Working with standard SIP provides great flexibility for different addressing schemes based both on alphanumeric names or numeric-only identifiers like telephone numbers. As a standard SIP-based solution, sipXecs specifically allows a company to derive its naming scheme from its domain name. Therefore, the same addressing already in use for email can be extended to real-time multimedia communications.
Users can be created in various ways. The most obvious one is to use the sipXconfig UI to create a user. The provided user entry form is shown below. Note that the admin is only asked to assign a PIN for the user but not the SIP password. The PIN is used to login to the voicemail system and the user's configuration portal. The SIP password is auto-generated by the system to assure maximum security. Compromising SIP passwords would allow an attacker to make calls through your system to the PSTN, which could become quite expensive.
Once entered, users can be viewed and searched in sipXconfig. The user interface is designed to allow for the efficient management of thousands of users. Even with 10.000 users configured in the system, the search capability still provides fast and easy access to individual records.
Import Users & Devices from a CSV File
Users can also be uploaded from a CSV file that you can generate in Excel or some other spreadsheet application. This is typically used when planning a larger deployment with large numbers of users and phones. Creating a numbering plan in Excel, capturing all the user data, assign passwords, and decide what phones (model and type) they should have can save you a lot of time once you start the production deployment.
Once the data exists in the system it can be exported again to a CSV file again.
Import User Information from LDAP
A third option is to upload user information from an LDAP or Microsoft Active Directory.
Configure User & Device Information using the Web Services SOAP Interface
A fourth option is to use the SOAP interfacs provided by sipXconfig
Manage Users in Groups
Users can and should be members of one or several groups. Groups not only allow you to logically group users together, but groups are also used to define permissions. Therefore, before you start creating all your users, think about what permissions you want to assign to these users and group them accordingly.
Every user has a set of permissions that govern allowed call types, enable features, or determine admin status of a user. Permissions can be defined for individual users or for a group of users by editing group permission settings. In addition to system default permissions the admin can define any number of custom permissions that can be used to allow or disallow calls to certain numbers or destinations. These custom permissions can be used in dialing rules to determine whether a user is authorized to make calls governed by that rule. This allows for very flexible control while keeping it extremely easy to use.
Permissions for a user can also be defined for individual users. To do this click on Permissions on the screen where you edit the user's identification information.
For every user of the sipXecs system a user record must be created. Such a user record corresponds to a "line" that represents this user, it has a set of credentials for authentication purposes, and it can be assigned to a device such a phone. Once a user record exists in the sipXecs system, a phone can be manually configured with these credentials (User ID and SIP Password) to register with sipXecs.
For each sipXecs user you must supply a unique User ID. This User ID, along with a numeric Personal Identification Number (PIN), is required for end users to access to the sipXecs user and voicemail Web portal. A numeric PIN is reccommended as users need to enter this PIN on the phone to login to the voicemail system.
In addition, you can supply one or more Aliases for each user. These additional identifiers provide flexibility for call addressing.
In particular, a numeric-only identifier (User ID or Alias) can be assigned in order to enable callers to dial numbers, rather than full SIP URLs and to enable users to conveniently access sipXecs features, including voicemail, from the phone top interface.
Make sure you set permissions for the user, either on a per user basis by clicking on the Permissions link or by setting permissions for the group the user is a member of.
You can employ an alphanumeric naming convention for your User IDs. For example, a User ID can be made up of a first initial and last name (jsmith), or from first and last names (jane_smith); as a result, end users can have the same identifier that they use for email.
User IDs are case sensitive. "Bob" != "bob".
Alternatively, User IDs can reflect extension numbers, Direct Inward Dialing numbers, or some other numbering scheme that you administer.
When you add a user, sipXecs automatically sets up a user line with a SIP URL based on the new User ID so that calls can be directed to that user. This line will register with sipXecs based on the credentials provided in the user record.
Note that the PIN provided is only used to login to the user and voicemail portal. The SIP password required to authenticate with sipXecs is auto-generated by sipXecs. It can be viewed / changed by pressing Show Advanced Settings.
In general, if you assign User IDs that include alphabetic characters you will also set up a numeric extension (alias) for each user. If you assign numeric-only User IDs to your users, an additional extension (alias) may not be needed.
When you set up an alias for a User ID, sipXecs automatically adds them to a database of User IDs. The different components of the sipXecs server use this Alias database to route incoming calls. Regardless of whether a call is addressed to a User ID or an alias, sipXecs routes the call correctly to the user's assigned device(s).
A caller can address a call to any of these SIP URLs to place a call to Jane. The sipXecs server helps complete dialed strings and routes calls appropriately. A user can use its User ID or alias to log into voicemail or the Configuration Server User Portal.
The Extension Pool
The sipXecs systems allows the definition of an extension pool from which extension numbers are automatically assigned to new users sequentially. While setting up a new user you can either accept the proposed extension number as the new User ID, or type in something different.
You can set up zero, one, or more aliases for a user using a comma separated list.
Aliases are case-sensitive. This might not always be intuitive and you might want to enter two alias if using first names (i.e. "Bob, bob") to account for different spelling.
An example of an alias is one that resembles an email address, which callers from VoIP phones may find easier to remember than a phone number. That is, for a user with a sipXecs User ID of 2435 and an email address of email@example.com, you might supply an alias of rsherman. Callers from PSTN phones could dial 2435; callers from SIP phones could dial the SIP URL sip:rsherman@sipXecs.example.com (or sip:firstname.lastname@example.org, using the correct domain for your sipXecs server).