you to get involved every single time someone wants to make a conference room.
  16. I know you guys "think" this will work for me...but it wont. Seriously, please quit trying to steer me down that road.

    This isnt a personnel issue...this is me wanting to run an asterisk box along with our Cisco Call Managers that are currently in use. When things go wrong, I will just have to pull the asterisk box, they arent going to care who is at fault. What good will that do me?

    They arent going to jump through hoops to make sure their conference room works right either, they want me to do that, thats what I get paid for. Training 7500 people how to "count backwards from ten, subtract 2, then multiply by the square root of PI and that is your conference room number isnt going to work. Oh yeah, be sure to make up a PIN for it too! (they will just use the conference room number for the PIN)"

    Anyway, our support services motto is "Whatever it takes, make it happen" and thats what I intend to do to make this work....the way *I* want it to (remember me? I started the thread....hard to tell, I know, since someone changed the title and steered this wagon down a different road!)

    You can close this thread, I am abandoning it since it has been butchered all to crap anyway and the title changed to something I wasnt even looking for to begin with...
  17. jroper Guru

    Ahem,

    and how about:-

    "And thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to try and help, even though the solutions offered were not practical in my case"
  18. wardmundy Nerd Uno

    By all means, get back to reinventing the wheel. Sounds like you have a perfect system already. Not sure why you asked in the first place. Far be it from us to mess things up with something as complicated as user names and passwords. :willy_nilly:
  19. undrhil New Member

    Well, I don't really see what he's going on about. I mean, first he says that he wants an automated system to create these rooms and then he says that he's paid the big bucks to ensure the conference rooms are created.

    someguysname: Why not just create a batch of rooms (say, 50 of them), assign each room a unique number and PIN set and then, oh, I don't know ... *schedule their usage*.

    I have a customer who has an Iwatsu phone system with an integrated voicemail card. She wanted to create a conference bridge setup, so I created 50 mailboxes (601-650) and set them to call out to their conference line. When someone wants to use a conference room, they call her to schedule a time and date for the room to be open.

    Now, in their case, it's scheduled around the one conference room they have available but in your case, you can use the scheduling as an excuse to assign the room numbers.

    It sounds to me like you are making a mountain out of a mole hill in this case. Just setup the dynamic conf. feature and use the ideas given above about using their extention + time and date as the room number. They can even use that same info as the PIN if they want. The room would still be unique (since there are no two extensions the same, right?) and if someone else were to drop in unannounced, well ... it's cause someone had too much time on their hands and needs to be given more work to do.

    Example: My exten is 289. I decide to make a conference on 051508 at 1 pm. I create a room 28905151300. John Smith is exten 304. He decides to have a conference at the same time. He creates room 30405151300. See? Two different rooms.
  20. "Is there a way to build a frontend for conference rooms (meet-me) so that the user can call in and input the room they want to join, enter a pin, and then be placed in that room or told it is an invalid room?"

    That was my original question...how can you have an invalid room if you're creating it automatically? Nowhere did I ask for automatic creation of rooms. I just wanted a frontend to rooms that I already created...I think i said that a few times, hell I even posted an example "rough draft" of what I was looking for!!! I'm sorry I could not convince you guys that what you were suggesting wasnt going to work for "me"..but you werent listening. :banghead: And I really dont appreciate the snide remarks about the "big bucks". I dont make big bucks....

    Anyway, this is how I ended up doing it, this should work for other people too:

    As it turns out, the meetme application does most of the work I was looking for...

    edit extensions_custom.conf and add these lines to the end:


    [custom-meetme-fe]
    exten => s,1,Answer
    exten => s,2,Wait(1)
    exten => s,3,Playback(conf-placeintoconf)
    exten => s,4,Playback(system)
    exten => s,5,Wait(1)
    exten => s,6,MeetMe(,scM,)
    exten => s,n,Hangup

    Under Tools add a custom destination and in the description call it Meet-Me Frontend. In the custom destination field put custom-meetme-fe,s,1 and click submit changes


    Now under inbound routes (or you can use an IVR and it will be an option to select on the menus also, my calls are coming from a Cisco Call Manager so I use inbound routes for all calls without an IVR) you will have a Custom Applications bullet selection, select it and make sure Meet-Me Frontend is selected in the drop down menu and you are done. submit your changes and reload

    Add your conference room using FreePBX just like you normally would, and you should be able to call into your asterisk box and select the conference rooms that have already been made. Be sure to change the cheesy intro messages I threw together...

    The people calling into my asterisk box and going through here have no option of being an admin of the channel, so if thats a problem for you then you will have to do something different. I wanted the admin to ALWAYS be on my internal system so it works fine for me. I watched the call progress on a call made from internal and it does a READ for the pin and then matches against a user or admin and opens the channel accordingly...you could always replicate that if you need that functionality.

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