It has been an exciting few months for us at the FreePBX project. Earlier this year we announced our vision for FreePBX 13. Today we are happy to announce the first alpha release of both the FreePBX Distro with FreePBX 13 and the FreePBX 13 ui. We have been diligently working to refresh the interface and add some long desired functionality.
###A Few highlights from FreePBX 13
In the past most modules brought you to a random page that had either an add form or in some cases nothing. We are happy to introduce “The Grid”. When you enter a module you will be met with a quick summary of entries for that module and additional information as appropriate.
13 now has a search bar that allows you to quickly navigate to where you need to go. Rather than clicking through "Applications->Extensions->1000 you can simply type 1000 and go.
One of the big undertakings in this release has been bringing consistency. In the past you would be presented with many interface element types for the same type of action. Say you wanted to enable a feature. One page may have done this with a checkbox, another with a toggle button, another with “enable/disable” and another with “yes/no”. Now when entering a 13.0+ module you will simply be presented with yes/no across the board. Making the input styles the same should allow for a more intuitive interface. Once you are comfortable with one part of the interface the other parts will fall inline naturally.
We have also switched the interface to use the Twitter Bootstrap components. This includes tabbed information, responsive pages, and visually stunning form fields.
With FreePBX 13 using Asterisk 12+ we have introduced the CEL (Call Event Log) module that allows you to take advantage of the CEL functionality recently introduced in Asterisk. This call logging method allows you to see the full life and path of the call and channel.
You will notice many visual changes but there are more changes behind the scenes you may not notice. With FreePBX 12 we introduced the BMO framework. FreePBX 13 expands on this and brings more modules in to this Object Orientated Framework. Also with 12 we deprecated the use of PEARDB for PDO. In 13 we continue to move database components in to PDO. Both of these components make the interface faster and more secure. The BMO framework is also allowing us to benchmark and find bottlenecks. Security and speed are paramount and as we move more to BMO we can find bottlenecks and fix them to allow for faster updates and page loads.
We all love the convenience of a UI but in a security conscious world you may not always be able to expose the interface in a way you can access it remotely. The normal solution for this is to tunnel the web port over ssh but what if you are at dinner with your family and using your cell phone?
The new FWConsole framework answers the call. FWConsole is replacing the amportal command. It adds new layer of access to FreePBX that allows you to directly manipulate certain aspects of your PBX without the need for a web browser.
You are at dinner with your family and the boss calls. telling you a trunk has been compromised and needs to be taken down. Easy enough… SSH in on your phone.
No need to remember what trunk is where
fwconsole trunk list
This brings up a menu, you choose the trunk to disable and it disables.
Happy boss, happy family, happy life.
The FWConsole component was built like FreePBX to be modular and expandable. Any module can tie in to it and it can be expanded and enhanced to accomplish almost any task. As we finish 13 and work on 14 most FreePBX scripts will be migrated in to the FWConsole Framework.
We are excited to let the world see our progress. Please remember that this alpha release should only be used for testing and development. Though we tried our hardest not to break anything, things may be broke. Please do not use this in a production environment.
Speaking of broken things: Bugs, issues and other critters: http://issues.freepbx.org
Discussion related to the FreePBX 13 Alpha: http://community.freepbx.org/c/freepbx/development
###Standalone Install Guide(s)