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Call logging - Interfacing Xserve serial port with FMP


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Is it possible to access an Xserve serial port from Filemaker?


My company have decided that call logging is an essential part of their future plans and Sales want this information available from within their FMP contact database. I have searched extensively online and looked at well-featured products such as Phone Valet but nothing seems to fit the bill.


Our PBX phone system is a Panasonic KXT816 with all digital extension lines and all the call accounting data I need to access is output on the unit's serial port. This data includes things like extension No., call duration, whether incoming/outgoing, Caller ID# or # dialled etc. There is some software available for PC that will translate this data via a serial connection in to some sort of database, PABXsoft e.g. but we have eliminated Windows from the company's infrastructure and no longer entertain IT support for this platform due to cost/security issues.


I am aware that newer phone systems have USB ports on them but this is an expensive (and probably unnecessary) upgrade and the problem technically would remain the same. The most logical solution to me seems that we utilise the serial port on the Xserve that serves the company's databases via FMP7 Server.


My knowledge at this point dries up. Even if it is possible to utilise the serial output of the PBX system by plugging directly to the Xserve and then tapping into the data what would be the best way of getting that information, live & automatically, into a dedicated call logging FMP database? Writing such a DB would, I'm sure, be a straightforward task as would accessing the data from other related DB's but can FM Server be accessed in this way?


It seems to be the widely held view that running the FM Client on the same machine as the server is a bad idea which is a pity as I suspect that it may be possible to transfer the serial port data to a client opened FMP database but not directly to a FMS hosted one at the server.


Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions and taking the time to read this.

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  • 8 months later...

Anyone taken this through to a takeaway food end... and got a working system they want to sell... or grant access to... mac or PC... saves me reinventing the wheel !



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