The Asterisk dev team has released Asterisk 1.4.0, the first in the 1.4 series. The Asterisk project releases a major version about once a year. This series includes T.38 Fax over IP passthrough support, HTML manager, a new version of AEL (Asterisk Extension Language), IMAP storage of voicemail, Jabber/GoogleTalk integration, a jitterbuffer for RTP, whisper paging, and many more other new features.
Asterisk 1.4.0 Released
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2006-12-27 2:08 amgesperon
Asterisk is an invaluable piece of software… One project also worth a try is sipxpbx. The only thing that I wish is an open source VoIP project with carrier-grade features similar for example to BroadWorks…. anyways, congratulations to the asterisk team
I’d like to see a comparison of Asterisk verses something like Interactive Intelligence’s solutions. How would a phone client from Asterisk compare to interaction client? As well as the Asterisk server against CIC? I guess the better question would be are the two comparable or are they entirely separate beasts?
I tried to install Asterisk to handle my VoIP. Lets just say that Asterisk is not the easiest thing to get up and running. Essentially you (the admin) are expected to program the damn thing (after reading the Book of course).
In the end I just gave up, rewriting a dozen configurationfiles looking more lika a programming language than configurations isn’t my idea of “installation”. OpenSER on the other hand was quite easy to set up (well compared to Asterisk atlest).
Contrast this with something like Wildfire (the jabber server), which is more or less plug and play.
2006-12-27 3:23 amrussellb
Well, it isn’t quite fair to compare Asterisk to a jabber server. A jabber server supports a single technology – Jabber. An Asterisk server can potentially support a number of different technologies:
For VoIP, there are several protocols, including SIP, IAX2, MGCP, H323, Cisco Skinny, and Jingle (the protocol used with GoogleTalk). Then, for traditional telephony technology, there are another large set of protocols to support, including various different types of analog signalling, to digital signalling such as PRI and SS7.
Now, after implementing all of these technologies, Asterisk includes an extreme amount of flexibility for customization. All of this leads to an intimidating amount of *possible* configuration.
However, Asterisk now has a web GUI as of version 1.4. You get ease of configuration at the expense of loss of flexibility. That’s the story with any graphical interface, really. But, in any case, it addresses the ease of configuration for most scenarios.
If you are interested in the GUI, I would recommend trying out AsteriskNOW:
2006-12-27 3:23 amnaelurec
In many ways, it IS an OS/programming language for your phone system. Routing calls via different routes, building complex menu systems, developing applications (ie reservation systems, weather reports, automated technical support, etc..), attaching a wide variety of phones, leveraging the internet for your telephony backbone, interfacing with POTS (or as a bridge for POTS/VOIP), developing complex rules for call centers, help desks, etc..
Fortunately there are other projects that take that power and simplify it for certain markets .. Ie Trixbox is geared toward home and small businesses and provides full web-based configuration which ends up being quite simple to setup but still retains the full Asterisk system if you need to tap into that.
Anyways .. while I have played with both Asterisk and Trixbox quite a bit, I have yet to deploy it .. it is very tempting when comparing its feature set and price point compared to the alternatives.
2006-12-27 3:27 amrussellb
Also, note that the SIP support provided by OpenSER and Asterisk are two different things, really. They compliment each other *very* well, actually. OpenSER is a SIP proxy. Asterisk supports SIP, but many other protocols as well.
Many people use SER or OpenSER in front of Asterisk as the SIP registrar and proxy, and have Asterisk behind it as an application server for use with PSTN termination or things like conferencing, call queues, or voicemail.
2006-12-27 3:35 amPriest
It is rather complex, but the short way may be to use Trixbox(Linux distro), it comes with Asterisk and FreePBX (An HTTP based front end for admin of Asterisk) out of the box.
Here is a short tutorial to set up a phone on the platform.
Granted, Trixbox is probably still on 1.2.x and with Asterisk now featuring an http based GUI in 1.4, I am not sure if FreePBX will still remain popular.
2006-12-27 8:34 amSoulbender
“Essentially you (the admin) are expected to program the damn thing”
Yea, pretty much like you have to do with a “real” PBX. In fact, those are usually even harder to configure.
“OpenSER on the other hand was quite easy to set up (well compared to Asterisk atlest).”
These two aren’t comparible. Asterisk is a complete PBX supporting a multitude of protocols, features and hardware while OpenSER is, well, a SIP server.
This is not meant as deriding OpenSER, when it is the right tool for the job it is a very good choice just like how when you need an actual PBX Asterisk is the better choice.
“Contrast this with something like Wildfire”
Wildfire is even less comparable, it’s totally different technology.
Edited 2006-12-27 08:35
2006-12-27 8:24 pmStephenBeDoper
If you’re a cynic, it makes sense when put in the context that Asterisk (the company) relies primarily on the business model of offering consulting services for Asterisk (the software).
2006-12-27 9:05 pmrussellb
First of all, there is no company called “Asterisk”. The company that is the primary sponsor and developer of Asterisk, is <a href=”http://www.digium.com“>Digium. Also, Digium’s primary business is not consulting. It is providing the necessary hardware to connect Asterisk to the traditional telephone network.
Asterisk is the software equivalent of duct tape and a cheap answering machine. Its entirely programmed in BASIC, and the code is so bad that the original developer is ashamed to even hear it mentioned.
Additionally, a large portion of the source code was stolen from Skype. This case is currently being litigated, and it is expected that the Asterisk project will be terminated in early 2007. Unlike other soft pbx systems, Asterisk only works with cheap low-end hardware, soldered together by volunteers in their spare time. Real VoIP phones, like those from Cisco, don’t even work with Asterisk.
Guys, please ignore the previous post. Thanks to cookies, my dumbass buddy was able to post that crap using my computer. I love Asterisk. Dave’s an idiot.
Regards, Franz Meininger.
2006-12-27 6:22 amcerbie
Disregard? I got a decent laugh out of it!
I wonder if maybe your dumbass buddy has had to put up with an asterisk server being tinkered with on a regular basis? Maybe he’s just good at BSing, but it was an awfully good joke post.
Does anyone know something more about this?
I mean, what does in mean in practice? It acts as a jabber server with voip capabilities (so I can replace my jabberd2 server)? it can sync a SIP/IAX extension with a remote jabber account?
I cannot find info about these (very interesting) topics…
2006-12-27 9:06 pmrussellb
Asterisk essentially acts as a jabber client.
You can send jabber messages and get the status of other jabber users in the dialplan. You can also make and receive calls over GoogleTalk. That means you can connect GoogleTalk users to any other technology that Asterisk supports.
This has to be one of the greatest examples of what open source software can produce. Closed versions of these sorts of systems can cost tens of thousands. I fully support this product – it’s an excellent piece of work.