FOOD FOR THOUGHT Is PIAF Getting Long in the Tooth?

ou812

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Are you able to disclose to us as to the telephony engine that will be used for the new commercial product will it be Asterisk based, XiVO or perhaps the new Debian version of 3CX. I have been working a lot lately with the XiVO system and wondering if my time should be spent else were as the "commercial" product idea is some thing I would like to see.

Gary.
 

jerrm

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I hear you and I don't necessarily disagree. My bigger issue is the ramp up time for Xivo to have all the functionality that we currently enjoy plus our learning curve on the FreePBX platform. Will I be able to jump into Xivo (hopefully spring training) and have it do most of what I want? Maybe, but it really is a different beast. Xivo core items such as real-time, multi-tenant, and failover are HUGE !!!! Those are the underlying engine pieces that makes it far superior to FreePBX. The front end (granted I haven't even installed my first instance yet) is not there yet though. Could pieces of the FreePBX front end be ported to XIVO?
Every time I go a little deeper with XiVO it seems like I uncover another missing feature that requires manual dial plan code or more.

I don't mind tweaking the system and even having custom code, but generally want that work to be at the system level - things that once done are a benefit to all instances- replacing Flite with picotts, Asteridex improvements, etc. I don't want to start writing dial plan to turn a time condition on/off or similar install specific basics.

Personally, until I need "feature X" of XiVO, it's hard to justify the time involved. Still, I keep a VM installed and kick the tires as a background task so I won't be starting from scratch if the need does come up.
 

wardmundy

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@jerrm: We have documented how to take a XiVO Snapshot and restore it. Does that not accomplish what you're trying to do. The commands to create the snapshot are included as comments in the latest Incredible PBX for XiVO installer (lines 1038-1039). And the following lines show how to restore it to a newly built Incredible PBX for XiVO server.
 

jerrm

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@jerrm: We have documented how to take a XiVO Snapshot and restore it. Does that not accomplish what you're trying to do. The commands to create the snapshot are included as comments in the latest Incredible PBX for XiVO installer (lines 1038-1039). And the following lines show how to restore it to a newly built Incredible PBX for XiVO server.
Not really, that helps with the initial startup to get calls flowing, but not really with day to day configuration and changes.

A recent example from last week:

A location had been converted from 6 POTS lines with only one published number, but on the old system outbound calls going out lines 2-6 had the caller ID for the line, not the published number. As a result customers had the various "unpublished" line 2-6 numbers saved in their cells from received calls. When going VOIP, all numbers were ported so calls to those line 2-6 numbers saved in cell phones still ring through.

Six months later, after using the CDR module to determine the number calls coming into "lines" 2-6 is now manageable, it is time to start deprecating the extra DIDs. 100% from the GUI routes were created to send the calls to a no-answer Announcement playing a prompt constructed from Allison stock using the System Recordings Module and then onto the receptionist ring group.

The kid that actually did the work, while capable, has never written a line of dial plan and has minimal FreePBX experience. I don't think that could have been done on XiVO without dial plan or at least manually assembling the announcement, but wouldn't mind being proven wrong.
 

wardmundy

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Not really, that helps with the initial startup to get calls flowing, but not really with day to day configuration and changes.
My point was that you could make your own snapshot AFTER making your changes. Then you could modify the installer to point to your snapshot instead of ours and build new systems with all your modifications already in place.
 
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krzykat

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My point was that you could make your own snapshot AFTER making your changes. Then you could modify the installer to point to your snapshot instead of ours and build new systems with all your modifications already in place.
So kind of like the roll your own. You take your baseline, add to it whatever you want, and then create your own baseline to use for futures. I typically on whatever VM server I'm using (Vultr for example) build my server how I like it with any tweaks or addons that I like - I call it template - then when I go to build a new server/ add a client - I just say build the new server as a clone of template. Same premise, right?
 

jerrm

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My point was that you could make your own snapshot AFTER making your changes. Then you could modify the installer to point to your snapshot instead of ours and build new systems with all your modifications already in place.
But that does nothing to address the basic maintenance and usability issues. I can clone a FreePBX config or an entire VM. That doesn't help when it comes to individual customization, maintenance and one off changes.
 

wardmundy

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But that does nothing to address the basic maintenance and usability issues. I can clone a FreePBX config or an entire VM. That doesn't help when it comes to individual customization, maintenance and one off changes.
I think we're both kinda wasting our time on this. You're obviously happy with what you have, and that's perfectly fine.
 

chris_c_

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I get what @jerrm is saying. These web interfaces FreePBX and Xivo are ultimately, convenient easy to use dialplan code generators and config file generators for asterisk, and for the other system services. FreePBX has an easy way to quickly adjust something right in the web interface with a few buttons, by a regular person with no diaplan knowledge required. For that particular pbx system behavior, and probably others also, Xivo does not yet have the ability to do that in the web interface, so you're forced to get an education in how to write a diaplan and write it manually, cross your fingers, maybe it works, if not, go back and struggle with debugging it, maybe taking significant time. Surely, in time, Xivo will improve its abilities to generate dialplans for just as many features as FreePBX already has the ability to do.
 

wardmundy

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Virtually every option in the Freepbx GUI has a corresponding option in XiVO plus about 200+ additional features. Incredible PBX with XiVO Snapshots sets up the basic defaults for SIP and trunks that most are used to. Try it before waxing poetic about its limitations.
 

chris_c_

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Xivo has been tried, and liked very much. For some there are legitimate reasons to stay with one vs. the other. What right minded person would want to let a junior tech mess around with snapshots? For most though, this is probably fine...
 

chris_c_

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@jerrm @krzykat @wardmundy @dicko I vote in favor of maintaining both IncrediblePBX (FreePBX) and IncrediblePBX (Xivo). It's always a good thing to have one that you prefer, and an alternative which can be called upon at will, running on all the stable releases of the rpm and deb OSes, asterisk, and the web app interface.

Could anyone of you share the technical or legal reasons of why FreePBX 13 is "less open" and "more commercial", or any limitation on using the FreePBX 13 app itself?? Has anyone taken a look and found anything specific??
 

krzykat

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@jerrm @krzykat @wardmundy @dicko I vote in favor of maintaining both IncrediblePBX (FreePBX) and IncrediblePBX (Xivo). It's always a good thing to have one that you prefer, and an alternative which can be called upon at will, running on all the stable releases of the rpm and deb OSes, asterisk, and the web app interface.

Could anyone of you share the technical or legal reasons of why FreePBX 13 is "less open" and "more commercial", or any limitation on using the FreePBX 13 app itself?? Has anyone taken a look and found anything specific??
I don't recall the specifics of the FreePBX 13 question, and pretty busy - so not time to research that part right now. Certainly Ward can knows better and could answer more. I'm pretty sure its in one of the threads around here.

As far as maintaining both XIVO and FreePBX Incredibles ... that's what I would favor. While XIVO may be the future, we've only had it here for a couple months, and I honestly haven't had time yet except to install a VM of it. I still rather look at XIVO as being bleeding age because of nothing else than my lack of knowledge with it. I can't really put this in for clients until I have a much better comfort level with it. For example, the other day I had a client that required a ring group to include the bosses phones that would need to ring silent. In FreePBX, I created 2 ring groups with alert-info set to ring2 that was a "silent" ring on the second ring group. Then the first ring included the 2nd ring group to accomplish what I needed. Would that work in Xivo and how long would it have taken me to learn. I just don't have that time right now. I've placed hooks into FreePBX for voicemail to send out HTML with graphics formatted along with transcription ... now I'd have to take the time to learn to do that with XIVO, and it would just be a lot of effort. I'm all for keeping both projects alive and will be happy to assist.
 
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wardmundy

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Xivo has been tried, and liked very much. For some there are legitimate reasons to stay with one vs. the other. What right minded person would want to let a junior tech mess around with snapshots? For most though, this is probably fine...
Couldn't agree more. What right-minded person would let a junior tech manage the phone system on which their business depends, period.

XiVO Snapshots is a technology to preconfigure XiVO so that the standard SIP settings and trunks are available without any technical intervention, i.e. as a means of building turnkey installs out of the starting gate. That's what Incredible PBX now does. It was never intended as a tool for junior techs to mess around with.
 

KUMARULLAL

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I understand why pbxinaflash is not motivated to move forward with freepbx. However, I agree with Krzykat and chris_c on their concerns. I share the same. For roughly about well over 10 years we are used to usinng freepbx engine and are very familiar with it's various nuances. It does give a sense of security to get support on pbxinaflash or incrediblepbx using freepbx engine. Although we hear you ward, why you want to focus on xivo. Like Krazykay I have not had the time to install xivo to test run it. Still dont have the stomach to put it in production.
An alternative would be either Ombutel (which I am aware they don't want to release the source code and is not under GPL, but free to use. Don't know their ultimate motive. May be to create a user base and then start charging?)
Fusionpbx is really improving (Although it uses freeswitch).
Your toughs on these?
 
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wardmundy

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@KUMARULLAL: We wear a couple of different hats from time to time. As the author of Nerd Vittles, we write about all things VoIP. But, as an open source development company, we want to focus most of our energy on true open source GPL products. As time permits, we will try to migrate the Incredible PBX feature set to as many platforms as we can.

There are plenty of alternatives now, and that's a good thing. XiVO/WAZO has been around for as long or longer than FreePBX in all of its incarnations. If you want to know why we're no longer developing for the FreePBX platform, you'll find dozens of articles on Nerd Vittles that explain it. Leaving aside the personal and legal issues and having used both FreePBX and XiVO/WAZO, I can tell you there is no comparison in terms of stability, reliability, features, and performance. And then there's the CrippleWare and NagWare. One has it, and one never will. For all these reasons, we've made the switch and have no regrets. But, to each his own.

Finally, there's PIAF5 which offers a commercial alternative to either use or to resell and support yourself and your family. That's a respectable mix of products in our humble opinion.
 
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KNERD

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Thanks for this great info.
Looking forward to reviewing the new PIAF 5 soon.


EDITED: To those who saw my original post, just a misunderstanding
 
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dbdataplus

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Late to the party, as usual. Is this the reason that I can't seem to generate a PIAF Green system in the past 24 hours? That it's gone?
 

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