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Interaction Attributes Overview

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The Interaction Attributes Technical Reference is for handler authors and programmers who need a reference to interaction attributes used by the Interaction Center platform. See Revisions for what's new in this release.

About Objects and Attributes

Interactions are objects in CIC. Objects are entities that the CIC can perform actions on. Telephone interactions, chat sessions, and emails are all objects processed by the Interaction Center. Objects are typically processed by handlers or custom application programs.

Objects can have attributes. An object's attribute is a piece of information about an object that travels with it throughout the Interaction Center. Developers can define generic objects that have custom attributes. Developers can define custom attributes for any type of object. Telephone interactions, chat sessions, emails, and generic objects are entities that have some type of attribute associated with them.

Attributes are created by a variety of entities, including the Interaction Center itself. For example, the Telephony Services subsystem creates many default call object attributes when a call object is created. Handlers, CIC applications, and programs developed using various system APIs can create and modify attributes.

Attributes are name/value pairs. To retrieve the value of a call or chat object attribute, you specify an attribute name. The value returned for an attribute is normally string data. However, chat and call attributes can contain 32-bit binary data in DWORD format. Email objects return data that is stored in Interaction Designer's list variable format.

  • Attribute names are not case-sensitive. "Eic_StationName" and "eic_stationname" refer to the same attribute. Although case is insensitive, the name of an attribute provides a clue to how the attribute is used.

  • Most attributes are prefixed with "Eic_" to indicate that they are reserved for normal operation of the system. Customers can create custom attributes, but should not prefix their names with "Eic_".

  • If the value of an attribute should not be modifed by customers, this is noted in the description of the attribute. Except where explicitly noted, values can be changed using handlers or custom applications.

  • Attributes whose name ends with "Raw" contain original, unprocessed values. These attributes are logged for reporting purposes.

Please note that the word "attribute" is a general computing term with multiple contexts. Databases have attributes (columns) that have no relationship to the attributes of an interaction. Directory Services "attributes" are not the same as the attributes described here. A Directory Services attribute is an item of information that is stored in Directory Services as a registry key. Inteaction attributes travel with each object as it is processed by the Interaction Center server.

Invalid characters in attribute names are converted to underscores. If a name contains spaces, periods, colons or characters with values in the range 0x01 - 0x1F, these characters are automatically mapped to an underscore by Queue Manager. This ensures that attribute names are compatible with VoiceXML and other semantic systems.

Types of attributes

Call Objects

Whenever a call is placed, or comes in to the Interaction Center, a new call object is created. That call object can have actions performed on it. For example, it can be transferred or placed in a user queue. Call objects have numerous attributes. For example, one attribute of a call object is the telephone number of the person who placed the call.

Chat Objects

In CIC, chat sessions are online, real-time, typed conversations between an Interaction Client user and a remote chat participant browsing your web site. Chat sessions are similar to a telephone conversation, except that the information is typed instead of spoken. Most chat object attributes are displayed in Interaction Client's chat window.

Email Objects

Email objects have attributes, but do not use named constants to retrieve a value. And unlike the values returned by call and chat object attributes, email object attributes return information that is in Interaction Designer's list variable format. For more information, see "Email Objects" in the Interaction Designer Help.

Generic Objects

Interaction Designer also supports generic objects. A generic object is typically a third-party interaction, such as a proprietary web chat, that is ACD routed by a Customer Interaction Center server. When a request comes in, Interaction Designer's Create Generic Object tool is used to specify the name of an ACD or agent queue. The tool step assigns a generic object ID to the object, which is similar to a call object ID. The generic object ID is used by the CIC to reference the object when it is routed from an ACD queue to the agent. The object itself is stored in Queue Manager. Several tools in Interaction Designer manipulate generic objects. Tools are provided that create, disconnect, get, set, and transfer generic objects. See "Generic Objects" in the Interaction Designer Help for more information.

Recording Objects

Recorded interactions are known as recording objects. The term Recording describes the asynchronous capture of the media content of an interaction (such as a chat or phone call) to a disk file. Multiple recordings can take place on the same interaction. These recordings can be started, stopped and paused independently. These objects have attributes that provide information about the recording.

Monitor Objects

CIC provides supervisors with monitoring capabilities. Monitoring describes the action of listening to or watching an interaction without being an active participant in the interaction.

Multiple monitors can be placed on the same interaction. These monitors can be started and stopped independently. Hosted monitoring is also supported. This allows a collection of users to monitor another call (or another conference). Users who are monitoring as part of a Hosted Monitor can hear all sides of the monitored call (or conference). However, the monitoring parties' audio cannot be heard by the monitored parties. If the monitored call is a simple two-party call, the monitoring parties can converse with each other.

All interactions in the CIC, including those that can be monitored or recorded, are treated as objects that may have attributes. Attributes travel with each object as it is processed by the system, such as placed in queues and so on.

Recorder objects and Monitor objects are created when recording or monitoring operations begin. When these activities are initiated, new recorder or monitor objects are placed in the queue that contains the object that represents the interaction, such as a call object.

SMS Objects

Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of mobile communication systems. SMS attributes are used by the SMS tools in Interaction Designer to manage SMS interactions. All SMS attributes are reserved and should not be modified by customers.

Dynamic call attributes

Call attributes are string values associated with the current call throughout its lifetime; they remain with a call even when it is transferred. These attributes are used within Attendant and other CIC components on both the server and client side.

  • Eic_AttrCallbackCopyAttributes: Set this attribute before the Request Callback node is processed. This attribute should contain a pipe delimited list of all attributes that should be moved over to the callback object.

  • Eic_AttDynamicSkillstoAdd: This attribute contains a list of skills that can be added to an in-queue interaction.

  • Eic_AttDynamicSkillsToRemove: This attribute contains a list of skills that can be removed from an in-queue interaction.

  • Eic_AttDynamicUserVmail: This attribute contains the user selected for voicemail transfer.

  • Eic_AttDynamicWorkgroupVmail: This attribute contains the workgroup to use for the voicemail transfer.

  • Eic_AttDynamicWorkgroupName: Use this attribute to organize multiple workgroups.  For example, you can define your workgroups by area of expertise, such as web service calls or custom handler calls.

  • Eic_AttDynamicWorkgroupSkills: Defines a skill set based on one or more defined skills. The skills designated in this attribute must be separated using the pipe-delimited format. For example, if you want to specify that agents assigned to this interaction attribute contain multiple language skills, enter the value for this attribute as "Spanish" or "Spanish|French|Norweigian".

  • Eic_AttDynamicWorkgroupPriority: Assigns priority value for interactions specified for a specific workgroup.

  • Eic_AttDynamicAgentName: Specifies the agent or user to which specific interactions are sent.

  • Eic_AttDynamicExternalNumber: Defines the external telephone number to which designated interactions are transferred.