Archive for November, 2007

International Phone Formats

Since version 7, Siebel has had a somewhat confusing treatment of international phone numbers: numbers entered in the default format are stored simply with the country code, while numbers entered in any other format have a format string appended after a character return. All phone numbers are then displayed in either the default format or with their specific format string applied. You with me?

To illustrate with some examples….

Suppose the following default formats are defined using the PHONE_FORMAT LOVs:

Type Display Value Language-Independent Code Order
PHONE_FORMAT (000) 000-0000 (000) 000-0000 1
PHONE_FORMAT (00) 0000 0000 (00) 0000 0000 61

The Display Value defines the format for the number, while the Order equates to a country code – so +1 for US, +61 for AUS.

Now, let’s assume we’re running the Siebel Client on an Australian workstation. How do different numbers get treated?

User Entered Displayed As Stored As
0298766543 (02) 9876 6543 +610298766543
(02) 9876 7654 (02) 9876 7654 +610298767654
+610298768765 (02) 9876 8765 +610298768765
+61 02 9876 5432 02 9876 5432 +610298765432
00 0000 0000
0412 3456 7890 0412 3456 7890 +61041234567890
0000 0000 0000
(0423) 3456-5678 (0423) 3456-5678 +61042334565678
(0000) 0000-0000
+14321239876 +1(432) 123-9876 4321239876
+1 432 123 8765 +1(432) 123-8765 4321238765

Essentially, non-American numbers get stored as a continuous string of numbers, including the country code and ‘+’ international indicator. If the number is entered in a format that matches the default format, then that’s it. If the number is entered with a specific format, then this format is appended to the phone number. The separator between the actual phone number and the format string is a character return plus line feed [CHAR(13) || CHAR(10)].

This vanilla behaviour causes all sort of problems with integration – CTI, EAI, SQL etc – to the extent that most 7+ implementations I’ve worked on have ended up with some form of scripting to get around it. I’ll talk about some of the impacts and workarounds in more detail in future.

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November 13, 2007 at 8:45 am 1 comment


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