It has been recently announced that the changes that Apple would make to the iOS notification architecture after iOS 11 will not currently affect Jabber notifications for IM and calls for customers that have not yet upgraded their infrastructure to support Apple Push Notifications (APNs). However, it is still recommended to upgrade.
Push Notifications are required both for Cisco Jabber for iPhone and iPad clients that connect from within the enterprise network as well as for clients that register to an on-premise deployment via Expressway’s Mobile and Remote Access (MRA) feature.
Jabber for Android, Windows, and Mac users are unaffected by this update
Cisco’s answer to this change was to update its UC products to use Apple Push Notification service (APN). Previous releases did enable APN support for IM push notifications – however, the following releases, available now, are required to support push notifications for voice & video calls:
- CUCM/IM&P 11.5(1)SU3 (at least)
- Expressway X8.10.1 (if MRA is deployed)
- Jabber 11.9
Pre-requisites for users:
- Upgrade to the required versions listed above.
- Make sure your IM&P servers have DNS servers configured.
- Make sure your IM&P servers can communicate through port TCP/443 to Cisco cloud (fos-a.wbx2.com, push.webexconnect.com, idbroker.webex.com).
- Allow incoming network traffic from Apple’s APN service (184.108.40.206/8 range) to iOS devices.
- Configure the Multiple Device Messaging (MDM) feature on the IM and Presence Service.
- Enable the following services on IM&P servers:
- Cisco Push Notification Service.
- Cisco Management Agent Service.
- Configure the iOS devices to allow notifications from the Cisco Jabber application.
According to Cisco, here are the steps to enable push notifications:
Step 1: Log in to the Cisco Unified Communications Manager publisher node.
Step 2: From Cisco Unified CM Administration, choose Advanced Features > Cisco Cloud Onboarding. The page may take a minute to load while Cisco Unified Communications Manager checks whether the Cisco cloud is reachable and whether certificates are present.
Step 3: Check the Enable Push Notifications checkbox.
Step 4: Check the I want Cisco to manage the Cisco Cloud Service CA Certificates required for this trust check box to have the system update certificates automatically.
Note: If you leave the checkbox unchecked, you will have to obtain CA certificates manually and copy them to Cisco Unified Communications Manager and IM and Presence Service. For details, see Certificates for Cloud Connection.
Step 5: If you want to use an HTTP or HTTPS Proxy to reach the Cisco cloud, check the Enable HTTP Proxy check box and enter the server details.
Step 6: Click Save.
Step 7: On the publisher node only, restart the Cisco Tomcat service to install Cisco-managed certificates.
- Log in to the Command Line Interface.
- Run the utils service restart Cisco Tomcat command. After the Cisco Tomcat service restarts, the Status in the Cisco Cloud Onboarding Configuration indicates “Cisco Cloud Onboarding Pending.”
Step 8: In the Cisco Cloud Onboarding Configuration window, make sure that the Enable Push Notifications and I want Cisco to manage the Cisco Cloud Service CA Certificates required for this trust checkboxes are still checked. You may need to recheck them.
Step 9: Optional. Configure troubleshooting settings to ensure that system issues can be resolved quickly. See the online help for field descriptions.
- Check the Send Troubleshooting Information to the Cisco Cloud check box.
- Check the Send encrypted PII to the Cisco Cloud for troubleshooting check box.
Step 10: Click Save The cluster initiates a Push Notifications subscription request. When the request completes, and Push Notifications is enabled, the Status field displays the message “Cloud Onboarding Completed.”
Step 11: If your deployment includes the IM and Presence Service, restart the Cisco XCP Router service for all IM and Presence Service cluster nodes:
- Click the Control Center – Network Services link that appears in the Status area of the Cisco Cloud Onboarding window. If no connection appears, log in to the Cisco Unified Serviceability interface and select Tools > Control Center – Network Services.
- From the Server drop-down list box, choose the IM and Presence database publisher node, and click Go.
- Under IM and Presence Services, select the Cisco XCP Router service.
- Click Restart.
- Repeat this step for all IM and Presence cluster nodes.
For more information on how to enable Push Notification, please visit this Cisco TechNote.
Once enabled for Push Notifications, Cisco Unified Communications Manager and the IM and Presence Service use Apple’s cloud-based Push Notification service to push voice and video calls, instant messaging notifications, and Cisco WebEx invitations to Cisco Jabber for iPhone and iPad clients that are running in suspended mode. This will allow IM&P to maintain a persistent communication with Cisco Jabber.
As a result of the upgrade users will notice:
- Improved reliability: APNS will enable Jabber work like cellular calls – shifting notifications to the infrastructure vs. the device continually checking for calls.
- Enhanced Battery Life: Reduced impact of Jabber (and other applications) on the iOS device battery life.
- Consistent User Experience: Jabber will look and work like other cellular call applications on the iOS device.
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