FreePBX 15: Feedback Wanted!

FreePBX Suggestion Box

As we enter 2018, we decided to take a step back and reflect on what we’ve accomplished as a community in the last year.

It’s been a long year and a rather busy one for FreePBX. Throughout the year we saw several improvements to FreePBX 13, but one of the most notable included improved directory support in User Manager. This gave users the ability to setup multiple Active Directories, LDAP, or even internal directories to control their users on the PBX and even auto-create extension from the directories their company already uses.

By now you’ve probably heard that we released FreePBX 14 on August 2, 2017, as well as our Enterprise Linux 7 based distro, which contained a slew of updates. Fast forward to December and we announced the General Availability of our 6 to 7 distro upgrade script which has been in Beta since our EL7 based distro was released.

Since the release of FreePBX 14, we’ve been digging through tickets trying to find some of the biggest pain points and we think we’ve found a couple of good ones. The first one we found was that it hasn’t always been easy to restore a previous backup to the latest version of FreePBX. In fact, if you were going between versions, FreePBX didn’t even support it. Well, you’ll be happy you know that this pain point is being addressed in FreePBX 15.

Starting in version 15+, you will now be able to take a backup and restore it to any future FreePBX version. To do this, each and every module will control its own backup and restore process, telling the system what files and data it needs to backup. This led us down the path of breaking out the ability to have different places to store your backups into its own module which we plan to further expand on in the future. Currently, this allows for backups to be stored and restored from your usual places such as Email, FTP, Local storage and on another system via SSH. By abstracting backup and restore into smaller pieces, it will allow us to be able to better test and maintain each piece while still being able to look to the future of how you are using your phone system.

The second thing we’ve heard from you is that many of you would like an easier way to configure FreePBX, from your own applications. With that we plan on bringing a GraphQL API to FreePBX, making it easier to do more with your PBX as well as help you build custom applications.

But that’s not all! While we feel we’ve found some of the biggest pain points you’ve brought up, we also want to ensure that your feedback is heard and that you have a voice as well. So, to ensure this, we want to know what other pain points you have with FreePBX and what you’d like to see in future revisions.

To tell us, head on over to our forums.

Wrapping Up Sangoma PhoneApps Month

Sangoma PhoneApps

All month long we’ve been exploring Sangoma PhoneApps, releasing new videos on all 14 applications each week, on our social media pages and website.

Sangoma PhoneApps allow users to control functions and settings directly from the screen of their phone.

These applications instantly improve user productivity, eliminating the need to remember feature codes or access the admin panel of the phone system to make simple changes.

Sangoma PhoneApps

For example, users can use the Visual Voicemail app to easily view and listen to all their voicemails…the Presence app to quickly change their availability across all their end points…and the Login/Logout app to jump from any phone in the office or other locations on their network, instantly pulling in all preferences and custom settings.

PhoneApps are included with all Sangoma IP Phones and connect seamlessly with your FreePBX or PBXact phone system.

The final two PhoneApps videos to be released this month are the Queue Agents and Time Conditions applications, scheduled for Thursday November 30th.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube & Vimeo for more great content, events, promotions & more!

For additional information and all of our Sangoma PhoneApps videos to date, please visit https://www.sangoma.com/products/phoneapps/

FreePBX Cyber Weekend Online Deals

FreePBX Cyber Weekend Online Deals

FreePBX Cyber Weekend 2017:

Friday Nov 24 at 12:00AM EST until Monday Nov 27 at 11:59PM EST
 
It’s that time of year again! In the United States the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year. Black Friday sounds like a rather ominous day, however the origins of the term for shopping, goes back to the 1960s and generally indicated a time when the retailer’s books went from “the red” to “the black”.

We now have Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, but here at FreePBX, we thought we’d give you the weekend plus Monday and we’re calling it Cyber Weekend.

We have some big savings on FreePBX Commercial Modules, Training Classes, FAXStation and even some open box specials.

We hope you can take advantage of this limited time offer!

You can find all the details right here: https://www.freepbx.org/cyber-monday/

Happy Shopping from your FreePBX Team!

Sangoma Introduces Comprehensive Training with Sangoma University

Sangoma webinar

In a Constantly Evolving Field, How Do You Keep Up?

By keeping current on the latest solutions for your business or your clients, reading through the manual updates for new equipment and…Training. Sangoma is continuously working to improve their hardware and solutions as technology evolves.

Under normal circumstances, users of Sangoma products have time to learn and adopt Sangoma knowledge using wikis, user guides and other self-paced material. As your system and business grows, that time seems to diminish. And finding sources of information takes time you don’t have.

Adapt

Partners and customers require different degrees of knowledge and skill. Partners supporting greater number of deployments require a comprehensive understanding of Sangoma products, while customers and users may require some general familiarly. To address this need, Sangoma created Sangoma University.

Learn

Sangoma University endeavors to provide a diverse range of training solutions. Online Technical and Sales Training Videos provide easy, self-paced instructions on Sangoma products, which allow for excellent visibility for people interested in Sangoma solutions. Classroom Technical Training provides direct and in-depth training that ensures full comprehension of the product, in addition to having one-on-one access to go beyond just knowledge and strive into learning from other’s experiences.

Understand

Training shows your customers that you’re keeping up on the latest improvements of the solution you sold them. Training shows your employees that they are a valued part of your company, and worth investing in. When we designed Sangoma University, we wanted to make sure that fully trained people were recognized.

Recognize

Along with the Sangoma Training comes Sangoma Certifications. It will now be possible to mark your Online Training achievements with a certificate of Sangoma Certified Essentials. Two additional certification offerings will be provided with Classroom Training achievements, Sangoma Certified Apprentice and Sangoma Certified Professional.

Give Back

Sangoma is proud to freely offer Online Training to anyone interested in Sangoma products. The goal is to provide videos that increase the understanding and awareness of Sangoma products. In this initial offering, the key topic is PBXact/FreePBX – called PBXact Essentials. Of course, combined with this is the Sangoma Certified Essentials certificate should you choose to mark your knowledge achievement. Also, Sangoma Sales Training will be provided to those who wish to learn how to sell and market our products. But come back often as the goal is to have freely available technical training on most all Sangoma products.

Look Towards the Future

This is an exciting time to be interested in Sangoma Training. Look forward to Classroom Events, Classroom Course Material, Product Certifications and Portal Store integration for easy purchasing of training courses. Also look for Sangoma Certified Trainers, partners of Sangoma who have been authorized to provide Sangoma Classroom Training.

Commit

Where do I find Online Training? Sangoma has created Sangoma University to help guide you through all of your Sangoma knowledge needs and we have already signed you up for Online Training. Please visit Sangoma University at training.sangoma.com.

If you’re already a visitor of the Sangoma website, you may already have access. If you have registered and accessed portal.sangoma.com, please use the same Username and Password.

FreePBX 14, Distro 14 & More!

It’s sure been an amazing year here at Sangoma. We are finally proud to announce the official stable release of FreePBX 14 and also the stable release of our Enterprise Linux 7 based distro which contains many updated system libraries, not least of which is PHP 5.6.31, NodeJS 8.1.4, and Python 3.6.

Over the last 16 months, we’ve been hard at work developing FreePBX 14, and we’d like to highlight four (of the many) major improvements: Auto-Update Security Releases, Distro updates in Module Admin, Calendar Module, and an upgraded User Control Panel (UCP). To learn more about all of the new features of FreePBX 14 make sure to checkout our last blog on FreePBX: https://www.freepbx.org/freepbx-14-release-candidate/

Since then, we’ve also introduced a few major features in parallel into FreePBX 13 (that are also in FreePBX 14), the most significant one being multiple and improved directory support in User Manager. Now you can setup multiple Active Directories, LDAP directories and internal directories to control the Users that are on your PBX. FreePBX will even auto create extensions for you from your remote directories. Of course, as FreePBX is an Open Source project, this is all completely free!

You may be asking yourself “What does a new version of PHP or NodeJS get me?”. Previously in FreePBX 13 and lower we were working with PHP 5.3 and NodeJS 0.12. By requiring newer versions of these as part of FreePBX 14, apart from significant improvements in the languages themselves, the performance improvements are the most noticeable difference. This means you’ll have a snappier FreePBX on your hand, with much quicker reload times. Behind the scenes, on the back end, we are also able to utilize new libraries that also have performance improvements in themselves.


https://lornajane.net/posts/2014/php-5-6-benchmarks/

We’ve started work on FreePBX 15 which we hope to have an early release of in October 2017. Three of the most important features we are planning for FreePBX 15 is a complete revamp of our RestAPI, Backup and Restore upgrades, so you will – in the future – be able to restore from and to a different versions (Only 15 and higher, so will be able to restore – for example – 15 into 16 or 17 into 15), and a new File Store module, which will allow you to store backups (or faxes and other files) on S3, FTP, email, ssh and more!

Over the next year we will also be working on bringing FreePBX onto PHP 7.x with commercial modules.

With the release of this blog we have also released a version of the FreePBX module “Version Upgrader”, which is for standard manual, or custom installed systems, and will help the owner upgrade all the associated packages (PHP, and Node, as mentioned above). For FreePBX Distro installs we are fine tuning and checking a simple one-line command that you can run on your server to upgrade the Operating System to 7, and FreePBX to 14 at the same time, all automatically. Of course, when running this RPM your system will reboot and there will be downtime, and there are some minor prerequisites (such as a 64 bit machine, and at least 10gb of free space). As of today the distro upgrader is being released as a public beta, and more information is available on our wiki page: https://wiki.freepbx.org/display/PPS/Upgrading+from+Distro+6

Please remember, as adoption of FreePBX grows there may be things we missed. If you find any issues please open a bug at https://issues.freepbx.org and we’ll look into it as soon as we can. You can also ask for help on our Community Forums, where you may be able to get assistance from experts in the community, too.

Thank you for using FreePBX and we look forward to what develops through 2017!