Microsoft Customer Care Framework
A possible implementation of CCF Agent Desktop
|Stable release||2009 SP 1 / March 31, 2009|
|Development status||Transferred to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Rebranded as Customer Care Accelerator|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Platform||x86 and x86-64|
|Available in||multi language|
|Type||Integration, Automation and Process Enhancement|
Microsoft Customer Care Framework (CCF) was a Microsoft .NET desktop-based framework which was used to address issues faced by service providers caused by multiple line of business (LOB) systems while interacting with their customers. It was discontinued though many of its core functions were moved to an add-in for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM product.
The Customer Care Framework provided a core set of functions for customer support avenues including voice call via call center agents and Internet portals. The framework used other Microsoft server products including the BizTalk Server, and SharePoint. CCF required the use of Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft IIS for the server side, which it uses to provide a base core set of web services.
CCF is different from most products from Microsoft in that it is not an 'out of the box' solution but requires development and configuration to build a working customer solution. The framework allows for a SOA methodology on development on the server and agent desktop side, but this is not mandatory and non-SOA development can be done and is normally the case.
The primary user interface for CCF is the agent desktop. This is a desktop-based user interface (UI) that presents data aggregated from various Line of business (LOB) & OSS/BSS application front ends and presents them in a unified view. CCF does not include an Agent Desktop application, rather samples including source code are provided as part of the framework.
Application Integration Framework (AIF)
The AIF manages the loading of the applications, integration and event brokering. Through the use of adapters (see HAT below) applications can have custom integrations to account for both the technology of the hosted application as well as business processing.
Hosted Application Toolkit (HAT)
HAT allows for the separation of the business rules and the method used to integrate with the application. HAT uses Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) to manage the business rules, Data Driven Adapters (DDAs) to manage the application directly, and Bindings written in XML to connect the two. CCF 2009 SP1 ships with 3 DDAs: Win32, Web, and Java (JDK 1.6). DDAs can be customized or extended for additional application types as needed.
- Customer Care Framework 1.0: released early 2003
- Customer Care Framework 1.1: released 2004; uses .NET Framework 1.1
- Customer Care Framework 1.2: released 2004; uses .NET Framework 1.1
- Customer Care Framework 2.0: released 2005; uses .NET Framework 1.1
- Customer Care Framework 2005 (version 2.5.0): released Jan 2006, uses .NET Framework 1.1
- Customer Care Framework 2005 (QFE 1, version 2.5.1): released April 2006, uses .NET Framework 1.1
- Customer Care Framework 2005 (QFE 2, version 2.5.2): released 2006, uses .NET Framework 1.1
- Customer Care Framework 2005 (QFE 3, version 2.5.3): released August 2006, uses .NET Framework 1.1
- Customer Care Framework 2005 for .NET Framework 2.0 (version 2.6): built on a modified 2.5.3 base; requires .NET Framework 2.0. Contains significant bug fixes to those base areas of CCF where the code is not available.
- Customer Care Framework 2008: released 21 September 2007, uses .NET Framework 3.0
- Customer Care Framework 2009: released 28 October 2008.
- Customer Care Framework 2009 Service Pack 1: released April 2009.
- Customer Care Framework 2009 Service Pack 1 QFE: released August 2009, adds support for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, IE8, dynamic positioning. Adds a shell API, which (amongst others) brings improved CTI support and possibility to develop WPF shells.
There are a number of other products that are similar to CCF.
One is Jacada WorkSpace, which is a Java EE-based solution which is used to wrap applications and present a web UI to clients.
OpenSpan produces a product using .Net that can integrate with CCF or operate standalone to integrate applications. OpenSpan also provides an IDE tool to create the integrations.
Cicero Software likewise produces an application integration product with an IDE.
Corizon provides a platform for Enterprise Mashups that allows Composite applications to be created easily.
Microsoft has a free product called Composite UI Application Block (CAB) which can be used to build composite applications. CAB is used within CCF. CAB does not provide telephone or call center specific integrations, but has tight integration with Visual Studio and many samples including one for call centers. CAB on its own doesn't offer session management and multi-channel capability although the sample code does have some session features.
- Microsoft, Customer Care Framework 2005 .NET 2.0 Edition Deployment Guide, (September 2006), 8-9
- Microsoft, MSDN Webcast: Customer Care Framework (Level 300). Microsoft Events, 18 February 2006.
- Beal, Barney. Microsoft expands its way into the contact center. SearchCRM.com, 19 January 2006.
- Pitsch, Yves. CCF 2009 SP1 QFE. MSDN Blogs, 25 August 2009.
- Fernando, Merill. Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 breaks Microsoft CCF (Customer Care Framework). Merill.net, 26 February 2009.
- Microsoft's CCF Website
- Microsoft Centric WP's and stuff.
- Customer Care Framework On MSDN
- Microsoft delivers Customer Care Framework
- Microsoft's Call Center app
- Microsoft's CCF discussion board
- OpenSpan's Developer Community