Shocking the Monkey in new ways: Now via RSS and integrated via VoIP, SharePoint, Vista Gadget and more

Shockey Monkey
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Every now and then you need a break from writing useful code that people will really rely on… and you start coding crap just to see if it would work. Earlier today I had lunch with one of my buddies that just passed the Asterisk/Fonality – Certified Asterisk Administrator training and just had to have Shockey Monkey integrate with Asterisk!

So, move over accounting integration. Forget about partial page rendering and display optimization. Who cares about a more extensible WMI reporting agent? It’s the stupid feature day for Shockey Monkey.

Today I took a big break from the studying, writing useful code and solving problems… to work on more creative ways of shocking the monkey. The big idea behind the monkey was to integrate all the features that are currently a part of the everyday IT interface and rely on them, instead of replacing them. So, today I worked on some syndication and integration features that precisely 3 people will use: RSS XML feed and HUD Lite integration into Asterisk.


Implemented using as barebone RSS 2.0 spec as functionality will permit, Shockey Monkey tickets are now available as an RSS feed. The XML file is dynamically generated and supports updating tags as well, meaning that the stuff will stick in your RSS feed at the top until you close it. Thats right, RSS is for closers!

Upon clicking on the item you will see the support request details, such as which company its opened for, who opened it, when, priority, status, category, etc. Click on the subject of the item and it logs you straight into Shockey Monkey with ability to update.

How have I implemented this so far? Well, I’ve thrown it into a Vista RSS gadget, into my Google Reader and into the SharePoint portal. The big idea, of course, is for the open tickets to reach your users in as many ways as possible. Let’s face it, we don’t look / live in the same place all day, I catch things out of the corner of my eye all the time. Again, I hope this helps the 3 people that will actually use it 

VoIP Integration

As I mentioned, we’re sitting around and Judd says: “I want this integrated into Asterisk. When the user calls I want to look up their Caller ID and bring up their contact. If we can bring up their contact we can know what they want, work on it immediately. If we can’t, off to the sales they go!

Why didn’t you say we could make money from this from the getgo?

Less than an hour later it was done. Four hours later, a fight with PEAR, PECL, hash and some more RTFM on the intricacies of encryption… it’s flawless. Someone dials in and the Internet Explorer or Firefox window pops up with the search results of all contacts that have that phone number listed in their phone or contact areas.

Can you wait a day?

This obviously deserves some documentation, I will have a video up tomorrow detailing it all.

However, if you can’t wait, these features are already in your portal.

For the RSS feed:

For the HUD/Asterisk integration:

And with that, the stupid-feature-day comes to an end. Is this useless?

Update: Not a minute after the post went live I get an IM: “Awesome! Count me in as #4!” – I’m almost tempted to do Count von Count impressions.