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Written by Web Master   
Sunday, 02 September 2007

It's been a while since I have released a new version of SimplePBX but I am still working on it. One of the major things I wanted to figure out was which to direction to take the software in. Most of the Asterisk systems out there are of the single tenant variety. This however seems to be enough for most users and I really don't want to waste any time duplicating existing systems.

 

FreePBX does an excellent job providing a single tenant system for most business and soho environments. AsteriskNOW and Asterisk GUI look like they will be also offering an alternative to FreePBX with a lighter application stack. This is good because installing FreePBX from source is a painful task. The Asterisk GUI on the other hand can be installed with ease and minimum dependencies. I just wish the Asterisk GUI had more features and was more stable.


I have decided that SimplePBX would do better if it was directed at small Voip Service Providers and larger shared office environments where one system could handle the needs of an entire building. I have looked at the cost and features of existing multi tenant systems and I think SimplePBX would do very well competing in features.


There are some features that I have decided to just freeze for the moment. IAX for extensions seems like something that should be delayed. I will add ZAPTEL hardware support, my experience with VOIP has clearly indicated to me that a real business should not rely on just VOIP. There is still a big need for PSTN lines for regular local area calling and for emergencies.


Voip also seems to have good days and bad days, the internet is like the weather. We kind of know what we are getting but its really hard to predict the quality. There are too many things happening now. There are video on demand services, larger file transfers, and ISP's doing traffic shaping. All these things just make VOIP harder to get right.


One other aspect that has kept people from trying or getting interested in SimplePBX is the fact that it's written in Freepascal and that it is a console application. Although to me this is an excellent programming language it seems that people are only interested in PHP and web based systems these days. I feel with enough feature I can convince people to give it a try. My reasons for choosing Freepascal are still the same:


  1. Freepascal is an excellent language to develop Linux applications quickly. Freevision is complete TUI environment. I do not need to create a user interface library.

  2. The final application is compiled code. Small and fast

  3. The final application does not have many dependencies – less software dependencies means less security risks

  4. Can be installed on Asterisk servers that do not have web servers or GUI dependencies.

  5. Can also be executed remotely using SSH

 

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