Cisco Emergency Responder 9.0 Administration Guide
ALI Formatting Tool
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ALI Formatting Tool

ALI Formatting Tool

Network engineers, system administrators, and telecommunications engineers should review these topics to learn the steps that are required to use and troubleshoot AFT. You should be familiar with Cisco Emergency Responder (Emergency Responder) and with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM) before deploying AFT.

For service provider-specific information, see Using AFT for Specific Service Providers.

Features

Emergency Responder helps you manage emergency calls in your telephony network. Emergency Responder tracks a system's phones and locations and exports this information in ALI records that conform to National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 2.0, 2.1, and 3.0 formats. However, many service providers do not use NENA standards. The AFT allows you to modify the ALI records that you create in Emergency Responder to a format that is compatible with the one used by your service provider. The service provider then uses the reformatted file to update their ALI database.

The AFT reads the ALI file generated by Emergency Responder and displays all the ELIN records on the AFT web page. You can use AFT to:

  • Easily view the details of the ALI records. ALI files are difficult to read in the NENA fixed-length format. AFT reads the ALI files and presents the NENA fields in an interface that is easy to read.
  • Select a record and update the value for ALI fields. AFT allows you to edit the ALI fields to customize them to meet the requirements of different service providers. Your service provider can then read the reformatted ALI files and use them to update their ELIN records.
  • Perform bulk updates on multiple ALI records. Using the bulk update feature, you can apply common changes to all the records that you have selected, to one area code, or to one area code and one city code.
  • Selectively export ALI records based on Area Code, City Code or a 4-digit Directory Number. By selecting to export all the ALI records in an Area Code, for example, you can quickly access all the ELIN records for each service provider allowing you to easily support multiple service providers.

File Generation

This section provides information about how to use the ALI Formatting Tool (AFT):

• Using the ALI Formatting Tool Interface

• Using AFT to Generate a Formatted ALI File

ALI Formatting Tool Interface Capabilities

You can edit the following fields using AFT:

  • The header and trailer fields. The ALI Formatting Tool (AFT) displays all the ALI record data in the ALI tab. The ALI file consists of one header record and one trailer record only; there is not an individual header and trailer record for each ELIN record.
  • The Function/Transaction Code field.
  • Any service provider-specific fields.

You cannot edit the following fields using AFT:

  • The ALI records fields that you configure and edit through Emergency Responder. They are disabled in AFT.
  • The record count field. This trailer field cannot be edited in AFT because AFT calculates this number internally based on the number of records selected to export.

Table 1 shows how to use the AFT interface to perform the main AFT tasks.

Table 1 Using the AFT Interface to Perform Main Tasks

Task

Procedure

Notes

Open AFT for your service provider

Go to Tools > ALI Formatting Tool. Click the name of your service provider in the pulldown menu.

You must log in to the Emergency Responder Administration website with the proper privileges.

Give a NENA files as input to AFT

Select an Input File for the AFT from the list of files provided in the pulldown menu.

If no NENA files are listed, go to Tools > Export PS-ALI Record and export a NENA 2.0 file.

Go to a specific ELIN number

All ELINs in the NENA file given as input for the AFT are displayed. To narrow down to a specific ELIN, perform an ELIN search.

View ALI details for an ELIN/Select an ELIN to edit its ALI fields

Each ELIN is a link. Click on the specific ELIN link to see the specific record. The ELIN details appear in the right pane of the screen.

You can then edit the ALI records by entering new values in the ALI editable fields.

Perform a bulk update to the ALI files

Select the ELINs on which you want to perform a bulk update. Click the Bulk Update button above the list of ELINs.

Review Changes

After you make some changes, click the Review Changes/Generate File button.

A list of all the ELINs that have been changed appears.

Click the ELIN link on the Review Changes/Generate File page to view the changed information.

View/Edit Header Record

Select any ELIN on the ALI Record Details for ELIN page and click the Header Record link.

You can now edit the editable fields of the header record.

Header record is common to the ALI file and not per ELIN.

View/Edit Trailer Record

Select any ELIN on the ALI Record Details for ELIN page and click the Trailer Record link.

You can now edit the editable fields of trailer record.

Trailer record is common to the ALI file and not per ELIN.

Add More ELINs

On the Review Changes/Generate File page, click the Add More ELIN(s) button.

A list of unchanged ELINs appears. Select the ELINs that you want to keep in the final generated file.

Remove ELINs

On the Review Changes/Generate File page, select the ELIN to be removed and click the Remove ELIN(s) button.

The changes made on this record are lost and this ELIN is added to the pool of unchanged ELINs.

Generate Formatted File

On the Review Changes/Generate File page, follow these steps:

  1. Select the ELINs that you want to include in the formatted file.
  2. Enter a Name for the Formatted File to be generated.
  3. Click the Generate File Button.

You can download the formatted file after it is successfully generated.

If you want to download the file later, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools > File Management Utility
  2. In the search parameters, select ALI Formatting Tool and then select the service provider. Formatted files are displayed.
  3. Select the formatted file and click Download.

Generate Formatted ALI File

To use AFT to generate a formatted file, follow these steps:

Procedure
    Step 1   Provide a NENA 2.0 file generated by Emergency Responder as input to AFT by following these steps:
    1. From the Emergency Responder Administration web page, go to Tools > ALI Formatting Tool.
    2. Click on your service provider name in the menu.
    3. Select an Input File for the ALI Formatting Tool from the list of files provided in the pulldown menu.

      AFT displays all the ELINs from the NENA file.

    Step 2   To view details of the ALI files, click on an ELIN link. The ALI Record Details for ELIN are populated in the right pane of the screen.
    Step 3   Edit the ALI fields by entering new values in the editable fields.
    Step 4   Select the ELINs that you want to export to the service provider by clicking in the corresponding check boxes in the left side of the screen.
    Step 5   Update the service provider fields in AFT.

    For details about the service provider-specific information required, see Using AFT for Specific Service Providers

    Step 6   At this point, if you want to edit some fields in many ELINs simultaneously, you can use the AFT Bulk Update feature. To do so, follow these steps:
    1. Select the ELINs to edit using Bulk Update.
    2. Click on the Bulk Update button. The Bulk Update form appears.
    3. For details about the service provider-specific information required, see Using AFT for Specific Service Providers
    Step 7   Generate a formatted file by following these steps:
    1. Click on the Review Changes/Generate File button.

      The list of edited ELINs are displayed. You can add unchanged ELINs and remove edited ELINs from the list.

    2. Select the ELINs which will be part of the final formatted file and enter the name for the formatted file.
    3. Click Generate File to generate the file.

      AFT generates an ALI file in a format specific to your service provider and prompts you to download the same.

      Note   

      Before generating the formatted file, please verify the details entered.

    Step 8   Using the service provider's preferred method of transmitting files, send the ALI file to your service provider so they can update their E911 database with the ELINs from the AFT ALI file.
    Note   

    Be sure to keep a copy of the AFT ALI file for your records. This is helpful if the service provider reports errors; you can make any required changes to the file without having to re-do all the AFT formatting changes.

    Step 9   Your service provider returns the status of the ALI files.

    If your service provider reports that there are no errors, you can continue using AFT to generate more formatted records or you can quit the program.

    If your service provider reports that there are ALI errors, follow these steps:

    1. Make corrections to the formatted file that you sent to the service provider. All the error codes for the service providers are defined in the ALI format documentation for that service provider. See their documentation to determine the errors in your file and correct the errors using AFT.
      Note   

      If an error occurs in fields that cannot be edited using AFT, you must use Emergency Responder to correct the fields. Then use AFT to regenerate the file.

    2. Send the corrected file to your service provider. Be sure to keep a copy of your corrected file for your records.
    3. Repeat this process until your service provider can read the formatted files and can use them to update their ELIN records.

    Related Tasks
    Related References