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Web Page control vs Crestron control

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This document was generated from CDN thread

Created by: Mitchell Walcott on 01-09-2010 12:01:58 AM
Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum and so far, I have not found the information I am looking for. So, I thought I would post this question to see if any of you have tried this.

Currently, we have a dozen Crestron control systems controlling our MXP series units. We are starting to purchase more and more C-series units, primarily C20's and C90's. (We do have one C60 unit that is being controlled by a Crestron control system.)

The TPS-3000 Crestron touch panels that we have are running out of room for all of the buttons on the pages. (We are trying to reduce the amount of page flips so that everything can be seen on one page.) We began looking at iPad's because their price was much lower than most Crestron touch panels and the screen size was good for us.

I have already experimented with Crestron's iPad app for controlling devices. While this could work for us, we would prefer to bypass the Crestron processors (QM-RMCRX-BA, Pro2, etc.) completely. Therefore, we began thinking about using web pages to directly communicate with our C-series codecs.

I have worked with HTML over the years in programs like Adobe's Dreamweaver. I already have an idea of how I could design a web page to look similar to our current Crestron touch panel page. (This will help our users make the transition better if things look similar.)

I also figured out where on our internal network we could place the XHTML pages, so that no one from the outside can gain access to them.

What I am trying to figure out right now is if I could link an XML command to a virtual web button. For example, if I had a button on a web page that said "Tokyo" on it, the idea is that when you click on the button, the local codec would then dial the codec in Tokyo.

Is it possible to create an XML command to tell a specific local codec that it needs to dial a particular number? From what I have researched so far, it appears that most people are using XML commands directly with a codec. In my scenario, I want a separate web server within our company to send an XML command to a codec. (I figure that I would need to create individual web page interfaces for each of our codecs, so that the web server communicates with the proper codec.)

Does my description above make sense, or would it be better if I created a visual flowchart to show what I am thinking? Also, has anyone ever tried something like this yet?

Thanks,

Mitch Walcott

Subject: RE: Web Page control vs Crestron control
Replied by: David Bruun-Lie on 01-09-2010 02:58:02 PM
Hi Mitch and welcome to the developer forum!

First of all I would like to address your comment:
The TPS-3000 Crestron touch panels that we have are running out of room for all of the buttons on the pages. (We are trying to reduce the amount of page flips so that everything can be seen on one page.)"

Here at TANDBERG we have found that although it may require a few more clicks it is wise to not present the users with all functionality in one go - not just does it, as you yourself point out, mean that you quickly run out of space it also confuses the uses with all the buttons etc. We have had good experience with designing Crestron panel GUI basing it solely on one main page and multiple sub pages. This avoids big page flips, keeps part of the GUI constant and avoids the cluttering that you describe.

Just going over to using iPads won't automatically solve the issues you seem to be having - just give you a better screen.

But, that apart:

Yes, it is possible to make a solution based on sending XML from either a server or directly from an IPad to the TANDBERG codecs. This is described in the HTTP section in our HOWTO-guide for the C-Series That section even contains examples on how to instruct the codec to dial a remote site.

I figure that I would need to create individual web page interfaces for each of our codecs, so that the web server communicates with the proper codec.

As long as you make one single web page interface this should be able to communicate with any of your codecs - as long as the ip/dns address to the codec is stored in a variable?

Regards,
David

Subject: RE: Web Page control vs Crestron control
Replied by: Mitchell Walcott on 01-09-2010 08:09:55 PM
Hi David,

Thank you very much for the information. This is very helpful.

I believe I am close to getting the command line correct, but I still need a little help.

Currently, I am trying this:

http://<ip>/<Command><Dial command="True"><Number>12345</Number><Protocol>H323</Protocol><CallRate><1472></CallRate></Dial></Command>

Of course I am filling in the actual IP address of the unit that I am sending the command to and filling out the proper number that I want it to dial.

Because I have not been able to get this to work, I know that I must be missing something. I read the part that said, "When sending configurations and commands to the codec, it is important that the HTTP header Content-Type is set to text/xml, i.e., Content-Type: text/xml." It then illustrated it as:

POST /putxml HTTP/1.1
Content-Type: text/xml
Connection: close

Because doing this type of command is new to me, I was not sure of the proper format. Any additional information you have would be great.

Thanks again,

Mitch Walcott

Subject: RE: Web Page control vs Crestron control
Replied by: David Bruun-Lie on 02-09-2010 01:03:00 PM
Hi again Mitch:

Two mistakes you have done:

1- you have forgotten the address where the xml is to be posted
2-the Call rate should not be in tags.

This is what you want:

1
2http://ipaddress/formputxml?xmldoc=<Command><Dial command="True"><Number>12345</Number><Protocol>H323</Protocol><CallRate>1472</CallRate></Dial></Command>


Give that a try :-)

David

Subject: RE: Web Page control vs Crestron control
Replied by: Mitchell Walcott on 02-09-2010 03:38:47 PM
Hi David,

Thank you again for the information. This worked perfectly.

Best regards,

Mitch

Subject: RE: Web Page control vs Crestron control
Replied by: Mitchell Walcott on 02-09-2010 05:48:24 PM
Hello again David,

I am sorry to bother you, but I have been spending a few hours trying to get some other things to work and I have not had any luck.

What I want to do is simple; I just cannot figure out the command path properly. Here is what I have recently tried:

Disconnect Call
http://ipaddress/formputxml?xmldoc=<Command><DisconnectAll command="True"></DisconnectAll></Command>

Mute Call
http://ipaddress/formputxml?xmldoc=<Command><Mute command="True"></Mute></Command>

Volume Up
http://ipaddress/formputxml?xmldoc=<Command><Key command="True">VolumeUp</Key></Command>


Is it something simple that I am missing in these?

Thanks,

Mitch

Subject: RE: Web Page control vs Crestron control
Replied by: David Bruun-Lie on 03-09-2010 10:08:21 AM
Mitch Walcott:
Hello again David,

I am sorry to bother you, but I have been spending a few hours trying to get some other things to work and I have not had any luck.

What I want to do is simple; I just cannot figure out the command path properly. Here is what I have recently tried:

Hi Mitch,
yes you are not building up the xml correctly. You need to build a complete path. What you are currently doing is simply putting  <Command> tags around the inner command of a structure. If you look at the documentation you will notice that all commands are built up by a path e.g. "xCommand Call DisconnectAll" <- "xCommand" tells that this is a command/action, "Call" tells that this has something to do with the calls and "DisconnectAll" is the actual command. But you cannot simply leave out the "Call" part like you have done below. Same with Mute Call. When you try to execute "Command Mute" this would be an ambiguous command for the codec as there are many things you can mute, like local volume, microphones, remote audio etc. That is why we have paths. If you want to mute local microphones then the complete command is "xCommand Audio Microphones Mute". Translated to xml this gives you <Command><Audio><Microphones><Mute command="True"></Mute></Microphones></Audio></Command>
Disconnect Call
http://ipaddress/formputxml?xmldoc=<Command><DisconnectAll command="True"></DisconnectAll></Command>

Correct would be:
1http://ipaddress/formputxml?xmldoc=<Command><Call><DisconnectAll command="True"></DisconnectAll></Call></Command>


I'm sure you can work the rest of them out now :-)

Regards,
David

Subject: RE: Web Page control vs Crestron control
Replied by: Mitchell Walcott on 10-09-2010 09:02:18 PM
Hi David,

Thanks again for the information. Today I had a chance to try out the various commands that I needed and I have everything working properly now.

Have a great weekend,

Mitch

Subject: Web Page control
Replied by: Marko Laurits on 03-12-2010 03:02:38 PM
I have couple of questions for people that have created remote control user interfaces over web.

1) Obviously the advantage of serial connection is that it's bi-directional and always connected by nature, while web interface works in request - reply principle. Has anybody that has created control interface via web, solved the back-channel challenge? For example, when there is an incoming call, answer yes / no question pops up at the user interface.

2) What language do you find most convenient for programming the user interface and executing remote control commands? PHP? Python? .NET?
Comments
DanRichardson
Beginner

The first reply above refers to " our HOWTO-guide for the C-Series " That sounds like it would answer my questions, but it's a 404 link. Is it archived or available anywhere?

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