As part of 3.0 SU4 we released a new application called Interaction Center Business Manager. I thought for my first post I’d share some of the underpinnings of this application because it serves as the basis for almost all the future client development work that we have planned.
Over the last several months we’ve been developing a new framework that we call Café. It stands for Common Application Framework Environment and is a flexible framework that we intend to use for the lion share of our future client development.
The primary design objectives for Café were three fold.
- Promote code reuse. Café provides the log-in facilities, docking, navigation, persistence, and a host of other services that can be shared across applications. Other than the advantages in development, code reuse also promotes consistent user experience across applications.
- Consolidate the number of client applications offered by Interactive Intelligence while giving end users flexibility to determine where they want to access features. For example, some customers have asked for supervisory features to be included in our Interaction Client, others would like a few of the administrative features in their Interaction Supervisor application. Café allows features to be transferable between Café applications.
- Allow for rich 3rd party integrations into our applications.
Café is not an executable. It requires an application to host it. In general the host application is very thin and specific features are implemented in modules which are loaded into the Café framework.
One of the initial visions for Café was to have three host applications that correspond to the following business functions.
- System Administrator
- Contact Center / Busisness Manager
- Enterprise users and Contact Center Agents
Whether it works out exactly that way remains to be seen, but we have taken our first step with Interaction Center Business Manager which as the name implies targets the call center or business manager role. There are 8 modules that are currently in development for this application as shown in the picutre below.
The timelines shown are estimates, but as you can see, in 3.0 SU-4 we have already released two modules with another three modules coming to Interaction Center 3.0 this year. Development has already been working for some time on 4.0 and reporting and real-time supervisory monitoring will make a big debut in this application when we release our next version of Interaction Center.
As for the third party integrations into our Café applications, we have not made those API’s public yet. We take changing public API’s seriously and want to let the Cafe’ API’s gel a bit more before going public with them. We have not set a time frame on that yet.
Finally, there is one more architectural point to be made about Interaction Center Business Manager which is that all the modules currently planned for this application utilize IceLib and Session Manager.
For those of you unfamiliar with IceLib, it is both our internal client API as well as our 3rd party SDK that customers and partners use for customizations or integrations to our systems. You can count on their being more posts on that in the future, but the point is that when we release new modules you will likely see additional capabilities added to IceLib which allows you to take advantage of those features in your own applications.
Session Manager is a server side subsystem dedicated to managing client sessions, permissions, as well as aggregating and caching functionality for clients. Again session manager could be the subject of a number of postings, but the point is that by going through session manager there is enhanced security and scalability with respect to the number of ICBM clients that can be deployed in an organization.
So there you have it. Expect to see a much larger role of Interaction Center Business Manager in the future. Before I go, I just want to mention Jeff Moser and James Purciful in this post because they are the masterminds behind the Café architecture and deserve the credit for this new direction for our client applications.