When license files meet Macs…

I don’t know about other voice engineers, but my Twitter stream sees a lot of activity around licensing and the fact that Dante himself might have trouble conceiving of a darker hell.  Thinking the entire process could not possibly get more difficult- I proved myself wrong with this particular adventure.

After having completed the ever-so-fun PAK registration process, I take my shiny emailed-to-me license file and attempt to load it to the server.  Right away the server flatly rejects my humble offering – using insulting phrases like “invalid” and “get a life”. (I *might* be exaggerating on that last one…)

What, pray tell, did the server dislike about my generous gift of a license key?  Honestly, no clue at the time. Most commonly the server’s adamant objection centers around the mac address of the server being incorrect in the license file.  So I performed a triple check on the mac, confirmed the correct part number ordered, and promptly pressed the TAC speed dial button on my phone.  (Indeed, I do have TAC on speed dial, a hazard of being a voice engineer…)

After several hrs of checking and rechecking the license file with one TAC engineer, then finally bringing in a fresh set of TAC engineer eyes, the source of the issue was discovered.  My problem was I had a Mac.  Of course, I never feel having a Mac is a problem, but in this case it was working against me.

You see, I was trying to upload the .lic file emailed to me – only it wasn’t exactly the file that had been sent. Outlook for Mac had “helped” me out and converted my license file to Classic Mac format.  Guess who doesn’t truly appreciate license files in anything other than Unix UTF-8 format?  Yep, pretty much any Cisco Unified voice server.

The solution was simple enough – open each .lic file and change the format from “Unicode (UTF-8), with BOM” and “Classic Mac” to “Unicode (UTF-8)” and “Unix (LF)” then re-attempt license upload. Then pour yourself a celebratory shot.

Here’s what you are looking for if doing this in TextWrangler, note this will be at the bottom of the text window:

This is what it looks like when Outlook for Mac has gotten a hold of your .lic file:

This is what it should look like when you’ve set the universe right:

For the record, there is a bug id for this issue, CSCte58452. Specifically it refers to Entourage and Unity Connection 7.1.3 – but my experience proves it’s reach extends to later versions of Outlook for Mac and of Unity Connection.

Here’s a link if you are so inclined, CCO account required: http://tools.cisco.com/Support/BugToolKit/search/getBugDetails.do?method=fetchBugDetails&bugId=CSCte58452

Publish date: 01/08/2012