Cisco UC Manager CAR Tool Overview

The CDR Analysis and Reporting tool, or CAR for short, can create reports about the call processing going on within a Communications Manager server. The information it uses for these reports are collected from call detail records, call management records and the Communications Manager database. And while we can look at these reports in a web interface, we might have an external billing application that’s going to take these reports to maybe generate internal phone bills within our company.

CUCM CAR Tool Overview

Activating CUCM CAR Services

Let’s see how to activate the services required for CAR. In the Cisco Unified Serviceability screen, under the Tools menu, we navigate to Service Activation. And there is a couple of services that we might want to activate. The Cisco CAR web Service, and optionally the Cisco SOAP – CDRonDemand Service – we would want to activate this service if we’re using a third-party billing application that needs to access the CDR data via HTTP or via SOAP, which stands for Simple Object To Access Protocol. If we’re not using an external billing server we might not need to turn on that Cisco SOAP CDRonDemand Services. And once we’ve put a checkmark next to this service or these two services, we can click Update to save our changes.

CDR Service Parameters

We need to check some of our Cisco Unified Communications Manager service parameters to make sure they’re set up correctly if we want to generate CDR records. To get to the Service Parameters from the administration screen we go under System, select Service Parameters, we pick a server because service parameters in general refer to a specific server, and then we choose a service on that server.

Here the service that we’re choosing is Cisco Call Manager as a service. And what service parameters are we specifically looking for? Well the CDR Enabled Flag – that needs to be enabled for every server in the cluster that’s processing calls. The CDR Log Calls with Zero Duration Flag, that’s optional, this is going to enable or disable the logging of CDR’s call detail records for calls that were never connected or calls that were connected for less than a second. And by the way, the default setting for both of those parameters is false, so we might want to set those to true.

Next call diagnostics, that says whether or not we’re going to generate CMR records for call quality analysis. It’s off by default and we might want to enable it to generate these CMRs, the Show Line Group Member DN in finalCalledPartyNumber CDR Field, that’s set to false by default. And this service parameter says whether or not the final called party number field in the CDR shows the directory number of the line group member who answered the call or the hunt pilot directory number. This parameter is going to apply to calls that are routed through a hunt list without any feature interaction such as a transferring or conferencing being involved.

CUCM CAR Tool User Types

We said that CAR was going to be able to generate reports and specifically it’s going to be able to generate reports for three different categories, three different levels of users. Administrators, managers and end users. Administrators are allowed to use all of the features of the CAR tool. For example, they’re able to generate system reports, they’re able to view system performance, they can verify load balancing, they can use it for troubleshooting.

Managers on the other hand, they can generate reports for users, for departments and they can also generate reports about the quality of voice calls.

End users however, they can generate a billing report just for their calls.

CDR and CMR Architecture

Let’s consider the architecture of CDR and CMR.

Call Detail Records, or CDRs, they can give us detailed information about the number that was dialed, the number that placed the call, the date and time of the call, when it was started, when it was connected, and when it ended and why it ended.

CMRs give us Quality of Service information such as jitter, lost packet information and the amount of data that was sent or received during the call, and latency experienced by the call.

CDR data has both call detail records and call management records. A single call can generate several call detail records and call management records. The Cisco CDR agent service is going to then transfer the CDR and the CMR files from the local host to the node that’s designated as the CDR repository and you can do that over a secure FTP connection. If that secure FTP connection fails the CDR agent can continue to make connection attempts.

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