Sandbox is the Cisco cloud service provided to help customers, partners, and developers quickly integrate their solutions with a number of Cisco Unified Communications (UC) technologies.
Sandbox allows users to remotely integrate with these UC technologies through a collaboration environment in the cloud. Users are able to access and use Cisco infrastructure off-premises, so saving product investment costs. Users can quickly connect to a shared environment. Alternatively, they can reserve time on a dedicated UC network, where they can select a Rich UC lab topology that best serves their testing needs.
Users can test interactions with Cisco back-end servers (such as Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Presence, and Cisco Unity Connection) having added collaboration features (such as Instant Messaging (IM) and presence, voicemail, and conferencing services) to their application or solution using e.g. the Jabber Web SDK.
Users of this service benefit with:
- Remote access to Cisco Sandbox testing facilities
- Reduced capital expenditure where investment in testing products is not required
- Avoidance of costs and resources associated with ordering, configuring, installing, and maintaining, an in-house lab
- Early access to new releases of Cisco software/firmware and hardware, with zero deployment impact and faster development capabilities
- Virtual access to expensive/proprietary load testing and PSTN Call generator tools
- Possible exposure to Cisco business development and sales personnel with associated opportunities to convert development success to revenues
The Sandbox environment, and how to use it, is outlined below as follows:
What can be tested?
The Cisco products and collaboration capabilities that can be tested using the Sandbox labs include:
- Voice and Video collaboration capabilities integrated using Cisco Unified Communications Manager
- Messaging collaboration capabilities integrated using the Cisco Jabber SDK, with:
- Cisco Unified Presence to add IM and Presence features
- Cisco Unity Connection to add Voice Mail features
- Customer Care services, integrated using Cisco Unified Contact Center
- Mobile app functionalities on adding features made available with the Cisco Cius device, using the Cius Android Add-On SDK
- Cisco Unified Communications (UC) Endpoint compatibility testing
- Virtual desktop features and facilities made available with the Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) virtual desktop and virtual workspace solution
It is planned that the Sandbox testing facility will be expanded to include:
- Conferencing services, integrated using Cisco WebEx Meetings tools
- Enterprise Social Software collaboration features integration using the Cisco WebEx Social API
Types of Lab Facility
There are two types of lab facility:
- Shared Lab
- Rich UC Lab
Users have the option to either use a shared lab or may reserve time on a dedicated Rich UC lab. Both lab environments are hosted on UC Services Virtual Machines (VMs).
Option 1. Shared Lab
This type of environment is shared among all developers and is designed for basic testing.
In the example below, the Jabber Shared UC Sandbox environment includes Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Presence and Cisco Unity Connection.
Figure 1: Shared Sandbox Environment – example for Shared Endpoint/Jabber Sandbox environment
Option 2. Rich UC Lab
Rich UC labs are set up with a dedicated VM for each developer and each gives admin level access to support more complex testing needs with server management controls, "back-up and restore" capabilities.
This type of lab is available to users who are developing integrated solutions using a broad range of Cisco technologies. Users need to apply to use, and schedule time in a Rich UC Lab. Access to the labs is provisioned through the Sandbox portal.
Figure 2: Rich UC Sandbox Environment
Shared or Rich UC Sandbox Lab?
The primary factor in deciding whether to work on a shared or dedicated Rich UC lab is whether there is a need to have admin level access to the servers in the environment.
The table below sets out what lab type best suits different testing needs.
|Testing Type||Shared Sandbox||Rich UC Sandbox with admin level access|
|Simple Audio/Video calls – e.g. Using Jabber SDK; Cius Add-On etc.|
|Audio with IM / Presence - e.g. using Jabber SDK|
|Calls / IM / Presence /Voicemail and conferencing – e.g. using Jabber SDK|
|Cisco UC integration - for integrated solutions using a broad range of Cisco technologies|
|Loading testing - for Call Management testing|
|CTI XML integration - for computer : telephony integration development testing|
|Contact Center – call and contact management development for customer support solution development|
|Integration of WebEx conferencing capabilities|
|Testing virtual desktop computing and collaboration features for integration with Cisco VXI|
|Server hosting for server dependent application testing|
|Internet connectivity for Cloud based services testing|
|Integration involving Partner Specific Application server|
Two Types of VPN access are available:
- Anyconnect Software VPN
- Hardware IPsec VPN
Anyconnect Software VPN
The default access method is Cisco Anyconnect Software VPN. This is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS operating systems. Users receive instructions and credentials after reserving a dedicated lab through the Sandbox Portal
This software based solution deploys automatically and installs on the remote endpoint and connects to the Sandbox URL using a unique username/password. Cisco Anyconnect Software VPN can be used to register remote soft endpoints such as Jabber for MAC, Windows, iOS and Android to test telephony, IM, Presence and Voicemail functions and features.
Note: While voice calls between Anyconnect Software VPN remote registered devices are permitted, some restrictions apply with video calls.
Hardware IPsec VPN
For more complex integrations a Hardware IPsec VPN tunnel using a router can be set up from the remote side, and allows partners to:
- Register phones for testing, and
- Integrate servers
A pre-configured router can be provided on loan (see below). The router connects to the remote Partner LAN/DMZ, or any service provider Internet connection. It automatically builds a secure, encrypted VPN tunnel to the specific Sandbox lab environment. It may be necessary to modify the partner firewall to ensure that VPN protocols are allowed to the sandbox. This is discussed with the partner prior to the router been shipped. Remote endpoints can then connect directly to the router via Ethernet or Wi-Fi and have connectivity to the lab.
Note: The Hardware IPsec VPN allows users to easily make remote video calls as all RTP traffic remains local to the router.
Qualified developers will be able to request the loan of a preconfigured router for a period up to 14 days by completing the form here. Note that:
- On dispatching a Router on loan, we'll "pre-authorize" a $999 charge against your credit card for security. We'll only charge for devices that are lost, stolen or broken.
- You are responsible for returning the device at the end of the loaner period and will need to arrange, and pay for, the return carriage. International return carriage costs can be quite high.
- Cisco ships loaners to international destinations as "Delivery Duty Unpaid" so any taxes and import duties are the responsibility of the recipient, although there should be no taxes or import duties for returned devices.
The table below shows what access method is recommended for some common testing requirements.
|Requirement||Anyconnect SSL VPN||Hardware IPsec VPN|
|Audio/IM/Presence between remote endpoints|
|Basic access to administer UC servers|
|Video calls between remote endpoints|
|Cisco IP phones registered at partner site|
|Integrate Application Server at partner site|
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