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Location Profiles

Communications Server 2007 R2

Topic Last Modified: 2009-04-30

A location profile is a named set of normalization rules that translate phone numbers for a named location to a single standard (E.164) format for purposes of phone authorization and call routing. The normalization rules define how phone numbers expressed in various formats are to be routed for the named location. The same number string may be interpreted and translated differently depending on the locale from which it is dialed.

New in Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is the ability to assign user profiles for individual users.

Location Profiles in Office Communications Server 2007

In Office Communications Server 2007, location profiles enabled you to specify how Office Communications Server interpreted and routed phone numbers according to a pool’s geographic location. Because a pool could serve multiple locations, sometimes the pool-level location profiles were not sufficient. Therefore, Communicator also supported configuring the location profile of a user by means of Group Policy objects. In Microsoft Exchange Server, Unified Messaging used the dial plan name to reference an Office Communications Server location profile.

Location Profiles in Office Communications Server 2007 R2

In Office Communications Server 2007 R2, location profiles can be assigned to individual users, enabling a better administrative and end-user experience.

In Office Communications Server 2007 R2:

  • You can assign location profiles for individual users.
  • Enterprise Voice applications can look up and use a per-user location profile when a phone-context value of user-default is received.
  • Location profiles can be contact objects in addition to individual users.
  • In-band provisioning can be used to send a per-user location profile to the user. If a per-user location profile is not assigned to the user, in-band provisioning sends the pool-level default location profile.
  • You can optimize device dialing by adding an external access prefix of up to four characters (#, *, and 0-9).

For details about using location profiles, see Step 2. Create Location Profiles in Deploying Enterprise Voice in the Deployment documentation.

Planning location profiles consists of:

  • Listing all the locales in which your organization has an office.
    In a large multinational company with numerous small branch offices this can be a time-consuming task. The list must be up to date and complete. It will need to be revised as company organization evolves.
  • Identifying valid number patterns for each locale.
    The most time-consuming part of planning your location profiles is identifying the valid number patterns for each location. In some cases, you may be able to copy normalization rules that you have written for one location profile to other location profiles, especially if the corresponding locales are within the same country/region or even on the same continent. In other cases, small changes may be enough to make normalization rules appropriate in other locations.
  • Developing an organization-wide scheme for naming location profiles and their corresponding Exchange Server 2007 UM dial plans.
    Adopting a standard naming scheme assures that names assigned to location profiles and their corresponding UM dial plans are consistent across the organization and over time, regardless of which people or how many people are doing the work.
  • Deciding whether multiple location profiles are required for a single location.
    If your organization maintains a single dial plan across multiple locations, you may still need to create a separate dial plan for Enterprise Voice users who are migrating from a PBX and need to have their existing extensions retained.
  • Deciding whether per-user location profiles are required.
  • Deciding whether to deploy Exchange UM before or after you have created location profiles.
    If you deploy Exchange UM before you create location profiles (recommended), assigning names to location profiles consists simply of using the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of their corresponding dial plans.
    If you create location profiles before you deploy Exchange UM, you have two main options:
    • Rename the location profiles later, when you know the FQDNs of their corresponding UM dial plans.
    • Duplicate existing location profiles and rename the copies with the FQDNs of their corresponding UM dial plans. You can keep the old location profiles, as long as you use the new ones when configuring Exchange UM.
  • Assigning location profiles to Communications Server Front End Servers, Enterprise pools, and Mediation Servers (or Advanced Media Gateways).
    Mediation Servers use location profiles to convert incoming numbers from a local number format to E.164 format for purposes of routing to Communications Server. Each Communications Server 2007 Front End Server and pool must be associated with a location profile to determine how outgoing calls to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or a PBX are to be routed.
  • Determining whether you will need to configure your location profiles to handle scenarios in which Exchange UM initiates calls on a user's behalf. For details about this issue, along with the pros and cons of two options, see “Configuring Location Profiles for Exchange UM Call Initiation Scenarios” in Normalization Rules.

When you create a location profile, you must provide a name, a description, and a set of normalization rules.

A location profile name normally should reflect the location to which it applies, and within certain constraints the choice is yours. However, integrating Exchange UM with Communications Server imposes an additional requirement on location profile names; namely, that they match the FQDNs of their corresponding UM dial plans. For example, if the name of a UM dial plan is London, the name of the corresponding location profile must be London.forestFQDN, where forestFQDN is the forest in which the UM dial plan is located.

These values are captured in the phone-context attribute of the Exchange UM dial plan. In the London dial plan of the preceding example, the phone-context attribute is set to London.forestFQDN. If the forest FQDN is Contoso.com, the name of the London location profile should be London.Contoso.com.

With regard to naming location profiles, you have two deployment options:

  • Regardless of the order of deployment, a separate location profile must exist for each Exchange UM dial plan. If the same dial plan name is used in multiple Exchange forests, a matching location profile must be created that matches the UM dial plan FQDN for each forest.
  • The OCSUMUtil tool that is included with Office Communications Server 2007 R2 can be used to validate location profile names. The tool does not correct invalid names; it simply alerts you to the need to do so.
Dd425158.note(en-us,office.13).gifNote:
If you are not deploying Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging, then you can, with only a few constraints, give whatever name you like to a location profile, as long as that name is unique.

We recommend that you type the common, recognizable name of the geographic location to which the corresponding location profile applies. For example, if the location profile name is London.Contoso.com, the recommended Description would be London. If you have deployed Office Communicator 2007 R2 Phone Edition, the name in this field will be displayed to end users for the purpose of allowing them to select the appropriate location profile for a call.

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