Posts Tagged FreePBX
We are working on a new Distro Install Process as we speak.
The plan is to let you go through the normal Centos Setup screens with a full Centos ISO and than we will prompt you with a payload/version option for what version of the Distro you want to install and it would pull down the packages it needs for the Distro like Asterisk, Dahdi, FreePBX and such so the amount of time it spends pulling down packages from the Internet should be about 1/4 of what it currently is with the Net Install only option that we have.
Which brings be to this Blog.
We are trying to come up with a better version number for the Distro mainly because lots of people equate the 1.8.2.x-x with that we are either using Asterisk 1.8.2 or FreePBX 1.8.
What I am thinking of is as followed.
asteriskversion.freepbxversion.centosversion-minor release number.
So for example the next release would be
This would equate to a Asterisk 8.5 with FreePBX 2.9 and Centos 5.5
We will also have a
Which would equate to Asterisk 8.5 with FreePBX 2.9 and Centos 6.0.
I would love feedback from everyone on what they would like to see in regards to version numbering so we can polish off the new Full ISO builds for everyone this week.
This will also allow you to wget the setup script from our webserver and just execute the script on any stock Centos Machine to turn it into a full fledge FreePBX Distro system.
It has now been a little over a month since Tony Lewis announced the release of the new FreePBX Market Place. We have had an excellent response from the FreePBX community on the Professional Modules that have been released thus far. With that said it is apparent that the FaxPro module has stirred up the most interest. I wanted to put this blog out to answer the most common questions I have been getting and explain a little more about the module itself.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on FaxPro.
Q. What is the FaxPro module?
A. The Fax Pro module is a reliable, robust inbound/outbound faxing server. You simply enable faxing for any user on the system; then you point a phone number to specific fax user and let the FaxPro module answer the fax call.
Q. Does the FaxPro module work with T.38?
A. T.38 is handled by asterisk behind the scenes and has nothing to do with the FaxPro module. As long as your system is configured properly you can utilize both inbound and outbound t.38.
Q. Can I use FaxPro with my Trixbox / Elastix / Brand X deployment?
A. No. The FaxPro module can only be used with the FreePBX Distro.
Q. I have a standard Asterisk server, can I use the FaxPro module?
A. No. Again the FaxPro module can only be used with the FreePBX Distro.
Q. How is outbound faxing handled?
A. Outbound faxing is done through a web interface on your FreePBX Distro server. Simply enter the phone number you are faxing to and upload a PDF you would like to fax.
Q. I have a custom asterisk deployment. Can you work with me to implement a faxing solution?
A. We are always happy to discuss the scope of your project to determine if there is an opportunity for us to help. Please contact us.
With 2.9 solidly behind us and one of the most feature rich releases ever, we are really pumped to keep up the momentum and brining you more great things! Several of us (active developers) spent some time last week to map out what we want to try and accomplish in the next release, when it should come out, and tackle the hard problem of what we will need to move out of the 2.10 wish list so that we can get a release out before the end of 2012! Since it’s really important for us to bounce off such plans on all of you, I wanted to share a summary of what is on our mind.
Because the last release cycle was just shy of a year and incorporated some substantial architectural changes, we thought we would take a bit of a breather and shoot for a target date of Astricon 2011 for our next cycle, which means right around Nov 1. Since 2.9 has been out for about a month, this means we have about a 6 month cycle, or 5 months from now. That will gauge what we can and can’t get in.
So what are we planning in that time frame? I will be updating the 2.10 Milestone to reflect more details of our current thoughts, but in a nutshell this is what we have in mind. First, what are the big things going into the release that people have currently signed up for:
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We are excited to have the 2.8 release finalized and released for general availability. We moved to final release status at the beginning of this past week finishing the 2.8 Milestone with 332 closed tickets comprising of 231 bugs and 101 feature requests and similar. As always, a majority of the bug fixes are bugs from version 2.7 and earlier which are usually only addressed in the new release.
The efforts of 2.8 have been going strong since the beginning of March and we extended the beta testing period to assure a solid release since there were several changes in critical sections of the dialplan. There are way too many changes to recap all the added benefits throughout the release, some visible, some hidden. Some of the big areas that had substantial improvements include Outbound Routes (and some visual changes to outbound trunks), the newCompany Directory, some HA related enhancements to the Backup and Restore module, some significant scalability improvements to Queues, visual improvements to tool tips and “destination select boxes” thoughout and a host of other enhancements and new features across the system.
Join the 3900 systems who have moved to 2.8 so far and spend some time digging around to see what new features may be valuable to your system!
While we relish in a job well done on 2.8, the steam is already building up on work for 2.9! I mentioned plans around the Endpoint Manager and DAHDi configuration modules in last week’s blog and progress on that front continues to be strong! The definition of other features for 2.9 is still very much in the planning state as you will notice if you visit the 2.9 Milestone. We’ve had some suggestions in the forums and in tickets concerning other important areas people would like us to work on but more input is very welcome. If you already have feature requests in the ticket system, feel free to bump them onto the the radar scope. We will be looking though existing requests but they can be easy to miss when there are almost 500 tickets to sift through!
If you have not already noticed, we pushed the FreePBX 2.8 Upgrade Module out to the online repository. This means that you can download and upgrade your 2.7 systems to the current beta as you would any other module! This was done earlier this week and we’ve already seen a significant number of new systems upgrade to 2.8 as a result of this.
We are really excited about this new release and all that it brings. Just as exciting is the extremely low bug rate since we “opened the flood gates” by enabling the Version Upgrade module and all the new systems it has brought online. If the incident rate remains as low as it has we will probably be looking at a Release Candidate as early as next week! We’ve had early beta testers actively using the system for a few months now so confidence is high that this release is in a good state to move forward!
We provided a Sneak Preview of the release in an earlier blog, and have discussed just a few of the exciting features such as the Company Directory Module and the enhanced Remote Backup (e.g poor man’s HA) capabilities in earlier blogs as well.
There are way too many enhancements both big and small to try and list them here, and some of them you may find are quite “hidden” without digging though. For example, did you know that you can now collapse/expand categories in the Left Navigation bar by simply clicking on the category? If you are really picky, have a look at the new “secret”freepbx_admin.conf INI file, which lets you completely re-arrange the layout and names on the Left Navigation bar. (Sorry, there’s no GUI or module for that yet, maybe in the future…).
For those of you who have followed the attempts to get the Custom Contexts module ported to 2.8, you will be glad to know that the upgrade has happened and the module now functions properly on 2.8. In addition, it has had a handful of minor enhancements and other fixes that were previously not there. You’ll notice, for example, that the context text box is no longer present on extensions/devices; and on device types that can’t have a custom context assigned, the select box no longer shows up. You’ll also find that the context orders are now properly sorted based on the assigned priority and Outbound Routes default to the proper route order as dictated by the Outbound Route’s module when given equivalent priorities.
For now, we are looking forward that you to spend some time exploring all the small and big things we have done with version 2.8. As we wrap up this milestone, we are really excited to start planning for the next one. We have some great ideas in mind and as always we’ll be sifting through the trac system looking at open tickets to consider when planning the next release. We’ve also been thinking about a new facelift as it’s been a while, maybe we’ll get motivated … stay tuned!
In our never ending quest to make FreePBX the best phone system that doesn’t require money to buy (and even better than most that do cost money…), allow us to introduce you to the latest features in the Backup & Restore module. Last week we alluded to a critical server error, but left you guessing as to how we address that. This is a big step in that direction.
Along with the kind assistance provided by some customers of FreePBX Professional Support (in the form of time donated for a feature they needed for their business), the boys over at Schmoozecom Com (disclaimer: including yours truly) have once again surpassed all expectations. As of FreePBX 2.8, (currently in beta – more on that later) the Backup module includes built in support for High Availability clustering!
The following is an interview I had with Me (aka myself), elaborating on the new features:
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Version 2.8 has really shaped up with quite a few new features from when we first launched the 2.8 Milestone. I’m really excited to see many of the changes and nuggets of features that we have squeezed into this release since kicking it off just 3 months ago! We are almost at the home stretch so roll up your sleeves and help us get there!
We started out highlighting the All New Directory which has panned out quite nicely. We still need to get some better recordings made up to polish off the default recordings but we are very much looking for your feedback on what’s there so far. Also, don’t miss the tie-in with the 2.8 IVR which let’s you enable direct dialing to Directory members in addition to or in place of the dial-by-name functionality.
I showed some Sneak Previews of some of the changes including several visual improvements such as the double cascading destination selections and the new Outbound Routes and Trunks Dial Rules GUI boxes. However, as excitement built up for this release so did the additional contributions, bug fixes and various other great ideas that have made this another blockbuster release! As of this blog, there are 223 closed tickets against the milestone so far, of which about 1/3 of those are new Feature Requests, big and small!
For those of you who followed the efforts of Kenn10 and the Custom Context Efforts, it looks like that was a success so I will be coordinating with Kenn10 to get that effort under way as well!
Since there are several changes in some of the critical core components of the dialplan, I’m approaching this beta more cautiously then usual. We could really use another wave of testing and new testers before I add the 2.8 Version Upgrade module to the 2.7 repository. Your help in both flushing out any issues or giving us other feedback about things you like (or dislike) would be very welcome! (For instance – check out the Accordion effect on the Left Module navigation bar – do we keep that, or put it back the way it was, or other suggestions?)
With this beta2 release we are more-or-less freezing new features on 2.8. There is a small handful of changes that we plan on rolling in and did not want to hold up beta2, but beyond these, we will be pushing most new feature requests out until we get 2.8 finalized.
There are two options to install or upgrade to 2.8 and help us test. If you want to stick with the GUI only, you can manually download the 2.8 Upgrade Module onto your existing FreePBX install and then upgrade though the Module Admin GUI.
You can get the Upgrade module here:
which is not yet available through the online repository until we get a little more testing done.
Which ever route you take, please give us feedback either here, though the ticket system or in the forums to help us drive this release to a final version!
Philippe - On behalf of the FreePBX Team
Do you use the Dial-by-Name option of the current FreePBX Directory? If no, read on as you might find there is goodness to come. If yes, have you ever wanted to add a user with no voicemail? have your admin called instead of you? wanted to add a Ring Group or Queue to it, call an external cell phone, or more?
The current Dial-by-Name directory achieves some basic goals but has always left a lot to be desired. In a lot of use cases it was plagued with issues that made it less than desirable and in my opinion often not viable.
If all your users had voice mail boxes, and all your users were on the same system, and none of your users were reachable via Queues, Ring Groups, or Custom Extensions, and you didn’t need to exclude any voice mail user from the list, and you’re happy with the default prompts, and [your own specific needs here] – then it was great to have around. For the rest of us, read on…
The FreePBX development team, in conjunction with Schmooze Com are proud to announce the all-new Directory Module. We have aimed to fix just about every thing that was wrong with the old directory – and then some. Some of the features that we are really excited about include:
- Add/Remove just about anything anyone/thing that you can spell
- Include users from other systems (by setting a custom user)
- Multiple directories
- Multiple entries (for different spelling/tags)
- Include all users or just some
There are other features as well, but we wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise! Nevertheless, here is a screen shot of the new Directory (spoiler alert ):
“The v3 ISO is almost here…” and then the schedule slips again. If you’ve been around software long enough you know that release dates always slip. Luckily, unlike some of the big software giants out there, we try not to slip our schedules by years We also have an excuse, it’s Open Source, which makes it a bit harder to control the resources when almost all of them are community members donating their time to the project while often trying to run their own businesses as well! Here are some updates on the v3 ISO, version 2.8 and a popular third party module in need of help, Custom Contexts.
The v3 code is in pretty good shape as Darren pointed out in his blog last week. There are a handful of bugs that are being worked but what’s a few bugs… and there is an upgrade capability in v3 to update the code, a precursor to its future “Module Admin” capability. For now the biggest delay is simply getting the ISO processes built so we can get some ISOs out to you.
Since v3 will run both Asterisk and FreeSWITCH we will have two ISOs initially, at least until we can get fancy to allow Asterisk or FreeSWITCH to be chosen during ISO install time. We seem to be in good shape on the Asterisk front. Bryan (GameGamer43) with Schmoozecom.com has offered to leverage their ISO process used for their robust commercial products and put together a CentOS 5 based ISO since they have all the required Asterisk RPMs build and readily available to generate one.
We are a little lacking on the FreeSWITCH front though. No one has stepped up to offer help in generating the FreeSWITCH RPM for the ISO. Talking with the great folks over in “FreeSWITCH Land” they do have a spec file that should build the required RPMs but we are looking for someone who is willing to do that so that we can get them over to Bryan to spin up the FreeSWITCH version of the v3 ISO. If you would like to help move things along, please let us know or even better, send us the RPMs!. (PM me if this is something you would be willing to help with!) We’ll get it to the FreeSWITCH team as well so that they can make it available to anyone.
The 2.8 version has been moving along quite nicely and I’m not too far off from making it available to a larger audience. We originally had it pegged for the middle of May but just moved it into June to deal with the need to balance resources between v3 and 2.8, and get the Company Directory module out and tested which has been moving along but not yet finished.
The early beta testing drew attention to the fact that one of the popular third party modules, Custom Context, will no longer function due to changes we made in the outbound routing section of FreePBX. I previsouly warned about this and it was confirmed with the beta testing of 2.8. This has resulted in quite a few threads being spurred both in our forums as well as those of other distros that package FreePBX (whether they call it FreePBX or not…).
One of our community members, kenn10, decided to take it upon himself to see if he could rally up support from the community to find someone (with my help) to make the required changes and migrations to keep Custom Context in the mix given how important many community members indicated it was in the various forum discussions. I have helped facilitate his efforts by creating a dedicated page and setting up a paypal account to facilitate the collection of needed funds in order to get the module updated so that it continues to work in 2.8 and beyond. I’ve also spent a good amount of time reviewing what is needed to move it forward. (Of course I also contacted the original author to see if they were available to do the modifications (for pay or for free) but unfortunately they indicated that they are having trouble finding time to even sleep these days!)
The reaction has been a bit luke warm to this point considering some of the strong sentiments expressed of the importance of custom context to many resellers and businesses, so kenn10 is waiting patiently to see if the required funds can be raised in order to move forward with the required work. I’m hoping that this blog post may make a few more of you who are making a living off of FreePBX come forward and help make sure that you can continue to use custom context going forward.
If this module is important to you and/or your business, please help yourself and make sure it does not go End of Life! Here is the link with more information and where you can contribute to its future.
For now it’s time to sign off, I’ll be back in another week or so with more.
Philippe – on behalf of the FreePBX Team!
I haven’t posted a blog entry on here previously, so let’s start with an introduction. My name is Darren Schreiber and I’m the creator of the FreePBX v3 software. I wanted to take a chance to update everyone on the state of affairs regarding v3, as there have been some developments, questions and posts that make it clear it’s time for a v3-specific update.
v3 is alive and well and is still actively being developed. We are just a couple weeks out from what we are titling the “FreePBX v3 General Preview”. Consider this more mature than a beta but not quite a production release – we’re really just looking for bugs at this point – but we believe much of the core functionality needed to run a small or medium sized PBX is now there. This includes device setup, multi-user conferencing, voicemail, number management, general call routing, ring groups and basic trunk setup. FreePBX v2 has a history of having extremely reliable upgrades, so we don’t want to tarnish that reputation by releasing too early. Therefore, we’re not *quite* ready to call this production-ready, although it is getting close. We also believe the foundations are there to build features that are missing and to push out updates to folks when a new feature comes along.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what’s new.