Clear OS – SugarCRM Removal

How To Remove SugarCRM from ClearOS

I’m not going to show how to put SugarCRM on ClearOS because there are a lot of guides out there how to do that. I’m going to show how to take it off. Here’s how to do that. This is more of a theory guide than a step by step how to.

Theoretical Step 1 – Putty/SSH into the Clear OS and remove the SugarCRM files. Mine were under /var/www/html/sugarcrm/CRM. You may have put them under a Virtual directory or something. Here are a few commands to keep in mind:

Remove a directory – rm or rmdir

Remove a directory that isn’t empty – rm -rf [directory]
(Careful with this command)

Theoretical Step 2 – Remove the database. I show in the video how to do this with whatever version of phpMyAdmin comes prepackaged. It may vary on your version a little, I know most versions I’ve used don’t look exactly like what is on this server. You could also log into the server with Putty and fire up mysql. Since you’re probably using a root user and hopefully your root password is different in mysql you’ll need to do this:

Log into MySQL – mysql -u root -p
(It will ask for the MySQL root password when you hit enter)

Drop the sugarCRM database – DROP DATABASE sugarcrm;

Show databasesĀ  – SHOW databases;

That should remove SugarCRM pretty easily. To put it on was basically the reverse of that. Create a blank database called “sugarcrm”. Unzip the SugarCRM files into the /www/html/sugarcrm folder. Then follow the instructions for the initial setup.

 

ClearOS – Initial Configuration – Video

Recorded my initial configuration of ClearOS. Here’s the video with my commentary.

I do make a few mistakes in the video. One is the OS is really Centos, and while I did add SugarCRM, it wasn’t what I needed. I’ll be linking instructions for that soon though.

Clear OS – Initial Thoughts

Spent a good part of my weekend building a box out of parts cobbled together in my garage for a ClearOS server. Thought I’d post some first thoughts on the process and why.

What’s it for?

I’d been thinking I needed a small business server for a while to help me manage some projects and as a testing and development platform. I need to be able to develop web applications locally, invoice some consulting projects and other uses.

Why ClearOS

Normally I’d use Ubuntu Server or Windows Server for projects like this. Ubuntu is my preferred Linux flavor, and it’s rare to find something that doesn’t work with it. A friend of mine pointed me to ClearOS, however. I really like the idea of a web-based interface for interacting with the server. For rolling out features quickly, I think this is the way to go for most deployments assuming your security is tight enough. So I thought I’d give it a try.

Pros and Cons

I am looking at the Community Edition. They have paid Home and Business editions as well as pre-built appliances you can order. It’s a subscription model and pricing is fairly reasonable at every level.

First the bad.

  • Their website and documentation is good but either lacking or not updated often. I was trying to install MySQL from the Marketplace. I could not find it no matter what I did. Everything I found indicated you should just be able to search for “MySQL” and click install. It did not show up. Eventually I figured out, as far as I can tell you install “MariaDB” and that installs MySQL and phpMyAdmin. At least for the Community Edition this seems to be a recurring problem.
  • Manually installing apps is confusing. It’s basically just the yum app in CentOS/Redhat, so no big deal. However, because of the documentation issue when I tried to just install MySQL manually I wasn’t even sure it worked. The manual installation instructions were confusing and had screenshots of things that just didn’t seem to exist. This could just be because I am using the Community Edition and some things are turned off. This is one of those things that would make it sort of hard to consider upgrading.
  • The setup process makes you register the server even if you are just using the Community Edition. Not a huge deal, as you get some Dynamic DNS stuff and a few other things. This is likely why their apps are so easy to work with. If you care about your privacy, this might be an issue. Installing these for clients, this is actually a pro, in my opinion.
  • It seemed like it turned on its DHCP server for some reason. I’m not sure if it was really on or if the GUI was just indicating it was on. I set it up as a private server and didn’t have it act as a DNS server. This could be bad if it turns a DHCP server on by default.

The Good

  • It was incredibly easy to install. The entire install process took no more than about twenty minutes. Initial configuration made sense and it didn’t need too many unnecessary steps.
  • The Marketplace makes it very easy to set your server up to do whatever you need. Do you want to build a firewall? You can choose the apps you need for that really easily. Do you need just a basic web server and nothing else? Easy to do that. A couple of clicks and you have it done.
  • There are templates for Public, Private and Gateway servers as well as other functions. This lets you deploy things much more quickly than setting up a server entirely from scratch.

Overall I’m pleased and look forward to using it. There are bugs for sure but I think that something like this could potentially shave off significant amounts of time in deployment. It is not good for all situations but for small to mid-size businesses it has a lot of potential.

 

GotFreeFax Online Faxing – Free, No Ads

I was recently made aware of a great service for fax troubleshooting and basic faxing called “GotFreeFax.com“. I had used another service for my troubleshooting and just basic faxing needs online, but these guys reached out to me and I’m convinced theirs is definitely better.

Here’s a rundown of their free fax features:

  • Two free faxes a day.
  • No ads or branding whatsoever on the fax.
  • Three pages per fax.

You may get a couple fewer faxes and pages per day with this service but, in my opinion that no ads or branding on the cover page so your recipient has no idea how you sent it makes up for that. Here’s a picture of the cover sheet from a free fax I sent to myself the redacted parts are just names and some information I had to fill out:

GotFreeFax Cover Sheet

See? No ads. Just a plain cover sheet.

Sending a Fax From GotFreeFax.com

So here’s how to send a fax from GotFreeFax.com. It’s simple and you have a lot of options.

Step 1 – Go to GotFreeFax.com.

Step 2 – Fill out the sender information. This is you. You’ll need to put in your name, company name if you have one, your fax number with area code and you HAVE to put in your email address.

GotFreeFax Fax Info Entry

Step 3 – Fill in the recipient information. You’ll need to put in the recipient’s name, company information if they have one, fax number and a subject. Remember to put in an area code.

Step 4 – Enter the fax content. Typically you’ll want to just upload a document. They accept PDF files, DOC files and JPG files. So yes, you can fax a family photo. I haven’t tested with JPGs so I don’t know the size limitations, if any. I have uploaded DOCX files and it works with those just fine even though it doesn’t specifically say it will.

You can uncheck the “Use No-Add Free Cover Page”. This will just remove the cover page so you can use your own. It doesn’t give you the option to specifically upload a cover page, so you’ll need to make it part of the document.

Step 5 – Click the “Send Free Fax” button.

Step 6 – You’ll get a confirmation email. Click the link in the email.

GotFreeFax Email Confirmation

Step 7 – Wait for the success or failure email to come in.

Larger Faxes – You can send larger faxes for a fee with the Premium Pay Per Fax Service. To do this, instead of clicking on the “Send Free Fax” button, click on the proper premium paid button for the number of pages you need to send.

Use an account – You can sign up for an account and pre-pay for some pages. Just click on the button for the number of pages you want to buy. You’ll be taken through a sign up process and asked for billing information. Sending faxes with an account in the future couldn’t be any easier. You just enter your email address and PINĀ  in the fields under “Send Prepaid Fax” and hit “Send Fax Now” and it will automatically deduct the right number of pages from your account.

Useful ShoreTel Communicator Registry Keys for Scripting

I recently did a favor for a friend of mine who wanted tie a couple of systems together that weren’t tightly integrated in his network with some scripts. Anyway, I found the idea in his case fairly novel so I adapted the idea to the ShoreTel phone system and logon scripts. I know a lot of companies out there where the user’s four digit extension is their PIN for various systems at least initially.

I’ve had similar requests before to write a program that extracted the user’s extension from the ShoreTel database and do something with it. I do have a method of doing that but it’s annoying and this is much easier since it comes from the user’s local machine with ShoreTel Communicator installed. I’m also including some other registry keys because this script is super easy to adapt to get this information too.

Script for Extracting Current User’s Extension from ShoreTel Communicator

This is a VB Script for extracting the user’s extension from their computer’s registry. It is intended to be used as a part of a logon script or just to run at any time. The plugin I use doesn’t like VB comments so I took them out, I’ve attached the fully commented script to the post.

Use this script at your own risk. It just reads a registry key, but any time you mess with the registry, ShoreTel or anything like that you assume responsibility for your own systems. Also if your environment is different for whatever reason, this is not a hard script to change to suit your needs.

Script File: extractExtension (rename this to extractExtension.vbs when you download it)


   Dim shoretelServer
   Dim objRegistry
   Dim extension

   shoretelServer = "shoretel"

   Set objSysInfo = CreateObject("ADSystemInfo")
   strUser = objSysInfo.UserName
   Set objUser = GetObject("LDAP://" & strUser)

   Set objRegistry = CreateObject("Wscript.shell")

extension = objRegistry.RegRead("HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Shoreline Teleworks\CSIS Client\"& shoretelServer & "." & objUser.sAMAccountName & "\SUserID")

Wscript.Echo extension

Registry Keys

There are a few more registry keys that can be put to good use by enterprising script users that may want to automate a few things. Use this information entirely at your own risk. I’m not taking any responsibility for anything if you change these.

Also, some of these keys, just because you change them does not mean it actually does anything. Some of them are just flags to show the Communicator software that it has done something or not, such as uninstalled the Outlook Voicemail Plugin. Changing that key won’t uninstall the plugin if it’s messed up.

One potential use for this information is if your server crashes and you don’t have a backup. If Communicator is still installed everywhere you can recover all your user information with a simple script that goes through everyone’s machines to extract the information. If there is interest in such a thing I will write it and post it.

User Key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Shoreline Teleworks\CSIS Client\servername.username\

This key has several values under it. The most useful are:

SUserID = Extension of User
FirstName = User’s First Name
LastName = User’s Last NameHasMailbox = Set to 1 if yes, 0 if no.
MailboxGUID = Haven’t seen this set on the versions I’ve worked with but maybe?

If you go up a level there are some values for the current server version and client version, some dynamic “ConnectedOnce” values if the client has connected to multiple servers.

Client Keys

There’s a lot here to look at. Some of this looks to be stuff it gets from the server. I fiddled with a few of these and they just reset when I loaded Communicator. Likely for features I don’t have access to.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Shoreline Teleworks\ShoreWare Client

AutoStartSoftPhone = Starts the softphone automatically when you start the program. This is set to 0 when Extension Assignment is on primary phone, 1 when on Softphone.
Outlook Voice Mail = 1 if Outlook Voicemail Integration is Installed. 0 if no.
OwnedDNs = User Extension.
Server = Server the client is logged into. Might be a good key to read to get information for the above script.
UserName = User the Client was logged in with. Again, good information for above script.
VMFoldersExpanded = This shows some dynamic keys for various Voicemail boxes that the user has access to. Not sure what the numbers mean.

Layout Keys

Under the above key is the Layouts key with a bunch of subkeys. These seem to be related to how the client looks and behaves. I won’t go through all these. I just wanted to mention that possibly deleting or modifying these might clear up weird issues that occasionally crop up with older versions of Communicator or find lost windows when users drag them off the screen, rather than reinstalling the whole product, or deleting the entire Shoreline key.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Shoreline Teleworks\ShoreWare Client\Layouts