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Asterisk-IM: It's Alive!

!http://www.asterisk.org/themes/asterisk/images/logo.png!There have been a lot of questions about Asterisk-IM since the new voice features were added to Spark and Openfire. I’m happy to report that there are now four interested developers who are going to be stabilizing Asterisk-IM, adding new features and making sure those features work well with the other voice-related functionality in Spark and Openfire. There is plenty to do at the moment, but I wanted to find out what everyone wants to see from the plugin.

What would you like to see from the Asterisk-IM plugin once the existing features have been stabilized?

I’m so glad to hear this. Thank you guys! Asterisk-IM & “on the phone” presence is a killer feature for us.

Increased reliability of presence changes is probably the most important thing to us.

For new features, I’ll just brainstorm a bit. Hopefully some will be good ideas

  • The ability to set call forwarding options from anywhere I am with Spark (in case I forget to press the forward button on my office phone)

  • The ability to see my voicemails (how many, who they’re from, how long they are, the time they were left, etc).

  • Being able to LISTEN to my voicemails and even delete them or file them to a specific voicemail folder. Not sure if the manager interface would support that, though.

  • The ability to start and stop recording of a call and have my users easily be able to access that recording (maybe it would email it or just save it on my computer, or whatever)

  • The ability to interactively redirect an incoming call away from my desk phone and to my cell phone (or another number I had already set up in Spark)

  • The ability to interactively redirect an incoming call away from my desk phone, through jingle, and right into spark. That way I can talk while I’m on the road without setting up a seperate softphone.

  • The ability to interactively redirect an incoming caller into a specific voicemail greeting (for example, “I’m in a meeting”, “I’m at lunch”, “Away from my desk”, etc.). I’m not sure if asterisk voicemail supports that many messages (I’m using trixbox, and I don’t think it does. Atleast by default.)

Thats all to make my experience sweeter, even though I have a nice SIP phone (Polycom IP-501).

In some cases, I’d love to be able to use Asterisk to provide VERY cheap phone services. I’d love to use cheap analog phones for that, but that makes using the system pretty user unfriendly.

If Spark/Asterisk-IM were to allow me to control hold, transfer, conference, etc of my cheap $5 analog phone, that would be HUGE! It would also be sweet to keep track of call lists (missed calls, received calls, placed calls) for easier dialing. SIP phones aren’t THAT expensive, but getting good network switches (QoS) and dealing with power issues (using PoE) can get pretty expensive. In alot of applications, basic analog phones with a Spark/Asterisk-IM interface would rock.

Sorry for so many ideas. I’m really excited to see where Asterisk-IM could go

This is great news!

I’ve been trying to determine what exactly would be the best relationship between Openfire and Asterisk. Not an easy task from an outsider. It looks to be extremely important for the future how Ignite Realtime position their own enterprise product. I might just say it, just how far can Asterisk integration go without stepping on Openfires enterprise toes?

Voice is what could make Spark/Openfire go from great to an all-out success.

Pete, thanks so much for your thoughts! It is great to see so much enthusiasm around Asterisk-IM.

Jan, voice definitely takes Openfire and Spark to the next level and I’m excited about the possibilities, too. The balance between Asterisk-IM and Openfire Enterprise should be pretty straight-forward to maintain as they are complementary. Openfire Enterprise provides the SIP softphone and easy softphone provisioning and Asterisk-IM is really geared toward lower-level integration points than that. Thanks for your input!

The database scripts need to be brought into line. The current beta only includes an accurate script for Postgres (I think) and it needs to be able to cater for everything.

The presence is the absolute killerfor me as well - being able to deploy Spark company wide and people able to see at a glance if I’m busy or not will be great.

I would like to see development move toward using Asterisk-JTAPI with the hope that it could be generalized and eventually support Cisco Call Manager (which is what we use). I know there’s been some work by an end user to get a proof of concept working, but I haven’t had a chance to test it yet. If you guys could work that into your roadmap, that would be awesome. Thanks!

I am thrilled that this is going to be fixed. We are just about to deploy a new network for voice and instant message and some of our network core is using Openfire and AsteriskIM. We will be happy to purchase the retail package once all the bugs have been ironed out.

You guys have done amazing work so far. I agree with Pete on most of the features he has mentioned although all the voicemail checking and what not might bloat the software and noone likes bloatware!

Keep up the terrific work.

Call control for hold, transfer, forward or send to voicemail would be excellent.

Ability to to create combination voice/chat/whiteboarding conferences on the fly would also be nice.

The ability to use the embedded softphone with the Spark client or to monitor a desktop would be nice…configurable at both the server and client level. I have clients that would like to enable users to use only a softphone, but then others that move back and forth from the office to mobile to they would like the option to use both.

The Openfire Ent. Edition works great and the softphone is coming along but for those who also have an office they’re pretty limited to one or the other. So a combination between the Asterisk-IM and SIP softphone would be nice.

This is good to hear.

I would request that you tighten up the ‘On the phone’ presence, as it doesn’t always work, depending on how calls are transfered. And sometimes loses connection to the Asterisk manager and won’t work until I restart Openfire.

The only other thing that I would like is click to dial integration. I’ve looked at Astapi, but it would require me to configure it on every machine. I would think that a good Spark/Asterisk-IM implementation would have a centralized configuration.

Also, I second much of Pete’s list.

BTW - If it wasn’t for the ‘On the phone’ presence integration with our Trixbox phone system, I would have never been able to get IM on to our network. IM was really viewed as a toy to the higher ups, but seeing when people are on the phone was something that they had been clamoring for. Now that Openfire/Spark is installed, they are warming to IM and finding it useful.

It would be great if Openfire and its Asterisk-IM plugin were included in the default Trixbox distribution.

I think Pete’s brainstorming is a wet dream. I second Pete’s, would be great to have all those features.

Maybe set up a roadmap?

Thanks for all of your ideas and encouragement! Definitely let the Trixbox community know that you want to see Openfire and Asterisk-IM as part of the distribution once the code is stabilized.

Thanks for the great work so far.

The most useful improvement I can see is full presence support using Spark. It’s a nice feature if the state changes to “on the phone” when someone is on the phone. But it would be even more useful if someone could control all the presence states from within Spark. For example, if one turns on “Do not disturb” or similar in Spark, the phone of the respective user should be inactivated in asterisk, as if he had activated “Do not disturb” on the phone.

Are the developers focusing on just getting a stable release out and not adding any new features? I am currently having to run a beta release (because it seems to work), which keeps me from upgrading to a newer release of Wild/Open-fire. We just need something that works ASAP. New features can wait. I also want to get my hands a stable source release so I can potentially add and contribute some features.

Mark, definitely, stability first and then new features. The idea is to get the current functionality working and updated to the latest Openfire release and then start adding new features to the plugin.


Some comments upon Pete’s whishlist :

  • Set call forwarding from anywhere: maybe a link to Asterisk CLI would do the trick ?

  • See and listen voicemails: shouldn’t it be done using Unified Voicemail and email client ?

  • Calls recording: link to Asterisk CLI ?

  • Specific voicemail greeting: maybe an API to user presence-mood-activity database would do it ?

My add to this list :

  • Being capable to forward Jingle incoming calls to any SIP ou TDM phone

  • Being capable to link this forwarding capabilty to user presence-mood-activity

  • Have features compliant to Asterisk 1.4

Nice work for Openfire !



i just want to know how to forward a call using Xlite 2.0 phone.

Suppose Somebody is sitting at reception he gets a call from outside or from inside than how to forward that call to other x lite please tell me the dial plan for that