You can use Cisco Unified IP Phones to deploy customized client services that users can interact with using the phone keypad and display. Services deploy using HTTP from standard web servers.
Users access client services using the Services and Directories buttons or menu options (availability varies by phone model). When a user presses the Services button (or chooses the Services menu item), a menu of configured services displays. The user then chooses a service from the list, and the phone displays the service.
The following list gives typical services that might be supplied to a phone:
- Stock information
- Contact information
- Company news
- To-do lists
- Daily schedule
The following figure shows a sample text menu.
Figure 1. Cisco Unified IP Phone Text Menu Sample
Cisco Unified IP Phones can also display graphic menus, as shown in the following figure.
Figure 2. Graphic Menu on a Cisco Unified IP Phone Sample
Phone users can navigate a text menu using the Navigation button followed by the Select softkey, or by using the numeric keypad to enter a selection directly. Graphic menus currently do not support cursor-based navigation; users simply enter a number using the DTMF keypad.
When a menu selection is made, the Cisco Unified IP Phone acts on it by using the HTTP client to load a specific URL. The return type from this URL can be plain text or one of the CiscoIPPhone XML objects. The object loads and the user interacts with the object.
The following figures show typical displays that result from selecting a service. The first figure shows a stock quote that was generated using plain text, and the second figure displays a graphic image.
Figure 3. Plain Text Display Example
Figure 4. Graphic Image Display Example
Cisco Unified Communications Manager limits Cisco Unified IP Phone service activity to a specific Services pane in the Cisco Unified IP Phone display. A service cannot modify the top line of the phone display, which contains the time, date, and primary extension. A service cannot overwrite the bottom line of the display, which contains softkey definitions. The pane that displays the service sits flush with the left side of the display, and enough of the right side of the display remains intact to ensure that users can see the status of phone lines.
HTML Disclaimer: Phone service developers must take into consideration that the phone is not a web browser and cannot parse HTML. Although content is delivered to the phone through HTTP messages using a web server, keep in mind that the content is not HTML. All content comes to the phone either as plain text or packaged in proprietary XML wrappers.