As promised we are releasing the Beta 1 of FreePBX 2.7.0. This release is relatively minor though it does have some goodies that will be well received. The biggest change for this release is the new FAX module that will replace the previous FAX abilities in core and add support for Fax For Asterisk (FFA). Legacy FAX support will still be there for those not using FFA.
The legacy fax capability had no provisions for FFA which has proven to be a much more reliable and simple faxing solution over previous options. The new Fax module supports both FFA and the legacy capability that depended on RxFax() and the associated spandsp Fax add-on. The module will use FFA if configured and fall back to RxFax() as a secondary choice (or disable faxing if netiher are present).
The new Fax module also provides a more intuitive GUI to configure FAX detection or dedicated FAX DIDs assigned to specific users. In the past it was necessary to specify a FAX email or device for each incoming route. Creating a dedicated DID for faxing was very confusing requiring the use of a Misc Destination of Simulated Fax assigned as the destination of the incoming route and the use of the fax detection email address that was magically picked up by the Misc Destination even though detection wasn't necessarily being used. (If you didn't follow that, I rest my case.)The new module provides the ability to associate an optional FAX email with each extension and for those extensions, specific FAX destinations will be created. These can be used as any other destination, so a DID dedicated to FAX can simply choose the appropriate extension. When FAX detection is chosen, any destination from any module can be chosen to be used if detected. This gives more flexible options such as routing a fax based on timeconditions to different destinations.
We have made every effort to make the migration as painless as possible. As such, there is a legacy mode in the fax detection that will be present for any migrated settings though it is recommended that you re-configure your system and move to the new paradigm.
Upon initial upgrading from 2.6.X to 2.7.X, faxing will NOT be operational and you are required to install the new FAX module in order to restore your faxing capabilities, so make sure you choose this from the Online Module Admin after upgrading.
There are a handful of other features that are highlighted in the 2.7 Milestone Summary. Please beware that the long list of unclosed tickets listed in that milestone will be moved to 2.8 and don't reflect the readiness of this release. Only the bugs are being examined and considered. We anticipate a 2-3 week beta and release candidate cycle for 2.7.0.
Two features that are not yet out and will be pushed out as soon as we finish a few things are some improvements to the Backup Module and hopefully some Queue Module enhancements. Once we get some initial broader feedback on the release we will look at putting in an upgrade module to move from 2.6 to 2.7. For now you can simply download it from the Download FreePBX page.
We will be back shortly with more information and updates on what is happening on the v3 front as well.
Philippe on behalf of the FreePBX Team