How to change default Cisco IP Communicator backgroundadmin | March 2, 2011
I’ve recently been asked by my management to change the default Cisco IP Communicator (CIPC) background. And by change they meant ‘force’ a new background to all users with important informations on it so that every users would actually see it.
Cisco provides a way to add new backgrounds to CIPC in a centralized way by puting new backgrounds images on the communications manager’s TFTP server(s). This allows you to offer your users a list of new backgrounds but it doesn’t allow you to “force” a particular background to all CIPC deployed in your organisation.
Here is what Cisco documentation says about this :
You can provide users with a choice of background images for their Cisco IP Communicator phone screens. Users select the background image that appears on the phone screen from the Settings button > User Preferences > Background Images.
The image choices come from PNG images and an XML file (called List.xml) that are stored on the TFTP server used by the phone. By storing your own PNG files and editing the XML file on the TFTP server, you can designate the background images from which users can choose. In this way, you can provide custom images, such as your company logo.You can customize the background images that are available at your site by creating your own PNG files and editing the List.xml file
If allowing users to choose their background in a list you’ll provide to them looks as a good solution for you, I suggest you read the Administrator Guide For Cisco IP Communicator from Cisco in order to find how to implement it. For us, this was no good solution for two reasons. First of all because management wanted to force a new background but also because in our organisation we choosed during CIPC rollout to prevent users from accessing the settings button on their CIPC. This means that users cannot access the Background Images menu.
I then came to the conclusion that editing or replacing the default background image was our only solution. I first though that I’ll find the default background image on the communication manager TFTP server. But I was wrong. I searched for .png files on it but all I found was customized background images for our desk phones. Here is what Cisco documentation says about the defaut background image :
Cisco IP Communicator software includes a default background image. This image is not defined in the List.xml file. Cisco IP Communicator displays the default image if you do not create custom images or if there is an error retrieving a custom image. The default image is always the first image that appears in the Background Images menu.
It is now clear that the background image comes with the software and is already on all computers with CIPC installed on it. Default installation folder for CIPC is c:\program files\cisco systems\cisco ip communicator. In this folder, two subfolders contain image used by CIPC : “\images” and “\skins” but none of them contains the background.
You have to look in a file named Win32sccp.jar (but I assumed it is the same in Win32sip.jar for those using SIP) with an file extractor like WinRar. This file is a Java Archive file used to agregate many files used by CIPC into one. It is decompressed at CIPC startup in a temp folder and everything is cleaned up as soon as CIPC is completely started. You will then have to replace or edit the background file located in the archive file. No need to say that this has to be done when CIPC isn’t running.
Cisco IP Communicator Administrator guide release 7 : http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/cipc/7_0/english/administration/guide/cag70inf.html
This has been tested with Cisco IP Communicator 18.104.22.168 on Windows XP SP2 and comes without warranty.