PBX Database Conversion Program ALCATEL DEX 600
Project Title: PBX Database Conversion Program ALCATEL DEX 600 (DSC Communications Corp)
Project Start Date: 2016/01
Project Completion Date: 2016/02
Field of Science or Technology: Software Engineering and Technology
Purpose of work
To achieve technological advancement for the purpose of creating new or improving existing materials, devices, products or processes.
Overcoming Uncertainties, Work Performed, Achievements, and Outcome
We were required to convert a proprietary database format used by a DEX 600e Private Branch Exchange (PBX) telephone switch, in order to allow legacy PBX switch data to be migrated to newer switches. We had previously developed a utility to convert a DEX PBX database in 2015, but the database format that we received in this case appeared to be a different version.
Similar to our previous research, the biggest challenge involved reverse engineering of the various related data tables using specifications for the original switch design. In order to be successful, we required specific data samples output from the current system, and we were unsure whether we could obtain enough pertinent sample data to properly reverse engineer the format. As mentioned in the initial claim, any available documentation available was for the earliest (initial) releases and little information applied to the more recent databases.
We reverse engineered this different database format through analysis of the raw data alongside table outputs provided by the client. We had the assistance of an administrator familiar with the PBX system who generated some sample tables based on specifications that we requested, in order to reverse engineer the unknown data that differed from the other versions. After a number of iterations of table dumps, we were able to eventually gather enough information to determine the relationships between the various tables.
We were successfully able to reverse engineer the data table structures for this database version. We enhanced the code for our current conversion utility to include this new structure and are now able to support a wider range of phone system PBX telephone switches.