CSTA Browser

Christian Stredicke
CEO of Vodia Networks

The web browser is becoming more and more important in our digital life. One important problem with the web browser is that it has to actually open a page when a call comes in. For example, if your CRM tool is web-based, this is the easiest way to look up a contact or phone number.

But how can this be achieved? One way would be to have the web browser running already. For example, the JavaScript running in the browser could connect to the PBX and wait for an incoming call. Then it would open another window. A pop-up blocker could be a road blocker here; but it could be turned off. But the main problem remains that most people don’t necessarily log into the PBX first thing in the morning.

Instead we have provided a small program for Windows that sits in the task bar and listens for incoming calls. When a call comes it, it opens the web browser at a programmable location. The name “CSTA browser” probably does not win a marketing price. But it uses the CSTA protocol to listen for events and it does open the browser.

On a side note, it should not only work with snom ONE, but also with other CSTA-compatible services in the network. 

After using this program ourselves, we found it not very much useful if the browser window opens for each and every call. So we limited the opening function to ACD calls or hunt group calls, or extension calls. A setting controls in which cases the browser actually gets opened automatically. But even that was too intrusive for us. So we decided that the opening can explicitly controlled by the user by clicking on the balloon. This way the user has full control over the browser opening and does not have to be afraid that the screen is cluttered with open windows after the lunch break. 

And a few months after using this program we also found situations where the connection got lost. For example, internet connections are not always stable. In the event of disconnect, we found out that it lost connection and did not recover. So we fixed that as well. The current version is 1006, which seems to recover even from such situations that the whole laptop goes into sleep mode and wakes up hours later in a different network.

If you want to try out the CSTA notification, check out the documentation (currently at wiki.snomone.com) and install it on your Windows PC. The CSTA browser itself is free of charge. If your PBX license does not include the CSTA feature, you can at least get a 30 day trial to get the taste of it.