Fonality releases trixbox 2.0

October 25, 2006
Fonality releases trixbox 2.0

(The following is taken from Tom Keating’s VoIP and Gadgets Blog:)

trixbox 2.0 beta will be available for download on Wednesday. This
release will be Fonality's (News - Alert) first big contribution to the
trixbox/Asterisk cmmunity after the recent Fonality acquisition of
trixbox. which certainly caused a stir within the Asterisk community. I
spoke with Chris Lyman, CEO of Fonality, to find out more about this
major new release of trixbox.

First, I should point out that while previous version of trixbox have
always been the easiest way to get Asterisk up and running in just
minutes, trixbox 2.0 is much more than that. First and foremost, trixbox
2.0 includes a new ‘overall’ web GUI to make the whole process “point
and click.” From this new web GUI you can simply select the modules you
want (HUDLite, FreePBX, PHP, lame, etc.) and the web interface will
automatically install them. Some of the packages are directly related to
Asterisk such as HUDlite or FreePBX, while other options are ancillary,
such as SugarCRM. The idea is you shouldn’t have to know anything about
the command line interface (CLI). In addition, many users wishing to
install trixbox want to keep the server as un-bloated as possible and
not add any unnecessary modules/packages. Essentially, with this new web
interface you simply select just what you need with a click of the mouse.

The “cornerstone” Web application within trixbox 2.0 is called the
Package Manager. This allows you add, delete, or update packages and
dependencies from your deployment simply using your mouse. It sits on
top of the Linux yum command to get the proper RPM. In addition, it
features a built-in update mechanism that notifies you within the web
interface that a new version is available. Users can now upgrade
individual components of their deployment versus having to reinstall
from scratch with each upgrade.

The other big part of trixbox 2.0 is their third-party hardware support.
For instance, trixbox 2.0 has Sangoma drivers baked in via RPM, so you
can use Sangoma hardware “plug and play” out of the box. Chris told me,
“We saw a lot of requests from the community for Sangoma drivers because
they make really good cards and so we asked Sangoma if they wanted to
bake their drivers in and they said ‘yes.’ I think to the extent that
the community asks for other hardware support from Rhino or PIKA we’ll
probably do that as well and just be hardware-agnostic in the trixbox
community.” Chris also mentioned ifDialogic ( News - Alert) enters the
Asterisk space that baking in their drivers could be in the future as well.

Chris told me that he coined the term LAAMPS (Linux, Apache, Asterisk,
MySQL, Perl/PHP/Phyton, SugarCRM) as a good way of explaining how
trixbox provides an extension of the popular & well-known LAMP term.
LAMP is a software bundle of the most popular open source solutions on
the Linux operating system and is often used for web servers with
dynamic content. LAAMPS extends this software bundle by adding telephony
(TDM, VoIP) and CRM to LAMP - the bolded letters and words being the key
additions to the original LAMP term. Will LAAMPS take hold within the
general Linux community? Who knows. Probably not, but at least the
trixbox/Asterisk community will know what the heck it means.

In addition, the trixbox 2.0 release provides the trixbox community with
deeper application integration with SugarCRM and integration with
LumenVox Speech Engine (speech recognition). The SugarCRM integration
features CallerID screenpop of SugarCRM records. Chris mentioned they
did fair amount of work on this since often times the CallerID format
varies, which can affect whether or not a SugarCRM record matches or
not. It’s still SugarmCRM 4.5, however the code is “patched” to work
better with trixbox. Chris mentioned they will continue to support this
patch as SugarCRM continues to be updated. Unlike some Asterisk
distributions, trixbox 2.0 will have fax support built-in. When you
consider built-in fax support along with all the other aforementioned
features, trixbox is one of the most feature-rich “out-of-the-box”
Asterisk solutions.

I asked Chris since this trixbox version is “beta” when the final
release would be available and he said within 30 days the final
(non-beta) trixbox 2.0 will be available for download. Chris pointed out
that while he considers the previous trixbox version (1.3) “stable” and
trixbox 2.0 as “beta,” he is confident that trixbox 2.0 is “stable” but
wants the trixbox community to have the final word as to whether it's
truly “stable.”

Chris also emailed me some interesting comments he made as part of his
news release going out tomorrow, where he states “trixbox 2.0 is the
easiest to use version yet. If you can use a mouse and have a spare
hour, you can roll 2.0 and get, not just Asterisk, but integrated
business applications like MySQL and SugarCRM. Moving forward, our plan
is to add even more application support so that the community will be
able to build their complete business infrastructure on the trixbox
platform.”

This announcement was big enough to get the CEO of MYSQL AB to comment
on the trixbox news release going out on the newswire on Wednesday. “As
part of the trixbox stack, MySQL provides a high-speed database
foundation that improves uptime and enables easy integration with other
business applications,” said Marten Mickos, CEO of MYSQL AB. “MySQL
database software is already being used by hundreds of thousands of
trixbox users. We look forward to working closely with Fonality to grow
and expand the thriving trixbox community.”

What’s new in trixbox 2.0:

--Overall Web GUI for managing every aspect of the trixbox distribution
--Web-based Package Manager - a list of every package you can install. Literally hundreds of RPMs are available to install. Go as lean or as rich as you want on the applications
--Third-party hardware support (Sangoma)
--Better SugarCRM integration (screenpop)
--Lumenvox (News - Alert) speech-rec support