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As system administrator I need to maintain a PBX (telephone exchange systems) in our company. Now I need to show management statistics of outgoing calls through the PBX so they can control users and costs. We are using Panasonic TDA exchange systems. Where I can find a good tool for capturing traffic on the serial port to a local server.

Best regards
Thank you in advance

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8 Answers 8

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+100

I used to use AtsLog (freshports link; official site is currently down; link to official site is avaliable on port's infopage), while I was working with Panasonic TDA-100. AtsLog works under Linux/BSD and collects information via serial port, just like the other collectors do. AtsLog stores information in MySQL database and provides PHP webinterface. Worked fine for me.

Also I remember, that previous administrator used WinTariff (google for it; serverfault.com forbids me to post more than one link) for logging. But WinTariff is (a) win-application (b) non-free. Therefore, it was unsuitable for me. Personally, I'd prefer to look for other paid alternatives, because WinTariff is kinda weird.

Hope this helps. Ivan.

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Capturing CDR/SMDR data from the serial port could seem like a simple job but it isn't. The serial communication is very sensitive and it is not uncommon to lose data. For example a GSM phone that is less than 2 meters from the cable can cause big damage to the communication. You will still receive data but it will contain errors and you need a very smart program that will be able to detect lines with errors in order not to tamper the database with invalid records - like ones that are few days long or contains any kinds of errors.

I would recommend to you PbxTools PhoneJournal. It runs only on Windows but it does support almost any PBX so in case you'll change the PBX, the software will work with the new one.

Also you could try to create your own script to populate a database and do statistics on them but it will cost you far more than buying any software for such a thing.

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It's been years since I've dealt with a Panasonic PBX (thank $DEITY), but from memory they don't give out serial protocol specs, and to do anything with them you need to buy their expensive software.

Things may have improved, or someone has sat down and pulled it all apart and documented the protocol, but otherwise you're either stuck with their management software, or you get the tedious task of picking it apart yourself and writing the code you need.

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I don't know about the Panasonic PBX aspect (I've only played with Avaya IP Office) however if getting the data from the system is a hassle have you considered approaching your voice carrier for data? If they're decent they should be able to provide you with some data by destination and calling number. The advantage of this approach at least is that you know the true cost of each call.
When you do the reporting internally you have to calculate the cost yourself based on the tariff you're on which is pretty tough.

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Every month we reconcile our call report fro the telco with our internal logs, and they're spot on. Costs about 2 bucks a month, which is nothing. Go with the telco report if you trust them. –  Mark Henderson Jul 21 '09 at 12:39

It's been years for me, too. But it seems like I just ran something like Procomm (ahh, the memories...) on a serial port on a PC and used its capture feature then had some script I wrote to parse the resulting data file. But it's been so long it's like it was another lifetime. I know I also used a little serial thermal roll-paper printer for a while, too, but that has obvious limitations.

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I currently have a Panasonic PBX in my Company and I also need to provide detailed information for each call every month. Currently I am using a Panasonic tool that it is called TDCounter (I only use it in Italy, but I assume it is available from any Panasonic branch office). The software basically read everything from the serial port of the PBX and stores all the data in a Microsoft Access database file on a connected PC. TDC also comprises a few reporting tool: if they do not suits your need, you can simply query the MDB directly. I do not remember exactly the cost of the software, but it was not expensive, maybe 50 or 100€.

Alternatively you can think writing your own software for this: the serial port of the PBX just prints out every call detail in plain text: all you need to do is capture this text and write it in a repository of your choice, then query it for any information you might need. I never tried this on myself, but I once had a look at the raw output and I saw it was simple formatted plain text, so any decent programmer - maybe even not a decent one :-) - can probably write the basic acquisition software.

Hope this helps, just ask if you need more info.

Luca

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I don't know about compatability with a Panasonic PABX, but I have used PhoneControl on a number of different brand PABX's very successfully.

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You can try Rander CTI. It's not exactly what you want but anyway I think it's useful.

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