Maintenance Release 46
PORTA
ONE
PortaSwitch
New Features
Guide
©2000-2015 PortaOne, Inc.
All rights reserved
Maintenance
Release
46
Documentation
www.portaone.com
Porta
Switch®
Maintenance Release 46: New Features Guide
Copyright Notice & Disclaimers
Copyright © 2000-2015 PortaOne, Inc. All rights reserved
PortaSwitch® New Features Guide, February 2015
Maintenance Release 46
V1.46.04
Please address your comments and suggestions to: Sales Department,
PortaOne, Inc. Suite #408, 2963 Glen Drive, Coquitlam BC V3B 2P7
Canada.
Changes may be made periodically to the information in this publication.
The changes will be incorporated in new editions of the guide. The
software described in this document is furnished under a license
agreement, and may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms
thereof. It is against the law to copy the software on any other medium,
except as specifically provided for in the license agreement. The licensee
may make one copy of the software for backup purposes. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted
in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied,
recorded or otherwise, without the prior written permission of PortaOne
Inc.
The software license and limited warranty for the accompanying products
are set forth in the information packet supplied with the product, and are
incorporated herein by this reference. If you cannot locate the software
license, contact your PortaOne representative for a copy.
All product names mentioned in this manual are for identification
purposes only, and are either trademarks or registered trademarks of their
respective owners.
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Table of Contents
Preface ............................................................................................................................ 4
Multi-level Resellers.................................................................................................... 5
PortaSwitch® Callshop Solution ............................................................................ 7
Billing of On-net and Off-net SMS Messages .................................................... 8
Incoming Call Delivery to an IP PBX with Dynamic IP Address ................. 9
Porting Numbers from / to PortaBilling®......................................................... 13
Improved DID Inventory Management ............................................................. 14
Routing of SMS Messages to Multiple Vendors .............................................. 17
Token-based Payments via Authorize.Net and Payment Express ........... 18
Product Groups .......................................................................................................... 19
Different Temporary Credit Limits....................................................................... 21
Daily and Transaction Limits on Credit / Refund for PortaBilling®
Users .............................................................................................................................. 23
Restricting Login IP Addresses to PortaBilling® Users ............................... 24
New Expiration Date Option for Accounts........................................................ 25
Token-based Authentication for Applications.................................................. 27
Taxes Upon Payment............................................................................................... 27
Call Queue Enhancements ..................................................................................... 29
Enhanced Invoice Information on the Customer Self-care Interface .... 30
Ability to Reverse Multiple xDRs .......................................................................... 32
Additional Information about Balances ............................................................. 33
Additional Variables for SMS and Email Notifications Templates............. 34
What’s New in Maintenance Release 46?......................................................... 35
Important Upgrade Notes ...................................................................................... 39
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Preface
PortaSwitch® Maintenance Release 46 is the next leap-forward release,
consistent with our “fast releases, precisely on time” ideology introduced
in 2012.
Where to get the latest version of this guide
The hard copy of this guide is updated upon major releases only and does
not always contain the latest material on enhancements introduced
between major releases. The online copy of this guide is always up-to-date
and integrates the latest changes to the product. You can access the latest
copy of this guide at: www.portaone.com/support/documentation/.
Conventions
This publication uses the following conventions:
 Commands and keywords are given in boldface
The exclamation mark draws your attention to important information or
actions.
NOTE: Notes contain helpful suggestions about or references to materials not
contained in this manual.
Timesaver means that you can save time by performing the action
described here.
Tips provide information that might help you solve a problem.
Trademarks and Copyrights
PortaBilling®, PortaSIP® and PortaSwitch® are registered trademarks of
PortaOne, Inc.
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Multi-level Resellers
To reach more customers in the market many ITSPs sell their services
through a multi-level network of resellers. To implement this functionality
in PortaBilling®, we have extended the current “carrier – reseller – end
user” model to a multi-level reseller structure where the entire chain of
resellers is virtually unlimited.
Let’s assume that an ITSP engages Reseller A to sell VoIP services.
Reseller A operates independently from the ITSP and is free to set his
own prices for services provided. Reseller A begins to sell services to his
direct clients and some small business owners thus building his own
network of sub-resellers. Each sub-reseller engaged by Reseller A can act
as a “white label” reseller and resell a package of services (e.g. through
their own network of reselling partners) under their own brand name.
In this scenario, it might appear that services purchased by customer John
Doe from some reseller have in fact been provided through the n-level
network of resellers. Consider the example of the resellers’ network
shown in the diagram below.
The reseller’s hierarchy is modeled as follows:
 Top-level reseller – This reseller stays at the top of the resellers’
hierarchy. He is created and managed by an administrator and
deals directly with the service provider. He can create and
manage his own sub-resellers as well as provide services directly
to end-users. Note that all resellers previously configured in
PortaBilling® become top-level resellers after the update.
 Sub-reseller – The sub-reseller is created and managed by a toplevel reseller or another (higher-level) sub-reseller. Likewise the
top-level reseller, the sub-reseller can create and manage their
own (lower-level) sub-resellers and provide services to some end
users.
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Managing tariffs
Each reseller operates with three types of tariffs:
 Buying tariffs – are tariffs according to which the reseller is billed
by a higher level reseller or service provider.
 Selling tariffs (applied to sub-resellers) – are tariffs that the reseller
charges their sub-resellers.
 Selling tariffs (applied to sub-customers) – are tariffs that the
reseller charges their end users.
Buying tariffs are assigned to a reseller during their creation. Selling tariffs
for charging to sub-resellers are configured as follows: when a reseller creates
his sub-reseller, he clones the existing buying tariffs by applying a profit
markup (a percentage) to them. Mapping between reseller’s buying and
selling tariffs is shown on the Reseller Tariffs tab. Selling tariffs for
charging to end users are described in the Product management section
below.
Resellers can always adjust their rates for selling tariffs for specific
destinations. As a rule, rates in selling tariffs are higher than those defined
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for buying rates so that the reseller creates and receives a profit each time
the service is used.
Product management
The product is the main tool that defines which services a reseller can
offer to their end users. Resellers are not permitted to create their own
products by themselves as this requires deep knowledge of the ITSP’s
network structure (gateways, access lines, etc.), which most of them might
not have. Instead, resellers are assigned their products from a service
provider or higher-level resellers. This is done as follows: the higher-level
reseller clones one of his products and indicates that this new product will
be managed by a lower-level reseller. The cloned product becomes ‘at the
disposal’ of the lower-level reseller.
Note that the cloned product is created with empty selling tariffs (i.e.
tariffs according to which end users are charged). So in order to start
selling a product, a reseller needs to define the appropriate rates for their
selling tariffs.
With multi-level reseller functionality, ITSPs are now able to easily and
quickly build their own networks of resellers. This helps them increase
their service offerings and gain higher profit margins.
PortaSwitch® Callshop Solution
PortaSwitch® presents a brand new solution for callshop network owners
and the staff who operate their callshops. This solution was developed
based on industry best practices and our customers’ feedback.
A callshop is a public facility where end users come to make low-cost
international or domestic calls. In a callshop, a customer is guided to enter
a phone booth, makes calls and then pays for them at a cash desk. The
callshop is managed by a callshop business owner who sets up the tariffs
according to which end users are charged, pays for outgoing traffic and
earns a profit on the margins between these costs. Callshop operators
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control the authorized use of booths, collect payments from customers
and provide customers with receipts.
The following step-by-step scenario explains how a customer makes a call
from a callshop and how he is then charged for it:
1. First, a customer is directed by a callshop operator to a specific
booth.
2. The callshop operator unlocks a booth to allow making calls from
this booth.
3. The customer dials a desired destination number.
4. PortaSwitch® identifies the phone booth, keeps track of call
details, and calculates the corresponding charges.
5. When the call session ends, the customer leaves the booth.
6. The operator presents the customer with a bill for the call(s) made
according to rates set up by the callshop business owner.
In PortaSwitch®, a callshop business owner is configured as a callshop
reseller. This type of reseller only provides callshop services to end users
(any other services are not permitted to be offered). In the multi-level
reseller hierarchy, the callshop reseller is usually created under a top-level
reseller or a sub-reseller.
Note: To permit the creation of callshop resellers directly under service providers the
Callshop option must be enabled on the Configuration server.
The callshop reseller has their own self-care interface that has been
specially customized for providing callshop services.
Equipped with a wide range of features that are oriented to callshop
owners and their staff, the PortaSwitch® callshop solution assists callshop
network owners to easily and effectively provide reliable, high-quality and
cost-effective services to their customers.
Billing of On-net and Off-net SMS Messages
In addition to SMS routing we’ve implemented an option for applying
different prices to on-net and off-net SMS messages. The following rates
for special destinations can be added to a “normal” tariff alongside
traditional “phone number”-based destinations:
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MSG – A rate for this special destination is applied to messages
sent to any destination.
MSGN – A rate for this special destination covers messages sent
to an IP phone connected to PortaSwitch (regardless of the actual
phone number).
MSGNR – This special destination allows you to create a rate to
be applied to on-net messages sent among accounts of subcustomers managed by the same reseller – so the reseller can apply
this rate in the tariffs to be applied to the subscribers.
MSGNRX – Rate for this special destination covers messages sent
among a single customer’s accounts (among extensions within the
same IP Centrex context).
Incoming Call Delivery to an IP PBX with
Dynamic IP Address
When a customer purchases a certain quantity of DID numbers associated
with external IP PBX phone lines, all of the DIDs are provisioned as
accounts in PortaBilling®. Then the accounts are properly managed and
charged for receiving calls.
However, depending on the IP PBX features your customer operates,
there are several ways to configure it in PortaBilling® to deliver incoming
calls to it from the PortaSIP® server:
1. The IP PBX registers each phone line separately with its
corresponding account on the PortaSIP® server. Then an
incoming call to any of the DIDs is routed directly to that
number. However, not all IP PBXs support such multiple
registrations.
2. In case an IP PBX is located at a static IP address, calls must be
delivered to this IP address. Therefore, you can create an account
(the Account ID can be a DID number used for forwarding calls
to the IP PBX) and specify the IP address in the SIP Static
Contact field. Incoming calls will then be routed to the IP
address of the IP PBX and delivered to the corresponding DID.
This way each account (i.e. an IP PBX phone line being, as a rule,
a DID number) can have its own configuration (e.g. follow-me
lists, voicemail, etc.).
3. Usually, however, IP PBXs can only register their main phone
lines on the PortaSIP® server. In this case this phone line is
provisioned as the registration account (i.e. the account used for
registration on the PortaSIP® server) in PortaBilling® and all
incoming calls to any of the DIDs are forwarded to this account.
This configuration method is frequently used for IP PBXs with
dynamic IP addresses.
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This last case requires special attention. Using call forwarding for
incoming call delivery has some side-effects (it prevents the use of
individual forwarding lists for accounts and increases the number of xDRs
for a single incoming call). Therefore, it is desirable to directly route all
incoming calls to an IP PBX.
Starting from this release, the routing of incoming calls to an IP PBX with
a dynamic IP address via another account (i.e. the registration account)
has been implemented. Now the registration information (IP:port) is
taken from the registration account and used by the PortaSIP® server to
deliver incoming calls to an IP PBX (e.g. a customer has DID number
44048882113 and another one, 12065558741, used as an IP PBX
registration account. The IP PBX is registered on the PortaSIP® server
with IP address 10.254.302.5. A call to number 44048882113 is delivered
to IP address 10.254.302.5).
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When an IP PBX registers with account 12065558741, it sends (1)
the REGISTER request to the PortaSIP® server. This request
contains the current registration information (IP:port) in its SIP
contact header.
The IP:port information is taken from the SIP contact header
and stored (2) in the database of IP device registrations.
Someone makes an incoming call (3) to a DID number
(44048882113). This call arrives at the PortaSIP® server.
The PortaSIP® server sends an authorization request to the
billing engine. After the usual authorization checks, the billing
engine returns the authorization response with instructions to the
PortaSIP® server to route this call to the IP PBX (4).
The PortaSIP® server takes the IP:port information (from IP
PBX’s registration account 12065558741) and routes the call to
the IP PBX (5).
Whenever an IP address changes, the IP PBX re-registers with it. Thus,
this updated registration information is used for routing incoming calls to
the IP PBX on all of the accounts.
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To specify which IP PBX account to use for registration, select it on the
customer site. All accounts belonging to this customer site inherit the
defined settings.
Consider the following example:
A customer has an IP PBX that uses a dynamic IP address for registration
and has 10 DID numbers assigned to it from the range 16045552400 –
16045552409. The administrator configures the IP PBX to register with
registration account 55587412700 and then creates a customer site for the
DID numbers and specifies account 55587412700 in the Account field of
the SIP Contact service feature.
The IP PBX receives IP address 145.163.12.123 from the DHCP server.
With this address it registers on the PortaSIP® server by sending a
registration request with the SIP contact header
[email protected]:5060. IP address 145.163.12.123 and port
5060 are taken from the header and saved in the database so that when a
call arrives to number 16045552401, it is routed to the following
destination [email protected]:5060.
Later on the IP PBX is given a new IP address: 20.415.65.4. The IP PBX
re-registers with it and sends the new registration request with SIP contact
header [email protected]:5060 to the PortaSIP® server. Upon
successful re-registration, a call arriving at number 16045552401 is now
routed to the following destination [email protected]:5060.
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Then suppose the administrator decides to use the number 16045552404
on a separate SIP phone. He disables the SIP contact feature for account
16045552404 and provisions a SIP phone with this account.
Finally, the IP PBX is allocated static IP address 155.226.85.170. The
administrator defines the registration with the static address and specifies
IP address 155.226.85.170 as a host.
Upon registering the IP PBX, all incoming calls to DIDs are routed to IP
address 155.226.85.170:5060.
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NOTE: When defining that incoming calls for a particular account will be delivered via
the registration information of another account, the configuration parameters of the
selected account are not considered (e.g. an administrator defines that incoming calls
to account 16045552407 will be delivered via account 55587412700. The account
55587412700, in its turn, has a static IP address defined. When someone dials
number 16045552407, the system sends the incoming call using the IP:port of
account 55587412700).
Thus, delivery of incoming calls via the registration information of an
account simplifies the configuration of an IP PBX with dynamic IP
address, significantly decreasing the administrative load.
ITSPs can provide their customers with SIP trunking services regardless
of the way the PBX acquires the IP address for registration.
Porting Numbers from / to PortaBilling®
With this new release of PortaBilling®, a new method for porting
numbers has been introduced. This feature provides the following
options:
 To port a number to PortaBilling® from another telecom (portin);
 To port a number from the PortaBilling® system to another
telecom (port-out).
This feature is convenient for customers who want to change telephone
providers but keep their original numbers. This new framework provides
the option to port numbers via Neustar Inc. – a major player in the
number portability market.
In order to port-in a number, a PortaBilling® user sends a request via the
Number Porting button on the Account Management page. In the
request dialog window two parameters must be mentioned:
 The phone number that the customer wants to use;
 The date by which this request must be completed.
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PortaBilling® sends the porting request to the number porting company
and waits for confirmation. The number porting company requests the
number from the telecom and when confirmation is received, the number
is replaced in PortaBilling® and the customer can receive calls at the new
number.
The PortaBilling® administrator may monitor all requests from his system
(the Port-in tab) and to his system (Port-out tab) by clicking the
Number_Porting button on the Account Info page from the main
menu.
NOTE: The Number Porting button is only available when NumberPorting is
enabled on the Configuration Server. To use Neustar for number portability,
NumberPortability_Neustar must also be enabled.
Let’s consider the following example. John Doe is a customer of XTelecom with the number 1212555123. Due to questionable connection
quality, he decides to switch from X-Telecom to GlobalNet Telecom. He
buys the number 1818123555 from GlobalNet Telecom. Since neither his
friends nor colleagues know this new number, he talks to a GlobalNet
CRM and asks to receive calls at his old number starting January 1st. The
CRM makes the request via PortaBilling®, and when the request is
confirmed, the system replaces 1818123555 with 1212555123. Now
friends and colleagues can call him at the old 1212555123 number, yet the
calls are charged according to GlobalNet Telecom’s tariffs.
Thus, this new feature makes it possible for customers to use their
original numbers, regardless of the telecom. Number portability works
through Neustar Inc., but if necessary, PortaBilling® can collaborate with
other number porting companies via additional plug-ins.
Improved DID Inventory Management
When working with DID Inventory and provisioning DID numbers it is
very important to have a clear idea of which costs you bear and which
charges you apply to your customers.
Managing the DID Inventory has been simplified and enhanced and now
touches upon the following concepts:
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Billing for DID numbers usage;
Assigning DID numbers to owner batches;
Allocating DIDs to customers and resellers.
When you obtain DID numbers from a DID provider, you are usually
charged an activation fee and then monthly recurring costs for all of the
DID numbers. Therefore, when allocating DID numbers to your
customers, you apply an additional markup to these charges in order to
compensate for your costs and earn some profit. The parameters of the
markup are defined in owner batches.
Please note that activation costs do not increase the DID provider’s
balance (a DID provider is provisioned as a vendor in PortaBilling®).
Monthly recurring costs are recalculated according to the vendor’s billing
period and applied for all obtained DID numbers regardless of whether or
not they are allocated to customers. These costs are what increase the
vendor’s balance.
Billing for DID numbers usage
Every DID number now belongs to an owner batch. The pricing
parameters of this batch, if any, define which charges will be applied to a
customer when a DID number is allocated to him / her.
This allows you to set up different pricing for your customers for
different DID number provisioning (e.g. local or international ones).
Consider the following example:
A customer is allocated a US number with $5 in activation costs and $3 in
recurring costs from the “Domestic numbers” owner batch. The markup
for this batch is defined as follows: a $1 additional activation fee and a $2
additional recurring fee. The customer is charged $6 ($5+$1) upon DID
activation and a $5 ($3+$2) monthly recurring fee recalculated according
to the customer’s billing period (i.e. if a customer has a bi-weekly billing
period, he is charged $2.5 per billing period).
Then the customer is allocated a Chinese DID number with $15 in
activation costs and $5 in recurring costs from the “International
numbers” owner batch. This batch has the following DID markup
defined: a $5 additional activation fee and $4 additional monthly recurring
fee. The customer is now charged $20 ($15+$5) for DID activation and
$9 ($5+$4) for the monthly recurring fee.
Assigning DID numbers to owner batches
You can provision DID numbers to your customers either with your
markup or free of charge. This is defined by the type of owner batch a
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DID number is assigned to (i.e. either a free owner batch or one with a
DID markup).
To properly manage DID numbers and control your costs and revenue, it
is important to assign each DID number to an appropriate owner batch
prior to allocating this number to a customer.
When a DID number is allocated to a customer from an owner batch
with a DID markup, the markup is applied to the customer.
When added to a free owner batch, a DID number becomes free of
charge. This means that no charges apply to either a customer or a reseller
when a DID number from a free owner batch is allocated to them (e.g.
DID number 16045552879 has a $10 activation cost associated with it and
is assigned to the free owner batch. Customer John Doe signs up for the
EasyCall product and is provided with the number 16045552879. He is
charged nothing for the DID number activation yet the administrator
now owes $10 to the DID provider).
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Allocating DIDs to customers and resellers
When an administrator allocates a DID number to a customer, it is no
longer necessary for the customer to have an owner batch explicitly
assigned to him / her. If any owner batch has been previously assigned to
this customer, the charges defined in this owner batch will be ignored and
instead, the charges defined in the DID number owner batch will apply.
However, if customers allocate DID numbers themselves (i.e. by using
on-demand DID provisioning), they are required to have the owner batch
with the DID markup assigned to them, because they are billed according
to the pricing parameters defined in this owner batch.
When DIDs are allocated to a reseller, the owner batch with the DID
markup must be assigned to this reseller. Otherwise, the administrator is
prompted to assign such an owner batch to a reseller when allocating
DIDs to him / her.
Resellers are still charged according to pricing parameters defined within
the owner batches that are directly assigned to them. However, if an
administrator allocates a DID number to a reseller and this number
belongs to the administrator’s free owner batch, no charges apply to the
reseller.
Thus, enhanced management of DID Inventory simplifies the process of
DID provisioning to your customers, while improved DID billing allows
you to set up flexible pricing parameters for your customers thereby
better managing your costs and revenue.
Routing of SMS Messages to Multiple
Vendors
Starting from this release you can configure SMS routing in the same
manner that you now route voice calls.
PortaSwitch® allows the ITSP to offer SMS services (such as instant
messaging to mobile users, premium number SMS, SMS campaigns and
wholesale SMS) while using an all-IP infrastructure:
 PortaBilling® performs the authorization, rating and billing for
outgoing SMS messages.
 PortaSIP® routes SMS messages to multiple vendors using either
the industry standard SMPP protocol or the SIP protocol.
SMS messages can be routed to the SMSС (short message service center)
from NewNet and to SMS aggregators using the SMPP protocol.
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Also, messages can be routed to other ITSPs using the SIP protocol. For
example, if a large fraction of your messaging traffic goes to UK numbers,
then it would be to your advantage to connect with a local ITSP (which
serves those numbers) to send SMS messages directly, and thereby avoid
extra costs.
SMPP
PC App
SIP
Simple
SS7
Mobile Carrier A
SIP
SS7
Porta
Mobile Client
SMSC
SIP
Mobile Carrier B
Authorization /
Billing
SMS Aggregator
Mobile Carrier C
Porta
Billing
ITSP
Note that using either the SMPP or SIP protocol for sending SMSs
depends on the configuration of an end-user’s instant messenger. This, in
turn, determines which messaging vendors’ connections (SMPP or SIP)
participate in routing.
When sending messages within your network, the SIP protocol is always
used.
Future releases will implement rating and billing for incoming SMS
messages. With this improvement, everything that is required is in place to
provide full-scale SMS messaging services.
Together with instant messaging, presence services and voice calls, this
feature offers your customers a complete, real-time communication
experience.
Token-based Payments via Authorize.Net
and Payment Express
At PortaOne we continue to expand the range of payment processors for
which we support token-based payments and since this new release we
support token-based payments via Authorize.Net and Payment Express.
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In case of token-based payments, a payment processor stores the credit
card data (or other payment information) in it’s own storage and issues a
token instead. A token contains no actual credit card data yet serves as an
identifier of it for the payment processor. Thus when an end-user pays
you online for a service, sending merely the corresponding token to the
payment processor is enough to perform the payment. Storing tokens, as
opposed to storing credit card data, doesn’t require you to obtain PCI
DSS or similar security certification, so you can launch the service almost
immediately.
To configure how the system saves payment data, when you add
a payment system, do the following:
 Select Store CC information if you want PortaSwitch® to save
a customer’s full credit card information.
 Unselect Store CC information if you want PortaSwitch® to save
only the token obtained from the payment processor after
a customer makes a first payment.
For more information about token-based payments please refer to the
PortaBilling®: Administrator Guide and PortaBilling® Web
Reference Guide.
Product Groups
When you provide various add-on products and allow end users to sign
up for add-ons via the account self-care portal, you may also want to
provide them with effective product management tools.
This can be done by organizing your add-on products in groups. Now
administrators or resellers can create product groups and assign
corresponding add-ons to them via the admin web interface / reseller’s
helpdesk.
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Then these groups are available to end users on the Products
Configuration tab of the account self-care portal. A user can easily find a
desired add-on by entering the corresponding group that the add-on
belongs to.
Consider the following example:
Customer John Doe has 50 free domestic SMS and 100 free minutes of
calls to US and Canada destinations included in his main product. He
wants to increase the number of domestic SMS to 200 and add 200 free
minutes of calls to Brazil.
He visits his account self-care interface and goes to the Product
Configuration tab. He selects the SMS Bundles group, finds the Easy
SMS add-on product that provides 150 domestic SMS messages and signs
up for it.
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Then he selects the Voice calls group and signs up for the Carnival 200
add-on product that provides 200 free minutes of calls to Brazil.
Now John Doe has his desired product configuration and can further
enjoy its services.
Thus, product groups enable end users to perform a quick and easy
product search and self signup, thereby decreasing the load for your
administrators and customer care staff.
Different Temporary Credit Limits
Starting from this release, you, as a business owner, can empower
employees to define a temporary credit limit for a customer depending on
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the confidence level that you share with your employees. This new feature
allows you to:
 Adjust a temporary credit limit for each PortaBilling® user
depending on the trust level you share with them.
 Assign a temporary credit limit amount.
 Set an amount either as an absolute value or as a percentage of the
original credit limit.
 Assign a period for temporary credit limit usage.
To do this, two new fields are now available:
 Amount of the temporary credit limit
 The duration for this temporary credit usage.
Your staff can increase the credit limit for a particular customer on the
Payment Info tab. The amount and duration of this temporary credit
limit cannot be higher than allowed for this user (these values are reflected
in the Maximum possible increase prompt).
Consider the following example: A business owner sets a credit limit
increase for a Helpdesk operator named Roger as follows:
 Temporary credit limit amount – 10% of the original credit limit;
 Duration – 30 days.
For the customer relations manager (CRM), Andrew, he defines different
values:
 Temporary credit limit amount – 20% of the original credit limit;
 Duration – 60 days.
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Customer John Doe has a $200 original credit limit. He has reached the
limit and he has made a payment, however, the money has not yet
transferred to his PortaBilling® account. John urgently needs to make
some calls so he attempts to obtain a temporary credit limit increase. He
calls the ITSP Helpdesk and asks to recharge his account by $20 for the
next 7 days. The helpdesk operator satisfies this request since both
parameters (amount and duration) do not exceed the maximum values
allowed for the helpdesk staff.
The customer EasyCall Ltd. has a $1000 original credit limit. The
company also faces a situation when their original credit limit is reached.
The representative of the company makes a call to the ITSP Helpdesk and
requests a credit limit increase of $200 for 40 days. The helpdesk operator
does not have permission to raise the limit (neither the amount nor the
duration are allowable), so he raises the issue to the CRM. The CRM
knows that EasyCall Ltd. is a reliable customer that can be trusted, so he
increases the credit limit and the duration period. The customer EasyCall
Ltd. is satisfied and continues to enjoy the services.
Consequently, it is now possible to define different temporary credit
values for CRMs, helpdesk operators and other employees, individually. A
business owner can easily define and change these values on the
PortaBilling® web interface; default values are set on the Configuration
server.
Daily and Transaction Limits on Credit /
Refund for PortaBilling® Users
Business owners now have the opportunity to define daily and transaction
limits on credits / refunds for PortaBilling® users. This feature helps to
prevent potential abuse by employees and avoid money leaks.
To implement this feature two new fields are introduced on the Limits
tab of the User Management page:
 Daily credit / refund limit – This defines the amount the user
cannot exceed for generating either a credit or a refund for
customers during a 24-hour period.
 Transaction credit / refund limit – This defines the amount the
user cannot exceed per transaction.
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PortaBilling® users can check their daily credit / refund limit on the
right-hand side of the toolbar. This prompt is visible on the Customer,
Distributor, Reseller, Account management pages and the xDR browser
page. Limit values change after each transaction that impacts the limit:
manual credit, promotional credit, refund and e-commerce refund. The
limits are reset at midnight (in the time zone of the PortaBilling® user’s
environment).
Let’s consider the following example. The business owner defines a daily
limit of $200 and a transaction limit of $10 to helpdesk operator John.
 John attempts to apply a $15 credit to a customer but the
operation fails.
 John applies a $3 credit to a customer and the operation is
successful, so John’s daily credit / refund usage is now $3.
 John applies a $2 refund to a customer and the operation is
successful, so John’s daily credit / refund usage is now $5.
 John applies a $20 manual payment to a customer and the
operation is successful, so John’s daily credit / refund usage does
not change (it is still $5).
 John applies a $20 credit card charge to a customer and the
operation is successful, so John’s daily credit / refund usage again
does not change (it is still $5).
 John subsequently applies a $10 credit to 19 different customers
and all of the operations are successful, so John’s daily credit /
refund usage is now $195.
 John attempts to apply a $10 credit to a customer but the
operation fails since John’s daily limit is exceeded.
 After midnight, John’s daily credit / refund usage is again reset to
its defined values and he can retry the transactions.
Thus, this new feature provides new opportunities for protecting your
business via money allocation control in the credit arena.
Restricting Login IP Addresses to
PortaBilling® Users
Now you can ensure that access to the PortaBilling® administrative web
interface only occurs from physical locations that you define. For
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example, you can specify IP addresses that belong to your network. If a
user tries to log in from outside your network, PortaBilling® denies that
access and the user cannot log in.
The following formats can be used to permit access from specific IP
addresses or networks:
 A single IP address: 10.10.10.1;
 A network in IP prefix (slash) notation: 192.168.192.0/24;
 An IP address and a netmask: 192.168.192.0/255.255.255.0
You can enter multiple definitions, with each starting from a new line and
ending with semicolon.
This new feature further improves system security and helps an ITSP
prevent unauthorized access to the PortaBilling® web interface – even if a
user’s login and password get into the wrong hands.
New Expiration Date Option for Accounts
Capability for defining the life circle of an account has been extended with
this new release. The accounts that are not used by the customers for a
certain period of time can automatically become expired. There are
currently three options available for defining when an account will expire:
1. Specific Date. The administrator defines a Specific Date on the
Life Cycle tab. For instance, if 2015-03-20 is set as the day of
expiration, then the end user may use the services till 23:59 on the
19th of March. After that, the account will expire.
2. Account availability after the first use. The customer assigns
how many days the services will be available for after the first use.
For instance, the period for using the calling card service was
defined as 30 days. An end user makes the first call on the 1st of
March at 11:00 and uses the calling card daily. Therefore, the 30th
of March 23:59 is the last time when the end user can use this
calling card.
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NOTE: The default value for this field can be defined on the Configuration server.
That is the value that will be used if it is not redefined here.
3. Account expiration after last use. The administrator assigns
after how many days from the last use the services will be available
for. For instance, this period equals 30 days. The end user makes
his first call on the 21st of February. He also makes calls on the
23d, 25th of February and on the 1st of March at 11:00. Therefore,
the 30th of March 23:59 is the last time when the end user can use
this calling card.
These options can be chosen together or separately. They have equal
priority: the account expires according to which event occurs first.
However, it is not obligatory to select any of the Expiration Date check
boxes. As long as all of them are unselected, the account will not expire.
Another important point regarding expiration options is that a voucher
recharge operation extends the life cycle of an account. Thus, if an
account is adjusted to be available for 60 days after first use, and the
account’s owner recharges the account 57 days after the date of its first
use, the service is extended for another 60 days. The account recharge
works analogically for account expiration after last use. A new Expiration
Date label on the left part of Life Cycle tab represents the actual date
when the account will expire.
This new feature provides a good reason for the ITSP to encourage
customers to use their services regularly. As a result, the company profits.
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Token-based Authentication for
Applications
You can now use tokens instead of standard login-password pairs for
authenticating your applications integrated with PortaBilling via API.
To enable token-based authentication, select the API token access
checkbox on the Web Self-care tab of a PortaBilling® user.
Input the combination from the API authentication token field into
your application and remove the password from it (the AuthInfoStructure
and LoginRequest API structures have been updated accordingly and now
have a new token property).
NOTE: Starting with this release, the password expiration feature will be enabled for
all users in order to improve security (users utilized for applications authentication had
this feature disabled before). We strongly suggest that you switch your applications to
token-based authentication before upgrading to MR46.
This feature provides better security for your system since you no longer
need to keep the administrative user’s login and password in your
applications.
Taxes Upon Payment
As a general rule, taxes for consumed services are calculated at the end of
each billing period and are included in the invoice that the customer
receives.
However, for prepaid services such as prepaid cards, taxes are applied at
the time a calling card or top-up voucher is purchased. The amount of the
card excludes taxes. If later on a customer makes a payment using a credit
card to top-up his / her account, the taxes must be applied at the time of
purchase.
The Taxes upon Payment feature does just that. When enabled, the system
calculates and applies the taxes to your prepaid customers when they top
up their balance via a credit card.
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When defining it for a particular customer class (e.g. the one applied to
prepaid residential customers), an administrator specifies the tax rate and
enables the Apply Taxes to a prepaid Customer when a payment is
made to an Account option. Thus, you can differentiate among your
prepaid customers and specify different tax rates for them (e.g. Canadian
residential customers are charged 13% HST tax while European
residential customers are charged 20% VAT tax).
For now, the Taxes upon Payment feature is supported for VAT and custom
taxation plug-ins only. In future releases, it will be implemented for other
supported taxation plug-ins.
This is how it works:
When a prepaid customer makes a payment via a credit card on the selfcare interface, the tax is calculated for him / her based on the amount of
the top-up and is added to the payment sum. Upon successful payment
processing, the customer’s balance is topped up by the actual amount
excluding the tax.
For each payment transaction, two xDRs are created and recorded in the
database, one for the total payment made (the topped-up amount + tax)
and another one that only contains the amount of tax.
Consider the following example:
A prepaid customer, John Doe from Vancouver, BC, buys a $10 prepaid
card and registers it for PINless dialing service.
After awhile he only has $4 in available funds so he wants to top up his
account.
He visits his self-care interface and enters $10 as the top-up amount. A
$1.30 HST tax (13%) is calculated and added to the amount entered,
bringing the total sum to $11.30.
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John Doe confirms the payment and his credit card is charged $11.30.
After the payment is processed, two xDRs are recorded in the database:
one for the amount paid ($11.30) and another one for the amount of tax
($1.30). John’s available funds are now $14.
If the top-up is done using a voucher, the tax amount is not included in
the voucher. However, the taxes are included in the voucher purchase
(e.g. when John Doe buys a $10 voucher, he pays $11.30).
Thus, calculating taxes and applying them to your customers when they
make payments allows you to effectively manage your tax proceeds and
keep your accounting clear.
Call Queue Enhancements
This is another migration stage of the Call Queue application. As
announced earlier, call queues in PortaBilling® are based on huntgroups
only and are configured via the customer self-care portal.
The internal structure of the application has now been enhanced.
New PortaBilling API methods have been developed to manage call
queue application parameters and prompts. These allow you to operate
call queues via either PortaBilling® or your custom self-care portals.
Existing call queue conversion
A few words must be said about the conversion of existing call queues
during the software upgrade procedure. Starting from this release, call
queues are associated with and configured for huntgroups. During an
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upgrade, it is necessary that all existing call queues are converted following
this general rule.
For call queues with a destination number defined as existing huntgroups or
existing accounts, the conversion is automatically performed. Call queues
with a destination number defined as other numbers (e.g. as external
numbers or defined in a local format) are not converted.
During an upgrade, call queues with destination numbers defined as
existing huntgroup numbers are converted as is. If a call queue destination
has more than 5 symbols, the system tries to find an account with this ID
and convert the call queue as being assigned to an existing account.
When converting call queues with a destination number defined as an
account ID provisioned in PortaBilling®, the system associates a call
queue with an auto-generated huntgroup created for the corresponding
customer. The huntgroup contains an auto-generated 4-digit extension
followed by Q (e.g. 1234Q) associated with this account.
Information about call queues that cannot be converted automatically is
gathered at the pre- upgrade stage. Our support team performs the call
queue conversion and contacts you if there are any actions required from
you.
After the update, all call queues have the same configuration, i.e. they are
assigned to huntgroups and remain transparent for end users.
Enhanced Invoice Information on the
Customer Self-care Interface
Throughout all customers’ lifecycles, it is important to have a clear picture
of their invoice status and other billing-related details – a thumbnail
sketch, so to speak, of how much money is owed, the due date, is there
any amount overdue, etc. This could be challenging if previous invoices
have only been partially paid.
To facilitate timely invoice processing and payments, we have extended
the Invoices Information section on the customer self-care interface
with the following fields:


Balance Due – This represents the remaining amount a customer
must pay for their invoice.
Last Invoice Due Date – This shows the date by which the last
invoice should be paid. If no payment is received for this invoice
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or the invoice is only partially paid and the due date has passed,
the invoice is considered overdue.
Last Invoice Amount – This represents the last invoice total plus
whatever unpaid amount from any and all previous invoices owed
by the customer at the time of invoice generation.
Overdue Balance – This represents the total remaining balance
for all overdue invoices. The overdue balance decreases as
payments are received.
Last Payment Received on – This shows the amount of the last
payment and the date when this transaction took place.
For example, an invoice was generated for a customer on February 1st and
the following information was displayed on their self-care interface:
This means that the customer must pay $100 on their invoice by February
5th and there is no overdue balance.
The customer doesn’t pay the invoice in a timely manner, so on March 1st,
another invoice for $50 is sent. As of March 1st the balance due is $150
and now there is overdue balance which equals $100. The last payment
amount and date remain the same (since no payment was made) and the
last invoice due date changes to March 5th, correspondingly. On March 2nd
the customer makes a payment of $80. The following information is
displayed on their self-care interface:
Thus, the customer can see that he has an overdue balance of $20, and
must pay $70 to cover the invoices in full.
With enhanced invoice information on self-care interface, it is easier for
customers to understand their invoices and make payments on time.
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Ability to Reverse Multiple xDRs
Imagine that a customer makes a call, the call is established, but the sound
quality is poor. The customer hangs up and tries to call the same
destination again. Sound issues persist (due to complications on the
vendor’s side) and the customer tries several times more, but finally calls
your support team to complain about the sound. You appreciate your
customers and so you agree to credit all calls that suffered poor sound
quality.
To credit a call you need to create a reverse xDR. Now we offer the
option for creating multiple reverse transactions simultaneously.
To do this, open the xDR Browser, select the xDRs you want to reverse
and click the
Revert button. A dialog box will appear where you can
review the total amount to be reversed (calculated as the sum of selected
xDRs amounts), specify the reason for making the credit and select
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whether to hide the original and reverse xDRs from the customer. Click
Revert to finish creating reverse transactions.
Additional Information about Balances
It’s essential to provide your customers with information about their
unpaid and overdue invoices.
To facilitate this, we added a section that contains aggregates of invoiced
amounts. To review them go to the Edit Customer page and click the
Payment Info tab:
Alternatively, go to the Edit Customer page, open the Invoices page and
click Search:
The section provides the following information:
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 Last Payment received on – The amount of the last payment
received and the date of receipt.
 Outstanding Balance – What a customer must pay to cover all
invoices.
 Overdue Balance – A customer’s total overdue invoiced amount.
Let’s review the following examples of outstanding and overdue balances.
A customer receives 3 invoices for amounts of $50, $35 and $40 and
makes a payment of $20.
The customer’s outstanding balance is now:
$50 + $35 + $40 - $20 = $105.
In a week the first two invoices become overdue.
The outstanding balance remains: $105 (the customer made no new
payments and received no new invoices).
The overdue balance is now: $50 + $35 - $20 = $65.
Information on aggregates of invoiced amounts is available for resellers,
distributors, representatives and their subentities (except accounts).
Additional Variables for SMS and Email
Notifications Templates
Notifications via SMS and emails are becoming more personal and
informative. Starting from this release you may include the following
information in the notifications for your customers:
 firstname – Customer’s name. This value is taken from the
Customer management page -> the Address Info tab -> the First
Name field.
 lastname – Customer’s surname. This value is taken from the
Customer management page -> the Address Info tab -> the Last
Name field.
 date_from – Represents the start date of the billing period.
 date_to – Represents the end date of the billing period.
 overdue_balance – Represents the balance remaining for all
overdue invoices.
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What’s New in Maintenance Release 46?
This release includes several new features and improvements:
 An administrator is prompted to assign an owner batch to a
reseller – When trying to allocate DID numbers to a reseller with
no owner batch assigned via the DID Inventory, the dialog box
appears and prompts the administrator to assign a corresponding
owner batch to this reseller.
The owner batch can be assigned to a reseller using this very
dialog box, thus saving an administrator a bit of time.

The Release Media upon Connection option, which establishes
direct gateway-to-gateway media stream / communication after
processing a call by the IVR application has been added. If this
option is enabled, the RTP stream from a gateway goes through
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the Media Server, where the IVR application answers an incoming
call. When the end-user defines how the call is to be further
processed in the IVR menu and the outgoing call is established
through the same or another gateway, the Media Server no longer
participates in further call flow (leaving the RTP traffic to be
handled by gateway(s) only). This feature may decrease the
amount of network traffic required for calls processed by IVR
applications, but in turn, it disables call recording and NAT
traversal functionality as well as music on hold function and
voiceover announcements during the call. This option was added
to the following IVR applications:
o Prepaid card calling
o Callback calling
o One-stage calling
o Pass-through IVR

Fax-only mode for Unified Messaging – With this release, the
Fax-only mode service attribute allows administrators to
configure a phone line as a dedicated fax machine. When the Faxonly mode is set to Yes (e.g. for an account that represents a
DID number), every incoming call to this number will be
answered with “start fax” tones, indicating that it will only receive
fax messages. Thus the phone line will serve as a dedicated fax
line, emulating the behavior of a legacy fax machine. When the
Fax-only mode is set to No, the voicemail mode is enabled for
the phone line and allows a caller to leave a voice message which
can be listened to later.
End users can select which mode (fax-only or voicemail) to use
for their phone lines on the account self-care interface.
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Usage charges are shown in billing units in the xDR browser
– End users found it more convenient to see usage charges in
units in which prices are established (for example, in minutes for
voice calls and megabytes or gigabytes for broadband Internet
connection services).
To provide a better user experience, the xDR browser now shows
usage charges for the selected services in billing units (i.e., units in
which prices are established for end users).

The administrator can now enter any valid IP address to the
account’s Forward to SIP URI field to forward calls using
the “SIP URI forward” feature – The end user, on their selfcare interface, can only select SIP proxies that are listed in the
customer’s Permitted SIP Proxies list, as before.

Subscription Type and Discounts are visible on the
Subscription Management Page now – These two columns
were added to the table to provide more information for quick
viewing. Now a PortaBilling® administrator can quickly capture
the main properties of all subscription plans at a glance. This
enhancement saves administration time.
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
The Geo-redundancy solution now supports the PortaSIP®
Presence Server – Now you can continue to deliver the presence
service to your users during an outage at the “main” site.

Managed by option for cloning tariffs – To create a tariff for
charging sub-customers of a particular reseller, now an
administrator can simply clone the tariffs that are applied to your
direct customers.
This is possible with the Managed by option which has been
added to the cloning tariffs functionality. When a tariff is cloned,
the administrator can specify that the new tariff is managed by a
particular reseller (to be used to charge the reseller’s subcustomers). Rates in the new tariff are exactly the same as in the
original and are provided to the reseller by example only. The
reseller then adjusts them in accordance with actual selling rates.
Note that the Manage by option is only available for cloning Customer type
tariffs.

Additional functionalities supported by the New Media
Server –Functionalities that are used to process calls made by
screened accounts (to prompt the user to confirm his identity by
entering the “service unblock” code) and to notify a caller when
he dials a ported number are now supported by the New Media
Server.

The Payment Remittance – TransferTo IVR application is
now supported by the New Media Server – By calling the
access number associated with this application, end-users can send
funds from their accounts to customers of mobile carriers.
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
We improved our xDR import utility – Now, before sending an
xDR for accounting, the utility queries PortaBilling® about
whether any additional billing rules apply for this calling or / and
called number or other xDR parameters. If PortaBilling® answers
positively, the xDR import utility adds these rules to the
accounting request. This ensures proper charging for many kinds
of xDRs – those that represent on-net calls, local calls or calls
made from / to ported numbers, etc.

We now support the Cielo payment processor – This may be
of much interest to Brazilian providers, since Cielo is the largest
Brazilian credit and debit card operator as well as being known for
having the lowest rate of eCommerce fraud in the Brazilian
market.
Important Upgrade Notes

When updating PortaSwitch® to MR46, be aware that all resellers
who have the Callshop Enabled check-box selected on the
Additional Info tab, will become callshop resellers after the
update (that is, will be permitted to only provide callshop
services). If your resellers only provide callshop services to their
end users, no additional actions are required on your side.
However, if your resellers are not involved in the callshop
business, but have the Callshop Enabled check-box selected –
they must uncheck the box before the update.
If your resellers provide callshop and other services
simultaneously, the best workaround would be as follows: for
such resellers, an administrator unchecks the Callshop Enabled
check-box before the update. After the update, these resellers
create their own callshop resellers. The callshop resellers then
configure all the required callshop services via their self-care
interface.
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Allocating DID numbers to a customer via the DID
Inventory – When an administrator allocates a DID number to a
customer, it is no longer necessary for the customer to have an
owner batch explicitly assigned to him / her. If any owner batch
has been previously assigned to the customer, the charges defined
for it will be ignored and instead, the charges defined in the
owner batch of a DID number will apply.
However, if customers allocate DID numbers themselves (i.e. by
using on-demand DID provisioning), they are required to have
the owner batch with the DID markup assigned to them, because
they are billed according to the pricing parameters defined in this
owner batch.

DID workflow after a software upgrade – During a software
upgrade, all DIDs allocated to a customer will be added to the
customer’s owner batch to preserve the long-standing workflow.
Legacy DIDs without fees associated with them and not allocated
to customers will be left as is. To start using those DIDs, it is
necessary to assign them to an owner batch and allocate them to a
customer or a reseller.

API methods for the call queue configuration have been
changed and moved from the PortaSIP® Media Server to the
PortaBilling® Web Server – To use the API for the call queue
configuration your external application must now use the following
SOAP URI (namespace):
o https://portabilling-web.yourdomain.com/Porta/SOAP/Customer
All SOAP requests to PortaBilling® API must now be sent to the
following URL:
o https://portabilling-web.yourdomain.com:<port>/soap/
Please replace the portabilling-web.yourdomain.com with your actual
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PortaBilling® web server hostname.
Replace <port> with the required port.

Improved subscription charges – When a subscription with
activation option “At the given start date” is assigned to an
account and this account has the activation date defined as
sometime in the future, the subscription will only start to be
charged after the account is activated. This assures that end users
are only charged when they use services.

Hide CLI becomes part of product service configuration –
The Hide CLI service feature that allows you to remove CLI
(ANI) information for outgoing calls is now included as part of
the product service configuration.
Note that Hide CLI will no longer be present in the customer
service configuration, but can still be configured for individual
accounts.

Auto Attendant service is becoming more user-friendly – A
list of changes has been applied to the Action tab:
o There is a new Edit
button for editing actions.
o Column Event has been renamed User Input.
© 2000-2015 PortaOne, Inc. All rights Reserved. www.portaone.com
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Maintenance Release 46: New Features Guide
o Additional information is displayed in the fourth column.
o Adding a new action is now realized via a dialog window.
o With the Directory action, a customer may select the
Announce extension numbers check box and then the auto
attendant will announce the extensions to the caller.

All incoming calls to accounts with the SIP Static Contact
enabled are delivered to PortaProxy – When an incoming call
arrives (whether by TCP or UDP transport protocols) to the DID
number with the SIP Static contact feature enabled, it is sent to
this number via PortaProxy (UDP/TCP 5060 port).

The Subscriptions page has been redesigned on the account
self-care interface – The Subscriptions page on the account
self-care interface has been re-named to Products and Services
and redesigned to deliver a more intuitive user experience. The
Products and Services page presents information about
subscription plans that apply to the account, subscription plans’
recurring fees and “billed till” dates for subscriptions charged in
advance.
© 2000-2015 PortaOne, Inc. All rights Reserved. www.portaone.com
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
Maintenance Release 46: New Features Guide
Timestamps in Call List and Call Diagram are displayed in User
Time Zone – For convenience, PortaBilling® users now see the time of
the calls in their own time zone.
The PortaSIP® server time zone appears when your mouse hovers over
Date / Time column of the call diagram. The raw log under the call
diagram remains in the PortaSIP® Server time zone.
© 2000-2015 PortaOne, Inc. All rights Reserved. www.portaone.com
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