Trixbox Webinar

Just got off the Trixbox webinar, conducted by Kerry Garrison and Andrew Gillis and thought there were some interesting ideas that came out of it. Here are some rough notes.

Call Queues
You can set up call queues which are not to be confused with ring groups. A call queue is where you stack up calls and where the caller can be told “You are caller number 5. There are four callers ahead of you. The average wait time is 2 minutes”. and so on. You can have a call queue point to a ring group. (A ring group is a set of extensions that are called by some kind of rules, in a specified sequence, say, or based on the amount of time since an extension was last connected on a call.

Bandwidth and Latency
DSL typically has lower latency than cable, even though cable typically has higher bandwidth.

TDM Hardware connections vs. Internet SIP/IAX phone termination services
Many of the example installations they gave involved hardware connections. T-1s. ISDN PRIs, etc. This supports the notion of having conventional hard connections for important inbound and outbound calls to your company, rather than rely entirely on a VoIP termination provider.

DTMF Tones
There are at least three different ways that phones can send DTMF (the numeric tones that are generated when you press numbers on the phones). They are not all compatible with each other.

Seminars and Training
There are starting to do seminars. March 5-6 they are offering a two-day course in Los Angeles for $1495 for Trixbox beginners. In the second quarter of 2007 they will offer two more courses; Advanced Trixbox Administratrion, and Advanced Troubleshooting. More on their training site.

Asterisk documentation:
VoIPSpeak.net (Kerry’s Blog)
AsteriskTutorials.com – A set of free screencast tutorials for Trixbox, FreePBX, etc. These are great. You can see demos of how to set up some of the basic and advanced functions like inbound and outbound routes, how to do a follow-me function, etc.
Book: Trixbox Made Easy
Web Documentation: Trixbox Without Tears
#FreePBX IRC channel

Vendors:
VoIPSupply.com
VoIPLink.com
ATAComm.com

TDM cards
Sangoma
Rhino
Digium

Using Trixbox under VMWare (software emulation)
VMWare drivers are required when emulating, so you can’t use hardware cards. That said, emulation works great for training, and I see that is the plan for their traning seminar; you are to bring a laptop capable of emulating trixbox and you’ll walk away from the seminar with a fully configured system.

Compare Trixbox Training vs. an Asterisk Boot-Camp
Boot camp concentrates on the Asterisk configuration files
Trixbox training goes into how to use the Trixbox configuration tools (FreePBX, etc.)

Recommended way to Upgrade from 1.2.3 to 2.0
Upgrade 1.2.3 from 2.0
1. Download and upgrade FreePBX
2. Do a backup using the FreePBX backup functino
3. Do a clean install for 2.0
4. Then do a restore (using the new FreePBX)

n.b. I manged to upgrade by running the upgrade script from the Linux command line, and also running an update of modules from FreePBX. This seems to have worked OK, from my end, but they suggested the above steps as being more reliable.

Relationship between Asterisk and Trixbox
“Asterisk is the engine…Trixbox is the car.”

Should you editing Trixbox Config Files
How does FreePBX treat the Asterisk config files… can/should we ever update the config files themselves, or will they get overwritten?
Example of the extensions file:

Extensions <-usually only overwritten when upgrading ASterisk
Extension_Additional <-overwritten from FreePBX (don't edit directly)
Extension_Custom <-changes that are never overwritten by the system – use for customization

DUNDI
There is no web interface for DUNDI, but you can edit the DUNDI config file manually

HudLite – “Heads Up Display”
HudLight – OutLook Integration and Heads-Up display

Distributed PBXs
Remote extensions (single phones in a branch office connected over VoIP0
Remote Trixboxes, (whole trixboxes in branch offices, federated together).
DUNDI – Sort of a DNS which points to IAX and SIP peers. Totally distributed. Created by Mark Spencer of Digium (inventor of Asterisk).

Voice Recognition
Voice Recognition in the IVR – They are working with a couple vendors to make this available, Right now there isn’t anything in open source available.

Additional multi-language support is coming.
Trixbox 2.0 has multi-language support

The webinar was a kick. They had 800 participants (!) Both the slides and the commentary will be available later today.

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