This topic describes how scripts are used in Cisco Unity Express.

  • Use Cisco Unity Express script editor to write auto-attendant scripts.
  • Customize the auto-attendant and IVR scripts:
    1. Create prompts.
    2. Receive input.
    3. Perform tasks.

Cisco Unity Express uses scripts to control call processing for applications such as the Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant or IVR. A script that is stored in Cisco Unity Express runs in response to a request from a user or a predetermined condition. The scripts allow callers to receive recorded audio messages and prompts for further action.

If, for example, a caller calls a business during nonbusiness hours, the caller can hear either a recorded message stating the business hours of operation or a prompt to leave a message. The message and prompt are the result of the Cisco Unity Express software running a script.


Cisco Unity Express scripts do not support database integration on skill-based routing.

Cisco Unity Express Script Editor

This topic describes the Cisco Unity Express script editor.

Download the Cisco Unity Express script editor from and install it on a Windows PC. You may also download script examples that you can reuse and modify for your purposes. This editor allows for the easy construction of scripts by using prebuilt modules, called steps. Place the logic-block steps in a specific order to provide the required service. You can then save these steps to a script that you can upload to the Cisco Unity Express module.

The figure shows the script editor with an opened auto-attendant script. On the top left, you see the navigation pane with the steps that you can use. A script always requires a start step and an end step. In between those steps, you can configure other available steps to meet your requirements.

The top section on the right shows the script with all its used steps. Use the comments to describe what the script is doing. The programming is like other programming languages but is simplified by dragging and dropping the steps into the correct script flow.

In the bottom left pane, you see the variables that you can add (for example, string, integer, Boolean, or other). You can preset the variable values in the script or initialize the variables when the script is triggered.

The lower right window shows debugging information when using reactive debugging on Cisco Unity Express.

Editor Express

This topic describes Editor Express and the possible scripting options.

System > Scripts allows you to customize the auto-attendant call handling.

  • Submenu allows nested levels of call handling.
  • Upload new prompts.

The administrator can use Editor Express to configure scripts on the Cisco Unity Express system. Click Add Action to add an option and choose the key and corresponding action from the drop-down menus. In the example that is shown in the figure, pressing 1 will connect you to the extension 1000, pressing 2 plays a welcome prompt, and so forth. You can choose one of the default prompts, or you can upload department or location-based prompts.

Application Ports

This topic describes how to manage the Cisco Unity Express application ports.

  • The number of application ports cannot exceed the available Cisco Unity Express module ports.
  • Configure maximum sessions so that each application will have at least one port available for an incoming call.
  • Example: Module maximum 8 ports, 3 applications each with a maximum of 4, 3, and 3 ports. Worst-case scenario comes if any two applications reach maximum sessions (4 + 3 = 7 ports used).

One of the parameters that administrators can configure for the voicemail and auto-attendant applications is the maximum number of callers who can concurrently access the application at any specific time. This parameter, called maxsessions, is limited by the number of ports on the Cisco Unity Express module.

Consider the expected call traffic when you assign the number of ports to an application. One application might need more ports than another, but each application must have at least one port that is available for incoming calls.

For example, the Cisco Unity Express module has four ports and the administrator assigns four ports to the voicemail application and four ports to the auto-attendant. If four callers access voicemail simultaneously, no ports will be available for auto-attendant callers.

Suppose, instead, that the administrator assigns three ports to the voicemail application and three to the auto-attendant. At no time will one application use all four ports. If voicemail has three active calls, one caller can still access the auto-attendant. A second call to the auto-attendant will not go through at that moment.

Similarly, the administrator must assign the maxsessions parameter to each application trigger, which activates the script of the application. The value of the maxsessions parameter for the trigger cannot exceed the maxsessions value of the system.

As shown in the figure, the Cisco Unity Express module has a maximum of eight available ports. Three applications (called Auto-Attendant, Voicemail, and Prompt Management) are each configured with 4, 3, and 3 ports maximum, respectively. In the worst-case scenario, if any two applications reach their maximum sessions, there will always be at least one port available for the remaining application. That is, if the application called Auto-Attendant and another application are out of their free capacity, the total ports in use is 7 (4+3), therefore leaving one port free for the remaining application.

Call Flow

This topic describes the call flow of an auto-attendant.

  • Calls to a Cisco Unity Express call-in number trigger the associated application (for example, a call to the auto-attendant).
  • The application script runs, performs actions, and plays prompts such as dial-by-extension or return-to-operator.
  • Example: Calls to the auto-attendant extension 2500 trigger the auto-attendant script.

Cisco Unity Express can be configured to use multiple scripts. For example, you may want to create separate scripts for the sales and support departments of an organization. Each script is activated by a separate trigger number or call-in number.

Calls to a Cisco Unity Express call-in number trigger the associated application (for example, the sales auto-attendant). Once triggered, the application script runs. The script performs actions and plays prompts based on the user input. The caller is prompted to choose menu options such as dial-by-extension or return-to-operator.

In the figure, calls to the auto-attendant extension 2500, for example, trigger the auto-attendant script that is called AAScript. The AAScript plays a welcome prompt informing the caller about the available input choices.

Default System Scripts

This topic describes the default system scripts.

A number of default scripts exist in the system, including the following:

  • aa.aef: The system auto-attendant.
  • checkaltgreet.aef: The script that plays the Emergency Alternate Greeting before the system auto-attendant.
  • msgnotify.aef: The script that is used for Session Initiation Protocol endpoint MWI notification.
  • promptmgmt.aef: The script that controls the prompt management system.
  • setmwi.aef: The script that controls the MWI light (on or off).
  • voicebrowser.aef: The script that controls voicemail interaction.
  • xfermailbox.aef: The script that transfers a caller to a mailbox.

This figure shows the system scripts that are present after the installation of Cisco Unity Express. The system uses these seven default scripts to perform system functions such as MWI notifications.

To view or modify scripts, choose System > Scripts. A button is available to view or hide the system scripts. System scripts are indicated with asterisks next to their names and cannot be modified or deleted. Scripts that the administrator creates do not have asterisks next to their names and can be edited.

Administration via Telephone

This topic describes administration through a TUI or GUI.

Delete, record, rerecord, and listen to prompts through TUI or an offline system, then upload to Cisco Unity Express.

Cisco Unity Express Administrator GUI:

  • View the list of prompts on the system.
  • Upload or download prompts.
  • Assign prompts to auto-attendant script parameters.

TUI access:

  • Extension and PIN required; privileges required
  • Entry-point phone number defined for TUI
  • System script menu associated with TUI
  • Call into the TUI number; script walks caller through managing and recording prompts
  • Prompt saved with a unique filename: UserPrompt_DateTime.wav (for example, UserPrompt_08182014132334.wav)

Administrators can use AvT to record a greeting or prompt. AvT features include deleting, recording, rerecording, and listening to prompts. Dial the AvT telephone number and select the option to record a greeting. A script walks you through how to manage and record prompts.

Save the file when the recording is complete. AvT automatically saves the file in Cisco Unity Express. The AvT prompt filename has the format UserPrompt_DateTime.wav (for example: UserPrompt_11152014144055.wav). CLI commands or GUI options can be used to rename the file with a meaningful name.

The Cisco Unity Express Administrator GUI can be used to view the list of prompts on the system. You can also use the GUI to upload or download prompts and assign prompts to auto-attendant script parameters.

Cisco recommends using AvT to record greetings and prompts because AvT provides a higher sound quality when compared to WAV files, which are recorded with other methods.


This topic describes Cisco Unity Express prompts and custom prompts.

  • Five default prompts exist for auto-attendant operations:
  • Administrators can upload their own prompts.
  • Prompt format for files must be *.wav with G.711 mu-law, 8 kHz, 8 bit, mono with a file size limit of 1 MB.
  • Error checking is performed on the file format during upload.
  • The custom prompts capacity (MB/minute) per installed language is 125/250.
  • You can install a maximum of five languages at one time.

A prompt is simply an audio file. To view a list of voicemail prompts, choose System > Prompts. There are five system prompts that are available. These prompts are shown in the figure.

The administrator can also create a WAV file with the following properties:

  • G.711 mu-law, 8 kHz, 8 bit, mono.
  • The file cannot be larger than 1 MB (about 2 minutes).

After recording new WAV files, upload the prompt files to the Cisco Unity Express module. Error checking is performed on the file format when it is uploaded from the GUI. Cisco Unity Express provides the built-in AvT, which lets administrators record customized prompt files directly to the module by using a phone.

Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant Configuration Checklist

This topic describes the steps to configure a new Cisco Unity Express auto-attendant.

  • Configure Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express with a dial peer for the auto-attendant.
  • Prepare the script via the script editor or via Editor Express.
    1. Create and upload required prompts.
    2. Upload offline scripts to Cisco Unity Express.
  • Add an application on Cisco Unity Express.
    1. Associate the script with the application.
    2. Set the number of ports and the pilot number for the application.
  • Test the application by calling the pilot number.

Perform these steps to configure a new Cisco Unity Express auto-attendant.

Cisco Unity Express Script-Editing Options

This topic discusses the Cisco Unity Express script-editing options.

The table shows a comparison of the Cisco Unity Express Editor and the GUI editor.

Editor Express GUI Cisco Unity Express Editor
Directly configures Cisco Unity Express in real time. Configured offline on a PC and uploaded to Cisco Unity Express.
Provides only basic script features such as modifying prompts, dial-by-name, dial-by-extension, and transfer. Advanced script creation. Includes adding new variables for complex scripts.
Simple, easy to use, and intuitive menu. More complex. Step-by-step creation of scripts.
No debug. Not required due to simple menu interface. Script validation and detailed online or offline debugging.

Editor Express is a simplified web-based GUI editor with fewer options compared to the full-featured Cisco Unity Express Editor, which is based on Microsoft Windows.

Editor Express provides high-level steps that enable administrators to create or modify auto-attendant scripts that can be opened and viewed using the full-featured Cisco Unity Express Editor. These high-level steps are the equivalent of a set of steps in the full-featured script editor. For example, features such as dial-by-name are represented as one option using drop-down menus.

The PC-based Cisco Unity Express Editor provides advanced script creation and troubleshooting. Administrators can add new script variables to store and use (for example, the calling number during the call). Scripts can be tested and verified offline before uploading them to Cisco Unity Express.

Editor Express provides only basic script features such as modifying prompt, dial-by-name, dial-by-extension, and transfer. Script changes are applied directly to Cisco Unity Express in real time when the script is saved. Troubleshooting script issues is difficult because Editor Express does not provide any script debugging; on the other hand, the script editing is easy and standardized with basic steps.

When you create a new script, Editor Express also provides a basic script template that can be customized. It is possible to save incomplete scripts and return to them later. In a few situations in which an incomplete script is saved, it might not be usable with the Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant. For example, if a script requests a transfer without providing the number, Cisco Unity Express Editor sends an error message and does not allow the user to save the script.

Editor Express uses the same *.aef file format as the full-featured Cisco Unity Express Editor. Therefore, administrators can use the full-featured script editor to open and modify a script that is generated by Editor Express. However, the reverse is not true. Administrators cannot use Editor Express to open and modify a script that is generated by the full-featured Cisco Unity Express Editor.