Remote IP Phone Control via Web Browser

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Remote IP Phone Control via Web Browser

Last updated: May 16, 2019

Besides using the PhoneView application to remotely control your phones there is a second option using a web service hosted on the Jabber1 VM.

Part of the UnifiedFX PhoneView application is the AutomationFX web server which provides automation for changing settings on the CUCM clusters but also has an interface for remotely controlling the Cisco IP phones. The AutomationFX service uses the admin CUCM application user account to interact with the two CUCM clusters that have registered phones.

UnifiedFX has not officially released the AutomationFX server and you should consider the software as being in beta - some functions may not work as intended and may contain bugs. It should also be noted that you need to manually add each of the Cisco IP phones that is registered on each cluster to the admin user's Controlled Devices before you can remotely control them. The admin user is an Application User.

If you are connected to your rack via VPN, you may use a local browser to connect to the AutomationFX web server using the following credentials,

URL User Name Password
http://jabber1.ine.com:8181 admin cciecollab

The AutomationFX server only supports HTTP - not HTTPS.

If you do not have a VPN connection to the rack, use the Rack Control Panel to connect to the Remote Desktop of the Jabber1 PC and use a web browser on the Jabber1 PC's desktop to connect to the AutomationFX web service. This is also an option for VPN users who prefer the Jabber1's browser versus your local browser - just connect to the Jabber1 VM using your local Microsoft Remote Desktop client. You may or may not get better responsiveness by using RDP to connect to the Jabber1's Remote Desktop versus using your local browser to connect directly to the AutomationFX server. Regardless of which method you use, it is the AutomationFX server that is making the connection to the Cisco IP phone, sending your key commands and recieving the screen shots back. The AutomationFX server then delivers the phone's screenshots to you directly over HTTP or through the RDP application. For high latency connections, Microsoft RDP generaly provides a better experience due to its built-in latency optimization algorithms. If you have a low latency connection to your rack then a direct HTTP connection may provide a better experience.

To login to the AutomationFX web server, connect to http://jabber1.ine.com:8181 and use admin/cciecollab and click on the Login button. The following image of the login page is while I am connected to the rack using Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN and am using a local browser on my computer.

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The starting page on the AutomationFX server is the Phones view page. If you do not see your two Cisco IP phones then see the Troubleshooting Remote IP Phone Control via Web Browser section later on this page.

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The IP address and DN will be the same across all CO racks but the Name for your phones will differ for each rack as they have different MAC addresses.

To control one of the Cisco IP phones, click the checkbox next to the phone name and then click on the Control button. A new pop-up window will appear and the phone's screen will auto-update. In the following screenshot I am connected to the rack using Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN and using Microsoft's Remote Desktop Client to connect to Jabber1. I am then using the Chrome browser on Jabber1's desktop to connect to the AutomationFX server which is hosted localy on Jabber1.

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You can now interact with the phone using the keypad on the simulated phones. You will see each key press on the simulated phone show as you click on them and the screen will reflect those actions on the simulated phone screen

You can also control more than one phone using the AutomationFX server just as you can from the PhoneView application.

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Troubleshooting Remote IP Phone Control via Web Browser

Issue 1 - Screen not refreshing or not accepting your key presses

If the Phone does not refresh the simulated phone screen after a few seconds or if the phone's keypad does not show the key presses there are a few things you should check. The first thing to try is to close the remote control session windows and open a new one. This will often fix any latency issues as well that you may see. There will always be some delay since you are remotely controlling the phone from a remote location but you should see sub-second latency between key presses and the phone's screen updates. If this does fix the issue and the screen never updates and only shows "Touch/Click to Refresh" then move to the next steps.

Be aware that the simulated phone's screen is Not a touch screen - you can not click on the simulated screen with your mouse to control it. You must use the buttons on the phone.

  1. Have you added the phone to the admin application user's Controlled Devices in the CUCM server? You must do this or the AutomationFX server will not be able to remotely control the phone. Connect to the HQ-Pub or SB-Pub and click on User Management, Application User, click Find to refresh the Application User information, click on the admin user and verify that the phone is in the Controlled Devices panel. If the IP phone is in the Available Devices panel, then click on the phone and then click on the down arrow to move it to the Controlled Devices panel and then click Save. You should also see the PHONEVIEW device (a CTI port) in the Controlled Devices panel of the admin application user.
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  2. Have you made changes to the Enterprise Phone Configuration settings or applied a new device configuration or template to the phone? In order to be able to remotely control the Cisco IP phones the following configurations need to be in place,

  • There needs to be a CTI port named PHONEVIEW on each of the two publisher that the phones register with
  • The CTI port needs an attached DN - they are preconfigured with 2099 for HQ and 3099 for SB
  • Web access needs to be enabled for the two Cisco IP phones (this is configured via the Enterprise Phone Configuration settings)
  • The PHONEVIEW CTI port needs to be added to the application admin user's Controlled Devices
  • The Cisco IP phone needs to be added to the application admin user's Controlled Devices

Only the last item needs to be done by the customer when they start a new rack session. All the other items are preconfigured on the CUCM servers.

Issue 2 - Phones not showing in the AutomationFX Phone page

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If you do not see your Cisco IP phones in the Phones page (http://jabber1.ine.com:8181/#/app/phonelist) then you should check the following items,

  1. Are the phones registered with the CUCM servers?
  2. Is the AutomationFX server syncing properly with the CUCM servers?

The AutomationFX server starts much quicker than the CUCM servers and may not be synced properly either due to the CUCM servers not being reachable yet, the sync time limit not being reached since the CUCM servers became available (the phone sync time is set to every 600 seconds in the AutomationFX parameters), or the AutomationFX server is stuck and needs to be manually synced to the CUCM servers. You can verify the sync condition by clicking on the Service link in the left navigation pane of the AutomationFX web server. You should see 5 green icons in the Phone Update panel. If you see any that are orange like in the following screenshot, wait 15 seconds to see if there are any changes in the progress bars.

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If there is no progress after 15 seconds, click on the top button in the Phone Update panel to stop all syncing for all connected clusters. This button has the pause symbol and is on the same line as the Phone Update text. The button color will change to red and will change to the play symbol.

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Click on the play button to start syncing again. This will force an immediate sync to both of the CUCM Clusters. You will see the progress bars move on all 4 of the sync processes. This should take between 5 and 20 seconds to complete and you should end with a green status on all 5 Phone Update icons.

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