Billing Module


(Nick Zed) #1

Has there been any movement from Sangoma on a FreePBX billing module?
Hard to beleive sangoma want freepbx/pbxact to be a modern system that has no billing capability.

and before anyone says go use a2billing - we looked at that, no thanks we want freepbx to control the asterisk server, not a2billing as a2billing wants to taoke control which defeats a lot of features.

Is there a module being worked on? Surely if they can do it with property manager, they have 75% of their work done already.


(Itzik) #2

The FreePBX team was working on a Call Accounting Module last year, seems like it was never released, and the documentation was pulled from the public Wiki.

https://wiki.freepbx.org/display/FPG/PBX+Call+Accounting+Module


(Jared K Smith) #3

Yes, it’s still being worked on. I can’t give any more details at this time.


#4

a2billing wants to take control which defeats a lot of features.

What exactly does it take control of? We’ve been using it for 10 years now to track billing on outbound calls. Currently installed on about 75 hosted PBXs. The only time it gets in the way is the extra CDR generated for each call.


(Nick Zed) #5

Thanks Jared, that’s great to hear.
I note you cant say anything, but my hopes are it also allows for an included value that if not exceeded wont issue a bill.
eg: we manage a lot of reirement villages, most of them need updating, we want to put in freepbx, but they require an allowance of 10-$20 a month free calls, they only bill their residents when thats exceeded, one has a rolloever policy, most don’t.
a couple have direct debit on chargables, most don’t preferring to email an invoice.

don’t know if any this is considered but if you could pass it on that’d be great, we only have 2 to upgrade within 6 months, we know we have to use alernative pbx since this wont be avaialbe, but i hope its out by 2021 when we will have to do more.


(Nick Zed) #6

we dont deal with small hosted solitions our clients are retirement villages, mine camps, etc, where theire are up to several thousand at just one site lone, we have serious problem in the mine camp with it, nested IVR’s, nested call flow controls didnt work, and there was a few other things that escape me at the moment, we persevered for a month before dumping it for freepbx, the camp charges its permenant stays 30 a month for all you can eat, which is unfair to many who might make 2 external calls a month


(Itzik) #7

I would highly suggest you to hire a developer to do that for you.

I don’t know prices, but that shouldn’t take too long to build, and it’ll fit exactly your needs.


(TheJames) #8

FreePBX is a MLTS/PBX platform. Not a calling card system. Not a ITSP platform. There are platforms for those sorts of things. You basically are saying I can’t believe Phillips head screwdrives have done so well without being able to work with flathead screws.

Now where you may want to bill in a PBX/MLTS such as at a lawfirm or hotel these things exist. Sangoma even has a HMS module that bills for hotel/motel systems.


(Tom Ray) #9

Well it is another Asterisk server that has to handle the call so that means there are 4 legs to this single call vs the standard 2 legs that would be there. So there is that. There is also the issue that A2Billing died about 5 years ago. Which the changes introduced in Asterisk 12 with the CDR changes, PJSIP, etc. they just gave up and turned it over to the community. Since then the only changes/updates made to the project was updating PHP support last year which appear to have been made by you, so that supports my point more.

To recap the Asterisk based billing software hasn’t updated to match any of the changes in Asterisk since early 2015. The code still uses things like DeadAgi() which has been deprecated since Asterisk 12/13 and is pretty much eligible for removal from Asterisk in any new releases at this point. It supports only IAX and Chan_SIP both of which is community only support in Asterisk and well Chan_SIP is also marked now as deprecated and can be removed within the next 4 years.

So that would mean that there is no actual support for Asterisk 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 in the code of A2Billing. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t then it’s on you and the community to figure out why it’s not working and fix it.

I’m sure at some point people are going to realize that these old “go-to” third party projects that stopped making updates around Asterisk 12 (so in the last 5-6 years) are dead and while they still may work in current versions of Asterisk it means they aren’t up to date and lack knowledge of the new things added, changed or removed from Asterisk. They will continue to depend on things like DeadAGI, Macro(), Chan_SIP, etc that are no longer supported by Asterisk devs and are deprecated.

As of Asterisk 17 Chan_SIP is noload which means it requires you to tell Asterisk to use Chan_SIP when you compile it and configure it. That would mean if A2Billing worked in Asterisk 16 it won’t work in Asterisk 17 unless you enable Chan_SIP or modify the code of A2Billing to use PJSIP.

Now that being said, you are in a different position than most as you already updated the code to support PHP7 which means you have the knowledge and skillset to deal with the gaps in A2Billing but unless you or someone like you is going to overhaul the project and keep it updated, A2Billing is essentially dead in the water.


#11

You make a good point; it probably also helps that we use very few features of the software. No calling cards or anything. We literally just use it for outbound LCR and accounting, and none of our calls go directly through a technology driver so we’re unaffected by the SIP->PJSIP transition. OP is talking about IVRs and stuff, suggesting they were trying to have it maybe handling inbound calls, although “dumping it for FreePBX” doesn’t make any sense to me.


(Nobby6) #12

james your analogy doesnt make sense, perhaps thats why you no longer work for Sangoma.

That said, as one who also manages a lot of retirement complexes, hotels, and resorts, I can see the benefits of a billing module for normal calls, there is a HUGE difference between a PMS for hotels and resorts, than for old age complexes, who for all intents and purposes are like a normal house obtaining a phone service from carrier

The complexes I look after also add in to the body corporate fees the costs of calls and internet, none however have expressed desire to move to pay per calls, but if it was available I’d certainly be pushing it to them, retiree’s have enough costs in those homes, in fact, its staggering how much those oldies fork out to live in those places and if I can do anything to help them reduce those fees then I will.

perhaps because ive been doing telecomms for 40 years and I’ll soon be in one LOL


(Nobby6) #13

why wouldnt he dump i if its not doing what freepbx can (minus the billing)? THAT doesnt make sense to me.


(system) closed #15

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