Happy New Year to everyone from the FreePBX AND Asterisk teams! We are super excited to tell you about the plans for Asterisk 12 and FreePBX 12 which have kept all of us so busy! Here’s a really quick recap of what’s in store for you along with a roadmap of our plans to deliver it!
The release of Asterisk 12 is the most significant leap forward ever in the Asterisk project with huge internal upgrades that will set the stage for improved functionality and new features for years to come. What the Asterisk development team has pulled off is simply awesome! For starters, they’ve delivered a brand new, modular SIP channel driver based on Teluu’s industry leading PJSIP stack. PJSIP addresses several limitations of the legacy Asterisk SIP channel. The other huge change is a redesign of the internal bridging mechanism within Asterisk. Channel masquerading, which made development on top of Asterisk difficult, is now a thing of the past. Inside of Asterisk channels can now be easily bridged to one or more channels and then moved around at will. That translates to big improvements for features like parking, attended transfers, call pickup and more; and it sets the stage for all sorts of new features. And then there’s the new Asterisk REST interface (ARI) which will open up many internal Asterisk capabilities to a whole new audience of developers!
As a result, the FreePBX and Asterisk teams have also been working closely together to make Asterisk 12 inside FreePBX a reality. In fact, we’ve been working so closely, that we decided to use ‘12’ to reference the next version of FreePBX (so it becomes FreePBX 12!) Given the significant changes in Asterisk 12, the FreePBX primary focus for this next version is the support of Asterisk 12 and its new PJSIP channel and capabilities. FreePBX 12 will support Asterisk 1.8, 10, 11 and 12!
If you’ve followed the FreePBX or Asterisk twitter feeds you may have gotten a glimpse of how hard the teams have been working to get FreePBX and Asterisk into a state where we can start a public beta program to get all of you to help make this a reality! Just this past week, some of the Asterisk and FreePBX team decided to brave the arctic conditions of the Midwest with -45 degree weather and set up base camp in the middle of Wisconsin at Schmooze Com, Inc. headquarters. They hashed out many of the last critical bugs necessary to get FreePBX 12/Asterisk 12 out to all of you! With that behind us, the next priority is the roadmap to help guide us in delivering to the masses!
For you real pioneers out there, there’s always a DIY (Do It Yourself) option. On the Asterisk side you can grab the latest and greatest from SVN. From FreePBX, you can do the same …. oh wait, that’s changing too … so slight digression on how that’s going to work…
FreePBX on GIT
The FreePBX team announced their plans to move FreePBX to Git at Astricon which has been ‘yet another thing’ that has kept the team busy over the last couple months. Part of moving to Git has been the decomposition of FreePBX such that every module is its own repository as this makes it much easier for contributors and new developers to get involved. That has meant code changes in addition to simply moving from one source code control system to another, not to mention the significant tools used behind the scenes to maintain the project and online repositories, publish new modules and bug fixes, etc. The work is almost done and being tested before releasing in the next few days! Git will house all released versions of FreePBX, which means 2.10, 2.11 and of course 12. All older and un-supported versions, 2.9 and prior, will remain in SVN which will be frozen with the exception of Security fixes which continue to be pushed back to the last 4 releases (and often more).
Back to FreePBX 12
For those who are DIY pioneers, you’ll be able to put together your own FreePBX installs by pulling everything from Git. The tools are not quite finished to create the “install_amp” tarball installer that you may be familiar with so you’ll have to get your hands a little dirty with Git if you need to go that route!
The preferred testing mode by both the FreePBX and Asterisk teams will be to download and install the beta track FreePBX Distro being released very shortly. Using this distro for testing will allow a consistent mechanism to quickly get both Asterisk and FreePBX patches and bug fixes out to the testing community, and it will allow a consistent and more reproducible environment when the bug reports start coming in. The FreePBX and Asterisk teams have a set of development servers available to both teams to quickly resolve bugs and get fixes out to you. We are super excited to start getting the greater community involved with this.
As the platform stabilizes, the FreePBX team will be working on easier “install_amp” installation tarballs to broaden the horizon and testing exposure for those who prefer to roll their own but aren’t ready to brave the source code control world quite yet. But whether it’s using the FreePBX Distro, or any other way you install FreePBX 12, the new and improved Online Module admin (yes another thing that has kept the team busy) will keep FreePBX up to date as the beta program progresses. For those of you on the FreePBX Distro, Asterisk will be kept up to date as well!
For now, we are really excited with the technological leap that the combined platform is delivering and we can’t wait to get thousands of you involved in helping our teams make this a reality!
The FreePBX and Asterisk Teams!
This post also featured on the Asterisk blog: FreePBX 12 Coming Soon
Download the FreePBX 12 with Asterisk 12 ISO from here. Pick Alpha 6.12.65 Version